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Not impressed with "Just Kampers" pop top canvas,
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westylife
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Not impressed with "Just Kampers" pop top canvas, Reply with quote

I finally got to replace the canvas on the pop top. I'm not sure which vendor I ordered the canvas from but it came from ďJust KampersĒ. One of the first things that I noticed was how thin it was. My original canvas was a lot thicker but hey it has three windows right?

If you want a great writeup on how to replace the canvas, these guys nailed it. http://www.limbobus.org/poptop.htm

The second thing that I noticed (after already attaching it to the top with staples) was the welting where it screws onto the van was too short. The original welting was 3/4 of an inch and this one was only ľ.
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So even with the bead pushed up to the strip (like the original) the screw will only catch part of the welting and in some parts you are going right into the canvas? This just doesn't seem right to me, or am I mistaken? Screwing into the canvas would more likely cause a tear, or is there enough of the aluminum strip holding it down?
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Here are some pics of the original, with the nasty mold. The PO drilled into the sides of the top and installed lanyards to hang a kayak off the side. I got the holes filled in when I got the van painted by Maaco. When it rained the water would come in and get the canvas wet. I know... I know... WHAT???
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Duct tape baby!!
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Here are the before and after cleaning of the mold. I used bleach and water to clean it. I took an empty spray bottle, filled it with bleach until about two fingers of the bottle were bleach and the rest was water.
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There was mold between the wood and top. I had to flood the holes until it all came out the bottom.
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Cleaned! I did not wipe or scrub the top at all. Just sprayed the bleach and watched the mold go away. MAGIC!!
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Here is the convertible Vanagon!! After getting the top off, a buddy and I sat in there and drank a couple beers. I used ratchet type straps to hold the arms down.
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Notice the spare tire on the front. I'm waiting for my 15"s to show up.
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Getting ready to screw in the bottom of the canvas. Here are a couple test shots.
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Daddys little helper. Have you ever tried to install a canvas top with a baby?
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Thatís all I could do for now. I have to work out of town for a couple weeks. I got the back and sides done but still have to do the front. PITA cutting that welting to go around the corner. I canít figure it out. I looked at the original and it is totally different. I will post more pics when I finish it. Until next time....
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have the same thin canvas top on our 80 westy, installed by the PO. a general handyman but no mechanic.. and it's all OK.

I'd wager that the canvas will be fine with the aluminum strip holding down tight.. it's really the beading that won't allow any movement.. just don't let any of the screws to become/stay loose. and it'll be OK.

the lighter weight canvas is easier to tuck&roll then our 86 westy OG tent. and it's lighter by far to pop.. but we added the great poptop struts to mom's 86.


that's a nice looking westy there.. and man I'd like to get out there someday.. but do you really live in a development in the great land of Alaska? just seems odd to me.. but I've prolly still hae that romantic vision of Alaska cabins & lodge homes.. I think I'll keep it that way..

Dan in NY..
traveling the eastern US before heading out west..
NY to Fl Spring 2010
NY to Halifax Smr 2010
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matsfro
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow i really like that color. How much does maaco charge?
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westylife
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan,

Yep Anchorage is about as modern as any other city. The further out you go... thatís were the beautyís at and all the log homes you were thinking about. Thatís what the westy is for right? to travel there. Its funny a lot of people have that "Northern Exposure" mentality of Anchorage. Anchorage is quickly running out of room to build new homes, you donít even want to know how much homes cost here Shocked The good thing about living in a development and having a new house is that I can spend all the home improvements money on the van!! Laughing

How does this canvas do in the rain?
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doesn't Bus Depot usually buy their stuff from Just Kampers?
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westylife
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

matsfro wrote:
Wow i really like that color. How much does maaco charge?


Wow I think you are the first person to ever say that they liked Assuan Brown (LH8B)! It does grow on you.
I think I paid $1300.00 with all the body work including the top. Breaking your transmission's third gear syncro is of course free, but thatís another story. I took everything off when I took it to them. Lights, Grille, Hookups mirrors, everything except the windows. They got it pretty close to the OE color. I did find some rust that they just painted over and they put bondo over the sidemarker hole.

But not bad i guess for $1300.00
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RCB
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive been a fan of Assuan Brown since I got Madam Helga back in the day!! "Get on down with Assuan Brown" Cool
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danfromsyr
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

holds up fine in the rain, but it's still new.
it'll wick in moisture if anything is touching though.. like most/all canvas products.


I prefer to refer to it as Terra Cotta brown.. sounds soo much better then ashwipe brown Embarassed but it's a very natural color Surprised

Dan in NY
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GBA 88West LA
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PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i would on the first nice weather day open the top and leave it open for a while, itll help to stretch the canvas material, so the first time winds hit it there wont be as much of a chance for it to rip
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schoonerman
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed a Just Kampers tent and I'm not happy with it, although no problems so far. It doesn't fit right around the hinges in the front and looks crap when up, but ya get what you pay for, cheapest I found!
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Mr. Electric Wizard
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anybody know if the pop top canvases from GoWesty and Van-Cafe are made by Just Kampers?
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westylife
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

schoonerman wrote:
I installed a Just Kampers tent and I'm not happy with it, although no problems so far. It doesn't fit right around the hinges in the front and looks crap when up, but ya get what you pay for, cheapest I found!



So does yours buldge at the lift hinges? I thought i might have messed up a bit. Looking at the picture, is this what you mean? Is this how its going to look??
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know the GoWesty tents are not Just Kampers. They are very high quality. I have an acrylic and couldn't be happier with it.
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Mr. Electric Wizard
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
I know the GoWesty tents are not Just Kampers. They are very high quality. I have an acrylic and couldn't be happier with it.


Right on!
The three windows look like an awesome setup.
One more thing.
Do the sides zip up?
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

danfromsyr wrote:
I prefer to refer to it as Terra Cotta brown.. sounds soo much better then ashwipe brown Embarassed but it's a very natural color Surprised

When it is fresh and all shiny, it looks fine. Most are not shiny and are faded. Hence they look like "ashwipe."

Back on topic:

It is too bad products like this are made. It takes basically nothing to make it better. Too bad.....
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westylife
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Right on!
The three windows look like an awesome setup.
One more thing.
Do the sides zip up?


Yes the sides do zip up. The front window has a zipper acorss the top, then velcro on the sides. It does not zip like the OE.
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Westylife,
Yes, that;s how it looks tight around the hinges...if I could master how to put up pictures I would.
Also I didnt like how you have to screw thru the material
Good luck
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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a three-window GW tent in my '85. It's one of their hemp ones, and I love it.
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ahollon
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Westylife, have you ever thought of making your own poptop? I have a good idea for a new style canvas. We should get together sometime and start a business. lol
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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to chime in, I put this 3-window canvas on my personal van and had the same crappy results. Too tight around the lift hinges, no amount of readjusting seems to cure it. The bottom seam simply does not fit, I think I came up with about an inch or two extra that I had to fold over or something. I thought it was just me, or just a blem canvas. I bought it about 3 years ago from Bus Depot, and it is Tan. It's such a hassle of a job I never complained because I didn't feel like removing it.

So, I've got another camper I'm refurbishing. I just ordered another gray budget "Bus Depot Exclusive" canvas, and sure enough it's from Just Kampers. I've yet to install it so it will be interesting to see if it fits as poorly as my other one. Sounds like it might!
Get what we pay for, unfortunately. Stay tuned.
Joel
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