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Bus Depot Canvas- Wrong Size?
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portermoab
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 10:54 am    Post subject: Bus Depot Canvas- Wrong Size? Reply with quote

All,

I was just getting ready to install a new canvas top on my '77 bus and, per the instructions, measured out the canvas before installing. My pop top measures 47.5 x 96" on the inside wood frame but the canvas is only measuring out 46 x 94.5". That seems like a pretty big difference to me. Am I correct in assuming they sent the wrong top (even though the tag is marked for my bus) or is this a typical discrepancy?

As you can imagine, I'm a bit frustrated as I set aside the day for this. Ugh.

Thanks,

Neal
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is that an inside or outside diameter measurement of your pop top frame?
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1964 T34 S Convertible
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portermoab
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Inside diameter. It seems like I'd have to stretch it a lot to get it to all of the corners and I'm hesitant to put a staple in it at this point.

Man I'd really like to get this thing installed.
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notchboy
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why are you hesitant? If its wrong its wrong regardless of you partially installing it. I say go for it. I cant see it not being returnable if there is staple holes in the plastic.

Go for it - do all the corners first.
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OK, this thread is over. You win.

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VDubTech
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The is no plastic at the stapled end of the canvas. Start installing it. I didn't measure mine when I did mine, it never crossed my mind to do so. I got my canvas from BusDepot FYI. I just measured out the centers and started it there, stapling it all around. It fit perfectly.
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borninabus wrote:
a measurement of your rod would be extremely useful.

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my dad wasnt a belittling cock when he tought me how to wrench on cars.

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portermoab
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all. I decided to just go for it and, as VDubTech said, it fits perfectly. Nice looking canvas for sure (Bus Depot original reproduction). Now to get the top back on!
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poptop tom
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pictures please!
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Shaun Murray
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just installed one of these Bus Depot canvas's on my '79. It fit great on the fiberglass top side, but not very well on the bottom edge. It's almost like it's too small. I centered everything and every corner is extremely tight. I've tried to stretch it almost to the point of tearing it. I'm going to give it a day or 2 of being mounted and maybe use a heat gun and try to get the last few screws in the corners. I still have 1 screw on each front corner and and a few at each rear corner. It looks to be very good quality other than this issue.
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rway36
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:13 am    Post subject: Canvas Reply with quote

Just curious. How long did it take you to install? Local shop here in the Bay Area,LaVeres, says it takes 8 hrs and they want $800 bucks plus the canvas. Mine is a 75

Do you remove the top or attach while top is on?

Many thanks
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GeorgeO.
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a two from Bus Depot. One was made by JustKamper and it was a dog. I returned that one and spent a little more money on a better one. The trick is tack the corners first and ensure that the center of the canvas is center to the inside of the frame. I fold seam to seam on the canvas and mark it with a fine soap line. Soap will eventually flake away and leave no discerning mark. I mad a tool to help me do the top evenly around the top and I got good results mating the bottom of the canvas.

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poptop tom
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

GeorgeO. wrote:
I bought a two from Bus Depot. One was made by JustKamper and it was a dog. I returned that one and spent a little more money on a better one. The trick is tack the corners first and ensure that the center of the canvas is center to the inside of the frame. I fold seam to seam on the canvas and mark it with a fine soap line. Soap will eventually flake away and leave no discerning mark. I mad a tool to help me do the top evenly around the top and I got good results mating the bottom of the canvas.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


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Nice work! Looks good! Is that Bus Depot's designed canvas?
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Shaun Murray
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PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Canvas Reply with quote

rway36 wrote:
Just curious. How long did it take you to install? Local shop here in the Bay Area,LaVeres, says it takes 8 hrs and they want $800 bucks plus the canvas. Mine is a 75

Do you remove the top or attach while top is on?

Many thanks


I took my top off, and did a few extra things while it was off. I repainted it, added a new Westfalia decal, and replaced the seals. I would say 8 hrs is fair, but $100/hr doesn't Shocked . I have an auto repair shop and I only charge $40/hr. If I was closer I would do it for less than half that. I would say without the extra work I probably had about 7-8 hrs in mine. This was the first one I ever did. I'm sure I could do it quicker now. As many VW people as there seems to be in CA, you should be able to find someone to help out. Even if you give them a couple $100 bills for their help, you'd still be money ahead and have the experience of doing it under your belt.
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portermoab
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaun,

I'm having the exact same problem, except that I can't even get the corners screwed on. In fact, I notched the back rear corner to try to get it down and ended up ripping the new canvas about 3 inches along the seam. Now I've not only got to figure out how to sew that up but I'm still not sure it will fit.

Any suggestions from folks would be greatly appreciated. I did the top part exactly as directed and even made sure to take the canvas away from the top corner of the fiberglass top (to make sure I would have enough canvas at the bottom). I also made sure to measure everything exactly.

A nice quality canvas but very frustrating. Almost considering pulling it off and shipping it back at this point (tear and all).
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curtis4085
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

portermoab wrote:
Shaun,

I'm having the exact same problem, except that I can't even get the corners screwed on. In fact, I notched the back rear corner to try to get it down and ended up ripping the new canvas about 3 inches along the seam. Now I've not only got to figure out how to sew that up but I'm still not sure it will fit.

Any suggestions from folks would be greatly appreciated. I did the top part exactly as directed and even made sure to take the canvas away from the top corner of the fiberglass top (to make sure I would have enough canvas at the bottom). I also made sure to measure everything exactly.

A nice quality canvas but very frustrating. Almost considering pulling it off and shipping it back at this point (tear and all).


Good luck getting refund. Improper install is no reason for them to credit you anything.

I'm sure this product is the exact fit as the original, they fit snug. If you do not know what you are doing stop and do research prior to fixing, installing or breathing on it.

There are plenty of great threads on how to install these properly. The biggest problem is most do not take the time to measure and follow instructions.

My guess most install the top roof section of tent to high to start and then they wonder why it is so tight to stand up. Also if you do not find center on all 4 sides of tent and center of all 4 sides of topper and bus body. Line up markings for install,, start from center and work your way out to the corners.

I did mine myself without having to take topper off. Army of one!
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Sweumteam
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter I tried to install a just kampers pop top from bus depot. I could tell it was going to be tight but thought I could get it to stretch, after two days wrestling and measuring I gave up and called bus depot. They were supper cool and sent me a new one right away. New just kamper top fit perfect.
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BrewBus
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just recently installed the Bus Depot replica in my 79 and had a similar corner issue. I did not do the corners first as suggested because I couldn't see how to properly measure the center of all sides and find the exact corners. How does one find the center of something that is essentially round, or at least doesn't have exactly defined corners? Im not beimg sarcastic, I just mean I couldnt figure out how to do it.

So, I installed the canvas to top first, with top off bus, then installed to bus by roughly locating the front middle and then just going all the way around. Problem is, when I got to the final corner, it was just too tight and I could tell it was because it was off center. I could see ripples in the canvas indicating this. I managed to unscrew one side and just do my best to readjust by pulling the canvas toward the last corner with every screw. Even the Bus Depot instructions indicate you might have to make adjustments. After this I was able to (with much difficulty) get the last corner in, but its VERY tight and the final corner screw still didn't seat completely down. I can still see it a bit of the screw from the outside.

I guess what I'm saying is, the canvas fits, but centering it is key and I didn't understand how to do that. I got lucky because I was close enough to force it. And by the way, that canvas can take a lot of force and tension, but keep all sharp objects away from it (ask me how I know) and don't cut anything but the little plastic rib. Nothing beyond that!

As for time, as a first time amateur, took me about 6 - 8 hours. I was also quoted the Lavere's price and I would think the pros could do it in less time, but its a labor intensive job either way.

If you can figure out how to measure the center of each side, or someone here can elaborate on how to do that, you should have no problems. The issue for me was that the instructions said the seems at corners my not be the actual corner, so I just couldn't figure the exact center and just rough measured and eyeballed it. But I'm just a noob.

Canvas looks rad now though!!

Edit - my avatar is the old canvas. I'll post pictures of what I'm talking about soon.
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BUSBOSS
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2013 11:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Canvas Reply with quote

rway36 wrote:
Just curious. How long did it take you to install? Local shop here in the Bay Area,LaVeres, says it takes 8 hrs and they want $800 bucks plus the canvas. Mine is a 75

Do you remove the top or attach while top is on?

Many thanks


Seems a bit high to me.
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WrongWayRandall
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed one of these in my '75 recently to replace the factory tent, which was generally intact except for the zippers, which were totally shot. The top-to-bottom fit of the new tent was perfect, with no concern at all getting a good fit, but the width was a fair bit short top and bottom. It was not short enough to cause a rip, but the fabric does bow in dramatically just above the aluminum - way more than the original did, and enough to make fitting screws into the corners next to impossible.

I understand wanting a snug fit, but this is not a drum head were dealing wtih. I mean, if a mosquito were so unfortunate as to fly into one of those corners it would spang off the canvas and vaporize itself against the Airstream next door at damn near the speed of light. The rest of the tent is firm, yet it has a little give, pretty much like the original tent had, but those corners are seriously taught.

It took me about 7-8 hours of hard labor, almost entirely dealing with attaching the bottom, to get mine installed. I was not able to get the corners fitted at all when fixing the center first - I had to fit the corners first (rears to start, then fronts) and only after a great deal of effort (and I mean a GREAT deal of effort) was I able to get all four corners fitted. But, once that was done it took mere minutes to do the rest of the bottom and I have no more wrinkles than the original tent had.

We've camped a couple of times since the tent replacement and people regularly stop and comment at each park about how cool the camper looks, can you sleep up there?, etc. It was an exceptionally unpleasant task, but I'm glad that I did it and I really love the look of the tent. I didn't exchange mine to see if another would fit better, but it almost sounds like there is a little variation in each tent, so perhaps if you can't get it just so you should exchange it to see if another would fit better...

- Randy
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Shaun Murray
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here's an update on mine:

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I've managed to get all the screws in except 1 in each corner. It fits extremely tight at the rear, much like the top of a drum as mentioned. That wasn't my complaint though. The bottom diameter seemed way to small. It required ALOT of stretching, time, sweat, and patience. I had way more time in fastening the bottom than everything else combined. I still need to remove the front strip and tighten the front a little, but that will have to wait. I'm tired of messing with it right now. I had considered trying to get it switched out, but we have a camping trip planned, so time is an issue. All in all I'm pretty satisfied with it. Could have it fit a little better? Yeah, but for the price it's probably the best quality canvas out there. I'm just REALLY glad it's done.

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Last edited by Shaun Murray on Wed May 22, 2013 9:16 am; edited 2 times in total
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Bala
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PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is it not recommended by Busdepot to lower the top a bit to get the rear installed to the body? I did that on mine recently and it worked great. Gave more room for using the screwdriver as well. My top was homemade, but, same principle.
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