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Restoring Camper Top FAQ
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:09 am    Post subject: Restoring Camper Top FAQ Reply with quote

I know there are people out there who have restored their moldy westy top, what paint did you use? Ive heard that you can use oven paint, but I would think that the fiberglass paint would work better...

whos done what?

any pictures?
Question
Any hints for insulation or Canvas install?

Thanks!
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farmersdahtr
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not painted mine yet, so no help there, but I can tell you that scrubbing with bleach and water will make a 100% improvement.
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pyrOman
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shocked Be careful with your bleach mixture! Too much of it may well destroy the seams or the canvas itself then it'll really need replacing! Mad
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lowdowndub
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can a Pop Top be refinished (Cleaned , Sanded and Painted) while it is still on the bus?

-LDD
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pawesty
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i haven't painted my pop top yet. but when i bought the bus it looked like a mossy rock. couple hours on top with a 3m dish scrubber and some soft scrub did wonders, good start to clean it up. i think i recall seeing some stuff on the type 2 sight regarding resto of a pop top though i can't recall for sure. LLL- i do also remember seeing a resto with top on, if i can find it i'll post a link.
dave
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was after a few hours with Bleche White and a tire brush.

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


You can also read this:

http://www.type2.com/library/camper/fiberpo.htm

or this:

http://www.type2.com/library/camper/poppaint.htm
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thanks everyone for the quick replies!!!!

I want to clean, paint and insulate my top before I install my new canvas as so I dont mess it up.

Living in Oregon my pop-top is very dirty and moldy, when i pressure washed the top it came out nice but didnt last long and may have gotten worse since then Sad

I was also hoping to do all this when the top was on, but being short I will need a ladder and such but I dont want to take it off as that would mean I couldnt drive it! I try not to do that otherwise it ends up not ever being finished.

could the bleach harm the paint?

I will update with some pictures of before and after

BTW MR Breeze I really like your picture mines a little worse than yours but that bleach really cleaned up well! I heard something about X-14? has anyone eused that?
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pawesty
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Heather,
the reason the pressure wash was only temporary was that the mold is living organism. while you have to be care ful with your bleach mixture, the bleach should do the trick in killing that nasty green stuff. it's worked on mine. good luck, hope this helped!
dave Laughing
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westy78
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Heather,

I've used X-14 on my shower curtain to remove small mildew spots. The stuff is amazing. Spray it on, let it sit for a couple minutes and then spray off. No scrubbing at all. With that I dont know if I would use it on the pop-top unless you were very carefull about not getting it anywhere else. That stuff is strong. I would suggest using a diluted bleach/water solution instead. That is what I used to clean the felt in my bus and it came out like new and hasn't come back.
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farmersdahtr
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2003 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you're worried about damaging the body paint cheap protection would be to buy some painters plastic or a tarp and open the top a little and stuff it under then close the top and let the plastic hang to the ground all around the bus (except the front). My take on X-14, Tilex, Bleche-White, etc is that they are all probably bleach mixtures sold in small quantities to make you pay more than just buying a gallon of dollar store bleach and mixing it with water. I sat up there (carefully near the edge, NOT THE MIDDLE) and used a stiff scrub brush and a bucket mixed roughly 5 parts bleach with 1 water. I wet down the top with water first, then started at the back and did 2ft sections until I got to the front. The work was hard and required several beverages to complete. I weigh 160 so if you're heavier use caution, the top can be fragile. You can use a piece of plywood to spread your weight out. Bleach also worked well for the inside of my top.
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 4:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again everyone now I want to go out there and start scrubbing but its raining to hard right now Crying or Very sad

sounds like x-14 is to strong and your right about only needing bleach i know i already have some.

I will also see what kind of plastic I can find I would rather spend a little $ and save my paint.

BTW I definately DONT weigh anywhere close to 160 Shocked I wasnt even planning on sitting in it, but I have sat no the back when I was tying some stuff down, not even a creak Razz

I dont think I want to bleach the inside of the top to much to bleach stuff to spill on. I think I might sand the last of the insulation someone pulled off and then put some more insulation stuff up there as it drips after a night of sleep YUCK!

But thanks again everyone I will post some pictures before and after , hopefully as soon as it stops raining.
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ratwell
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to take the top off the effectively bleach the inside. Only a watered down solution is necessary. Straight bleach would be too stong and unnecesary. Compare before and after. You have to be gently with the fuss. Use a brush to get it clean but pat dry with a towel only, no rubbing of the fuzz will come off and leave patches.

For the outside, e.g. moss, mold, mildew, the stronger the better.
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Paulie
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2003 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Restoring Camper Top Reply with quote

VWDreamer wrote:
I know there are people out there who have restored their moldy westy top, what paint did you use?


The PO had the luggage rack section of my top painted at an auto body shop:


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


It looks great, but it isn't an exact match to the rest of the top...YMMV.

-Paulie
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok everyone Ive bleached it and it looks SWEET!!!!

http://public.fotki.com/vwdreamer/restoring_pop-top-1/

(BTW excuse the ones that are upside down....)

It is sooo sweet looking all white!!! Ahh...

Now I just have to get tires, balljoints, brake pads all around, finish my interior, weld up my heater boxes, fix front end damage, get HEAT.....
.....mumble mumble
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2003 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW thank you everyone for giving me good advice, I will put another update once Ive actually painted it, installed seals and the canvas...
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themansfield
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as type of paint is concerned, I used a 2 part epoxy used on boat hulls. IT looks great, it fills cracks, easy to repair if scratched (which is hard to do) and rock solid. I'll post a pic if you are int4erested in seeing it,
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ratwell
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although many boats are fiberglass like the poptop you don't have to use Marine specific paints and compounds unless you are turning your bus into a house boat. Corvettes use plain old autopaint and it will do just fine on your poptop as long as you prepare the surface properly just like any other paint job.
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VWDreamer
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 12:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would like to see pictures if you got them !

I know that for best results when painting the tempurature needs to be between 60-65 degrees. But it hasnt gotten that warm in a while, and even if it does, not for long.

Is there any paint that can be applied in colder weather?

What about just a fiberglass sealer? My top is pretty white already, Ive seen several where the top has been painted and you see ALOT of scratches, but you can only see that up close. My top is in good condition, but one little area where is questionable.

Also I am thinking about removing the luggage rack bars, and little hook thingys, painting and then screwing back on. Right now they are held on my rivits..I am not sure if its worth it or if it would crack the fiberglass is I drilled the rivits out...
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ratwell wrote:
Although many boats are fiberglass like the poptop you don't have to use Marine specific paints and compounds unless you are turning your bus into a house boat. Corvettes use plain old autopaint and it will do just fine on your poptop as long as you prepare the surface properly just like any other paint job.


That may be true but using the marine epoxy will give you a more durable and longer lasting finish.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2003 1:24 pm    Post subject: Texture Reply with quote

This may be a stupid question, but I have to ask.

My camper's a '73 and the pop-top looks like fiberglass. That is to say it is not smooth and you can see the actual glass fiber in it. I have seen others that are smooth like a boat hull. Is this preparation (ie; filling and sanding, etc), or were there different tops?

After 30 years outdoors, I have no doubt my top doesn't look like it did when new, but then I didn't own it in '73.

I also read a Hoover sermon that talked about using aluminum paint (with bits of metal in it) to re-do a top. Has anybody done this?

Thank's
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