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Westy tent install: specialty tools and tips
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seabright_sc
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Westy tent install: specialty tools and tips Reply with quote

I know there are a ton of install threads out there, but I thought it would be cool to focus this thread on:

Specific tools (purchased or fabricated) for the job

Installation tips

Not meant to debate warrants of top on vs. off. Just tool/tips that made the installation process go smoothly for you!
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djkeev
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This or similar........
Many of them actually, 6 pack....... Maybe a case!

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Plus
Tape measure
Sharpie
Scissors
Screwdriver
Stubby screwdriver
Power screw driver
Power stubby screw driver
Awl
Cleaner for aluminum strips
Magnetic tray for screws
Helper (find out his/her favorite brew and add it to your inventory)
Patience
Patience
Patience
More patience.

Dave
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Videos with top/on-top/off instructions:

http://youtu.be/ASC9dZkfxbQ

http://youtu.be/bmSOnYrtV2E

http://youtu.be/30i7dZJIJ20
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luVWagn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right angle ratcheting screw driver with swappable bits. Great for tight spaces near the rear of the van.
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Vanagon Nut
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found the tool below to be very useful for screws. I don't have the brand name handy but you'd likely find this at Harbour Freight. Starts with a "P". Pronto? Anyhow....

Bit direction is determined by which side of head bit is in. You can ratchet normally, or, twist the handle CW/CCW. The latter worked great. IIRC, it was possible to push down on the ratchet head while twisting the handle.

Neil.

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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used this (from Harbor Freight):

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To keep the tent from unfolding all over the place while I worked with it, I wrapped it at intervals with strips of paper... then tore them off one by one as I got to that part of the tent:

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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Flexible socket wrench extension:

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Painter's tape, Sharpie, and cups: Label all of the hold-down rails as you remove them. Group the screws into cups, label the cups as to where the screws go (lower rails, upper rails, etc.).

Straps: Wrap around the pop-top push-up bars before unbolting them from the roof.

Pop-top shocks, pipe, or some other mechanism to keep roof partially raised while you work (if you're not removing the pop-top).
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Flexible socket wrench extension


Far and away the single most useful tool we used. Also the hook remover on my Swiss Army knife, it was dull and yet sharp enough to push the canvas into place without penetrating it.

Best!
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FNGRUVN
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pneumatic crown stapler for those who have an older van with the staples instead of screws. You can get a cheap one at Harbor Freight. Try to find stainless steel staples.

Also a blow drier or heat gun to warm up the original plastic strip so that you can stretch it as you go. It also allows the staples to penetrate easier.

Be really careful if you use a heat gun and an acrylic tent. You can melt a hole in the material in a nano second. Ask me how I know. Embarassed
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seabright_sc
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've decided to take off top for the job. Looks like I only have one helper to assist. Can top removal be done with two men?

Any other tips out there?
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