Vanagon pop top work

Finally the weather around here has warmed up and looks stable enough to pull the pop top out of the garage and get around to painting it. I power washed it last fall, and did a bit of scuff sanding. I have this notion to insulate the ceiling with some 3/8″ closed cell polyethylene foam so I set about taking the fuzz off the ceiling. I used an orbital sander, which worked well. Then I thought I’d try some paint stripper (had a little bit hanging around), and that worked really well. I’m not concerned about getting all of the tan paint off the ceiling, just the fuzz and around the edges.

Then I used some thickened epoxy to fill some holes I had in the top. While the epoxy was curing I put a coat of paint on the luggage rack.

It’s not a great job and it does need a second coat, but it sure looks much better than it did on the old ’82 westy. Tomorrow I’ll get another coat on it and do the pop top.

  1. #1 by Old Fussbudget on June 4, 2011 - 7:11 pm

    Sure looks great from here. You must be a dab hand with a brush.

    • #2 by albell on June 4, 2011 - 7:14 pm

      looks good from 3000 miles eh David?


      the inside curves are tough, those parts really do need a second coat


  2. #3 by Jim on June 4, 2011 - 8:11 pm

    Looks good from 300 miles as well. Gloss or semi-gloss?

    • #4 by albell on June 4, 2011 - 9:22 pm

      gloss. I really didn’t spend anytime thinking about the paint… just picked a good topside marine paint from local chandlery. I do wonder if the white will be too white, if you know what I mean.


  3. #5 by Scott Greiner on June 4, 2011 - 11:42 pm

    I like it, you should get someone to take a picture of you working on it so we can put a face with the project. Thank you for sharing. I just got done with my first home made awning setup on my 1982 Diesel Westy. How as I look at it; 10’x15′ I would like it much bigger, like 20 x 40′. I’m thinking if I set up a big enough awning we could just drive under it and drive out if we need to leave with the Vanagon for somewhere and not break it down. Anyway I would like to do a repaint on our tops like you are so again thanks for sharing.


    • #6 by albell on June 5, 2011 - 7:36 am

      Hi Scott,

      if you search through the blog you might find a pic of my ugly mug 🙂
      Before I bought the Shadyboy awning I had a nylon tarp and poles arrangement. Used it on many a trip in my old ’82 westy. It was not free standing though. Let me see if I can link or insert the pic here in the comments. The pic is taken at Little Big Bar Lake, 2005. What an untidy bunch we are.

  4. #7 by Scott Greiner on June 4, 2011 - 11:43 pm

    I hope it went though to u.

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