Long weekend here in Canada, and it was a warm one. Others might laugh, but out here on the wet coast hitting 30 C is warm. What better time to put in a different pop top canvas. The one I had on was from my old ’82 westy and it had seen better days. My wife had patched it up and replaced zippers but the time had come to give it some rest. Last summer I helped my friend do 2 canvas install and one of the old canvases was in pretty good shape. All it needed was a new bug screen in the window. My wife sewed in a no-see-um proof screen last year so it has been ready to go for a while. Why not put in a brand new canvas you ask? After all it is a pain in the ass to install the buggers. I am storing a brand new (Just Kampers brand) 3 window canvas for the aforemetioned friend, why not whip that in? First of all I think he would notice, secondly I like the way the stock VW canvas fits, the cotton material looks better than the Sunbrella versions inmy eyes (Sunbrella tops often drape like elephant legs). I guess the third reason is that the top was free.
As I was trashing the old canvas I went at it with a knife. Easier than dealing with the lower screws with canvas in place.
After hinges and lifting mechanisms disconnected, I rolled the top back on a long dowel laid across the van. Neighbour was called in to help lift the top onto a worktable beside van.
A couple of years ago when I painted the top, I installed what I thought at the time was a great idea, a fabric covered foam pad on the ceiling of the top. Well, this innovation was a dud, didn’t stay up, dropped, sagged, looked like ass. The idea of having a foam pad up there still appeals to me but I have to figure out a better way of attaching the foam (removable way). This time I went the expedient rote and bought some cheap indoor-outdoor carpet from Canadian Tire. It is very thin carpet, but it’s a not unpleasing texture and colour. The length is just enough to fit the top.
Just a matter of cutting to rough size and spray gluing it down, in stages, to the top. Went pretty well except towards the end (and I foolishly started at the rear) and the limited stretch of the material and my lack of skill created some wrinkles.
But if you squint, and have another drink, the wrinkles disappear.
In the little space between the canvas and the ceiling I ran a strip, on all four sides, of LED lights.
I swear I tested them before I installed them, honestly. Little things like this really pisses one off. The photograph of the lit strips doesn’t really do them justice. It does make a good light up there, and the LEDs are on a dimmer so it doesn’t need to look like the Blackpool Illuminations all the time. I’d show you the wiring and controller but I’m not really happy with the wire routing (down the lifting mechanism) and I want to tidy it up.
Not a bad job, perhaps a little loose at the back, but sides and front are tawt.
One more thing… a little thing to hold a flashlight.