nice.. did you do the canvas yourself?? Any pointers for installing, my wife is currently sewing and we will probably be installing over memorial day weekend..
Hey BBZ – I did install the canvas. BTW - Pretty awesome of the wife to sew that bad boy together for ya. Love the teamwork.. Just don’t mess her work up! Haha.
Tips to make life easier… Sailrite has a great window demo if that part is not done. Additionally, “Living the Dream” on the first page has a great youtube on both sewing and overall install techniques… I followed many of those…
Regarding my advice, I did a some things that I haven’t seen before. But it’s all I could think of at the time and had already redesigned the roof with EPDM….
- I tucked EPDM roofing membrane to my trim crown line which pushed a little more bulk into the trim’s perimeter... This took me out of the park of using original frame holes for trim (I usually plan and avoid hitting existing frame holes unless they are super easy bullseyes or working w/ limited landscape). Problem is – if you re-use trim and don’t reuse those holes, you got some prettying up to do after. This is where prep, prime, and pre-paint really comes in handy. Beyond thermal reflectivity, this is where white roofing helps mask any ugliness.
- On the vinyl, I cut the windows all the way out and made a full rectangle of permanent screen/ removable isinglass / and removable flap….. If you go that way, here’s the deal… You will not enjoy the wet snow or rain, unless you make exterior flaps that can be fixed (velcrow) under the exterior top trim. Truth be told, I like the way it ended up, but got way ahead of myself and cut the whole damn window out!
Tools and Basic steps for install:
Extra Hands and Tolerance: Ain’t that complicated, but things are so much easier with two brains and extra hands!
Ladder or Roof hoist: Raising the roof and securing it… My roof need some moral support to stay up w/out the canvas. Figured that one out on the last cut of removing the old canvas. Make sure it's up flat or flat enough and without any forced flexing.
Duct tape: I taped any exterior sharp pokies that the vinyl might come in contact w/ during the install (i.e. window frames, exterior edges, clamps, etc). Then basically allowed the vinyl to move around the base at fitting time(s). I also taped top / bottom contact frame areas that I thought might agitate the vinyl.
Rivets & R-Gun: After a few dry fits and placement, I shot a few rivets in to keep my vinyl in place. I used the moonglow stuff from Sailrite which could perform under the pressure.
However it’s done - Walk the perimeter during your trim install and constantly check the fit before you go around the bend, this way you don’t end up w/unexpected tightness or loose fits down the line.
Self-tap Sheet Metal Screws: Start w/ small hex #8, if not attempting to hit the same holes. I’d personally go w/hex #10 if attempting same hole entry – but already mentioned things go wrong quick when trying to hit same frame holes. (I painted screws w/aluminum primer and paint to match new white trim color. Stuck’m in styrofoam and let it rip - doesn’t take much time and blends in screw heads that fall don’t follow your linear pattern).
When installing the top trim, have your extra set of eyes ensure that you are seated properly from an inside camper perspective as well. Seems obvious, but any bulk in the new material will try to force trim off its lines here and there. Repeat this for the bottom trim as well.
Note: I also used roofing washers w/the rubber seating on the top trim for giggles and because they were not going through any butyl putty. Painted those too-
Lower Trim Insert: Mine was beat and needed to be replaced. I did not use rivets at the ends. Instead, just used a nice painted sheet metal screw with a washer for any quick repairs down the road.
Butyl Tape: Need Butyl tape for the lower trim. I did not use any with the top trim, mainly due to my install method of w/ EPDM (required Dicor lap sealant anyway).
Note – Probably obvious, but you should put screws rich in the middle of the lower trim… If you go too low or high, your vinyl insert won’t seat well.
Hole Punch: Should anything puncture or tear that was unintentional and now your wife is super pissed! - You want to use the hole punch at the end of the tear line to avoid a run-away tear (Honest moment here – I poked a hole near the bottom of the vinyl, very late and on one of the last freakin screws! Only reason I didn’t go ape was due to I.) Probably won’t be the last hole. II.) Perfect placement for a tasteful patriotic or pirate patch. III) I was the one who did it!). Still sucked though-
Needle nose pliers: You will pull vinyl under the lower trim for snug fitting and adjustment after that top trim is in. Notably, my vinyl is thick, so I didn’t have problems with that method… besides, anything left below the lower trim is getting cut off.
Non-sag and self-leveling Dicor Lap sealant: If you go butyl tape and are only re-tucking the new canvass w/no other added material, you probably won’t need lap sealant (because my trim is white, and tucked EPDM under it, I created pockets in the trim that needed to be sealed up with Dicor).
Note -Caulking is no fun and I can rarely make it pretty anyway. The only reason I got away with a Dicor caulking job around the crown trim is because I color matched it to the painted trim (white). My opinion is that looks bad at eye level, but once on the truck bed, it looks really good and can’t tell that I’m the worst caulker ever - unless you read this.
Flat Razor and Needle nose pliers – After the install and below the lower trim, I just pushed a flat razor over the extra canvas and firm to the sheet metal. then pulled the extra canvas towards me. Felt like scissors wouldn’t get in close enough, and didn’t want to run a blade… So, I just pushed and pulled till I was all the way around.
Torch and Foil – Step above left me w/a few small stringy danglers under the bottom trim. I went at then with nanosecond torch blasts. If you do this, test it on your scratch material first and gain a firm understanding of reactions and all the bad scenarios that can happen. Keep in mind that even the quickest burst, you can make a mark on your paint too. Definitely create a shield firmly under your trim, but exposing the danglers. Mainly, just make sure you block any heat headed towards your canvass – Even though the flame doesn’t hit anything above the lowest part of the lower trim, the heat will do damage.
Could also use some type of snips I suppose, but the torch allows simultaneous spider kills and creates excitement for everyone waiting for you to be done.
Trim Gaps: I had them where each piece of trim met, because of the extra bulk. Ended up fabricating some sheet metal pieces to bridge the gap.
If you end up with Gaps, its no big deal - There are lot's of ways to tastefully seal and make those ends meet. BUT - If you do end up with a gap, file down the sharp exposed corners of the top trim - I also slipped an extra piece of canvas under the bottom trim corners so they do not rub through.
Think that’s all I got, hit me up if you need any specific detail or photos-