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Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by SlinginIron, Jan 2, 2018.
My wife and I installed those in the camper and realized we had a long way to go.
This summer (2020) I took it down to my shop at work to put up the new canvas we've had for forever now but, instead I learned that there are places to be frugal and there are places to not pinch your pennies. For instance, installing the BE hardware (supports/bow frame) should have taken 20-30 minutes but, when my harware kept breaking I had to made a trip to Walla Walla instead of getting things done.
With new hardware everything went well, not canvas yet but, lights were installed and bunk ends completed. There is light at the end of the tunnel now.
not stock but works great
I also had not washed the camper since I brought it home in the rain and snow in Jan. 2018. I needed to know if my roof was sealed as well so she got a bath.
The bedliner roof does like to hold a lot of dust but, no leaks!
Looking like a camper!
I've recently replaced the ceiling in my Viking, so far with foam and plywoo . What did you use to replace the original vinyle covering, or is your ceiling painted only? I have yet to find a suitable material.
It is painted only. I have some plastic T strips I was going to use on the seams but, I'm now leaning toward using the plastic "wallpaper" seam tape that was originally used in those campers. I read others in the forum were concerned with allowing the roof to breath but, the original materials did not allow for that. I am more concerned with condensation so I used a semi gloss latex paint. We will see how it holds up.
I finally installed the canvas retaining tracks. They are plastic but, seem to hold the canvas arrowhead rubber really well. I wanted to install all new tracks but, they are pretty spendy and freight is really hammering the budget on this project.
I installed the track using stainless screws as often as possible to reduce potential corrosion.
I have been waiting for a long time to open the box that had our new canvas in it. I was excited yet a little worried that we would be missing a piece or something might not fit correctly.
The bunk ends were the most difficult to attach, I'm not sure why, maybe it was the added weight or it was just where we started. At first my method was to "armstrong" the rubber arrowhead into the plastic track which worked but, it was a lot of work. I then changed to putting the bottom in the track first and rolling it in which worked better but, it was wearing the skin off of my thumbs pretty quick.
They process I finally settled on was to put the bottom in first and then I used a plastic pry bar which I believe was to originally be used to pull dash trim off of a vehicle to replace a stereo. A little push from the bar seated the rest of the arrowhead in nicely.
We followed the directions from Canvas replacements and started at the center of the bunk ends first and then worked on the side wall pieces by sliding them into the rails in the bottom first then attaching the top. I think it can be done with one person but, having a second helped, if nothing else but, to keep things clean and to take up some of the weight when installing the top.
The entire time, we were installing the canvas we wondered if it was going to fit correctly or if we were installing it the right way. A couple of times it looked like we would be too long or too short on one of the pieces but, a little adjustment and it went on really well. It looked great and fit nicely. I don't know how Canvas Replacements took our old nasty canvas and made this but, I am really pleased and I think its great. I had considered going with Bear Creek Canvas as I've only heard positive things from their reviewers however, I really wanted to have the sunbrella material and a color match to the original vinyl bottom as well.
The next step was to try everything out. I hooked up the new battery I got for it and went to try my new lights and nothing. This thing really has fought me the entire time and I thought I was on the down hill. Well, the next step was then electrical! My first concern was that some how my wiring (which was glued into the ceiling) was bad but, I was certain that I used new wires and I had continuity everywhere. So, I checked fuses, they were fine. I replaced the circuit breaker on the front, as well as the wiring and the coleman connector was replaced with a weatherpack connector due to its location. I rewired everything from the connector in the hitch to the battery. (including a new break away as the old one looked to be needing a replacement) Not because it was a problem area as far as my trouble shooting but, because it was messy and had electrical tape on it. Back when I was a service tech for Deere I always looked for the electrical tape when I was chasing an electrical issue. I usually found the issue at that point as well.
Now that the hitch areas was nice and tidy I resumed my troubleshooting. I had continuity from the battery wiring to the galley switch (as well as voltage on the back/red wire) I checked the switch across the poles for continuity, open none, closed and I got a tone. So the switch was good but, it was pretty sticky so I ordered a new one anyway. I then rechecked my roof wiring and I had continuity from the top coleman connector on the canvas to the lights and power port but, when it was hooked up I had no voltage. Then I checked the wires that go through the canvas from the sidewall to the ceiling. They were fine. So, the wiring was fine but, I had to figure out where the power line had an open.
At this point I had to get a schematic. I knew that the furnace, lights, and water pump were 12V and when you are using a tow vehicle you have a 12V option for the fridge. But, none of them were working. I knew I had good wiring through the ceiling, the wall and from the battery to the galley kill switch. The switch was working as well. This was pointing me toward the converter being bad. Ugh! More money!
I was not ready to concede yet and I tried all of the testing again with the 120 plugged in. I arrived back at the same point. I found that the power into the trailer was the black/red wire to the galley switch and the black/yellow wire came out of the switch so I pulled the convereter out of the cabinet and looked for the black/yellow wire. There wasn't one. But, when I check continuity on the black/red it was good and when I check for continuity on the black/yellow (which changes from blk/yel to blk grey somewhere near the water pump) to the blk/grey I did not have any continuity.
Also, I noticed the hatch door to hold the shore plug wouldn't close. I don't think this is stock since it doesn't fit in a 4" hatch.
Next I found the water pump under the glide out and everything looked good except for a ton of little foam particles from the old roof foam. I put power to the pump and it worked and I did a number of other checks. I had not yet found the issue. I told my wife, "Wife! I think we need to buy a converter!" She said "Well, loving husband. I agree with whatever you think in every situation so go ahead."
Actually she said "Don't you think you should wait for the switch you ordered to get here?" I agreed.
I reassembled everything and I was a little cautious on how I reattached the main connector into the converter, thinking to my self that someone could easily plug that back together 180* off. Put in the new galley switch (which had the wrong type of rocker on it) and the lights came on, and the pump worked. I was bummed because I knew the switch was wrong and I would have to order another from popupparts or something. For the time being I plugged in the old switch, put up the galley and the lights came back on. GRRR! It was not the switch. It was not the wiring, or a loose pin in a connector but, I think that the main plug on the back of the converter was in wrong because the blk/grey wire would have nothing to connect to it on the other side of the connector. Oh well, it works now.
Next episode, we'll talk about trying out the LP system which every component by law has to be working before a dealership can sell it for safety reasons. I had my doubts as the electrical wasn't working so the furnace could not have been checked, even-though I was told it was working.
I have sunbrella now and would like to keep it as well. Was the replacement real expensive?
It was about $1500 for the complete canvas.