First Mod on First Pop Up

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by timothias, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    Hey guys, I have loved browsing this site, especially reading about the mods people are doing to their units.

    I have a couple planned for my first PUP, a '95 Bonair BA700. Along with building a drawer into the outside compartment for tools, I have decided that I would like to put a skirt around the rear bed pullout, creating a bit of a hidden/covered storage area for totes and such. I like the idea of being able to slide the clutter of totes and coolers etc into a hidden area, not to mention the "out of sight out of mind" paradigm of protecting my stuff.

    Initially I was thinking of attaching snaps around the bed slide, or even a velcro strip, and the opposing fastener to some canvas cut to length that will wrap around the rear of the trailer. If I got fancy I could slit the corners and put a zipper in to create access, but I'm not convinced its necessary. I also think I might put grommets into the bottom so I can secure it to the ground for wind etc...

    Has any one done this to theirs? Is it a terrible idea? Any thoughts on material choice/source? Keep in mind that I am in Alberta, and many American suppliers do not like selling into Canada (at least my exp.)

    Thanks,
    Tim
     
  2. bropaul

    bropaul New Member

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    Tim, we purchased a Coleman bunk end cover from eBay. It is basically similar to the vinyl used for add a rooms, slightly lighter weight than what an awning is made out of. They have a bungee that runs along the top edge (like most bunk end canvas) and they supply the little 'hooks' that you installed at certain points under the bunk to hang it. There are grommets along the bottom so it can be staked. Your only access is by lifting a corner. We will use a small tarp on the ground to keep our items clean and dry.

    However, I think making one would be quite easy. I would suggest using vinyl over canvas, it will be lighter weight and easy to clean. You could use a large tarp or purchase vinyl from a fabric store... I would try JoAnn Fabrics here in the states, not sure if you have them there. Using the Velcro to attach is an excellent idea but use the industrial strength stuff. We have it here at Home Depot, Lowe's and JoAnn Fabrics. Velcro will stick very well to the vinyl but the side you attach to the underside of your bunk end may need some additional method of attachment, possibly staples or short screws if it begins to pull away from the wood (usually just at the ends). Go with the grommets along the bottom. Instead of adding a zipper, consider making a flap that will overlap on one side and just secure it with sections of Velcro.

    I have worked with Velcro on several applications and will give you a hint for more stability. Place the Velcro along the top of the back side of the vinyl 'skirt' vs. the outside... if you have real strong winds, it will push the Velcro tighter rather than possibly causing it to peel apart.

    Good luck, Tim. If you have any questions, you may PM me. Post some pictures if you decide to do this mod. You will also find that besides keeping your gear out of sight, that rear bunk will also be warmer!

    Diane
     
  3. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    Thank you for the awesome tips, when I have a chance to do this I will definately update with pics. I like your Velcro seams idea, makes sense and is easier than zippers for sure. As for material, I stumbled on surlast on Ebay (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/sunbrella-Surlast-Sapphire-Blue-Fabric-by-the-yard-Boat-awning-outdoor-Furniture-/370646372997?pt=Boat_Parts_Accessories_Gear&hash=item564c3ed285&vxp=mtr&_uhb=1#ht_892wt_1397), and looks like it will fit the bill, although it is $7 a yard I think that will be almost all of the cost on this project. While I'm at it I might consider building one to hide the tongue as well...
     
  4. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    I really like your idea! I too would go with a material that will not absorb water so it will be able to be put away with a minimal amount of water on it. I was actually thinking about using an awning mat, but you could also just go with a commercial tarp.

    Tarps are cheap and readily available. You could always upgrade to a silver tarp, or order white (or most any other color) online. I was almost thinking of a curtain installation that could hook to the canvas bungie straps under the bunkend.

    Send some pics of your solution... I'm curious.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We made a skirt for our previous pup, using canvas. It attached to the bottom of the bunk with Velcro and it was made in sections that also attached to each other by Velcro. It worked well, though a couple of times our high winds ripped it off of the Velcro, until we decided not to weight the bottom any more.
    [​IMG]
    at the Canyon April 2010 by kitphantom, on Flickr
    We tried making one out of Sunbrella for the Cobalt, supported by shock cord, but it was the skirt was too heavy. We looked at some of the ones we could purchase, and so far, have just opted to go without a skirt for the time being. We use the space under the rear bunk for the clotheslines.
     
  6. timothias

    timothias New Member

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    You know kitphantom, I didn't even consider the weight (which I should have in hindsight). And at 8.25oz/sq-yd, the sunbrella will be quite heavy by the end of it. As far as the wind blowing it off the velcro, this is why I also considered heavy snaps, like the ones already used on the canvas of the pup. The issue against wind will have to be making sure it is either loose enough to flap freely, or secured enough to resist. Might be an experiment for the first few trips.

    Generok, I agree, water absorption would be an issue wouldn't it... You guys always think of things I didn't, and that's why I love all of you [:D]. Tarps are a tough one, on one hand, light, cheap, water proof and non wicking, and easy to find. On the other, they tend to weather quickly (at least the cheap ones), and almost never come in the actual size I want meaning I'll have to cut and hem it. I'm not sure I can re-size a tarp without completely ruining it.

    Hmmm... the plot thickens...
     

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