Hardside conversion???

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by BlairewiththePUP, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. MApopupreno

    MApopupreno New Member

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    So I thought long and hard a few months ago about doing what you are proposing. What everyone says here is good advice. I decided to buy a new Canvas from bear creek canvas, $1100. Great people. I wasn’t willing to give up the sliding beds for hard sides.

    BUT, I had an idea that would cost about the same as a new canvas: Using foam board insulation with a light layer of fiberglass and epoxy resin. Kinda like a lightweight surfboard. You can buy cheap single pane windows and install them in after laying the glass.

    I thought about making this for over the sliding beds too, but here waterproofing would be a challenge. My workaround was to use long flat flexible pieces of plastic that would be glued on and act as waterproof hinges.

    Like I said, total cost would be at or greater than a new canvas so I didn’t do it. Good luck and if you decide to go for it please post pics!
     
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  2. Campee

    Campee New Member

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    I love taking on projects like this - you have a chance to do something truly unique. I hope you approach it as a love of the process type project because it doesn't sound easy, cheap or overly high chance of real success. Outside of the concerns over wind sheer and frame weight, which I also agree you'll need to have a plan for addressing, like others I'm interested in what material you're thinking of using. A-liners have unique, hard, waterproof and lightweight fiberglass wall material worth looking. Into. The difference with an aliner is they have 4 large walls and that's it (unless you have the hard sided dormers). The only really viable way I can picture to not build something that takes forever to assemble is to make hinged accordion style wall panels that quickly go up and get locked into place and then fold down when you're ready to travel. You'd unhook the walls, fold them up and put them in the tt and then lower the frame. Are you thinking of keeping canvas over your pull out beds or are you wanting a hard cover option for them as well? The beds seem like the bigger pita to my simple mind... anyways, good luck, post your design once you've made up your mind and post pics of the implementation.
     
  3. Campee

    Campee New Member

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    This is what we ended up getting. I wanted hard walls and gave up on the idea of doing it myself. We miss the added space of pull out beds, but aliner does a nice job of making every inch count and it goes up and down super fast and keeps us dry.
    upload_2021-6-4_10-2-55.png
     
  4. tfischer

    tfischer A bad day camping beats a good day at the office Gold Supporting Member

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    I wonder why they quit making hard-sided popups? My guess is the extra weight and complexity wasn't worth it. After all, what's the big disadvantage of having tenting for half of your height? Slide-out beds are a huge advantage... if I didn't have a pup I'd probably have a hybrid and still have tenting there.
     
  5. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if you could have hard sides that go over the bottom half when you lower the roof. Like a Hi-Low camper.
     
  6. Vajra

    Vajra New Member

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    Hi there. Renovations take time, money and effort. If you need to make a change, or want to, it can be done. The question is limitations and expectations. Most people mean no ill-will, some have been there and done that. If you still want it to fold down, you can make a light weight frame of wood, with XPS foam, lite plywood inside and aluminum skin outside. Add some hinges. When people do these, it takes a lot of thinking through and compromise. Anything is possible... You might need to also visit some other places and search a good deal. I just want you to be safe going down the road. That axle, can only handle so much weight. There are options out there! It's gonna take a lot of effort. Much like my project. All of us here, care about your safety and well being. Custom jobs are worth the effort, but can be pricey. Here's an idea. Painted Canvas. It is surprisingly light if done right. You could make wood frames, use the painted canvas. It will need repainting. It can be made into shapes with frame workings. You could make a right angel style pop-up, with hard sides. Much easier to do in some regards, but you'll lose some head room. Something like this, but with hardsides.
    ExpressCLipper9.jpg
     
  7. Graciela Travieso

    Graciela Travieso New Member

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