Is a Pop-up right for me?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Drbean, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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    New update:
    Got the new sideboards on and canvas back up. Camper is almost complete except a few things, but otherwise it's ready to camp after about an hour of work. It turned out to be way more time consuming than I previously thought, but now finally it's done (almost).

    The trailer lights are also working after resolving the bulb and grounding issues.

    Another mod I need to make is swapping the propane tank to the other side of the tongue. There's no way I'll fit both the tank and the new battery, so I'll need to add a small shelf to let the battery box overhang. Can't do it on the crank side since it would interfere with the crank.

    Edit: Speaking of the battery box.. I'm just using a group 31 battery. But the mounting area for the battery is so small that I question what the heck kind of battery would fit there at all? Certainly wouldn't be sufficient for boondocking for 2-3 days.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2018
  2. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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    Update:
    Happy to announce that the pup ready for camping! I'm calling this project a wrap, but as you all know there's always stuff that can be done. This turned out to be a much more time consuming project than I expected but it was all worth it.

    Complete:
    - New sideboards on both sides
    - fixed DC wiring & trailer lights
    - replaced AC gasket
    - lots and lots of sealing
    - adjusted door frame so the latch would actually catch, resealed frame
    - filled propane tank, tested all electrical and propane equipment for issues and leaks
    - added a bracket to tongue to support battery since the group 31 battery box couldn't fit all the way on the tongue with the propane tank

    So that was everything to get it camping ready. Got a few more things on the list I'll do over time which of course is subject to change, like:
    - LED bulbs for interior lights to conserve battery
    - 100watt solar panel (plan for upgrade to 200w) mounted on roof
    - treat canvas with water repellent spray
    - install 12v outlet
     
  3. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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  4. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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    I got some pics, unfortunately I don't have too many pics during the middle of the process but I have some before and after. Will post them up today when I get home.
     
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  5. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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  6. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    Thanks for the Show. It Looks Like you knew what you were doing.
     
  7. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    @Drbean Just an FYI for the Battery picture you included. I'm struggling with the same thing. In the past, Rockwood offered a Dualtank option, which really was just a piece of steel bent in such a way to put the a batter ON top of the winch. When I have a free day, I'm going to ask a metal fabricator how much to make me one of these.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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    Yeah I was doing a bit of research and found a couple examples where folks figured out a way to put the battery on top of the winch. It's a good idea and I may need to look into that as well because I do want to have an extra propane tank.

    So, there's a ton of info out there about sideboard replacement, but I figured in case someone stumbles upon this thread in their search, I'll go ahead and list some of the key tools and supplies I used.

    Weatherproofing materials:
    1" wide butyl tape, you can't find the tape this wide at your local hardware store so I ordered online. Alternatively, you could run 2 strips of the usual 1/2 or 3/4in stuff you can find easily. This tape gets applied directly to any trim piece you're working on, except the lower trim in the case of my Rockwood Premier. You'll be able to see where the factory had it.
    3M 5200 Marine Caulk, This is expensive stuff but from what I hear it works well so we'll see how well it holds up. The factory depends on the butyl tape alone for sealing - which actually seems to work pretty well and I suspect my wood rot started at the lift pole mounting bolts themselves rather than leaking at the butyl tape. This might also explain why my roof wood was in excellent condition, fortunately. For good measure, I ran a bead of this caulk along the top edge of any trim piece for additional peace of mind, and also put some on the mounting bolts and their rubber washers. The downside is I hear the 5200 is very hard to remove later if needed, and if you are concerned with this the 4200 might be a good alternative. It is possible to overdo it with caulk - refrain from applying it to areas where you might actually trap water. If water does get in, it needs a way to drain - they seem to really emphasize that in the construction of these pups. For instance, the entire underside of the floor boards are left bare and exposed to the elements such as road spray - if you attempt to paint or seal this it will only cause your floor to rot out from what I've read.
    1" wide Replacement Vinyl Trim insert for the roof trim pieces. I got a 100' roll of this for about 10 bucks, so it's just not worth trying to reuse the old stuff. I spent almost an hour getting one side off gently with a heat gun which worked, but it's just not worth it, it needs to be replaced. The easiest way to get this in is to simply pinch it into the track with your fingers.

    Tools:
    A number of basic tools such as screwdrivers are needed. Specifically, the only tool that maintained my sanity during this project, and prevented damage to my roof skin, is a sharp gasket scraper tool. Here is a link to an example, and it just so happens that I used one of these craftsman scrapers. I do a lot of motorcycle work and these were a must. But some of the old caulk and butyl tape I had to deal with during this project would have been nearly impossible to remove with a screwdriver or dull scraper.
    http://www.sears.com/craftsman-3-pc...gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=CNqhrJr-tNoCFRJ2YgodX4cHWw
    Also have a drill and a set of various size drill bits. I was being very careful to predrill every hole and not overtighten any screws because the particle board stuff they use will not hold up to over torqueing at all.
    Goo-Gone is also highly recommended for cleaning old caulk and adhesive. This won't work on any built up stuff, it's meant to clean up small amounts of caulking or adhesives left over after scraping. Spray it on, give it a few minutes to work, wipe it up, repeat as needed. I also used a spray bottle with Dawn and water to clean up afterwords, probably not a good idea to leave any trace of goo-gone when it comes to resealing.

    Misc:
    I needed a way to support the roof assembly while pulling the side boards off. The idea I got from another thread was 5 gallon buckets. I put buckets on the bunk in each corner to support the roof. A good alternative might be car jacks or jack stands for adjustable height, with some kind of board to protect the ceiling from the jack.
    Your lift poles might move when you remove the sideboards. When measuring for your bolt holes, it's probably better to measure against the old boards. The factory OEM boards are rough cut, not predrilled or marked in any way. Probably not worth the money. If I had to do it again I think I'd lap together a couple pieces of plywood and pick up fiberglass sheeting to glue on.
     
  9. Drbean

    Drbean Member

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    A pic from weekend trip.
     

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