To replace PUP canvas or search out a newer PUP

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Checkered24, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. Checkered24

    Checkered24 Member

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    We have a 1994 Coleman Columbia which has served us well for the past 8 years. However, the water barrier that was sewn into the seams on the bunk ends has been deteriorating and falling out in pieces, which has also lead to increasing amounts of water leaking in when it rains.

    This camping season I have had a lot of water coming in, to the point where it streams in at times, and threatens to soak the bunks and bedding. It is reaching a point I need to make a decision.

    I just have not been able to decide which way to go. I suspect the only real fix for this PUP is to go with new canvas for at least the bunk ends, if not a full re-canvas (which from my pricing on line is not much more than buying canvas sections individually).

    However, my wife and I are torn as to whether invest that much in this PUP or look for something newer. Mostly I have some reservation about putting a lot of money into a 25 year old PUP, not knowing what I can really expect from it for a serviceable life.

    The positives of this PUP: Tires are in their third year, brakes are in good shape, and bearings are in good shape. So it runs down the road just fine. Lift system seems to be fine, and the whiffle tree has plenty of grease. No apparent problems there. Interior is in relatively good shape for it's age. Some wear inside, but nothing is broken or failing. I have found one of the four corner caps on the roof seems to have seeped some water in too, but I can caulk that up so I do not think it is a problem.

    Am I overthinking this and should just go with the new canvas and expect years more out of this pup?
     
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    I speak for only myself when I say, move on if you can afford it. I would rather take the money that I would have spent on the canvas and get a newer pup or Aliner.
     
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  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    have you actually used seam sealer on the seams and re-waterproofed the canvas? At that age, the canvas may very well be beyond life expectancy. It often depends on the type of canvas, weather exposure and how it has been maintained. That "water barrier" on the seams is actually likely to be a basting tape, used in assembling the tenting.
    Only you know the condition of the rest of the camper, and whether you'd rather put the approx. $1000 towards a newer camper. We did opt for replacing the canvas on our first popup, also doing an extensive renovation. When all was said and done, we spent almost as much on the renovation as we did on a new-old-stock (read on sale), slightly larger one a year and a half later.
     
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  4. Checkered24

    Checkered24 Member

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    I am applying some seam sealer, but I am skeptical it is going to be more than a temporary fix for me. With the tape in the seams deteriorating out, I suspect in the long run it will keep leaking.

    How did you like the new canvas?
     
  5. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    I agree with BikenFish, if can afford to "upgrade" (I use that term loosely) to a newer pup or something else, might be the wisest thing to do.. Save the $1000 that new canvas would cost and any money made by selling what you currently have and put down on your next trailer..
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We bought our new canvas from Canvas Replacements, since they had the pattern for our tiny '84 Palomino, Bear Creek Canvas would have needed the old canvas for a pattern, and it was long gone. The new canvas was a good fit and quality. It was a bit of a challenge for folding down, especially the bunk end (there was just one bunk) because the original canvas had been a lightweight non-woven fabric called Evolution. The new canvas was a bit bulkier, so we were a bit limited as to what we could leave on the bed when we folded down. [We created the same issue with the second popup, by adding a mattress topper to the original mattress, we just didn't leave bedding on the beds when folding down in either pup.] Both companies have similar prices, reputations, and (usually) shipping times; options may vary a bit.
    We didn't regret spending all that on that first camper, we used it for two full seasons after renovation, including a solo three week long trip I took to visit family and friends back east - since I would have needed hotels for that entire trip, I saved enough to consider the renovation compensated for. We had not used the pup as much before the original canvas disintegrated as we did after renovation, so in the two seasons we used it after wards we learned what we did and didn't want or need in a slightly larger pup. (That first pup was tiny - 6' box in both directions, my husbands head brushed the ceiling, and both of us standing at the same time was a challenge.) We also learned a lot about camper construction.
     
  7. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    You can't go wrong with a new canvas if the rest of the camper is in decent shape. You could always sell it in a couple of years and get good money with the new canvas.
     
  8. Minimalist

    Minimalist Active Member

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    What shape is the frame in? Any soft spots? With your camper you know what you have. If you are are overall happy with the pup I would replace the canvas.
     
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  9. tgau16

    tgau16 New Member

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    Hi "Kit"
    I just ordered our new canvas through Canvas Replacements. We're really nervous to do it ourselves but we're taking it on. Do you have any advice on doing it ourselves? We watched the videos and they make it look really easy but it didn't ease our mines very much. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Mary
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Take pics as you remove the old canvas. It helped remind us about the corner "roses" and rail clips that helped secure the canvas, for example. My husband was doubtful that it was going to be easy, but really, the most difficult thing was getting the new canvas laid out around the inside edges or the camper. Once that was done, we just had to raise it into place and secure it.
     
  11. tgau16

    tgau16 New Member

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    Good idea! Tx
     
  12. Camper054

    Camper054 Active Member

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    Hi,
    I bet the decision would split whether to replace the canvas or put that money to get another camper.
    The way I would think is whether I could keep and use the camper for couple of more years if I replace the canvas. Say 2-4 yrs maybe.
    For your current camper, you know the condition and if any more cost to keep it going.
    If a new(used) camper is bought, often times, you may incur additional cost to fix unforeseen issues, that you did not anticipate, right? There is always a chance. But with your current one, you probably know more than you would with a newer one. Just my opinion.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.
    MC
     
  13. Arruba

    Arruba Active Member

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    The Columbia’s in my neck of the woods are popular with the Jeep/Forester crowd. Based on the Columbia forum here, they seem pretty stalwartly. That said, if the other stuff is good, it fits your needs and you like it, for a $grand$ or so you’ll be into new canvas. That investment should keep you camping for a long time.

    Good luck with whatever you decide.
     
  14. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if my camper leaks or not. I cover it with a tarp when camping and store it inside. I don't think that it leaks.
     
  15. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    That’s always a tough decision. I was seriously considering buying new canvas for my old Jayco at one time. It was right on the line of whether I should go for it or trade it in. I ultimately decided to patch it at the time and give it another year. Well tuned out in less than a year later the Jayco had other ideas when my lift cable broke. Well that was my turning point. I ended up giving the camper away to my brother who I figured he would make it into a flatbed. I bought a much better camper with more amenities and in better shape. It’s perfect for me. I’m very happy i found something else. I never realized how many things on my old camper was a pain until it no longer was. Than again my old camper was as bare bones as it could get and let’s face it they used different things in 1990 than they do now. If I sold the Jayco before I would have at least gotten a little something to use towards the new camper, but oh well I’m just very thankful I did not replace the canvas as I would have been extremely upset.
     
  16. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Now is the time to dream of ..... I will our camper had this, or was, etc.
    We went from a small 8 foot box to 10 foot box with a storage compartment to a 16 foot hybrid. Sold my 8 foot for more than I paid for it, Sold my 10 foot for more than I paid and had enough to pay for my hybrid.
    So just saying .... think about what you would like ..... maybe seal your seams and see what the market will bear. The winter is a great time to shop for a camper.
     
  17. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Never thought of it, but I always seem to by my campers in November.
     
  18. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I replaced the canvas on mine. In my case I bought the camper anticipating a canvas replacement would be needed, it just happened a little quicker than I would have liked. The stitching was all rotted out. I could probably have redone all the stitching, but after having done the same to the awning bag I am glad I didn't try that route. It would have been a huge undertaking, and I would have run into all sorts of issues trying to hand stitch the whole canvas which was really necessary at the time.

    I also was really happy with the floorplan - I looked for quite a while to find a floorplan that worked for my needs, and this one is just about perfect. Plenty of counterspace, big comfy beds, storage and slideout. Thus I was much more inclined to keep this one going rather than try and find another one that would be just as good or even better. It also helped that Jayco still had the canvas in stock, and I was able to get it at less than half the price of the typical amount that the vendors charge for a complete canvas.

    It was not difficult to replace either. A buddy helped and I took pictures along the way, and that really made a difference. I little dish soap as well to help slide the welts into the bottom channels as well.
     
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  19. scubacamper

    scubacamper Well-Known Member

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    JMO, when my canvas was down to one more year of so left as I was putting lots of patches and it needed to be replaced I took 2 things into consideration.
    1. Cost of new canvas
    2. Time, cost and effort for me or someone else to install it.
    Since I was going to put it on our PUP that didn't have A/C, heat, awning etc, and I just don't have enough time to deal with it I opted to investigate a New or Newer PUP (which we end up buying our current 2012). Selling the older one for more than I paid for it with the understanding the canvas was slowly going bad.

    Best of luck
     
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  20. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    I can only speak for myself, but all things being equal, I wouldn't hesitate to spring for new canvas on ours when the time comes. It's old, an '84 Coleman Cape Cod, with the original canvas, but the box & the roof are in good shape, the interior layout is perfect for the wife & myself, & I've made quite a few mods to 'make it our own'. The canvas has a few patches on it, but is still watertight, so I *think* I have a few more years before we have to worry about it. We got it for a song, & haven't really had to put much money into it, just new tires, & my mods, so I feel comfortable with the idea of new canvas....after all, we bought it for ourselves, not for the next owner....lol.
     

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