Pop up Camper Seal

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Pop up Camper Seal

Postby N law » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:02 am

My folks have a '99 Coleman Mesa pop-up camper that I use almost exclusively. The maintenance for it is in my court. I took it out this weekend to a VW event/lawnmower race in Stevenson, AL because I had the dog and needed AC to keep him happy during the day. While I was there, I noticed that the seal around the top had shrunk up quite a bit over the last year or so since I've used it. We took it out in October and I noticed that about 2" had opened up at the seam, so I put tape over it to keep wasps out. This time, the tape had fallen off, the wasp nest was small and the front corners had shrunken up so much that the seal fell off and short cut across the corner. I tried wrestling it on and gave up. When I got home, I turned to the inter webs.

Google told me that a seller on ebay has the replacement seal. It's similar but not exactly original. Instead of a multi-ribbed bottom edge, there is just a bulb that is compressed when the top is down. Google reassured me that this is what most everyone was doing as well. Google and my wallet have not agreed that ~$150 is necessary to remedy what appears to be less than a foot of needed seal (the old seal isn't bad; just too short).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ABS-ROOF-SEAL-4 ... 1418225470

I have tried searching, without much luck, for ways to recondition a quality original seal to restretch it. I've seen where people have boiled car trim pieces to get them back to original.

I think I have 3 options:
1- restretch the original back out ~6"
2- Order <1 foot of new seal and pull the old off and get it stuck back on with the replacement spanning the now larger gap
3- shell out for the lesser quality replacement.

My preferred choice is #1, but I am reaching a dead end. Does anyone have any experience with stretching old, shrunk up rubber?
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Re: Pop up Camper Seal

Postby squatch » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:40 am

Just going by car seals when they start to shrink they are dying.

You know me I tend to overdo things. But just think of all the dead pop ups around. Most are killed just by water intrusion rotting stuff. With that in mind and not having the old in hand I say #3. At the least fix whatever length you need. I think refurbishing old seals is a band-aid. For what it's worth my camper uses a bulb seal like the new one around the front 1/3 of the closure to keep out water and dust when closed and driving. No worries about wet canvas on mine. Instead of canvas they use the same thing they make Avon and Zodiac inflatable boats out of.

Whatever you decide to do wipe down the rubber with silicone spray or 303 protectant.
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Re: Pop up Camper Seal

Postby N law » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:26 am

I think you are right. It would be best to replace the whole thing, but my seal doesn't seem to be bad, just a bit short. I searched some more online last night and found a place that sells something very similar to the replacement seal for about $1.50/foot. I bought 2 feet so that I could try it out before ordering something that I might not be happy with. I figure that I can try it out by going with option 2 for the time being before doing option 3.
99 VX
96 Rodeo Build thread
1975 FJ40
69 Beetle
84 Westfalia
70 VW bus turned camper
86 VW Diesel Golf
07 Frontier V6 6 speed
1999 4Runner Limitee- wife's
2004 Genuine Stella Scooter
Image
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N law
Almost Joe Isuzu
 
Posts: 2578
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:30 pm
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