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Old 04-05-2013, 07:03 PM   #231 (permalink)
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One question to you a8ksh4. How many fiberglass layers you're planning to put on XPS? I was thinking that two diagonal layers would be enough, but you're the boss

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Old 04-06-2013, 01:33 AM   #232 (permalink)
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If you use multiple layers be sure to set the layers of fabric at maybe a 30-45 deg to one another. Not to over think it but try and spread the strength over large angles of stress.

If you make it and fill it so that it is perfect then you can use your rear cover as a plug to make a mold over it and start popping them out.

The foam adds a large degree of stiffness when it is enclosed in composite. If you decide to remove the foam you will be rewarded with a floppy mess.
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:59 PM   #233 (permalink)
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The foam will certainly stay. Hindsight 20/20, I probably should have made my extension to match a standard length long-bed. :P I'm not so sure anyone will want plugs in the dimensions I used, although I suppose they could be cut down to length for other projects.

I agree about it being best to lay it up on the bias, but it seems like it's going to add a lot of complexity... I can lay three widths of the fabric side to side across the top and cover the entire thing, or I can make a dozen cuts and piece the surface together on the bias.

(@ AndrzejM) I do expect to do two layers on the outside surface of the shell.

I might go ahead and start with the simple, non-bias layup and then go back and do the second layer on the bias. Two layers should give me a much more solid surface for filling and painting... All of my corners are a bit rounded to make it easy to contour the fabric around.


I've seen these hinges used on commercial camper shells where the're a long rail with a sort of "C" groove at the end. The door has a matching rail that fits into the C groove and rotate within it as the door lifts up. Do you guys happen to know what those are called?

*wanders off into the garage...*
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:11 AM   #234 (permalink)
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Major progress today. Getting ready to do the fiberglass, I mixed out some grout (foamboard glue with foam shavings from sanding) and filled any screw holes and the gap where I glued the top onto the sides so that I wouldn't have to try to fill them with resin. when I did the 4" wide strips at the front and back last week, there were a couple of screw holes where the resin ran through the foamboard to the other side and left a hard nodule there.


So... My plan was to give myself some overlap on each side and only paint resin into the middle of each piece so that I'd be able to flip the shell over after everything had hardened up and work the fabric around all of the edges...


But the resin is so darn runny, there was no way that was going to work. I got it all over the fabric that was supposed to stay clean and wrap around later, so that was a no go. I went ahead and wet everything out and trimmed up the edges:


I did not follow my own advice for the first sheet that I laid down and I failed to paint resin onto the foamboard before putting the fabric on, and I had a bit of poor adhesion there... For the second one, I painted up the foamboard and laid the fabric over. That worked much better.


I think I like using the squeegee to spread resin out over the foam, then laying down the cloth, and using a paintbrush to work resin into the cloth. The bristles seem to be good for working air pockets out of the cloth. As the resin gels up, the paintbrush is good for going around and tapping down any bits that are trying to stick up around the edges...


I didn't end up using the polyester stuff. The bit of overlap between the two pieces of cloth looked so smooth that I didn't feel like hassling with it.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #235 (permalink)
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Finished up the rest of the top today:



I think I'm getting better at this... Adhesion looked great for all of today's work.

Next step, once the top has dried, will be to flip it over, probably hanging the shell, rather than resting it on the top, and removing supports from half of it. I'll lay up one half, move the supports, and lay up the other half.

Then I need to work my way around the edges, sealing the top to the bottom. Once that's done, the supports can be removed from the base and I can box in the comparment on the side and glass that up.

Then I can figure out placement of the legs for the "pop" part of the top. I want to buy some casters from home depot and bolt four legs into them where the wheels are. I'll do like you guys suggested and just lift up one end of the shell, put the legs into place, and then do the other end.

I think that, for the tent part, I'm going to attach the cloth to the top, but not the truck. Some magnets will be stitched into the bottom of the cloth so that, once the top goes up, I can just drape the cloth over the edge of the bed and the magnets will keep it sealed and in place.
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:48 PM   #236 (permalink)
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:10 AM   #237 (permalink)
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Good job, can't wait to see the finished top.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #238 (permalink)
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Hinging mechanism

Saw this thread on Gizmag, www[dot]gizmag[dot]com/jeep-wrangler-ursa-minor-camper/22754/pictures The Jeep Wrangler blows its lid with Ursa Minor pop-top camper - Images[/url] Take a look at the hinge mechanism and how the top moves when it "pops". Might be useful for this project,
Mike in FL
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:06 AM   #239 (permalink)
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Thanks, Mike. I'll have to think some about their linkage and see if something like that might work.
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Old 04-09-2013, 05:45 AM   #240 (permalink)
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Gizmag article with Wrangler Pop-Up Camper

Here is the direct link to the article for ya.


Last edited by ChazInMT; 04-09-2013 at 11:50 AM..
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