Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Bunch of Bunk

After a few weeks off for a trip to Northstar for some phenomenal spring skiing (truth be told, the conditions were phenomenal but my skiing was middling at best) and some business in London, it is back to the Sunrader for more fit and finish.

The looming project for the past few weeks has been the carpeting of the overcab bunk. Lots of corners, wrapping, edges, tucking and fiddling to do. Up till this morning, I had the excellent excuse that the water-based contact cement I had on hand was worthless or at the very least more time consuming and temperature sensitive than my patience will tolerate. Easily solved by a trip to OSH.

I started by rough cutting the carpet to fit the bunk area and the passenger-side truck/coach interface. This is a big piece of carpet, and pretty unwieldy, but the hope is obviously to minimize seams and overlaps. This carpet works a lot like felt -- it is extremely flexible and stretches easily.
With the rough cut done, I started under the front windows with a light coat of contact adhesive and worked down to where the bunk area flattens out. With the carpet folded toward me, I brushed glue on the back of the first third of the fabric. The glue takes a few minutes to set up. After that, it is just a matter of smoothing it carefully from the middle out to the edges. The willingness of the fabric to stretch makes it easy to work in some of the odd corners in the Sunrader, and the glue is plenty tacky to hold it once the two surfaces meet.
Once the first section was attached, I folded the rest of the carpet back on itself and worked my way toward the back of the coach, gluing a bit at a time.

The step was much easier to work than I'd expected. First i cut a piece that would fit over all sides of the step, applied some glue and stretched it into place. It isn't perfect, as there are some little wrinkles, but they're very hard to find. Basically the material fit over the wood block like a piece of plastic wrap. Having covered the step, I then just cut the main carpet to form a perimeter around the step. Voila, a seamless covering that almost looks molded to the step. Hopefully it will be durable enough to handle the kids going up and down. Maybe we'll start a shoes OFF policy in the rig. That sounds like a good idea to me.

I think i mentioned previously that the original shag (I wonder whether the words 'original' and 'shag' really belong side by side...) had been attached to the Toyota plastic moulding with about a dozen stainless steel wood screws. It left the plastic looking like it was full of bullet holes. During the last visit to the upholstery shop, Mike went ahead and covered the plastic with carpet.


That makes it possible to wrap the carpet from the bunk right around and tuck it in between the moulding and the rear of the cab. I love these little details.

Tomorrow I'll finish up wrapping the carpet around the inside of the "U" opening and glue all that in place. It is a bit tricky because of the two inside corners, but I think it will be tidy enough to pass inspection. After that, it will be on to the little bits and pieces of carpet that cover various parts of the ceiling, the supports, the entry door surround. Anywhere they could make a staple stick.
For now, I think this is a very nice improvement on the original entryway.

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