New Viking roof canvas

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New Viking roof canvas

Postby CJH » 15 Sep 2013, 17:57

This weekend I fitted a new canvas to my Viking roof. I had to take the roof off anyway to have the rusty hinges repaired, so I took the opportunity to order a new 'bespoke' canvas. Unlike the more popular pop-tops there don't seem to be any 'off-the-shelf' suppliers of Viking roof canvases, but someone on this forum posted that he'd used Kingswood Canvas. I can't speak highly enough of them. I'm really pleased with the new canvas - it would have been a good buy at any price, but for £235 delivered including several bespoke mods it's an absolute steal.

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We've not had the van very long, and have only had one trip away in it, but during that time we felt that the original canvas lacked proper ventilation and was prone to a lot of condensation. So I was determined to tackle the ventilation issue. I've had the vents in the two ends enlarged considerably, and I've added another vent between the two windows.

Here's the before picture...
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...and after
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I also wanted to solve a problem that the old canvas had, in that when it rained the water would run off the canvas and along the underside of the near horizontal overhang, then run off in rivers onto the sliding door window, and of course if you opened the door it would run into the van. So I asked Kingswood to add a skirt, a drip rail if you like, around the overhanging section.

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And here it is in action, courtesy of the lousy weather today. Works a treat!
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I also took the opportunity, while the roof was stripped, to get rid of the 30-year-old contiboard, which hadn't coped well with the condensation, and I replaced it with marine ply throughout, and I replaced all the rusty fixings with nice new stainless steel screws and screwcups.

The canvas itself is much lighter than the original (about 4kg compared with 9kg for the original thick PVC), and it let's more light through, and together with the extra vent panels the whole feel of the upstairs section is much lighter and airier.

So now folks, here's the reason I was attracted to the Viking roof in the first place. Gaze in wonder at the vastness of a Viking Mk2!
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby rainman » 15 Sep 2013, 20:48

good work there, looks like a Bedouin parlour or somesuch. And cheaper than the canvas I just put on my kinda westy roof (£335). I'm not at all envious.
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby kevtherev » 16 Sep 2013, 18:36

Truly the undisputed king of pop tops.
What a fantastic job and at a great price.
Brilliant mod for the drips :D

It looks utterly fabulous :ok
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby weimarbus » 16 Sep 2013, 18:42

that looks great, very envious of all that space, well thought out mods too :ok
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby CJH » 16 Sep 2013, 19:26

Thanks folks - still a few bits to finish off, but then, you never know, I might even be able to take it camping again! I might have to find a good way to heat it if that's going to be before next spring though.
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby nobbyfox » 17 Sep 2013, 14:19

Lovely, and a great view from the large window.
How many kids adults can you fit up there?
2 adults along the longest edge and 2 kids sleeping in the head and foot area.

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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby CJH » 17 Sep 2013, 14:46

Hi Steve

It's designed for 3 people upstairs. The push-out section makes it wide enough for the beds to lie width-ways - so there's a double at the back and a single at the front. You can squeeze a dog or two up there too, on the bits either side of the hatch, provided they're small enough to lift. I used to have a dog that could climb a ladder, but that's not common as far as I know and even he couldn't climb down again.......
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby lefty67 » 17 Sep 2013, 15:28

cracking job :ok
do you have to treat/waterproof the canvas?
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby keith » 17 Sep 2013, 16:21

That looks mint....and a steal at that price.

I like the extras that you have built in too.

Its like camping on top of a van.
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby CJH » 17 Sep 2013, 20:03

lefty67 wrote:do you have to treat/waterproof the canvas?


No, it's a plasticised material - totally waterproof. It's what they use to make awning roofs apparently, and has a smooth outer face and a plasticised cotton texture on the inside. It's apparently better at preventing condensation drops from forming. Before I ordered from Kingswood they sent me a sample, and I tried running it under the tap - water beaded up and rolled off either side (but especially on the inside), and I guess it's that property that helps with the condensation.

The only slight issue I've got at the moment is that one of the seams, behind the support rail over the windows, wicks a little moisture through in the rain. That's apparently not unusual for a new canvas, especially if a seam touches a rail, and may stop by itself once it's been through a few wet/dry cycles. If not I may have to paint some seam sealer over it.

keith wrote:....and a steal at that price.


Yep, top company. What are you waiting for - go give them your business! Apparently they make canvases for all sorts of pop-tops. I was especially impressed that they managed to copy my original canvas without unpicking it, so I've still got that to put back on if ever I feel the need to revert to totally original spec.

keith wrote:Its like camping on top of a van.


Yes, I saw one of these on my hols. Obviously just a cheap copy of a T25 with a Viking roof - you have to go outside to climb into the roof for heaven's sake!
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby Choppski » 11 Jan 2014, 21:17

Your new roof looks awesome and I love idea of the skirt to stop the drips!

Was it hard to fit the new canvas?

Where did you get the ladder from?
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby CJH » 11 Jan 2014, 21:35

Choppski wrote:Your new roof looks awesome and I love idea of the skirt to stop the drips!

Was it hard to fit the new canvas?

Where did you get the ladder from?


Hi Choppski

It wasn't a difficult job, but it was certainly quite a long job. I was stripping the roof to have some corrosion around the hinges fixed, so I dismantled all the beds. If you're just doing the canvas it would be a bit quicker - but still not quick.

The ladder was from Maplin - their telescopic 1.7m version - looks like they've finally run out though I'm afraid. There was a thread on here about them a while ago, but I can't find it - maybe it's been 'pruned'.
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby Choppski » 12 Jan 2014, 21:58

Thanks, looks like they might get some refurb stones in, you never know!
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby mitchell72 » 14 Aug 2014, 13:22

Hi, love your new roof canvas. I am thinking of replacing mine as it is looking a little tired. Is it difficult to fit yourself or for somebody with no trimming experience? Mine has a fleece lining that buttons all around the inside. A nice brown colour makes the whole upstairs feel like you are inside a teddy bear!
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Re: New Viking roof canvas

Postby VWMAK » 12 Jun 2015, 14:31

Interested to know if anyone else has fitted their own canvas to a super king viking roof?

How hard is it? Do you have to take the roof off?
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