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Ripped seal / stitching

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wilhol

VIP Member
Messages
5
Location
Somerset, UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Hi all,

I recently (last Friday!) purchased a 2012 California Beach and inevitably I'm now finding a few niggles. The most worrying is a tear in the front/top/middle of the roof where the canvas is stitched into the seal which looks to be caused by a bent stiffener. I've attached a picture of the roof as seen externally and there's a visible pinch where the stiffener is bent. From the inside picture (with the roof only slightly raised) it's more obvious and you can see where the seal is torn. To my novice eyes this looks like the roof has been incorrectly stowed, causing the stiffener to fold back on itself and put undue pressure on the seal.

The protruding tab can be pushed back into the roof to temporarily hide the problem and I'm telling myself that's why I missed it when inspecting the van prior to purchase - a hole is more obviously a problem than a bent stiffener to a poptop newbie like me!

The van was purchased from a (non VW) dealer - supposedly with a habitation check - so I'm hoping I can get them to address it or at least cover a portion of any repair costs. Does anybody have any guidance as to whether this could be repaired or am I more likely looking at a full bellows replacement?

Any guidance is much appreciated!

Cheers,

Will

roof pinch external.jpg

tear inside.jpg
 
Camperfamily

Camperfamily

VIP Member
Messages
216
Location
Edinburgh
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Hi all,

I recently (last Friday!) purchased a 2012 California Beach and inevitably I'm now finding a few niggles. The most worrying is a tear in the front/top/middle of the roof where the canvas is stitched into the seal which looks to be caused by a bent stiffener. I've attached a picture of the roof as seen externally and there's a visible pinch where the stiffener is bent. From the inside picture (with the roof only slightly raised) it's more obvious and you can see where the seal is torn. To my novice eyes this looks like the roof has been incorrectly stowed, causing the stiffener to fold back on itself and put undue pressure on the seal.

The protruding tab can be pushed back into the roof to temporarily hide the problem and I'm telling myself that's why I missed it when inspecting the van prior to purchase - a hole is more obviously a problem than a bent stiffener to a poptop newbie like me!

The van was purchased from a (non VW) dealer - supposedly with a habitation check - so I'm hoping I can get them to address it or at least cover a portion of any repair costs. Does anybody have any guidance as to whether this could be repaired or am I more likely looking at a full bellows replacement?

Any guidance is much appreciated!

Cheers,

Will

View attachment 61853

View attachment 61854
Is there actually a tear in the fabric bellows or is it just that the bellows have come out of the roof channel? If the latter, then this can possibly be fixed by straightening the ‘stiffener’ and reattaching the bellows into the roof channel.

I believe the stiffener insert is plastic (non-removable as stitched in) so you could try heating it with a hairdryer and try to bend back to being straight.

Then get yourself a bellows bungee to help avoid the same happening again.
 
Camperfamily

Camperfamily

VIP Member
Messages
216
Location
Edinburgh
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Is there actually a tear in the fabric bellows or is it just that the bellows have come out of the roof channel? If the latter, then this can possibly be fixed by straightening the ‘stiffener’ and reattaching the bellows into the roof channel.

I believe the stiffener insert is plastic (non-removable as stitched in) so you could try heating it with a hairdryer and try to bend back to being straight.

Then get yourself a bellows bungee to help avoid the same happening again.
I should add that I don’t have direct experience of this as our bellows are perfect (with the help of a bellows bungee), but I’m just trying to suggest ideas for repair.
 
W

wilhol

VIP Member
Messages
5
Location
Somerset, UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Thanks @Camperfamily. I can certainly try some heat to reshape the stiffener. The bellows canvas is fine but the rubber it's stitched to is torn (you can just about make our the jagged edges in the photo). If the stiffener can be straightened then I'm hoping some adhesive might be enough to keep it all in place.

After reading about them on this forum, a bellows bungee was added on day one, very shortly after the external roof photo was taken!
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
16,234
Location
Vale of Glamorgan
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi all,

I recently (last Friday!) purchased a 2012 California Beach and inevitably I'm now finding a few niggles. The most worrying is a tear in the front/top/middle of the roof where the canvas is stitched into the seal which looks to be caused by a bent stiffener. I've attached a picture of the roof as seen externally and there's a visible pinch where the stiffener is bent. From the inside picture (with the roof only slightly raised) it's more obvious and you can see where the seal is torn. To my novice eyes this looks like the roof has been incorrectly stowed, causing the stiffener to fold back on itself and put undue pressure on the seal.

The protruding tab can be pushed back into the roof to temporarily hide the problem and I'm telling myself that's why I missed it when inspecting the van prior to purchase - a hole is more obviously a problem than a bent stiffener to a poptop newbie like me!

The van was purchased from a (non VW) dealer - supposedly with a habitation check - so I'm hoping I can get them to address it or at least cover a portion of any repair costs. Does anybody have any guidance as to whether this could be repaired or am I more likely looking at a full bellows replacement?

Any guidance is much appreciated!

Cheers,

Will

View attachment 61853

View attachment 61854
If it has been torn away from the upper rubber seal then unlikely to be repairable. New Canvas about £700 fitted.
If not torn then as @Camperfamily said, warm with hairdryer and straighten the plastic, pop back into place, allow to cool and rewarm in correct position.
 
W

wilhol

VIP Member
Messages
5
Location
Somerset, UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
Thanks all for the suggestions / advice. Fortunately, the dealer is sending it off for repairs next week so I'll see what they come up with!
 
B

Betty67

VIP Member
Messages
25
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Thanks all for the suggestions / advice. Fortunately, the dealer is sending it off for repairs next week so I'll see what they come up with!
I have the same issue so interested to follow mine is still under warentee going in next week so see what they say.
 
W

wilhol

VIP Member
Messages
5
Location
Somerset, UK
Vehicle
T5 Beach
To follow up, our dealer (Highbridge Caravans) had their upholsterer make a repair to the seal which seems to be holding well. I'll take a photo next time I have the roof up.
 
B

Betty67

VIP Member
Messages
25
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
How much if anything did they charge?
 
TripleBee

TripleBee

Messages
2,307
Location
melkwegstelsel
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Seems like they closed the roof once with the bellows partly out (there is a picture of such thing around here somewhere).
I hope they fit a new canvas for you. Try to get one with a front opening (although that will probably be a no go, as they will say that canvas won't fit your van), or you could choose a dark blue or red one instead?

Fingers crossed.
 
B

Betty67

VIP Member
Messages
25
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Seems like they closed the roof once with the bellows partly out (there is a picture of such thing around here somewhere).
I hope they fit a new canvas for you. Try to get one with a front opening (although that will probably be a no go, as they will say that canvas won't fit your van), or you could choose a dark blue or red one instead?

Fingers crossed.
Its a shame the whole thing is in such good condition apart from the tear, it has the front opening i will keep you all posted.
Have booked our first camp out next weekend, finding a site was not easy at the moment
 
B

Betty67

VIP Member
Messages
25
Location
Uk
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Its a shame the whole thing is in such good condition apart from the tear, it has the front opening i will keep you all posted.
Have booked our first camp out next weekend, finding a site was not easy at the moment
Just Been in, good news they will replace under W,tee Bad news bellows on back order but should be a couple of weeks as coming from Germany.
 
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