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Old 10-16-2017, 08:20 AM   #1
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Homemade DIY Front Cover/Bra

I have a 2004 Diplomat. I was never a great fan of the shape and colors on the front. Looks kinda dated and boring. The clear protector had nearly cracked itself to death...removed. Tried to use another DIY film, and that wasn't great. When I bought the rig, the front already had some quarter-size nicks. Now it has lots and lots of nicks, but honestly, it needed to be repainted the day I bought it.

So my options were: 1) repaint the whole front and put back on a 3M clear protector. Lots of money. 2) Cover up the ugly front and not care about painting it right now with a purchased cover. Kinda ugly and still a good bit of money. 3) DIY front cover.

I chose #3. Why? I don't care if the paint on the front gets scratched, faded, oxidized or the clear coat is messed with. It's already in need of a complete repaint, but I don't want to repaint something that I really didn't like the look of anyway. In my mind, my RV is really nice looking, except for the front. Why pay all the money to repaint something that even with a fresh coat of paint is...ehh.

So, a couple of holes for snaps is no big deal when the rig is being repainted. They've got lots of filling to do just in nicks and dings. I found some cool leather looking material on eBay. Snaps, punch, some creative use of other materials and I have a front cover for about $100 that I can pretty quickly change out with a different material, if I want or need. (Material alone was about $70....could replace for $75 and about 1 days work now)

To me, this is reasonable to get me down the road with what I feel is arguably a better looking rig (covers the ugly front design), which is really what all of us are concerned about....we don't want to be the ugly duckling on the block.

I'm curious to know if others have taken this kind of approach considering the situation or what others have done themselves to improve the front with very little cost.

Almost done, should finish today.
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:18 AM   #2
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Pretty nice work!
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Old 10-17-2017, 07:27 AM   #3
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Looks great Like the way you made it so that the generator slide can open without removing the whole cover. Did you cover your headlights with clear plastic or work the cover around it? Any more details/pictures would be appreciated.
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Old 10-17-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
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You're killing me....I had pretty much the same color Diplomat (2005) and always thought the colors and design looked relevant, even to this day.

Your fix works without spending a boat load of money on paint and 3M mask, as long as you plan to keep it for a long time.

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Old 10-17-2017, 02:36 PM   #5
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Nice color scheme. Yours had a lit tle more of an updated feel, in my opinion. My front just looked blah. How is your front protected?
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Old 10-17-2017, 06:06 PM   #6
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Some more pics

Quote:
Originally Posted by veraken View Post
Looks great Like the way you made it so that the generator slide can open without removing the whole cover. Did you cover your headlights with clear plastic or work the cover around it? Any more details/pictures would be appreciated.
The generator slide out was a must for me. I keep my window cleaning equipment in there and hose for air. Wouldn't want to keep having to snap and unsnap. This is a set it and forget it until replace it. I know water will get trapped behind it and perhaps the fabric will mold or rot. Just gonna see what it can take and if I need to get a heavier fabric next time. The hard work is done getting the holes and snaps in place and figuring it out. To repeat will be much, much faster.

For the lights, I removed them off their brackets. I needed to trim the fiberglass a little at the ends.....Monaco made it so tight I couldn't even remove the headlamp assemblies when I wanted to replace them recently. Need to have just 1/4 of so total gap. With the lights out, I sliced down the middle and left some little triangle cuts at the ends to allow for a wrap around the inside curve. I screwed a heavy wire around the perimeter leaving about 3-4" from the opening. Using the leather punch that I used to put the snaps on, I put holes in the edge of the flaps about 2 inch apart then threaded a parachute cord through the holes and around the wire to "sew" it on. Ends up looking great and easy to mod.

To connect around the outside edge of the generator, I wanted to find something that could hold the fabric in place with friction. Since it is an inside angle, you really can't attach. On Amazon, I found some above ground pool cover snaps. Plastic 4-5" long, really tough, designed for the elements, and good pressure. I push those on the fabric while holding it tight and it's not going anywhere.

Few more screws and snaps to help tighten the bottom edge. Unusual corner I used more holes and cord to pull things together on the back side.

I can't recommend others do this since I haven't headed down the road yet, but that will come in a week or two....weather permitting here in Montana.
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