DIY Raft Pads - am I nuts? - Page 8 - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 07-21-2016   #71
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 46
Here's the link: It's medium/firm
3 x 27 x 82" Foam Rubber Sheet Cushion Replacement | eBay

I just ordered three more.

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Old 08-13-2016   #72
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 46
As promised, I'll do a little review of the finished product.
To date, I have made 4 pads. Costs tend to run about 65-70 dollars per pad with two valves, 18 oz pvc tarp, foam, and glue. I was a little worried about using glue for the pads after all the negative talk glued PVC boats get, but I've been happy with the results. The original prototype has around 15 sleeping days on it and 15 uses as a pad on the raft during the day. With all the folding, smashing, walking, smashing, and splashing that goes on. The other 3 were made and used on our recent Deso trip of 4 days and nights.
In general, I'm very pleased with the result. My parents went on this recent trip and my dad hasn't slept in a tent in at least 12 years. The pads made the trip much nicer. They slept well, it softened sitting on the raft, and provided some added insulation to a cooler on it's last leg. We liked the foam. The PVC material was durable and I really liked the white color. Heat was never an issue, sometimes darker color pads really get hot.
The seams held up well, even after repeated rolling and smashing. Getting the ends to seal evenly and securely without folds was definitely the hardest part of the process. Doing that correctly and getting the material to fold over and create a tight seam was particularly time consuming. While I'm on break from school and have a lot more time than I have money, the investment made sense, but I'm sure there will be a lot of folks out there who would say the time/frustration of sealing things well would not be worth it.
As I've said in the thread above, the real value in pads is durability. 15 days is a nice start and I'm happy with my investment, but it will be interesting to see how they stand up to years of abuse. It was fun to try it out and prove that it can be done. I'm sure the material is top quality and will not be a problem. I think the glue will be durable and resilient. It is used to fix tears in PVC tarps that protect loads on semi trucks traveling and flapping at highway speeds.
Thanks for the support and input.
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Old 02-10-2017   #73
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 380
Here is my first pad. Thank you Altaholics for the guidance. I bought a patch kit from Sharps Tarps and some 2" firm foam from the suggested ebay seller. This pad is 16" x 48" and specifically designed for my drybox. I didn't install a valve because I will never roll it up. I plan on making a regular sleeping pad along with a cooler cover. I will definitely get a 1" brush and roller for the next ones.

If I use the same tarp material, I am going to put a double layer on the bottom of the sleeping pad for added durability.

I am also exploring different options in rubber tool dip. I hope to dip the corners in some type of a rubber product to protect against the inevitable corner holes.

Thanks again Altaholics,


Troy
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Old 02-10-2017   #74
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 2008
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 380
I finally figured out how to post a photo. Here it is in all its glory.

Click image for larger version

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Old 02-11-2017   #75
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 46
That looks great. I'll be interested to hear if it over-inflates in the heat or if there is enough leakage to keep it at a normal pressure without a relief valve. There will sure be a lot less banged shins around your boat.
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Old 02-11-2017   #76
 
Salt Lake City, Utah
Paddling Since: 1998
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 46
Also, was it hard to make it? Did you do it solo or did you have someone helping you? I wonder about developing better techniques.
Regarding the rubber dip - I wonder how they will adhere to the fabric. That's why I've been leaning toward making some corner covers like on Jack's to limit damage.
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