Help making rubber "stickier"

Hello
I have bit of a problem. On my pick-up truck I have a snapless soft tonneau cover. It has a plastic strip that fits into a groove in the aluminum rail along the sides and back. The edge of the cover then bends down and is held by a rubber strip that fits into another groove. The idea is that the rubber holds the lip of the cover down, preventing the edge from lifting and releasing the plastic strip from its groove (as long as the edge is down, the edge can't lift and the plastic will hold).
On one occasion in high winds I had the cover let go on me. Since then I constantly check it and on occassion I find it has lifted slightly. The problem is that the rubber is not holding in the groove in the aluminum rail as much as it used to.
Is there anything I can treat the rubber with that will make it stick in the groove - require more lift to pull it out? It can't stick too much as I have to be able to lift it when I want to. I don't want it to grab the rubber to the point it tears it off or does other damage. I'm thnking of something that will increase the friction/provide more suction to hold it in place better.
Hope I've made this clear.
Keith
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Krow wrote:

how about checking with the manufacturer who is probably getting more complaints and will be the one who will know what the problem(s) is...
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wrote:

Rubber Renew is a rubber solvent sold in electronics parts shops to restore hardenered rubber rollers and platens on office machines. It may work for you by softening the rubber somewhat.
Two problems. It vaporizes pretty quickly and you will have to figure out a way how to let the rubber soak in the solvent for a while. The second problem is the solvent is Carbon Disulphide and doesn't do your lungs any good to breath it in (carcinogenic.) So use that in a well ventilated place.
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Carbon disulfide destroys nerve tissue in your brain. In the old days it was used to produce textile fibers and people living in areas around those plants we substantially dumber than the average population. Use your own judgment.
--

EJ
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I of wondered about this sort of thing while deciding on how to cover the back of my pickup. If you don't come up with a solution and decide to get rid of the soft cover, take a look at this product - it's beautifully made: www.versacover.com
As far as the rubber, I don't know how to make it stickier, but you could make it less slippery by thoroughly cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. Clean the tracks, too. The only problem with this is that repeated applications of alcohol will eventually dry out the rubber and make it crack. Honestly, I think you're up against a design flaw, and a natural product (rubber) which is really not designed to behave as if it were rigid. -Doug

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Doug Kanter writes:

First, the notion that rubber is "dried out" by alcohol (ethanol) is a myth.
Second, you don't know what polymer this is. "Rubber" is not necessarily natural rubber.
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1) It seemed to be the case with regard to pinch rollers in tape recorders, which is why manufacturers like Revox recommended against it, unless nothing else was available.
2) You're right. I have no idea what polymer this is. Neither does anyone else who responds to the original question. Maybe we shouldn't respond at all, eh?
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Doug Kanter writes:

It may be the myth was started by manufacturers trying to sell overpriced bottles of "special" cleaning fluid and scaring you about using anything else.

Without the facts, there's nothing to respond to.
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I dunno....we saw an awful lot of tape decks come in with very shiny (meaning "useless") pinch rollers, after their owners had cleaned them for years with alcohol.
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Doug Kanter writes:

And I've seem them just as bad when *not* cleaned with alcohol.
Check any chemical compatibility table (http://www.omega.com ) and you'll see the facts about continuous contact of rubber and alcohol (much less occasional cleaning).
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OK, then.
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I don't know for sure if it's real rubber. Seems to be the same material used on door weather strips, wiper blades, etc. This cover looks very much like mine: http://www.aztrucks.com/Category.asp?product "0 The cover and main rail system look identical but the inside corner is different in the bottom pic. That one appears to have a corner support that mine doesn't. However the plastic strip and rubber seal work exactly like mine.
I thought there would be some sort of application that would increase the friction of the rubber/metal contact - something that would not seize the rubber to the rail but simply make it a tad bit more difficult to pull out.
If there is nothing to treat the rubber with, any ideas about what I can put in the groove that would grab the rubber better?
Thanks to all who responded so far.
Keith
Richard J Kinch wrote:

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http://www.aztrucks.com/Category.asp?product "0
Maybe a coating of something like contact adhesive, on ONE SURFACE ONLY and thoroughly dried, would help. As long as you didn't apply it to the other surface it might just act to make the seal a little tighter but not make it stick together permanently You could try it on a few small spots first, perhaps in the corners or where it tends to pull loose.
Marty
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Krow writes:

Shims?
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On Sun, 11 Apr 2004 02:06:48 GMT, "Doug Kanter"

In camping supply stores there is a spray that makes vinyl and nylon material slightly sticky and "grabby." I can't recall the name, but it is sold to spray on slippery self-inflating sleeping pads so that your nylon sleeping bag doesn't slide off so easily during the night. Works, too. I have no idea if this would be sticky enough for your needs but it might be worth a try if all else fails.
I used it on a slick steering wheel once and it worked pretty well at keeping my hands from sliding around the wheel on cold days. If you try this don't spray it on your truck as it may dull finish and cloud windows and is the devil to get off.

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try using a "used rubber" I hear they are much stickier than a new one.
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Krow wrote:

Perhaps a bottle of rubber cement from the local stationery store could be brushed onto the rubber or the groove to increase the friction?
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