Working on a camper roof

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Old 03-09-16, 12:06 PM
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Working on a camper roof

I just got a 2000 model hornet camper 21 feet long. The only thing wrong with it is some bad places in the roof. I am about to open it up and see what needs to be done. Does anyone here have experience working on camper roofs?

It's odd that campers are in the same forum as pickup trucks.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 12:25 PM
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On many it's metal screwed to wood studs. Take a look and see if you'll be better coming at it from the top or bottom. Often the ceiling inside is easier to take down and replace.
 
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Old 03-09-16, 01:52 PM
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Could be covered with a rubber membrane then metal. Expensive and lots of labor to fix. Remove metal roof and go from there. Take out vents and skylights then roll roof as it is unfastened. If it has membrane then you will need to assess what damage, if any, and repair accordingly.

Good Luck!

RR
 
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Old 03-09-16, 05:51 PM
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It appears to be rubber membrane over wood. I haven't pulled it off yet. I don't think the membrane is hurt but the wood under it is. The owner let it sit unused without ever climbing up there and resealing the joints for 6 years. (supposed to be done annually).
 
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Old 03-09-16, 06:43 PM
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Seriously doubt you can reuse the membrane as they age and deteriorate and can become crumbly.
They are available for purchase.
My son redid one on a small motor home after rebuilding the water damaged portions. He sold it after using it about a year.

Hope you the best of luck with your repairs.

RR
 
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Old 03-09-16, 07:20 PM
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I hope to start on i tthis weekend if the weather holds out. I think I'll be pulling the front off to check the damage down low, fixing that, then maybe the rear, then doing the roof. There are only a few spots on the roof that are bad, so I may not have to do a whole lot. I'll need to replace the vent hood over the refrigerator vent too. I bought the camper for a song and it looks nearly unused inside and everything works, so I don't mind spending a little time and money to get it right.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 07:32 AM
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Here is a link to an 8 minute video on re-coating a rubber roof:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQBw9bFidP8

I found it to be quite interesting. Hope this helps if you need to go that route. Google "rv roof repair" for more detailed info. Good luck with your project.
 
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Old 03-10-16, 02:49 PM
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I have a spot on my camper in the corner that had a leak. The wood under the rubber is gone just in a 6x6 of the rear corner..

Problem is aside from the roof some of the rear wall is rotted too..

I was going to tear into and rip the siding off and roll the rubber roof back but its way way too much work IMO for a $5000 camper.. ( Mind you was never used and is new on inside)

I just bought the liquid roof.. It came from amazon yesterday.

I also bought eternabond tape..

My plan is to tape the corner to reinforce the rubber and liquid roof the back 1/4 of roof..

My roof is in good shape and I maintain the dicor lap sealant twice a year.

You may have more damage then you think...

Here is a good vid.. I was going to do this until I found the back wall rotted too.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx6p8u8HuKY
 
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Old 03-10-16, 02:50 PM
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And yes liquid roof is the best... dont use anything else..
 
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Old 03-10-16, 02:55 PM
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Also watch this and decide if you really want to tear into your camper if it had multiple leaks...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0SPexRHgo
 
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Old 03-22-16, 01:36 AM
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I took the siding off in a few places to check out and repair some rot from the leakiong roof. I haven't gotten to the roof itself yet though. There was some damage but nothing I couldn't fix. This thing is basically new (it was bought when a storm damaged a home and the folks lived in the camper while it got fixed). Then the camper just sat, and sat. It's worth the work and if I do it myself, I know what I have and that it was repaired well. I'm planning on the liquid roof too, but I have to pull up the rubber in a few spots to fix the lauan or whatever is supposed to be under it. It feels like the truss spans are solid, so hopefully it won't involve much.

The people I got it from knew it hadn't been maintained and there was some damage, so they let it go super cheap. I only gave $500 for it!
Attachment 64213
 
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Old 03-22-16, 11:43 AM
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Not sure why the pic shows sometimes and not other times, trying again.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 12:27 PM
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me thinks you got a great deal
 
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Old 08-16-16, 11:19 PM
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Thought I'd share. I didn't take pics of everything I did or every step, but here it is from start to finish in a few posts:

This is the front left corner of the roof, from taking the trim off to ripping out the rot, trimming back to the good wood, making ends for the trusses, notches for the wiring, framing up the bad areas and putting the wood back on. Also removing the vent/skylight to replace it with a new tinted one.













 

Last edited by PJmax; 08-23-16 at 02:24 AM. Reason: added gap between pics
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Old 08-17-16, 12:41 AM
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Next is the back end... I was able to push on it and feel the framework move, so I knew it needed to come off. Pics start with the metal siding coming off, showing rot, repairs made, bracing and the siding going back on.












 
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Old 08-17-16, 12:46 AM
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Next is the left rear roof corner, from discovery of the problem to repaired:








 
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Old 08-17-16, 12:50 AM
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Then comes the worst part, the right rear corner of the roof. This shows the problem, tearing it out and repairing, the new puzzle piece to go back on, and the finished repair.











 
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Old 08-17-16, 12:53 AM
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And then the front needed work too, some bad framework there. I didn't get much in the way of pictures there.





 
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Old 08-17-16, 01:01 AM
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Then while washing it, I found places where the paint had deteriorated from something dripping off the roof all down one side, so I had to do some painting. I'm pretty pleased with the final results, you can barely tell where I painted even if I point it out. On the roof I have new tinted skylight vents, new fridge vent, new plumbing vents, and new inner and outer skylight over the shower. I used contact cement to glue the EPDM rubber back over the roof (it was still good) and I used plenty of Dicor lap sealant and mastic tape. The exposed screws are now stainless steel, and I put new trim tape over the screw channels on the corners. The framing repairs were made using longleaf pine for strength, screws and gorilla glue between the clamped pieces. Steel brackets for reinforcement were used in the front and back too. The new tires just got put on days ago. I also painted the underside with flat black to freshen it up. The camper looks like new and we are happy! Hope this is useful to someone else tackling this job. I don't browse this forum often, so if anyone has a question, feel free to PM me. I'll be glad to help if I can.




 
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Old 08-17-16, 11:25 AM
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That was an incredible amount of work. My parents have always had campers and motorhomes so I know first hand how much upkeep they need.

Nice job.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 12:35 PM
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Thanks! It was indeed a lot of work, more than I was prepared for, but I had already sold our popup camper because we got this one and I was going to use the money from it's sale to fix this one... so I was committed. Not counting labor, I have around $2500 in this one now, and a large part of that is in the new liquid EPDM rubber to coat the roof with when I get around to it. The old roof is in better shape than I thought, so I'm not in a big hurry to coat it with the liquid right now.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 02:37 PM
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The people I got it from knew it hadn't been maintained and there was some damage, so they let it go super cheap. I only gave $500 for it!
Wow they should of gave you the camper for free..

You did a good job but I can only imagine what all the luan looks like inside...


I did my roof with one gallon of liquid roof... It almost coated the whole thing. I did rear as I said. Front quarter, and all edges.. Oh and of course all vents and/or penetrations..

Will never need to lap seal anything again...

Here is what it looked like...

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Old 08-17-16, 02:44 PM
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Here is how it came out..

front 1/4.. I leaned on the roof vent and it cracked.. I put liquid roof on the crack until I replace it...

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Down the sides.

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Back 1/4 and up and around fridge vent..

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Around antenna

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Old 08-17-16, 02:53 PM
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I need a bigger truck though....LOLOLOL

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Old 08-17-16, 04:32 PM
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Watch the A/C covers too. They'll explode if you lean on them.

Just replaped my parents 2006 motorhome with that EternaBond. Good stuff.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 06:06 PM
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Nice!

I got 4 gallons I think, of this stuff: Liquid Roof® F9991 - Pro Guard Coatings

Thankfully, the most of the damage to the lauan was in places behind cabinets and such. The interior is nearly brand new. The water heater, pump, fridge, AC, heater, stove, microwave, stereo system all works just great! Here are pics of the inside and one of the outside in better light.










 

Last edited by cheese; 08-17-16 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 08-17-16, 07:33 PM
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4 gallons I think, of this stuff: Liquid Roof® F9991 - Pro Guard Coatings
Thats it... Yup...................
 
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Old 08-17-16, 08:23 PM
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And I sleep in a tent on the ground.

$500 and some work sounds good to me. Nice job.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 08:23 PM
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I knew there were reasons why I never wanted a camper. Way too much work for this kid.

Cheese, if you do a double line feed (press enter twice) between photos they won't run together and it makes it much easier to look them over.
 
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Old 08-17-16, 10:34 PM
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Well I tried to go back and edit it that way but there is no edit option for me. I guess since this isn't my forum....

Baldwin, I used to camp in a tent on the ground too and loved it. I said I'd never get a camper and that isn't really camping, yada, yada. Then I got older, running 2 businesses, working outdoors in the 100 degree heat and 80% humidity and eventually sleeping on the ground in the heat just lost it's appeal . I do enjoy the next-to-nature feel of tent camping and miss it sometimes but this is nice too.
 
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Old 08-28-16, 10:23 PM
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I took it out this past weekend and it worked out great! Everything works except sometimes the microwave decides that none of the buttons are going to work, and then it goes back to working fine. Not a major problem. The water heater pressure valve leaked some but I tapped on it a little to seat it and it stopped.

On the way out, I stopped by the wasted dump station and let the water out and according to the tank level readout, all the grey water drained but it says the toilet water tank is still 3/4 full, but I pulled the valve and let it drain until it stopped running. It didn't run long... not sure if something is clogged or what. Do they clog often? I've never done this, so it's all new to me.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 04:47 AM
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I've never worked on a holding tank but I'd bet the float on the sending unit is stuck.
Can you peck on the tank to hear if it sounds empty?
 
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Old 08-29-16, 07:37 AM
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On the way out, I stopped by the wasted dump station and let the water out and according to the tank level readout, all the grey water drained but it says the toilet water tank is still 3/4 full, but I pulled the valve and let it drain until it stopped running. It didn't run long... not sure if something is clogged or what. Do they clog often? I've never done this, so it's all new to me.
The waste tank has a sensor at each level shown on the monitor. The sensors accumulate waste and do not come clean when the waste tank is drained. The monitor thinks the the tank is full when it is in fact empty. Dump two bags of ice into the toilet and flush as you start on the road. The ice should dislodge the waste from the sensors. Hope this helps. Good luck with your camper. It looks really nice.

Edit: I found this at Wally World:

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-Hol...ingMethod=p13n

The wand is inserted into the black water tank through the commode.
 
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Old 08-29-16, 12:35 PM
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I use the dual flush pro... TP gets stuck on the sensors and after dumping mine often still reads full..

This device lets you fill the tank back up with water and flush again. I do this several times before I leave my site...

Youll be surprised what continues to come out of that tank even after a 3rd or 4th flush..

Its clear housing allows you to see what your dumping...


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Camco-RV-...ingMethod=p13n


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8kgCvk68c0
 
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Old 08-29-16, 11:58 PM
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Cool. I'm going to try the wand device and maybe put some ice in it next time. I think the dual flush is a good idea, but I don't think the people in line behind me at the waste dump station would have liked for me to do all that... there was a long line of RVs and campers. I don't know how often that happens (lining up on a Sunday afternoon at checkout) but I may put in a tap to my septic tank where I can do this at home after the trip.
 
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