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Six-Pac Camper Roof Repair

DieselCash

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You're sure welcome. I'd love to have that camper you're working on and it's going to be great when you're finished. I've been looking for one around here that needs that kind of work and is priced right but haven't had any luck yet. Plenty of projects right now anyway I guess.
For the damage it has I did not get it cheap. I had purchased a 5ver that had slide damage forming and rot in the normal areas. I did an even trade for the truck camper from a guy in Austin. I will admit I used the truck camper more times before I started to fix it than the last three campers I have owned combined. I wish I could hurry up and get it done. I am missing out on fun camping trips with my kids.
 

JiFaire

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Welcome aboard, Guns! We've always got room for another vet around here... the ones we already have seem like fairly good guys :D
 

swinters

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For the damage it has I did not get it cheap. I had purchased a 5ver that had slide damage forming and rot in the normal areas. I did an even trade for the truck camper from a guy in Austin. I will admit I used the truck camper more times before I started to fix it than the last three campers I have owned combined. I wish I could hurry up and get it done. I am missing out on fun camping trips with my kids.
I've done the same type of thing plenty of times but in the long run it always worked out fine. Some things you can't put a price on, like the first trip you take with the kids. There's nothing like their excitement of going out on that first trip in a camper they had a part in getting on the road, even if they just helped with a few little things. They won't remember a lot of stuff when they grow up but they'll sure remember that project and the trips in it. Worth every bit of the effort. It's probably what keeps me going on stuff, though it's grandkids now. Grandson just turned 16 and I'm about to finish a 95 Chevy 1/2 ton for him. Just a W/T with the 4.3L V6 but he's learning how it all goes together and will take better care of it with all the sweat and scraped knuckles he has invested in it.
 

handcannon

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Seventh photo shows snugging the roof metal with a small ratchet strap after rolling the roof back on (the tractor is just an anchor point - not for pulling).
View attachment 39909
Welcome to the site!! It's great to have another member with your kind of skills. You'll probably find many on here asking for answers with the kind of expertise you have.

I guess I'll be the first one asking questions of you. Do you have any pics showing how you attached the ratchet strap to the roof skin? The skin is very thin and a bit fragile for a single pull point. I have a trailer roof repair to do this coming summer, once the weather dries up around here. Since you are from western Washington you are very familiar with weather here in the great Pacific Northwet.

This fall a wind storm knocked a limb out of a tree in the front yard and down onto my travel trailer. The limb was 3 to 4 inches across at the base and about twenty feet long, so fortunately the roof apparently only took a glancing blow. A "C" shaped crack was poked through the rubber roof, cracking the inside ceiling panel, and allowing a torrent of rain to pour through. This was a week before I was planning to take the trailer deer hunting. I dried it out as best I could and siliconed a roof vent over it to get it through the winter weather.

I'm a lifelong wood butcher (cabinetmaker and residential construction), so my only concerns deal with replacing the rubber roof and working with the aluminum skin.

By the way, the first truck I ever drove was my uncles cab over Chevy farm truck like the one in one of your pics.

Don
 

swinters

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Welcome aboard, Guns! We've always got room for another vet around here... the ones we already have seem like fairly good guys :D
Thanks! Love it up there in Alberta! I used to spend a lot of time up at CFB Wainwright and made it a point to spend time seeing as much of the Province as I could. When I could get the wife and kids away from the mall in Edmonton.
 

swinters

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Welcome to the site!! It's great to have another member with your kind of skills. You'll probably find many on here asking for answers with the kind of expertise you have.

I guess I'll be the first one asking questions of you. Do you have any pics showing how you attached the ratchet strap to the roof skin? The skin is very thin and a bit fragile for a single pull point. I have a trailer roof repair to do this coming summer, once the weather dries up around here. Since you are from western Washington you are very familiar with weather here in the great Pacific Northwet.

This fall a wind storm knocked a limb out of a tree in the front yard and down onto my travel trailer. The limb was 3 to 4 inches across at the base and about twenty feet long, so fortunately the roof apparently only took a glancing blow. A "C" shaped crack was poked through the rubber roof, cracking the inside ceiling panel, and allowing a torrent of rain to pour through. This was a week before I was planning to take the trailer deer hunting. I dried it out as best I could and siliconed a roof vent over it to get it through the winter weather.

I'm a lifelong wood butcher (cabinetmaker and residential construction), so my only concerns deal with replacing the rubber roof and working with the aluminum skin.

By the way, the first truck I ever drove was my uncles cab over Chevy farm truck like the one in one of your pics.

Don
You mentioned a rubber roof and aluminum skin. Does your rig have a rubber roof, and how big is the hole? That's actually not too bad of a fix, just depends on what material you're dealing with. Normally the rubber roof is glued to luan plywood so I'm a bit confused on the aluminum.
 

swinters

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By the way, Don. I just use a small vise grip on the edge of the roof, sometimes two. You just want to pull it snug and then put your roof vents on. The wood frame for the roof vent should be slightly higher that the framework, or in this case the luan plywood, and once you have the vents in place it'll stay in place and you can start bending the sides back over (they have to be straightened so the roof will roll), and then put your gutters back on and so on. I was just down in Albany a few weeks ago visiting family. Place is growing. Seems like only a couple of years since the biggest thing going along I-5 was the T&R Truck stop but you can't even tell where it used to be. First truck I ever drove was a farm truck too, but not a COE. I was about 5 or 6 and stood on the seat and kept it aimed towards a fence post while the guys threw bales of hay on it. At the end of the row one of them would jump in and turn it down the next row, drop it back in granny and pull, throttle knob back out on the dash and off we'd go again. Thought I was big stuff.
 

handcannon

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By the way, Don. I just use a small vise grip on the edge of the roof, sometimes two. You just want to pull it snug and then put your roof vents on. The wood frame for the roof vent should be slightly higher that the framework, or in this case the luan plywood, and once you have the vents in place it'll stay in place and you can start bending the sides back over (they have to be straightened so the roof will roll), and then put your gutters back on and so on. I was just down in Albany a few weeks ago visiting family. Place is growing. Seems like only a couple of years since the biggest thing going along I-5 was the T&R Truck stop but you can't even tell where it used to be. First truck I ever drove was a farm truck too, but not a COE. I was about 5 or 6 and stood on the seat and kept it aimed towards a fence post while the guys threw bales of hay on it. At the end of the row one of them would jump in and turn it down the next row, drop it back in granny and pull, throttle knob back out on the dash and off we'd go again. Thought I was big stuff.
Thanks for your explanation. So it doesn't take much tension at all. Mostly to hold the skin taught and without movement while starting to screwing down the vents, etc.

To explain the roof--- the metal goes vertical up the front and back, then rolls over the curvature and into the flat of the roof. As soon as the flat roof starts then the rubber roof takes over. The rubber is laid over OSB. Probably quarter inch, thin anyway. I'm a bit OCD about this, if I have the funds to do the repair properly. The rubber will be peeled off, the damaged panel will be removed, the rafters will be removed, the damaged ceiling skin will be replaced, then everything will be replaced. Since the damage is in the middle of the largest unsupported area of the roof, the rafters will have a beefed up arch to help combat any current, or future, sag.

Now the real monetary stretch comes. I want to add some ethafoam to the top to add more insulative value, and more arch to improve moisture runoff. Although the current roof does have just a tiny bit of arch, it's not enough to suit me as water still puddles up in places.

Boy have you brought back memories! Not many still remember the T&R, especially their special sign. The only thing left is the frame of the sign, still in use. That sign in operation was quite a sight. For those that never saw it, it was shaped like a champagne glass. It was at least two to three stories high and could be seen for miles on a clear night. Sequentially lit multi-colored neon lit the sign. First the "liquid" filled the body of the glass (don't remember what the neon looked like), then a straw appeared, then bubbles floated up. There is a motel and adult shop where the T&R restaurant and lounge used to be.

My first memory of Albany would have been around 1955. Has it ever changed dramatically since then! Not exactly sure, but the population was around 13,000 then, as my memory tells me. I haven't looked for a while, but today's population must be somewhere around 35,000. Do you remember the paper mill on the west side of I-5 just north of Albany? No longer there now, thanks to Weyerhauser. I spent from the second grade and on just north of the mill where Hy 99 goes under the freeway.

Wow! Thanks for sending me down memory lane.

Don
 

swinters

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Thanks for your explanation. So it doesn't take much tension at all. Mostly to hold the skin taught and without movement while starting to screwing down the vents, etc.

To explain the roof--- the metal goes vertical up the front and back, then rolls over the curvature and into the flat of the roof. As soon as the flat roof starts then the rubber roof takes over. The rubber is laid over OSB. Probably quarter inch, thin anyway. I'm a bit OCD about this, if I have the funds to do the repair properly. The rubber will be peeled off, the damaged panel will be removed, the rafters will be removed, the damaged ceiling skin will be replaced, then everything will be replaced. Since the damage is in the middle of the largest unsupported area of the roof, the rafters will have a beefed up arch to help combat any current, or future, sag.

Now the real monetary stretch comes. I want to add some ethafoam to the top to add more insulative value, and more arch to improve moisture runoff. Although the current roof does have just a tiny bit of arch, it's not enough to suit me as water still puddles up in places.

Boy have you brought back memories! Not many still remember the T&R, especially their special sign. The only thing left is the frame of the sign, still in use. That sign in operation was quite a sight. For those that never saw it, it was shaped like a champagne glass. It was at least two to three stories high and could be seen for miles on a clear night. Sequentially lit multi-colored neon lit the sign. First the "liquid" filled the body of the glass (don't remember what the neon looked like), then a straw appeared, then bubbles floated up. There is a motel and adult shop where the T&R restaurant and lounge used to be.

My first memory of Albany would have been around 1955. Has it ever changed dramatically since then! Not exactly sure, but the population was around 13,000 then, as my memory tells me. I haven't looked for a while, but today's population must be somewhere around 35,000. Do you remember the paper mill on the west side of I-5 just north of Albany? No longer there now, thanks to Weyerhauser. I spent from the second grade and on just north of the mill where Hy 99 goes under the freeway.

Wow! Thanks for sending me down memory lane.

Don
I'm the same way about wanting to keep the center higher so the water doesn't puddle. Especially with the rain we get. Up here in WA we call it Oregon mist - 'cause it mist Oregon and hit us. Seems that if it's sitting up there it's going to find it's way in somewhere. My experience with ethafoam is limited to packaging. I know there are different mixes. We used different ones depending on length of storage, shipping requirements and so on. I see foam used in home construction but have no idea how it holds up in mobile applications. Worth checking into though.

I know the mill you're talking about. My uncle used to work there. My Dad graduated from High School in Corvallis in 1943 and a week later was a Navy Seabee and on his way to Camp Perry. Lived in Brookings when I was born but it was Christmas Day and the Brookings clinic was closed, so off to Crescent City they went which I guess makes me a native Californian? Or Jeffersonian if the folks in that area had their way. Not sure if you're familiar with the story about the woman and Sunday School kids that were killed on the Oregon Coast by the Japanese balloon bomb. She was my Dad's cousin and from the area there too. Her husband was the church pastor and from around there too. He eventually remarried and went to Vietnam as a missionary, was captured by the North Vietnamese and never seen again. When I was down there I saw the sign and thought it was the old T&R sign. Saw the adult shop and told my wife I thought I'd stop and see whether that was where the T&R used to be but she put the kibosh to that. Laughing the whole time...
 

handcannon

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I'm the same way about wanting to keep the center higher so the water doesn't puddle. Especially with the rain we get. Up here in WA we call it Oregon mist - 'cause it mist Oregon and hit us. Seems that if it's sitting up there it's going to find it's way in somewhere. My experience with ethafoam is limited to packaging. I know there are different mixes. We used different ones depending on length of storage, shipping requirements and so on. I see foam used in home construction but have no idea how it holds up in mobile applications. Worth checking into though.

I know the mill you're talking about. My uncle used to work there. My Dad graduated from High School in Corvallis in 1943 and a week later was a Navy Seabee and on his way to Camp Perry. Lived in Brookings when I was born but it was Christmas Day and the Brookings clinic was closed, so off to Crescent City they went which I guess makes me a native Californian? Or Jeffersonian if the folks in that area had their way. Not sure if you're familiar with the story about the woman and Sunday School kids that were killed on the Oregon Coast by the Japanese balloon bomb. She was my Dad's cousin and from the area there too. Her husband was the church pastor and from around there too. He eventually remarried and went to Vietnam as a missionary, was captured by the North Vietnamese and never seen again. When I was down there I saw the sign and thought it was the old T&R sign. Saw the adult shop and told my wife I thought I'd stop and see whether that was where the T&R used to be but she put the kibosh to that. Laughing the whole time...
That's funny, around here we call it California mist. I lived in Grants Pass for two years in the early seventies, so I'm somewhat familiar with the state of Jefferson issue. Also, I'm aware that the Oregon coast was the location for the only mainland bombing during WW2, but not well versed in the details.

The hole punched in the trailer roof is only about six inches from the AC unit. The weight of the AC, plus the fact that area is the largest unsupported section of the roof is what has me wanting to beef up that part of the roof. I don't think any of the rafters were damaged, but that amount of water running through an area that is supposed to always be dry (soaking what little insulation is in there) is a big concern to me.

A number of years ago (close to twenty now) I built shipping crates for sensitive computerized robotic (as in VERY expensive) manufacturing equipment. A heavy duty pallet was the base, 4X4 stringers and 2X material for the decking. Six inch square blocks of ethafoam were liberally scattered and glued down with contact cement. Then a second base of 3/4 inch plywood was glued to the top of the ethafoam. At one time I had the specs on the pounds per square inch per inch of thickness, and R value, of the ethafoam. Needless to say, because of this experience I was impressed with the strength, resilience, durability, and resistance to damage from many glues for ethafoam. Not cheap stuff. It sticks in my mind that it was about $100 for a sheet that I think I remember to be about 42" X 108" X 3".

Since you've worked with the rubber roofing. How much stretchability does it have? If I add enough to have about 2 inches of arch in the roof I need to be able to transition down to the flat surface at each end. Currently the flat metal surface on each end rolls up onto the horizontal roof surface. This leaves what I feel is a potential future leak area where the rubber roof and metal connect. Water can potentially puddle there.

I may continue the rubber part way down the curve on each end to eliminate any puddling/leak area. No matter where the rubber ends there will be a transitional problem of length of the arch down to the length of the flat surface. I'm not good enough at algebra to be able to figure the difference in length. My way to figure that would be to mock it up. I may just do that with my long pipe clamp and an 8' 1X2.

Don
 

swinters

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Don,
I haven't done a roof that had the metal follow the curve and then meet the rubber roof up on top, which it sounds as if your does. The ones I've done have had the rubber go over the curve and the seam was on the side. When you put down the rubber roof you don't want to stretch it at all. You spread the adhesive and then roll the rubber out. There are alternatives to replacing it, depending on your plans. If the rest of the rubber on the roof is okay you might consider patching it for now and then replacing it when the rubber roof has met it's lifespan. I helped some friends do their repairs the year before last when we had the ice storms. Sent tree branches down like spears. The rubber roof needs good backing and you have to assume that it'll get walked on so we removed the inside ceiling panel, pushed the piece of the original wood back in place (didn't glue it because we couldn't find a glue that wasn't petroleum based, which would damage the rubber roof), let things dry out for a couple of days, and then glued a larger piece of luan using construction adhesive to hold it in place. We held the patch in place with an old spring loaded shower rod until the construction adhesive was dry. No problem waiting since we were leaving the ceiling open and the trailer heated to make sure everything dried out real well anyway. On the outside we cleaned the area around the hole (regular old Spic-N-Span and a good rinse) and stuck an Eternabond patch on it. Their tape and patches are top notch and are considered permanent repairs. I've never had one fail. Then it was just a matter of putting the ceiling panels back in. In both cases the ceiling damage was slight and was in locations that were just fine to add a light, lol. Tapped into the closest other light and were good to go. Both of them said they wanted to just do temporary fixes but after it was finished said they were so happy with the results that they weren't messing with it. Like one of them said, "If it ain't broke, why fix it". If the seams where your rubber roof and metal meet are a concern you can coat the top with the liquid EPDM rubber and carry it past the seams and over the sides to the next seam if there's one at the top edge of the flat sides. I used the Liquid Roof EPDM rubber, which comes in a two-part kit, the EPDM Rubber in a can and the catalyst in a bottle, on the camper I posted here. One of the guys I camp with had the black rubber backing showing through on his rubber roof so put on a coat of it a couple of years ago and says he thinks it's better than the original. There's a lot of good info on their website.
 

swinters

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Excellent work, Thanks Guns. I have to do the roof on my '70 Pace Arrow. Yours is the best step by I can remember seeing.
Thanks for your service. I have always felt for the guys in a floating target.
Thanks. Sure is good to have it nice and dry inside and well worth the effort. You're right about ships - can be vulnerable but nothing like my first assignment in '71 on boats in Vietnam. It's all about perspective!
 

angelajonesepdm

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It’s great to see that that Liquid Roof worked perfectly for you. I hope that you will definitely recommend Liquid Roof to other RVers in your community. Happy camping!
 
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