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Old 11-19-2013, 08:09 AM   #1
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Twist and rack in roof/ceiling

Hey guys!

I'm looking for information on roof/ceiling movement in a trailer/5th wheel. We had some damage to some of our ceiling panels, due to a couple leaks. The leaks I can take care of and make some major design improvements on as I go. My current issue is the ceiling...

The ceiling panels were originally covered with marine vinyl and foam. All of the vinyl shrunk over time and it's also holding a musty smell that can only be removed by getting rid of the vinyl itself. The water damaged panels have been removed. This opens up some options... I'm thinking of replacing the panels with luan (1/3 the cost) and coating the whole ceiling and texturing with Bondo (yes, Bondo, works awesome with wood!) and then painting. To do this I would remove the strips between the panels, which are all either now missing or shot and filling the voids in. It would more resemble a home ceiling.

Has anyone tried this type of repair or construction? My concern in doing this is that the strips may offer some sort of relief when the trailer racks or twists on the road. Can anyone verify if that is the case? If there is some sort of movement between panels, how much movement is there?

Thanks in advance!
Lorne
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:22 AM   #2
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Remember that weight is important in an RV. I think old Bondo is pretty heavy, but perhaps there are newer materials that are lighter. And yes, things flex in a moving RV.
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Old 11-19-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
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Thanks for the quick response! The nice thing about the bondo is it has a similar expansion rate to the wood, so it would hold up in extreme temps. I was figuring on applying more or less a skim coat to cover up any wood grain and just enough extra to give it a light texture. My thinking is that it "should" be a bit lighter than the vinyl/foam. I had noticed that even on the high-end models they put those in, figured that was the case. So it sounds like the strips might be a necessary evil then...

L.
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Old 11-20-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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I would think the hardened bondo wouldn't flex, thus cracking as the framework twists during travel.

I have used bondo to repair some minor damage to wood carvings. Then I used dye and pigments to match the color and grain. worked great..customer loved it.
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Old 11-21-2013, 07:40 AM   #5
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Any thoughts as to a better product for the application? I was looking at the way my ceiling is assembled. There's a batten strip every 4' at the end of each panel and it's stapled in the center of each panel at 2'. So they're tacked in the middle and floating at the edges. Is that common?

I never had the ceiling apart on my Class C or TT. The Class C was older ('91) and I think there was a joint every 2'. I could be wrong on that. lol The TT had batten strips every 4', but were finished panels and I don't remember there being anything in between (maybe they filled in the staple holes?). 4' seems like a wide span for an 1/8" panel. They probably didn't care as much about appearance with this 5th wheel, as there was vinyl/foam over it. Does it seem feasible to tack the panels in the middle and float the edges as they did and just fill in the nail/staple holes?

Thanks!
Lorne
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