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Old 10-06-2020, 12:00 PM   #1
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New Owner, New Roof Time

New to forum and RVing in general. I just picked up a 2007 Rockwood Signature Ultralite (8296SS) that I'm now thinking is going to turn into quite the project. On the way home, one of the blind/shade assemblies in the bedroom came off the wall. Upon further investigation the screws pulled right out they were pretty rusty. I'm suspecting a roof leak but I don't exactly know the source of the leak yet. While up on the roof cleaning the trailer there was nothing too obvious that I could pinpoint as the cause. However, the roof has some "soft spots" on the sides near the rear of the trailer (over the bedroom). There was also some pooling water on the roof as these soft spots on the sides were trapping water in the middle.

At this point I'm thinking I'm in for a full roof repair including whatever the material is under the roof membrane. I'm looking for some guidance regarding the construction of the walls and roof. Is the roof supported by an aluminum or wooden frame in this generation of trailer? I'm hoping to push these repairs until the spring as I don't have much time left here before the snow starts flying.

I bought the trailer knowing it was going to need work and thing it was going to just mostly cosmetics and maintenance. All is not lost though, I'm not afraid of a good project and I got this trailer for a fairly good price so putting some time and money into it is not the end of the world. I've attached some of the cleaning work to date!
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Old 10-06-2020, 12:39 PM   #2
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Welcome from Southern California!
Sorry about your problems. You might want to search the various forums for related posts.
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Old 10-06-2020, 12:47 PM   #3
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The roof doesn't look that bad in the pictures. I would clean it good and take a close look.
Inspect all caulk and re-caulk or better yet externabond tape everything.

If you can't get to it before winter I would cover it. I am not a fan of covers but if you think the roof has issues you don't want snow/ice/water on it all winter.

The roofing is very thin and will always feel soft between the joists

edit:
Is there any water stains on the ceiling?
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Old 10-06-2020, 01:54 PM   #4
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I have an '08 that is similar.

From what I understand, it's a bonded to aluminum design. There is no wood used in the frame.

If you have a roof leak, the most obvious place to look is the seams and the edges. Look for small holes in the roof too.

If you're not familiar with the construction of a camper, it is not Silicone sealant. Sealants on an RV are very specific. Save yourself a headache and don't go to your local home supply store for materials. The sealant used on the roof is different than the sealant used on the edges as is it different than the sides around windows.
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:26 PM   #5
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Thanks for the welcome and the feedback!

There isn't really any staining, but the ceiling is soft in spots, mostly along the edges. I pulled back a batten board in the bedroom and the plywood paneling is in fairly bad shape, there's definitely been some water there. Inspecting the roof I can see somebody added silicone to both ends of the trailer where the membrane roof transitions to the fiberglass(resin?) caps at each end of the trailer. I'm now learning that they should have used something like Dicor's Lap Sealant for that. The only obvious damage I could see was a small gash over by the AC unit, the rest of the membrane looked OK.

I have a feeling that the "soft spots" delamination I'm seeing on the roof is the OSB under the membrane swelling and breaking down from moisture. I'll try and get some better pictures of this from a different angle. One of the reasons I was asking about the construction of the roof is that there doesn't seem to be much of a curve or pitch to it to shed water. I was curious if the curvature is gone out of the joints from possible decay if they were made from wood.
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Old 10-07-2020, 07:38 AM   #6
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My camper is a little older than yours, and has all wood frame and sheathing, covered by epdm rubber membrane.


Here's a link to my thread, and the roof repair begins at post #13. Maybe it'll help...


https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...vy-125403.html


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Old 10-07-2020, 08:05 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=pbd05;2428452]

................One of the reasons I was asking about the construction of the roof is that there doesn't seem to be much of a curve or pitch to it to shed water. I was curious if the curvature is gone out of the joints from possible decay if they were made from wood?........

Our SOB Small 5th wheel Was constructed about the same time as you are showing. Our joists are wood with plywood over top and a vinyl faced plywood ceiling. There is a very slight hump front to back, but there is no Or very little pitch to the sides. Our Columbus, on the other hand, has a very definite arch side to side as well as a front to back hump.
If you are really concerned about the shape of the exterior plywood (OSB?) under the rubber, you Might consider cutting the rubber roof to investigate. Cut three sides but leave the fourth side, toward the front Of the trailer attached. Repair the plywood if necessary, tape the flap down well with Eternabond tape, and seal the tape edges with dicor.
When storing the trailer for any period of time, do not level it. Ensure the front is high and water can run off easily.

There is a u-tube video of a fellow repairing a rotten section of his roof. This issue was caused by a hole not much larger than a pin prick.
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Old 10-07-2020, 08:12 AM   #8
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Don't overlook the possibility of using a product like Eternabond tape for those transition edges you mentioned are now caulked. Eternabond does not require the same level of maintenance that lap sealants like Dicor need. Eternabond has a couple of competitors out there with similar products. I did a write up using Eternabond doing edge sealing here... https://www.forestriverforums.com/fo...nce-90060.html

If the interior walls have been wet I hope you do not find mold growing in the walls. If you do not start this project for awhile I believe I would open up the interior walls at least and run a dehumidifier and a fan in the interior for much of the winter to dry things out. If you don't have a dehumidifier than look to getting several containers of Damp-Rid to do the job.

Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
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Old 10-07-2020, 10:17 PM   #9
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I've attached a few pictures of the roof, hopefully the bulges have come out a bit better this time. I think I'll try taking off some of the water damaged paneling this weekend. This should give me an idea of what I'm up against and allow the area to dry if water is trapped back there.

Thanks for the tip on the Eternabond, I'm likely going to pick a roll up to patch some of the suspect spots on the roof to help make it through the winter.

This evening I finally got the ownership (title) for the trailer, turns out it's actually a 2008 MY unit. I also got a bit of a backstory on the unit. The previous owner had the trailer for around 10 years and in that time it was essentially parked in one spot the whole time. It was also mentioned that the trailer was never really level this whole time.

Rollscanardly I've only been able to check out the first few pages of your thread, but man that's quite the project you took on! I can only hope that my trailer doesn't turn out to be as bad as yours! Hats off for the transformation.
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Old 10-08-2020, 08:40 AM   #10
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Bulges and bubbles can be somewhat normal. What I'd look for is a soft spot. If the roof under the bubble doesn't feel firm, you've likely got an issue there that will require further investigation.

X2 on lifting (or lowering) the front of the camper. You don't want water collecting for long periods of time on the top of the camper.
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007matman View Post
Bulges and bubbles can be somewhat normal. What I'd look for is a soft spot. If the roof under the bubble doesn't feel firm, you've likely got an issue there that will require further investigation.

X2 on lifting (or lowering) the front of the camper. You don't want water collecting for long periods of time on the top of the camper.
Under these bubbles the roof seems spongy, and has somewhat of a crunch sound to it. I'm really tempted to just tear it apart to see what's going on, but I don't have the time to fix it properly before the weather turns nasty up here.

I'm still working on my winter storage plan, but elevating or bringing down the front end of the trailer to help it shed water is definitely part of it.
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Old 10-08-2020, 09:25 AM   #12
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In addition to creating a slope during the winter storage, I would suggest a cover as well. Rain and melting snow/ice has a way of finding paths into the RV and before you know it....you have bigger issues like black mold, wall damage, etc.
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Old 10-09-2020, 10:29 AM   #13
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Any suggestions on a cover? I have access to a fair amount of clear poly that I was thinking of using.

I did a bit of exploratory work last night, it looks as though the roof is made of foam with what I'm assuming is aluminum trusses. I then opened up an area in the rear bedroom where it seemed soft. Sure enough the wood paneling is rotten and the foam was damp. I'm pretty surprised by how well the wood was adhering to the foam even though there was just a tiny veneer left. I'm assuming the walls are made in a similar manor from what I've found in the roof and from the sales brochures I've found from that time. I believe the soft spots/swollen areas I'm seeing on the roof is actually the roof's wooden underlayment swelling from moisture

It looks as if I'm going to be completely redoing the roof on the trailer, going right down to the foam in the bad areas and replacing the wooden sheeting. Once the roof is sealed back up I'll be tearing out all the ceiling and wall paneling off in the bedroom area in order to do a proper repair there.
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Old 10-13-2020, 09:06 PM   #14
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I did a bit more work this weekend, I was hoping for a little less damage but all is not lost. The furnace is now on keeping the trailer up in temp, I've also got the dehumidifier running. It's been a couple of days now since I tore things apart and it's drying up pretty good. This is as far as I'll be tearing things down for now. I still need to bring the trailer to the dump station to empty and flush out the black and grey tanks. Once I get back from that I'll park the trailer in the area where it will stay for the winter and then finish the tearout of the bedframe/storage compartment. I'll run the heater and dehumidifier for a bit longer afterwards to get rid of any excess moisture. The plan to protect the roof is looking like a 40'x20' heavy duty tarp that I'll secure to the ground with some anchors and rope.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:10 PM   #15
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Wow. Very interested in your thread as I have some repairs to do as well.

My camper looks similar on the outside but has a different layout. My small slide on the rear is water damaged on both the inside and outside. I have not opened it up yet.

Post up some more pics of the inside. If you have some pics of the framing, I'd appreciate that as well.

How do you plan to secure the new panels?
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Old 10-14-2020, 08:26 PM   #16
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Here are a few more pictures, I believe most interior partition walls you'll find are made out of 1x3 framing. I've attached a picture showing that, all the paneling is stapled or nailed to this framing, no glue.

I'm not 100% sure how I'll secure the new paneling to the foam and framing. The old paneling was glued and then also stapled onto the aluminum frame. I'll likely do something similar, however I'm not sure what glue I'll use. First thing that comes to mind is liquid nail (PL Premium here in Canada). I've also read of some guys using spray foam to secure the panels back onto the walls.
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:13 PM   #17
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Thank you..

Wow. I'm surprised to see that the partition walls are wood but it makes sense.. probably easier to deal with.

Looks like I'm gonna need to get busy.

Interested to see what you do with securing the paneling.

Here's my layout. It's that second slide that's an issue for me. 
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Old 10-15-2020, 01:27 PM   #18
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I would think the pull-outs are made in a similar way to the rest of the trailer, there's probably more aluminum in the walls though. Your floor is likely in good shape as the carpet would let things dry vs. the vinyl like I had.

I'll update the thread as I go, I've ordered up a 12'x36' HD vinyl tarp to cover the roof over the winter. It's being custom made with the same material as what you would see on a tractor trailer. It's a similar price to an "RV Cover" off Amazon, but should last a decade or more.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:01 PM   #19
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Sounds good. Looking forward to seeing your progress.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:13 PM   #20
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Another hiccup this weekend while emptying the grey and black tanks. After draining the galley tank I was greeted with a full pipe while trying to remove the cap from the grey & black tank drain. After draining both tanks I was able to diagnose the grey tank valve as the one that wasn't sealing correctly, somewhat of a relief. On my way home from the dump station I stopped and got a 3" replacement valve and a new set of bumper caps. I thought this would be a quick straightforward job per all the YouTube videos I watched, but I was wrong.

I ended up having to remove a large section of the coroplast underbelly in order to access the valve. That also meant removing the rear jack assembly along with about 50 screws and a bunch of staples. Once the underbelly was off I discovered that the grey water tank actually had a 1.5" valve, not a typical 3" valve like I had already picked up. I called around and nobody was open that actually stocked the 1.5" valve. Since I couldn't complete the job I decided to replace the 3" sewer valve as a precaution since it's quite the production to get to these things.

I've ordered a new sewer cap, a new valve and now need to source a fresh water tank drain valve since mine is toast. I might also get ambitious and drop the fresh water tank to properly flush it out. It hasn't been used in over 10 years since the trailer was always hooked up to a water source. There's some nasty black residue in the tank.
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