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Old 03-22-2019, 10:14 AM   #1
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How best to fix the roof?

My pop-up's roof skin has tears all along the sides. It's about 4 years old and I bought it used (although the damage has gotten way worse from originally being stored outside).

I have a couple of ideas on possible ways to repair the roof but have never fixed anything like this and don't know if either idea will really work.

1) Try to glue the tears down and coat it in a RV roof paint.

2) The scary prospect of trying to remove the damaged skin and replace it with new aluminum.

Which way is best? Is there a better way?
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Old 03-22-2019, 10:42 AM   #2
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My first question would be if these tears have allowed water into the material beneath and how much mold or dry rot might be present.


If all you are interested in is a "get me by for a few years" repair you could merely clean the surrounding area with a power sander and lay some fiberglass and resin over the tears. This would reinforce the area and from there perhaps cover with a roof coating material.

For that matter you could merely cover the entire roof with fiberglass and finish it like they do surf boards, by spraying the mat with gel coat material then sanding it smooth. Finish with a polishing pad on a sander. Might be easier than tearing off old roof and replacing.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:00 PM   #3
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I don't see any damage on the inside but of course that isn't a good indicator. I'd like to keep this pup and use it for many years, so the roof should be fixed fixed rather than sorta fixed.

Will fiberglass crack or shatter if the roof flexes? Also, I'm in Western Mass so can fiberglass take freezing temps? I don't have the skill to back the camper into my narrow garage so I got a portable garage to keep the rain and snow off of it.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theheather1 View Post
I don't see any damage on the inside but of course that isn't a good indicator. I'd like to keep this pup and use it for many years, so the roof should be fixed fixed rather than sorta fixed.

Will fiberglass crack or shatter if the roof flexes? Also, I'm in Western Mass so can fiberglass take freezing temps? I don't have the skill to back the camper into my narrow garage so I got a portable garage to keep the rain and snow off of it.
"fiberglass" (glass mat and epoxy resin) should hold up well where you live. Same stuff as what semi cab/hood/fenders are made of.

One thought, if you have a local boat repair shop get a bid from them to put a layer of fiberglass on and cover with gel coat. They may be able to do it for a reasonable price. They'll not only have the space but also equipment and knowledge to get it done and make it a long lasting fix.
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Old 03-22-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
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How best to fix the roof?

Use eternabond tape. This will seal the areas and not come off if surface is prepped right, and will be flexible. It comes in various widths.

https://www.amazon.com/EternaBond-Mo...82547684&psc=1
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Old 03-23-2019, 05:29 PM   #6
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Eternabond tape

Use Eternabond tape like the previous poster said. Clean things really well and lay down layers leaving 1.5-2 inches past the tears THEN get some self levelling Dicor lap sealant and run around the edges of the tape. Should be good for 20 years.

Regarding water damage on the inside. The water will not stay up there. It will find a light, a vent, or a seam to get out. It might be a ways away from the hole on the outside.

I would patch the roof and not worry unless something starts to sag later.
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Old 04-05-2019, 09:07 PM   #7
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You only show one corner of the roof but if that’s typical it’s subject to total failure at anytime.
Appears the aluminum flange is the only part worth saving but maybe not. I think you should get a quote from FR INDIANA (get a local Fiberglas to quote also but they will probably be more expensive and you you’ll stop any further roof leaks. Take it from experience a roof leak will destroy your entire camper in short, order not to mention bug infestations from wet wood. Just an idea but pics show horror. That’s terrible for four years, need to explore warranty as well.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:31 PM   #8
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My roof "delaminated" as well.
Fortunately, mine was less than 5 years old when I reported it, and Forest River has a 5 year warranty on the roof. They replaced it.
If your camper is less than 5 years old, look into getting a new roof.

It took months to arrange replacement...and to wait for the end of camping season. Before replacement, I used two items to seal the roof. First I made sure it was thoroughly dry. It should dry well...just protect it from the weather until you get a hot, sunny day, or park it in a garage for a couple weeks so it's thoroughly dry. Rot is not very likely.

The "good news" is that the roof is made of tissue paper and toothpicks.
1) about 1/16" fiberglass layer
2) about 1/8" "plywood"...very likely luan...a common product in RVs.
3) a "toothpick" frame made of 3/4" or 1" "lumber-grade" framing. I've seen inside the front wall of my tub, and the wood used to frame this area contained knots and cracks.
4) another layer of 1/8" plywood under the ceiling.
5) a layer of ceiling finish somewhere between fiberglass and plastic wallpaper.
I know this because I installed solar on my roof, and I drilled thru and used bolts, because the roof wouldn't hold a screw on a bet.

Once thoroughly dry, seal it. First a top quality silicone caulk to penetrate the cracks and seal. The silicone will also support the Dicor. Then self-leveling Dicor to provide a weather-proof seal over the top. Dicor will drain into those crevices just like water, so the silicone is necessary to support the Dicor. I believe this would have solved the problem indefinitely, even if the delamination were to spread. Furthermore, it's easy to maintain annually by adding a bit more Dicor...while you're caulking the rest of your roof.

It appears your delamination occured at the leading or trailing edge of the roof...where someone might sit on it to "help" it close. The curved ends of the roof are far more prone to this "abuse", and because of the curve, the laminated fiberglass is stressed more that in the flatter areas. If you're stuck with this problem, be vigilant and the roof will last a long time.

FYI, the replacement cost of my roof - under warranty - was:
Roof: $2000
Shipping: $500
Shipping box $200
Dealer Labor: about $800
All free as a warranty repair. As a "tip" to the dealer, I needed a battery, so I bought it there for 10% to 20% more than I'd have paid elsewhere, but I appreciated their good work.

You're not going to want to pay this out of pocket for any camper old enough to be out of warranty.

Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2019, 11:45 PM   #9
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P.S. Fiberglass delamination from a luan plywood substrate is a common problem with RVs. New RVs are moving to Azdel (a plastic composite) in the side walls, but it's not structurally suitable for a roof. Fiberglass roofs are relatively uncommon on RVs....most using more pliable materials that are easily repaired.

Popup roofs, however, are a kind of monocoque structure...like the wing of a balsa wood model airplane. Each part adds to the structural strength. A rubber membrane roof would not do that.

I hope yours is still under warranty.
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:32 PM   #10
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Check net for story called “the pop up princess.com” a detailed rebuilt process of Rockford tent trailer roof. A huge project for amateurs. Keep it covered!
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:16 PM   #11
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If your the original owner you should still be under warranty!
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VinceU View Post
Check net for story called “the pop up princess.com” a detailed rebuilt process of Rockford tent trailer roof. A huge project for amateurs. Keep it covered!
That's an interesting read - and well beyond my skill level! Thanks for the post.

https://www.thepopupprincess.com/pop...-rebuild-demo/
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