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Open Roads Forum  >  Do It Yourself Modifications and Upgrades (DIY)

 > Sealing metal roof on vintage trailer

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tommy salmon

Shallowater, Texas

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Posted: 12/27/12 02:09pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am helping my wife restore a 1967 Teardrop travel trailer. This model has a metal roof that appears to be "roll pinched" at the seams. The prior owner(s) have applied some type of coating that is chipping/flaking off in most places. Is there a sealer made specififically for this application? I thought of stripping it all off and applying a quality silicon roof caulk to the seams only, but would rather be able to possibly roll the whole roof after removing just the chipping/flaking areas. Thanks for your replies.


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/27/12 03:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You posted the same question in the trailer forum, one most likely will get locked... See my answer in the trailer forum..

Solarstorm

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Posted: 12/27/12 06:28pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

theres this at home depot



* This post was edited 12/27/12 06:43pm by Solarstorm *


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Solarstorm

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Posted: 12/27/12 06:41pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

and what i bought at Lowes BLACK JACK 4.75-Gallon Elastomeric Roof Coating
Videos http://www.blackjackcool.com/index-en.html



* This post was edited 12/27/12 06:55pm by Solarstorm *

Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/27/12 07:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Solarstorm wrote:

theres this at home depot



Nope.

Not needed, that is a ROLLABLE PAINT ON liquid.

OP needs basically a seam CAULKING.

I am shocked that no one has mentioned Eternabond tape YET (oops I mentioned it)

Unless the OPs roof has thousands of pinholes the LAST thing you want to do with aluminum roofing is to COAT the entire roof. Doing so is wasting money and time.

Just treat the SEAMS and you are good to go.

westend

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Posted: 12/27/12 10:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I did my aluminum roof with Eternabond tape and then applied the elastomeric coating. The coatings don't seal anything, IMO, but do offer some UV reflection and keep the heat down.
I see a lot of folks asking about how to seal their rig from leaking and about 3/4 of them are after the cheapest fix. "Can I use Flexseal?", " We used silicone caulk", etc.. There is a recent thread in the "Travel Trailer" section about the result of these half-measures. If it's to be done right, the areas to be sealed need to be cleaned well and then a material applied that will prevent leaks. To my knowledge, those are Eternabond tapes, Dicor sealant, and Geocel Tripolymer Sealant.


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rehoppe

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Posted: 12/28/12 05:50am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've not seen any roofs that have perforated personally. I'm sure that they do exist, I just haven't seen them.

That said; Coating the whole roof is Not normally needed/desirable, since you have to 'prep' the whole roof if you want the sealer to stay on. If you don't prep it properly, the sealer will peal, bubble and be detrimental to the situation.

I've not used 'eternabond' tape either. I have read posts where people were advised to use the tape and then seal the tape? Don't have personal experience, so have No position on it.

I will say that more than likely the leak is around an aperture in the roof. Do a leak test on the unit, using soap and water to find the leaks after you've pressurized the interior. Bubbles are leaks, FYI. lol

Pay attention to the areas around the leaks. Does the liquid 'puddle' around the leak area? if so you need to lift the skin to effect proper drainage. If you don't the one inevitable pinhole will act as a drain for that puddle and continue to cause you grief. :*)

You do need to use a caulk that stays flexible since the skin expands and contracts with temperature change. And yes you will have to re-seal every year or so, and should inspect every year.


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rockhillmanor

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Posted: 12/28/12 07:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gdetrailer wrote:

You posted the same question in the trailer forum, one most likely will get locked... See my answer in the trailer forum..


Ditto. here's mine from locked TT thread.

Call this guy. He is the airstream boss of the US. He collects and restores them and has connections for parts. He is a book of knowledge. And he just loves anything vintage and has a soft spot in his heart for small and vintage!!

I know your RV is not an airstream but my bet is he WILL know what you need to do to that roof, to do it the "right" way. And I bet he will be able to find you any part you might need too! Real nice down to earth guy. Check out some of his restorations on his site they are incredible.

I met him and his wife last year when I called to tell him they were going to junk an airstream at the CG I was at and he drove from KS to FL the following week to rescue it!

Good Luck hope he can help you out!
http://airstreamguy.com/


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JJBIRISH

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Posted: 12/28/12 10:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JJBIRISH wrote in the TT forum:

While I have never used this, it has been highly recommended as the best by those that have… based on the information I have read I am inclined to agree them…

click

although if it were me I would remove the type of roofing you have… it is the absolute worst material for RV roofing, and replace it with either sheet EPDM rubber, or my roof of choice, single sheet aluminum…


Gdetrailer responce in the TT forum:

“I would have to disagree with the type of roofing that the OP has as being the worst.

In reality it IS the BEST and LONGEST LASTING ROOF.

Rubber roofing (including any plastic/rubber types) IS THE WORST when looking at the life span of the material.

The OP has a trailer built in 1967 WITH THE ORIGINAL ROOF.

Just how many RVs with a rubber roof are going to have the ORIGINAL UNTOUCHED rubber roof in 45 yrs? NONE

There is a good chance that the OPs trailer once the seams are resealed with STILL have its ORIGINAL roof for another 45 yrs...”




Having had at least 3 trailers with this type of roof I can honestly say they in my opinion are without question the worst roofing material ever used on a RV even though your opinion may differ…
they are a constant leak problem and I mean constant and even caulking only slows a leak unless the entire seem(s) are caulked across the roof…
the fact that this one trailer is 45 years old means nothing without knowing its history… many trailers if not most using the crimped style roof were failing from the time they were new…

while my experience with solid sheet aluminum has been exactly the opposite no leaks at all with only periodic maintenance … and my experience with rubber sheet roofing has also been good also but they haven’t been used on RV that long…
and yes rubber roofing can last 45 years, but maybe not the thin 40 mil sheets used by the RV industry… only time will tell…

TPO is not on my buy list either, and I would not use it even though it is solid sheet… it has been reformulated to many times each time claimed to solve problems with it… maybe when it doesn’t require being reformulated every few years it will be a go to roofing material…


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Gdetrailer

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Posted: 12/28/12 04:30pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JJBIRISH wrote:

JJBIRISH wrote in the TT forum:

While I have never used this, it has been highly recommended as the best by those that have… based on the information I have read I am inclined to agree them…

click

although if it were me I would remove the type of roofing you have… it is the absolute worst material for RV roofing, and replace it with either sheet EPDM rubber, or my roof of choice, single sheet aluminum…


Gdetrailer responce in the TT forum:

“I would have to disagree with the type of roofing that the OP has as being the worst.

In reality it IS the BEST and LONGEST LASTING ROOF.

Rubber roofing (including any plastic/rubber types) IS THE WORST when looking at the life span of the material.

The OP has a trailer built in 1967 WITH THE ORIGINAL ROOF.

Just how many RVs with a rubber roof are going to have the ORIGINAL UNTOUCHED rubber roof in 45 yrs? NONE

There is a good chance that the OPs trailer once the seams are resealed with STILL have its ORIGINAL roof for another 45 yrs...”




Having had at least 3 trailers with this type of roof I can honestly say they in my opinion are without question the worst roofing material ever used on a RV even though your opinion may differ…
they are a constant leak problem and I mean constant and even caulking only slows a leak unless the entire seem(s) are caulked across the roof…
the fact that this one trailer is 45 years old means nothing without knowing its history… many trailers if not most using the crimped style roof were failing from the time they were new…

while my experience with solid sheet aluminum has been exactly the opposite no leaks at all with only periodic maintenance … and my experience with rubber sheet roofing has also been good also but they haven’t been used on RV that long…
and yes rubber roofing can last 45 years, but maybe not the thin 40 mil sheets used by the RV industry… only time will tell…

TPO is not on my buy list either, and I would not use it even though it is solid sheet… it has been reformulated to many times each time claimed to solve problems with it… maybe when it doesn’t require being reformulated every few years it will be a go to roofing material…


A seamed metal roof is no worse than a single piece aluminum roof.

Granted you do have several extra potential intrusion points but none the less far, far better than any membrane roof which WILL need to be REPLACED every 10-12 yrs.

Many, many mobile homes along with RVs have seamed aluminum roofs. Seams are often used when one single piece would be way to hard to handle or expensive.

Basically a seamed roof isn't going to leak at those seams PROVIDED you seal the seams correctly. To do that you use the PROPER seam sealer along with a fair amount of prep work (cleaning the old caulking out of the seams ensuring a clean fresh surface to work with is key).

The Dyco 20/20 sealer WILL provide a LONG TERM seal, it can be applied down to 50 degree temps and is weather proof in just a few hrs. Basically brush the sealer along the seam (make sure you "push" it into the seam at the same time), then embed the open mesh fiber glass tape. Once that coat sets you then brush over one additional coat over top.

I have used the Dyco 20/20 on TWO travel trailers BOTH have seamed roofing, NEITHER have leaked after using the Dyco 20/20.

Additionally I have successfully STOPPED stubborn sheet metal roof leaks on my garage roof. Nothing and I mean nothing else has worked on this roof, tried silicone, acrylic caulks they all made that roof leak even more.

While I have never used Eternabond, there are folks who swear by it, I on the other hand have my doubts since it takes large amount of pressure while applying. Failure to get it right the first time will result in a lot of headaches... To fix it..

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