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 > The saga of the roof

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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 09/19/11 03:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Well, this is it; I've been talking about this for a long time, but I'm finally going to bite the bullet and sort out the roof on my Shadow Cruiser.

So I thought I would open this topic to record my progress and get some advice from everyone at various stages. Warning: This topic is likely to run for quite a long time - I suspect this is a job that will take months, so I apologize in advance if you keep seeing it popping up again and again on the forum.

Contents

Page 1: Scaffolding and temporary roof to create a working environment.
Page 1: Disassembly and revealing the rot.
Page 2: Treating damp timber.
Page 2: reinforcing roof joists.
Page 3: Insulation.
Page 3: Applying first replacement plywood panel.
Page 3: Cutting and applying remaining plywood roof panels.
Page 3: Applying moisture barrier.
Page 3: Ordering aluminum.
Page 4: Collecting cut and bent aluminum.
Page 4: Insulating roof hatch.
Page 4: Checking aluminum fit on roof.
Page 4: Cutting aluminum to fit over rear wings and for roof hatches.
Page 4: Starting to grind diamond finish off parts of aluminum that hatches will be sealed to.
Page 5: Collecting aluminum for roof rails, sealant and new fridge vent.
Page 5: Baffling fridge exhaust and fitting new side vent.
Page 6: Grinding diamond plate flat to make a surface to seal to.
Page 6: Preparing to weld.
Page 6: Tack welding the first pair of sheets.
Page 6: Welding all the aluminum sheets together.
Page 7: Constructing the roof rail supports.
Page 8: Welding the supports onto the aluminum sheet.
Page 8: Screwing the aluminum roof into its final position.
Page 8: Fitting and sealing the moon roof.
Page 9: Refitting front hatches and sealing the roof.
Page 9: Refitting the strip on the rear wings and sealing screw heads.
Page 9: Sealing all the screws around the hatches.
Page 10: Fitting the roof rails.

Thanks already go to fast.5 who previously provided pictures of his Shadow Cruiser roof rebuild.

So, what's wrong with my roof? Well, it's gone rather soft in places. Mainly above the kitchen where the roof feels crunchy as you press down on it from above or up from below - clearly a sign of some pretty nasty rot in there. The Dicor roofing also always feels damp. I don't know if that is how it is supposed to feel, but I doubt it. I think it has become porous through years of inattention and rotten British weather. So time to do something about it before it gets any worse.

Working environment

The first problem I have doing a roof rebuild is that I don't have a workshop that I can put the camper in. This might matter less if I lived in Arizona, but this is England and when it isn't windy it is raining (apart from April this year when it actually didn't rain for several days in a row!).

So the only option is to build a sort of lean-to roof that can go over the camper which I can raise up when working under it.

A few weeks ago I bought some timber to make a frame and some plastic corrugated sheeting to go over that frame:

[image]

I screwed and glued the timbers and cut up some old plywood I had used for mixing filler to strengthen the corners:

[image]

Today we just returned from the final TC trip of the year (I'll do a little trip report shortly) and once unloaded I dropped the camper down as low as I can with the jacks, supporting the base with some concrete blocks and paving slabs and using my 'poor man's stable lift' to keep the jack legs in place at the bottom. I keep about 1 turn on each jack so they are still providing a degree of support:

[image]

I then put some scaffolding up along one side of the camper so I have a working platform and Sally and I struggled to lift the 'roof' up and slide it over the TC roof (without damaging its plexi-glass moon roof). Once in place I screwed on some uprights in line with the 4 jacks, lifted each one up at a time and ratchet strapped it to the jack leg so that the whole corrugated roof is standing free of the camper. I then added some diagonals to help keep it in place:

[image]

From the bedroom window:

[image]

Once the moon roof, vents and hatches are removed my corrugated roof can be dropped down to rest on the actual roof over night, but at the moment with all that still in place I have had to leave it sat up high to clear them.

We have taken almost everything out of the inside (apart from stuff in the lower cupboards that won't be affected by the work) and tomorrow I can start taking things apart.

Stay tuned - I'll add more pictures as I start removing the old roof.

Steve.

* This post was last edited 11/19/11 10:09am by sabconsulting *   View edit history


'07 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab diesel + '91 Shadow Cruiser - Sky Cruiser 1
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67avion

Carbondale, Illinois

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Posted: 09/19/11 03:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good plan. I've been indoors for the past few days because of the rain, and my sanding projects as well as other repairs of my Avion are on hold. Actually not quite on hold. Our back porch is completely full of stuff spread everywhere. One of my goals was roof repair, so I am going to watch this thread very carefully.





Camper_Jeff_&_Kelli

Seattle

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Posted: 09/19/11 04:47pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best of luck to you on your project. I just finished about 6 hours of scraping, solvent cleaning and re-caulking my TC roof. The old silicone was detaching in places so I figured with winter coming, I better fix it. I have not been happy with the RV specific caulks I've used in the past so I used a product called QUAD. It's very similar to Sikaflex. It has a much stronger bond and is very flexible. I replaced a few screws too and sank them into Quad. I have most of my questionable areas fixed now and hope to have the last couple items finished tomorrow. Good maintenance and frequent inspection can head situations like yours and so many other roofs off before they happen. We can't help what previous owners have done.
Looking forward to you own progress.
J&K


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sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 09/20/11 01:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jeff&Kelli: I don't think I can get OSI Quad over here. I can get Silkaflex - a search shows Silkaflex 512 Caravan Sealant at a reasonable price. To replace the caulking in a couple of places where it was leaking in the over cab area I used some sort of normal domestic waterproof sealant earlier this year. I saw it as a temporary measure, but now it has been on there for a couple of thousand miles it looks pretty solid. But I would prefer to get the right stuff for the roof job.

Mountain Kowboy: Yes, I am expecting a can of worms. If any of the roof structure can be saved then I will see that as a bonus. On the plus side this will be an opportunity to do add the wiring etc. for all sorts of roof-based stuff. It is the only way I can make it acceptable in my head - i.e. I'm not prepared to do all this money and work to come out with something that gives me no more than I had before. A bit like the fridge replacement - if I was spending the money / time I had to end up with a better fridge to justify it.

Silversand: Yes it is EPDM - that was what I was thinking of. I'm not planning on replacing it with the same stuff - can't get it over here and would cost a fortune to ship over. My plan is to replace that waterproof layer with aluminum, but keep the design of the timber structure underneath the same.

Steve.

silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 09/20/11 06:08am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Steve:

Firestone Building Products sells commercial-grade ultra-ply TPO roofing membrane (TPO is vastly superior to EPDM; I only mention this as an alternative to working with sheet metal/aluminum):

Flexible Building Products Ltd
Chester Road
Salterswall
Winsford
Cheshire
CW7 2NQ
Tel: +44 (0)1606 552026


Silver
2004 Chevy Silverado 2500HD 4x4 6.0L Ext/LB Tow Package 4L80E Michelin AT2s| Outfitter Caribou

mountainkowboy

Socal > NE Oregon

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Posted: 09/19/11 04:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Piece of cake! Well sort of, be prepaired for a can of worms. From my experience it will be rotted more than you think. Take your time, and re-engineer it better if you can. I'll be watching the build, cause next year the roof comes off the S&S for some rebuild/upgrades.


Chuck & Ruth with 4-legged Molly
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silversand

Montreal

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Posted: 09/19/11 04:58pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm following this, too.

You say "Dicor roof". What is that? Dicor makes roof coating and caulking. Have you got some type of soft roof sheeting membrane, like EPDM (rubber) ?

on edit: looked the product up, and they appear to sell rubber sheeting/re-roofing by the roll.

Cheers,
Silver-

* This post was edited 09/19/11 05:05pm by silversand *

sabconsulting

High Wycombe, UK

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Posted: 09/20/11 01:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An update from Day 2 of the roof rebuild.

PS - thanks for the TPO details Silver - I'll keep that in mind in case I change my mind re. the aluminum.

Tear down

Where I've removed parts I've tried to keep the screws with them - I don't intend to re-use the screws, but I want to know what size / type to replace them with:

[image]

The inside of the camper looks really bare now:

[image]

This is the stylish roof I am replacing:

[image]

I first remove the vent and hatch - first sign of rot:

[image]

When screws come out like this you know water is getting in:

[image]

Hmmmm, this is why it felt a bit crunchy - good job I'm crawling about on my stomach rather than attempting to put all my weight in one place. You can also see the really cheap expanded polystyrene insulation (including many gaps around the edges) - I'll replace it with the decent modern stuff you use in houses:

[image]

All the vents and moon roof removed - lovely and light in there now:

[image]

Here is the moon roof - need to be careful with this, it isn't very strong and getting a replacement will be virtually impossible:

[image]

It hasn't rained for 48 hours - shows how a roof can hold water:

[image]

All the roof furniture is now off:

[image]

Nice:

[image]

Not much of the top layer of plywood left:

[image]

When removing the moon roof I ran a Stanley knife along the edge of the dome to cut the EPDM - the plywood was so rotten it just sliced straight through it:

[image]

With the insulation removed - it is wet and discolored, but on closer inspection it is structurally OK. So the plan is to let it dry, then trawl the hardware store for the appropriate hardener to treat the wood with:

[image]

I'll have to remember to remove all the junk I've accidentally dropped on the fridge too - notice there is a cut-out in the side of the camper to accept a side vent (but the aluminum siding covers it) - I wonder if I should consider a side vent instead of a roof vent. I know it wouldn't be as effective air-flow wise, but would be one less hole in the roof and would therefore give more options for mounting solar panels or other stuff up there - what does everyone think?

[image]

Little things like this are slightly annoying. The roof timbers are nicely cut so the roof slopes from centre outwards, but then someone has ruined the affect by stapling on a piece of timber that isn't sloped meaning the roof doesn't sit correctly. A few bangs with the pin punch sinks the staples below the surface and a couple of minutes with the chisel and it is fixed. similarly I notice the supports going across the roof are staples, but not glued meaning the joins are no where near as strong as they could be. I'm not removing them, but I'll probably glue in some triangular pieces of timber in the corners to make the joints stronger, especially since the camper goes off road regularly.

[image]

Starting to look cleaner and dryer:

[image]

This side looks a lot better, but maybe I've got my 'beer goggles' on:

[image]

With all the top plywood and associated staples removed:

[image]

Note that I haven't removed the fibre-glass nose of the camper. It does overlap the plywood, but the ply at the extreme front didn't look too bad, so I cut it off in line with the front of the hatch.

Too dark to work now (and some home made pasta was calling me) so I undo the 4 ratchet straps holding the uprights to the jack legs and let the 'roof' drop onto the camper roof - reduces the risk of high winds taking the whole thing off in the night, or slanty rain getting in and soaking the nicely drying roof timbers:

[image]

The plywood on the roof is a heck of a lot thinner than I expected - but then I tend to over-engineer stuff. Glad I didn't speculatively buy a load of marine ply or I would have bought something far too thick - though I may fit something just a tiny bit stiffer than the current plywood since that was so thin it sunk between the roof joists allowing water to pool on it, plus I wouldn't have wanted to stand on the roof the plywood was simply not strong enough.

Big trip to the hardware store tomorrow morning [emoticon]

Steve.

AnEv942

CA

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Posted: 09/20/11 02:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hokey Smoke!
When you mentioned moon roof --I didnt realize you meant MOON ROOF. That thing is huge! Id like to see that from inside. Pretty cool. In a previous post you had pics of your roof but they've dissapeared.

I see the membrane roof a lot easier to install verses the sheet aluminum, on ours at least due to the compound curves and elevation changes, Yours looks relativly flat so may not be an issue. Id guess you dont have the heat over there to worry about the metal roof but seems that the al might be quite noisy in the rain? Is corrosion an issue?
Dont really want to throw a lot of questions as your this far in your plans just curious.
Mark


01 Ford F250 4x4 DRW Diesel, 01 Elkhorn 9U
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ecoast

NW NJ's Highlands

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Posted: 09/20/11 03:03pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

very good progress on a rather itimidating job!

How long did it take to strip down?

afa sealing/preserving, you might consider fiberglass resin/hardener (marine store/chandelry); you can mix it up somewhat 'hot', brush it on, and sqeegee excess...mebee a gallon would do it.

If you vent the fridge out the side, you will have to baffle clearance from rear of unit to outer wall to improve flow. I don't think you will lose much efficiency, and unless you head south to the Med in summer, your climate should allow for satisfactory cooling/operation.

neighbors must be sending you 'lurve' with that scaffold and roof cover (and truck, and camper, and sammi, lol!)

cheers.


07 5.9 CTD & 2000 Northstar Laredo TC towing 87 Samurai ORV on dual axle trailer

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