Post by TheShastaProject on Aug 1, 2013 16:01:03 GMT -8
Not surprising, I was so excited to find a '67 with a roof that did not leak that I didn't stop and realize that the silver muck coating the top may be a problem. Now after reading threads and looking at pictures, I know that a goop covered roof is not necessary.
Before my thorough reading of this section of Trailer Talk, I had purchased 5 gallons of Jet Coat white reflective electromeric roof coating. I thought I would just need to scrap away anything that looked like it may be loose and re-coat. Now, I'm not sure as to the best way to proceed. Should I spend the hours scraping away until I see aluminum?
I'm still in the process of deciding if the redo will happen from the inside, little by little, as I originally planned. Pulling the skin looks scary but also looks like the best way to go. I do have extensive building and remodeling experience on houses and garages. This is my first time with a camper and I don't want to mess her up.
Here is what I'm starting with. (Does anyone know what the hood thing is in the 3rd picture? It is located over the closet and doesn't have an opening inside.)
Third photo appears to be a roof refrigerator vent for a propane refridge. Likely there is a wall vent down further on the wall inside that particular cupboard.
Any sort of goop for roof coating is not necessary on a camper. The original roof would be a painted aluminum surface, and the seams at all the vents and the top edges of the walls were sealed with putty tape. The tape dries and hardens over years, and the leaks are nearly impossible to trace, so the answer appears to be coating the entire roof.
Getting the roof skin back to its original condition is a matter of a HUGE labor of love. Coating it again, with anything no matter how good it is supposed to be, just seals in temporarily the damage that is done by the first coating. Removing it is next to impossible...requires massive love and amounts of time, diesel fuel, and extra-heavy chemical gloves. There are parts of that silver seal that may lift off in sections, with the right conditions and patience. The edges however will almost always be anchored and require careful scraping and lifting and swearing.
Another alternative is to replace the entire roof skin, at a cost that will frankly shock you.
Lifting the skins for the rebuild process does look scary, but trust me when I say, it is a lot less complicated than it seems. The way these were built is quite different than the homes and garages you may have worked on before, and once you open them up they become quite obvious to the trained re-modeler's eye.
Post by TheShastaProject on Aug 1, 2013 17:25:02 GMT -8
Thanks Bender. A was afraid a new roof skin may be in order. I have been involved in enough remodels that I know the price is always at least double, usually triple, what you thought it would be. Good news is I did acquire her for what I feel is a reasonable $800.
A new roof may be a few years away but will be on my Christmas/Birthday wish list until I can puppy dog eye my hubby into it. Until then, I want to use and improve what I can.
My inexperienced thought process is to:
Side by side, pull the windows and skin to check the frame and replace any bad areas
Replace the J-channel and windows with the recommended type of tape and new stainless steel screws
Paint the camper
Scrape as much as I can from the roof and re-coat it in an attempt to keep her water tight until we get a new roof skin
Decorate the inside and hit the road.
Sounds simple. Should take a couple weeks tops, right? ( (=])Said totally tongue in cheek!)
Post by trailersailor on Aug 1, 2013 17:40:47 GMT -8
Oh man, I do not envy you with that job. I've owned two trailers with that stuff slathered on them and after wasting many hours sitting on top scraping and scraping, I ultimately sold them both. A virgin uncoated roof is what "sealed" the deal for me on my newest trailer project.
That'll all just buff out...should only take a weekend ...
I would recommend that you reseal anything that goes through the roofline, all those vents and all. Especially check the condition of the plastic domes on the roof vents too. Around all of these you may be able to relatively easily peel the coating back away, and get to all the screws that hold them in place. New tape and sealer around the new screws and voila! sealed vents without an immediate need to peel all the coating off. The same will apply to the j-channel seals along the edges. The J-channel will all come off as part of the process of lifting skins anyway.
My guess is that when the skins are opened up you will generally find the worst of the frame rot around the skirt boards and fender wells along the bottom, and the worst rot will be in the corners extending upward from the bottom. You may find a need to reframe the doorway, and likely the bottom of the windows (and down). Sounds like a lot, but looks much easier when it is finally opened up and you can see for yourself what is there.
It isn't "normal", but it is common to find old trailers with sealed roofs. The folks who put it on aren't thinking long term, they are thinking of "sealing" a leak or five. Your best bet will be just to replace it when you can. Look around, especially if you are near a good sized city, you may be able to find the skin for less than you thought. Good luck!
Post by TheShastaProject on Aug 2, 2013 2:57:12 GMT -8
If I have the kids help, think we could buff it out in a day? Thanks for the direction on where the worst of the rot is usually found. I've been spending every free moment examining photos of other restores and it amazes me how simply these are put together. Wish I didn't have the knowledge I do have though because I know the simpler it is the more precise and painstaking slow you have to go.
Hamlet, I am located in one of those magical places that is not close to anywhere but just a couple hours from a lot of places. I did find directions on how to bend your own skins and have experience working with metal. Would it be cost effective to just by a large sheet of aluminum and make my own using the old as a template?
In this area back in the 60s and early 70s many dealers suggested coating the roofs with Kool-Seal when the trailer was new and recoating it every three years there after. That is why most are coated. My dad bought a new trailer in 1969 and did this for as long as he lived and never had any problems, but the roof gained a lot of weight. I think it was to protect the roof from hail damage as much as anything. Hail can be devastating to a thin gauge alum roof.
I initially thought the roof on my '61 was completely goop-free. No such luck; but the coating IS minimal, I think it has only been done once. Right now I plan to leave it alone and just reseal the roof vent (it's a metal vent with a metal lid, so sealing the edges should be sufficient - right?) And, paint over the thin layer of roof goop. Does anyone see any real problem with that? I'm taking care of the edges and J-channel too, the proper way.
When I discover a coated roof, it's either so thick new metal is required or a thin layer. On the better ones, we sand, pick and scrape all the debris. This is particularly important with Snow Sh*t type elastomeric coatings. When they fail, water creeps underneath. You can't see where water might wander, but it does damage wherever.
The best one can do with elastomeric is pick and clean the seams and around the vent and other roof protrusions. Clean about 2" past each flange very well. Remove and re-putty the protrusions and seal with Dicor self leveling lap sealant. Dicor is removable if repairs are needed, albeit annoyingly so. The roof seams can be sealed with Proflex (PAINT ON, not caulk). Proflex is not removable, but does seal very well. If the roof is already a mess, not a big deal.
Silver slop needs to be picked as well. Vents as above. Sand down rough areas and remove all loose peeling debris. Seal the roof seams (Proflex) and then paint the roof. It's ugly but works.