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Old 07-02-2017, 02:42 PM   #1
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Vinyl Headliner Starting To Fall!!! Any Ideas for Ceiling Art?

My 2004 Itasca Horizon ceiling just started to fall in several places. I have ruled out water damage; and the only climatic factor I can point my finger at is this: I stored the coach in Montana for the winter.

Could that have broken the glue bond between the foam and the vinyl? Or maybe it's just my time as I have read that so many people have had headliner troubles! ...The problem is the right solution is expensive, time consuming, and will interfere with my summer holiday.

In my case the vinyl is separating from the foam. And the foam is still in good shape underneath and is firmly attached to the roof. However, accessing the bubbles in the center of the roof area is next to impossible.

I did try using 3M Headliner and attack the problem from the ends, but I'm not happy with the results and I still have several other sags to deal with.

BTW, I use 3M Fabric Adhesive (#30008) and a WD40 spray wand, but with limited success. Plus I'm not happy this glue disolved the foam underneath.

Plus, while fixing one area of my headliner another area started to fall. So this is a huge concern and I'm not sure what to do next.

As I side note, I wouldn't clean your headliner either since "working it" may break the glue bond. But back to finding a solution(s):

==> Can anyone also tell me how do you remove those battens that are spaced every 4' side-to-side? Do they just pull down or does the edge separate somehow? I think if I can remove the headliner and spray both sides of the vinyl and the foam I can apply the right amount of glue and in all the right places. (TBD)

==> I'm also looking into adding some sort of "ceiling art" that will hold up the headliner to the 1/8" plywood underneath. (No thumb tack suggestions please.)

So if anyone has already gone this route, please send pictures. And if you don't know how post pictures on a forum website, please email me at mwr996atyahoo and I will post them for you.

I want to try something ASAP to prevent sags later. As it is, I am already noticing more bubbles starting to form throughout the coach. So thank you for your ideas!


2004 Itasca Horizon ISK-40AD, 350HP Cummins 8.3L
75K miles and the best of 3 Diesels I have owned thus far!
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:11 AM   #2
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Here's a Youtube video about a guy who didn't want to pay someone $5,000 to do it for him so he did it himself for $480 in materials. There's some other videos links shown on that page too...

Hope I never have to do that. My dizzyness when I look over my head for any length of time would sort of require I hire someone else.

Good luck:

'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 08-07-2017, 08:03 PM   #3
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I understand you can remove the battens that run horizontal by creating a leverage plat and prying it down with a "wonder bar" or like object, but can you replace those ivory colored, seam t-braces? Or do you need to add a wider piece of wood like Winnebago used in the first batten over the driver's seat?

If I take another approach, has anyone added a skylight -- with internal shades?
2004 Itasca Horizon ISK-40AD, 350HP Cummins 8.3L
75K miles and the best of 3 Diesels I have owned thus far!
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Old 08-12-2017, 03:51 PM   #4
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Falling Headliner 2004-2005

This is a recognized problem for many makes around these years. I decided a few years back to just do the ceiling design route. I will try to attach pictures or email them to you. Using a brad nailer I just pinned them up by shooting at an angle. I also put small crown molding around the edges.

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Old 05-27-2018, 06:15 PM   #5
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I have had more places start to fall. It's not due to water damage, but rather the glue that bonds the vinyl to the foam is "letting go."

The foam is very well stuck to the luan-wood, so what's the deal... besides the glue problem not holding up over time?

I think it's possible freezing temperatures could affect old glue.

I think it's also possible that if you tried cleaning the vinyl ceiling at one point that the friction may have weakened the glue bond and over time the bubbles started to appear.

I think it's possible the solvents in the vinyl cleaner leached into the vinyl and over time the glue from the foam to the vinyl separated.

What I can tell you is that all but the Loctite 300 glue, which you can get a Walmart, melted the foam... so don't use any of the other products... except maybe one by Keystone that you can get a professional paint distributor that says it is for vinyl applications. But again, what you have to watch out for is melting the foam as that will leave "dimples" behind and you will not like the results.

Here is the technique I found works best:
* Pull down enough of the good vinyl to gain access to the problem area.
* Undo the light trim and ceiling vents.
* Tape off the battens and tape a plastic drop cloth down the edges to protect from over spray.
* Expect to use 1 can for every 4'x4' area. (Spray more on the foam side.)
* Spray a light amount everywhere and evenly. Let stand 8 minutes.
* Spray a heavier amount in one direction. Let stand 4 minutes.
* Spray another heavy amount in the opposite direction. Let stand 2 minutes.
* Use a big tile sponge or rolled-up towel to work the vinyl to the foam as you press the vinyl back up to the ceiling.
* Use one large and one small (plastic) putty knife to wedge the vinyl back under the battens. (Don't take down the battens.)

I think you will be happy with these results! And if you can't access your problem easily by pulling down the ends of the vinyl, then you can go to Lowes and buy pre-made decorative pieces of wood to nail up with a nail gun to the ceiling. (I would probably not use a hammer. I wonder if the other owner used a hammer and did not have any trouble?)
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Old 05-27-2018, 07:26 PM   #6
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From the pictures that looks pretty darn good. I would imagine you could make a few bucks on the side repairing ceiling vinyl if you had a mind to.

Nice work.
Tom and Sherry W.
06 Winnebago Adventurer 38J Workhorse W24 Lots of motor and suspension mods in the works
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Old 06-09-2018, 01:01 AM   #7
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How To Fix Vinyl Ceiling Gap Against The Slideout Wall

One more trick I found that nicely hides the gap sometimes created by a "short end" to the vinyl headliner is to add a quarter-round strip.

I read how some have used wood, but that involves painting and nailing and even messy gluing.

BUT THIS METHOD USES PAINTED PLASTIC and the match is ideal. Moreover, the piece friction-fits without any nails or glue.

Go to Home Depot and get two 8' long, 3/8" Quarter-Round, PLASTIC, Tile end strips. These are more commonly found in metal, but you don't want metal.

Note #1: The 1/4 round is not symmetrical. I.e., flip it over and you see there is a slight tilt to the edge molding when snapped into place. I found the label in the downward direction resulted in the best fit.

Note #2: The flat part of the strip is too wide to fit between the ceiling and the wall. So use the multi tool to trim off 5/16" to shorten the flat-part.. just cut the holes in-half and you will be close enough.

Note #3: You need to trim the four "battens" so the 1/4-round can fit snugly against the wall. Be careful not to cut the vinyl when you are cutting the batten ~1/4". I recommend folding cardboard from coke box or use a hard piece of 1/16" plastic to wedge between the vinyl ceiling and the batten.

To make all these cuts I used a Ryobi "Multi Tool" with a round head for metal.

When all 4 of the battens trimmed back 1/4" ... And the 8' quarter-round strip is trimmed... we then measured and cut the 8' strip to terminate halfway between the center strip of vinyl (for looks).

*** And now all you have to do is force the flat part of the 1/4-round strip (with the label pointing down)... between the vinyl ceiling and the wall... and it will hide the unsightly part of where the vinyl was separating against the wall. No glue. No nails... just a tight fit that looks very good!

*** And we may decide to add almond silicon calk later, but once you do that you will not be able work with it very easily if you vinyl bubbles again and you need to re-glue the vinyl.

See pictures for what I am talking about... and good luck! This fix is relatively easy! And will take about 45 minutes.
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:28 AM   #8
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Looks very nice. Excellent write up and photos.
'02 Winnebago Journey DL, DSDP, 36' of fun.

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Old 06-09-2018, 07:41 AM   #9
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How about getting some 4X8 sheets of ceiling panels or shower stall plastic panels and just cover the existing ceiling. Your local lumber yard should have the panels and construction glue could hold them in place over top of the existing ceiling.
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Old 06-09-2018, 05:02 PM   #10
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I too considered that using the thinnest, lightest 4x8 material I could find... in wood or plastic and even decorative-foam squares, but several things stopped me from trying:

1) I wasn't sure I wanted to take down the trim molding on the passenger slideout that was blocking access the about 6"- 12" of ceiling on that side. That was unknown territory for me, but I know it could be done.

2a) After studying the construction of a Winnebago roof, I learned there is virtually no support in the roof, other than the luan wood, to nail the new material to; and then there was to problem of dealing with nail marks if you thought about using nails or screws in the new material.

I would think there has to be some metal supports in the roof, where the florescent lights are, or maybe you can add metal crossbeams, but I couldn't get anyone to confirm that.

2b) Most of the 4x8 material I found was brittle and would be hard to work with once mounted on the roof.

3) Most of the material used in shower walls is heavy. So gluing it without nailing it to something seemed problematic.

4a) There would be a lot of prep time too. The old vinyl and foam backing would need to be scrapped off in order for the glue to adhere.

4B) All the fixtures and vents would need to come down; and you then you would need to router new holes (where the fixtures go) after your new material sheets are glued up... with all the cutting done above your head.

And the biggest concern I had was over the looks of the finished result? I think your ceiling would end up looking like a hodgepodge -- a home job -- with the ceiling in the living room (three 4x8 panels) looking different than the ceiling over the driver's area and above the small section above the kitchen sink.

The hall, bath and the bedroom ceiling could be different I suppose, but the net result would be a cheaper looking ceiling at best and a devalued coach at worst. (Least we forget our rigs are still worth $60K+.)

Further, I think if you went to all this trouble to prep the job, then why not just reinstall new foam backed vinyl: which is not very expensive and is easier to work with above your head. Plus it will look like new if you can get the dye lots of the vinyl to match... and I think you can.


** Now you know why a dealership will quote you $1,500/panel... and that is if you can get them to take the job! It's very labor intensive and not a money maker from the dealer's point of view. I found this out first hand. I took my coach to 3 dealers and couldn't get any "good feelings" about their experience in this area. (Hence the creation of this post.)

The alternative and results I now live with are follows: Yes, I have some "rumples" in the ceiling, because my gluing technique needed refining, but the cost of me doing it was less than $50/panel for 4 cans Loctite #300, and about 1.5 hours of my time/panel.

I'm not 100% satisfied, but at least now I don't look at my ceiling in disgust like I was. And my eyes rarely drift upward to the ceiling now, but when they do at least I can feel better knowing I saved ~$4,500 since I took care of fixing 3 panels myself. And I don't think my coach valuation suffered any either.

BTW, Winnebago wants $32,500 to replace the roof with a new 1-piece roof. So I think all owners need to be mindful that ceiling problems can be a potential nightmare! And as for that $4,500 I saved, that just bought me diesel fuel for the next 3 years!

I'm not saying there isn't a better approach to re-gluing your old vinyl to the foam ... there has to be a "better approach!" ...I just hope someone out there can tell us what it is?

Right now, from my experience, I think you should re-glue your vinyl (for cheap) or take your job a "Dr. Vinyl" shop in your area who will probably charge you $350/panel and use their commercial grade glue. (Be sure to test their glue first and not take there word for it; i.e., glue that melts the foam should NEVER be used.)
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:37 AM   #11
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heat and age are the enemies of soft ceilings. rip it all down, remove all fixtures, clean the area up with rough sandpaper, and use colored rhino liner or flex seal to cover the areas as needed. you may need more than one coat. there are many such products are non voc products. easy on the lungs.
something with a texture looks best. ive did this on one coach last year. sorry, no pictures.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:46 PM   #12
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I have received a few private messages asking questions about the technique I used around the battens; so I would like to clarify a few things that may help everyone tackle this (not so difficult) project yourself.

Tape the battens so the over spray is not hard to clean up later with mineral spirits or lacquer thinner. DO NOT REMOVE THE BATTENS! Then use plastic draped down the walls to protect your walls. AND USE PLASTIC GLOVES! Preferably a mask and a fan too!


1) Don't be shy about pulling all the bad vinyl areas down while leaving as much of the good areas stuck to the ceiling. It's likely the foam will remain well glued to the luan wood so the foam is not your worry.

** And be sure to apply a lot of glue very evenly or your vinyl will fall later.

2) Be prepared for your vinyl to stretch if it has been hanging for a while. But you can always trim off the excess where your battens are located.

3) Use large channel locks to unscrew (1/8 turn) the chrome light covers and then you will see the mounting screws underneath.

4) The vent cover can be removed with a putty knife to get to the mounting screws hidden underneath the face plate.

5) *** With your large area of vinyl hanging from the ceiling. I think a good technique will be to spray the vinyl with Loctite 300 and then let it dry for 2 hours.

I'm suggesting this so you don't over soak the vinyl, which will leave "bumps" on the ceiling later. And if you spray the vinyl first with a light coat of glue it will dry to seal the pores in the vinyl.

6) Then spray a lot of glue on the foam... first in one direction... and then the other direction. Then use a little less glue on the vinyl again, but still a lot. And let the glue dry; and do not put together wet!

7) Usually by the time you finish one section ,and then do the other section, 10-15 minutes has elapsed and then then you can press together.

8) Using either a tile sponge or a rolled up towel with tape work the vinyl back into place. ** You only have one pass at this, but the good news is that you will get better after you do one panel area.

9) Trim excess vinyl where the battens are located with scissors. Then start removing the tape on the batten as you use 3 plastic putty knives to work the vinyl back under the battens. One large putty knife and 2 small ones should do it.

You use one putty knife to pry the batten down and the other putty knife to work the vinyl back underneath the batten. The vinyl is pretty strong, but you can cut the vinyl if you uses the corners of the putty knife too much.

10) I also highly recommend using plastic tile "1/4-round" pieces to go above your couch and into the kitchen area. (See previous post for more information.)

Note: Loctite 300 will NOT melt the foam and from my experience all 3M products (70,80,90 and even their 3M headliner product) will melt the foam. SO DON'T USE 3M!

Also, those lights and vents help hold the vinyl to the roof. So it's a good thing they are there. Also, I hear some people have upgraded these mini lights to LEDs lights purchased on Amazon.

As a final comment, I think the vinyl look better than cheap carpet on the roof. So stick with foam backed vinyl. Even if you have to replace with new.

I hope this helps! Good luck!
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:36 PM   #13
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imnprsd - It looks to me that the vinyl is pinched between the top of the wall and the ceiling luan. What technique did you use to separate the vinyl where the ceiling meets the wall? Did you use a razor to cut the vinyl where it meets the wall?
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:41 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
My dizzyness when I look over my head for any length of time would sort of require I hire someone else.
Thanks for posting the video. That guy really did the whole thing and it looked pretty good when done. He could use some help running a camera though. I could work over my head and do the job fine, but watching that video fly by and whirl around made me car sick!!! I wish he would have given more information on the specific products he used. That might have helped too.

I see the guy in the video used a paint roller...that was my thought as well as a tool to roll the vinyl back in place.

Before I go all-out like in the video, I'm going to use imnprsd's method. I have the materials now. Interesting that the Loctite Professional Performance 300 states on the can that it is not recommended for "...unsupported vinyl fabric or headliners..." yet that is the product that seemed to work best in imnprsd's case. Hopefully it holds long term.

My thanks to imnprsd for responding to my private message and posting all this information for the rest of us struggling to find a solution.

"Second star to the right and straight on 'til morning"
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