Go Back   iRV2 Forums > THE OWNER'S CORNER FORUMS > Alpine Coach Owner's Forum
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 08-23-2015, 12:13 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
AKOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 321
My Roof Story

Earlier this year my wife and I purchased a low mileage (15,000) 1999 Alpine Coach 40' FDS. Though the low mileage was a plus in many ways, the amount of disuse does have a downside. In our case the roof sat neglected for 16 years. Well, some work was done but poorly. A visual inspection can tell you a lot, but as I discovered not the whole story. When the coach was purchased, roof maintenance was a top priority. Here some of the things learned and the steps taken to restore the roof.

The Plan
My strategy was to work in stages and not to rush, knowing preparation is everything. Most of the time was spent simply preparing the surface for new sealant, tape and the final coating. That meant cleaning, cleaning and then clean some more. Experience told me when a surface is not clean and new sealant is applied, I would just be throwing money and time away, with nothing to show for the effort but a stiff back. Not taking chances with the weather, I only worked on one section at a time until complete.

First Cleaning
The first step was dealing with the black mold, algae and dirt. There are some expensive roof cleaners on the market however, I found Zep Mold Stain & Mildew Stain Remover ($7.00 gal) did a great job. Spray it on, let it sit, then wash it off. No exaggeration, it is that easy. Of course you will have to wash your entire coach afterwards. All that was washed off the roof will streak down the sides and on the windows.

Prep
The next step was indeed the hardest, most time consuming and one of the most important. Removing the old sealant. I was very thankful that my Alpine has a fiberglass roof. The hard surface does allow you to scrape without the worry of damaging a rubber membrane. No cutting corners here. I removed ALL the old sealant down to the bare fiberglass and cleaned multiple times with Isopropyl Alcohol. Of all the scraping type tools I had, an old dull steak knife worked well for getting the last stubborn bits off. Removing old sealant on the cooler days seemed easier because it was not as gooey. I was, however, surprised to notice the variation of sealant Western RV used. Some of the original sealant was well applied and extremely tough, certainly of high quality. Then in other areas the application was not as good and a different sealant used. Items like the on CB antenna, solar panels and plumbing vents, all original factory installed, but I could be wrong.

Lesson
Some areas had sealant added at some point in the past, but, what looked good on the surface was deceiving. As I began to remove the old stuff the truth was revealed. Water had found its way under because of poor preparation. The sealant was applied to a dirty surface. Rusty and loose screws showed that water indeed found its way in. Lesson, when buying an older coach plan on working on the roof. Go all in, do not merely add sealant, remove and replace all of it. In general, do not trust someone else's work. Otherwise, you could spend time chasing down leaks instead of enjoying your Alpine. I wanted to know for sure my roofs condition and have a known starting point.

Replace and Repair
In the case of plumbing vent covers, Fantastic vent covers and the refrigerator vent cover and flange, I removed and replaced all of them. All were weather worn, some were cracked and brittle. Obvious the refrigerator flange had leaked. In keeping with the "go all in" thinking, once the old sealant was removed, the covers were easy to replace. None are expensive to buy at any RV parts store. All hardware that came with the replacement items got thrown out. I used only stainless steel screws. While the covers were off and the Fantastic vents were accessible, I disassembled and cleaned each one and replace the cheap and noisy stool enclosure vent fan all together.

As a side note, I removed the original satellite dome, solar panels and bat wing antenna. The reason, I wanted a cleaner looking roofline, the satellite will not work in Alaska (dish too small) and the usefulness of the bat wing is long past. The bat wing did come in handy though. I cut off a piece of the wing and used it to bridge the mounting hole (a much larger hole than necessary cut in the roof at the factory) for the crank. Will install new solar panels at a later date.

Function Over Form
Once all surfaces where clean, it was time to apply new self-leveling sealant. I used Dicor self-leveling lap sealant (501 LSW). It was applied in sufficient quantity to fully cover where the flanges met the roof and each and every screw. As the sealant leveled, I applied an additional layer to cover any air pockets that showed up and any area I may have missed or where I wanted additional assurance of coverage. The goal was purely functional -- applying enough sealant to get the job done.

Overkill
Taking the advice from an iRV2 post, once the sealant set I apply EternaBond roof tape over all the Dicor. I believe the added protection over the Dicor will greatly extend the life of the sealant. And yes, all the surfaces and sealant the tape was to be applied to was cleaned with alcohol.

Holes Means Leaks
Putting holes in roofs is a bad idea. Every penetration in a roof has the potential of allowing water into places you do not want it. I was disappoint to see how many screw holes there were to simply hold down satellite and solar wires. When the time comes to install a new solar array no screws will be used. There are screwless mounting systems for ridged solar panels in addition to the flexible type panels that use adhesive. As far as securing wires, my plan is to use EternaBond tape.

Crack Repair
A project like this gets you up close and personal with your roof. The perfect time to keep an eye out for cracks. For Alpine owners, look close at the radius -- where the roof line curves down to meet the side walls. Obviously a stress point. As cracks were discovered, a little sealant was applied and taped over. Before any tape was applied, with a pair of scissors, I would cut/round the corners of the tape. The rounded edge will hold better and less likely to catch and curl up.

Trim and Molding
The next step was to remove the dried and discolored trim molding. The trim, an aluminum channel and screws, fastens the roof to the side walls of the coach. The molding fits over the aluminum trim to cover the screws and provides a finished look. Finding replacement molding was a little challenging. Local RV parts stores said that type of molding was no longer available, however I found it at Pacific RV Parts (PRVParts.com: Motorhome Accessories & RV Parts Online) in California. After removing the molding, old sealant on the top edge of trim channel was removed. Then all the old screws were replaced with new stainless steel. I found that every screw was rusty and some heavily corroded. A dab of sealant was used on each screw before installing. At this point the molding was not installed until the roof coating was applied.

Seal or Not To Seal
I read a number of iRV2 posts on roof issues and maintenance and debated a long time as to the need to reseal/coat the entire roof surface because it was fiberglass. The decision came once the satellite dome and solar panels were removed revealing the protected roof area that preserved the original gelcoat. By way of comparison, it became obvious the original gel coat on the rest of the roof was gone exposing the fiberglass. So protection became a priority.

Using a very fine abrasive pad, you could use 200 grit sandpaper, the shiny areas that were under the satellite and solar panels were roughed up and the entire roof cleaned. Instead of using a high dollar pre-sealant cleaner and water, I opted to us Isopropyl Alcohol in a spray bottle and wiped down all the surfaces with clean towels. At this stage both my wife and I are working, she prepping/cleaning the roof and I was working the trim removing old sealant. We didn't want to deal with the water and then have to wait for the roof to dry.

An ordinary paint roller with handle was used to apply the coating. A pretty straight forward job, not really any different than residential painting, except easier -- no walls or ceilings for paint to sag or drip. The coating (Dicor RPFRC1 Fiberglass RV Roof Coating) was applied even over the roof tape down to the aluminum trim. The instructions recommend two coats, however it really takes three. The first two coats were applied in an afternoon. Held off doing a third coat for a couple of days due to overnight dew and cooler temperatures (highs in the 70s). It was obvious once applied, that the third coat did the trick, the color evened out indicating complete coverage. Used only two gals with a few ounces left over.

Home Stretch
Now it was time to go back to the trim. A bead of sealant (Dicor 551LSW) was applied in the top channel of the trim and then the final and last step. I installed the new cover molding. As the molding was installed, I pressed the top edge into the fresh sealant. Then with a rubber disposable glove on, ran a finger down the length of the sealant smoothing it out where the molding meets for roof surface.

Done!
A big job for sure. With a lot of elbow grease, good weather and a wonderful wife willing to roll up her sleeves and jump in to help, we now have a next to new roof! I did not keep close track of the total dollars spent, but I would say the cost for all the materials used was in the range of $600 to $700, including replacing all vent covers -- two plumbing, one refrigerator and three vent fan covers. Going forward with regular roof cleaning and inspections, I expect the investment in time and money to payoff for many years to come.
__________________

__________________
Tim & Ruth
Alpine Coach 1999 40FDS, 350 ISC
Project Restoration
AKOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-23-2015, 05:03 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
John Jones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Oregon
Posts: 416
Nice work. Great detailed explanation. Did you happen to notice how the roof was constructed? Is the one piece fiberglass bonded to an aluminum frame? I just looked at an Alpine for a possible purchase and there were lots of spots that were stained, ie: staining around the air conditioners, skylight and two of the front ceiling lights, I was trying to figure out how water got in and how it traveled to the front lights?

You better to be sure to bring home some flowers for your wife after all her help, or you will be on your own next time
__________________

__________________
John Jones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 01:07 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
AKOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 321
John ... Regarding the construction, what I noticed is a layer of fiberglass over a layer of some type of plywood then the block foam insulation. I did not pay close attention to the actual construction and was not able to see just how the roof system was attached to the frame.
The staining around your front ceiling lights could be water intrusion from the satellite mount or satellite wire screw holes or who knows where -- water leaks can be allusive. That is why I replaced all the sealant. The only exception was the ACs. That required dismounting the unit. They showed no signs, inside or out, of leaking. Decided to leave those to a later dated. I have read were the AC drain hose was plugged and the condensation had nowhere to go but inside the coach. My coach had water stains next to the skylight as well. Used a Bissell Little Green to remove the stains -- add a little bleach to the cleaning solution, works well.
When you buy a used coach, to some degree or another, you are buying someone else's problems. I knew this going into our purchase. If the service was available, I would have paid for a professional pre-purchase inspection so as to better understanding of the coach's condition. You are welcome to message me for details on my purchase experience.
__________________
Tim & Ruth
Alpine Coach 1999 40FDS, 350 ISC
Project Restoration
AKOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 09:00 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Tom and Patty's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,850
The molding fits over the aluminum trim to cover the screws and provides a finished look. Finding replacement molding was a little challenging. Local RV parts stores said that type of molding was no longer available, however I found it at Pacific RV Parts (PRVParts.com: Motorhome Accessories & RV Parts Online) in California.

Great Job! What was the model number of the trim you used?
__________________
Tom, Patty, Hannah "The Big Dog" and Abby Kat, Indianapolis, Indiana 2000 36' FDS 72232 Our Photos
We live out in our old van. Travel all across this land. Drive until the city lights dissolve into a country sky, me and you - hand in hand.
Tom and Patty is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 09:16 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
kustom's Avatar
 
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: costa rica / river ranch fl.
Posts: 810
great post thanks
__________________
kustom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 09:22 PM   #6
RVM #74
 
PushedAround's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ambler, PA
Posts: 2,853
Blog Entries: 7
Excellent post, and job. Any pictures to show off your hard work?
__________________
Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
PushedAround is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 10:42 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
DrDaveMA's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Cotuit, MA
Posts: 2,250
My Roof Story

For those that do not know the construction of the Alpine coach, go to the technical library sticky at the top of this forum. In the tech library you will find a link to the brochures. In many of the brochures (2000 - 2006 for sure), back by the specifications, you will find a drawing of how the roof, walls and floor are constructed. Additionally many (at least with our 2005) coaches came with samples of all 3 (I got rid of ours many years ago).


Sent from my iPad using iRV2 - RV Forum
Dave, Bobbi and Fenway
__________________
Dave, Bobbi and Fenway
2005 38' FDTS Alpine Limited, 2016 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
Cape Cod, MA
DrDaveMA is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2015, 10:48 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Mr_D's Avatar
 
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 28,408
As to the different sealants: Newmar uses a different sealant on the roof and most vents than the skylights. The plastic on the skylight is different than the others and Dicor isn't compatible. Alpine must have found the same problem.
__________________
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-25-2015, 10:15 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
AKOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 321
Tom, good question. Never had a part number. Just sent these pictures and they matched it to what they had.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Molding.jpg
Views:	79
Size:	131.9 KB
ID:	104690   Click image for larger version

Name:	Molding 2.jpg
Views:	80
Size:	115.6 KB
ID:	104691  

__________________
Tim & Ruth
Alpine Coach 1999 40FDS, 350 ISC
Project Restoration
AKOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
AKOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 321
Larry, here is the finished picture.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Finished Roof.jpg
Views:	93
Size:	190.3 KB
ID:	104750  
__________________
Tim & Ruth
Alpine Coach 1999 40FDS, 350 ISC
Project Restoration
AKOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 05:02 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 351
What a nice job you have done. Would you do my 2000 38 FDDS roof if I bring it to you in AK?

Geoff
__________________
2000 Alpine 38 FDS
alpinedrvr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 05:23 PM   #12
RVM #74
 
PushedAround's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ambler, PA
Posts: 2,853
Blog Entries: 7
Very nice job. I need to get back up and clean mine.
__________________
Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
PushedAround is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-26-2015, 05:27 PM   #13
RVM #74
 
PushedAround's Avatar


 
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Ambler, PA
Posts: 2,853
Blog Entries: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by AKOne View Post
Larry, here is the finished picture.
Again, very nice job. Reminds me that I need to get up there and clean/check mine. Here's a pic from the last time I did it.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0897.jpg
Views:	111
Size:	239.7 KB
ID:	104782  
__________________
Larry & Cheryl Oscar, Louie, Ranger & Henry (our Springers)
PushedAround is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-2016, 02:00 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
AKOne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Alaska
Posts: 321
UPDATE!

After a year there have been not leaks or water intrusion while parked or drive rain at highway speeds. However, the Dicor RPFRC1 Fiberglass RV Roof Coating is in a state of total failure. Within six months bubbling was noticed that lead to peeling, flaking and now 50% of the coating is gone. Fiberglass that needed protection is exposed again. Needless to say I am not a happy camper. Not only do I have to redo the sealant, but also faced with removing the failed sealant ... going to be a big job All of the precautions, cleaning and prep were for not. If the Dicor sealant required a specific pre-treatment for good adhesion that was not at all clear in the product instructions. My advice is to steer a wide path around this product. Currently I am consulting with the folks a West Marine as what they use on boats that are exposed to much harsher environments.
__________________

__________________
Tim & Ruth
Alpine Coach 1999 40FDS, 350 ISC
Project Restoration
AKOne is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
roof



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Roof Sag Quick and Dirty Fix Cliffy Travel Trailer Discussion 4 11-11-2015 10:33 AM
WHEN does my TPO roof need a recoating? jjva343 iRV2.com General Discussion 15 10-12-2015 06:15 AM
88 Gulfstream Roof Repair/Rebuild Jpony56hd Vintage RV's 17 09-01-2015 08:04 AM
Roof Caulking 2001 Safari Zanzibar: DJBSDB Vintage RV's 2 07-07-2015 10:41 PM
New roof Wallaby Dan Vintage RV's 1 06-20-2015 04:23 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.