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Old 12-12-2012, 06:24 PM   #1
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AdamB's Avatar
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Petaluma CA
Posts: 28
Wrinkled Roof?

We had another 68 degree day here in northern California , so I was able to get a good wash on the Cutter and I got started on my "no more leaks" project. After the cleaning, the first job was to replace my amber clearance lights with LED units. As I removed the first clearance light, it became very obvious that water is, indeed, getting past these things. Replacing these lights is fairly straightforward so we are looking way better with these new units and they should be leak free for a long time.

I started up on the roof cleaning again and checking things.

It looks pretty good except in some parts, it looks as if the roof is a bed sheet in need of some straightening out. This is especially true of the front where the seam is. My concern is that it's causing water to pool. Look closely behind the radio antenna:

Here's a different perspective on the same area:

Here is a smaller "wrinkle" behind the Fantastic Vent:

I did post the question on Airforums, and got some good help from other Airforum members. From what I understand, the fiberglass roof was installed by Airstream by cementing the roof to luan plywood. And that over time, the glue may have become separated from the plywood due to weather extremes.

The rig was inspected, repairs made and the roof was completely sealed 18 months ago at a reputable rv repair shop (R-Mechanic) a week before I picked it up from the prior owner. The wrinkle was present at that time, just not so pronounced. While it was stored outside its entire life, it was kept covered most of the time. The city where the original owner lives and the city where I live are both known to have summer and fall temperatures that are commonly in the 90s and many days over 100 degrees. And the winters frequently have nightly low temps in the 29-35 degree range. I keep it stored outside as well. In addition, many of our trips take us up and down I-5 in California in the heat of summer, with temps often over 100 - generator on with the dash and roof A/C's on. It's not hard to see that the contact glue could be giving up after all these years. There's no sign of water damage on the inside and the roof isn't mushy under these wrinkles, so I don't think I should really be concerned. I'll have a professional take a look at it before I replace the skylight.

Anybody else see something like this? Thanks in advance!

Adam B.
1996 Airstream Cutter '32 Freightliner X-Line Chassis, Cummins B5.9 Turbo, Allison 6-Speed MD3060
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Fleetwood Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: North East Florida
Posts: 821
I had a similar problem on a 98' unit. The glue was starting to fail and at highway speed the air moving over the roof would cause the rubber roof to pull up some causing some wrinkles. If the material is good, it should remain water tight.
2015, HR Ambassador 38DBT / 2006 Jeep TJ Towd
340 Cummins / Freightliner Chassis
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