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Old 11-02-2012, 08:51 PM   #43
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Well, I started sanding this afternoon .... HA! Now I see why you guys deck over.... holy crap....If I was paying for the labor to sand this roof, the cost of the luan would be way cheaper than the labor and sanding belts to sand it. But my labor is free and besides I'd have to measure and cut all the vent holes and I'm just not ready to go there yet.

I used up 2 sander belts in a matter of minutes ... then I realized I was pushing too hard and instead of getting more material off faster, I was just burning up belts. I have an "idiot operator" sander too, gives me a big red light when too much pressure is being applied...... I got some different belts, 32 grit and they went to town on this bad boy with very little pressure required. So it is true when they say "slower is faster". The wood under all the black looks really good (like new) once it has been sanded. I'll go up to 80 grit on the pressed board so I don't take off big chunks of wood. I hate that pressed board and again I can hear you guys laughing as you say ... just deck over it!
Stubborn ol' cuss, am I......still not ready for the ways of the Jedi Knights.

It still looks to be about 6-8 hours of sanding will be required so the membrane application (tomorrow) Saturday has been postponed. There is no reason to rush the project at this stage and screw it all up.

I am a day behind schedule as yesterday I got another sheet of 15/32 and covered up the kitchen skylight opening by laying a new full sheet in place of the sheet that had the skylight cut out. It was nice to see that section had full insulation unlike the front over the bedroom. For now the skylight interior hole will get R30 insulation and a piece of plywood painted white cut the same size as the skylight interior frame.

Eventually when this roof project is over and I become human again, I'll apply one of my old hobbies and build a sheet metal enclosed recessed backlight into the skylight hole with a stained glass covering (or acrylic imitation thereof). There's 12V power right next to the skylight hole, it will easy to tap that and install 12V LED lights for the back lighting as they have no heat signature compared to standard 12V bulbs. The light will be for visual effect, nothing more. There are plenty of lights in the living/kitchen area to see with. Sure I lose the daytime light by taking out the skylight, but I've had a piece of foam in the thing for the past year, so I don't think I'll miss the heat generating greenhouse.

The shower skylight will be salvaged as it is one of those funky 5 sided gizmo's to match the shower stall and a replacement is really pricey ... like over $200. Unlike the kitchen skylight, the shower skylight is not cracked and just needs a good cleaning and careful re-install with nice wide head screws.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:24 PM   #44
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Almost done sanding! 4 feet to go in the morning then I can start applying seam tape. It's very rewarding to do a project like this, however, were I at the starting point again and know what I have learned on this project and through this forum, I would have taken the advice of the experts and laid down a top deck of 3/16 luan instead of spending the countless hours sanding. They tried to tell me, but I wouldn't listen. I stayed with 32 grit on the pressed board and it worked just fine. Rounding the top siding edges was easy with the belt sander so now there are no sharp edges on the corners. They'll get seam tape anyway, but to me it looks better and feels better to the touch than the old sharp edge.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:25 PM   #45
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As long as the rubber sticks, you'll be good
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Old 11-13-2012, 06:31 PM   #46
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Update 11-13-12: After a week of illness and a weekend of bad weather, I was back at it today, unsealing the protective plastic and getting the roof prepped and all seam tape down. Now it is a matter of doing a final sawdust/debris wipe and rolling glue/membrane on the next decent weather day after working tomorrow. Thursday is looking good.

Friday will be spent attaching side/end trims and finally re-installing all the new vents. It has been a long process due to my time available for this project and the job is not perfect, but as it has been my first RV roof project (AND MY LAST), I'm pretty satisfied at how well it is looking now compared to when I first pulled the old roofing off.

Doing the job myself has saved about $4000 in labor costs based on the commercial bids that took into account wood replacement would be required. Thus far I'm right at $1500 in materials including 3 new vents (1 with fan for toilet compartment), MaxAir covers, new plumbing vents and a new all metal Dometic refrigerator vent.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:34 PM   #47
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Good to hear.
Always smart to replace anything that is plastic and screwed down so you don't have to unscrew it later.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:01 PM   #48
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Well, I am now a firm believer in telling folks to suck it up and pay whatever the roof man wants! HA HA HA . Today I got the membrane down and doing it solo was a task and a half for sure. I tried the "pull it back" method and all that did was make a ton of wrinkles before a drop of glue was poured so I regrouped and used the big heavy cardboard tube the membrane came in to roll each half which allowed me to apply glue in 3-4 feet sections and roll out as I went.

I found an 18" wide shaggy cloth "scrubber" head which attaches to standard handles as I didn't like the sharp edges on the squeegee's at Home Depot. Worked pretty good to smooth out bubbles, but the "hill" was a serious pain with wrinkles and bubbles. Cutting the living room AC/vent hole helped a bit, allowing me to work the material in a 3rd direction. Once I cut the sides at the angle changes, that really helped a lot. I didn't cut the material any farther than needed and it will still be "one piece" to the trims even at the angles.

But progress is being made and I hope to have it complete by Saturday. YAY!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:12 PM   #49
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Even for me, I feel so happy once I've laid rubber and finally have it glued down. All down hill from there.
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Old 11-16-2012, 12:05 PM   #50
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And this morning it is cloudy with light sprinkles. Enough membrane overhang on sides and both ends I'm not going to sweat it, just made sure I got the plumbing vents installed and caulked so it is watertight across the top. C'mon sunshine, how about a little help?

I'm only a day away from completion. About all I can do right now is sit and scrape old putty junk off all the trims under the EasyUp so when the weather clears, time won't be wasted on prep, we can just install. My girl friend and soul mate will be here tomorrow to help with the long side trim pieces and she is the "Caulking Queen", I'm not allowed to do the major caulking work. She not only enjoys it, but she is really good at it and the results are totally professional looking when she's done. I'm a slap and smear kind of caulking person so it's hands off her caulking gun for me. Gotta love a girl friend who not only enjoys playing with power tools but comes packing with her own tool box!
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:21 AM   #51
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Well, we are just about done. I had to order a new shower skylight after finding small cracks in the base of the old one. Instead of stapling the membrane to the siding, I used tape to hold it until side trims installed. I don't have a powered staple gun that can drive through fiberglass but the tape worked. I got a couple of wrinkles on those pesky angle sections but it is what it is because I did it by myself racing the weather. It rained for 2 days the day after I got the membrane down. It's water tight which is the object of the exercise. Still have to properly mount the MaxxAir covers, they are just sitting over the vents to make sure they have clearance. Black is just shoe marks - they wipe right off.

This concludes the project posts.

Thanks again to all for advice and encouragement, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
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Old 11-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #52
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Glad to see it done.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:01 PM   #53
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I followed your progress, and you did a great job of keeping us posted. The result looks amazing, congratulations! and Thanks for letting us lurk and look.
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:32 AM   #54
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Final total on material costs: $1750 includes using expensive DiCor tape on the seams and edges which wasn't really necessary but adds a double layer of protection on those edges and ends.

Materials: 3 new 14" vents (1 w/ fan), 2 MaxxAir covers (I was able to reuse the 1 old one), 3 plumbing vents, 1 all metal Dometic refrigerator vent, 1 (32 X 13) 5 sided skylight, 2 sheets 15/32 plywood, 1 sheet 9/32 plywood, 1 roll R30 insulation, all new exterior grade screws on all trims, vents, etc. (5 lbs of #10 X 1 inch). 40 ft Dicor fleece backed TPO roofing material, Dicor installation kit w/butyl tape & Dicor lap sealant, 150 ft additional butyl tape, 200 ft Dicor seam seal tape.

Tips & Highlights:
Due to the lack of roof ventilation in the living area of this unit, I did not re-install the roof AC but inserted a vent w/MaxxAir cover instead. I have two window air units, one downstairs in the kitchen and a smaller one for the bedroom. Together they use less electricity and allow me to cool zones instead of the one monster RV roof unit that couldn't keep up in the desert summer heat anyway. I'm already loving the vent as it adds the light lost by covering up the kitchen skylight opening and now I can let the accumulated warm air out of the living area just by cracking open the vent.

The crank up TV antenna, radio antenna, luggage rails and rear ladder were all donated to a neighbor who collects metals to take to recycling. The big awning was going to require new awning material so it was also taken off and donated. We prefer portable 10 X 10 EasyUp's for shade when needed vs. the long and heavy manual 1995 A&E awning which requires a couple of NFL linemen to deploy and retract.

TV, radio & internet are obtained via satellite dishes (2) on the ground next to the RV so the roof antennas for old technology devices are no longer required. The new roof has 75 fewer screw holes in it by leaving off all of the above items. While the ladder would be a nice decorative effect, I have no intention of allowing anyone on the new roof - not ever!

My advice for someone else who has no experience but wants to do their own roof is to make sure you have at least one helper, preferably two on site before you loosen those fiberglass end caps! It is very easy to get them so far off you can't get them back on properly and you will run the risk of cracking them as well if you push them back too far.
The day my church group showed up to help was mostly spent getting both end caps put back on correctly and it took 5 guys to get everything lined up properly.

Also rolling the membrane smooth is an art that can only be achieved with experience and helpers will really make this process less stressful. It is SO EASY to get into trouble with wrinkles and bubbles if you try to hurry the application and/or you are working by yourself. I ended up racing another approaching storm front and got a couple of wrinkles in the angled roof sections simply due to lack of assistance and hurrying. I did get all the flat sections nice and smooth though so for a first time effort working alone, I would give myself a B- grade on the application.

Take the experts' advice in this post and just lay down a new top layer of thin luan plywood, don't try to sand the old wood, it's just too messy and time consuming.

The bottom line is if you can climb a ladder and work with tools, YOU CAN DO IT!

Tim D - full timer
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Old 11-24-2012, 11:09 AM   #55
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Well, VegasTim, I'm sure you earned more than a B- grade on any part of this project. The time you took to detail your work is an A+ grade on its own!

Thanks for keeping us updated on your project, your tips and "troubles," photos, and lastly the final budget. Yours is one of the best-documented RV project write-ups I've seen, not only on this site but anywhere online. You've certainly motivated people to give RV repair and maintenance a go!

Take care, and maybe one day we'll cross paths in the desert southwest. :-)
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:02 PM   #56
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I'd give it more than a B- too. You did a pretty dang good job
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