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Old 05-31-2014, 12:30 PM   #1
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Roof Replacement

I'll try to make this long story short...

Bought a 2011 5th wheel in January 2013 from a nationally known dealership.

We didnt take it anywhere, just sat in our back yard and used it to go "camping" with the kids at least once a month. It was washed and cleaned about once a quarter.

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago:
We had a HUGE rain storm, which produced 20" of rain in one night.

The next morning, we checked on the RV. The interior was flooded.

Insurance adjustor came by and said the water inside the RV isnt from "this" storm. It's from pre-existing damage/neglect (I think is the word he used).

Took it to dealership where i bought it.

They said the entire roof (rubber) needs to be replaced and quoted me $9000. Their write up:

"INS EST (INSURANCE CO NAME HERE) ROOF DAMAGE. PLYWOOD PULLED UP UNDER MATERIAL. ALSO SLIDE OUT LEAKING IN & WATER DAMAGED FACIA."

I had the service rep show me the damage. There's a bulge at the peak of the RV, it runs across left to right; noticeable as a hump from the ground. Looks like in inverted bubbled crack. This is the damage, where the plywood is moving up & down and buckling upward. And a small pinhole on the left side.

Here's where I want to kick myself: That bulge was there when I bought it. I'd thought it was unsightly, but never thought anything of it until that moment. Why would a roof be bad on a 3 year old RV? That I JUST bought?

I do have date-stamped & lat/long labeled iPhone photos that show it.

My question to you:

Do I just suck it up and pay, or should I get a lawyer? I'm a guy who works hard for what I have. To me, this is unsat. The dealership should have known about this defect, and they should have disclosed it. I didn't pay for a RV with a bad roof.

I'd like to have lawyer contact previous owner to see if they had roof issues with it (long shot, I know). Nothing shows up on record as far as service/repairs go, prior to my purchasing it.

What to do you think?

Thanks in advance. I JUST retired from the military and was going to drive from FL to MT tomorrow. Looks like I might be on hold...
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Old 05-31-2014, 02:43 PM   #2
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Since you bought it used, unless there was some kind of warranty, I'm certain there was at least one piece of paper you signed stating that the unit was being sold 'as is'. If you did get a warranty with it, maybe it will cover the roof. Since the bulge was there when you bought it, I'll bet it will be considered a preexisting condition, and unlike today's health care, it won't be covered. Problem with an awful lot of RV dealers is they are really only on par with bad used car ones. They'll push stuff out the door to anyone who'll buy it and if you don't see the problem they could care less. That dealership HAD to have seen the bulge - and I'll bet they gave the owner lower than book just because of it. If you could prove that they knowingly sold it to you damaged without disclosing said damage, maybe you could get something. You'd have to find the previous owner though.

And I'm also retired military and understand your frustration.
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Old 05-31-2014, 05:51 PM   #3
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Try to do it yourself before paying that horrible amount. I did mine and it's not a hard job. Plenty of YouTube videos help walk you through it. I have a machine shed so I had no worries about the weather except the heat which is like an oven under an aluminum roof. If I hadn't had inside conditions I would have tarped the 5er during the job.

Go to a local roofing supplier and they can get you the EPDM rubber and glue. You'll probably have to replace plywood which isn't bad.

For under $2,000 you'll have a new roof and feel great about your ability. Makes good conversation in a campground.

Actually, the supplier gave me the wrong material but I made it work. They reimbursed me my labor ($1500.00) gave me the correct material which I sold..... so my roof was free.
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Old 05-31-2014, 07:54 PM   #4
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$9000 for just a roof is excessive, but for additional damage, it certainly can be that much.

A brand new trailer can have a bad roof if not maintained correctly. You don't just leave them sitting and perform not maintenance on it.

Did you get up on the roof and check it? Was it sold used as is?
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:08 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt Bennett View Post
Since you bought it used, unless there was some kind of warranty, I'm certain there was at least one piece of paper you signed stating that the unit was being sold 'as is'. If you did get a warranty with it, maybe it will cover the roof. Since the bulge was there when you bought it, I'll bet it will be considered a preexisting condition, and unlike today's health care, it won't be covered. Problem with an awful lot of RV dealers is they are really only on par with bad used car ones. They'll push stuff out the door to anyone who'll buy it and if you don't see the problem they could care less. That dealership HAD to have seen the bulge - and I'll bet they gave the owner lower than book just because of it. If you could prove that they knowingly sold it to you damaged without disclosing said damage, maybe you could get something. You'd have to find the previous owner though.

And I'm also retired military and understand your frustration.
Nothing "as is"; it did have a one year warranty, which expired 3 months ago. From what I read, it wouldn't have covered it regardless. That and the manufacturers warranty only cover manufacturers defects or loss. Nothing about a "bad" roof.

As far as the previous owner's go: I went to the DMV and researched the title/VIN. They can see who had it before me. I didn't ask for the name, as I'm more than familiar with Privacy Act info. This is where a lawyer will come in I think.

I'm just PO'd because I KNOW that buldge was there when I bought it and had a dated photo to prove it. Will it hold in a court? Doubtful. Pretty expensive OOPS on my behalf. Guess I learned a hard lesson...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolfsted View Post
Try to do it yourself before paying that horrible amount. I did mine and it's not a hard job. Plenty of YouTube videos help walk you through it. I have a machine shed so I had no worries about the weather except the heat which is like an oven under an aluminum roof. If I hadn't had inside conditions I would have tarped the 5er during the job.

Go to a local roofing supplier and they can get you the EPDM rubber and glue. You'll probably have to replace plywood which isn't bad.

For under $2,000 you'll have a new roof and feel great about your ability. Makes good conversation in a campground.

Actually, the supplier gave me the wrong material but I made it work. They reimbursed me my labor ($1500.00) gave me the correct material which I sold..... so my roof was free.
I'm pretty handy and have seen the YouTube videos on the topic. Doesn't seem BAD, but not something I'd be able to do in a weekend.

Here's how "they" broke it down-verbatim (at least I now know what I need to buy to do it myself):
LABOR:
1. NECESSARY TO R&I ALL ROOF COMPONENTS TO REPAIR 28' X .5 PF; 14 HRS= $1750 LABOR
2. R&R RUBBER ROOF COMPLETE 28' X 1.0 HPF; 28 HRS= $3500 LABOR
3. REPAIR DECKING; 2.0 HRS= $250
4. OVERLAY 7 SHEETS LUAN 1.0H X 7; 7 HRS; $875

PARTS:
1. 30' X 9'6" RUBBER ROOF; $956
2. INSTALL KIT; $325
3. 6 TUBES DICOR @ $13 EA: $78
4. 2 TUBES SIKAFLEX @ $19 EA: $38
5. 7 SHEETS LUAN @ $29: $203
6. 1 ROLL SEAM TAPE $12
7. 7 TUBES LIQUID NAIL @ $10 EA: $70
8. 1 BOX DECKING SCREWS; $29
9. 1 SHOP SUPPLIES; $100

LABOR: $6375
PARTS: $1811
TOTAL: $8830

OUCH!!



I retired from the military last week and had planned to leave tomorrow to drive from Florida to Montana, RV in tow. Need to find a job, new house, take care of some medical/VA stuff, etc. This isn't helping my plight.

For now, I just want to know if I can tow the thing "as-is" without the entire roof blowing off. Second opinion, COMING UP!

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:16 PM   #6
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Can you get on the roof? See if it's billowing and loose, and still secured under the trim?

Their labor rate is pretty dang high, but pretty much right now as far as hours and parts, and what it looks like they're doing. I've replaced a number of roofs, and they seem to know what's going on.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesilvas View Post
$9000 for just a roof is excessive, but for additional damage, it certainly can be that much.

A brand new trailer can have a bad roof if not maintained correctly. You don't just leave them sitting and perform not maintenance on it.

Did you get up on the roof and check it? Was it sold used as is?
I didn't get up there and look at it until the storm hit. Being a newbie to RVs, I honestly didn't even think about it; especially on a 3 year old unit, which I have only owned for a year. My dad has 2 1990's era RVs and doubt he has ever been on his roofs...learning is occurring!

It was sold with a warranty (expired). I don't see anything labeled "AS IS" like you would with a used car. I'll go into the fine print again.

Here's a photo taken the day we bought it::
Look above the door, straight above the marker light.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slepe67 View Post
I didn't get up there and look at it until the storm hit. Being a newbie to RVs, I honestly didn't even think about it; especially on a 3 year old unit, which I have only owned for a year. My dad has 2 1990's era RVs and doubt he has ever been on his roofs...learning is occurring!

It was sold with a warranty (expired). I don't see anything labeled "AS IS" like you would with a used car. I'll go into the fine print again.

Here's a photo taken the day we bought it::
Look above the door, straight above the marker light.
I see something above the porch light, is that what you mean? Even then, it looks the top of a skylight.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:22 PM   #9
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That buldge is the problem. Plywood is pushing up. Here's a "better" photo taken 19 May... Bulge exists on both sides.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:40 PM   #10
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Kinda looks like that plywood wasn't secured well, but no telling until it's all removed.
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Old 06-01-2014, 05:47 PM   #11
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First, thank you for your service to our country. Second, congratulations on your retirement!

I am sorry you are having to deal with this problem. But better you find out about it now, while at home where you can shop around a fix, than once you're out on the road on your trip of a lifetime.

Unfortunately, the people you spent a career in the service defending, a good many of them are often sleezy and underhanded. Sometimes I find myself saying I hate people just for that reason. There are so many liars out there in the used marketplace. Some are sly about it, others are sloppy. We need better laws in our country to protect the consumer. We live in a highly selfish society for sure.

For me, I never sell anything without disclosing all known issues, and before I get to that point I try to fix everything first. Sure it costs me more, takes more time, and sure that means I ultimately get less out of the vehicle. But I sleep better at night knowing that I did the right thing. I recently sold a minivan that had an intermittent problem with the EGR-valve. Rather than pass the problem on to the next owner (the light had gone away), I bought the part ($250) and told them that I saw the light come on a few times a couple of months back, and it flashed a code, but that it's out now. If the problem reemerges, here's the part for it and I discounted the price in consideration of labor costs for the repair as well. All other known issues were fixed, regardless of cost. That's called being a responsible owner. That said, I made sure to explain everything I was aware of (only the EGR valve in that case) and put "As is/ Where is" on the Bill of Sale. I have to protect myself as well. I once had an owner call me two months after he bought a truck from me about the fact that one of the tires was a different brand than the others. It was a dually work truck, he was referring to the steel inner. I wasn't aware of the difference as I only owned the truck for a year... but so what? He wanted me to pay him $300 for his time plus another $200 for the new tire. Ummmm... no. Read your contract is what I told him: "As-is". That's the risk we all take when buying used.

I'm selling a dually truck of mine now. I've bought nearly $6,000 of parts for my mechanic to fix/ install so that it goes to the new owner with no known issues. Some, including my mechanic, say I'm crazy for doing that. I wanted all the little quirks fixed prior to sale so that I could be honest about what I am handing over. Does that cost me? Yes. But I will also ask above blue book and expect to get it when all said and done (the market where I live will support the price I'm asking).

Last month I bought a F350. The dealer said "title in hand" in his ad. Not even close. It took two weeks of back and forth calls to get the title from the bank. When I got it the there were issues with it that I'm still sorting out. He also said, "everything works". Ha! Not by a long shot. The power locks didn't work, I didn't think to check those... among a host of other issues. I'll get it all squared away eventually. But in the end he confirmed the stereotype, as all dealers I've dealt with have, that he is a fast-talking salesman who is basically full o' shite. Caveat emptor!! It's my problem now though. Once the money exchanges hands... YOU OWN THE VEHICLE.

I can't tell you how many F350s and 250s I looked at from private party sellers where the owner said, "no issues, everything works! No leaks. No blowby". I get there, and the vehicle is completely wet with oil underneath... from the engine to the rear axle. One. power window doesn't work. The AC isn't cold, etc. Thanks for wasting my time, db.

I'm saying all this because it sounds like, in your case, the previous owner hid the leak issue the dealer (perhaps he didn't even know about it but I doubt that). Everyone out there I come across seems to think that it is ok to pass the problem on to the next guy. What a tragic state of humanity we're all in with that mindset. But with that said, once you took ownership, you became the owner of said problems. However, I would think the repair cost can be mitigated by 1) bringing it to the attention of the dealer who sold it to you and asking that they at least cover a portion of the repair (show them the pics). If they refuse, or show you attitude in any way, threaten to take your case the the court of public opinion via social media. 2) Sourcing the parts and subcontractors yourself and getting it repaired by shopping the job around or doing some of the easier work on your own. I'm guessing you'll be able to cut that bill down to $5,000 that way. It may be tedious and require some legwork, but it will save you money in the long run. Still, $5,000 for repairs when you've just entered retirement is a bum deal any way you slice it. Sounds like you're handy enough to handle it though. Maybe consider renting a covered and locked storage shed for a month where they don't have an issue with what goes on in your unit. I pay $145/ month for a 40'x14'x14' unit myself where they don't care what I do as long as I clean up after myself. I've done a lot of projects that way.

Again, I'm sorry you have to see the innards of humanity in this fashion. But the problem is surmountable and it could've been worse. You're not the first person to be in this situation by a long shot. In fact, any one of us could be facing a similar situation with our own FWs/ RVs though we don't yet know it.

I highly doubt you'd come out ahead if you hired a lawyer. But it never hurts to check.

Hang in there.
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Old 06-02-2014, 08:10 PM   #12
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Doesn't look too bad. I can do this.

Any recommendations of materials or kits out there?

PREPARATION
a. Remove appliances, vents, accessories & moldings; including side trim rails from roof.
b. CAUTION: When removing these items, take care not to damage. Reuse- not REPLACE
c. Existing roof is dismantled
d. Check rafters & exposed areas for damage
e. Wooden substrate is attached to the trusses (3/8 plywood recommended)
f. Plywood is extended to edges
g. Seams (gaps) are TIGHT
h. Secure with wood screws (1 inch)?Screw heads shouldn’t stick up- sink them
i. Any seams over 1/16” should be covered with 1” masking tape
j. Sand edges of plywood with sander to protect rubber membrane
k. Router or saw out vent/appliance openings
l. Sweep/blow off debris from roof
m. Check entire roof surface for screw heads or sharp objects that could cause premature failure of roof

2. INSTALLATION
a. Roof length plus 6 inches = total rubber membrane length
b. Strike line with chalk line
c. Cut membrane w/ razor knife
d. Spread membrane over roof; ensure there is sufficient length at both termination points & equal overhang over both sides of RV (NOTE: avoid standing on roof for this. Stand on ladder off to side)
e. Fold either front or back half of membrane back over itself, exposing the substrate
f. Open adhesive & stir thoroughly
g. Using a roller, spread the adhesive on the roof at a rate of 175-200 sq ft/gallon
h. For best adhesion results, let dry for 20 minutes, depending on absorption rate of substrate
i. Membrane is unrolled & laid into adhesive
j. Now the other half of the membrane can be folded back over itself, exposing the substrate
k. Repeat steps G, H, & I
l. The adhesive is cooperative. It will allow for adjustment of membrane after contact
m. Air bubbles & wrinkles can be removed so there is complete contact with the adhesive
n. Use squeegee or push-broom to eliminate air bubbles
o. Clean off old moldings

3. TRIM
a. Apply butyl tape to backside of roof edge molding
b. While holding molding, draw surplus membrane tight (use downward pull, NO NOT stretch membrane) and drive screws thru molding, membrane & framing
---Alternate method- staple membrane to framing with 1-1/2” staples, 3-5” apart (Good way to keep proper tension)
c. Install molding from center, and work way to ends
d. When molding is complete, use sharp razor knife to remove excess membrane from bottom side of moldings
e. With sharp razor knife, “X”-cut all roof openings
f. Make sure all openings are cut same size as previous openings
g. Round-hole (hole punch) all “X”-cut ends to prevent run-on cuts (like stop-drilling a crack)
h. Surplus material should be pulled tight (downward only) and stapled to openings
i. Trim excess material
j. Apply butyl tape to from and rear termination moldings
k. FRONT: Front cap should lay on top of the membrane
l. REAR: Membrane should lay on top of rear cap
m. Screw in termination moldings
n. Apply butyl tape to all appliances, vents, & roof mounted accessories
o. Reinstall appliances, vents, & roof mounted accessories with screws
i. If roof creeps & air pockets form while doing this: walk bubble toward opening & hold membrane in place while installing screw

4. SEALING (WARNING: DO NOT USE SILICONE! Silicone will not adhere to the EPDM membrane!)
a. Apply lap sealant in ” to 3/8” bead & should be used:
i. To bride the membrane on all appliances
ii. On both ends of the front and rear termination moldings
iii. On the top edge of side roof edge moldings
iv. On all screw heads located on the roof

5. CLEAN UP
a. Clear all surplus caulk & debris from roof
b. Allow sealant & roof adhesive to cure for 48 hours
c. After curing period, wash entire roof with mild soap & water
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