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Old 10-20-2010, 02:57 PM   #1
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2006 Sunny Brook roof help

I own a 2006 Sunny Brook RV model Sunset Creek 26.8 foot pull behind camper with a LR/DR pull-out. Only my wife and I use this camper and for 6 months of the year it sits at our Ohio river campsite,after that it is in our barn for the winter. I have owned to many pull behinds to mention so I know very well how these campers are built, plumbed, and wired enough to keep them operating safely. This Sunset Creek however is my first new camper, so I can tell you I had no reason to inspect the rubber roof other than climbing the ladder to make sure my power vents I ordered were installed and there were no obvious defects or damage to the roof. So for the last 4 years we stood on a ladder, cleaning the roof with a light detergent and a soft brush on an extended handle and hosed it off. This year however I treated the roof to some Aerospace 303 sealer. I had to step onto the roof to apply this sealer and all looked very good until I reached the back bedroom corner. The picture Ive included shows the area where the roof is soft and in the corner (4" x 4") there is only the rubber membrane. There are no soft spots surrounding any vents or skylights that lead to this corner and there is NO visual damage or soft spots to the interior ceiling or walls inside the camper at this rear bedroom area. I mentioned earlier of my knowledge of how campers are constructed, I will have to admit I have never torn off a roof but I have repaired an interior ceiling before. Any suggestions as to my next step on a camper I still owe money on will be appreciated.

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Old 10-20-2010, 04:13 PM   #2
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Have you carefully looked at all the caulk seals? The ones across the front and back of the trailer are especially prone to getting cracks in them to let the water in. These have to be inspected at least every 12 months. I get on my hands/knees to get up close to the caulk joints and push the caulk with my fingers to see if the edges lift up or a crack opens up. If there are any damaged caulk lines, I cut the defective area out with a very sharp knife blade (very carefully) and replace the caulk with Dicor self-leveling caulk.

If the water has gotten in and rotted the wood underlayment, there is only one fix..... lift up the rubber roof and replace the wood.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:58 PM   #3
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Hi EdJ, I swear i have inspected all means of water or moister getting into this roof. I'm really thinking i have termite damage. I do have good news. As of this evening i recieved a return e-mail from Sunny Brook RV's saying they will send a representitive to look at our camper this Saturday. They are in Middlebury, IN and we are in Northern Kentucky so they need us to be home. It was mentioned that they will call me tomorrow to discuss how they use a "boroscope" to inspect the sub roof from the interior of the camper. Sounds like they drill a small hole in the ceiling and put a scope in the hole to look at the wood or something like that. Anyway, i'm thrilled they would even entertain the idea of looking at my roof. Professional courtesy goes a long long way with me........Tom
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:07 PM   #4
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Good luck. I do hope that it is not water damage. Hopefully the visual internal inspection will reveal something easy to fix. Let us know what the problem is when you find out.
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Old 10-20-2010, 05:47 PM   #5
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I'll report back when i know something and have some pictures perhaps. I sure do hope they offer some fix options for us.....Tom
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:36 AM   #6
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You were right EDJ....

I have met with Sunny Brooks RV field rep. and while I watched him side by side inspect my rvs roof and seam seal he found a 2 cut at the rear corner lap seal where the rubber top is attached to the side of the rv. When the cut when fully opened it revealed small amounts of black wet rotted wood. A smooth rounded 1/8 stainless rod was inserted 8 into the opening, lightly pushed upwards and you could see my rubber roof rise. He cleaned it out as best we could, injected the opening with RV approved clear RTV and added the same to the exterior at the cut. It is now dry and sealed. He explained how this was not covered under warranty and suggested if the soft area was not walked on that it may be best left un repaired. The roof is after all functional as isTom

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Old 10-23-2010, 04:48 PM   #7
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Hmmm? Like putting a Band Aid over cancer... That will have to be attended to ... No warranty coverage .... grrrrr!!! Expensive fix at the dealers ...
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:07 PM   #8
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Was the tear caused by the rubber roof stretching? from age or did a branch or limb brush up against the corner of the roof?

I clean my rubber roof 2-3 times a year and apply rubber roof protectant. I get down on my hands a knees to inspect every seam and area that was caulked from the factory. Also around every window, and bunk end door. This is my trailers 6th season. This summer was the first time I added a few drops of new caulk to anything that might even seem like it could be in need of re-sealing. Otherwise it looks great. I have know too many people that have water leaks and have to fix the problem.......
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:13 PM   #9
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I realize now that i could have done this going to or coming from our river camp as there are a few small tree limbs that hang down and touch the roof as we pass under but i never thought the limbs were tough enough to tear this membrane. That tear was so clean that's how i missed it. Right at the radius. I will however take your suggestion to re do this patch work but for now I'm confidant it will last thru storage. Now if you will excuse me I'm going to be sick for a while........Tom
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Hmmm? Like putting a Band Aid over cancer... That will have to be attended to ... No warranty coverage .... grrrrr!!! Expensive fix at the dealers ...
Why would you expect warranty coverage for a defect caused by a maintenance item not done? Caulking is only good for a limited time. The roof and caulk should be CLOSELY inspected at least once a year. I am among the first to hit on a manufacturer if the defect is caused by them, even if it is somewhat beyond the warranty time period. But this was the fault of the owner and way past warranty time.

I suspect that it will eventually have to have the corner of the rubber roof pulled back and the rotted wood replaced. It is not all that difficult of a job if one knows what they are doing. If they don't, take it to the pros.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by fastback4 View Post
I have met with Sunny Brooks RV field rep. and while I watched him side by side inspect my rvs roof and seam seal he found a 2 cut at the rear corner lap seal where the rubber top is attached to the side of the rv. When the cut when fully opened it revealed small amounts of black wet rotted wood.
I suspect what looks like a "cut" is just the cracks in the caulk caused by it degrading over time. I see it a lot on my '99 Sunnybrook 5th-wheel. The caulk will last a couple of years before I can see the small cracks starting to form. That is when the defective areas need to be cut out and new Dicor self-leveling caulk put on. Since I bought a HitchHiker for Snowbirding, the Sunnybrook does not get moved to FL for the winter anymore and has to go through the winter up north. I have noticed that the increased temperature extremes tend to lead to caulk failure faster than before.
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Old 10-24-2010, 07:40 AM   #12
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Ed , I don't think that the lack of warranty is a big issue ... My beef is the idea of having a roof that can be so easily damaged in the first place... Rubber/ plastic roofs over very thin untreated plywood ... Recipe for leaks and constant maintenance ... When you build a house/home , you put your money in the roof ... If you don't have good solid roof , you have Nothing .... trailers/RVs same thing ... My Jayco has a very thin plastic roof covering , that looks and feels for all the world like a very cheap vinyl tablecloth (with the fuzzy backing that wicks water) over plain 1/8" plywood ... anything that touches it goes right through ... I've had small finger size limbs fall on it and punch holes completely through the roof and ceiling ... I might as well be in a tent ... I asked my dealer why the roofs were so flimsy ... he replied ... It was to save weight ... I then asked him why they didn't leave off all the cutesy stuff inside and just provide a better structure... he said then they wouldn't SELL , and he wouldn't have anything to fix ( @ $160.00/ hour labor ) .. Obviously his concern was for Profit and Not providing a quality product ... I have not gone back since ... and I'm replacing all my caulk with Eternabond RV tape , which seems much less prone to leak over time ..
After having so many roof problems , I felt "burned" by my TT purchase ... ( the factory was of little help saying "see your dealer") ... planning on maintaining this one as long as it lasts (or I last) then replacing it with a nice Cargo trailer conversion , with a Metal roof ... and the benefit of a lighter weight, more payload , and much better investment ...
My TT is but 3 years old now and already it's worth less than I still owe on it ... Resale value ..... hahahaha what a joke ... and the joke is on me ... not very funny ...

And a supposedly credible RV field rep saying something like ... " if the soft area was not walked on that it may be best left un repaired. The roof is after all functional as is" ... What an Idiot !!!
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Old 10-24-2010, 01:15 PM   #13
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And a supposedly credible RV field rep saying something like ... " if the soft area was not walked on that it may be best left un repaired. The roof is after all functional as is" ... What an Idiot !!!

It was the best he could offer up after seeing the despair on my face. He said all roof maintenance procedures were in my TT manual. They didn't even want to discuss paying for 1/2 the labor costs. I had a buddy call me today talking about a huge buck he'd seen and we discussed this roof issue. Laughingly he suggested getting a can of spray insulation, the kind that expands, and filling in the void. Not a bad idea at this point. Might do it just to see what happens. After all, It's getting repaired next spring any how. My friend says he has helped do a similar roof a few years ago.....Tom
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Old 10-24-2010, 04:52 PM   #14
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Tom , I'd forget the foam , just more work to do later digging it back out to search out the rot and make repairs... not like rocket science , just basic woodworking and common sense ... but I'd keep it in someplace dry over the winter , so it doesn't get worse... Good thing you've got a friend with some experience to help ...
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