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Old 06-29-2010, 11:14 AM   #1
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Jayco FS roof mods...

Dear Folks, I have a 4 year old Jayco Feather Sport, That I keep having problems with ... First it was punctures by errant wind blown limbs through the THIN top ... Then , once repaired (by the dealer for $5K ) is now leaking causing my front panel to de-laminate ... grrrrr!

I have to store it outside , as most other Trailers here since Katrina, but I inspect it regularly for any problems, and do the usual maintenance ...
I've been thinking of re-doing the roof with a sheet of Aluminum to lessen the chance of damage /leaking ... and providing a more durable surface than the paper thin vinyl on 1/8" ply covering on it now ...

Question is, has anyone tried this before ... ??? I do have a lot of building and auto body experience , just don't know if this would be practical or not ... The plan is to shape the Aluminum like a cap , with bent over edges for better drainage and leak protection... The roof as it exists now , seems to hold a lot of water ... just asking for trouble ... I have no idea why they designed it this way , especially for this part of the country , where it rains most every day ...

Being retired , I'm not in any position to bring an out of warranty trailer back to the dealer for another expensive fix... 90 dollars an hour does seem a bit RIDICULOUS to charge for This kind of work ... So will do it myself ...

Any Help or opinions would be Greatly appreciated ... Thanks ...
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Old 06-29-2010, 03:23 PM   #2
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I'm assuming your roof is the white EPDM (rubber) membrane. If so, if it isn't penetrated, the membrane itself should be sound. Even if it is, EPDM patch kits are readily available - unless it was a heck of a puncture, I don't understand why the dealer couldn't patch the roof instead of replacing the entire membrane (which I assume is what they did for $5K )!!

Again, if the membrane is sound and you're experiencing roof leaks, it appears that the dealer didn't get the seams and joints sealed adequately when they replaced the membrane. Unless you want to reseal every edge and penetration of the membrane, I'd suggest finding an RV repair facility that can run a pressurized smoke test on your RV to identify any leakage points - if these are at seams and joints, then they can be repaired with Dicor self-leveling sealant.
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Old 06-29-2010, 05:05 PM   #3
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Thanks Rusty!!! .... The membrane is a paper thin plastic material (looks for all the world like a cheap vinyl tablecloth) ... seemingly too thin to me , and that over a 1/8" ply roof offers little protection ...
The dealer .... Hmmmm We went round and round about patching and he and the Jayco representative on the phone insisted on a replacement of the entire roof ... The 5K is what they charged MY insurance company ... and only after I picked it up did he tell me that he just added a sheet of plywood on top and replaced the membrane ... arguing that now it was twice as strong ...
I now have little trust for this man after that , and am very hesitant to ever go there again ... My e mails to Jayco on the subject remain un answered... The calls I've made to Jayco were re-directed to persons who assured me the dealer would do the job right ... The factory sides with their dealers 100% , and talk down to me as if to imply only they know how to do this ... and remind me of their long term RV building experience and materials superiority...
I will do as you advise and see if I can find another dealer close by , the next Jayco dealer is 80 miles away , but may be worth the trip ... I may call first and relate the problem , but I expect a similar answer...

I do have extensive building experience , having built two houses and my Studio garage... all with metal roofs ... Also built my own Teardrop trailer , which I sold to get this one... because the wife wanted a bathroom /shower...
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Old 06-29-2010, 11:16 PM   #4
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I am surprised by your admission that Jayco so far has been unresponsive. My experience is Jayco is by far the best in customer service of any company in the RV business. Call them back and talk with one of their cutomer care people and voice your concern. If they do not sit up and take notice and try to do the right thing, I will be very surprised. I believe they set the gold standard in customer service.
-Paul R. Haller-
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Old 06-30-2010, 07:28 AM   #5
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Paul, I must be dealing with a different Jayco... Sure, they're most willing to supply parts to the dealer, but offer little assistance other than recommending taking it to the dealer ... and with my experiences with the dealer, I'm somewhat reluctant to do any business with him anymore . Worse , now he's moving more than 80 miles away ...

I never realized that owning one of these would turn into a Huge Money Pit...
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:01 AM   #6
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Even further reading indicates Jayco may be in trouble ... Plant closings , and statements like this :
"The decision has been taken with deep regret because we know that it will place hardship on many of our employees and their families," stated Derald Bontrager, president and chief operating officer of Jayco. "Business conditions dictate that we take steps to reduce operating costs and maintain production capacity that reflects marketplace realities."

May account for their new un-friendly attitude...
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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Replacing the rubber/EPDM roof material is not a hard job. Just takes a couple of people and a lot of time. Stripping all the stuff of the roof is the biggest hurdle. Once it is stripped you can replace the wood sub straight with 1/2 inch ply wood, fix all the problems and install the new membrane. When you are done and everything is sealed up thght your roofing job should be good for years to come with only routine maintenance.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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Apparently you are talking to a different Jayco. See the following quote from a recent RVBusiness article:

Quote:
Bontrager said that Jayco with headquarters in Middlebury, Ind., which recently announced two major factory expansions, saw the recovery begin late last summer. ”We began seeing strong signs of retail activity, the dealers gaining confidence at the wholesale level and us being able to ramp up production levels again.”
I'm with Paul - I've owned three (3) Jaycos and have never had a problem with their customer support. They've always gone the extra mile to take care of me - even locating and sending me to non-Jayco service facilities when my local Jayco dealer was, ummmm, less than responsive.

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Old 06-30-2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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Thanks guys !!! Just something else to deal with ... Looks expensive ... I've only used the trailer once, and for it's intended purpose ...Hurricane evacuation.. not a "camper" ... Thought that with such little time on it (<500mi.) that it would hold up well ... Never even used the appliances other than the AC and radio...
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Old 06-30-2010, 11:01 PM   #10
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Without routine cleaning and resealing of the seams any RV will leak. Doing the reroof job is not overly expensive if you and a couple of buddies spend a weekend doing it. Materials can be bought at most RV stores and over the internet, so if you decide to do it, shop around.
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Old 07-01-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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QUOTE: "Without routine cleaning and resealing of the seams any RV will leak."

WHY????? Cars , Boats , houses don't fall apart and leak like RVs... Good for RV dealers , BAD for us ...
There's really no EXCUSE why these cannot be made with the integrity of other structures/vehicles... Just saying , well, that's the way it's always been done is pretty LAME... Good designs with suitable materials would solve most of these problems ... Not like RVs are inexpensive . Even my humble little TT is priced as much as a car ... which after 10 years (car) shows no signs of leaking or rotting , and it stays outside ALL the time ... Time for some revisions in what we consider a Good RV... RV Manufacturers need to consider durability above profits, if that's possible ... Eliminate some of the fancy "Luxury" bits (eye candy) and build a Sound vehicle ... for a change ...
Only when the market (YOU) demands durability and reliability will things change ... for the better ... It's all on the consumers ... Otherwise these guys will get rich off our expensive repairs and parts... and the manufacturers will continue making these leaky , ill conceived barges ...
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:04 AM   #12
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Please allow me to point out that the Jay Feather is an ultra lightweight RV. Regardless of manufacturer, there are design sacrifices associated with achieving this light weight. That's why full-timer towable RVs will have a GVWR of 16K to 20K or even more! If you're expecting comparable construction and materials in an ultra lightweight RV that utilizes similar design technology, it ain't gonna happen.

Having said that, there are alternate designs such as the Casita that you might want to consider. As far as I'm concerned, life's too short to be miserable with what you have.

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Old 07-01-2010, 08:46 AM   #13
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I'd rather they left out the "extras" to save weight, and provided a reliable structure instead... Too many concessions to "luxury " and mere appearance ... which "sells' the trailers to the unknowing (profit) ... soon to be regretted and willingly traded for reliability and durability ...
Thanks Rusty, That little Casita sure is cute and looks like it was designed for water to easily run off the structure (imagine that )... Wish I'd seen those earlier!!! But like all new owners we had no idea of the fragile nature of the FS... and expected better ...especially for the price ...
And we were never warned in any way by the dealer , before the sale ,that sacrifices had been made in design and materials to save weight, and that we'd have problems because of this "down the road" , everything he said was "It'll be perfect for your needs" .... All the answers to our questions , same response...


"life's too short to be miserable with what you have." .... AMEN !!!!
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:46 AM   #14
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I have contacted the dealer , who promises a Free inspection and diagnosis...
My correspondence with the factory produced predictable results ...

Quote: "The 2 year limited warranty on the unit has
expired on 6-23-09. You will need to contact your local Jayco dealer to
have them inspect the front wall for a cause of the delam and a repair
estimate. The dealer can submit the inspection results to Jayco inc. for
review but with the unit being a year out of the warranty I can not make
any guaranty that this repair will be covered. "


Going to be EXPENSIVE
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