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Old 07-20-2015, 10:14 PM   #29
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Terry,
Google SikaFlex and see if you can find something that may work to help in sealing the roof. No experience with it, but there are lots of companies making sealants for tough situations and maybe you can use one of them to seal the roof to make it livable.
Joe
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:41 AM   #30
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Jim, thank you for your short explanation of "cost vs value". I agree that there are some things that you need to walk away from if the cost of fixing something is greater than the price you paid for it. Unless of course, by fixing it, you will increase its value in direct proportion to the money spent in repairs.

This is a cost dynamic that comes into play if you want to buy something, put a little money into and resell it for a profit.

But in my case, my son purchased this trailer with the few dollars that he had so that I would be able to visit my daughter and granddaughter and have some place to stay while doing so. Therefore, I can not place a value on this trailer, all I can do is try and fix it as inexpensively as possible.

You had no way of knowing this and were just providing me with your straightforward opinion which I appreciate. I hope I will be able to show you pictures of the end result when I am done.

Terry
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:46 AM   #31
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Thanks Joe. I see that SikaFlex is a self leveling sealant. I will check it out and I appreciate the suggestion. It might be very useful if the roofing material peels away in some areas and I have a gap which needs to be sealed. This could be just the ticket. I will do a bit more research on it.

Really appreciate the thought. You just never know, right....

Terry
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Old 07-23-2015, 09:30 AM   #32
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Personally, i think you have something to work with there. I would approach the repair as more of a rebuild project.

it would take very little effort to remove the roof/structure completely and rebuild a much more robust system. Trusses are pretty simple to make and assembly when completed. you could easily lay your own tongue and groove OSB and layer it with a rubber membrane (not the liquid yet). kind of like how homes are wrapped before an outer facia is installed. Then simply use a roll on sealant.

This process would likely cost you in the area of $300-$400 total, if you are willing to put the man hours in.

I'm a Aeronautical Engineer by trade and like to approach any situation like this from a "How can i make this even better than it was originally designed".

Simply repairing their engineering is far more difficult in my opinion.

Here is a link to purchase the rubber membrane:
BLACK EPDM Rubber Roofing Membrane, 45 mil, 10 ft. wide (per foot)
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:05 AM   #33
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Here is another diagram I quickly made for you. The reason I believe this is your best options, is because it addresses all your primary issues. It is not patching a problem, its replacing it.

Also, you have probably been in the same situation ive found myself in from time to time. We spend so much time and money on solutions that do not work that sometimes in hindsight we could have saves a ton of money and time had we done it right the first time.

Another plus to rebuilding the roof, is that you can put blockers (center braces between the rafters that can help support additional wieght and make you feel much safer walking on your unit).

I hope this is an idea you with consider. If you are handing with a Miter Saw, you will be Good to go.

You could probably make all new rafters for less than $150 worth of lumber. I'm not sure if you have a Pocket Screw Jig, but you can pick one up at Harbor Freight for about $50 and make all your pocket holes. You can easily pick up 4x8" sheets of OSB for around $12 per sheet. The rubber membrane is around $10 per linear foot and comes in 10' wide sections.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:20 AM   #34
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A way you might be able to get some manpower to help you is to go to your local high school and if they have a woodshop class, as if they can get involved. They will have the tools you need and the expertise to get things moving quickly. You would need a table saw for your OSB cuts as well as a miter saw (doesnt need to be a compound). You can simply put your wood on its side and adjust the angle to make your cuts. If you go this route, I would be more than happy to continue to provide advice, feedback, and answer any questions.

Another good thing about this approach, is that you can make all yoru rafters at the same time. If you need 10 of them you can make all the similar cuts back to back. Once assembled, you will have that really good "wow this is coming along" feeling. Once you lay your OSB ontop you will "see the light at the end of the tunnel". Once you lay your Membrane on that, you say "this is really looking good". And once it is sealed and you are installing your AC and perhaps any wiring or ducting, you will feel very good about your rebuild.

Then you get to do the water hose test and validate your own hard work.

If not... the best of luck to you. I hope whatever route you go, it is one that works for you and doens't end up costing you more.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:28 AM   #35
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For some encouragement, I think you should look at this project as a significant learning opportunity. If you like trailers / RVs, or even just intend to own one for a significant period, this is your opportunity to gain skills that will serve you down the road.

I think this might be like a project vehicle I ended up with. I bought a Jeep in very rough shape. I didn't know it was so bad at the time because my automotive skills were very low (like "how does the engine really work" low). A trusted mechanic quoted $6000 for the labour and had a long list of deficiencies (many of which were really easy to see visually once you know what you're looking for). With some effort, I believe I could have ended up having the work done for $4000 by getting various independent (ie: cheaper) specialists to perform the work.

I decided to tackle the project myself. What a learning experience. I will be honest and say I spent at least $4000 on parts and tools (I had none at the time, and this project required a pretty full set of them), heck, maybe even $6000. I was determined and managed to get that POS repaired. It passed safety and I drove it for several years after the fact (as it was abused, it still required lots more repairs down the road, all performed by me).

Because of that project I went from paying others to do all my vehicle maintenance to doing everything myself. I haven't visited a mechanic since except to safety new (to me) vehicles and get a repair done on a vehicle with propane (which I ended up fixing properly myself anyways). I know at this point I've *far* recouped the loss on that Jeep and my knowledge has helped me continue to buy basketcase (ie: *too* cheap) vehicles and keep them roadworthy. Last vehicle I bought I knew every single thing broken on it during the test drive. The salesman offered to sell it safetied and, lo and behold, when I pick it up the list was every single thing I knew about... ...he ended up saying he was done selling cars safetied after that one as he lost money on it. I could believe it... :P

So, after all that, consider that if you go through the detail of properly repairing this travel trailer, you'll pick up skills that will let you not only choose a better candidate for the next one (or at least know what you're getting into), but you'll be able to fix it yourself easily and cheaply.

Go for it unless the money is going to hurt you financially right now. You're buying yourself an education!
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:44 AM   #36
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If it isn't going to be moved, you might consider building a carport over it. No more worries about it leaking.
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Old 07-24-2015, 03:22 AM   #37
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Not rebuilding that entire roof system for 3-400 in material , shipping alone on the epdm will probably cost 100...I don't think the question has ever been can it be done, the concern most have had is will the cost of repair exceed the value of the unit...
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:15 AM   #38
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Building car port over trailer- best suggestion yet !
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:42 PM   #39
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Rebuilding?

Thank you IronCobra...I am not an engineer by a long shot but "simple" is a word I can relate to. I will give your proposal some thought. I do tend to be the type of person who likes to get to the source of a problem rather than just a fix. However, that being said, wet weather is ahead of us here in the PacNW, in fact, my plans have been frustrated by a constant rainy period this past week alone, and it is summer!! So, not having a shelter for the trailer at present, I might need to do a patch job with an eye towards a more extensive repair in the near future.

Having my truck break down and a home flea infestation (thank you to my most beloved dogs)..has also delayed my start. Thus, I am only now regrouping and planning my next bit of strategy, not to mention catching up on postings.

I will read through the material on the link you sent as well.

Many thanks, Terry
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:47 PM   #40
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Wow...this makes it look temptingly easy. But (slap alongside the head) again I am not an engineer and my expertise with power tools is woefully inadequate. Sure, my dad taught me a thing or two growing up but I have had small reason to really pursue talent in that direction until lately. But, I remain undeterred and will consider all that you have sent me. You are quite correct in that a cheaper more robust fix is certainly better than a more expensive temporary fix. I will give your idea, suggestions and illustrations some thought. I might need a bit more to go on though if I am to go down that path...like for instance, more power tools.

Thanks again for your posting. I truly appreciate your thoughts and helpful ideas.

Terry
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:11 PM   #41
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Thank you. I do hope I could have your mentoring expertise should I go down this path. And while your suggestion of finding a student at the high school is a good one, by the time school is back in session, the weather will have become very rainy, and as mentioned earlier, I do not have a shelter for it. However, I do have some help from a neighbor I could perhaps call upon. As for a table saw...I do have one. I just have to get it set up. It is an old saw but well taken care of. The rest of the equipment I could rent if need be. I will need assistance removing the AC from the top, not being overly strong, but again perhaps neighbor help could resolve that. I live in the country near a horse farm. There are always extra hands wandering around that will help for a bit of extra money.

Again, my thanks for taking the time to post this information and your willingness to help me through the project steps.

Terry
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Old 07-28-2015, 02:21 PM   #42
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Shepd, your message was inspirational. And Good For You! I have always felt the need to learn as much as possible and thus greatly curtail my dependency upon others. It gives one a great deal of satisfaction in seeing something come to fruition from their own hard work and ingenuity. I can tell that you feel very good about having done these repairs yourself, and as well you should.

Knowledge, as they say, is power. And if one can apply that knowledge to the repair of something, especially if that knowledge can be used and applied over and over again, it becomes invaluable.

I may be late to the game of vehicle, and in my case, RV repair, but that doesn't mean to say that this dog still can't bark...or in other words, I can still learn and apply my knowledge. I appreciate your words and the words describing your own journey.

While we purchased this trailer thinking it would last us a good long while, we were (especially me) ignorant of really what to look for when purchasing a used trailer. And in that ignorance, I let myself down and especially my son down. I am determined to fix this trailer up and then, as you say, having learned my lesson, will not be as prone to making such a poor decision in the future.

Thank you for encouraging me to move forward on this and to not give up.

Terry
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