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Old 02-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #1
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Motor home framework question

Hi all. I am new here and have a question. I am a 63 year old nascar nut and have my eye on a 1985 Pace Arrow in pretty decent shape. I havent owned an RV yet. I plan I going to lots of races and parking in the infield. I also plan on being on the roof (with friends) to watch the races. Here is my question:

Is the framework (walls and roof) on this motorhome steel or wood? Will the roof hold the weight of say 6 people watching a race? I also may have plans for a remodel inside. I may need to remove a few walls. Will the roof still support itself or will it sag? I know I will have more questions as I get closer to buying this motorhome, or shortly after. Thanks for reading and any advice

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:22 PM   #2
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Sorry, but there is no way I would allow six adults to climb onto the roof of my motorhome. That sounds like a recipe for disaster. The strength of the construction notwithstanding, motorhomes are TALL and it would be easy for someone to tumble off.

Oh, and welcome to the forum.

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Old 02-26-2012, 10:29 PM   #3
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I would cover the roof with diamond plate or something to beef it up. That sounds like a fun plan.
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the reply Sarah...

Normally it will be my wife and I. But on occasion my 2 sons and there wives may join us. Yes...i suppose it can be dangerous...falling possibilties and all. I have been with friends on the roof of their RV's at the races. I remember one instance of someone falling off a roof of another RV. We just want to know if the roof structure will hold the weight. A friend told me RV's have metal framework (walls and roof). I realize sitting on an RV roof in lawn chairs might not be for everyone...but...we nascar nuts are a breed onto ourselves LOL
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by sCarycary View Post
I would cover the roof with diamond plate or something to beef it up. That sounds like a fun plan.
cary,,,we have discussed just such a plan

But...if the roof 'trusses' are wood and not metal...I am not sure I would want to add the extra weight...even if the diamond plating where alluminum...hmmmmm
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Old 02-26-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Also...we live in the mountains of Arizona. 2-3 foot snowfalls are common. I had an older travel trailer with 2x2 roof trusses. A few feet of heavy snow and leaks over the years and the roof sagged bad. The sagging caused water to settle around the vent. After a few years...the roof all but caved in. Nooooooooo...we never got on the roof of the travel traler...lol. It was strictly used for camping ;-)
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:43 AM   #7
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We used to have a 24 ft car hauler we used to pull our racecar to the track. What we did was attach aluminum brackets to the sides, where the roof attached, and then used aluminum ladders for trusses across the width of the trailer. From there we used plywood on top of the (trusses) ladders, with fold down railings made of square tubing. the only problem you would probably have using this setup is it will add considerable weight, and then would limit the CCC of your unit, but it is do-able, just be careful and safe.

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Old 02-27-2012, 06:12 AM   #8
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6 people on a motorhome roof sounds like an accident waiting to happen. Whether the roof is reinforced or not. Especially if there are adult beverages being consumed. I wouldn't do it, period. I hope for your sake and others nothing goes wrong. I would be sure to have some good liability insurance.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:04 AM   #9
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My motorhome has steel and aluminum trusses but still limits the load on the roof. There is no way it is rated for 6 adults.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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It's steel, and very likely significantly rusted as it wasn't painted/treated. It's heavier, maybe 2"x2" where the AC's are installed. The rest of it is designed to be heavy enough to service as necessary, and support snow and ice.

I would say watching races with 6 people on it not a good plan unless you did something that would distribute their weight evenly. Maybe 3/4 plywood? Then there are the issues of installing that in a manner that wouldn't hold/trap water.

I just don't think it's a good plan... though I know people do it. I maybe know too much about why you shouldn't, and am gun shy. Dunno.
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Old 02-27-2012, 07:51 AM   #11
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OK....I understand 6 people on the roof are out. When the kids show up for a race...we will get grandstand seats. Like I mentioned...its usually just my wife and I anyways ;-) Back to my original question. 1985 Pace Arrow deluxe edition. Are the roof trusses and wall studs metal or wood ? It does make a differenece on any interior redesign. Thanks.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:02 AM   #12
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I believe you have wood trusses both wall & roof. Another factor is, I'm pretty sure that will have a rubber roof, which is somewhat damage prone.
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Old 02-27-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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Look into an older Wanderlodge motorhome. They were built like a school Bus with all steel bodies and were pre-equiped with the roof like you want. They also had the power and frame integrity to pull about anything you want.

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Old 02-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #14
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thanks all for the replies. We have discussed it and may just get grandstand seats and use the RV for sleeping. I am not sure now that I want to trust the roof even for just the wife and I

I would look for a different RV that may hold the weight...BUT...I am get this thing for a song and dance and i dont do either...lol.

The outside is in pretty good shape (faded). The motor runs well. The inside unfortunately has been 'trashed' so there will be some extensive remodeling that needs to be done. So...if i remove a few walls here and there...i need to know the roof will still support the AC etc...including heavy snow loads

Thats why i asked about the 'skeleton' being wood or steel...thanks again for the answers. anymore thoughts on the framework ???

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