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Old 06-09-2011, 09:51 PM   #1
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82 pace arrow restore / custom

ok so i am new at this so all the help i can get would be great. it is clean looking on the inside. the PO told me that there was a leak but he fixed it but did not fix the inside because he was worried about it not being fixed. WELL.... it has rainde the past 2 days and the ceiling is wet and has soft spots all over it. now i am not one to half ... stuff. so I want to fix this right. now i had the A/C running today ( to test it out) and it was wet all the way around the unit. now how do i fix the roof and how do i fix the ceiling. My goal is to paint the inside white for a clean new look. put sown new flooring and lighten up the fixtures with some more neutral colors. Any help fixing my ceiling would be great I need to get it fixed right once and for all. thank you in advance
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Old 06-10-2011, 07:20 AM   #2
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The leaks in the roof are your major concern; water damage is the biggest killer of RVs. You need to climb up on the roof and carefully inspect everything. This is also the time to plan to replace or upgrade broken or damaged vents, ACs, etc.

Your roof will likely be metal, fiberglass over metal, or rubber membrane.

Don't bother to look for problems only at spots near or over where you saw the water from the inside; leaks travel depending on what's inside the ceiling and how the RV is parked at the time. Instead, you need to plan on fixing anything whatsoever that looks like it could possibly be a problem, now or in the future.

You need to look at every single seam, skylight, vent, protrusions, screw- EVERYTHING. If rubber, look for splits. Look for cracks, loose or crumbling caulk, anything that looks like even a single drop of water could seep down around or under it to get inside. Look for screws or bolts, especially at the side, front and rear seams. Remove and replace any screws that are loose or rusty (squirt a touch of elastomeric caulk in the hole before replacing and replace with stainless if possible)

Then you will need to scrape and remove any loose material. If its stuck tight, you can leave it except ***** If there is any silicone sealer used on your roof, you must remove EVERY PARTICLE.***** Nothing will stick over the top of that old silicone, not even more silicone. Scrub the areas to be repaired with TSP or another powerful cleanser and rinse carefully.

After doing any necessary replacements of vents or whatnot, you are ready to do the actual repairs.

Caulk any gaps and holes and over the tops of screws and other bumps with a self-leveling elastomeric sealer like Dicor or C-10. If you have a rubber roof, use a caulk that says it is compatible. NO SILICONE.

Then you will tape over all seams and edges and iffy areas with Eternabond tape. Eternabond comes in several widths from 2 to 6", and comes 2 sided (for putting under the flanges of new vents) and 1-sided for repairing seams. Use a roller (wallpaper seam roller works fine) to really press the tape in place- applied to a clean, dry surface and rolled properly, Eternabond will seal basically forever. (Eternabond is easier to unroll if you put it in the fridge/freezer for a little while before using).

A leak source that you can't easily see is the gasket under your air conditioner.

All (older) RV AC's sit on a thick foam gasket, which surrounds the 14" by 14" hole that goes down into the roof. They seal out leaks by compressing that foam with bolts going down into the ceiling. If the foam gets old and is no longer springy, water leaks by.

You can check this by removing the upper plastic cowling and trying to lift the entire AC unit (it weighs ~ 100#); if the thing rocks or moves vertically AT ALL, the gasket needs replacing.
Replacement is not complicated, order a new gasket (the gaskets are all the same)from any RV AC supplier (pplmotorhomes.com is good) and start unbolting stuff. Remove the ceiling part from inside the RV first, then the part on the roof. No special mechanical or electical ability is required; just go slowly and watch how things come apart. When everything is loose, lift up/out carefully; a helper is good.

Replace the gasket; no sealant or caulking is required. Remove any that might be there already

When the new gasket is in, you will tighten it with the loooonnnng bolts from inside the RV- you want it compressed from the original 1" thickness to 1/2". You can see it from the inside to know when to stop.

While you are up there, also a good time to straighten any bent fins and clean the dirt out of the evaporator and condensor coils on your AC.

When everything is repaired and still clean, I would also recommend applying 2-3 coats of Snow-roof or KoolSeal elastomeric roof coating as a final surface. Its a white, stretchy coating that will give the final layer of leak protection and should last 5-10 years.

Inside, you will want to run some heaters and/or dehumidifiers to get the moisture out of your ceiling and walls. If you can pry the ceiling open anywhere, like around the AC cowling or light fixtures, stick a pencil or chopstick in there to open it up a bit and get air circulating.

Once you get it as dry as possible, you'll have to evaluate everything for rot and damage, and decide at that point what your next step will be.

Roof leaks will cost you some money and time, but they ARE fixable and every RV, old or new, will suffer from them if not kept up.

Plan on going up on your roof at least 2X a year to check for future problems.

Best of luck!
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Old 06-10-2011, 08:15 AM   #3
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wow thank you. I have already started removing the ceiling. it seems to be bad back to the kitchen. Do i need to replace the foam under the paneling? I am planing on putting all new vents in. I will check the ac units tonight
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:50 AM   #4
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If you can get the foam dried out, it should be fine. If you feel it needs to come down, its not too expensive to replace.

Everything in your motorhome can be rebuilt or replaced if you take your time.

If its going to take time to work on your roof, go to a hardware store or a farm supply place and get a roll of heavy plastic sheeting at least 10 feet wide, (15' is better) and loner than your MH. Stretch it over the top of your MH and tie half-filled gallon water jugs along the edges every few feet to hold it in place. This will stay in place through even big winds and should put you back less than $40.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
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thank you. I hope to buy the suplies to fix AT LEAST to roof on wed when i get paid. hopefuly i can pick up everything to do the ceiling also.

Ths sno-roof stuff.... do you just paint it on the entire roof? after everything is sealed? after the ac is reinstalled? after it is on do i redo it every 2 years or so to make sure it is good?

sorry for all the questions just trying to get it done right the first time.
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:31 AM   #6
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Yes, you just paint the Snow-roof on the entire roof with a roller; 2 coats, rolled on in different directions each coat. Do it last thing after all your repairs are done. Its like a very thick latex paint.

Moisture will mess up the curing; make sure it goes on early in the day so it is dry before any dew forms in the evening, and that there will be no rain for a few days.

It should last several years with no problems. If you see spots that look worn, you can re-coat, but its got like a 5 or 10 year warranty
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Old 06-10-2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Try to make sure to buy name-brand materials when it comes to fixing your roof.

Eternabond, KoolSeal and Dicor are more expensive than house brands or lookalikes, but they are truly superior products, and when it comes to your RV's roof, you want to fix it right the first time.

I'm a big cheapskate, and I refuse to pay extra just for a "name", but sad experience has proved to many people, not just me, that some products are really worth the extra money they cost.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #8
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great, this is the type of advice i was looking for when i got on this site. I am not real worried about moisture. i live in utah. I just need tio check the weather.
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Old 06-12-2011, 07:49 PM   #9
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So i have been hitting this thing hard. Hope to have it out in a week or two. well I have been pulling apart the ceiling, upon doing so I have found that the metal frame work is rusted but not bad. I could just sand it down and paint it. Is this the corrted approach? is there a better idea? Like i have said in the past, I want to do this right. Do I need to pull down all the insulation to make it right? Am I going to need to replace the insulation? Please help. I would like this fixed quick. any help would be great.
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Old 06-12-2011, 09:09 PM   #10
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Anything structural that is sound, I would just leave it alone. Spray on some rust converter and call it good.

If the insulation (foam? fiberglass?) basically good or is it stinky and awful? If its full of mold, get rid of it for health's sake, but if its just not too pretty you can probably keep it without replacing.

Mainly, you need to get that ceiling dry. If your leaks are fixed and you get the moisture out, the damage won't continue. You can put up pretty new ceiling material and not worry about it.
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Old 06-13-2011, 08:24 AM   #11
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cool. I just know on cars that once rust is there it will always be there unless it is totaly removed.
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