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Old 09-12-2018, 10:20 PM   #43
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Whew finally! I have the ceiling structure in!

It was challenging enough getting the aluminum prepped for the re-lamination, but the weather today was like a hot wet blanket laid over my entire body, with special attention paid to the nose and mouth to ensure that the blanket was securely in place.

In prepping the aluminum sheet roofing I removed all the penetrations that were just no longer relevant. There was a fiberglass CB antenna, what used to be a radio antenna, and an air horn which I decided to sacrifice the novelty in favor of the absence of a half dollar sized hole in my roof. I do plan to install a new radio antenna, but I will likely put it on the fiberglass cap that has a nice slope.

In rebuilding the roof structure I added a layer of 1/2" XPS foam board on top of the ceiling joists. The "joists" that were original to the coach were 1x1 strips of wood that were essentially stapled to the wood that runs fore to aft on either side of the ceiling. On the other side of the wood is the aluminum wall frame. I opted to anchor my 1 1/2" x 1 3/4" southern yellow pine joists with angle brackets and self-tapping screws that went through the wood into the aluminum wall framing. Though I realize the wooden members were part of the foam/luan/aluminum roof sandwich that acted as a unit, there's just something about a metal to metal connection that feels better to me.

The original steel square tube members were not attached to the wall structure at all, but relied on the adhesive roof sandwich for their strength, all of which had begun to fail. These have also been attached with angle brackets and self-tapping screws. The square tube was quite rusty from water intrusion coupled with the fact that it was untreated steel. I ground and wire-brushed the steel and then gave it a shot of gloss grape Rustoleum. Why gloss grape you may ask? Well I inhereted a box of spray paint of various and sundry colors from the closing of a business. I walked into my storage area, reached in and grabbed the tallest can; now I have gloss grape steel joists on either side of my A/C mount, and under the front cap joint.

The XPS layer on top of the joists was notched under the edge of each joist to about 18" out which keeps the edges of the roof at the original height, but raises the center by 1/2". This not only pulls the aluminum skin nice and firm, but it also makes a nice slope up top to help shed the rain.
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Old 09-13-2018, 12:09 AM   #44
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I will still be installing the 1 1/2" XPS between the joists. It will be laminated to the foam above, glued to the joists, then laminated to the luan ceiling boards, which I will also screw to the joists.

I have recessed led puck lights coming from Amazon tomorrow. They should be a nice update from the 1987 surface mount lights.

It's a good feeling to be putting the coach back together instead of removing old water damage.

Oh, and here's a shot of the USS Encounter after docking on the new underlayment.
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Old 09-13-2018, 07:41 PM   #45
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I replaced the last two ceiling joists this morning; this finally got me to the point where I feel like I can ease about on the roof as needed to strip the aluminum skin of all its tapes, caulks, roof coatings, and dirt. I removed the luggage rack up top, I'm going to replace all the screws and seriously clean up the hardware. Some of the caulk was some pretty serious stuff, unfortunately not everywhere that needed it though. This roof suffered some neglect for sure. It's taking some serious physical labor to get it to bare aluminum. I am also going to remedy a raised area in the skin that is the result of the roof sagging over the bedroom.

I also removed the old Mitsubishi rear view camera and it's 16lb metal housing from the rear cap. It's amazing how tiny the new cameras are compared to the behemoth that came off the roof.
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Old 09-14-2018, 12:33 PM   #46
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Wow! I'm taking a little break to cool down at the moment. I am working on the roof prep today, and OMG is it HOT!

As I am lifting large sections of the roof coating with a scraper, I can't help but wonder what makes certain spots grip the aluminum like nobody's business while others come right off in huge sections. I was literally able to remove a 6' x 4' section complete, all the way to the aluminum; then I get to a section where I can barely get it off giving it all I have.

I would love to know what is making it stick so tenaciously in spots so I can replicate that on the entire roof when I apply the new Liquid Roof coating. The edge seams were covered by something that is reminiscent of Eternabond, presumably from the factory. The aluminum looks brand new underneath this tape.

I intend to go over the entire roof with a wire cup brush on my 7" angle grinder to remove the last bits of leftover goop and give a good surface for the new coating. I want this to be the last time I have to be so aggressive with the roof. The plan is to Eternabond all the seams, prep and dress the tape, then apply the coating all the way to the gutters. If the stuff is as good as claimed, there should be no place for the roof to leak.
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:25 PM   #47
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I exposed my rear end!

This morning I managed to get the aluminum roof down and attached in the rear of the coach.
At that point I turned my attention to the big ugly delamination on the rear quarter of the passenger side. I pulled the aluminum edge up along the rear approximately 8' and worked the upper filon sheet loose from the upper part of the frame. I rolled it around a nearby tree and attached it to the tree with a couple clamps. I then removed the lower trim, gas filler cover, and door to the genny hatch. This freed the lower filon panel, which I subsequently attached to the trees in the same manner.

The luan underneath crumbled away at the slightest touch, it's amazing how much damage is done to this type of wall system when there is water intrusion. I will be using 1/4" plywood instead of the luan for the exterior layer of the wall, under the filon. I took a wire cup brush and cleaned up the aluminum frame as far as I could reach, then scraped the remainder of the delaminated luan with a 5-in-one and a flat screwdriver. Tomorrow I will sand what I couldn't clean up with the wire cup from the inside before I attached the luan. I plan to use a heavy duty construction adhesive and some strategically placed countersunk screws to hold it to the frame. I will use a water-based contact adhesive to attach the fiam to the plywood from inside between the aluminum frame members. There were lots of little gaps in the insulation previously that I will fill with great stuff. I am going to then laminate another layer of 1/2" XPS foam board on the inside of the frame before I laminate the inside layer of luan.

I will be using the West System G-Flex epoxy to laminate the filon to the new plywood substrate. I plan to put a coat of thinned epoxy on the plywood prior to relaminating the filon as an added layer of protection. This is my first attempt at this type of repair, but I hope to have a satisfactory result.
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Old 09-15-2018, 09:38 PM   #48
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Today was spent getting all the tedium out of the way with cleaning up all the old luan and rotted wood. I replaced some material at the bottom of the rig that was below the floor line. Previously it was foam and had been adversely affected by heat from the generator exhaust. Given the fact that this part was behind an area that can receive road spray, I decided to laminate a layer of 6 mil polyethylene to the back prior to installation.
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Old 09-16-2018, 09:07 PM   #49
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Closing in.

Oh man was it hot today! Unbelievably hot with unbearable humidity to go along. Nonetheless I have a lot of work to get done and this is a critical point in the process; so coffee and omelets and get out there in it.

Today was spent rebuilding the rear quarter filon underlayment. The first piece was the most difficult one to fit as it had to abut the existing wall underlayment as well as meet up with the wheel well; in addition, the remaining filon makes for tight quarters fitting the plywood.

At this part of the coach, both the top and bottom of the wall taper toward the end cap so there were no square cuts. Measuring and fitment were time consuming for sure, but I wanted to ensure everything was on the money. I am pleased with how it turned out, and putting back together feels so much better than tearing out all the rot.

Last week my DW rescued a baby squirrel that had apparently been orphaned by a storm. She's been nursing it from a scrawny little weakling, and now he's a chubby little ham. After getting the plywood on the coach, I helped the DW build a halfway house for her little squirrel buddy. He's got his energy up, but Sara wants to keep an eye on him as he makes his way back into the canopy. Tomorrow I set up to reattach the lower filon panel to the back of the coach using West System G-Flex epoxy.
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Old 09-17-2018, 01:01 PM   #50
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Wow, that is coming along, much more work than mine for sure!
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Old 09-17-2018, 04:37 PM   #51
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Good job..I still have more delam to do myself.
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Old 09-17-2018, 08:05 PM   #52
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Today I got the lower filon panel prepped for the epoxy and laid it into place to see how it would line up. I was a bit surprised to see that it didn't quite line back up when laid flat against the luan. I pulled out a couple bottle jacks and began to jack up underneath the wall framing. After some creaking and groaning I managed to get it pretty much where it is supposed to be. But not before one my pry bar slipped and I smacked my head against the side of the motorhome. Ouch!

I used a cup brush on my angle grinder to abrade the remaining wood fibers from the filon panel. It made fairly quick work out of what was beginning to seem like an impossible task with the hand scraper. It also scarified the filon pretty nicely which will give the epoxy something to grab.

I didn't really have what I felt like would be adequate bracing for the job of clamping the filon against the luan, so I decided to head to town and pick up some supplies. The nearest Harbor Freight is 45 minutes away, so I knew I would be killing the better part of the afternoon. When my DW found out I was heading to Gainesville, she promptly gave me a list of things she wanted that she cannot get here in the small town in which we live. Long story short, I will be laminating the lower panel tomorrow...

I purchased the last 4 cargo braces that HF had in stock, along with a few other things I didn't know I needed until I saw them. The clamps happened to be an "insiders club" sale item, so I asked the clerk about membership. She explained that it had a membership fee, but there were tons of deals available to members exclusively. After doing the math, the money I'd save on my current purchase wouldn't cover the membership cost so I said no thanks. The clerk then mentioned that if I registered online then there was a $10 off coupon that was effective immediately. I stepped out of line, registered, got my $10 off code, and proceeded to checkout, today's purchase was a break even, but who knows, it may be great as the year passes. OR, I may buy a bunch of crap I don't need because it's such a great deal...

At any rate, tomorrow is another day. And according to the forecast, another record breaking one for heat. It's 9PM as I am writing this, and it's still uncomfortably muggy outside.
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:21 AM   #53
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If you are ever near Birmingham you are welcome to have a look around mine. I was trying to buy a nicer one but they sell so quick I found this one for cheap but the tranny was dead. Called around and found a th400 from a motorhome that was newly rebuilt and drove down and threw it on in his driveway. She's been a ton of work remodeling but it's been a lot of fun!

I like your rig! Are you going to keep the TH400 or eventually put in something like the 4L65e?
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:30 AM   #54
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Finishing up the interior this weekend then I'll post some pictures. I found some guy on EBay that shipped 6 8r19.5 tires that were within 2 months of current on date codes. They are advance brand (which is Samson). All look good and they were $104 each with free shipping. I mounted them myself and I'm using beads to balance. So far so good! Cheapest quote I got from a tire shop was $1800 and I'm in about $800 for tires, tools, and balance beads. Fun fact! I had a steer tire that was manufactures in 97 and the spare was manufactured in 87!
LOL! isn't having old tires fun? When we bought our Monaco, the date code on the 8.00-16.5 Michelin XCA tires were from 1989. I was able to get it home from where we bought it (about 12 miles) but a couple of the tires blew out within a few weeks just sitting next to the house...even the spare blew out just sitting on its mount, on the back bumper! I got rid of the 16.5" rims and switched to 16" (still coined) and now run 225/75-16 tires, currently BF Goodrich Commercial TA2 All-Season
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Old 09-18-2018, 11:52 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Brob View Post
This morning I managed to get the aluminum roof down and attached in the rear of the coach.
At that point I turned my attention to the big ugly delamination on the rear quarter of the passenger side. I pulled the aluminum edge up along the rear approximately 8' and worked the upper filon sheet loose from the upper part of the frame. I rolled it around a nearby tree and attached it to the tree with a couple clamps. I then removed the lower trim, gas filler cover, and door to the genny hatch. This freed the lower filon panel, which I subsequently attached to the trees in the same manner.

The luan underneath crumbled away at the slightest touch, it's amazing how much damage is done to this type of wall system when there is water intrusion. I will be using 1/4" plywood instead of the luan for the exterior layer of the wall, under the filon. I took a wire cup brush and cleaned up the aluminum frame as far as I could reach, then scraped the remainder of the delaminated luan with a 5-in-one and a flat screwdriver. Tomorrow I will sand what I couldn't clean up with the wire cup from the inside before I attached the luan. I plan to use a heavy duty construction adhesive and some strategically placed countersunk screws to hold it to the frame. I will use a water-based contact adhesive to attach the fiam to the plywood from inside between the aluminum frame members. There were lots of little gaps in the insulation previously that I will fill with great stuff. I am going to then laminate another layer of 1/2" XPS foam board on the inside of the frame before I laminate the inside layer of luan.

I will be using the West System G-Flex epoxy to laminate the filon to the new plywood substrate. I plan to put a coat of thinned epoxy on the plywood prior to relaminating the filon as an added layer of protection. This is my first attempt at this type of repair, but I hope to have a satisfactory result.

I don't know if you've already bought and used the West System epoxy, but if you haven't, take a look at US Composites, particularly their 635 epoxy. It penetrates the wood a helluva lot better than West System ever could. I'm not saying that West System is inferior. You definitely have the right idea about sealing the plywood, before you glue the filon to it, but US Composites 635 does a much better job, IMO. If it were me, I would soak the plywood with the US Composites 635, let it dry, and then glue the filon to the plywood with the West System G-Flex.

There's an upside and a downside to what I'm suggesting....the US Composites 635 is already thin, so you don't have to worry about adding the proper amount of thinner to the West System G-Flex and wondering if it completely soaked into the wood the way it's supposed to. The downside is added cost of buying the US Composites 635. OR, you could just can the idea of using the West System G-Flex and just use the US Composites 635. Just like West System, boat manufacturers have been using US Composites for years.

I just thought of something else, the foam board you're using as insulation is great stuff. Have you ever heard of Buffalo Batt? It's a polyester fiberfill insulation and provides an insulation rating of R3. It compresses well and adds to the already good insulating from the foam board. There was a website which I can't find now where a company was redoing a rig that had very similar water damage to yours, and they explained that the lack of proper insulation was one of the main causes, but that rig had a rubber roof. I know a guy who has been completely rebuilding his 1969 Chris Craft 46' boat, and he as been using Buffalo Batt on the back of his epoxied plywood, in addition to the spray foam insulation that was already on the boat.

I'm definitely not telling you what to do, I think you're doing an awesome job. In fact, your skill and desire to tackle this job is really impressive. I had a 1973 Fireball Class C that had a swamp cooler that failed and rotted the roof and both sides. I gave up trying to fix the wood frame. I just want to present other solutions for your consideration, in case you had never heard of them. There's so much stuff out there it's hard to know everything, and I'm a total nerd about being as informed as I can, before I tackle a job. I've been restoring our Monaco now since last year. Thankfully it's never had any water damage...the original owner (I bought it from his widow), sealed the roof and windows every two years like clockwork....but the rest of the rig needed everything redone, as he wasn't very mechanically inclined.
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Old 09-18-2018, 01:16 PM   #56
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I really appreciate any and all suggestions! I hadn't heard of that brand of epoxy before and I'm looking into it now. It's so hot and humid that I'm taking regular breaks today.

My tires are the same story. I managed to drive the 45 minutes home, but the tires are one by one self-destructing. As soon as I have it closed back up I'll be putting on new rubber.

I will be checking in on the Buffalo Batt as well, I am adding more insulation for comfort.

It's awesome that the previous owner of your rig kept up with the roof; I can hardly believe that people defer such a critical yet simple maintenance.
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