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Old 09-12-2015, 08:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Seal aluminum roof seams..

Monday, according to plan, I'll be bringing home an 81 Rambler Imperial 33' rig and my first order of business is going to be resealing the roof..

What it has right now is some flaky old junk around all the seams and bare aluminum in the middle that looks pretty good.
What I want to do is scrape/wire wheel off all the old sealants on the seams and re-seal all the seams as best I can. I don't want to "coat" the entire roof, just seal the seams as was done before.

I'm debating between products..
One I'm thinking of is EternaBond® AlumiBond here EternaBond AlumiBond
Though it is quite expensive, my budget doesn't allow for the most expensive possible solution every time..

Another is this.. Quick Roof 6" x 25' Aluminum Water Proof Roof Repair - Roof Repair & Coating - RV Maintenance
It is a lot cheaper but do you think it would do the job?

And then some recommend to use a self leveling elastomeric sealer like a caulk gun, and other methods like brush on things. Makes my head spin..

Why should you have to tape around and/or seal/caulk around things like roof vents and AC units anyway?
Don't they reseal like windows where you take them out and put new butyl tape between the flanges? Why not just reseal them with new butyl tape under them and not try to bandage it with tape or some sort of caulk?

Seems unprofessional, if I was to caulk the hatch of my car because it leaked I would be the laugh of the forum.. Maybe it's supposed to be more like a house than a car but is there not a proper way to reseal these things?

So I know I need to seal the roof seems somehow, with tape or fancy RV caulk or what?

And the roof fixtures, can they be properly resealed with butyl tape under them or just caulk/tape on top or what?

And I don't think I want to coat the entire roof with any roll on stuff, I like the bare aluminum, unless there is a very good reason to do so.. You tell me?

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Old 09-13-2015, 07:39 AM   #2
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Posts: 1,298
2 good sealers i know of are gutter seal and captain tolly,s creeping crack cure..these work great,,,captain tollys seeps into craks and sealing even hidden leaks..

i have always used butyl tape and a caulking on windows and vents...

best of luck...
and we all love to see pics,,,,please..

jeff n debbie, and our 4 4 legged family members
68 aristocrat,68 216 winnebago, ancient GTA,1963 airstream,
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:22 AM   #3
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Use EternaBond tape and then forget about leaks.
I used it on my 78 TT and haven't had any issues for 2 years now and it's seen some heavy rain. Use a small roller to make it stick and it will never come off. Read the directions and follow them.
Clen off the old roof seal junk as much as possible without hurting the aluminum underneath (its thin stuff remember) and lay down the the tape as directed. Do the roof vents also as directed in directions. Clean, with no dust on the sealing surfaces, is the key. Wipe down the area you want the EternaBond to stick to with a damp rag to remove all dust before the EB goes down. Let it dry good then tape it down.
I took off my top side mouldings and resealed those with the old fashion clay type tape for windows and such, cheap and it works but not for decades and I knew that going in.
Do the clay type sealer in hot weather not in the cold of winter. It needs heat to be soft enough to squeeze out a little to seal when the mouldings go back on.Get new screws to do it (cheap at any hardware store).
I then painted my roof white to reflect as much heat as I could cause I live and camp where it is HOT and sunny. Just used house paint from Wally World.
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
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Do NOT use a wire wheel as it will almost certainly rip through the material.

It is old thin and cheap stuff.

Think "BEER CAN" ...

Just get a plastic spreader and steel putty knife to use to scrape off large chunks then acetone nitrile gloves and some small rags or steel wool to scrub it clean.


Just loose stuff, whatever acetone leaves behind will not be issue.

Use a screen edge roller (tool used to seat the rubber in window screens) to roll down or burnish the taps and you will be golden
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:47 AM   #5
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Here are all the pics I have as of right now.. https://flic.kr/s/aHskk5EKLb
Just our pics (GF took) from going to look at it..

Yeah it's pretty rough but it's a rambler so it's structurally sound, all aluminum construction, and the price is right.. Probably pretty close to it's value in scrap metal.. I guess you could call it a restoration project but I really like it..

I realize that pretty much any vintage MH is going to need tires, and roof work, and paint within our initial purchase budget and this one is awesome IMO and about half our easy initial purchase budget..

Am I crazy to get myself into such a project? IDK..
But it's a Rambler so it isn't rotted out, no delamination (because it's impossible) and it's in the category where everything can actually be fixed reasonably as opposed to fiberglass and wood rigs that kinda can't be fixed reasonably..

It has a lot of things going for it, dash is great, runs great, windows are good, everything is there, 2 25' power cords, wheel blocks, walls are super solid, door is straight and closes nicely, most things work (I think), and maybe most importantly it is really appealing to me therefore I'll have the ambition to do a lot of work on it.

And these things kinda hold there value a bit, there worth something in decent shape so dumping a bunch of money into it isn't just a money pit with no possibility of returns..

I see these things going from 6-10 $k in OK shape and were getting this one for $1300 so at the low end that leaves us $4700 to put into it to stay above water on it and I'm thinking that with new tires, fresh roof, fresh paint, fix lots of stuff, that it will actually be worth what we put into it.

Not that I'm planning to sell it but this is a bit of money for us so I kinda have to look at it from an investment standpoint and it seems pretty solid in that respect especially compared to most other coaches in our initial purchase budget range.. Actually we could likely go up to $5k for an initial purchase, which isn't that much in the RV world, but that leaves a lot on the table for replacement parts and repairs getting one at $1300..

Oh and BTW I live to DIY, it's what I do, I'm a mechanic with tons of tools and can fix anything given enough research, and often help from awesome forums such as this makes almost anything possible..
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Old 09-13-2015, 10:50 AM   #6
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Oh, and I eyeballed right down the stripes on the sides and stuff and she's straight as an arrow..
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:40 PM   #7
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Location: SW Michigan
Posts: 54
Thanks for asking your question, we need to know too! �� We just bought a '88 HR Aluma Lite XL, 31'! It had sat for 7 yrs, just put all new tires on today, & now in for all new brakes. Once we cleaned green ick off outside - not a scratch on it, & inside near perfect too! But hubby said the roof seam needs redone...
Greg & Diana
1988 Holiday Rambler Aluma-Lite XL 31' Banks Power system, & Tag Axle
SW Michigan
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:50 PM   #8
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Shes home

Blew a tire on the way back but I brought a spare with me just incase..

Sealing the roof is my first priority, it seems like the logical first step to take..

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roof, seal

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