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Old 03-24-2009, 09:10 AM   #1
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Jayco roof problem

Hi all,

I recently purchased a 23 foot 2002 Jayco Kiwi. I'm also new to RV'ing. I knew when I purchased it that it had had water damage at some time from leaking around the air conditioner. The person I purchased it from said he caulked around the air conditioner and it hasn't leaked since. Several of the ceiling panels are drooping. My question is, before I invest potentially hundreds of dollars in getting the ceiling fixed and the roof examined, what is the worst that can happen if I do nothing? My wife and I don't mind the appearance of the sagging roof panels. Thanks for any advice. JimClick image for larger version

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Old 03-24-2009, 09:22 AM   #2
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Caulking is not a proper reapir for an A/C -roof water leak. I am afraid that you need to remove the A/C unit and place a new seal under it. The seal should never be caulked.

In any case you need to find the leak and fix it properly. The big problem is you do not know how much water damage is done to the roof structure. If the roof structure is wood, you may have some structural problems developing.

It may or may not be the A/C seal leaking.

Welcome to iRV2 and we hope you enjoy the new TT.


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Old 03-24-2009, 09:27 AM   #3
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It's unfortunate that you're asking this question after you've already made the purchase. It's also unfortunate that the prior owner let a minor problem develop into this situation as stopping the water leak could have been as simple as snugging down the A/C hold-down nuts or, worst case, replacing the foam gasket between the A/C and the roof.

Water intrusion is one of the worst things that can happen to an RV. At best, the insulation and ceiling panels have been saturated with water and may well have mold developing in them. At worst, the plywood roof decking and (if they are wood versus aluminum) roof joists may be saturated and rotted. Until you get the ceiling panels down and evaluate what damage you see above them, there's no way of knowing how serious this is. Remember, water migrates, so you may find damage in cabinets, walls or even in the floor if this water has run into those areas.

Have you been on the roof and carefully checked for soft spots in and around the A/C? That might give you some indication of the condition of the roof decking and roof joists.

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Old 03-24-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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It's unfortunate that you're asking this question after you've already made the purchase. It's also unfortunate that the prior owner let a minor problem develop into this situation as stopping the water leak could have been as simple as snugging down the A/C hold-down nuts or, worst case, replacing the foam gasket between the A/C and the roof.

Water intrusion is one of the worst things that can happen to an RV. At best, the insulation and ceiling panels have been saturated with water and may well have mold developing in them. At worst, the plywood roof decking and (if they are wood versus aluminum) roof joists may be saturated and rotted. Until you get the ceiling panels down and evaluate what damage you see above them, there's no way of knowing how serious this is. Remember, water migrates, so you may find damage in cabinets, walls or even in the floor if this water has run into those areas.

Have you been on the roof and carefully checked for soft spots in and around the A/C? That might give you some indication of the condition of the roof decking and roof joists.

Rusty
Thank you for taking the time to reply to my Jayco roof problem. As a novice, I made a bad decision...buying a used RV without having it checked out first. Guess my next stop will be to a Jayco dealer and see what they say. Thanks again. Jim from Maine
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:57 AM   #5
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Caulking is not a proper reapir for an A/C -roof water leak. I am afraid that you need to remove the A/C unit and place a new seal under it. The seal should never be caulked.

In any case you need to find the leak and fix it properly. The big problem is you do not know how much water damage is done to the roof structure. If the roof structure is wood, you may have some structural problems developing.

It may or may not be the A/C seal leaking.

Welcome to iRV2 and we hope you enjoy the new TT.


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Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate the advice. Guess I'd better take it to a Jayco dealer for an estimate on how much to get it fixed. Jim from Maine
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Old 03-24-2009, 11:55 AM   #6
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Hopefully it has not been leaking long and the damage is cosmetic. I don't know what the manufacturers are doing with the fabrication of the trailers now and so many leak problems. Our trailer is 30 years old and no leaks so far. They need to go back and look at the way they built them years ago.

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Old 03-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #7
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I don't know what the manufacturers are doing with the fabrication of the trailers now and so many leak problems. Our trailer is 30 years old and no leaks so far. They need to go back and look at the way they built them years ago.
To me, this situation would appear to speak more to improper maintenance (i.e., keeping the A/C fasteners tight and/or the seal intact) than the design and construction of the RV. This potential leak source isn't unique to any RV manufacturer but is something all of us with rooftop A/C units must be aware of.

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Old 03-24-2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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I would say at a minimum you need to pull the AC, and look for soft or swollen spots. If none, you can probably replace the AC seal, and check out the interior for discolored areas on the floor or walls and investigate those.

If there is swelling, I would guess a person would want to remove the gutters and end strips on the roof and peel it back, then remove the plywood decking and see what you've got.

In that case, there'd really be no way to tell if some new decking and insulation is all that's needed to be ready to reglue the roof, or if there is extensive rotting...
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:45 AM   #9
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Repair quote

I took the trailer to a Jayco dealer. They gave me a quote of $1,060 to remove and replace two ceiling panels plus remove and put a new gasket under the air conditioner. The quote for replacing the whole roof is $5,800, which is more than I paid for the trailer. It wouldn't be financially feasible to replace the roof, so I don't know what I'll do if, once the ceiling panels are removed, they find extensive damage. Without replacing the whole roof, I also worry about mold.
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Old 04-02-2009, 02:38 PM   #10
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I haven't seen the trailer, but to me those prices seem pretty steep.

Is there a good independent shop in your area?

Are you able to do some of this yourself?
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Old 04-03-2009, 06:20 AM   #11
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I haven't seen the trailer, but to me those prices seem pretty steep.

Is there a good independent shop in your area?

Are you able to do some of this yourself?
Being new to the RV'ing experience, and not knowing any fellow RV'ers for recommendations for local repair shops, I figured I'd be better off taking it to an authorized Jayco dealer. The service manager seems very knowledgable but it's the labor that's the bulk of the repair bill. They get almost $90 an hour for labor. The roof has aluminum rafters so that wasn't a repair issue. We agreed to get it fixed for $1,500 which would replace a third ceiling panel. I'm just glad I didn't have to replace the whole roof. They attached plywood to the aluminum rafters to solidify the roof where the overlaying plywood had substantial rot. The service manager seemed to think that would work. We'll see. Thanks for all of your advice and interest. I also had the wheels repacked and a spring tune up done so, hopefull, we'll be ready for our first camping trip in mid-May at a campground outside of Boston.
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Old 04-03-2009, 03:43 PM   #12
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Being new to the RV'ing experience
You might really like a book called RV Repair and Maintenance by Bob Livingston.

Also, Dicor, the company that likely made the roofing material, has a good website with good directions.

I probably wouldn't have wanted to tackle that, either, without having an expert nearby to answer questions when needed.

Anyway, glad you got it taken care of at a reasonable price.
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