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Old 01-18-2019, 02:00 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 9
Doing research for spring work

I have a 1989 Heartland Prowler. Last summer I opened up the inside ceiling to find where water on the floor was coming from. I believe it was leaking around the antenna only when we have weather like we are having(snow, rain, freezing rain sitting on roof until it seeped through and finally ruined the ceiling.
I can't really start repairs until after I have my knee replacement at the end of the month and then heal. I should be good to go by time spring gets here.
I ripped off a lot of ceiling. I am planning to replace and sister in quite a few ceiling joists. I am completely changing the lay out so most of the ceiling, some wall and upper cabinets are coming out and I am building what I want to put back in.
I am excited about the remodel. I'm sure I will have many questions as I do the work.
Right now my question is about the lack of roof decking. I have been on roof. It is aluminum and never felt like I might fall through. But there is no 1/4" plywood between the aluminum and ceiling joists. The camper is 30 years old so I guess it was okay.
But if I have the insides ripped out would I gain a better roof if I were able to insert 1/4" ply. I would do 18" by 96" long slices that I would liquid nail to the aluminum and the inside ceiling joists.
I guess it might be overkill. I am replacing insulation with pink or blue foam insulation. I go on roof 3 or 4 times a year to clear leaves, sticks and checking seams.
Thanks for any ideas.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 160
I rebuilt an aluminum roofed fifth wheel in the late 1980's. No roof decking there either, just stapled pine boards of less than 2X2 inch dimensions. I contacted a local RV repair firm and inquired about the use of decking, and was advised to not use decking unless I was replacing the entire roof with a TPO type product. The concern the repair facility had was rooted in their belief that all aluminum roofs will trap moisture from the living quarters between the underlayment and the aluminum, and then the aluminum would corrode through from the inside out. (This is the reason we no longer use aluminum siding and roofing on farm buildings, the stuff just turns to a white powder if moisture is trapped between it and anything on the inside.)

I very carefully lifted my aluminum roofing, replaced the damaged wood with kiln dried Douglas fir, packed new fiberglass matting back in the voids, and replaced the aluminum without underlayment. The fifth wheel is leak free still being used by another owner in a fishing camp all these years later, with just regular cleaning and the use of seam sealant on the roof.

If I were to do the same repair today, I would deck with knot free quarter inch plywood and one of the modern synthetic rubber type roof materials. Simply because those membranes are so much easier to work with and last decades if kept serviced.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:47 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2017
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Thank you for your answer. I am not going to remove roof. If I had a pole barn and was 5 years younger...
I checked trailer last week. The trailer appears to be leak free. I am having my knee replacement tomorrow. I have so many projects backlogged that I'm not going to stop moving for at least the rest of the year. I hope to be able to pull my rig to a small state park by time my birthday rolls around.
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