1996 Rockwood Roof/Sideboard Repair

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by HappyCamperTX, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Okay, so I should have found this forum BEFORE I bought a camper, but I didn't so now I get to have a little extra fun before going camping.

    I was reading through the forums and noticed information about sideboards. To be honest, I had no idea how these things were put together so I didn't even think of this as being an issue.

    Anyway, I went home at lunch just to give it a peek and sure enough, all 4 corners have rot damage. But....its okay...I love to work on things and get my hands dirty so in less than an hour I had the roof off.

    Now I just have to figure out where I can get the lumber to fix the darn thing [:D]
     
  2. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    HappyCamperTX - Welcome to the portal! You've come to the right place :)

    Many people have done what you're about to do (including myself). You can check out pics of some of my roof work here: http://www.moonfire.net/puproof/puproof1.htm
    And you can view the post I started back when I was doing it here: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=18178.msg68896#msg68896

    I also have a '96 Rockwood. If you search "sideboard" here, you'll find a ton of information! Meanwhile, post some pictures, and post any questions you need to ask, someone will always chime in. :)
     
  3. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Yes, I've seen a lot of great advice and tips here already! I'm probably not going to document this fix as I am going to go as minimalist as possible right now with the intent of a full blown restoration in the coming year. I already blew enough money on this camper that I need to get it outside and used to justify to the family budget that it was a valuable purchase :)
     
  4. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Well, if the sideboards are rotted at all near where the lift-posts mount to them, don't wait too long to fix or you will have the same problem I had...

    [​IMG]
    -
    [​IMG]

    This was the reason I HAD to rebuild mine right away, I waited too long. Luckily, the roof didn't fall on us because I have 4 safety posts (most people only have 2). If you are faced with rot in that area but can't plow off into a rebuild project just yet, you might consider a quick fix to insure it will stay together until you can do that project. I just placed a piece of 1X4 on the outside, right up against the bottom of the upper trim (that trim is screwed into the main roof, it isn't going anywhere) and ran some slightly longer bolts through to the lift-post mount...

    [​IMG]
    -

    The picture above is from the backside of my pup roof (the first two pics are the one that was NOT reinforced with the wood). Good luck!
     
  5. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Well...I said what I said in my original post hoping it would come true. Well, it didn't. I started taking screws out and water started seeping out all over. Apparently a previous owner realized something was going wrong because as I took of the caulking, there was more caulking underneath. He/she caulked everything but the screw holes [}:)]

    Anyway, the more I took off in hopes of finding solid wood, the more my hopes were dashed. The wood is pretty much rotten all the way down. I had no idea this was an issue with popups, but I do now...welcome to the family huh [A]

    The right side of the trailer is in better (but not great) shape so I hope I can get the left side taken care of in time to do some camping. I feel sorry for those who pay full price for these things...I paid half what the guy was asking.

    But here's my QUESTION:

    As I am taking this apart, the metal side is glued or something to the rotten wood and I am afraid I am going to damage it in the removal process. Is there a way to get that metal off the wood with minimal damage to the metal?
     
  6. Warthog

    Warthog New Member

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    May 9, 2010
    HappyCamper, I just pulled my skin straight away from the sideboard till it started to "roll" itself. I just went with it and rolled the aluminum till it was off. Make sure you don't crease the aluminum! The more rotten wood the easier the skin will come off.

    There will be a lot of wood chips still glued to the skin. I laid the skin flat and used a metal paint scraper to remove them.

    Good Luck
     
  7. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    Okay, so I'll start with pics since this is going to be more than I had hoped for.

    Here is what started it all...the sideboard was buckled at the roof support
    [​IMG]

    I began taking the moulding off and started seeing more damage
    [​IMG]

    I took out the screws and my poor camper started crying!
    [​IMG]

    I began to lift the metal on the sideboard and anything that might have been wood once fell to the ground
    [​IMG]

    ONE MORE QUESTION: Do I need to remove this trim piece and if so, how?
    [​IMG]
     
  8. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

    239
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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    First and foremost, I don't recommend doing the sideboards with the roof sitting on the pup. It's going to make the job a bit harder, plus you're going to have to support the roof on the side your working on. However, since you're only going to do one side for now, it might not be so bad (unless you run into rot in the top frame). Also, before you remove a sideboard, if it is the one on the door side, take a square and line it up with the top of the door and mark the ceiling so that you know where to line up the door when you put it all back together. And measure the distance from the ceiling to the top of the door (where it is mounted to the inside of the sideboard).

    Yes, you'll need to remove the trim piece. There are screws holding it on down the length of it hidden under the rounded plastic piece in the middle. The center part of it (rounded part) slides out. You'll need to remove the corner caps to see the ends of it, then you'll have to carefully pry it open on one end. Once you get it started, it pretty much comes off the rest of the way pretty easily. Be careful, it will break if you bend it too much. Once you remove that, you will reveal the screws underneath. These screws are driven into the frame for the top section of the roof. When I took mine apart, there was a putty-like material (sealant) covering them. Once you have all the screws out, you'll need to pry it a bit to break it loose because there may still be some sealant between holding it. Also, unless they did something different on yours, the '96 Rockwoods do not have a "metal" siding, its a fiberglass/plastic material (and it will break if you bend it too much). I'd be surprised if you were able to successfully and cleanly remove it from the wood completely without breaking it. Mine got so messed up I ended up trashing it and used a material called "FRP" (Fiberglass Reinforced Panelling). I picked up one sheet at Home Depot for 20 or 30 bucks. If you ask for it by name, they might look at you crazy... just look in the section where you would find tileboard for bathrooms. It will be a bright white color and will have nearly the exact same texture as your original covering. I painted mine with EGGSHELL WHITE and can hardly see the difference. It has held up with absolutely no problems at all for 2 years now.

    Once you get those endcaps off and remove the trim, there will be a 90 degree bracket on the inside at both ends attaching the sideboard to the endboards. Chances are, if the rot has gotten far, those screws are rotted and you'll be able to just pry it off. If you can save the skin (even with a lot of wood stuck to it), do it because you can use it as a pattern to cut the new sideboard. Now, there is also the lower trim which has the rubber seal in it. The seal needs to come out, and there will be screws under it. Again, even with the screws out, you'll have to do some gentle prying to get it off the sideboard.

    Unless you have an 8ft box, you will have to peice together two peices of plywood (you'll have to do the same thing with the siding if you end up going with FRP as I did). I first rough-cut my new sideboards, then used a jigsaw to cut the rounded ends and top part. I cut the FRP using tin shears (worked great) and attached the skin using 3M contact cement.

    This project is going to need:

    Lots of new screws (most of yours will be rusted and/or broken). I used the gray coated decking screws. They're just slightly larger than the originals and grip much tighter, plus they will pretty much never rust.

    Some material for siding. I suggested the FRP because it worked great for me and looks exactly like the original material on the surface.

    Sealant/Caulk... 3M marine caulk is best, but that is debatable. Others may chime in here and suggest other excellent choices for sealant. The 3M marine caulk was great for me.

    Plywood for the new sideboards: I think I used 3/8 for mine. Check a good section of your old sideboard to make sure. Try to get as close to the same thickness as you can. Also, don't use knotty plywood (CDX), use a smooth clean sheet thats nice and solid.
     
  9. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    I am COMPLETELY thankful for all the help I am finding here! I did plan on taking the roof completely off and it is completely ready to do so, but I just don't have the room in my garage for both the PUP and the roof. I thought about putting the PUP outside with a tarp over it, but I happen to have a rather persnickety HOA that would harrass me about that. (Maybe if I can get it done over the long weekend....but I digress.

    I have a 14 foot box so yes, I'll have to enlist one of my woodworking friends that has the tools to help me put two pieces together.

    And I am working on the side that does not have the door.

    QUESTION: In considering the lumber for the new sideboard, has anyone used Cedar? I suppose I can use plywood, but its so hot and humid where I live (for so long) I would wonder about plywood delaminating, but I suppose if it is put back together right it should be okay.
     
  10. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

    239
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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    The plywood will be fine (I live in Louisiana, right next door... very hot/humid here also). Once my sideboards were cut and ready to go on, I coated them with Kilz (it's a white primer/sealer). With the outer skin, trim peices, and caulking, plus the coating of Kilz, it will be well protected.

    Perhaps there is some way you can put the pup in the garage and lay the roof upside down on top of it? Although, the lift posts may pose a problem. Be sure to post pics as you go along and I'll keep an eye on your posts and help where I can.
     
  11. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

    74
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    Jun 30, 2010
    Okay, so here's another question:

    When I get ready to button all this back up again, do I need to find that same kind of thick white sealant/gasketing goop that was there? It looks like it was installed as some kind of tape or something.
     
  12. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

    74
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    Jun 30, 2010
    I must be weird cuz this is so much fun! I've only had the camper 2 full days and I've done nothing but tear it apart [:D]

    The advice ya'll have sent me has been spot on and I was able to get the trim off the side in less than 10 minutes on my lunch break. I also scooted up to the RV Outlet mall and picked up 2 corner caps for $5.99 each. I did all this and made it back to work before my lunch hour was up. [;)]

    Its gonna be a fun weekend...but even funner next weekend when I actually get to use it!
     
  13. Warthog

    Warthog New Member

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    May 9, 2010
    HappyCamper, good find on the corner caps, I just paid $45 plus shipping for 4.

    For the plywood, I recommend using BCX, I used 5/8". It was the closest to the unswollen pressboard that I could find.
    Make sure you read the print on the side of the plywood. I found that a lot of lumberyards have signs for 3/8", 1/2", 5/8" plywood that are actually 9mm, 12mm, 15mm. The problem is that 9mm is only actually .354", 12mm is only .472", and 15mm is only .590. Just take your tape measure with you.

    The "goop" is probably butyl tape which is sold in the weatherstripping section. They may have it packaged as removable caulk.
     
  14. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

    74
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    Jun 30, 2010
    Didn't get much done on the PUP yesterday other than shopping for supplies. All the trim is off now and I went ahead with using plywood. I went to two Home Depots yesterday and culled through all their cedar stock and quite honestly, it was crap. All of them had cracks almost a foot long or longer and a number of them had knots on the edges and the knot had fallen out.

    Question: When putting the skin back on, what is a good adhesive to use?

    LOL....I just noticed I have the wrong year model in my title...my camper is a 1995...
     
  15. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

    239
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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    I used regular contact cement (3M I believe). Coat both surfaces evenly, let sit for about 15 minutes, then carefully put them together. Keep in mind, this stuff grabs and sticks instantly!!! Make SURE you have practiced a few dry runs lining it up when you put them together. What I did was I had cut the skin in such a way that the straight edges could be matched up. I made a temporary "hinge" using duct tape, then opened, applied cement, and after waiting just "closed" them together. Worked perfectly. Then you can trim the excess edges of the skin (if you didn't already cut it exactly). A router works great for this.
     
  16. Warthog

    Warthog New Member

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    May 9, 2010
    HappyCamper, if you are re-using the aluminum skins I would recommend using PL Premium Construction Adhesive. I used a notch trowel to spread the adhesive and placed plywood and bricks on top to insure a good bond. I may want to cover any existing holes in the skins with plastic.
     
  17. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

    74
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    Jun 30, 2010
    I'll post the pictures tomorrow, but today I got the plywood put together with a lap joint.

    NOTE FOR THOSE AFRAID TO DO THIS: Until a couple of days ago I had never even heard of a lap joint or a dado blade. Today, in my garage, is a 16 foot span of plywood that is joined in the middle with a lap joint. I purchased a dado blade set at Home Depot for $50 and two hours later it was together.

    I also was able to get the sideboard off, but unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to re-use the aluminum. The sideboard was attached to the roof with long staples that were applied from the outside, through the skin. I couldn't take the staples out without tearing up the skin and when I pulled the aluminum off as carefully as possible, it tore around two of the staples.

    I put the old sideboard on the floor, took a shower and have called it a night.
     
  18. MikeInLa

    MikeInLa Don't forget the A/C cover!

    239
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    Jul 28, 2008
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    The skin on yours is aluminum? Interesting... Most of the Rockwoods I've seen didn't have the aluminum skin.
    I don't remember if there were staples in mine. In fact, it seems like the only staples I had were the ones holding the inside track (that holds the canvas at the top). When I took all the screws out of that trim piece, my old sideboard was ready to come off.

    I don't know what you plan to use for skin. If it really had aluminum skin (not plastic/fiberglass), then maybe you'll want to find something similar. I can tell you that the FRP I used (as I suggested above) came out perfect for me and has held up well for 2 years now.
     
  19. HappyCamperTX

    HappyCamperTX Camping in and around Central Texas!

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    Jun 30, 2010
    I like the look of the FRP so I just might go with that.
     
  20. tntrucknut

    tntrucknut New Member

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    May 16, 2010
    I am currently doing the same work on a 1995 Rockwood with a 12ft. box. I'm not trying to burst bubbles or anything, but have you looked to make sure the foam insulation is not holding water. I thought all I would be doing was replacing sideboards on mine. I am doing a complete rebuild. I tore the roof down to just outer skin and frame. The insulation was soaked, causing the top of the roof to slope towards the center and hold water under the A/C. Just something to check before you button everything up.

    I considered FRP for my new skin on the sides, but could not find any sheets bigger than 4x8. That means to make a piece long enough, I would have to join two pieces, which would result in a seam I didn't want. I went with PVC aluminum trim coil. It's wood grain texture so it doesn't match exactly, but good enough for me. It comes in 24''x50' rolls and paid $79 for it. FRP will be my choice for the new ceiling though.
     

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