A Decision to Make...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by Bigantlers, May 1, 2019.

  1. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    When we bought our camper, we thought we had done a good job and finagled a good deal. They wanted $3500 and we bargained them down to $3000. The market was hot and we were happy.

    We did a bit of research, had a list that we used from Popupprincess.com and decided to do it. I'll spare you the adventure of getting it home (flat tire, tow truck, etc.), snapping the lifter cable and figuring out the tow lighting for added cost of maybe $700, plus decking it out with our stuff.

    It was while we were doing said decking out that I discovered the water damage, which was more severe every time I looked at it. The sideboard was 2/3 tobacco paper and I still don't know how it hasn't failed yet. We kept an eye on it and camped 7 times. We loved it, the kids loved it and were happy with it, even though I knew it was only a matter of time.

    I did research on doing the repair myself. I'm handy enough but I just can't spare the time for the project. So I wanted an estimate of what a shop would charge.

    Just getting a response was like pulling teeth. I even tried Forest River but still haven't gotten a final response from their service department. I avoided two shops that charged for estimates and finally got a number from a third shop that would do it for free:

    $2000.00

    Yeah that's a little more than I was hoping...

    Of course the water damage is more comprehensive than what is actually seen meaning that half the roof will need rebuilt. So I'm throwing my story up here for the net's edification.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    412
    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    I'm surprised you found even one shop willing to give you an estimate.
     
    Orchid and Sjm9911 like this.
  3. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    771
    Likes Received:
    403
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    Location:
    New Plymouth, ID
    If time constraints prevent you from doing the work yourself, you might ask around & see if there's a knowledgeable handyman in the area looking for a little part time work....even then it's liable to cost a bit, but I bet it'll be a lot less than a RV shop....just a thought
     
  4. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    319
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2015
    If it's the roof, look at all the threads on roof repair here and see if it's in your wheelhouse. If not try to ask a handyman for an estimate. Good luck!
     
    NothingsChocking likes this.
  5. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    436
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario
    With RV shop rates running $100 - $150 hr there's no way a shop could rebuild a roof for just $2000, that just won't pay for enough hours to do the job properly. Your choices are to take this on as your own project, live with it as it is, or discount the price and try to sell the trailer to someone who is willing to rebuild it themselves.
     
  6. NothingsChocking

    NothingsChocking Active Member

    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    61
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2017
    Location:
    Texas
    I second looking for a handyman/contractor. One that is reputable and willing to take the work in your area; however, you can still probably bet on paying at least half to 75% of the RV shop, but you should be able to save some. Question is: would a willing small-time contractor be willing to provide an estimate for free?
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    4,411
    Likes Received:
    1,344
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    I agree with the above posters. No way a shop will ask for anything less than $2k. I have yet to find a shop willing to do anything free labor on clock. So the way I see it...
    1) see if you can find an extra roof in better shape than yours somewhere. That way your hours to work on it would be cut in half.
    2) Do the work yourself. Do what my brother does for his car repairs. Call a bunch of buddies over, and have essentially have a party fixing the roof. With a bunch of people helping it would go quicker.
    3) stop the leak, probably do a bandaid fix and live with it for a while until a more permanent decision was made.
    4) sell the camper for a loss and try and find something in better repair.
     
    Muller 5 likes this.
  8. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    Likes Received:
    842
    Joined:
    May 21, 2014
    Location:
    Plymouth (Minneapolis) Minnesota
    Water damage means a big DIY project, or you scrap the camper. Nobody is going to do the work for what would be prudent money to add to a camper.
     
    Orchid likes this.
  9. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    740
    Likes Received:
    317
    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2017
    I'd bandaid it to make it safe and roadworthy and be cool with looking a tad trashy. :)
     
    Orchid and tfischer like this.
  10. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    I think that is what I'm going to do. I'll take another look at the camper to see if its feasible but here is my plan:

    1. Remove awning and molding as necessary
    2. Raise roof and remove canvas, canvas channel, etc. where needed
    3. Lower roof onto 2x4 braces, disconnect support post
    4. Remove rotted wood (I'll cut to where the wood is still good)
    5. Shape replacement plywood
    6. Glue it to the aluminum skin
    7. Install mending plate at the butt seam
    8. Install a corner bracket in the corner
    9. Reinstall channeling, canvas, support, etc.
    10. Go camping

    Like Dingit said, put a band-aid on it and just enjoy using it.

    I've tried farming out handyman jobs before without a lot of success so I don't want to go that route. I can't justify paying $2000 on a repair. If I had that, I'd rather put it toward a newer camper as a down payment. If I can get 2 more seasons of use out of this then I'll be happy and able to plan for the future.

    Anything I should keep in mind?
     
    Blackripley, Orchid, 1380ken and 2 others like this.
  11. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    436
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario
    For a rebuild you'd find the job a lot easier if you remove the roof entirely from the camper and set it up on a series of waist level supports where it's dry and you can work on it at your own pace without concern for the weather.
     
  12. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    304
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    we bought a rockwood camper that had a leaky roof. It was relatively new, a 2010 and looked to be very sound. But it had soft sideboards, and a leaky fiberglass type roof. It was a big mess, but we fixed it with a combination of methods, and it wasn't an overwhelming job. I think the post, and hopefully pictures and explanations are in this thread"
    rockwood 1360 top leaks
    tzmartin is right, there are tons of good threads in the "floor and roof maintenance/repair section.
     
  13. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    966
    Likes Received:
    436
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2018
    Location:
    S Ontario
    Use due caution when reading this other thread as silicone was used as a sealant - worst thing you can do with any RV is use silicone, once it's on you'll never get anything to stick to it and it's a bear to fully remove. Stick with Dicor self leveling lap sealant on any horizontal surface and products like Geocell Proflex non sag sealant on any vertical surfaces.
     
    Orchid and xxxapache like this.
  14. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    Yep I've heard of the problems with Silicone! I've got some Dicor in the garage.
     
  15. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    538
    Likes Received:
    304
    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2017
    we used silicone based roof coating as recommended by the manufacturer of Lamilux, the roofing material used by rockwood for that particular camper model. I don't think they used it but for a few years. This fiberglass coated board was not compatible with other coating products, such as elastomeric based coatings. I did a lot of research, made a lot of calls and got a lot of information from different company technicians and engineers. You have to make sure you know what your roof is made of, and use the product that will adhere and last. No I would not use silicone in a tube. The Henry's we used was a sticky mess to put on, and we wish we could have been assured something else would have worked as well. I added the post for our structural bracing and wood sideboard repair methods that worked for us, as well as the coating, didn't have time to read through and even see if it included all the details. It doesn't, that is in another thread, but not sure exactly where.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  16. scwalk

    scwalk New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2015
    I bought a Dutchman with damaged sideboards. I did one side at a time. Raised the roof, removed the curtains, dropped the canvass (still on the rail), put two sawhorses in to hold the roof up, then lowered the roof down on them. (Cover the beds and canvass first) Removed the trim on the outside, then removed the bolts in the support rails so they were just resting loose. Tapped on inside of board out to loosened it all the way around - being careful not to drop it as I wanted to re-use the fiberglass covering. Came out easily as most of the screws were rusted. The covering came right off the rotted wood and I used it as a pattern. I used 3/4 plywood, (yours might be different thickness - go back with same thickness as original) cutting 2 pieces and lapping them about a foot in the center with glue and SS flat screws through both sides. I did discover some minor rot in the edge frame along roof edge, but was able cut most of it out and replace it, (only about a foot) and repaired the rest with Wood hardener. I then reattached new sideboard with regular wood Gorilla glue and stainless screws into the roof edge strip. Then glued on old fiberglass cover, drilled out holes for supports (using hole pattern already in cover) and reattached supports with new ss bolts. The gorilla glue actually is absorbed into the wood and actually helps restore any soft spots. I used longer screws than the original ones to pull it up well as the glue does expand some and you don’t want it pushing the board out. Reinstalled canvas and rail, reinstalled curtains. Reinstalled trim with putty tape, then caulked with sikaflex. I then did front board same way, but had to take a couple measurements for the door hardware, etc. After finishing up both sides, I went over the roof with white elastomeric roof coating from Home Depot. After all this was done, I then tore out the wet and de laminated paneling on the ceiling (take measurements of everything beforehand). I let the camper sit open for about a week to dry out, then I replaced with 1/8” Luan paneling that I treated with clear Thompson waterseal on the back side that glues to the foam ceiling. I used the sawhorses to hold each piece up. Painted the inside new ceiling and sideboard with white paint (or whatever color your heart desires. The sideboard repair is super easy and each one can be done in about a day. The only help I needed was holding it up so I could screw it on. Only equipment I used was few hand tools to loosen bolts, a drill, a Sabre (jig) saw to cut the plywood panels, and a skill saw to to cut the half laps. It really helps if you have a place to work that is covered, but I actually did the back sideboard with it sitting in my driveway, covered with a large tarp. Total it probable took me a total of 3 partial weekends, and painting an hour or two during the week. Biggest problem I had was getting the old paneling off the ceiling where it was NOT rotted and loose. The rest was a lot easier than I thought it would be. I’ll post a pic or two when I get a chance.
     
  17. FreddieB

    FreddieB New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Location:
    Winston Salem NC
    Hello
    I was wondering with the dicor stuff can you use a spray gun to apply it?
     
  18. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    I would not know, sorry...
     
  19. FreddieB

    FreddieB New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2015
    Location:
    Winston Salem NC
    K thanks
     
  20. Bigantlers

    Bigantlers Member

    Messages:
    73
    Likes Received:
    29
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    Toledo, OH
    I wanted to update on my progress. I decided to go with a proper rebuild instead of a band aid.


    I went back to Mobile RV where I got the original quote and requested a new quote for new sideboards. They actually cut me a small discount on the price since they had supplies on hand from another roof they were rebuilding, incidentally on another Flagstaff! Either way, good deal and I placed the order. I just brought them home last night.

    In the mean time I've:
    • Removed all canvas
    • Removed screen door
    • Removed bunks (the need some TLC)
    • Removed one sideboard (the other will be coming down soon)
    • Removed various brackets and parts
    • Ordered/cleaned/painted replacement parts (brackets, clips, bulb seal, etc.)
    • Repacked the bearings
    • Painted the hubs
    • Replaced the lugnuts (Black ones!)
    • Painted the sand feet, installed
    • Replaced the stabalizers
    • Replaced assorted hardware
    • Cleaned/prepped molding for repainting (mostly)
    • Removed AC and its parts for inspection/cleaning/replacement
    • Removed powered vent fan (this was the source of the leak)
    • Removed spare tire bracket, repainted
    • Removed slide out step (being repainted now)
    • Removed exterior molding on one end to replace bed wipe (it got ruined because they seemed to run out of staples!)
    Next I will be doing:
    • Custom paint on the new side boards after transferring the holes
    • Custom paint on the molding
    • Repairing water damage (wood hardener, bondo, paint)
    • Reinstall various misc parts
    • Re-patch an exterior hole
    • Reinstall slide out step
    • Repair/reinstall screen door
    • Reinstall canvas (after a little cleaning)

    I know there are other things I'm missing. My goal is to be camping by the end of June. Hopefully it'll stop raining by then!

    So far I am enjoying myself immensely and am having a hard time reigning in my imagination. I've already been discussing future projects for the bottom with DW.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2019
    Amy Harris, tfischer and Sjm9911 like this.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.