Help please Popup ceiling/roof AC or Fan replacement

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by JunieB, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    I read a lot on here. I like to be very independent. But I hit a stopping point on dealing with my Taos (not ABS) roof leak issues. It appeared to start with an AC unit on top, that had the roof sagging despite the structural strut beam installed. OK, I had the AC taken off, I bought a new gasket (per Portal advice), still sitting in closet, and still considered whether to have the AC re-installed.

    Meanwhile a Fantastic Fan called my name. I installed the Fantastic Fan instead of the AC -- or so I thought. Same hole size. The screws going down, hit into the little aluminum so-called AC supports on underside of the roof -- then would not penetrate. What a joke. As if 4 little aluminum things glued just into styrofoam could support a 100 lb AC on the roof, jiggling down the road? At any rate, a Fan should not have been too much, or so I thought.

    OK, I will post photos tomorrow. But, drilling screws through the exterior thin roofaluminum shell, plus styrfoam worked OK-- until they hit the more serious "support" things. Then they did their best to tear those aluminum supports out.
    At same time, I was trying to install a new Lauan ceiling (to the styrofoam layer) with Marine Spar varnish I applied, using a SikA pro adhesive. I ran out of time as summer rains in Fl appeared, after thought I had it adhered. It did adhere, for at least a few days. Summer rains means serious downpours oh, about twice a day here. So I had tarped the whole thing.
    Now, the unveiling and finding I need to get this Fantastic Fan re-secured plus re-attach the aluminum "supports" plus Luaun which did not stay attached. At least the Luaun did not tear and is reusable. Or I could get instead, some of that FRP or whatever was recommended. But I sort of liked the looks of 3 coats of Marine Spar Varnish.

    Question 1: HOW do I get the longish Fan screws to go into the aluminum "supports" that gave up the ghost and tore out of the styrofoam? Drill some pilot holes and try to glue the 4 supports back in?
    Question 2: Is there EVER any hope of my getting the AC put back on top, with more support? I could just sell that unit, it worked.
    I WANT to go camping in a couple weeks but this is certainly not watertight yet.

    Thanks in advance. Please be kind and helpful. Bear in mind that I hate asking for help.
     
  2. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Pictures of the area in question would be beneficial.
     
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  3. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    You betcha and that is why I am TRYING to find the instructions here on how to post a photo. It's not in Introductions; searching isn't doing much. What to do? That is why I said I would post photos today, and not last evening. Help?
    I don't belong to any "photo sharing sites" yet, so I'll need to sign up for one of those, too, if that is required.
     
  4. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Ok, I think it's just "upload a file" in the message and upload from your computer's drive.
    First, the Fan fiasco along with ugly roof styroam: Fan fiasco 1.JPG

    Next, closeup of screw sticking out: Fan fiasco 1.JPG Fan fiasco 1.JPG Fan fiasco 2.JPG Fan fiasco 2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  5. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Now, an image of the dimpled aluminum so-called support piece. Dimpled by the screw since aluminum here is pretty hard. As you have to lay on top of the camper to screw in the fan, can't see what's happening on the inside. Is this a two-person job? I followed all instructions by Fantastic fan:

    aluminum support piece.JPG
    These were mostly torn out of the styrofoam ceiling (4 of these make a square fromation) so I finished pulling off the dangling ones. This is just sitting on top of a piece of particle board, not its usual home
     
  6. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    And finally so you can see this is not a HOPELESS case the good part of the ceiling, good end including place where door hangs:
    trailer good ceiling end.JPG

    Ok, hopefully someone who has installed a fan or something like that can help?
    1)My first impression is to backout the installed screws, uninstall the fan, find some REALLY good adhesive to reattach the aluminum support bits-- and start again at square one.
    2)OR I am better at working with wood than metal. Could fabricate pieces of wood same dimensions as those aluminum bits, and again, some really good adhesive and/or screws to get them to stick into the ceiling. That could make getting the Fan's screws to penetrate wood easier than metal, I think.
     
  7. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Until I get this fan issue resolved and any leaks fixed-- I can't/won't proceed with re-veneering the ceiling. Got it?
     
  8. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    I would remove the fan and build a solid wood frame (like 2x2) to fit snug around the fan frame. Then glue the wood frame to the top. This will give the fan mount screws something to hold to. I'd go with a two person job, unless you have time, patience, and clamps.
     
  9. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    I found what was possibly part of the install-fail. I bought the Camco Universal Vent Installation Kit (with butyl tape) for accessories to put the Fan on. Screws that came with were 1 inch, flat head, but NOT self-tapping. Grrrr. Now I see Fan recommendations were to use #8 self tapping flat head.

    I do NOT know for sure, if having self-tapping would have prevented the de-lamination and pushing-out of the aluminum support rectangular pieces that come around the 14" by 14" precut square hole. There really isn't much holding those in your ceiling/roof but the styrofoam. But they could not have hurt. Phew. No kudos to "Camco" products now.

    You won't see those aluminum rectangular bits by looking at your normal ceiling, until/ unless you had to remove all the (wrecked from moisture) luaun veneer plus plastic coating, like I did.

    I had paid a guy just like $40 to take my AC off. A lovely unit, that worked well. I still have it.
    I'll see what I can do this weekend. Its storage site has no electric available, so have to use all cordless tools unless at a campground.
     
  10. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    I do have an assortment of clamps. I'm trying to envision how "clamps" would be used in middle of the roof. Do you mean, clamp the wood newly-fabricated square support that is actually intended for an AC-- to the ceiling, then remove clamps before I put the fan back on? I could do that.
    It's hard coming up with a second person-helper as a single lady. As in, hey wouldn't somebody love to give up a beautiful afternoon to come and hold pieces inside of a camper while I'm sitting just above you on a thin roof and using power tools! Lol. I'm petite but even so--I'll see what I can figure out with some 2x4 props.
     
  11. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    That's what I was thinking, clamping frame through the hole in the roof. With clamps, it could be a one person job. If you bake cakes or cookies, cook anything, or supply some beer there are probably guys in the neighborhood that would gladly help. Just make sure they are handy types and not the moochers.
     
  12. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Going to look at it, back out the fan today and assess. No rain forecast for 24 hrs, hooray. Since I'm taking photos anyway, and several tasks, maybe I'll start a Renovation thread. A guy on here renovated a Columbia but no photos on his Fantastic Fan part. He had an amazing thread. Fan itself is fine, it's the adjacent ceiling/roof issues.
     
  13. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Not fully understanding your problem, but heres my 2 cents.
    If you are saying the support under the roof covering is loose or have a gap > use a quick grab adhesive and a couple of screws to hold it together as it sets. You can leave the screws in.
    No frame under the hole ........ add one, then glue as above.
    The screws for the vent cover are only part of it, the vent is mostly glued down.
     
  14. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Yes, it seems these were a stiffening frame under the hole. The OEM consisted of these U-shaped (looking at one from its end) metal pieces, one on each side of the 14" precut hole. You won't see them since they are usually, simply "embedded" in the styrofoam.
    Here is a full-length sitting on my sofa arm, that ripped out:
    support piece.JPG
    I don't think these are an example of brilliant engineering. There are no corner brackets holding them together as a full square. Structurally, pretty doggoned weak IMHO! I interpret them as pieces meant to "stiffen" the cutout edges designated for AC (or fan). Each one is 14 inches long, 3/4 inch deep, and 1 inch wide.

    I just pulled out the fan, and removed most of the Dicor now. Like 18 screws are used. This model is held on with screws, and Dicor lap sealant. Dicor stays flexible, different from an adhesive-- more of a water barrier/ sealant. See this https://www.loveyourrv.com/installing-fantastic-vent-fan-rv/ for more information on install-- same fan as mine. Air conditioner does not use screws, but this model of Fantastic fan does. That's why I had this issue-- the screws shoved out the aluminum stiffening frame pieces.

    So now I have this lovely hole again in the ceiling: hole for AC or fan.JPG
    and due to every-changing FL forecasts it might rain tonight after earlier saying it would not. Tarp time! Time to buy more Dicor!

    and run over to home depot to look for wood lengths 3/4" by 1 inch . Or close. The white part of barely visible above in the styrofoam edges, is actually where these pieces tore out.

    If there isn't anything 3/4" by 1" I might settle for 1" by 1" wood. Wood's not as strong in those dimensions either-- just will give something for the screws to get purchase into. Grrr. I will improve on this design.
    I just don't know what those who already installed Fantastic fans ran into here. Or if they had some different model fan that did not have screws. Would be nice to know.
     

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  15. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Screw through the whole thing and use bolts, use a backer plate on each side.
     
  16. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Since the Taos wasn't part of the 2004 Fleetwood lineup I'd suspect yours is actually a 2003 model. As one who has owned several Fleetwood / Coleman popups I also recall that the Taos was the one model that required an additional A/C installation kit be added to the roof before A/C could be installed. Speculation - but perhaps your issues are a result of whomever originally installing the A/C not also installing the proper A/C support kit. I seem to recall this kit framed out the 14" hole so the weight of the A/C would be properly supported, just as it normally would be on any aluminum skin wood frame conventional roof used by any manufacturer.
     
  17. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Yes, I am wondering about that original AC installation. Good call. It was "sagging" on that part of the roof. The 14" hole may not be unique to the Taos. Others here on other threads, have talked about finding the plastic plugs to mark the corners of the 14" hole. The reason they are where they are, I surmise, is because Coleman probably had that "invisible" reinforcement braces around that square.
    I believe I have a 2003 1/2. Somewhere I read those 2003 were (ABS??) roofs. Mine is Alumitite. 2003 May is its build date, but state Title says 2004. Go figure.

    Well, now I have completed Step One of the re-reinforcement process. It takes me so long, because I have to walk-or-drive around a block and a half to get to my PUP storage area, each time. Forget one item-- and I get my exercise.
    Here is some progress, and of COURSE it is supposed to rain first thing tomorrow, big thunderstorms. AAARgh. Lucy is in the corner totally by accident-- was trying to protect some stuff from adhesive with magazine pages, lol.
     

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  18. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Central Florida
    and clamped..
     

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  19. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    S Ontario
    Your Taos is a 2003.5 Destiny SE series camper as it was replaced in the 2004 model lineup by the Tuscon - essentially the same trailer but different name. If yours is registered as a 2004 it shouldn't be and since government licensing doesn't accommodate mid year registration (i.e. 2003.5) then it should have been registered as a 2003.

    The Taos never had an ABS Strata roof nor an AlumiTite roof but rather a conventional composite construction aluminum skin roof with a single centre seam. Fleetwood popups, regardless of the type of roof, all had 4 plastic buttons that marked the corners of a 14" square vent hole over which one would mount a fan or A/C unit. If your A/C is not mounted over where these plastic plugs would have originally been installed then it's in the wrong location. The vent hole in all of these aluminum skin roofs were framed out for A/C installation EXCEPT the Taos which required the installation of the vent hole support kit before A/C could be installed.
     
  20. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    It does have a single center seam. Wow, lots of good info! Guess I thought just having an aluminum roof shell, made it an Alumitite. It's that typical Coleman three-layer of aluminum skin, lots of styrofoam below that, the Lauan below that.
    Now you've done it-- made me go look at my Title! Title def says "2004 Cole," previous owner's title was issued in 2013. Could be a long owner history before that.
    When I looked at decal on side of trailer a few days ago, I saw May 2003 manufactured date. It's Florida-- anything's possible. Instead of "do it right the first time," here we have-- "It might get done right- the second time around."

    So what DOES this Taos AC install kit look like? Maybe there is hope for me to get AC back on someday if I can find one. Does it sit on top of the roof? Around the roof opening? The poor thing had been sagging a little, and the seal was shot too.
     

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