Help, Possible roof leak?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by Runawayhome, Apr 15, 2019 at 1:51 PM.

  1. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    Hello! This is my first post so please forgive me if I have this in the wrong area.

    We purchased our first Pop up in FEB. NTU 2003 Coleman Utah with an Alumitite Top.
    We Opened it up for the first time since our purchase and noticed that there might be a roof problem. (did not see it the when we purchased) I tried to attach photos. there seems to me to be a lot packed on this roof. and the possible leak is near the area where to exterior Cargo is located.

    Any advice is welcome. I'm hoping that re-caulking to roof will help?

    I have no idea where to start to fix this, and purchasing this took all of our budget. I want to fix this ASAP so it does not get worse but we're scared we won't be able to afford to.

     
  2. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Your Utah is a 2003.5 even though it may be registered as a 2003 model. It has the infamous AlumiTite roof a.k.a. AlumiLeak roof which was well known as a leaker because there are seams under the two rack tracks that join the 3 separate pieces of aluminum sheeting that cover the roof. How to repair depends on how much damage has already been done, whether water has infiltrated to the interior ceiling. The unfortunate reality is that one needs to very carefully inspect any recreational vehicle roof before purchase as this is unquestionably the number 1 enemy of any type of RV. FWIW, your links don't work.
     
  3. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    Thank you GreyFox. I'm not sure why my links don't work. I am going to attempt to upload differently, please let me know if it worked. We noticed the problem inside, so I am assuming the damage is already bad. If I touch the area it does not sink in. but there is a warping of the material.

    When we looked at our camper we did poke and prod. This is our first purchase, and I attempted to educate myself before our purchase but we are very much newbies. damage is done now trying to make the best of it and create memories for the kiddos.

    Can you give me any direction on where to start? do I take it to a dealer? Re-seal the roof? Give up? hahaha. IMG_4835.PNG IMG_5503(1).JPG IMG_5501(1).JPG IMG_4836.PNG
     
  4. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Hard to tell exactly what is going on there... I would probably start by removing that cargo carrier and anything else attached to the roof and sealing any and all holes.
     
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  5. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    THANK YOU!
     
  6. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Oh wow, that's pretty serious damage to the ceiling so there's little question the roof has leaked quite badly. Simply sealing it around the Rack Tracks and the corner caps unfortunately isn't going to correct the fact water has leaked into the interior of this roof and destroyed the ceiling. I suspect you'd have to remove the roof from the camper and set it upside down in a workshop where you can tear it apart and replace anything that has rotted inside. Not a job for the timid, that's for sure. [:!]
     
  7. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    How handy are you and your husband? The price for a dealer to fix would give you real shock. Trust me, it's more than a weekend project.
     
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  8. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    I would be doing the work, and I'm a novice at best but a perfectionist :). Currently we don't have an indoor space big enough for this right now. I appreciate all the direction! I've been watching you tube videos and doing my best to educate myself to this project. It might just have to wait.
     
  9. erich82

    erich82 Member

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    My brand new Jayco roof replacement is 7 hours labor by the dealer. At 100$+/hour, plus the cost of the roof, that is quite a cost. And that's for a full replacement. Not sure if you could find an entire new roof for a 15 year old camper?
     
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  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Welcome from a 2004 Utah owner. Here are my 2 cents. I don’t think the damage is as bad that you HAVE to have a new roof so long as the roof is still mostly solid and not squishy. I say air it out and stop the leak. Continue to monitor the ceiling to ensure no further damage occurs. My ceiling looked just as bad as yours when I first bought it 4 years ago and after I stopped the leak it is still holding strong. Yes there is visible damage that is an eyesore but for the most part it is still fairly solid.

    To stop the leak there a couple options
    1). Take the roof tracks off and allow to air dry. Then you can fill in the screw holes and put Eternabond down over the seam. Now whether or not you want to put the roof tracks back down that’s up to you.
    2). You can also leave the roof tracks in place and put eternabond down both sides of the track half on the track and half on the roof. You may also need to caulk or put eternabond down over the screws as well. This is the route I took mainly because I have no place to work on the camper other than the campground.

    I would also recalls all seams.
     
  11. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    . Sadly, Fleetwood has been out of business for many years and parts are very limited. There is a possibility the OP could find a used camper someone is parting out but the roof may even be in worse shape. As much as I love my Fleetwood it’s not easy owning one if something breaks.
     
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  12. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    I can not thank you enough, from the bottom of my heart! You have given us hope. I made an appointment with a local RV repair shop just to get estimates. But I know that I will be doing what you have suggested!!! Your advise and 2cents are very appreciated and have given or summer back! THANK YOU!!!
     
  13. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    Not to be a Debbie Downer but IMO you're being unrealistic, a dealer at best is only going to perhaps remove the rack tracks and reseal those seams and those at the four corners. They're certainly not going to rebuild the roof, nor should they as the cost of doing so would involve countless hours of tech repair time and cost you a fortune. Guaranteed, that won't happen, at best you'll be left with a patch job to a roof that has already leaked badly. Remember, it's not just the fact that water has leaked into the roof and down through the ceiling but that water has now created an environment where dangerous mold & mildew can easily grow. It's your choice obviously but I wouldn't be using a camper in this state, either repair it properly by taking the roof apart and rebuilding it or get rid of the camper. JMO, it's your decision.
     
  14. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    Yes. It is my decision thank you. For clarification, I am taking her to a dealer to get an expert opinion and possible direction. Remember this is my first camper and my first repair. I have NO idea how to take a part a roof, no place to do it and no funds. So a temporary fix right now is looking like the right option for us. She is Our PUP. I can’t imagine someone purchasing our camper with our leaky roof and I sure won’t do what the previous owner did sell it knowing there were problems. So please unless you are going to share step by step instructions, donate your time or shop and or encouraging words, please stop, your opinion has been made crystal clear.
     
  15. GreyFox

    GreyFox Active Member

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    E-X-C-U-S-E me for trying to help you be realistic about just how serious this roof problem you have is and how costly a proper repair would be if you don't do it yourself. :( Good luck with whatever you choose to do. [:D]
     
  16. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    Can I ask how you aired out your roof before you used the Eternabond? I keep searching and have not found an answer. Did you take down part of the ceiling from the Inside? Or just have in open in a dry environment?



    I’ve searched the inside and only see the damage to the ceiling, and it’s not soft. But I really don’t want to open anything up...
     
  17. Runawayhome

    Runawayhome New Member

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    Thank you.
     
  18. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Ok here's the thing. Dealers make money off remove & replace not restoration. So most won't work on them. When they do, they charge by the "flag hour". This adds up pretty quickly. So you either find someone to do it (including a Vo-Tech school) or do it your self. It sounds like you have decided to go the DIY route. The first thing is to determine the amount of damage and the source. So, let's start with the basics.
    1. The roof is built in layers (with minimal supporting structures). Typically you will have an outer layer (sheet metal or plastic), then a thin core/insulating layer, then Luaun (real thin plywood like material) and finally the ceiling cover (like wallpaper). Either the outer most or inner most can delaminate without the rest being damaged.
    2. You have to locate the source of the problem. I would start with the cargo carrier (none came stock). Remove the screws and look for rust on the screws. With the carrier gone, you can take a piece of coat hanger and probe the holes to see if they are soft or still firm. If still firm, say a prayer of thanks and immediately seal them. I would use bondo followed by Dicor self leveling sealant. If that was good, go to the rails and repeat the procedure. Remove every screw and check (probe), remove the old Dicor. Apply new Dicor and reassemble. I recommend stainless steel screws. I would leave the cargo carrier off forever (might even yard sale to get the money for Dicor. LOL). Next check the corner caps (if you have them), the same way. And ditto the roof AC.
    3. If you've gotten this far and every thing is ok, time to check the inside. Check every inch with your hand to make sure the underlying portions are firm. If they are, you are in luck. If not, you have a lot more work to do.

    Hope this helps get you started. Steve
     
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