New to Pup Starting Coleman ABS roof FIX

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by RKMHD, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. RKMHD

    RKMHD Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
    I had this pup since around January this year. It was given to me by my Uncle. It took a beating in the snow storm we had 2 years ago. The weight of the snow and the AC unit popped the support bracket loose. Not to mention my uncle clearly didn't read the care book that came with it. Stating to never cover it with a tarp. I'm sure that and the snow produced the cracks in the top. Mostly up front. Since I got it. I have been reading a lot of how people repair the ABS and so forth. Me, I went a little further than most I have read. My goal is to use bed liner on it. In my state they want like $800 to do it. That product. Its very reputable and VERY DURABLE. I see a lot of people patching the hair line cracks and even the bigger gap cracks with all sorts of products and some see to work quite well. I also read a lot of people use gorilla glue to get the top glued back down. This is my take at it... Screw the ABS. I just spend the last 3.5 hrs. Removing the AC unit and the hold down clamps and completely pulled the ABS roof off. I thought I had about 1/3 of it that was laminated (noticeable). Boy was I wrong. A whole other 1/3 was still stuck but not very well. It pealed up and sounded like a sticker. Now when I got the the very back like a foot and a half from the back of the AC unit to the very bottom it was ATTACHED. TO the point where it took a very fine bit of foam off when I removed it. I Saved the plates behind the plastic where the hold downs were and I will reattach them. I also am going to buy a new awning rail system and come up with a way to install it. So now I need to clean the top. Fill some foam dings and take it to a shop and have it sprayed. I figured the ABS was crap it really wasn't doing anything other than keeping the foam from getting dented. I am sure it did a little with support but can't imagine much at all. The liner product I am choosing is much stronger than the ABS so once its sprayed the structure should be stronger than it was originally. I'm going to attempt to add pictures of my progress. I haven't read anywhere on here where anyone has ditched the ABS and simply sprayed the liner to the foam. Its a closed sell foam and it should be fine. I will definately make sure it wont eat it up. If it wont spray directly to it. I'll surely find a bonding agent paint to shoot it with first.
     
  2. Wren

    Wren New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012
    MAn, I am soooo glad you are doing this. I have been trying to find out a way to ditch the ABS on mine and havent seen anyone do it. I will definately be keeping an eye on this.
     
  3. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    If the foam was internally braced (sprayed around a skeleton of some sort) I would say go for it ...but it isn't. That ABS adds rigidity and structure, the foam was just there as a form for the ABS. I hope it works for you but I would really think about it before dropping $800 on the lineX...you could build a new aluminum roof for that and have load bearing capability.

    Screw it let's camp !
     
  4. wvKING

    wvKING New Member

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    May 12, 2010
    I was going to use a roll on liner a year or so ago but was told it would eat the foam. Please let us know how this works. All of my ABS roof is loose. I use tie straps to hold it down in tow.
     
  5. JBousselot

    JBousselot Member

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    Apr 2, 2011
    My 2000 Utah is developing cracks in the ABS roof, and I don't have AC and it sits under a carport when we are not using it. On this past weekend trip to Campland by the Bay, it rained steadily overnight and it forced me to wash the camper when I got home. My clever use of PVC cement to seal these tiny cracks in the roof seems to have worked fairly well, but the long cracks (multiple inches long) didn't fare so well. Water goes into the crack and bubbles out when I press on the roof which tells me the PVC cement did not fill the larger gap and bond the pieces together. Since we haven't been camping in the rain now for almost 10 months, I'm fairly certain the water I pressed out today was partly from the hose and partly from the evening rain.

    All that to say, I'm glad you are taking pictures because I want to rip the top ABS layer off and do something similar. I'm considering fiberglass. I still need to do the math on how much more weight this would add if I put down two layers, and I'm wondering what else I could do to the roof while I have one layer off. Embedding aluminum rails into the fiberglass would make a nice built in roof rack, or give the existing roof some strength, and I'm still in the "thinking about this" stage. I have all the other roof repair and rebuild threads bookmarked here, and I'm not easily scared by enormous projects. My ABS roof is at a point now where even ugly patching would prolong the roof life many years, so I'm weighing the option of taking my current roof through a significant upgrade or going with a complete rebuild. If I did fiberglass, I would do a nice marine paint so it looked original and I'd be sure to test the resin on the foam to make sure it didn't melt.
     
  6. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Jun 21, 2012
    If it's just foam you could saw cut stringers, wood or metal, in like a surfboard and then fiberglass over it. You'd have to support the roof while you are doing it, though.
    I cannot believe that's all there is to an ABS roof! Scary!
    I thought the ABS was a lot thicker!
    I do like the idea of a new roof, but that's a lot more $, I'm sure.
     
  7. RKMHD

    RKMHD Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Yea not much to it at all... I'm sure the flimsy ABS added a "little" structure. But not much at all. I started the project "knowing" that about 1/3 was definitely delaminated. You could push it in and tough the foam. The other better than a 1/3 was still stuck but not hardly at all. I simply lifted it up and it came off. Now the back section behind the AC unit to the tail was stuck down like no other. You can tell if you look at the pics. What I am getting at here is if I glued just what was delaminated and paid the money for all the product to do the repair to the ABS and then did a coating of bedliner. Whose to say the other section that wasn't secured very well wouldn't have started to delaminate in a a year or so and totally trashing my repair investment. In my situation. I figured the ABS was junk, it was junk to start with and it is even whose 10 years down the road. The integrity of the ABS is obviously not good so why put a band aid on a bullet wound. I don't have any money invested in the camper it was given to me. So What the hell. I'll be the idiot that tries the unthinkable and see if it works. HAHA [:D] We will soon see. I am going to call around and get some quotes on the liner and see if their product has any reaction to close cell foam.... Funny thing is I help a buddy with his race car and this weekend. I realized a product that we use at the track is the very same thing I'm doing to this top. He has race ramps to drive his car up on so we can get under it to adjust/ fix stuff. Now these ramps are the latest and greatest technology. After looking them over all they are is closed cell foam sprayed with a liner material.... And his dang car sits on them and they are rated for like 1500 Lbs each corner.... WOW. The liner doesn't even dent the foam when the car drives up on them. Crazy stuff. Anyone know what our foam is made out of to make sure it doesn't have a reaction to the liner of choice? I read it somewhere and can't find it.

    "Bravely going where no PUP has gone before" [:D]
     
  8. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

    4,621
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    Jun 21, 2012
    It is probably closed-cell polyurethane foam. I'm sure a short internet search would give the answer.
    I used to be a commercial waterproofing contractor, and only pure solvents like acetone, xylene, and methyl ethyl ketone will really eat it away. The solvents in a two-part liner coating shouldn't hurt it, but a test area would be wise.
    I don't think the coating on your friend's ramps add strength to them. A layer of carbon fiber, which is much stronger, wouldn't do that without a rigid middle. There must be something inside the ramps like stringers.
    Keep us posted! :)
     
  9. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    Unless the ramps are solid chunks of foam covered in the bedliner I can't see them holding up 1500lbs...do you have a link ? The rigidity of the abs comes from the fact that it was one piece. Take a piece of cardboard lay it flat and try to bend it...easy right ? Now take that same piece of cardboard and form a pan out of it ...just got a ton harder,now imagine two pans inside each other separated by a chunk of closed cell foam on all sides and fused to it...yep can't bend it anymore. I'm not saying don't do it I'm just saying I don't believe you will be happy with the results.

    Screw it let's camp !
     
  10. cullinan18

    cullinan18 New Member

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    Aug 14, 2012
    Rhinoliner will eat the foam, so avoid that. Some of the other bed liners will ok for the foam roof. I forget where the thread is located, but I called 2 of the bed liner companies and 1 said no problem, while Rhinoliner said problem. I decided on elastomeric roof coating (Kool Seal). I just have to wait for Spring to get better weather to do the rip off and roll on. Good luck and let us know your your progress and results.
     
  11. RKMHD

    RKMHD Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003ZAHTC4/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B003ZA8WIE&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=153MEGC8CMC68VABPX2A

    They are very very light, and they use a fancy word of bedliner:)
     
  12. RKMHD

    RKMHD Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
    The company I contacted today said No Problem at all and he has done it before. Said I will be able to walk on it if I want after its done.


    Not saying it didn't do anything. Just wasn't doning much delaminated on the 1/3 and not stuck well on the better of another 1/3. Wont have that issue once the liner gets sprayed on it. It will be toughter than the ABS could have ever wished.... We'll see. I guess. I may be eating crow by the end of the week. HAHAAHAH
     
  13. RKMHD

    RKMHD Member

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    Oct 20, 2012
    Well I just got back from a dealer that was going to do the liner job. His estimate was $1700 for White liner with protective UV clear over it all. He must of saw the shocked look on my face because he immediately took it down to $1400. I was still in shock. I told him that I budgeted $800 for the job. He came down to $1000 and said he cant go any further. I told him I would let him know in a few days. I've been also reading up on other products like UPol Raptor. It's probably one of the best DIY kits out there from what I read and it is tintable. I think it said it was urethane based and I'm not sure on its compatibility with foam yet. So we'll see tomorrow. I'm gonna talk to a rep and see what he has to say.. Fingers Crossed.
     
  14. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    Looks like the ramps are solid foam. There are many different foams out there...some that are designed as structure even. I went to a restaurant as a kid in Denver that has cliff divers ...those cliffs are all foam and 40 years old holding up nicely with hourly shows. Good luck ! Can't wait to hear how it turns out !

    Screw it let's camp !
     
  15. Wren

    Wren New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012
    So as a newbie to this, why couldnt you just float a fiberglass resin over the foam, sand it, and paint it?
     
  16. JBousselot

    JBousselot Member

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    Apr 2, 2011
    Just resin by itself might have the desired effect you are suggesting but it lacks the strength of resin plus fiber. Steel re-bar makes concrete stronger like the glass fiber gives the resin additional structure. The original ABS roof used the three layers to bonded together to create the form and give it strength, so it's an interesting suggestion to just coat the foam with resin. I think resin alone might be stronger than the original ABS skin, but adding a layer of glass mat significantly magnifies the strength of the layer.


     
  17. Wren

    Wren New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012
    Thats what I ment, just didnt know how to say it. Im thinking fiberglass the whole damn thing and be done with it...Sandable, paintable, and fixable in the future...Might be heavier than the abs was, but lighter than the bedliner?
     
  18. Wren

    Wren New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012
  19. Wren

    Wren New Member

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    Oct 14, 2012

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