1994 coleman destiny rio grande roof rebuild


Oct 28, 2012
1) When I reinstalled the rails along the bottom edge of the aluminum & the lift pocket, I needed extra material for the correct thickness. 1x dimensional wood was the same thickness as the original foam. But then I needed to make up for the original luan. I did not need to put luan through the popup, but I did need to place it under the rails and the lift pockets. so I cut 3/4" strips of luan & used it were needed.

2) Empty lift pocket ready for assembly. I used 3/4" screws for the lift pockets

3) I screwed the ceiling corner bracket to the ceiling. As I rotated the sides to a vertical position, I had to lift the side up so that the lip for the lift pocket cleared the corner bracket

4) good pict of corner bracket screwed in & lift pocket. Keep in mind that mot of these connections were originally pop rivet into foam....


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Oct 28, 2012
1) Here is a pict of a corner after I pulled it back together. I did not get the corners "perfect" - there was too much play in the sides & front vertical pieces to get it just right. Hopefully between the eternabond, caulking and grizzly grip, it will be sealed for as long a I own her.

2) 2x4 frame that built around the top. the bottom 2x4s stayed under the top the entire time & rested on the lift towers. While I was working on her, I place 2-2x4x10s under the edges and a 1x10x10 under the center. This configuration provided a slight bow to the roof that I hope I captured as I put the ceiling together. I added the top 2x4s and the spacers between the top & bottom were screwed together. I then pushed the pop into the garage, used the lift sytem to raise the roof & had rope loop prepped to go under the bottom 2x4s and suspend the rrof a I lowered the lifts. I then used a pully system with a buddy to lower the roof. We stood the roof up on edge using the 2x4 frame so that the roof did not touch the ground. Once it was rotated, we used the pulleys to raise it back up & used the rope loops to hold it in place. Then backed the camper into the garage & raised the lift towers until they made contact.

3) & right side up again after 2 weeks - the sides have never been that straight

4) I saw on another thread were an owner glassed over the corner caps to reinforce them & strengthen where there were cracks. I did the same using a bond0 short fiber fiber glass quart product.


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Oct 28, 2012
1) Next, I wire brushed off all the extra material & began the filler/bondo process

2) the driver side edge was bad. I am hoping that again, between the wire mat, the bondo, the primer, the eternabnd 4" strip going down the edges & the grizzly grip, there will be no problems

3) more edge

4) & more edge


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Oct 28, 2012
1) bondo work - I knew, & was glad, that the grizzly grip would cover up the bondo imperfections

2) partially primed top

Since then, the top has been completely primed. the center seam has been removed. I will not reinstall the center seam. A long trip of eternabond and then grizzly grip will cover it.

3) A beautiful NC sunset

Only items left:
attach eternabond
Caulk for corners
corner cap attachment
grizzly grip
reattach canvas metal brackets on inside
clean & re-waterproof canvas
reattach canvas

go camping.....


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Oct 28, 2012
We received 12 days in a row of measurable rain - a record. Nothing like the disasters in SC, but enough to affect night work on the pop.

1) I needed to build a new cover for the storage box on the front of the rio grande. The factory lid was fiberglass that had cracked a long time ago. I searched for ideas on a simple cover & finally designed the one in the picture. Just a 15/32 plywood cover w/ adhesive caulk & screws into 1 x 2s on edge. On the underside, I screwed 2 - 1x2s into the plywood to create stops that will fit into the inner perimeter of the storage box. I also transferred the catches for the clasps.

2) Eternabond tape on center seam. I decided not to put the original center seam cover back on.
Placing the eternabond was a concern for me due to all of the posts mentioning that it was a one chance process. I like working w/ products that I can make a mistake & then redo. So I was concerned. But I took my time & it worked out (for the most part) There are a few ripples that I couldn't get out & the corners were a little difficult, but it's done/

3) Eternabond on the driver side edge. This was the edge that was completely rotten & received lots of bondo.

4) Full view with primer, eternabond & new storage cover


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Oct 28, 2012
1) Picture of the awning rail screwed into the eternabond & then the aluminum & into wood. I also used adhesive caulk on the back side of the rail. In earlier pictures, you can see that the material inside the pop-up edge was originally just shaped fiberboard material. Poor material once it get wet & poor for screw holding. I replaced it with shaped wood 2x2. The screw now go into wood. I read a post about a '92 rebuild & the edge material was wood. So coleman/fleetwood switched to a cheaper inferior product in the 93 timeframe.

2) Photo of the storage cover & plastic in preparation for applying the grizzly grip.

3) more.

4)I read about fiberglassing over the corner caps to provide extra strength. But my front passenger cap cracked again.


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Oct 28, 2012
The other part of this project that caused me concern was the grizzly grip. It's not like it's regular paint that you can just repaint or redo. & if you spill it or run out of it, you can't run up to the store. I was also concerned about the primer & sticking to top correctly. I opted not to purchase the $60 primer from Grizzly Grip & instead used self etching automotive spray primer. Once this stuff gets on the top, it's not coming off.

1) Rolling on the grizzly grip. I did not want to do this part of the project in the garage. Between the odor & any any splash onto other objects. The grizzly grip went on easily. I started at the center seam & moved to the edge. Then did the sides & then the storage cover. The sides ran & dripped, which I wasn't happy about. Once I saw it, it was too late to roll over - again, it's snot like paint. But, I'm more concerned about the seal than the appearance - it still looks great anyway.

2) One coat done. Second coat tommorrow.

In the mean time, I washed all the tent material with a water / woolite mix & a soft bristle brush. It was pretty dirty. I want to learn about seam sealing (I do it for my tents, I assume it's similar for sunbrella). I have the tent sitting out drying off.

More to come...


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Oct 28, 2012
I had issues with the grizzly grip application and runs on the side boards.

I completed the 2nd coat on my pup, and I was very careful, but runs and drips still happened.

I am rolling the product, not spraying. & I'm using the product for protection, aesthetics come second. But I do want it to look good.

I've done a lot of painting. But the viscosity of the grizzly grip and the applicator makes for a tough application.

I did not thin the material and had coating left over, so I do not believe it went on too thick.

& once a run starts, you cannot go back over it with the roller, unless the roller is loaded with new coating. Part of the roller pad came off when I tried once.

Have others had similar experiences?


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Oct 28, 2012
The tent material was reattached lat night. The material is tighter than it has ever been, but not too tight.

I attribute the looser tent fitting to the brackets pulling away from the top since it was rotting out, especially the pup ends that held most of the tent material.

All brackets are now screwed into the 1x wood in top instead of the rivits into the foam.


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Active Member
Jan 10, 2015
Cincinnati, Ohio
Looking real nice!

Never heard that complaint about Grizzly Grip running so bad, but never used it personally so really can't comment. I do see on your pictures where it ran on the vertical surfaces, but it still looks waterproof which was the main reason for this project. From a distance no one will notice, kind of like my eternabond job. Ugly up close but from a ways you really don't notice it. Time to take it camping!


New Member
Apr 25, 2016
Direwolf said:
The tent material was reattached lat night. The material is tighter than it has ever been, but not too tight.

I attribute the looser tent fitting to the brackets pulling away from the top since it was rotting out, especially the pup ends that held most of the tent material.

All brackets are now screwed into the 1x wood in top instead of the rivits into the foam.

What an amazing write up. Just want to give props to Dire wolf for all this hard work and continued updates... thank you!


Nov 2, 2015
Realized yesterday that I had glued the sideboard onto the aluminum before I cut out the holes for the lift lift pockets.
I used a router last night to create the holes.
The 1x sideboard is a little thinner than the original material. When I put the rail over the aluminum & wood, there is play . I need to find a material thinner than the luan to fill the space and make the rail fit tight.

I tried

What a great write up. Thanks.
You glued the sideboards to the alum. What adhesive did you use?