2007 Fleetwood Arcadia Roof ceiling issues rebuild

Discussion in 'Camper Restoration Projects' started by Kbooth, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    Like so many pop ups, my roof is leaking. I am 90% sure that it is leaking around the Roof top AC. I have the new gasket, but before that goes in, all the bubbled up wet luan ceiling plywood needs to come down. My first thought was to just pull the plywood down, (it was really de-laminated) and flex the new plywood into place, but I am having problems getting the last inch or so that is tucked up between the aluminum supports, and the foam. and since I'm having to get further into this than I had originally planned, I thought why not do it right, and pull the top apart! well that is easier said than done. I have the infamous roof rails (T-tracks) for you wood workers, and I started to look at how those disassemble. Hmmmmmmm, no screws....see picture. I pryed one corner up, and can see where it was glued down, but is that the only way it is connected? I have looked, and cant find anyone with this unique problem. I can say that if water has not gotten in yet, I would be surprised, and it will eventually if not sealed better. Please let me know if you have any experience pulling htis model apart, and how it is connected.

    overall this looks like a decent camper, and the wife and I got a stellar deal (divorce sale) so some refurbishing is not a problem for me, and I like to tinker.
     

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  2. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    They are glued down and quite well I might add. These are not the "infamous" rails that earlier Fleetwoods had, these don't leak, almost never.... I would leave them on, fix your leak around the A/C and replace the interior damaged panels.
    When you remove your A/C to replace the gasket, make darned sure the corners were radiused and not square when they cut the roof.

    Adam
     
  3. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    it sounds like you have some experience.

    what would be the best way to sneak the luan back under the foam, and above the aluminum?
     
  4. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Not sure what your asking here. Did you remove the Filon roof or are you speaking of the interior ceiling panels?
     
  5. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    the interior panels. it looks like they go under the foam panel, and over the aluminum Channel
    upload_2018-8-28_12-57-52.png
     
  6. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    Ouch, that looks fun... Sorry I can't help you though.
     
  7. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    I will be dealing with the same problem shortly - after the camping season is over (2008 Arcadia). I was thinking that the inner roof braces can be removed once the A/C weight is off of the roof? That was my plan anyhow - remove the A/C, remove the interior roof braces, cut away all luan that has delaminated, fit new luan patch panels and glue them up, cover the entire ceiling with a vinyl wallpaper, reinstall the braces and reinstall the A/C following the factory A/C install directions using a new gasket and Eternabond tape through the A/C opening onto the ceiling (to prevent any water from getting between the roof layers).
     
  8. drocks

    drocks Member

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    This roof is built as flat panels and then assembled. If they used the same vacuum bonding process as the Fleetwood motorhomes, the fiberglass is laid top side down on a large vacuum table and then has glue applied, the foam is then placed on top of that and then glue is applied to the top of the foam. The interior panels are then lad over that. A bag cover is then sealed to the vacuum table and a vacuum applied to press it all together. The only way to remove the piece of the panel that is covered by the interior aluminum piece is to disconnect the two pieces. If you don't want to go that far, you could cut the interior panel along the aluminum corner piece and but the new panel up to it. Please post pictures of your progress along the way. Good luck.
     
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  9. Bushjc

    Bushjc New Member

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    Exactly what I did, just finished it two weeks ago. - I haven't recovered the luan with wallpaper yet, and I added a second set of roof braces. Used Titebond II to secure the luan and Eternabond in the A/C opening and down the center seam (that stuff is great). Made it through two rainstorms so far without any leaks.
     
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  10. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    That's great! So the TItebond II didn't have any problems securing the luan for you? How did you go about holding the luan up while it cured? To me, it seems like it would be common sense to Eternabond the A/C opening when installing an A/C unit to prevent water infiltration between the layers. Or is there a reason they (RV technicians) don't, other than it costing an extra $5 in materials (probably less than that for dealers)?
     
  11. Bushjc

    Bushjc New Member

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    I went the route of using smaller sections of luan. I found 2'x2' sections at Lowes. Did a lot of cutting and measuring. Kinda looks like a jigsaw puzzle, but it's functional. I installed it one piece at a time, so it was a slow process. I made a pass with a thin layer of the Titebond II on the foam and allowed it to get a bit tacky. I covered the luan with a thicker layer. Once in place, I used a T stand made from 2'x4's and held it in place with a floor jack. Just be careful not to extend the jack too far. Just get it snug. The Titebond is a bit messy and doesn't wash out of clothes very well. LOL.

    As far as the Eternabond on the A/C opening, I can't see why something wasn't put there either, but my popup is a 1997 model so . . . My only guess is that the square gasket is supposed to stop the water and they thought that it was sufficient. Personally, I like a backup plan. I have given some thought to going back in through the A/C opening and putting a strip of Eternabond on the inside of the gasket and securing it to the roof. My concern is the effect the Eternabond adhesive might have on the gasket material.

    I also put a strip of the Eternabond on the bracket that holds the awning. I covered the space where the bracket connects to the roof and all of the screws that hold the bracket. Eternabond is easy to use, but you only have one shot at it. One it sticks, it's staying there.

    I did add another set of brackets to the inside ceiling to assist in supporting the A/C. I ran the new brackets between the old ones, so now the A/C basically sets within a steel square.
     
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  12. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    I repaired my ceiling with 4 x 8 panels of Luan I purchased from our local RV repair place . Maybe you could check out a few places around you too .
     
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  13. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Sounds like a plan - I was thinking of either wedging the t braces in place or lowering the roof (which might hurt the lifting mechanism) a little. Maybe I'll try the floor jack. I'm HOPING I can get away with 1 - 2'x4' piece or maybe 3'x4'. I'm sure I'll find more damage than what is immediately apparent once I start tearing out (it's always that way, isn't it).

    On the instructions for the Highlander A/C install, it states to use SILICONE (Filon roof) under the gasket and a bead around the outside edge of it. Or it might have been lap sealant - I'll have to read it again. Sounds like you might have an aluminum roof though (with the center seam). Also says to use lap sealant and Eternabond tape on the A/C hole brackets.

    I called a few places when I was thinking about getting someone else to do the work (until I heard "we don't work on popups" and $3,000 a few times). A couple of the places said that I could bring a piece to try to match it up, which I MIGHT do. My wife likes the idea of "redecorating" with the wallpaper idea, but I'm more concerned about it falling down from sitting in the adverse weather conditions. Her mom and dad used to install wallpaper and know all the ins and outs about it - I still need to talk to some real professionals before I go the wallpaper route though.
     
  14. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    We plan on installing the luan, and then covering with either paint, or possibly deco poge maps, pics etc. my ceiling is fully delaminated, and the white paper vinyl or what ever it was that was on the bottom seemed to just hold the water. I plan on digging into the project this weekend. but first, I have issues with the electric lift this past weekend, and had to fix that. grrrr.... I'll post pics by monday.
     
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  15. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Man, fully delaminated - that's going to be fun! My wife and daughter will like the deco page idea - make sure you post pics! There were a few slits in the vinyl that the p.o. played off like "something must have scratched the ceiling there - I don't know what happened". After I found out how bad it was leaking I figured out why the slits were there - DRAINAGE! I can't stand a liar! I knew he WAS lying about the leak, but I didn't know how bad the leak was until it started raining very heavily almost every day for weeks! If he would've been straight up about it, I still would've bought the camper - and saved myself a LOT of work by immediately replacing the a/c gasket. Luckily I figured it out when I did and only have a fairly small area to repair (but I still consider it a major repair) in the off season.
     
  16. Mike Koz

    Mike Koz New Member

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    Greetings. Some great info here - thanks! It would be great to see some pics of the ceiling repair. I have the same roof on my 07 sun valley, although the interior sticker says "alumitite", its definately fiberglass with the two sides rails (with rack tracks). I have no AC, but I have some ceiling delamination and I'm trying to figure out where the water is getting in. I plan to seal the rail sides with sikaflex. Has anyone found any other source of leakage on filon roofs?
     
  17. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Good god, I hope there's nowhere else (besides the a/c) for a leak! When I bought mine, the p.o. had rolled the roof with white Kool Seal a couple of times over the 11yrs he owned it (or at least that's what he said). One of the first things I did was recaulk everything because it was apparent that it had never been done. I used lap sealant - one of the places I caulked was along both edges of the corner rails even though they were glued at the factory. I see hairline cracks on the roof, so I might reseal the roof again while i have the a/c off repairing the ceiling. Someone on this forum said he used a concrete sealer and hadn't had any leaks - I might try that.
     
  18. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    This past weekend, I got the Ac removed, the camper put into my shop (had to clean and reorganize the shop to make room). I unzipped the bunk ends to get a little more ventilation cuz it is smoking hot in the SE Texas area! depending on what I have time after work, and hurricanes and such, I am hopping to get the rest of the ceiling pulled. It would appear that the AC seal has not leaked. Which means I guess that the Filon, or fiberglass, has micro fractures that are causing the seepage. I went out in the rain when it was still outside, and I could see the drips forming on the Styrofoam in the middle where the gap is. I Plan on painting the roof with sealing product, not sure which one I will use yet. you can see in the picture that I placed two boards across the top on the outside, and used some quick clamps to help support the roof so I could take off the steel cross bracing. next I will be pulling out the aluminum channels so I can get the remainder of the luan out. I am seriously debating adding another layer of foam for insulation. this would raise the overall hgt of the camper when up, but only by 3/4". Below is a link to a quick youtube vid of what I am doing.


    front ceiling.jpg ac hole.jpg

     
  19. William Freeman

    William Freeman Active Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the update - especially the video.
     
  20. Kbooth

    Kbooth New Member

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    Ok, a little more progress. I took down the alum rails that support the side walls. then I used a vibrating saw to cut the edges of the ceiling panels. this allowed me to pull down all of the easy Luan ceiling. in the middle of the camper, the ceiling is in mostly good shape, to getting it down is a little more of a problem. I am thinking of adding an additional layer of foam to the ceiling of the camper. I know that this is a pop up, and how much insulation do I really think will help, but I believe the 2" rigid foam , may give me some more structure. I think I will go with contact cement to glue the foam to foam, and the luan to foam. it appears that whatever was used at the factory to glue the luan to the foam must have been water based, because where the water intruded, there is no adhesion at all.
     

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