2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3 Sagging Ceiling & Needing Braces

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
Hi all, We're the proud new owners of this 2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3. This is our first one and overall, it's in pretty good condition. Was out in a huge rain storm overnight and no leaks! Grateful for that!
outside-starboard.jpg

But, it's not without some issues... One of the issues we're dealing with is, I think, one of the ceiling braces (and screen door tracks) is missing and we have some ceiling sag - at least I can't exactly tell what was there, but it definitely needs fixing. As many of you likely already knew, we can't find replacement braces. But, I did see this post from @clock152 - https://www.popupportal.com/threads...race-my-way-sorta-my-way.111006/#post-1459364 who created his own. I'm not afraid to try something like this (although different from what I have), but wanted to see if anyone has any other sources or ideas for OEM braces or ceiling supports to get it back to normal. I'm not as worried about needing to hang the door when the camper is folded up, but wouldn't mind new straps to hang the shoilet curtain since 2 of them are gone...
ceiling1.jpg
ceiling2.jpg
Any ideas anyone has will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
Mark
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,452
Nj
Make sure its dry and not leaking. Then just copy what they have in your picture for bracing. The other link was for a little diffrent type of roof , but same general idea.
 

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
After some more digging, we discovered the panel in the middle (in the upper picture and on the left in the lower) was added later right over the original panel. Can't tell why, but I'm a little nervous to uncover it.
 

kumasan

New Member
May 7, 2022
6
Looks to me like there may have been leaking and the roof was repaired and the original center wood panel replaced.
Its not uncommon for older pups.

Colemanpopupparts has some really helpful videos including one where they cut open different fleetwood roofs to show what they look like inside for the different roof types that is a good reference.

Its good that it did not leak in the rainstorm, just make sure to keep an eye on it. If a leak is small it might seep slowly and only show up after a few days of rain. Search the forum, some of the roofs tend to leak around any rail screws or seams. If you know the problem points for the type of roof you have you can keep a better eye out for leaks.

Im not sure if your roof has a wooden beam down the center but if it does it may be possible to attach it with some very short screws where the beam crosses to help lessen the sag.

If you wanted to repair the door tracks/holder you need several parts (all available from colemanpopup parts).

Firstly looks like you have one rail. You would need a rail for the other side. I ended up ordering a new rail that I was a little suprised came unpainted bare aluminum and no holes drilled. I saw some used rails online as well.

You also would need a new slide, two new cables (have to measure/guess the original length), some rivets and plastic washers for attaching the cables to the door, some rail plastic rivet stop(s) to keep the slides on at each end, some rivets to attach the new slide to the roof, and a new snap strap as you have one in the picture (think only used ones available).

That being said, if the roof is sagging I would probably not try to fix/attach the slides for the door hanger unless you are certain its really solid. For me the design overall seems challenged even for new units. The roof is not that strong to be hanging stuff from and with the vibration from the road it might make more sense just to store the door where you have it now.
 

Sharpie

Member
Nov 2, 2009
64
Ontario Canada
Hi all, We're the proud new owners of this 2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3. This is our first one and overall, it's in pretty good condition. Was out in a huge rain storm overnight and no leaks! Grateful for that!
View attachment 86318

But, it's not without some issues... One of the issues we're dealing with is, I think, one of the ceiling braces (and screen door tracks) is missing and we have some ceiling sag - at least I can't exactly tell what was there, but it definitely needs fixing. As many of you likely already knew, we can't find replacement braces. But, I did see this post from @clock152 - https://www.popupportal.com/threads...race-my-way-sorta-my-way.111006/#post-1459364 who created his own. I'm not afraid to try something like this (although different from what I have), but wanted to see if anyone has any other sources or ideas for OEM braces or ceiling supports to get it back to normal. I'm not as worried about needing to hang the door when the camper is folded up, but wouldn't mind new straps to hang the shoilet curtain since 2 of them are gone...
View attachment 86319
View attachment 86320
Any ideas anyone has will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
Mark
Hi there, I'm thinking you have a roof leak. That style of roof is foam sandwiched between the aluminum. First thing I would do is check for a roof leak along the seals. And then soon if the ceiling is full of water. By pushing up on the ceiling.
 

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
@kumasan @Sharpie Thanks for the info. And yes, after camping in it one night, I heard the drips. I think it was pooling in the roof and seeped in, so maybe not on the seams, and maybe in the middle? I pushed the roof up and heard all the water flowing off. Pretty frustrated that the seller said it didn't leak (not the first untruth I discovered) and it did. Was thinking to let it all dry out and then paint the roof with this stuff: https://www.campingworld.com/dicor-...f-coating-with-ceramic-microcells-622998.html (thoughts?), then open it and start dismantling the ceiling to rebuild wherever it was leaking.

There's no wooden beam down the middle, and I don't think I actually care about hanging the door. It seems to be ok wrapped in an old sheet on the mattress, so I think I'll keep the ceiling stronger by not hanging anything from it. However, I will need new straps for the shoilet curtain... I looked on colemanpopupparts.com and the support rails/beams I need I saw once (out of stock), but can't find them anymore. I called Derek to see if he has any (they do have great videos!). Hoping that I can take the ceiling off and pretty easily rebuild it after sealing the roof. Then I just want to make sure it's well supported. I really don't want to pull the roof off and do a complete rebuild as I have neither the time or space to do that. I saw someone else here made their own ceiling support beams, which I might do, but if I can rebuild it strong enough, and not hang anything, hopefully the glue will hold with the 2 stock support beams (and maybe a new wooden center beam?)
 

Nick81

Member
May 9, 2019
16
Gulfport MS
Hi all, We're the proud new owners of this 2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3. This is our first one and overall, it's in pretty good condition. Was out in a huge rain storm overnight and no leaks! Grateful for that!
View attachment 86318

But, it's not without some issues... One of the issues we're dealing with is, I think, one of the ceiling braces (and screen door tracks) is missing and we have some ceiling sag - at least I can't exactly tell what was there, but it definitely needs fixing. As many of you likely already knew, we can't find replacement braces. But, I did see this post from @clock152 - https://www.popupportal.com/threads...race-my-way-sorta-my-way.111006/#post-1459364 who created his own. I'm not afraid to try something like this (although different from what I have), but wanted to see if anyone has any other sources or ideas for OEM braces or ceiling supports to get it back to normal. I'm not as worried about needing to hang the door when the camper is folded up, but wouldn't mind new straps to hang the shoilet curtain since 2 of them are gone...
View attachment 86319
View attachment 86320
Any ideas anyone has will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
Mark
I had a similar problem with my 2002 Jayco 14SO. I called Jayco and they had braces. Maybe another might would have some that would work for you. Good luck
 

Matt S-

New Member
Oct 7, 2020
5
I've got the same model and have spent the past several weeks rebuilding the roof in-situ. I replaced the vinyl coated luan panel with FRP and relocated one brace to be forward of a door support track and the other aft of the vent to prevent pooling by creating a more uniform arc throughout the roof length. In removing the door support rails, I discovered that there are two metal channel embedded in the foam that the rails are riveted into but in my case, the rails weren't installed properly and some of the rivets didn't contact metal but just wood and foam. I adjusted the spacing on the rails when I reinstalled them so that they would rivert to the metal channel. Still working on the interior (waiting on parts) but just finished today sealing the exterior roof surface. Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to do this task. If interested, I'll post pictures of the interior once its finished.
 

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
Hi @Matt S- Would love to see some pictures. Also to know what you used to seal the exterior of the roof. WAs thinking about this:

And I will definitely need to do some more braces to get the roof arc spread out as it's pretty heavy and when it's open, it definitely sags.
Thanks!
Mark
 

ccarley

Active Member
Sep 23, 2014
231
I'm not sure if there is a roof brace available from Fleetwood (sometimes you can purchase the A/C bracing), but here's the post where I built my own brace which is working well. Our roof is similar, flat, with little bracing inside. Someone climbed on it years ago and that caused it to sag a lot. Even the single brace I installed helped a whole lot.


Clay
 

Fgpr

New Member
May 15, 2019
1
Hi all, We're the proud new owners of this 2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3. This is our first one and overall, it's in pretty good condition. Was out in a huge rain storm overnight and no leaks! Grateful for that!
View attachment 86318

But, it's not without some issues... One of the issues we're dealing with is, I think, one of the ceiling braces (and screen door tracks) is missing and we have some ceiling sag - at least I can't exactly tell what was there, but it definitely needs fixing. As many of you likely already knew, we can't find replacement braces. But, I did see this post from @clock152 - https://www.popupportal.com/threads...race-my-way-sorta-my-way.111006/#post-1459364 who created his own. I'm not afraid to try something like this (although different from what I have), but wanted to see if anyone has any other sources or ideas for OEM braces or ceiling supports to get it back to normal. I'm not as worried about needing to hang the door when the camper is folded up, but wouldn't mind new straps to hang the shoilet curtain since 2 of them are gone...
View attachment 86319
View attachment 86320
Any ideas anyone has will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
Mark
Bad news…It looks the insulation is full of water and the luane is rotting on the other side. Pretty common issue
 

Stimpy47

New Member
May 2, 2022
2
Uggg
After some more digging, we discovered the panel in the middle (in the upper picture and on the left in the lower) was added later right over the original panel. Can't tell why, but I'm a little nervous to uncover it.
The same for ours, except ours leaked.. when I took down the ceiling I saw that they just put a new panel over the old one. We have a sagging issue because of the weight of the AC. I've considered ditching it, but after using it the whole race wknd, ill keep it.
 

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
Hah! yeah, the insulation is definitely full of water. I'm gonna start dismantling this weekend I think, if I can get a good waterproofing on the roof. Anyone have a favorite roof sealer? I've seen the different paints and Herculiner and Line-X. but not sure which is best yet.

@ccarley thanks for the pictures. they look great!

I spoke with Derek from colemanpopupparts.com and he said he's got a new big truck coming in with more parts and to keep checking back to see what they have. 🤞🏻He also mentioned going to unibrace.com to see if they have something to make work.

Anyone have a favorite glue to use to attach the first layer of wood to the roof? (After I get the wet insulation off - of course, it's not sticking anyway, haha).
 
Last edited:

flying scot

Member
Jul 11, 2020
15
Hi all - sincere thx for posting on this issue - I have a similar camper (2013 Banshee B3) and my roof is still good but its definitely aging (some hail damage sealed up with silicone + heavy duty weatherproof tape). Will be great to effectively have an off-the-shelf solution.
 

ccarley

Active Member
Sep 23, 2014
231
Hah! yeah, the insulation is definitely full of water. I'm gonna start dismantling this weekend I think, if I can get a good waterproofing on the roof. Anyone have a favorite roof sealer? I've seen the different paints and Herculiner and Line-X. but not sure which is best yet.

@ccarley thanks for the pictures. they look great!

I spoke with Derek from colemanpopupparts.com and he said he's got a new big truck coming in with more parts and to keep checking back to see what they have. 🤞🏻He also mentioned going to unibrace.com to see if they have something to make work.

Anyone have a favorite glue to use to attach the first layer of wood to the roof? (After I get the wet insulation off - of course, it's not sticking anyway, haha).

Ahh, glue. Typically (when everything is dry) some sort of contact cement is used. It's terrible stuff, yet incredible at the same time. We (back in the day at the RV shop) would use stuff that came in a quart or gallon, and you can paint it on with a brush. Put it on both sides, let dry a bit, and then stick. Once it sticks, it's stuck and not coming apart. Doing whole sheets of luan you definitely need more hands/people to work with it. It's gooey, sticky, and smells really potent.

Before we had our current Starcraft, we had an older one ('87 Starlight I think?) and I re-did the ceiling in that unit with some mildew resistant white plastic sheeting I had found at Home Depot, using the contact cement after removing as much of the old wood as I could. That worked out really well. It had a little texture to it and didn't look out of place when I was done at all; still needing a center piece of trim.

Good luck... that's a great model trailer though for sure!

Clay
 

GustheFish

Member
Jul 24, 2022
13
Thanks @ccarley Good info. I'm thinking this 3m contact cement for the glue, and I think I'm leaning towards the Grizzly Grip for the roof covering to seal and protect it. Their site talks a lot about covering Fiberglass camper roofs and others with this, but mine already has some sort of truck bed cover on it that I think I need something to roll on that will fill in all the inconsistencies and holes and be super strong and not add much weight.

Then, once the ceiling is down and clean, glue up some 1" foam, then some ⅛" plywood and make some more braces to go across the ceiling. I saw someone made some cool ones out of 2x4s that they custom cut. Sanded and stained, they might look kind cool and match the plywood ceiling. Or the Unistrut as you did, but I have an arch to try to match. I might also add some more LEDs. Man, this sure sounds easy! hahaha.
 

Jim Keeling

Active Member
Jul 22, 2021
157
Georgetown, Tx
Hi all, We're the proud new owners of this 2008 Fleetwood Evolution 3. This is our first one and overall, it's in pretty good condition. Was out in a huge rain storm overnight and no leaks! Grateful for that!
View attachment 86318

But, it's not without some issues... One of the issues we're dealing with is, I think, one of the ceiling braces (and screen door tracks) is missing and we have some ceiling sag - at least I can't exactly tell what was there, but it definitely needs fixing. As many of you likely already knew, we can't find replacement braces. But, I did see this post from @clock152 - https://www.popupportal.com/threads...race-my-way-sorta-my-way.111006/#post-1459364 who created his own. I'm not afraid to try something like this (although different from what I have), but wanted to see if anyone has any other sources or ideas for OEM braces or ceiling supports to get it back to normal. I'm not as worried about needing to hang the door when the camper is folded up, but wouldn't mind new straps to hang the shoilet curtain since 2 of them are gone...
View attachment 86319
View attachment 86320
Any ideas anyone has will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!!
Mark
Had same issue but airconditioner creating problem,as most Colemans. You can make a better brace for a lot less than suppliers offer. I made my own. It already had one behind air conditioner, but I feel did not work well ,moves with pressure on it. Be sure to raise top and make aa T frame and place inside under sag. Let top down a little to put pressure on roof. This will let roof co.e back to original shape. Then set for 2-3 days. Add inside brace. Utube has several videos you can watch and make decisions on what you like.
 

Matt S-

New Member
Oct 7, 2020
5
Hi @Matt S- Would love to see some pictures. Also to know what you used to seal the exterior of the roof. WAs thinking about this:

And I will definitely need to do some more braces to get the roof arc spread out as it's pretty heavy and when it's open, it definitely sags.
Thanks!
Mark
I'll post some pics after I fix a lift cable that broke yesterday. I used Dicor sealant along the edges and vent joint and then sealed the roof using RV Roof Magic. I just sealed the roof so I can't on durability but it went on very well, has good adhesion and coverage. Time will tell but I was impressed with the product while I was applying it.
 
Sep 6, 2021
23
Thanks @ccarley Good info. I'm thinking this 3m contact cement for the glue, and I think I'm leaning towards the Grizzly Grip for the roof covering to seal and protect it. Their site talks a lot about covering Fiberglass camper roofs and others with this, but mine already has some sort of truck bed cover on it that I think I need something to roll on that will fill in all the inconsistencies and holes and be super strong and not add much weight.

Then, once the ceiling is down and clean, glue up some 1" foam, then some ⅛" plywood and make some more braces to go across the ceiling. I saw someone made some cool ones out of 2x4s that they custom cut. Sanded and stained, they might look kind cool and match the plywood ceiling. Or the Unistrut as you did, but I have an arch to try to match. I might also add some more LEDs. Man, this sure sounds easy! hahaha.
Are you taking the roof off and rebuilding it or are you sealing it then working on the ceiling from the inside. I have a roof like yours. It had some water damage on one of the sides and some evidence of a previous leak. If there are no holes in the aluminum, just work on sealing the corners and the seam down the middle.

Where are you located? Your camper looks familiar.
 

Jim Keeling

Active Member
Jul 22, 2021
157
Georgetown, Tx
I'll post some pics after I fix a lift cable that broke yesterday. I used Dicor sealant along the edges and vent joint and then sealed the roof using RV Roof Magic. I just sealed the roof so I can't on durability but it went on very well, has good adhesion and coverage. Time will tell but I was impressed with the product while I was applying it.


Here is link to utube. Worked great.cured problem. You can also use in middle of camper top.
 




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