Coleman ABS Roof

Have you had any issues with your Coleman ABS Roof?


  • Total voters
    414

bigbluetraverse

Active Member
Mar 4, 2012
192
ABS really isn't worse. Just a little harder to fix for some.

I see lots of roof rebuilds going on with the other old campers....

We patch cracks they replace the side boards......

Even if I have to just build a new roof at some point so be it.

Love my N2U Mesa..
 

pianewman

Ft. Worth, TX
Aug 30, 2006
603
Arlington, VA
Well, the stifled scream you heard from No. Va. was me. I've found 3 very fine, hairline cracks, on the top surface where it joins the gutter/trough. They're so fine you can't see them unless you look very closely...one is about 3/4", the other 2 are no longer than an eyelash, and about as fine. They're all lined up in the same direction, on the left side of the roof, going from side-to-side.

What can I do to keep them from opening up? Again, I'm talking so fine you can't see them except up close. Can i just juse a small bead of thick super-glue?

Thanks, guys. We've been thinking of selling the pop-up, and now the value will plummet if the cracking increases. Perhaps I should try to resurface it now BEFORE any more cracks develop? There's absolutely zero sagging, it's still nicely domed.
 

bigbluetraverse

Active Member
Mar 4, 2012
192
Not sure about the roof cracks. I've only been dealing with the front and back panel cracks.

Been treating them like Cracks in Aluminum. Drill a hole at both ends to stop the crack from spreading then patch it.

My roof I wouldn't drill into though.
 

pianewman

Ft. Worth, TX
Aug 30, 2006
603
Arlington, VA
With larger cracks, I understand the "drill" method. These cracks are barely the size of an eyelash!

I'm tempted to remove the A/C, rubber trim, bike racks, take it to a good body shop, have them gently open/patch the cracks, and double coat it with some sort of flexible paint. Would the cracks still develop if I keep the surface sealed like that?

There is absolutely zero sag in the roof.
 

bigbluetraverse

Active Member
Mar 4, 2012
192
The cracks are cause from the UV light working the chemicals out of the ABS over the years. If you coat the ABS with anything to protect it from UV light it should stop this from happening,
 

ecupcar

Active Member
May 30, 2011
375
I swear, i inspect the roof of my 99 Utah every day because of this thread! One of the main reasons I purchased my pup was because it was stored inside its entire life. In turn, i have done the same, garage in the summer, indoor storage in winter. All due to the ABS.
 

ecupcar

Active Member
May 30, 2011
375
Has anybody tried to get a roof from Sumerset or whomever is making the old Fleetwood/Coleman pups again? That may be an option. I wouldnt try to get them to replace as they are a different company, but if you could purchase a roof that fits, could be an option.... just a thought...
 

cssweeney

Active Member
Jun 26, 2012
527
So my question s is, how do i know if my roof is ABS or different kind. I have a 1989 Coleman Newport
Thanks
 

Hammer_2012

Member
Jul 12, 2012
55
bigbluetraverse said:
The cracks are cause from the UV light working the chemicals out of the ABS over the years. If you coat the ABS with anything to protect it from UV light it should stop this from happening,

I agree with Bigblue, UV is the killer of ABS, seen it over the years on ABS car parts as well.

We just bought a 2002 Utah and thankfully there is no signs of cracks or sag. I've purchased a breathable trailer cover for when it's in storage. I'm also going to give the top a good coat of 303 protectant, I've used this stuff for years on car plastics and I've never had anything protect as long and as good. Hopefully it will prolong the inevitable!

Has anyone tried Rhino Eco-coat on their ABS roof?

Cheers
 

mcdaniel

New Member
Jul 17, 2012
3
Oh,,, How I wish I had read up on these trailers before buying this Coleman /Fleetwood 1996 Niagra. It had cracks on the roof and sagged, when we checked it out yesterday, bought it anyway! Duh....on the way home which was a 3 hour drive the laminate came off in huge pieces. The whole roof is now almost completely down to the foam roof! I have been looking here for the best possible solution to this problem, I do not have much to spend on this project, that is why we ended up with this,,,,guess you get what you pay for! anyway was hoping to find someone who has redone this roof in this kind of condition, I was wondering if the best way to do the reiforement to fix the sag would be to do a aluminum frame type support for the interior and then have the foam sprayed with the Rhino liner stuff...Any and all suggestion appreciated! Sure wish I'd done my home work first!
 

ltd428cj

New Member
Aug 14, 2012
1
The ABS roof on my 1996 Sun Valley was cracked and sagged.. about 2.5" of sag and the typical cracking along the leading edges and under the awning track. I ended up having an aluminum rack welded up to my spec and installing it and now the sag is out of the picture and is infinitely adjustable in 9 places to accomodate any future structural woes. Now its down to fixing up the cracks...
 

Vetteman15

Member
Jul 18, 2012
19
I have a 1996 Yukon as well and had a 3 to 4 inch sag also. I was able to fix it and here is what I did.

1. I purchased two Coleman A/C braces for the ABS roof. Mine has no AC and I did not have a A/C brace when I bought it.
2. Measured from the center of the roof out 2 feet in each direction. These are to be the new locations for the new A/C braces.
3. I popped the camper up about 3/4 of the way and draped a tow strap over each end of the exterior of the roof and tightened them down. This was done to keep the roof from moving up as I applied pressure from inside and ensure that the lift mechanism and posts were not damaged.
4. Built a jig/platform out of 2x4's to hold the new A/C braces in place and placed a hydraulic floor jack on the interior floor of the camper.
5. Using a 4x4 post that was long enough to be placed under the jig/platform I slowly applied pressure with the hydraulic jack to push the A/C braces into their proper position. This step took about 45 minutes to complete and we did it on a hot 85+ degree day. The braces applied enough pressure from inside the roof to re-form the roof back to its original shape. The roof went from a 3 to 4 inch sag to a 3 to 3.5 inch rise in the middle and tapered off to the sides which matched the curvature of the A/C braces.
6. Drilled holes to install the A/C brace brackets and while the holes were open injected gorilla glue to cure the de-lamination issues.
7. Installed bolts, top plate and brackets and snugged the bolts but did not over tighten.
8. Released the pressure from the jack and lowered the jig/platform. When this happened the roof re-settled and the rise ended up being 2 to 2.5 inches and still tapered to the sides. Sag was completely gone! The sides of the roof also pulled in and are now sitting on top of the camper box where it was not before.
9. Did have several new cracks form and I have been using gorilla glue to repair and then the MEK goo technique to cover the cracks. Next will spray paint the MEK goo to protect from UV damage.

Final thoughts on this. I had no idea if this plan would work when I started, I was surprised with how much flex the roof had to allow this operation to be successful. I have no plans to use a roof mounted A/C and we use a in-room A/C instead which works well. I do have de-lamination issues in the middle of the roof and will start fixing that next spring. Haven't figured out how to do this yet, but something will com to mind I also have been thinking about applying a final coat of Grizzly Grip to the exterior to complete the project and may try this next spring too. I only completed this project back in August so time will tell if this works, but so far I am encouraged that there is a way to fix these crummy ABS roofs. If my roof fails, I have a spare Filon roof in storage from a 2007 Santa Fe that a nice gentleman was parting out. I will conduct a roof swap when the time comes, but I plan to see how long this lasts.

Hope that helps folks and it goes to show that anything is possible.
 

Tukee44

Active Member
Apr 28, 2012
282
Do not repair crack with only MEK goo only. May I repeat, do not repair crack with MEK goo only.

The weld seam does not have enough tensile strength to keep the crack from reopening. You need to embed at least 1 layer of fiberglass or kevlar cloth (6 oz or thicker) with the goo. You can layer the fiberglass over the whole roof like I did. And after that, put at least one layer of Aliphatic polyurethane over for UV protection.

If you follow this method, your roof will be much stronger than original.

One more thing, cracks are usually accompanied with delamination underneath. So you can inject Gorilla glue into the foam core. The glue will foam up and fill the void. It stick to everything. But the Gorilla glue is pretty thick liquid. I have to modify a ball inflation needle and use compressed air (80 psi) to inject the glue in.
 

kirkm76

New Member
Aug 29, 2012
4
Any pictures of this? This sounds like how I planned to tackle my sag. I'd like to see how you attached it to the roof and know around how much you spent for the frame? I'm going to remove the outer ABS layer and line-x for the delamination...The outside is too far gone.
 

vulcan

Member
Oct 12, 2012
91
I just purchased a 2003 Coleman Mesa and there were a few hair line cracks and I just used white silicone and covered it for the winter with a silver tarp. It has air so there is a way for it to breath.
 

Cliffbeach491

Active Member
Oct 13, 2008
129
[!] Don't cover an ABS roof with any type of colored tarp. Blue,silver or brown. Use a white tarp or a breathable pop up cover either the Camco Weatherguard or the ADCO AquaShed. dont buy the cheap all gray POLYPROPYLENE cover since they only last a year or two.
The dark colored tarps will absorb and trap heat even in the winter and make the roof worse. It will cause it to crack and delaminate. Coleman even issued a service bulletin which was in the package of paperwork that came with my trailer (1999 Coleman Westlake) which warned you about the use of tarps. EBay is a great source to find a good pop up cover cheap.
 

pianewman

Ft. Worth, TX
Aug 30, 2006
603
Arlington, VA
Long-time member here, but haven't posted in quite a while.

...sigh...my 10-year+ old ABS roof is showing its age. No sag, no delamination, but hairline cracks are starting to show up...everywhere. Last summer, I was able to keep up with the 20-30 or so, with a sealing chemical (forgot the name) purchased at my RV supply store, Restless Wheels, Manassas, VA (they're GREAT, by the way!)

There are so many cracks that I can't keep up, and have decided to coat/seal the entire roof. Was advised (by Somerset, which makes pop-ups based on Coleman/Fleetwood designs) to use Rhino spray on liner. I've phoned a local dealer, says yes, waiting to hear from Rhino to make sure the dealer uses the correct primer/etc. to get it to bond properly to the ABS.

Any advice would be more than welcome. I plan to remove the A/C, leave the awning rail, leave the roof seal/gasket (Rhino would make the roof too thick to reinstall the gasket, correct?).

Thanks in advance. I don't have the time to find the exact posts that might have already addressed this, I apologize for that!

In lieu of repairing the roof, I might just sell the pop-up as is. The family thrill is gone, kids are 11 and 14, want to do other things than camp with us. Anyone that has read my posts knows the condition is pristine, a few upgrades, new (complete) brakes last year, new-ish tires, bearings, added a gray-water tank. Make me an offer, I might even be willing to deliver!!!

Ed in Arlington, VA
 

goblinn2

Midlothian, VA
Jun 26, 2011
50
I just repaired /replaced my ABs roof. It was cracking and starting to delaminate. I had tried the MEK/ABs patches to no avail.

I used a vibrating cutter(Fien, Dremel, Ryobi) and I liked the 3/4 round cutter. Be careful to only cut the abs and not go deep. I then peeled what I could of the cover. Where it was stuck(not very often) I used a putty knife to loosen the top. I cut a separation line around the AC and any support spots(bike).

I purchased Grizzly Grip (grizzlygrip.com). I got the 8 ft truck kit and an extra gallon of GG. I got mine in white. This gave me a total of 3 gallons, one for each coat. I also purchased 2 extra foam rollers. theirs work better than a regular paint roller. You can apply a thick coat. Cheap throw away brushes for hard to reach places. total cost was under $300.00.

Due to the cold weather here in Virginia I allowed 4-5 days between coat . I did this in my garage to keep it out of the sun while curing.

picture are at http://flic.kr/ps/2qVcaz

Hope this helps

Goblinn2
 




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