Roof sidewall thickness

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
I visited my local rv shop and created a stir about the availability of the sidewall for my pup.

the manager said they were not available any longer and this was verified by coachman/viking.

the other employee begged to differ....

ANYWAY, looks like i may need to try a restoration myself but the problem is the thickness of the sidewall.

someone here must have an idea what the thickness of the material used for the sidewall is. The manager said it was a weird thickness , probably 9/16”, fatter than 1/2, not quite 3/4”.

great excuse to buy a small planer to shape a 1”x12’ X 8”piece of good lumber.

right now i am just doing exploratory and removing the molding and retaping/sealing this disaster until fall when i can get serious and do the work....

any ideas on the wall thick for my 2001 viking saga G2107?
 

GreyFox

Super Active Member
Oct 10, 2018
2,447
S Ontario
someone here must have an idea what the thickness of the material used for the sidewall is. The manager said it was a weird thickness , probably 9/16”, fatter than 1/2, not quite 3/4”.

any ideas on the wall thick for my 2001 viking saga G2107?

It seems you're assuming the roof sidewall is solid when it perhaps may be component, i.e. made up of several parts including rigid foam insulation. This video shows cutaways of different types of Fleetwood roofs, I would think your Viking roof might be similar to that shown at 2:22 of this video.
 

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
It seems you're assuming the roof sidewall is solid when it perhaps may be component, i.e. made up of several parts including rigid foam insulation. This video shows cutaways of different types of Fleetwood roofs, I would think your Viking roof might be similar to that shown at 2:22 of this video.
The roof....the front of the roof has wood, at least I know that much. I will have to upload the image later....The sidewall is that **** particle board and a lining...that's it I think, besides the exterior siding--it is quite thin. Calipers won't help until I remove what's left of the sidewall. Luckily, the middle part of the sidewall is intact and I can get a decent measurement for thickness when I go in to repair this thing in September once it cools off... I will probably buy a small planer to adjust the board to the right thickness. Getting the right shape will also be a challenge. Most of the damage occurred in the corner.. IMG_3155.JPG
 

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
I definitely need to do this job. The particle board has disintegrated on the aft corner...It is some thickness of **** particle board sandwiched between layers of pup Vinyl FCFD0FB4-0793-4D47-8889-6F8938FB107A.jpeg C22BFFF6-231A-4BE5-8C3B-BC06F3E3B9AC.jpeg EB5AAA0D-D105-41E4-AC91-DA1048990568.jpeg siding......thats it...no foam, or anything else.... i was really just going into assess the job but seems like it is going to be an engineering nightmare to get the right thickness down and board shape... a mjor job that will require removing the tent and the bunks. What a headache. I did this when we first got the pup years ago.
 

Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
Just did this entire job...both sides on my 2000 Dutchmen voyager 801. Tell me what you need to know. I have most answers. Mine was rotten all along both sides equal to what yours looks like.
 

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
Just did this entire job...both sides on my 2000 Dutchmen voyager 801. Tell me what you need to know. I have most answers. Mine was rotten all along both sides equal to what yours looks like.
Oh my gosh....how did you fashion each side? Seems to me, one complicating issue would getting the sides to match up by somehow making a template. What did you use for the sides? I hope i Can remove the vinyl siding . Did you find a source for replacement materials from the manufacturer r did you wing it. My pup has metal trim along the bottom....did you do one side at a time?
 

Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
OK. let me tell you what we did. First I will admit, it was my idea to take the top off completely and work on it on the side. Friend said nah. In the end he agreed we should have just taken it off and worked on it off to the completely. It was completely OFF but we had it hanging in place via supports. We were winging it the entire way and with careful thought and batting ideas, we did it. Most everything we did, we undid and redid, twice, lol. My sides were rotten, the back and from of the roof aren't all that great, but still usable, so we opted to keep them in place. The wood behind the rotten side that runs along to the top of the roof was in good shape, so we knew we had a good surface that could accept screws. If you're not as lucky, search YouTube, there are lots of videos where people show how they've replaced those pieces, too.

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES OF THE INSIDE, CLOSE UP AND FURTHER BACK to show the orientation and placement of key items such as lift posts and tent track.

OK, first we cranked it up to a height that was OUTSIDE height workable. Then, we made supports and slid them inside. Your camper might have several bolts going straight through the sides that also pass through some of the tent track bars. Those came out first. Then we removed any outsid hardware such as awning support bar stuff and the four top pieces of the top latches. You'll need to buy new hardware for them, as they're special. save everything so you can go to the hardware store with a sample of what you need. We then started to remove the TOP trim. Be careful not to bend it. Remove any heavy calking that may keep you from removing it without bending it. You have to remove that strip of vinyl that covers up the screws. Many of the screws we released weren't holding anything or came out half rusted. the original sides for my camper were stapled into place with those giant long staples. If your sides are rotten enough, after you've removed the post support screws, they may just fall off. Be careful to keep that white exterior skin intact as your template. Finally remove the screws that hold the lift posts. We removed one side and worked on its replacement piece before removing the second side.

Use a paint scraper, drywall compound knife to slide and pry the skin off the old side. Don't throw anything away. I put any large bolts and hardware into operate baggies and labeled them.

Scrape old wood off the back side of your skin as much as possible to get it to lay flay for a template.

The sides can be constructed of many variations of wood, solid or ply. It's up to you what you want to spend or do in order to have a piece long/thick enough for your camper. I didn't want to deal with 10' plywood, as it is available but special order and then to get it home...forget it.

I had to go to Home Depot for my wood and once we knew exactly how we were going to construct our 9' pieces, I had them do all the cuts right there at the store. No hauling home giant sheets of plywood and avoiding a ton of cuts to do at home.

We constructed the sides this way:
1/2" plywood: 3 pieces of 3' x 10"
1/4" plywood: 2 pieces of 4' and one piece of 1'

First I asked the man to cut each full sheet of plywood into 10" strips. (10" is the max height of my roof sides)
Then, I had him cut those strips into the lengths I needed to construct the sides (see photo)

When you put them together in this configuration there are no overlapping seams. (see photo)

We cut the pieces of plywood at differing sizes, in each thickness, in order to overlap and glue them all together to make a 9 foot long board. We used liquid nails and screws to hold it all together. Once all the glue was dry I removed all the screws except the screws closest to the seams. Then we placed the outer skin on top of the wood for a template. Use the template for the top curve but remember that template is SHORT top to bottom. Some of the actual wood along the bottom edge of the side is NOT covered by that skin, it is covered by your bottom trim. Use your skin ornate before you take it off just how much EXTRA depth there is to your side piece BEYOND what the skin covers. Our was something like 1/4 inch. After you've drawn your template use a jigsaw to cut it out. I would suggest going INSIDE your drawn lines. We didn't and we had to do a bit of trimming that couldn't been avoided by going inside the drawn lines.

After cutting place your template down on the board and MARK ALL THE HOLES made from bolts (lift/tent track) and roof hardware. Also mark front of camper and back of camper ends, as the template is NOT mirror image, the back angles slopes down more than the front but the from edge is steeper than the back.

Once you have it cut, hold it up to dry fit it...it should work well.

For the outer skin we opted not to use the original, since it was such an ugly mess. We opted to reskin with aluminum window wrap. It's at Home Depot near the gutter stuff. It comes in a roll: white on one side brown on the other, $12.00 per roll, 2 rolls should do the job. Dom;t forget your tin snips...I had to buy them. I watched some YouTube videos where they wrapped the aluminums over the edges of the side pieces. We decided just to cut the aluminum to skin the front...no overlap to edges. This time we used the OLD skin to make a template but use exactly on all its lines, as you do not need to cover the lower edge of the side piece, because it is covered by the trim that runs along the bottom. We used liquid nails to attach that to our side pieces. you could opt for a different type of adhesive, maybe even something that rolls on. we had it on hand so we used it. I worried it's make the aluminum appear too lumpy, but it didn't, it's fine.

The camper belongs to me and we're working on it from my home, so when my friend wasn't around to work o it with me, I did things I knew I could do alone: I cleaned up all the trim pieces of old caulking and gunk then hit them with a coating of white Rustoleum. Ensures all evidence of old staples and rusted screws were out cleaned out of our way. The bottom trim pieces have channels that needed cleaning out in order for them to fit cleanly onto our new sides, so I worked on them as well. Lots of scraping prying and cleaning using steel wool, mineral spirits and GooGone. Also, I cleaned the entire roof edging of old caulk gunk and other sticky residues.

I also opted to paint what would be the inside of my side roof, as originally it's covered with white vinyl. Not a while lot of it shows once everything is back together, but it's a lot easier to do while the side is off vs. inside, trying to paint those small areas that do still show. I did a quick sanding of the plywood surface, filled the seams and holes made during the layering process with wood filler, then painted.

We bought screws...a lot of screws! We used 2' and 2 1/2' drywall screws to attach our side pieces back onto the camper. We were doing a great job until we realized we made a HUGE mistake. The day we started dry fitting we got annoyed with the lift arms being in our way, so we started to started to move them. THAT WAS A HUGE MISTAKE. In our monkeying with the lift arms, we managed to kink and bend a lift spring. That is why I had to mess with the lift as well. We are now masters at Goshen lift systems. I swear we dropped those lift poles and springs 4 times before were got it all back together correctly. If you can help it, do not touch those poles. It is the weight of the roof on that system that makes it work correctly and f you start messing with it without the weight of the roof on them THEN put the weight of the roof BACK on them, you could do serious damage. Don't touch them or crank them, that way they're in exactly the same position as when you first removed the roof. THAT nightmare we created is an entirely different thread.

Put your new pieces in place then start screwing! We started attached with 2" screws to hold it on place, then pulled the rear end of the roof down to meet the new side and drove a couple in there. Then we ensured a good fit along the top, screwed and moved toward the front and ensured our fit there as well.

Once your new sides are in place you can opt to seal up the outside or start reattaching your lift posts. I used all new screws for the outside trim and the lift posts. I used 3/4 inch sheet metal screws to attach my tent railing and outside trim pieces. On the ends and center of my trim pieces I used the 2" long screws, then the 3/4 inch for all the other remaining holes. Inside the camper we reattached tent rails with 3/4" sheet metal screws. they were fin as the thickness of the tent track rail keeps them from being too long and going through your entire sidewall.

For the outside we opted to seal with Eternabond RV roof tape:
EternaBond White Mobile Home RV Rubber Roof Repair 4" x 20' - 20 Foot, 20 Feet
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AYPCJ9G/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_aOQsFbV99NT9R

IT beats squirting caulking for miles. It worked out well, too. It is sticky as hell but if you take your time you can do it. We snapped a chalk line along the top of the roof to help give us a guide. We went 50/50 with a 4" wide roll. 2" inches along top and 2" wrapped along the sides, then installed the trim on top of it.
61756637964__A3D5CB4C-10A5-4A8B-8801-B5E251286BB2.jpeg IMG_1792.jpeg 61808204426__302F2C37-D51F-43C9-9D4E-07B13B847CEE.jpeg 61815508925__D6DF4D1C-A75C-4189-BF9A-2637CDA3B707.jpeg
You'll make little mistakes along the way and I guarantee you'll have to redo more than a few things, but you can do this and it is fun! To me, it can't be as bad the original state it was in. It leaked and it was a dangerous rotten mess. ANYTHING I did has made it better than what it was.

What brand is your camper? Mine is a little Dutchmen 801. I noticed the Starcraft and Viking have lots of similarities to the Dutchmen
61756313615__9FA0EE70-B8EB-4B69-84CC-92A6977E39B1.jpeg IMG_0138.jpeg IMG_0187.jpeg IMG_0189.jpeg
 

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Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
The roof....the front of the roof has wood, at least I know that much. I will have to upload the image later....The sidewall is that **** particle board and a lining...that's it I think, besides the exterior siding--it is quite thin. Calipers won't help until I remove what's left of the sidewall. Luckily, the middle part of the sidewall is intact and I can get a decent measurement for thickness when I go in to repair this thing in September once it cools off... I will probably buy a small planer to adjust the board to the right thickness. Getting the right shape will also be a challenge. Most of the damage occurred in the corner.. View attachment 67127
The thickness can be a little more and it still works out fine. We used a total of 3/4 plywood (1/2 and 1/4 glued together) We couldn't just buy 3/4" b/c we needed 9' in length for my camper and it only comes stock, 8' lengths. We did the sandwiching, gluing and screwing so we could piece together 2 new sides.
IMG_1895.jpg
 

Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
I definitely need to do this job. The particle board has disintegrated on the aft corner...It is some thickness of **** particle board sandwiched between layers of pup Vinyl View attachment 67215 View attachment 67216 View attachment 67217 siding......thats it...no foam, or anything else.... i was really just going into assess the job but seems like it is going to be an engineering nightmare to get the right thickness down and board shape... a mjor job that will require removing the tent and the bunks. What a headache. I did this when we first got the pup years ago.

That vinyl is actually the inside and it's just for aesthetics.
Once you get your sides together you can paint the insides of them before you install them.
Your outside FRP (skin) looks pretty good, you might be able to reuse them if you can get them off without damaging them.
If not, aluminum window wrap works fine as a new skin.
 

Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
Oh my gosh....how did you fashion each side? Seems to me, one complicating issue would getting the sides to match up by somehow making a template. What did you use for the sides? I hope i Can remove the vinyl siding . Did you find a source for replacement materials from the manufacturer r did you wing it. My pup has metal trim along the bottom....did you do one side at a time?
Here's a photo of the old rotten side. It looks to be 1/2" plywood. They didn't;t use 10" plywood either...you can see in my photo they put two pieces together to get the 9 foot length needed. They used giant staples to connect them. I considered doing the same ad connecting my pieces with a piece of hardware like in the other photo. My friend didn't like the idea, so went went ahead with the method I described in my other post.

I have a 1/2" plywood. I'm going to compare the original piece, to see if it's 1/2" or a tad thicker...
61756031846__27E2879E-4918-4314-8224-7E6609540439.jpeg 61756027733__E5E5739A-82B2-4435-8194-8EDD45A572C3.jpeg IMG_5101.JPG IMG_3113.JPG IMG_7814.JPG
 

Jkyle01

Member
Jun 8, 2020
29
CT
I checked the thickness. The original is a strange thickness, not 3/4" but greater than 1/2" by the thickness of a piece of luan.1/2" plywood has 4 layers, the original plywood has 5 layers. So 1/2" plywood plus a layer of luan would likely make it exactly the same thickness.
 

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
OK. let me tell you what we did. First I will admit, it was my idea to take the top off completely and work on it on the side. Friend said nah. In the end he agreed we should have just taken it off and worked on it off to the completely. It was completely OFF but we had it hanging in place via supports. We were winging it the entire way and with careful thought and batting ideas, we did it. Most everything we did, we undid and redid, twice, lol. My sides were rotten, the back and from of the roof aren't all that great, but still usable, so we opted to keep them in place. The wood behind the rotten side that runs along to the top of the roof was in good shape, so we knew we had a good surface that could accept screws. If you're not as lucky, search YouTube, there are lots of videos where people show how they've replaced those pieces, too.

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES OF THE INSIDE, CLOSE UP AND FURTHER BACK to show the orientation and placement of key items such as lift posts and tent track.

OK, first we cranked it up to a height that was OUTSIDE height workable. Then, we made supports and slid them inside. Your camper might have several bolts going straight through the sides that also pass through some of the tent track bars. Those came out first. Then we removed any outsid hardware such as awning support bar stuff and the four top pieces of the top latches. You'll need to buy new hardware for them, as they're special. save everything so you can go to the hardware store with a sample of what you need. We then started to remove the TOP trim. Be careful not to bend it. Remove any heavy calking that may keep you from removing it without bending it. You have to remove that strip of vinyl that covers up the screws. Many of the screws we released weren't holding anything or came out half rusted. the original sides for my camper were stapled into place with those giant long staples. If your sides are rotten enough, after you've removed the post support screws, they may just fall off. Be careful to keep that white exterior skin intact as your template. Finally remove the screws that hold the lift posts. We removed one side and worked on its replacement piece before removing the second side.

Use a paint scraper, drywall compound knife to slide and pry the skin off the old side. Don't throw anything away. I put any large bolts and hardware into operate baggies and labeled them.

Scrape old wood off the back side of your skin as much as possible to get it to lay flay for a template.

The sides can be constructed of many variations of wood, solid or ply. It's up to you what you want to spend or do in order to have a piece long/thick enough for your camper. I didn't want to deal with 10' plywood, as it is available but special order and then to get it home...forget it.

I had to go to Home Depot for my wood and once we knew exactly how we were going to construct our 9' pieces, I had them do all the cuts right there at the store. No hauling home giant sheets of plywood and avoiding a ton of cuts to do at home.

We constructed the sides this way:
1/2" plywood: 3 pieces of 3' x 10"
1/4" plywood: 2 pieces of 4' and one piece of 1'

First I asked the man to cut each full sheet of plywood into 10" strips. (10" is the max height of my roof sides)
Then, I had him cut those strips into the lengths I needed to construct the sides (see photo)

When you put them together in this configuration there are no overlapping seams. (see photo)

We cut the pieces of plywood at differing sizes, in each thickness, in order to overlap and glue them all together to make a 9 foot long board. We used liquid nails and screws to hold it all together. Once all the glue was dry I removed all the screws except the screws closest to the seams. Then we placed the outer skin on top of the wood for a template. Use the template for the top curve but remember that template is SHORT top to bottom. Some of the actual wood along the bottom edge of the side is NOT covered by that skin, it is covered by your bottom trim. Use your skin ornate before you take it off just how much EXTRA depth there is to your side piece BEYOND what the skin covers. Our was something like 1/4 inch. After you've drawn your template use a jigsaw to cut it out. I would suggest going INSIDE your drawn lines. We didn't and we had to do a bit of trimming that couldn't been avoided by going inside the drawn lines.

After cutting place your template down on the board and MARK ALL THE HOLES made from bolts (lift/tent track) and roof hardware. Also mark front of camper and back of camper ends, as the template is NOT mirror image, the back angles slopes down more than the front but the from edge is steeper than the back.

Once you have it cut, hold it up to dry fit it...it should work well.

For the outer skin we opted not to use the original, since it was such an ugly mess. We opted to reskin with aluminum window wrap. It's at Home Depot near the gutter stuff. It comes in a roll: white on one side brown on the other, $12.00 per roll, 2 rolls should do the job. Dom;t forget your tin snips...I had to buy them. I watched some YouTube videos where they wrapped the aluminums over the edges of the side pieces. We decided just to cut the aluminum to skin the front...no overlap to edges. This time we used the OLD skin to make a template but use exactly on all its lines, as you do not need to cover the lower edge of the side piece, because it is covered by the trim that runs along the bottom. We used liquid nails to attach that to our side pieces. you could opt for a different type of adhesive, maybe even something that rolls on. we had it on hand so we used it. I worried it's make the aluminum appear too lumpy, but it didn't, it's fine.

The camper belongs to me and we're working on it from my home, so when my friend wasn't around to work o it with me, I did things I knew I could do alone: I cleaned up all the trim pieces of old caulking and gunk then hit them with a coating of white Rustoleum. Ensures all evidence of old staples and rusted screws were out cleaned out of our way. The bottom trim pieces have channels that needed cleaning out in order for them to fit cleanly onto our new sides, so I worked on them as well. Lots of scraping prying and cleaning using steel wool, mineral spirits and GooGone. Also, I cleaned the entire roof edging of old caulk gunk and other sticky residues.

I also opted to paint what would be the inside of my side roof, as originally it's covered with white vinyl. Not a while lot of it shows once everything is back together, but it's a lot easier to do while the side is off vs. inside, trying to paint those small areas that do still show. I did a quick sanding of the plywood surface, filled the seams and holes made during the layering process with wood filler, then painted.

We bought screws...a lot of screws! We used 2' and 2 1/2' drywall screws to attach our side pieces back onto the camper. We were doing a great job until we realized we made a HUGE mistake. The day we started dry fitting we got annoyed with the lift arms being in our way, so we started to started to move them. THAT WAS A HUGE MISTAKE. In our monkeying with the lift arms, we managed to kink and bend a lift spring. That is why I had to mess with the lift as well. We are now masters at Goshen lift systems. I swear we dropped those lift poles and springs 4 times before were got it all back together correctly. If you can help it, do not touch those poles. It is the weight of the roof on that system that makes it work correctly and f you start messing with it without the weight of the roof on them THEN put the weight of the roof BACK on them, you could do serious damage. Don't touch them or crank them, that way they're in exactly the same position as when you first removed the roof. THAT nightmare we created is an entirely different thread.

Put your new pieces in place then start screwing! We started attached with 2" screws to hold it on place, then pulled the rear end of the roof down to meet the new side and drove a couple in there. Then we ensured a good fit along the top, screwed and moved toward the front and ensured our fit there as well.

Once your new sides are in place you can opt to seal up the outside or start reattaching your lift posts. I used all new screws for the outside trim and the lift posts. I used 3/4 inch sheet metal screws to attach my tent railing and outside trim pieces. On the ends and center of my trim pieces I used the 2" long screws, then the 3/4 inch for all the other remaining holes. Inside the camper we reattached[\quote]
I didnt get a notification for this and i want to thank you for taking the t8me to post this for everyone. Fantastic. The supports are killer! I think 8 also see you have a shelter errected i which to work from....it is pouring down rain right now is why i havent even begun this thing....if i can use one piece of solid wood I will....i will paint it with something ridiculously impervious to water-the camper killer.
 

vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
My html is rusty and i didnt do the tags right in the last post.
I didnt get a notification for this and i want to thank you for taking the t8me to post this for everyone. Fantastic. The supports are killer! I think 8 also see you have a shelter errected i which to work from....it is pouring down rain right now is why i havent even begun this thing....if i can use one piece of solid wood I will....i will paint it with something ridiculously impervious to water-the camper killer.
 

HoosierPop

Member
Sep 20, 2016
20
How do I determine what weatherstripping goes under the roof sides (snaps into the aluminum channel under the roof)?
 

HoosierPop

Member
Sep 20, 2016
20
Here ya go. It's a 1994 StarCraft of some sort, I'm hoping the model won't matter.
Thank you!
 

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vdotmatrix

Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
487
Northern Virginia
Here ya go. It's a 1994 StarCraft of some sort, I'm hoping the model won't matter.
Thank you!
Write the company for size and local distributor and send these pictures. The wHite. Vinyl stripping that covers the screws is or coukd be 1” to 3/4” wide. Got mine on amazon. When you say weather stripping i wonder if you mean what goes under this aluminum molding. It is prolly “1 butyl tape, i think 1/8” thick.
 




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