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Old 07-16-2013, 08:06 AM   #1
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Capt Skup
Sad video, early death of a Sunline

When you are told to keep an eye on the roof and sealant, heed the warning. I have first hand experience with the Sunline roof system. Sadly it is not the best built that is for sure. Best bet is lots of TLC maintenance, indoor storage or if that is not possible, a very good cover. Even with constant maintenance, replacement of the roof sealant very often, my roof started failing. It led to a total replacement of the rubber membrane, the flimsy underlayment with real playwood and every joint resealed.
Watch the video if you can: How to Spot a Lemon when Buying an RV - YouTube
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Old 07-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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Thanks for finding and sharing. I shared this on the Facebook page too, because it's an increasingly important topic. I'm lucky to have mine stored inside, so I don't worry as much about leaks, and I blow it out after every trip too. Keeping up on roof seams definitely is more important than Sunline ever talked about it to be. Sadly, I think the '80s Sunlines will outlast a newer one since the old ones have the aluminum roofs.

The only thing I disagree with in the video is about the screws on the bottom of the walls. Those screws (both on the front and rear walls) don't have much paint on them to begin with, so since they're exposed, they will start to rust prematurely. I agree about the ones under the screw cover though.

You know what, I'm stickying this.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:28 PM   #3
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Good video, every prospective owner should watch it first. Better to get an uneasy feeling watching the video, it'll go away. Once you buy. it stays for a long time!
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
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Oh my word.

That guy is not the sharpest tool in the shed. "We got a water leak somewheres!", as he jumps up and down on the roof, adding that he's "falling through" as he does so.

Makes me miss my former T-2570 a little less.
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Old 07-23-2017, 09:19 AM   #5
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Ok, two things.
1) there is no way I could ever walk on the roof of my Micro 1250 I can feel that all it is is 1x3 joists every 16" or so, covered by the thinnest of aluminum sheeting. Even if I walked on the 1x3 joists( I use the term joists liberally, as they are turned the wrong way to be true joists which makes them even weaker,) I would probably crack them and then fall through the roof. Forget about not stepping on the joists, I'd put my whole foot right through the aluminum sheeting.

2) now that the video has freaked me out about leaks in the rook, what do I do to re-seal the roof? If it was my house I'd get a gallon or two of roofing tar, but that is black and I really don't want that up there. What is white that I can get by the gallon to coat the entire roof, and/or how do I use chalking (and what brand to buy, tools etc,) to properly seal the seams?
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Old 07-23-2017, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jleslie48 View Post
2) now that the video has freaked me out about leaks in the rook, what do I do to re-seal the roof? If it was my house I'd get a gallon or two of roofing tar, but that is black and I really don't want that up there. What is white that I can get by the gallon to coat the entire roof, and/or how do I use chalking (and what brand to buy, tools etc,) to properly seal the seams?
Hi jleslie48,

This thread can help on the roof caulking. It has many pictures and what caulking is needed to maintain a rubber roof on a Sunline camper. This also applies to many other brands of campers that have an EPDM rubber roof.
Rubber Roof Caulk - Inspect and repair 101

You mentioned resealing the roof, they do make resealing products but the question before you go to resealing is, what problem are your trying to correct thinking you need to do a reseal? We can help with that.

Resealing of a rubber roof is needed when the top white layer of the rubber has been worn away over time and you can see the black EPDM rubber membrane underneath. Holes are not yet in the rubber, just the white top layer is worn off. This is not to be confused with black mold specs that are on the surface, we can address the black mold spec differently depending on how bad they are. If you need help on sorting out which it is you have, ask away, glad to help. If you have actual holes in the rubber, that is a different repair then resealing. Again, just trying to find out more of your situation to help better on how to correct it.

Most roof leaks happen from caulking, rusted screws and joint failure and not the actual rubber having holes in it. The caulking does degrade over time and needs to be touched up as soon as a crack or split develops to stay ahead of the leaking potential.

If you have a situation where you acquired a used camper and you inherited a problem from the prior owner, we can help access what you have and make some recommendations as to what to do with it. Pictures really help in this case so we can see what you are up against rather then giving more of a generic answer.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-23-2017, 05:32 PM   #7
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actually, my roof is aluminum sheeting. There is no problems, and I wanted to know what I need to do to keep my sunline staying that way.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jleslie48 View Post
actually, my roof is aluminum sheeting. There is no problems, and I wanted to know what I need to do to keep my sunline staying that way.
Thanks for clarifying this, did not know you had one of the older campers with the metal roof system. The video was on a rubber roof camper so a lot of the response was to address the methods for a rubber roof.

That said, some of the same issues that are concern areas on a rubber roof are similar to those on a metal roof.

On a rubber roof, the rubber itself is not the weak link, however over a long time the surface can deteriorate and become thinner needing a re-coating. If the roof is cared for and cleaned like the manufacture Dicor states, (4 times a year) these roofs can last a good long time. Many many years are needed to get to this state where re-coating is needed and where you camp affects this too. The hot sun of AZ is different then the east coast and campers that are covered in some way for the off season comes close to stopping this deterioration effect due to lack of sun. This issue is accelerated if the owner does not clean the roof often.

On the metal roofs, the roof itself is metal and the sun does not have the same UV issues with the metal. However, the aluminium given the wrong conditions can corrode and create pin holes. This shows up some times on the lower siding of the camper. Down by the bottom of the camper is the most susceptible. Water spray off a wet road can start the corrosion process accelerated in areas where steel staples are used or sometimes steel screws. Or a water leak inside the camper can start a corrosion spot working it's way to the outside. The metal roof being so high up normally does not have this issue, but be on the look out for corrosion starting up there and address it as you find it before the holes start.

The largest areas of concern for a rubber roof or a metal roof is any penetration into the roof material itself. Meaning, a roof vent, an antenna mount, a tank vent cover, all the perimeter edge seams, the front and rear roof seams, screws, etc. All these areas have the same thing in common, there is a hole in the roof surface that has a fastener of some type and uses a sealing compound to make it water tight. The sealing compound in whatever form it is, is the largest issue. The sealing compound starts breaking down aggravated by UV from the sun over time, gets dry and hard, cracks, shrinks and then a leak starts if left unattended long enough. If the camper lives outside all the time uncovered, if the owner does "routine" roof sealing compound checks and addressed any faint, minor sealing compound issue as it starts, then they can ward off a problem while it is still very fixable. These tiny splits and cracks left unchecked grow over time into full blown leaks.

The hardest part is the "routine" of how often and to be able to keep it up. From what I have seen on roof caulking for a camper living outside all the time, 4 times a year checks and addressing any tiny splits as they start is about the right number if you want to stay on top of every split starting. One check in the spring after winter storage, 2 across the summer months and one in the fall going into winter. If the camper lives inside in an enclosed building when not camping for part of the year or all of the year, the 4 times a year checks can be reduced.

I know, this sounds like a lot of work and it is. The issue is the way campers are built, the sealing compounds are the weak link. While less then 4 times a year may just get you by for a camper living outside all the time, the older the camper gets the harder it is to make the fewer inspections.

I have found that a brand new camper has about 2 to 3 years maybe pushing 4 at the most, living outside uncovered all year long in PA and central Ohio weather before the first tiny caulking split shows up. From there they just keep getting bigger and more frequent if not addressed. By year 7, larger cracks can form quickly coming out of the winter time. In time, after enough patching of the caulk, sometimes you need to remove most of it and start over to reset the deterioration time clock. If you clean the roof and the caulking and use a UV protectant on the caulk 3 to 4 times a year, it will help slow down the aging process.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 07-25-2017, 09:15 AM   #9
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@John great info. thanks.
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