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Old 06-02-2012, 11:55 AM   #1
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Leaky roof advice needed

My 94 Sunline saturn looked fine when I removed the tarp that I keep on it over the winter, but we got a few inches of rain last night when I didn't have the tarp on. Today I noticed a wet spot on the bed inside. This is right at the front of the camper.

There is also some water evidence inside right above there at the joint or bend in the ceiling.



When I looked above, the caulk there looks worn away and it looks like there would be a leak there. I had touched up spots like that a year ago but maybe I didn't go that one too well since its very hard to reach.





These photos are at the top front of the camper.

So, I hope to patch it up at least temporarily by myself. I have some Dicor white self leveling sealant that I got from my local dealer. I was planing on scraping away the old loose stuff and replacing it with the new.

Can anyone provide any expert advice? Any links with hints or suggestions?

One more related question How can I get onto my rubber roof without falling through or damaging it? I was thinking about placing a plank or ladder across it so that I could get closer to my damaged spot...
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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Everything you ever wanted to know about roof maintenance and repair, can be found HERE

It even explains how to get on the roof safely!


Good luck and post some pics of your handy work!
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #3
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I think that's just what I needed to know! Thank you very much for pointing me in the right direction!
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Old 06-02-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Hi, I ran into this problem on my last camper. Do you know anyone in the roofing business. Almost every roofing company knows how to do rubber roofing for commercial building or flat roofs on houses. It might be worth getting a repair estimate, if that rubber is still good and it is just the seem that is leaking they could just probably run a wide piece of seem tape (which adheres incredibly) across that seem and the problem will never come back. I did that to my last camper and the problem never came back in the three years that i owned it.

Good luck
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:36 AM   #5
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the repair project is now expanding!...

I'm removing the old self level sealant just as directed. The old stuff was very cracked grey and yucky. The thread from earlier on really helped

However, now I fear that I need to expand my repair project. On the inside ceiling, where it leaked, there is clearly some water damage. The joining strip at the ceiling front corner is pulled away, and I can feel wetness inside. Also, a small part of the ceiling seems rotted and crackles when I push on it.

So my question is, if I start pulling stuff apart, what will I find inside? Can I get replacement materials locally? Is it just wood on the inside, regular wallpaper on the outside? How about that small plastic bead of runs along the corner, can I find that stuff too?

Again, if someone has had a similar ceiling or wall repair with advice that would be greatly appreciated!

I can see I'm going to be busy in the two weeks before our first scheduled camping trip...

Thanks in advance for any help.

Keith
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:07 PM   #6
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Since, it was getting difficult to describe the problem. Here's a picture of my situation. This is the front of the camper, and the red circled areas as the water damaged areas. They are now softer and brittle.



I ripped off the border strip between the sections and wiggled my finger through some of the rotten wood. It seems the wood is a very thin layer with some insulation after that.

I could certainly rip off the old stuff and replace it with new wood. New insulation if needed.

I don't know what the thin rubber bead strip between sections is? I guess I could just reuse that?

However, I'm more worried about the cosmetics. Is it just wallpaper on top?

If I just replace a section of wood, do I just wallpaper over the joint?

Maybe I should just dive in and start tearing it apart...

Keith
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:11 PM   #7
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Not knowing what all you will find, I would suggest that you seal the roof good and wait until after the shakedown camp, to dig into the problem.

Directly beneath the EPDM roof is a press-board material. Under that, is the roofing trusses and insulation. The ceiling is mounted directly to the trusses.

Here's a picture of a Sunline bathroom ceiling. It had a water leak. Also, there is a few 2x4's in the picture and there was a ceiling vent there. The trusses are nowhere near as sturdy.



Same Sunline, with the ceiling removed..



This picture is the front-left corner of the roof. This particular floorplan had a slide on the front-left side of it.




Also... Along the front, are the wires that go to the top lights. There may be lots more wires in the area. Be careful, if you decide to cut anything.
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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Hi Keith,

How did you make out? Everything is repairable if you are handy with wood working. The caulking all around the roof is critical to be inspected at least twice a year once the camper is much past 3 to 4 years old. Spring coming out of winter and fall going into winter.

And any other time you wash the roof or up there during the year.

The sealing tape was mentioned. See here for most questions on the sealing tape.

Eternabond Roof Seal Tape on a Sunline (Lots of pics)

On the inside fix, once you tear into this it it really important to make sure you get all of it. All wood that will remain must be dried out and ideally sealed to stop dry rot in the future.

Wood preservation, rot repair, and restoration using epoxy resin on boats and homes.

I have used this product of theirs


It works good but for sure you have to use a respirator or else...

The harder part of the repair is finding paneling. If you have a Menards in your area, they have some choices
Store Locator at Menards

And there are RV surplus supply houses but it can be hit and miss on the patterns. We really have not found yet a perfect place to buy the paneling. Each time someone does a rebuild, the paneling is the bigger problem. An RV dealer of any brand may be able to order you some from the factory. Cost may be high but it is an option. Don't tell them it's a Sunline, just find a brand of camper that you like the paneling in and ask for that one.

Good luck and hope this helps. Please post the progress as this really helps the rest of us as you work through this.

John
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:47 PM   #9
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I spent about 5 hours scraping all the sealant from the roof. I removed everything I could. Then it started to get cloudy with thunder in the distance. I covered everything up with a tarp and had to wait several days since it thunderstormed almost daily. When the weather cleared, I resealed the best I could, got a couple of days for it to dry, and that's where I am right now.

From my limited experience, I thought a hairdryer was really helpful to slightly loosen the old sealant. I bought a heat gun too, but I didn't even open it up since the hair dryer worked fine...

I also really like this tool from Lowes to remove the old caulk. It was very easy to use, very cheap too.

I'm going camping in a couple of weeks. After that, I'm going to begin tearing out the damaged areas and go from there.

I'll try to take some before and after pictures and post some info on my progress to aid anyone in the future that may have similar difficulties...
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:26 PM   #10
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Good job! Roof leaks can be a real pain. Technically the new sealant is supposed to be put over the old (minus loose areas), but when it's so cracked and loose, you're certainly doing it a good way.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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Hi Keith,

Your doing good. Yes I too peel out all the old stuff if it is questionable. If it is bonded solid, then you can add to it.

That bath tub scraper. I have one too. The best thing that ever happened to caulking up a tub or shower in the house. I never tried it on the camper. A litte heat and most of the old Dicor would come up. In the summer hot days it is even easier as long as you do not roast in the process....

Keep up the good work

John
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