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Old 08-07-2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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sunline roofs

I see now some sunline roofs were aluminum. And some were rubber. Does anyone know what the 1987 1550 Saturns roof was made of ? Am I correct that if its rubber it is definitely not strong enough for a person to walk on it? Or haul a canoe on it?
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Old 08-07-2013, 03:37 PM   #2
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No, all Sunline trailers didn't have rubber roofs. I have a 1983 T-1550 and it has aluminum roof. I'm not sure what year the change and/or if all models. It should be easy to tell by looking at it though. in any event you can't just "walk" on your roof without laying down plywood (aluminum roof) and carpet with plywood (rubber roof). The carpet is to protect the rubber and the plywood is to distribute your load over more than one roof/ceiling joist. The carpet strip is a good idea for both roof systems as plywood can slide and the carpet serves a duel purpose.

Others will be able to tell you exactly what roof you have. I'd guess aluminum, however 1987 may be new enough for the material/s change.
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Old 08-07-2013, 04:39 PM   #3
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Do you have an air conditioner on your unit? If so it will be pretty much dead center and about 12" high. There are points built into and in some cases pre-wired for accessories. These places are labeled on the ceiling. A/C and antenna mounts are 2 I know on my 1983 T-1550. These are reinforced for such mounting.

I would think you would have to apply the same to any roof rack mounting points, as well as be high enough to clear A/C or vents if mounted off center. I think it could be done. It would want to be done well from a mechanical and safety point of view. It requires opening up the ceiling and/or the roof.

How long is your canoe? Is it longer than your trailer? How much does it weigh?

Does anyone have another solution?......other than mounting on TV.

Oh quiz question: How far up and distance back, in feet units of measure will a 16' Lincoln fiberglass canoe go launched (albeit reluctantly) from a 9' platform at 60 mph?

I have been giving this "some....not a lot thought". You may be able to create a cradle rather than a permanent mount for the canoe, esp. the cradle could be on a plywood base with carpet distributing the load. If the canoe cantilevers each end of the trailer front to back you may be able to lash the ends to the frame and bumper with guy roles. The side edges of the roof or near top side walls where the walls and roof meet have wood framing members. This could possibly be a place to attach eye/ring screws. You need to clear the galley vent (3" height maybe?) or A/C if present.

Sunlinefan as well as some other good knowledgeable members can help with this.

My experience is with Coleman Polypropylene 15' canoe mounted to 1st my International Scout II and later to a couple Toyota Tacoma single cabs. In all cases the canoe and the vehicles were the same 15' length. The Coleman kit was very simple yet worked very well. Simple foam sleeves on rail of canoe pressing down on roof of vehicle, gutter mount (remember those days of gutters on cars) straps over midsection of canoe and straps tying each end down to the front and rear bumper. I had this stuff set up so I could load that canoe in well under a few minutes.

That brings up the question of how are you planning of lifting you canoe up 8 to 10 feet.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:57 PM   #4
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I would be very (very) reluctant to even consider hauling a canoe atop my Sunline, or any travel trailer, for that matter. You'll surely lose it if you just strap it down. If you get a reliable rack system you'll destroy the integrity of the roof mounting it & it's likely to pull out @ hwy speeds w/o a very sturdy roof & some system under roof to disburse the stress
Other considerations:
unless you've very adjustable mirrors, you won't likely be able to see it up there.
You'll need a ladder, great balance, & lotsa upper body strength to hoist your canoe up there & get it down again.
gas mileage will suffer despite towing.
insurance liability will skyrocket
I've hauled my trailer & canoe (atop my TV) cross country & return each of last 4 yrs but would sadly leave it behind (or consider renting @ my destination long before thinking about hauling it on trailer
Is there a reason you can't carry canoe on your TV ?
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Old 08-07-2013, 06:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GKLarson View Post
I would be very (very) reluctant to even consider hauling a canoe atop my Sunline, or any travel trailer, for that matter. You'll surely lose it if you just strap it down. If you get a reliable rack system you'll destroy the integrity of the roof mounting it & it's likely to pull out @ hwy speeds w/o a very sturdy roof & some system under roof to disburse the stress
Other considerations:
unless you've very adjustable mirrors, you won't likely be able to see it up there.
You'll need a ladder, great balance, & lotsa upper body strength to hoist your canoe up there & get it down again.
gas mileage will suffer despite towing.
insurance liability will skyrocket
I've hauled my trailer & canoe (atop my TV) cross country & return each of last 4 yrs but would sadly leave it behind (or consider renting @ my destination long before thinking about hauling it on trailer
Is there a reason you can't carry canoe on your TV ?
I agree with you 110 0/0. I think "I could do it", yet I would never put it to the test. It is just a fanciful laboratory experiment in my opinion.

As you pointed out, it is all negatives and I can't think of any positives.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:05 PM   #6
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The canoe was just a thought. I was mainly worried if the trailer i'm getting has a rubber roof or not. the canoe is 16 ft long . the camper body I believe 13 ft. Its Too long in truck bed with a trailer attached. Im not going to attempt it. I've seen quite a few campers going down the road with kayaks and canoes on top. But probably stronger roofs. How I was planning on getting it up is with a slide out bar from inside the boat rack. You pull it out a few feet to the side of the camper and then just lift one end of the canoe on the bar with the other on the ground . Then you go back and lift up the back end and put it on the camper. Then slide the front resting on the side bar over.
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Old 08-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #7
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Sunline used aluminum roofs up through the mid-'90s. Rubber roofs were introduced in the early '90s on trailers over 24' long. I do know everything under 22' (T-2251 and smaller) in 1994 and older used aluminum. I'm not sure about 1995/96 1550s.

The '87 you mention will definitely have an aluminum.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:00 PM   #8
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Jon,
Been waiting for your reply. Time line would have been my guess, maybe early 90's, but just a very uneducated one. Also, not knowing the price point of the models new, wouldn't have had a clue as to length having impact on aluminum versus rubber other then in aluminum I would suspect more seams/joints/lapping roof edges=labor cost=higher consumer cost.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Jon,
Been waiting for your reply. Time line would have been my guess, maybe early 90's, but just a very uneducated one. Also, not knowing the price point of the models new, wouldn't have had a clue as to length having impact on aluminum versus rubber other then in aluminum I would suspect more seams/joints/lapping roof edges=labor cost=higher consumer cost.
Interestingly, I think rubber was more expensive to install. Perhaps because it was a new product with many unknowns. That's because in the case of '92-'94, the 22'-23' breakpoint was also the breakpoint of the Saturn/Solaris change. At that time, Saturn models were actually pretty stripped down option wise, and then the Solaris' were very well equipped. It's interesting that you couldn't get a stripped down 24' trailer at the time, nor could you get a decked out 2251 or 1550.

Also, in 1994, the price breakpoint between the 2251 (longest Saturn) and the 2362 (shortest Solaris) was at about $15,000.
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Old 08-07-2013, 10:13 PM   #10
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I would expect the rubber to be more costly for the manufacturer to purchase than the aluminum, however I would have guessed it faster to install thus the labor difference would offset it. I can see how the marketing department would play up the rubber as "new and improved" making the retail cost more. Just speculation here on my end.

The unknown certainly is a good point.
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Old 08-08-2013, 08:26 AM   #11
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I am very glad to hear the one i'm getting does not have a rubber roof. From the camping world post it had about scared me off of getting it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:47 AM   #12
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My 1990 T1700 has an aluminum roof and I agree putting any kind of frame work on it or a canoe is not a great ideal. I replaced the roof vent on mine and used a sheet of plywood lay across it won't stand walking on just not strong enough.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:43 AM   #13
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As far as the rubber roof goes. I believe about all manufactures used rubber on their roofs for awhile. My Jayco had rubber, my sons Keystone Cougar had rubber.
As with a mobile home roof you still have to maintain a metal roof. Every few years you should recoat it. Especially seams and edges
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Old 08-26-2020, 04:11 PM   #14
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I am going to look at a 2004 Solaris T2363. It likely has a rubber roof. It has been in a trailer park for some time so I will be checking many other things as well.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I am going to look at a 2004 Solaris T2363. It likely has a rubber roof. It has been in a trailer park for some time so I will be checking many other things as well.
A 2004 Sunline would have a rubber roof unless there was a special order put in for a metal one, which is not very likely.

Let us know if you need help on the Sunline you are looking at. Hope it comes out good for you.

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Old 02-03-2021, 01:28 PM   #16
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rubber roof problems

I've been looking through posts, and it seems like the 2004 Sunline I'm looking at has a rubber roof. I am now fearful of purchasing even though the owner said he fixed the leak. Are there ongoing problems with them? How can I maintain the roof if it is not currently leaking? Thanks so much!
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Old 02-03-2021, 10:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I've been looking through posts, and it seems like the 2004 Sunline I'm looking at has a rubber roof. I am now fearful of purchasing even though the owner said he fixed the leak. Are there ongoing problems with them? How can I maintain the roof if it is not currently leaking? Thanks so much!
Hi Christine,

I talked to the topic of the owner fixing the leak on the possible camper you are looking at in your intro post.

I will pass on some comments to your other questions here.

Are there ongoing problems with a rubber roof? and one that is on a 2004 Sunline?

The rubber roof is made up of an actual rubber membrane, and sealants (special caulking) used to seal the membrane were ever a penetration's (hole) is put into the membrane for; roof vents, moldings with screws which attach the membrane to the camper, TV antenna's, black and gray tank vent pipes to name a few.

Metal camper roofs use the similar sealants for the most part. The only big difference with the metal roof and a rubber roof, is the metal membrane is replaced with a rubber one.

The sealants in most leak cases, are always the first part of a RV roof to breakdown and allow the water leak to occur. UV rays from the sun start the deterioration process, followed by the constant flexing of the camper when being towed, and lack of keeping up cleaning and maintaining the caulking when cracks start. The sealant failure is the cause of the leak, and not the membrane unless a tree or something pokes a hole in the rubber. Routine maintenance (4 times a year) is needed to keep checking the sealants and addressing any small cracks in the sealant as they start. This time span of 4 times a year, is for campers that are stored outdoors all the time. As the camper ages, the sealants break down even faster from sun deterioration and they need to be replaced when the breakdown is advanced enough. There are upgrades that can get out out of the caulking issues, but they are upgrades and a wise thing to do if you plan to keep the camper a long time.

The rubber membrane also has a life span as it wears thinner as the years go by. If the membrane has never been cleaned or UV protectant treated its life will be shorter. The rubber is warranted for 12 years, but can last a lot longer if it was properly maintained.

Many RV owners never know or knew of the roof maintenance required to keep them in top shape, and as such, the maintenance does not get done often enough or if ever before the camper is sold. They think a camper roof is like a house roof, 25 years and your good. Not so on a camper roof.

So yes, ongoing camper roof maintenance is a need regardless of rubber or metal roofs.

If you buy a used camper, the roof will need to be inspected and should be corrected for maintenance items not kept up to date. If prior leaks did not damage the structure under the rubber membrane, the roof membrane can be coated when the membrane wears too thin. There are several coatings available to extend the rubbers life before a total replacement. Some coatings less expensive can last 5 to 10 years. And then recoat again. Others cost more, and can be warranted for 50 years or more. All caulking must be inspected and changed when the deterioration gets to be too much. So yes, a neglected or aging rubber roof can be brought back to life and then well maintained going forward. The key is, was the roof structure under the rubber roof damaged by a prior leaks? If the roof was damaged by leaks, the roof can still be fixed, the cost just keeps going up.

If the current roof has an active leak, it needs to be address ASAP to stop the leak. Then access what damage has been done, create a plan on how to repair, when, and what route is needed to get it back to being a well maintained roof.

While the roof is a big part of campers leaking, there are other sealants on the siding of the camper that cause as much damage as a roof leak. The sealants (caulking) is a little different type then the roof, but still needs to be sealed up. The siding like the roof, has many penetration's in it and where ever a penetration for a entry door, window, cargo door, outside light etc. makes a hole in the siding, is a leak potential when the sealant goes bad. The metal siding itself is water proof for life, short of corrosion and mechanical holes by something poking a hole in it. This comes back to the siding sealants. Buying a used camper, all the siding sealants need to be checked and addressed if you want to keep the camper leak free. The good news, the siding caulking is a lot easier to correct then the roof.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:42 AM   #18
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JohnB, I sold my T1950 and now have the camping bug for a 2363. The one I just looked at has fiberglass siding, so I was excited. Till I looked at the roof.


* I checked each of the 4 corners and all I felt was rubber, nothing under it ...I could just push down on it like a trampoline.
* There is NO sign of leaks inside, not on the ceiling, nor the walls; it's perfect.
* There are only a few cracks in the Dicor ...nothing gigantic.
* The owner showed my paperwork of the previous owner paying for a "liquid roof" install by an RV shop.



I don't know the structure under the rubber to know whats going on under it, but I know you do:


*If the rubber simply pushes down, is that proof water got it?
* If water DID get in and the owners fixed it, is the roof going to give any moment since there is no support under it at those 4 corners?
* If I buy it for a reduced cost, would the roof last 2 years with no support?


Thanks, I hope you get this! You're the expert on roofs!
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Old 10-10-2021, 07:58 PM   #19
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Hi Tony,

I'll insert comments in your text in Blue

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony17112acst View Post
JohnB, I sold my T1950 and now have the camping bug for a 2363. The one I just looked at has fiberglass siding, so I was excited. Till I looked at the roof. Bummer for sure


* I checked each of the 4 corners and all I felt was rubber, nothing under it ...I could just push down on it like a trampoline. This is not good. If you get the rubber band feeling at the corners and it gets stuff again a distance away, then the rubber backing Sunline called Budboard is very compromised. The budboard supports the rubber and gives it structural strength. The rubber band feeling is classic of this condition.

* There is NO sign of leaks inside, not on the ceiling, nor the walls; it's perfect. Since you now know there was water damage in all 4 roof corners, odds are high water went down the walls. How much and for how long is unknown without more information. If you acquire a pinless moisture meter you can scan the inside, the fiberglass siding, the roof and the Darco membrane under the camper to know if active water damage is still present. See this thread for more info https://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/f...per-17613.html

It is good that you cannot see water damage in the living space, but that does not mean it does not exist. By the time you can see it, the damage can have been going for several years very slowly.


* There are only a few cracks in the Dicor ...nothing gigantic.
In order to have 4 corners be a rubber band feeling, water made it's water into the roof at some point. A cracked shower dome or leaking tank vent etc can be bad news too if left uncorrected for very long. I would need pictures to tell more on the condition of what you are looking at.

* The owner showed my paperwork of the previous owner paying for a "liquid roof" install by an RV shop. If they coated over rubber band feeling roof membrane, that does not instill much confidence. Not knowing the dates of when the coating was applied, the budboard may not have been so deteriorated a few years back. But still, if there was a known leak and the leak damage not repaired prior to the coating, the roof system can have worse damage as time goes on as it has to dry out and can't when all sealed up.

I don't know the structure under the rubber to know whats going on under it, but I know you do:


*If the rubber simply pushes down, is that proof water got it? IF the rubber feels like an old tire tube you floated on in a pond or lake when a kid, basically a rubber band feeling, then the budboard is deteriorated to the point there is no support under the rubber left. I could tell more if you can tell me how big the bad area is? 1ft radius, 2 ft, 5 foot. This is where the moisture meter comes in. You can scan the roof to see how large a wet spot is even if it feels OK

* If water DID get in and the owners fixed it, is the roof going to give any moment since there is no support under it at those 4 corners?
The answer is, it depends. I have seen some rubber band roof corners that where opened up early in the water entry period where the budboard was bad, but the rafters and walls where only water stained and not deteriorated badly yet. And then, there has been cases the rafter dry rotted in place, the water over a long time evaporated out. The rafter was dust and support was compromised.

When you said the owner fixed it, need more on what was fixed? Did they just stop the leak, sealed it shut? Or did they take it apart, dry it out and repair all water damage. If they would of done the take it apart repair, you would not have rubber band feeling corners. They should of been addressed with the repair. It is possible they only coated the roof in an attempt to seal it up.



* If I buy it for a reduced cost, would the roof last 2 years with no support? A simple question with a very un-simple answer. If the entire camper was scanned with a moisture meter and readings recorded, pictures of suspect areas taken and sent, I could make a better guess. In order to answer this with some level of certainty, a good amount of investigation is needed.

The camper could be leaking in now from siding leaks, they can be as bad if not worse then roof leaks.

The 2 years, you did not say if the camper will live outside all the time in snow country. Winter can be bad on a camper roof with deteriorated budboard. Water and snow weight cannot flow off the roof as there is no support. Heavy water pooled in a unsupported pocket can stress the rubber with no support under it. Any tear in the rubber and its a big issue quick. The actual waterproof part of the membrane (the black rubber part) is very thin, think 0.015" thick or the thickness of 3 sheets of normal printer paper. It's not much. The white top layer is the shed layer and not the water proof part.

Ideally, if the inside looks great and you know you had water damage in the past, that camper could make a good candidate for a restoration project. Take it apart from the outside in, do not take it apart from the inside, then repair all damage, seal it up better then new, and you have a good great camper. But that will take a good amount of time.




Thanks, I hope you get this! You're the expert on roofs!
I hope this comes out well for you, in what ever form that is.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-10-2021, 09:28 PM   #20
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John, Thank you for being so gracious to answer my questions with a lot of info and quickly too!

I did spend the whole day reading posts on here about roofs and I did learn how they are made up ...with the bud board and everything else. I reviewed your massive restoration project on the T1950 (I had 3 different T1950's in the past), so I learned a lot since I posted this morning.

This 2363 is in the Harrisburg, PA area where there is plenty of snow. The owner had it for 1 year and the previous owners got it new. It looks like 4 years ago is when they had the liquid roof added. It's for sale for 8500 and I'm tjhinkiing of offering 6500 knowing I may need to replace the roof if I want to keep it.

After looking at so many roof posts today, I MAY be up to the challenge to replace the roof myself. I have the time, the know-how (or will learn it), but maybe not the patience. I think I just need to decide if that's something I want to do. It looks like I remove the awning, everything on the roof, the angle mouldings and then the roof. I dont have an indoor venue for it, so it may be a moot point.

Thanks again for your input!!! I can probably make a judgment from reading all the precious info you and others have posted in the past.

-Tony
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