Roof Strength? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-10-2018, 12:07 PM   #1
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Name: Bryan
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Roof Strength?

Hi All,

Just a general question for the moment...

I'm curious how strong the roofs tend to be - as in can you walk on them?

I realize that the answer may be specific, but I have a Carefree and there is next to no info available on them....so thought I'd just check and see whether most makes can or cannot be walked on.

...of course if someone where knows Carefrees well - I'm all ears


Thanks in advance

Take care
-Bryan
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:52 PM   #2
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Given the amount of flex that having my 14 year old daughter on the roof caused on my Trillium 4500, I would never get up there myself.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:56 PM   #3
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Given the amount of flex that having my 14 year old daughter on the roof caused on my Trillium 4500, I would never get up there myself.

Thanks David!

I figured that might be the case - not a theory I wanted to test myself...hehe

So I'm curious how folks may do things like clean the roof (Carefrees have textured surface so long handled brushes don't always cut it - and I used fairly stiff bristles), or say work on or replace vents?

I'm betting "tall ladder" and "better brush" may be in the answers, but always nice to see if someone has a better mousetrap!

Thanks
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:10 PM   #4
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Name: Darral
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You're not suppose to walk on the tops of Scamps either. I had to work on my A/C and wound up making a suspended platform under my carport to sit on.


Here's how I did it if it might be of some help if you really need to work on the roof. This worked out VERY well.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57669497300691
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:12 PM   #5
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yeah, I use a long handled hose brush and a ladder to clean the roof of ours. no way in heck I would subject that fiberglass to my 220 lbs.
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Old 09-10-2018, 01:18 PM   #6
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Thanks John!
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:00 PM   #7
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Name: K C
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the fiberglass shells are much too thin to be load bearing for a human body. But if you must have some support for your upper body then lean against it with the majority of your body weight being supported by a platform or ladder. Think of loads as in concentrated point loads versus widely distributed loads. Your feet are a point load, leaning your upper torso against the roof is a widely distributed load. The distributed load is the safer approach and less likely to cause a crack or small depression. The middle of the roof is much weaker than the area where the shell curves down to become the vertical walls. It is easy to test that strength just use your hand and push on the roof in the center, then push on the middle of a wall then push on that transitional curved area between the two.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:20 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Darral T. View Post
You're not suppose to walk on the tops of Scamps either. I had to work on my A/C and wound up making a suspended platform under my carport to sit on.


Here's how I did it if it might be of some help if you really need to work on the roof. This worked out VERY well.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/503516...57669497300691

Now that's a setup! Thanks for some idea Darral
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:22 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by k corbin View Post
the fiberglass shells are much too thin to be load bearing for a human body. But if you must have some support for your upper body then lean against it with the majority of your body weight being supported by a platform or ladder. Think of loads as in concentrated point loads versus widely distributed loads. Your feet are a point load, leaning your upper torso against the roof is a widely distributed load. The distributed load is the safer approach and less likely to cause a crack or small depression. The middle of the roof is much weaker than the area where the shell curves down to become the vertical walls. It is easy to test that strength just use your hand and push on the roof in the center, then push on the middle of a wall then push on that transitional curved area between the two.

Thanks k - I was curious about the structure beyond just the fiberglass shell - this helps/confirms some things
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:52 PM   #10
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Snow happens...



Source: Collapsed Roof Boler
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:59 PM   #11
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Ohhhhhh that's not good - so much for the sticker on the front window...maybe life is not so good at that particular moment!
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:28 AM   #12
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Name: Lee
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Casita Roof

I was up on my 2017 Spirit Deluxe 17' roof to do some work and noticed no flex nor did I hear any cracks. I was hands and knees and not standing up. I think I did some research before getting up there, but never knew that roof damage could be a consequence.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:52 AM   #13
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Name: Bryan
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I was up on my 2017 Spirit Deluxe 17' roof to do some work and noticed no flex nor did I hear any cracks. I was hands and knees and not standing up. I think I did some research before getting up there, but never knew that roof damage could be a consequence.
maybe just lucky I'm guessing mine was built a wee differently than yours....1975 and all - sides are fairly straight still, but do have some wavy spots - the roof has lots of waves though....that alone has kept me off as it just doesn't "look" like I could crawl around up there....so I won't!
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Old 09-19-2018, 09:06 PM   #14
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Name: straykat
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I have a 1980 4500 trillium and a 2004 Damon Challenger class A 34 foot fiberglass motor home with rubber roof and use DICOR Rubber Roof Cleaner on both the trillium and Damon to clean the roofs and the fiberglass sides to get black streaks on the sides caused from water runoff and it is the only thing I have found to do a good job. They are also the maker of Self leveling lap sealant to use on the roof areas and it bonds better than silicone sealers and it is what the manufactures use on their roofs at seams and around roof waste vents, refrigerator vents and wire pass through locations. It comes in 6 colors. You can use butyl tape but it leaves a oily film over time and is a great sealer but to use it you have to sandwich it between two things that you are sealing. Lap sealant goes on the edge of whatever you are sealing and the roof.
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