1981 Bigfoot 17ft roof strengthening - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-13-2009, 10:18 PM   #1
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Hello there i have a 1981 bigfoot 17 ft, i know this topic has been somewhat covered, but i was hopping for tips or pics, the roof is saging around the vent and front half of trailer, i was thinking of removing the inside roof strips and replacing them with a slightly concaved t bar and supporting it some how againt the side and cupboard, not sure if this is going to work, but need to be done cause water pools pretty good. any ideas? and something that doesnt protrude down to far that ou hit your head.

thx kris
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:13 PM   #2
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We are going to be doing this also with out 5th wheel. I remember the post you are referring to I will try to find it.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:49 PM   #3
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Info I have found;

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...l=bigfoot++roof

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...l=bigfoot++roof


http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/index.ph...c=23268&hl=

If you find any other info please let me know. We are trying to decide how to tackle this.
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Old 10-24-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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We are going to be doing this also with out 5th wheel. I remember the post you are referring to I will try to find it.
Hi Lizbeth,
We also just recently purchased a sagging roofed 20' 1988 Bigfoot 5th wheel, and are debating whether to re-crown the roof.Some have suggested to us that the damage is mainly cosmetic, and if we were to remove our air conditioner and put in a vent and seal it well that it should be no problem.I would be interested to know how you plan to proceed and grateful for any feedback.
Thanks,
Dave
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Old 10-25-2009, 12:30 AM   #5
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Hi Dave! We have not yet done anything because we have the Lake Casitas rally to attend next weekend and we figure this is going to be a big job. Our damage is not just cosmetic.

Sorry but......I'm glad to hear that our 5th is not the only one with this problem. I've been joking with my husband that our trailer is a Friday build after a three martini lunch!

Ours did have an AC in it's past life. A previous owner removed it. We have some paperwork that suggests the the AC had problems with leaks and there were "professional" repairs done. Our hope is to rebuild the roof and put an AC back up there. We live where it can get pretty warm and plan some trips in the south/southwest so AC will be needed.

At this point our plan is to remove the one ceiling panel that runs from the frig to the dinette including the insulation. Jack the roof back up and glass in some spars, re glue in some insulation and paneling. Sounds simple but I expect it to be a nightmare.

What floor plan is yours? Do you have pictures. I definitely think we should compare notes! We have a window that runs all the way from the back to the frig so there is no way to install a "hoop" type support which we have heard of other people doing.

Lizbeth & Eric
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:20 PM   #6
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Hi guys,
Thanks for the quick reply.We've been really busy as we've just sold our little 13' Boler and are fixing up the new truck that will be able to pull the 5th wheel.I'll keep you posted as we embark upon our repair and will send some pics of our layout.
Cheers,
Dave
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Old 01-01-2010, 07:37 PM   #7
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Hello Lizbeth,
Well we've completed a pretty darn quick repair of the sagging roof and I will include a few pics.I would be happy to send more later if you like.

We started out by removing the old AC unit as we decided we won't be using it for the time of year and places that we travel.(By the way it works well and we will be selling it off.We will be heading from Santa Barbara down to San Diego between Jan. 22 and mid Feb. in case you're interested).

We had been given various advice whether to repair the sagging or not, but my friend is a bit of a madman and has done boat repair so we decided to try and recrown the roof.

After removing the AC unit we cut a 3 inch strip thru the inner ceiling board to expose the layer of foam between it and the fiberglass skin.We then removed all this foam and were left with a 3 inch channel with just the exposed fiberglass skin showing.This was done at a joint in the roof board panels close to where the roof was sagging most.Our main intention was to recrown as much as possible so that any water would flow off.There was also an issue with the fiberglass skin delaminating and rippling so we addressed this as best we could as well.(Info later)

We had removed the cabinet doors for access and to see what was going on in there, and came to the realization that the roof on these units is supported by the cabinet structures and has no ribs for support.We decided to put one support rib in this cut out by using two 1X3 fir boards glued together (my friend had worked on boats as mentioned and knew that by gluing two pieces like this together, that they retain the curve in which they are glued).
By gluing the two 1X3 boards and using 2x4 boards of varying length, tall in the middle and shorter on the outsides we created the amount of crowning that we wished.From the photos you may see that we used what is actually a motorcycle jack to push the roof up to make the crown a little more so when we took the boards away the crown would settle back just a bit.

We also took fir 1x3 and put a notch through the kitchen counter and put these support beams perpendicular to the cabinets to push the sagging cabinets up and provide more support to the roof.
The roof recrowning and support of the cabinets worked quite well with the roof having virtually no sag in it and certainly no longer a bird bath up there.

The rippling and delaminating repair we tried met with mixed success.There was little rippling left but still some delamination or separation of the fiberglass skin from the foam layer below it from the sagging.We drilled small holes in the roof where the obvious delamination was and tried to fix this by putting expanding foam in there. Definitely a bit of a warning on this, in that it worked a few places but in other places on the roof it actually made the roof sag from the inside....OOPS!I think this could still be done this way but would require pushing the roof up from the inside in the same way we did when we recrowned.

Anyways, things are certainly much better and do let me know if you have any questions, I hope this helps.
Dave

ps sad update; I'm trying to attach the photos but am unable to I'll try later.....
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Old 01-02-2010, 02:08 AM   #8
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Wow, thank you Dave for letting me know you have worked on your trailer. We have not done anything yet. I have to see the pictures of what you have done, I will private message you my email address so you can send them to me.

Let me mentally process this...then I'm sure I will have questions for you!

Lizbeth
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