Burro Roof Sag - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-01-2009, 11:16 AM   #1
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I'm new to this site and not yet the owner of an 13' 84 Burro. I've checked it out and for $2500 its in my price range. Its quite an upgrade from the tacoma camper top. Problem is the roof is very saggy and I dont know a thing about fiberglass repair. Ive read a lot of the "sagging roof" posts here and I'm such a noob at this that I have one possibly ridiculous question. - If I press up on the fiberglass roof with my hands or a brace of some sort won't the fiberglass just crack? The guy selling the RV told me he didnt push up on it because of that same fear. He says it doesnt leak now but this is in AZ where it hardly rains and never snows. The way its sagging I think water would puddle and soon start to leak if we were ever exposed to east coast weather. I know if I could get the roof back into shape I'd have to brace it, but I'm worried that my initial push up would create more of a disaster than I can handle.
If it helps I think the sagging is from intense sun and not a tree branch, but I cant be sure. the burros two sides join at the top and there's a vent on one side - the other side is sagging down probably 4 inches toward the vent - surefire recipe for a leak. The vent side isnt sagging much, but the whole top of the roof looks warped and wavy. Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm good at fixing things with lots of internet tutorials - built a whole house that way so I'm up for this challenge if it can be fixed. Pics attached...i think.
Thanks for any advice.
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smallroof.jpg   smallroof2.jpg  

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Old 11-01-2009, 11:27 AM   #2
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Looks like someone crawled up on the roof to either install the vent or caulk... hummm. If that's the case, then maybe it can be popped back up... I've read where a few Bolers have had this happen due to a snow load and popping it back didn't create any cracks, but I have no personal knowledge of this "fix."
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Old 11-01-2009, 12:40 PM   #3
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Looks like someone crawled up on the roof to either install the vent or caulk... hummm. If that's the case, then maybe it can be popped back up... I've read where a few Bolers have had this happen due to a snow load and popping it back didn't create any cracks, but I have no personal knowledge of this "fix."
The frame is solid and I cant feel any sponginess in the floor. The inside looks spectacular. All new cushions and cabinet doors. Hairline cracks outside but nothing that looks structural. If the roof can be fixed i'm wondering if its worth the $2500 asking price? Any suggestions on where/how I can get an idea of how much similar models are selling for? I'm really excited to fix it up and move in - full time starting next fall and I've already got 4 week-long trips planned this winter. I'm a nurse working 3-day work weeks so I get lots of time off in 8-day chunks. Pretty deluxe schedule for a "weekend warrior."
thanks!
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Old 11-01-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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It's hard to say for sure without being able to inspect it in person, but presuming it was molded properly to begin with, and then sagged (or was pushed) down, I don't think you would do more damage (than is already done) by pushing it back up.

I would suspect cracks in the laminate though - or would certainly be looking closely for them.

Personally, even though I can do fiberglass work, I wouldn't buy that trailer at that price, but that's just me.

I like to drive, so if I had the sort of time off you have (envy!!), I would prefer to go somewhere on a road trip and look at a few other trailers (I understand there aren't a ton of them in your immediate area).

I had a similar situation - living in an area where finding eggs is nearly impossible - and what I did was find a few that were for sale in a given area, then I drove there hoping to come home with one. Mission accomplished

But as I said, people buying things are just so varied. I know many people who would look for ages closer to home, or perhaps buy the one you are looking at and fix it -- before they would take off on a drive of thousands of miles.

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Old 11-01-2009, 03:09 PM   #5
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My 81' Burro had a dip in the roof in the same place . I always figured it was a fiberglass mold issue.
That seam is totally fiberglassed together so if it leaked it would be from the vent itself. I never had a leak no matter how much water or snow pooled up there. I had condensation once that I thought was a leak from the seam ( carpet was wet) but it was only condensation from cold camping.

Someone here once mentioned that it looked like the inner and outer walls were smushed together too tightly from installing the vent. I never pursued it because it never caused an issue.

I sometimes thought of building a brace and fiberglassing it in to push it up more, but never got past the thought. I figured if I ever put in a Fantastic fan I would attend to it. But that never happened.

All that being said, enjoy your Burro. After a while you will appreciate the differences it has from other FG trailers.
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:47 PM   #6
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My 81' Burro had a dip in the roof in the same place . I always figured it was a fiberglass mold issue.
That seam is totally fiberglassed together so if it leaked it would be from the vent itself. I never had a leak no matter how much water or snow pooled up there. I had condensation once that I thought was a leak from the seam ( carpet was wet) but it was only condensation from cold camping.

Someone here once mentioned that it looked like the inner and outer walls were smushed together too tightly from installing the vent. I never pursued it because it never caused an issue.

I sometimes thought of building a brace and fiberglassing it in to push it up more, but never got past the thought. I figured if I ever put in a Fantastic fan I would attend to it. But that never happened.

All that being said, enjoy your Burro. After a while you will appreciate the differences it has from other FG trailers.
Was yours mushed in as badly as this one looks? Also, how much snow sat on top? And rain? Did you own it in Illinois cause I know it gets cold and wet there. Were you ever tempted to pop the sag back up?
Your comments make me feel better. I think I'm gonna buy it. Tomorrows the big day.
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:03 PM   #7
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If yours has that earlier wide inside trim strip along the center, taking it off will probably answer some questions you might have about how this came about and what repairs would be necessary. Looks to me to have taken a hit by a branch or a UFO or something,
I'd take a chance on trying to pop it back up to see what would happen. Plant a 2' by 2' piece of 3/4" plywood on the inside floor, put a hydraulic car jack on it and a 2x4 with a smaller piece of plywood nailed to the end of it, cut to let the jack do its work.
With a jack doing the work, slowly and carefully, it would be easy to see how the fiberglass responds. Good luck!
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Old 11-01-2009, 04:14 PM   #8
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Was yours mushed in as badly as this one looks? Also, how much snow sat on top? And rain? Did you own it in Illinois cause I know it gets cold and wet there. Were you ever tempted to pop the sag back up?
Your comments make me feel better. I think I'm gonna buy it. Tomorrows the big day.
Mine never looked mushed just sort of sagged there. Have had over a foot of snow on it at times, yes, was tempted but never actually did anything because I had no leaks. I would store it on the driveway with a downward slope so it would drain off.

Even if it's worse that that fiberglass is easy to fix and being on the roof matching with the rest of the trailer wouldn't really matter. I would look into pushing it up and FG something to keep the shape. Or if there is no leak enjoy camping.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:33 PM   #9
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This is a really, really bad caulk job or a split/crack in the fiberglass
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Old 11-01-2009, 07:34 PM   #10
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something hit it.

That seam should not be as torn up as it looks, and the dent up front is NOT part of the natural "worble" that lots of Burros have on thier roof. My 13 had the worble, my 17 somewhat has it, but niether has a torn up seam like that.

My guess, as mentioned above, is the dent is from a branch impact and the torn up seam is from the rest.
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Old 11-01-2009, 08:16 PM   #11
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I would also wonder how you would get the vent frame to seal without a flat surface there. Maybe the frame pulls the glass flat, but it doesn't look very flat in the photo.

I've not owned a Burro, but it looks (like Gina says) much more dented than any typical amount of sag.

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Old 11-08-2009, 12:52 AM   #12
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I'm new to this site and not yet the owner of an 13' 84 Burro. I've checked it out and for $2500 its in my price range. Its quite an upgrade from the tacoma camper top. Problem is the roof is very saggy and I dont know a thing about fiberglass repair. Ive read a lot of the "sagging roof" posts here and I'm such a noob at this that I have one possibly ridiculous question. - If I press up on the fiberglass roof with my hands or a brace of some sort won't the fiberglass just crack? The guy selling the RV told me he didnt push up on it because of that same fear. He says it doesnt leak now but this is in AZ where it hardly rains and never snows. The way its sagging I think water would puddle and soon start to leak if we were ever exposed to east coast weather. I know if I could get the roof back into shape I'd have to brace it, but I'm worried that my initial push up would create more of a disaster than I can handle.
If it helps I think the sagging is from intense sun and not a tree branch, but I cant be sure. the burros two sides join at the top and there's a vent on one side - the other side is sagging down probably 4 inches toward the vent - surefire recipe for a leak. The vent side isnt sagging much, but the whole top of the roof looks warped and wavy. Any advice would be much appreciated. I'm good at fixing things with lots of internet tutorials - built a whole house that way so I'm up for this challenge if it can be fixed. Pics attached...i think.
Thanks for any advice.
unless the interior is just immaculate, I wouldn't consider it at this price. Knock 'em down at least $700.00. For $1800 it's close to being worth it. It may take you $700 to fix the problem
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Old 11-08-2009, 09:57 PM   #13
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Interesting discussion about the sag and the price. We had a 1978 Burro for a while and it too had a sag. However, I agree that this one looks like it was damaged by a falling branch or something like it. I don't think the sag will be a problem (ours had tons of snow on it in Chicago), but I would get the messy area refiberglassed to avoid leaks. Perhaps an auto body place or boat repair could do this quite cheaply. As to the price, we sold our 13' Burro for $3200 dollars in 2006. When there aren't many around, the price goes up! The buyers didn't quibble at all on our asking price and paid cash.
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