How to re-inforce the roof..?? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 07-28-2008, 10:19 PM   #1
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mcnick's Avatar
Trailer: 1981 13 ft Scamp / 2004 Ford Explorer
Posts: 28
Hey everybody,

In trying everything I could think of to use a window a/c unit without cutting a huge hole in the side of my jewel. I have come to the conclusion of just breaking down and buying a roof a/c unit for the little 13 footer.

I know that mine was not designed from the factory to have a roof top and I have heard some where that the ones that have roof top a/c's have the roof reinforced to hold the weight of it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do that, or has anyone done it..?


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Old 07-28-2008, 11:56 PM   #2
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Name: Cory
Trailer: Decrepit Canoe
British Columbia
Posts: 69
I'm assuming you don't want to alter the looks of the exterior so... This is what I suggest. Get some Aircraft Grade 1/8 inch thick sheets of plywood. cut them so that they are the length and width of the bulge in the roof of the Scamp. You may have to cut the sheets lengthwise into several strips to account for the slight compound curve in the bulge. Now, remove all the insulation right to the bare fiberglass. Take the sheets of plywood, cover them in contact cement. And the roof too. Attach. Now, for extra strength you can cut every second layer of plywood with one extra strip so you don't overlap any seams between one layer and the next. (I would use at least 4 layers) After all the layers are in place, (And your helpers' arms are dead.) you can hold the plywood to the roof by spending $20 on a couple dozen pieces of 1x2 and cut them to the same lentgh as the distances between the floor and the new ceiling, then jam them in place, holding the ceiling up while it dries. You can also do the exact same thing (sort of) to the outside of the Scamp. It would be even stronger and you could easily hide the fact that the extra material is there by shaping and sanding and painting the plywood to match the original bulge. Good luck!

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Old 07-29-2008, 05:40 AM   #3
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Name: Donna D
Trailer: Escape 5.0 TA, 2014
Posts: 24,874
I can certainly understand not wanting to hack a hole. However, if you decide the roof a/c is more work than you want to deal with... consider doing a job like Lance did in his Blue Boler. Pretty nice looking hole!

Click on the Bolerweb icon: Lance's Blue Boler

The nice part about this install, is the ability to leave the A/C at home when not needed. Less weight in the cooler months! Substitute a cube heater and use the space as necessary.

Donna D.
Ten Forward - 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Double Yolk - 1988 16' Scamp Deluxe
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Old 07-29-2008, 07:43 AM   #4
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 59
I don't know - I just took a roof mounted a/c off a 22 year old Perris Pacer and even with the plywood reinforcement - the roof is caved somewhat + there are stress cracks where the roof has obviously flexed - I just don't think its a good idea. I did reinforce the roof and put a new vent up there and think it will be fine now.

Ken j.
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Old 07-29-2008, 08:15 AM   #5
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Trailer: 81 Trillium 5500 (Pearl)
Posts: 145

Mac, this might be an idea...
When we had our rooftop a/c installed several years ago on our Trillium 5500 the guy that did the duty very cleverly took all of the weight off the flat of the roof by fabricating a steel ladder that he suspended from the Trillium "hump" in the roof. Yeah, it did involve drilling four holes in the overhead but in the three years since the install, we've had nary a leak nor a sag problem with a unit that weighs over 70 pounds.

Many times, a working solution can come from a combination of inspirational ideas. And while your trailer may or may not have the angled overhead that accommodates such a construct as ours, it's nonetheless offered here as grist for the idea-mill.

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