Looking for advice on sagging roof - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-02-2014, 04:07 PM   #1
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Name: Jay
Trailer: Boler 1300
Ontario
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Looking for advice on sagging roof

Hi everyone! I am looking for some help with the roof on my boler 1300. When I bought the trailer (last month) the ceiling was sagging at the roof vent, by quite a bit too. I removed the roof vent and put a support post in temporarily to try and force the roof back into place. This has worked for the most part but I can't imagine the roof not sagging again.
Any ideas about how I might fix this?
As a side note I do not have a support at all on the kitchen side like many other boler's I have seen but this does not seem to be a factor. Still might put one in.
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Here are some pics of the vent cut out, you can see I am still cleaning off all of the products that have been put on to try and stop the vent from leaking. The other pic is the post I have had in place for the last week trying to reshape the roof.


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Old 11-02-2014, 04:26 PM   #2
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Name: bob
Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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How about making some wood "ribs" curved to fit the inside of the roof and fiberglass them in place.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:32 PM   #3
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sagging FB

When I was making custom glass parts for my car. Sometimes I would need to use a heat gun to keep the form that was needed.
Be careful not to over heat it or burn it. That can happen.
Once you get your shape you can glass in some ribs.
Just a thought. Good luck.
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Old 11-02-2014, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have see this caused by 3 different reasons
1) Heavy snow load sitting on the roof
2) A roof A/C unit on the roof of a 13' (maybe the previous owner had one on there and removed it before the sale).
3)Bent, broken and twisted frame, this is probably the most common cause, take a close look at the frame rails, especially the left (street side) rail for bending down from the axle to the back bumper, caused by the body being loose on the frame and the rocking motion bending that frame rail.
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Old 11-02-2014, 06:20 PM   #5
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I had thought about wood ribs, but I am 6'4" and I already need to stoop over to move around the trailer- I am a little worried about banging my head on a regular basis! I wondered if glossing in either fiberglass strips or "ribs" that are more or less 1/4" plywood (luan maybe) laying flat and going from side to side but I am not sure they will provide enough strength to keep the roof up.
I am not really worried about future snow load because I plan to keep the boler in the garage.
Thanks for the thoughts though.
Anyone tried tubing or steel rods? Maybe ABS or conduit cut in half length wise?



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Old 11-02-2014, 06:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian G. View Post
I have see this caused by 3 different reasons
1) Heavy snow load sitting on the roof
2) A roof A/C unit on the roof of a 13' (maybe the previous owner had one on there and removed it before the sale).
3)Bent, broken and twisted frame, this is probably the most common cause, take a close look at the frame rails, especially the left (street side) rail for bending down from the axle to the back bumper, caused by the body being loose on the frame and the rocking motion bending that frame rail.

I wouldn't be surprised if snow load was the cause. It didn't have an air conditioner but the roof vent looks pretty big to me- maybe just my perceptions. I have checked the frame pretty thoroughly and it looks good. I do plan to remove the egg from the frame in February or so.
I will take a closer look though.


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Old 11-02-2014, 06:57 PM   #7
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Name: bob
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You might try bending electrical conduit into ribs. I have seen photos of one Uhaul that had an A/C unit put on and was supported by a pole up the corner of the counter from the floor to the roof and then a steel rib off that single pole.
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Old 11-02-2014, 07:11 PM   #8
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Name: Jack L
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Could you build some sort of a roof luggage rack that was custom made from aluminum tubing that is bowed to lift the roof portion that is sagging and move the stress points closer to the walls ? Sort of like a bowstring truss but mounted outside so you do not loose headroom. Might not want to put massive weight on it but a canoe or kayak ?
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Old 11-02-2014, 08:54 PM   #9
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You could try the heat like Jeff suggested then glass in some carbon fiber matt which is like adding rebar. It really stiffens up the thin glass. Carbon fiber has used for years in the both real aircraft and rc models to stiffen up fiberglass parts. If you can't find carbon matt you could glass in some carbon fiber arrow shafts(check out archery ranges, they throw out arrows all the time ). Just be careful of slivers from carbon so wear gloves. That will not add much lose of height.
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Old 11-02-2014, 09:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dudley View Post
You could try the heat like Jeff suggested then glass in some carbon fiber matt which is like adding rebar. It really stiffens up the thin glass. Carbon fiber has used for years in the both real aircraft and rc models to stiffen up fiberglass parts. If you can't find carbon matt you could glass in some carbon fiber arrow shafts(check out archery ranges, they throw out arrows all the time ). Just be careful of slivers from carbon so wear gloves. That will not add much lose of height.

So any idea where you can pick up carbon fiber? I don't remember seeing any at Canadian Tire or any other regular retailer... I like that idea though. I don't know why I didn't think of it- I have Kevlar reinforced canoe and the Kevlar ribs made a huge difference on it.
Guess I have some internet searching to do to find a local supplier of carbon fiber. Bet there is someone in Toronto. Maybe I can find Kevlar...
Thanks for a great idea!



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Old 11-02-2014, 09:12 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Could you build some sort of a roof luggage rack that was custom made from aluminum tubing that is bowed to lift the roof portion that is sagging and move the stress points closer to the walls ? Sort of like a bowstring truss but mounted outside so you do not loose headroom. Might not want to put massive weight on it but a canoe or kayak ?

I thought about putting reinforcement on the exterior but I really don't want to change the profile of the trailer (the look and shape is why we bought a boler) and I am worried about altering the aerodynamics. I already mount the canoe to aftermarket roof racks on the TV and I was afraid of altering the balance on the trailer. I will keep it in mind though, thanks.


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Old 11-02-2014, 10:35 PM   #12
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Google "Toronto composite suppliers" or look for a canoe/boat builder site
Noah marine
If that doesn't work, check out a good Hobby Shop.
If you are desperate, airbags are made of kevlar, find a dead one at a wrecker!
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:38 PM   #13
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Carbon fiber seems more expensive and harder to locate locally than I thought. Nothing ever seems to be cheap and easy does it! I wonder if just making ribs out of fiberglass would be enough...



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Old 11-04-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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Noah's marine prices don't seem that bad, carbon fiber

You should only need a yard or 2
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