Sagging Roof, and a New Vent - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-13-2010, 12:27 AM   #1
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I just purchased a '72 13 ft. Boler and am going thru it to see what needs done. One of the glaring issues is that the roof has a sag in it, right side (facing forward). You can push it up with your hand and it pops out, only to 'retract' again when taking away pressure. I'm afraid that too much water would pool up, and cause issues leaking thru the vent... any experience or thoughts on how to 'fix' this?

... and speaking of vents - do you prefer one with a fan/no fan, smaller/larger? This one needs to be replaced, and so now is the time for me to figure that out. I've read a number of posts where people are doing different things - but I've never figured out a particular rhyme and reason.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-16-2010, 04:25 PM   #2
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I see everybody is as thrilled as I am, of tackling my dented roof

Any thoughts on your vent of choice? It currently has a very old vent, that looks in need of repair (and was the recommendation of the PO). Thanks!
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #3
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Luke
I had a similar problem with my 1st Egg a 73 Trillium.
I also wanted to replace the small vent that had been the standard size when the Trill was born with a larger modern fan/vent.

What I did was build a shelf all around the trailer just above the windows.
I used a "Torsion Box" design that was strong but light weight.

This allowed me to have a solid surface from which to help support the roof.

I cut the hole for a Fantastic Fan and built a 2" x 2" wood trim ring to use inside the roof to work with the depth needed for the fan as they are designed for a much thicker roof install.

Then I installed a "Jack" or brace between the shelf and the wood trim of the fan mount making sure it pushed the roof up from the sag.
I installed the brace with 2 hinges with removable pins so I could easily take it in and out or make a new one of a different length if needed.

This worked mostly and really helped with water puddling on the roof.

The Wood trim around the fan also helped as it had a lot of screws thru the fan outside,the roof and then into thick wood making sure the roof stayed straight around the fan.

I was really able to do this because the Trill's have wood framing around each window. I used the wood as the point to attach the shelves which made this all possible.
I am not familiar with the Boler construction but I am sure you could rig something ,rivets,screws,?

Hope this helps or gives you an idea.

Ed
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Old 04-16-2010, 06:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
I just purchased a '72 13 ft. Boler and am going thru it to see what needs done. One of the glaring issues is that the roof has a sag in it, right side (facing forward). You can push it up with your hand and it pops out, only to 'retract' again when taking away pressure. I'm afraid that too much water would pool up, and cause issues leaking thru the vent... any experience or thoughts on how to 'fix' this?

... and speaking of vents - do you prefer one with a fan/no fan, smaller/larger? This one needs to be replaced, and so now is the time for me to figure that out. I've read a number of posts where people are doing different things - but I've never figured out a particular rhyme and reason.

Thanks for any help!
Luke..How much of a sag do you have. I just replaced my vent on my Scamp, and the roof was not perfectly level, but the metal framed vent, helped to pull up the sag. I used this vent, just because it was the correct size for my opening.

http://shop.scamptrailers.com/p-171-18x25-...t-complete.aspx

Frank
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Old 04-16-2010, 11:42 PM   #5
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I didn't have a sag in my roof but when I added the spacer for my Fantastic Fan and my air deflector on top of the trailer it stiffened and strengthened it quite a bit. I can stand on the roof without it bending.

You may want to add a few layers of fibreglass chop to the interior of the trailer. This would involve carefully peeling back the ensolite, sanding the fibreglass to remove contaminants and then applying new layers of fibreglass while pushing upwards to remove the dent from the roof.

A 2x4, cut to length, with a 12 inch square of 3/4 inch plywood fastened perpendicular at one end could provide the upward pressure/support required for the time it takes the fibreglass to cure. One end pushing up on the ceiling while the other end of the 2x4 is wedged on the floor.

Be sure to put a layer of plastic between the plywood and the fibreglass chop. Otherwise you will fibreglass the plywood to the ceiling as well.


Once it cures you can remove the 2x4 and hopefully the sag will be gone. Glue your ensolite back over the repair
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:14 AM   #6
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Go to the member section and look for "Roy-in-TO". Check his member profile and click on his topics and you can search the extensive work he has done on a 72 Boler American. He has documented his reconstruction thru several topics. One was about fixing a broken and sagging roof.
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Old 04-19-2010, 09:27 AM   #7
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WOW, thanks to you all! I checked out your references, pics, videos, etc - and I have a few things to ponder.

Something that may or may not be playing a part - if some of your roofs are so firm you can stand on them - but the previous owner "carpeted" the entire interior of the Boler. I understood him to say that the ensolite (I assume) was so crummy, he tore it all out and put the carpet in. It's a reasonably long shag (it's meant for home use, not the RV/marine thin backing/short pile type), and regardless - I'd guess it's pretty heavy. So maybe that's pulling it down over time? I've seen campers with carpeted interiors, but now that I think about it, I'd guess they were all aluminum campers. Maybe this fiberglass shell isn't meant for such weight hanging off - and this is something I should have thought about sooner.

All of your references are using much bigger vents than the current one in mine - I believe mine is only 8x8. The scamp link (thanks Frank) has nothing even close to that small. Looks like yours is probably double that size, Kevin (VERY nice video's, by the way!). And Ed, thanks for the description. The bolers don't have a wood window casing/frame - but if it comes to it - I assume something could be rigged up.

So thanks to you all - if you have experience with residential use carpet (for better or worse!) inside of your campers - I'd love to hear it! THANKS again.
Luke
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:15 AM   #8
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Hi Luke,

Just FYI, I think the "standard" vent size nowadays (meaning, the most common) is 14" x 14" Not that you have to go that size, but it will give you many options.

The 9" x 9" vents that came in many of our campers are mostly obsolete. There are one of two companies (Elixir is one) who still make one vent that size, but the quality is not great and there is no selection.

I don't think carpet alone would make a roof sag, as it is not a point load (and some Casitas actually came with a "shag" type carpet). Can you post photos of the problem? That might help us to evaluate it.

Raya
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Old 04-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #9
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sure Raya, I can post some pics - thanks for checking them out! I took them from different angles, hopefully you can get the idea of where the indentation is. thanks! Luke
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Old 04-19-2010, 11:44 PM   #10
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Hi Luke,

From what I can see, there is a general depression right in the middle of the roof - it doesn't look connected to the vent at all, from what I can see.

It almost looks like something heavy sat on the middle of the trailer for some time. I say "a long time" because a sudden heavy load/force will often crack or break the roof, or the area around the door frame. But I think a slow deflection, over a period of time, might cause it to sag (this happens with boat stands on a hull, if improperly blocked over a long period of time).

If it were me, I would want to repair it. I think I would remove the Ensolite (insulation) from the roof, solvent-wipe and then sand it, and then put in some reinforcement with fiberglass (tabbed in; no fasteners).

I would be interested to know how easy it is to coax the roof back into shape. Often fiberglass has a "memory" and will pop back out.

Now you could do something with angles or beams, but then you lose headroom. Instead, I think I would core the roof from inside, the way a boat deck is cored. If done properly, this makes for a very strong and deflection-resistant deck (roof), and need only be less than an inch thick.

Basically, sandwich construction works like an I-beam, wherein the two fiberglass "skins" are like the top and bottom of the beam, and the core is like the web. The web is just holding the top and bottom apart, which makes them strong (I'm not an engineer so pardon me if my terms are not exact).

So, you would prep the inside of the roof, set a section of core (say, 1/2") into thickened epoxy. (Is the deflection just between the two lower sections? Just in the center? Or are the lower (flat) side sections sagging too?) Then you would add a new layer of fiberglass below the core, and this would make a sandwich with the original upper skin. You could pre-make a series of props and panels (such as waxed paper and plywood) to hold it up while the epoxy cures. Then it will be much stronger than original, and with a bit of extra insulation value too. You could use end-grain balsa or foam core. I would probably choose balsa as it has very good stiffness characteristics.

You don't have to make it look too good, as you will be reinstalling the Ensolite.

Raya
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Old 04-21-2010, 09:24 AM   #11
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So, you would prep the inside of the roof, set a section of core (say, 1/2") into thickened epoxy. (Is the deflection just between the two lower sections? Just in the center? Or are the lower (flat) side sections sagging too?)

Thanks for the detailed instructions! To reply directly to one of your questions - the 'indentation' is in the center, no sagging in the lower/flat sections. And to make sure I understand, how wide of a reinforcement would you try and put in? Thanks again,
Luke
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