Boler 1700 Roof Sag - Reprise - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-18-2023, 09:01 PM   #1
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
Boler 1700 Roof Sag - Reprise

Hi, Everyone;



I'm considering a roof sag repair on my Boler 1700 and I have questions about raising the sag before making repairs.

I've gleaned much from previous threads at this site and sincerely thank those who have generously donated their experience and recommendations.

On my Boler, the center roof section, where the two vents are placed, dips about 1/8" on the left (closet) side and about 1/2" on the right (door) side.

The roof surface between the vents drops another 1 1/4", where water collects in the hollow after a rain.

Will carefully placed ceiling jacks inside the camper push the hollow out without cracking the 'fiberglass on wood on fiberglass' center roof construction?

Can this be done without removing and damaging the open cell (popcorn) interior insulation?
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Old 07-30-2023, 12:13 AM   #2
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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The side to side sag on my trailer is between the two vents and is about 1 1/4" deep.

It looks similar to the diagram below.
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side to side sag.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2023, 12:27 AM   #3
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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The end to end sag is not as serious.

It is about 1/8" down on the closet side and about 1/2" down on the door side.
It probably has a bit of a bearing on how the door currently sits in it's frame.
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end to end sag.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2023, 01:25 AM   #4
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Name: DJW
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British Columbia
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So, I'm thinking of applying some pressure slowly to the length of the interior, from vent to vent, using about 4 carefully placed ceiling jacks.

I'll place lengths of 2x4 (or 2x6) between the ceiling and the jacks to distribute the pressure evenly. I'll do the same with 3/4 ply platforms on the bottom so as not to damage the floor.
If this lifts the side to side sag I can consider some external fiberglass reinforcement.


I'm still not quite sure if the pressure will crush the soft open cell insulation on the ceiling. I'll experiment first with a piece cut out from an obscure place in a lower cabinet.
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lift jack 2.jpg  
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Old 07-30-2023, 08:50 AM   #5
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Name: bill
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I’d do the plywood on top of the jacks too to spread the load. Still might damage the insulation but you have to do it. I’d raise the jacks a little bit every day. Camper out in the sun too. Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2023, 11:09 AM   #6
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Name: Steven
Trailer: Trillium
Indiana
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Wink

I raised the sagging roof of our Trillium 4500 in conjunction with replacing the standard roof vent with a Maxxfan. After removing the old vent, I fashioned a piece of plywood about an inch or so larger than the hole. The ensolite around the vent hole was peeled back just enough to accomodate the plywood piece so that the plywood was in direct contact with the fiberglass shell. I raised the roof about 3/4 inch higher than I wanted for a final height with a jack post in the center of the plywood, then removed the gelcoat around the vent hole (about 36x36). We laminated seven layers of bidirectional fiberglass mat (overkill) on that area and rolled waxed gelcoat on to help with curing. That was two years ago and it hasn't moved.
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Old 07-31-2023, 01:46 PM   #7
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
I'm mulling over how interior lift pressure will work on the raised roof section.


From a previous post, that section is described as a 'fibreglass - wood? - fibreglass' construction where the wood had rotted out over time from vent leakage.


That might explain the dip but makes the repair a bit more complex.


I'll remove a vent and check it out.



I'll also consider reinforcing the vent opening as suggested.
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roof-x-section2.jpg  
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Old 08-02-2023, 10:49 AM   #8
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Casita
Texas
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I am doing a 13' Casita reno and this is how I addressed the sagging problem. Of course it was/is stripped down to the fiberglass, I think it has to attach to the FB. I'm am sending a (sideways) picture, so the left side is the top. So far it has taken out the sag. I used some telescoping poles that a painter left at my house to hold the struts up when I glued it up. After that I made a frame with plywood (it's all 3/4" plywood) Then I fiberglassed it to the camper using FB mat. Seems solid enough to hold up a Fantastic Vent.
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IMG_1495.jpg  
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Old 08-05-2023, 03:56 PM   #9
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Name: Eric
Trailer: Boler
TN
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I can't help you on the interior insulation, but I can tell you what I did. My 1700 was stripped to the bare fiberglass. The sag is a result of deteriorating wood core in the roof. I'm not exactly sure on the construction used on the center section of the Boler 1700 but it looks like 3/8-to-1/2-inch core between an inner and outer fiberglass membrane.

Because mine was stripped I glued a 1/2 piece of plywood to the interior then jacked it up. once I was satisfied with the level, I applied a layer of fiberglass to the exterior roof.

Since mine was stripped when I put walls in, they became structural, helping support the roof.

[IMG]Cabinets build by Eric Frye, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 08-09-2023, 03:08 PM   #10
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Nice cabinet work. Someday I might try my hand at something similar.


" I'm not exactly sure on the construction used on the center section of the Boler 1700 but it looks like 3/8-to-1/2-inch core between an inner and outer fiberglass membrane."


Thanks. That's good to know.
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Old 08-09-2023, 03:58 PM   #11
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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A friend who has done some amazing fibreglass medical applications suggested that I hide the 'side to side' dip by gluing a piece of foam board to the roof than sand it down to the desired shape.


This to be followed by prepping the area, applying a fibreglass layer over the shaped foam board and finishing with a coat of gelcoat.


This would strengthen the roof and minimize the possibility of cracking the inner shell with pressure from an interior ceiling jack.


Not sure if I like the idea but it's something to think about.
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side to side sag and filler.jpg  
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Old 08-15-2023, 11:40 PM   #12
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
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Well I did an experiment with the open cell ceiling insulation. I cut an obscure overlapping piece out from one of the lower cabinets to test on.

The insulation is not the dense ensolite I've seen in smaller bowlers.. It's 1/2" of standard soft foam with a rubberized exterior skin. Embedded in the skin are little Styrofoam bits and balls. It has a pleasant appearance and is soft to the touch.

I firmly clamped my test piece between two boards overnight. The test piece was tightly packed after I removed it from the clamp. The soft foam rebounded after a few hours but the Styrofoam embedded skin remained packed and flattened.

I tried a lightly clamped test piece and got the same results.

I'll have to rethink how I'm going to raise the interior ceiling. A ceiling jack and flat board might ruin the insulation.
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Old 10-28-2023, 09:11 PM   #13
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
Eight ceiling jacks and two carpet covered plywood plates were used to correct the roof sag.

3/8" plywood plates were cut to 21"x36". Some left over coarse carpet, cut to 23"x36", was stapled to each plate.

The plywood was butted and centered on the interior ceiling.

With carefull adjustment, only light ceiling jack pressure was needed to lift the roof sag. There appears to be no damage to the ceiling insulation.

I'll leave it for now and prepare to reinforce the exterior roof with fiberglass when the weather warms up in spring.
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boler jack placements.jpg   boler ceiling jack.jpg  

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Old 02-09-2024, 09:50 PM   #14
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
Winter is waning and I'm looking forward to starting this project.

I've thought about two suggested methods that should correct the 'trolley roof' dip.

One by 'John in Michigan' on laying a laminated fiberglass layer over the roof surface.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...oof-93465.html

The other by 'J Ron' on adding laminated rib reinforcements to the roof surface.
https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/...oof-90555.html

Unless something better is suggested, going the rib route has its advantages for me:
1 - Less fiberglass, resin and gel coat.
2 - Less surface area to sand and finish.
3 - I think the end product might weight less.
4 - I may wish to attach a solar panel to the ribs at a later date.
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Old 02-09-2024, 10:50 PM   #15
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
The plywood rib cores would be about 3" x 22" x 0.75" with a 45 degree 3/4 inch bevel and would be glassed in between the vents as shown from the side.

The ribs would be glassed to the roof as shown from the top.

I might also glass in a 3/4 inch riser around the vent openings using the same core material.

A gel coat would be applied for the finish.
Attached Thumbnails
rib side view.jpg   rib top view.jpg  

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Old 06-20-2024, 11:30 PM   #16
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
Summer is here. Lifted the tarp and got inside my boler to have a look at how the ceiling jacks affected the ceiing insulation over the winter. Everything looks OK and no damage.
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20240620_115746-resize.jpg   20240620_115904-resize.jpg  

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Old 06-21-2024, 12:06 AM   #17
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
The exterior roof dip was corrected after the ceiling jacks were put in place last fall. Interesting, when I relaxed the pressure on the jacks, after being in place overwinter, the roof continues to hold its shape, but will probably drop again after the sun beats down on it for awhile.

While the ceiling jacks were still in place, I decided to insert shims (5/16") underneath the cabinet support struts.
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Old 06-22-2024, 09:50 PM   #18
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
I removed the roof vent frames and inner beauty rings and discovered that the trolley roof level of my 1979 17' boler is constructed of a single fiberglass membrane.

Not surprised that over the years the roof would sag and dip.

A deteriorating 3/4"x1" plywood frame was screwed to the underside of the vent opening. The exterior vent enclosure was screwed through the fiberglass into the wood frame. The interior beauty ring was attached, through the ceiling insulation, to the same frame.
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20240622_152755-resize.jpg   20240622_153401-resize.jpg  

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Old 06-22-2024, 10:24 PM   #19
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
The fiberglass vent opening is slightly raised (about 1/4") and is about an inch wide.
This may complicate any plans to fiberglass a 3/4"x 2.5" wide riser around the vent opening.

Note all the screw holes made from the vent enclosure and interior wood frame.
I'll fill these with resin or epoxy before adding any modifications.

The ceiling insulation is hanging below the fiberglass opening.
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20240622_160504-resized.jpg   20240622_160534-resized.jpg  

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Old Yesterday, 05:55 PM   #20
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Name: DJW
Trailer: Boler
British Columbia
Posts: 26
I set up a scaffold on either side of my camper to work on the roof . A step ladder will get me up and down.

Quick and easy to make. When the project is done I have other uses for the lumber.
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scaffold.jpg   scaffold-pic.jpg  

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