Roof Repair on Bigfoot - Fiberglass RV
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Old 04-30-2017, 10:45 PM   #1
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Name: Daryl
Trailer: BigFoot
Alberta
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Roof Repair on Bigfoot

I have a 1972, 17.5ft, Bigfoot. It just returned from a fantastic fan instillation
with 30 or 40 quarter inch/one inch cracks in the the roof; a five inch crack on the roof over the door, and two knee sized indentations with an eighteen inch crack running between and parallel to them. The "knee" indentations and large crack are located directly behind the newly installed fan, right where someone would have to kneel to do the installation...

Inside the ceiling was sagging about three inches directly below the "knee" indentations, and the ceiling was wet. It had been raining during the week the trailer spent at the rv shop.

Even though the roof had zero damage when it was dropped off (both my wife and myself had looked it over the week before), the rv repair shop claimed that "it couldn't possibly be their fault".


My question is what is the best way to repair the roof? The repair shop "fixed" the multiple cracks with dabs of silicone. It has been raining on and off all week with no more leaks, but I have no idea how long that will last.

Is it best to put a layer of Fiberglass over the entire roof, use a rubber roof spray, or is there some other method anyone could recommend?

I am thinking of doing the repairs myself, in order to save money and be certain the job is done well. My confidence in "rv repair shops" is somewhat shaken!

I am a trailer repair and owner novice, so any advice from you pros would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2017, 11:02 PM   #2
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Name: Jan
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
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that really sucks. IMHO remove all the silicone, grind out the areas around the holes, if they are close grind out the whole area using a feathering flapper disk, removing the gell coat just into the fiberglass cloth. Then clean the area, cut cloth to just smaller than the prepared area, mix resin to label directions, brush or roll on prepared resin to area, saturate cloth with resin, place over patch area and work out bubbles. You might need 2 layers of cloth. when dry add another layer of resin. when totally cured feather the edges. It will be totally waterproof. There are probably lots of U Tube how to's to watch
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:56 AM   #3
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Ugh. Hard to read such an account. I have no advice but I hope you find a way to fix it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 01:08 AM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainAir View Post
I have a 1972, 17.5ft, Bigfoot. It just returned from a fantastic fan instillation
with 30 or 40 quarter inch/one inch cracks in the the roof; a five inch crack on the roof over the door, and two knee sized indentations with an eighteen inch crack running between and parallel to them. The "knee" indentations and large crack are located directly behind the newly installed fan, right where someone would have to kneel to do the installation...
Inside the ceiling was sagging about three inches directly below the "knee" indentations, and the ceiling was wet. It had been raining during the week the trailer spent at the rv shop.
Even though the roof had zero damage when it was dropped off (both my wife and myself had looked it over the week before), the rv repair shop claimed that "it couldn't possibly be their fault".
My question is what is the best way to repair the roof? The repair shop "fixed" the multiple cracks with dabs of silicone. It has been raining on and off all week with no more leaks, but I have no idea how long that will last.
Is it best to put a layer of Fiberglass over the entire roof, use a rubber roof spray, or is there some other method anyone could recommend?
I am thinking of doing the repairs myself, in order to save money and be certain the job is done well. My confidence in "rv repair shops" is somewhat shaken!
I am a trailer repair and owner novice, so any advice from you pros would be greatly appreciated.

WOW, by any chance did you tell them not to climb on the roof because of the weight limits? Do you have any pictures of the inside before this happened? If so, those and the many posts of the roof limits may prove very useful if you should lawyer up. There are many stick builts that can't be walked on also. Good luck to you Daryl.
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Old 05-01-2017, 05:31 AM   #5
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roof props during repair

Before you start the roof repairs, prop up the roof to original height. There's a decent chance it will retain the propped up shape...
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:21 AM   #6
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Name: Walter
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SW Virginia
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Wow, that's a shame. Sorry I don't have anything to add except wishes for a good outcome.
I've been on the roof of my 17' (which yours is also; 17.5s started about 2005-6) and there were no sagging problems.

Walt
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:42 PM   #7
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Name: Daryl
Trailer: BigFoot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
WOW, by any chance did you tell them not to climb on the roof because of the weight limits? Do you have any pictures of the inside before this happened? If so, those and the many posts of the roof limits may prove very useful if you should lawyer up. There are many stick builts that can't be walked on also. Good luck to you Daryl.
I'm not sure what you mean, Dave. I was under the impression that it was ok to walk (gently) on trailer roofs? Judging by the amount of damage done at the, so called, repair shop, it looks like someone had a pebble(s) stuck in the tread of their shoe(s) and stomped around up there. Probably, trying to work too fast.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:47 PM   #8
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Name: Donna D
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UGH! Double UGH because they used Silicone

Chris and Maureen had some damage on the roof of their 1984 Bigfoot 5th wheel. Maybe you'll find some value by reading some of this thread: http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tes-33122.html
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainAir View Post
I'm not sure what you mean, Dave. I was under the impression that it was ok to walk (gently) on trailer roofs? Judging by the amount of damage done at the, so called, repair shop, it looks like someone had a pebble(s) stuck in the tread of their shoe(s) and stomped around up there. Probably, trying to work too fast.
Some TTs are able to take the weight but from what I've gathered most eggs don't.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:33 PM   #10
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I think you are right, Dave and I have the impression that'a particularly true on older ones. I've been on the roofs of my Casitas and my Bigfoot, but always careful to keep to the edges with my weight spread out, never standing, which concentrates the weight.

Walt
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:11 PM   #11
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so easy to put a part sheet of plywood on the roof where your going to be working
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:48 PM   #12
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Name: Daryl
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Thanks for the tip, Jan! I will definitely put some plywood down before my next seal inspection, and while fixing the messed up roof.

By the way, prior to the fan installation, I specifically asked the head technician at the repair shop if it was ok to walk on the roof of my trailer. He said it was "no problem"!

No mention of putting down plywood first! Sigh...
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Dyke View Post
so easy to put a part sheet of plywood on the roof where your going to be working
Jan
That's what I always use to go on the roof.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainAir View Post
Thanks for the tip, Jan! I will definitely put some plywood down before my next seal inspection, and while fixing the messed up roof.

By the way, prior to the fan installation, I specifically asked the head technician at the repair shop if it was ok to walk on the roof of my trailer. He said it was "no problem"!

No mention of putting down plywood first! Sigh...
With a reflection of the kind on the part of your technician, I would no longer deal with him ...
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:49 AM   #15
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Bigfoot
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cracked roof

If it was mine i would remove all traces of the slicone . This was a hack way to repair it .I would put spray box liner on it .sand it with 80 grit mask it off. You can get white i did this on the front as a stone sheild works well.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:30 AM   #16
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Name: Francois
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bummer...

first off, you own a BF 17 ("17.5"s did not exist prior to 2005 and are quite different than the 17s)

second, sometime around 1989 something changed in the production of BF 17s...pre 89 roofs are more "tender" and should not be walked on unless one uses plywood to spread out the point loads. (an easy "tell" in this regard is if the front window rock guard supports are OUTSIDE the rock guard it's a "first generation" BF 17)... if the supports are inside the guard the roof is stronger and can be walked on... with no deflection even)

my guess is that this shop only worked on "second generation" BFs in the past and were unaware of the above...

the way I see it you could "fix" the problem yourself (and absolve the shop of all responsibilty)...make an effort to get the shop to own up to their mistake and at least participate in the proper "fix" and its cost...or start parking your rig in front of their shop on saturday mornings with a ladder propped up against the trailer....

good luck
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Old 05-02-2017, 02:59 PM   #17
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Name: Daryl
Trailer: BigFoot
Alberta
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Thanks for the info, Francois.

The repair shop is adamant, about not accepting responsibility for the mess they made. So, other than taking legal action, there isn't much I can do.

The area where the shop is located is in Nanton, Alberta, so most of their business comes from small towns and is dependent on word of mouth.

I will be certain to let my friends and neighbours know that SEIBEN METAL INDUSTRIES LTD, IN NANTON, ALBERTA, does NOT stand behind their work:
starting with the neighbour who recommended them to me!

By the way, I like the tow vehicle in your pics.
My tow vehicle is a 2008 Nitro!
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