Sagging Boler 1700 roof - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-05-2019, 05:48 AM   #1
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Sagging Boler 1700 roof

So I sold my scamp earlier this summer and took a gutted Boler 1700 in trade. I figured it would make a good hunting camper for a couple of year till I can get around to completely renewing it. I patched up all the holes left from the PO's who had removed everything and I mean everything, pulled the frame out and made some repairs and modifications then put a new plywood floor in. That was several months ago i recognized the roof had some sag and I figured it was from no interior support so I through in a couple of 2x6 support left it for later. Well later has come and I climbed up to look at removing one of the damaged ceiling vents and replacing it with a MaxxAir and I notice the raised center of the roof was sagging more than I realized.

So here is the question, as I look closer it looks like the roof/ceiling are two layers of glass sandwiching a wood core. Can anyone confirm this?
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Old 10-05-2019, 07:51 AM   #2
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Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500, 1979 Boler 1700
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I replaced the rear roof vent in my Boler 17 a couple of months ago. While doing that the layers I saw starting at the top/outside:

- gelcoat
- fiberglass/resin mixture
- ensolite inner liner (neoprene-like rubber with white vinyl coating)

The roof, sides and bottom all seem to consist of the same single layer fiberglass shell. Ensolite lines the ceiling and walls.

My roof sags somewhat. At some point, I will attempt to counteract the sagging by first propping up the roof into the desired shape, then grinding off some of the gelcoat, then adding several layers of fiberglass and resin.
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Old 10-05-2019, 12:24 PM   #3
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Name: J Ronald
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Saging roof

A good way to reinforce fiberglass that is saging is to make a tube scross it. After the roof is jacked up, lay a tube, piece of garden hose, cardboard tube or just something to be a form for a fiberglass tube across the top, saturate a piece of woven fiberglass with epoxy and lay it over the tube and let it spread out on each side of the tube. Sand and clean the old fiberglass where the new will be adhering to it. Be sure to use epoxy, not anything else. This makes a strong reinforcement and should not show up badly from the ground. You can put gel coat over the new glass if you like or paint it. It does need protection from UV.
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Old 10-05-2019, 01:19 PM   #4
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I have a 1978 Trillium 4500 that I rebuilt about 5 years ago and it has a single layer of Fiberglass covered with gel-coat. This was a manufacturing defect and was worse in later build dates (due to cost cutting). This is a common problem with older FG sailboat decks, especially ones with dual FG with wood sandwich construction where the wood rots after many years of use and being exposed to a humid environment. Using a half carton tube in criss-cross may not be pretty but should work with proper finishing. On a ground-up restoration it might be best to remove the top half of the body and install the support on the inside? But is a lot of work!
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:03 AM   #5
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Saging roof

I agree putting reinforcement on inside will be much better. It will be supporting all layers but on top only the top layer. If it is much easier to do on top bolts through the tube to s strip of metal or wood would support all layers. An extra layer or fiberglass where the bolt holes will be would help. I kave not done this bolting thing before but see no reason it will not work if sealed well.
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:17 PM   #6
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The problem with Bolers is they had to many chefs. Every factory had different processes and specs. John from the photo in your profile I believe you have B1700 from Winfield, were I have a B1700 from Earlton.

I do appreciate the ideas for correcting the sagging ceiling. At this point I'm not sure what I will do.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:04 PM   #7
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Name: Kit
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I also have a B1700 from Earlton and while I have no sag, I did find the same fiberglass/wood/fiberglass laminate when replacing the vent. I can't tell you what the wood core is - since the vent had been leaking for a long time and the wood was rotted for a couple of inches back. (I dug out as much rot as I could, covered the area and let it all dry out for several days and then filled the void with epoxy mixed with wood flour (sawdust) That really stiffened up that part of the roof. When I got the 1700, the previous owner had put a roof air conditioner on the top and it was definitely sagging a bit with the weight. It also had all of the cabinet supports removed. I took off the air conditioner - it was over 10 years old so I suspect it had been there a while - and the roof line returned to normal. I've never replaced the counter to cabinet roof support (which is definitely recommended) and the overhead cabinets have been rebuilt from real plywood and wood. I've climbed around on the roof and I've had as much as 2 feet of snow accumulation on the roof a couple of times over the last few years but the roof has never sagged. I keep thinking of putting something in to replace the support but I just haven't come across a solution that would look right.

There was damage at some point to the roof - I suspect someone backed into a tree branch or similar. When the repair was made it seems a good bit of extra fiberglass was applied to rear of the roof - perhaps that is why I have no roof sag.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:35 PM   #8
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Thanks KitD. I'm just wondering if some sort of synthetic mat base on the type of fibers I see. Hard to say with out ripping the whole thing out. Probably going to put some external stiffeners on top that will double for future solar mounting surface.
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Old 10-14-2019, 07:23 PM   #9
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I'm not 100% certain the fiberglass/wood/fiberglass extends over the entire roof - for some reason I was under the impression that the wood only surrounded the vents (but I am probably wrong). I'm going to attach a solar panel to the roof next week which means drilling a couple of holes for the sidewalk bolts that I will use to hold the panels down. When I do that, I'll pay attention to the dust that results to see if there is wood there as well.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:50 AM   #10
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I added a solar panel to our roof. I fiberglassed the brackets to the roof instead of drilling it. It's really sturdy and guaranteed no leaks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KitD View Post
I'm not 100% certain the fiberglass/wood/fiberglass extends over the entire roof - for some reason I was under the impression that the wood only surrounded the vents (but I am probably wrong). I'm going to attach a solar panel to the roof next week which means drilling a couple of holes for the sidewalk bolts that I will use to hold the panels down. When I do that, I'll pay attention to the dust that results to see if there is wood there as well.
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Old 10-16-2019, 01:24 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ststefan View Post
I added a solar panel to our roof. I fiberglassed the brackets to the roof instead of drilling it. It's really sturdy and guaranteed no leaks.
Hi!

Can you elaborate about the mounting of the solar panels?

We’re in the process of mounting solar panels and that sounds like a great idea.

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2019, 02:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghos View Post
Hi!

Can you elaborate about the mounting of the solar panels?

We’re in the process of mounting solar panels and that sounds like a great idea.

Thanks!
I bought a coleman 100 watt framed solar panel from Canadian Tire. Made my own L brackets 3" high X 8" long. Attached the brackets to the panel with riv nuts and #10 stainless bolts. Sand the areas where the brackets will be situated with 60 grit paper. I epoxied the brackets in place then unbolted the solar panel. With the brackets placed I then fiberglassed over top of the brackets to seal them in place. I was painting the trailer so i didn't have to worry about matching gel coat.
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