Sunday, May 16, 2010

Roof Rebuild (6/09/09)

Many folks have been following our effort to bring our '91 Class C's cab-over and roof "Up To Date." This doesn't surprise me as most rigs eventually leak here and there and a wise owner will look for information to protect their asset.

In our process, I'm going to stress, even such things as the final cover up of a simple vent pipe, can take time to do well, and therefore, certainly..some fore thought.

New light emitting diode (LED) lights were ordered online and installed to replace the non-working rusted originals.

After all the rebuilding and additions like,the Extra layer of foam, there is still minor yet important details to attend to. Waterproofing just One Simple 1.5" hole, took time..and thought. The hole at first, took a 2" PVC reducing bushing used as an extension to extend up to our new roof level and then sealed with Dicor Rubber roofing, and Dicor Lap Sealant, a layer of Eternabond tape around the fitting, then more lap sealant.

Now that the aft end of the roof is squared off, I will have to cover up the last bit of corner/on the sides, with a triangular or rectangular external piece; well caulked.

Next, came the placement of the Original Plastic support base,to give some support to the uppermost tube. Under the base, we used the Butyl tape to create a seal under it's circumference and the screws. Also, around the external edge, I used a cut strip of Eternabond tape to do the extreme sealant functions after a dab of Dicor lap sealant on the screw heads. Overkill, I'm sure, but why not now rather than even think of repairs later.

We've done our best on each step, and of course have learned.

Hopefully, the pro's do a great job, but I can see many areas for cutting corners. Glad to have done the work myself, and know I could not afford this job if I had to pay for labor too.

In our case, "Sweat Equity" (the use of one's own labor to move forward in life)

We did these Simple things as well as the more difficult, moving on only as fast as the project, or 'life', allowed us to. Too often for us, we were slowed down by this or that, but we wrapped up each task and moved on to the next.

So much of this kind of project is the time needed to Understand what is needed and then Get it. Purchasing items is a hassle most favorably done on the Internet for good pricing, but time is needed too for the 'understanding' of the whole project before one begins and then many runs to H.Depot or a hardware store local supply.

New forward vent installed in front of the A.C. unit should improve airflow.

Now, we have nearly completed the roofing, the 2nd task on this rig; the rebuild of the Cab-Over being the 1st. task.

We need to get this rig Out of the "rented space" in 7 days as we are heading back to our boat in Panama for another 8-10 weeks. When we return, I hope to take a break from working on this rig to taking a trip out west, hopefully to the Grand Canyon. From there, who knows.....maybe leaving it out West for 2 months or so, until we can return again.

Please note, that so far, this site has been a way for us to hopefully pass on some ideas on how to deal with the common degradation that older rigs succumb to...

We also will do some travel. Between fun and work, we will be posting here. Look on the right side of this page to find Work Labels and Fun Labels. Read what turns you on.

A friends of ours recently bought a Mercedes... 24'/Winnebago, only a couple of years old.

My wife and I saw a bit of modernization inside, some glitz and visually a bit less space although maybe there were a few cubic feet of storage I could not see. What we did NOT SEE, was "the amount he wrote on his check to the dealer".

I bought our M.H. on Ebay for under 7K. I got a bit taken by a dishonest seller, but "I" knew going into this Ebay thing, that I could rebuild anything if needed. But, with high hopes... that nothing much would be needed, I ended up only half correct.

In the end, I added new tires immediately, then total brakes including drilled/dimpled High Performance after market rotors found online. Bilstein shocks were recommended by everyone so we did that too, Plus a complete tune up including everything like hoses, belts and gaskets.

Now the rebuilding of front cab over and total re-roofing.

Not sure of the all the $ involved, but we now have a clean, safe and dry M.H. at home, with only 32,000 miles on it that we can use for many years to come. We have a very functional/like new traveling a wonderfully low investment price..Very happy indeed!

(YES, certainly I would have been happier without all the work, but we are still smiling.)

YOU, might NOT be as comfortable as I am or was with this kind of work so be honest with yourself before taking on such a task.
However, IF, you already own a rig that needs work, then I hope this information can help you.

Update May 2010:  Just read an interesting article in Trailer Life magazine on reroofing with PVC material rather than Dicor Rubber.  Looks interesting and similar process.  So maybe check out:   ........................for some extra info.

Stay well and keep smiling, ron


Woli said...

I have to say this has been a help. I have an Older Midas, had the exact same problems with the cab over and roof. Did almost the exact same thing you did.

But, alas, my wife wanted a larger bed in the unit. And I had concerns about other issues. So last week, I tore the unit right down to its chassis frame. Had a welder friend from a trucking company come in and we extended the frame 4 feet to turn it into a 30 footer.

Removed all the outer edge angle iron and widened the chassis to 102 inches.

Covered the chassis with .060 tin, then built a new deck from 2*3 1/2 inch marine grade plywood on the bottom of the deck, 1/2 inch plywood on the top deck. On the drivers side built a wire/pipe lane. Then covered the entire deck in vinyl. Carriage bolted the deck to the frame.

Now I'm making new walls, and relocated the door from behind the wheel to in front. Adding some extra height to the interior. All walls will be covered in Filon. Then once all the walls and roof are on, getting a friend to come spray in the foam.

I should have pics up on my blog shortly.

I found it is going faster now, since I decided to do a complete rebuild instead of repairs. The repairs although extensive needed to always be tied into existing wood/design.

My Class C has the rounded back top and the "V" shape back end. I found it wasted space so is going to be a square design.

Just wanted to say thanks your blog helped me avoid some pitfalls.

mike said...

Again, thank you for this blog.

I'm just wondering, IF you have any pics of the A/C install. That's the only place I'm a little leary of, not scared off, just leary !

Again, thank you for the blog and giving me the courage to believe in my abilities and save a bunch of $$$$

Ron Sheridan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Sheridan said...

Sorry, I had to edit this to make better sense.

I have more photos on another computer back in the U.S. Am now in Panama working on my boat Memory Rose (another blog: )

In the photo above, where I am sitting behind a vent Hood, you can see behind me, a built up frame. Made of white plastic wood/used for patio, decking/moldings for exterior home projects, available in Home Depot etc. bonded and screwed through new rubber roof and then covered with Etenabond tape. This is a 'lip' for A.C. to sit on, keeping any water away from A.C. gasket.

Added a 1x4 about 6-8" behind this and covered that with Eternabond too. This is for support of aft end of A.C.

The removal and reinstall of air conditioner is strait forward. Start from inside your RV. Take your time/disconnect any electric and you will figure it out.

Good Luck

mike said...

Thanks a lot Ron !!!

Now it makes sense.

I won't be taking this project on until after the thaw (Hope you're enjoying Panama! I'm looking a snow!!).

I feel confident that I can accomplish this as I am pretty handy. I have done some major home remodeling so I don't think this should be any harder.

Thanks again.

chieftmc said...


Just one more thing ...... sorry !

How did you make the transition from the roof to the cabover?


Ron Sheridan said...

Do not have my photos here in Panama, but will draw it out/photograph my drawing/with explanation and post it within the blog.
This should be done in 2 days, maybe tonight. We'll see.

Happy New Year!

Ron Sheridan said...

Oops! Tomorrow is New Years Eve, so you got me working faster!! ;)

Go to Post of May 18, 2010

Added Drawings there at end of Post.

chieftmc said...

Hey Ron,

Thank you for the pics and explanation for the roof to cabover transition. Looks like a great job and should last longer than the rig!

Thanks again,
You're the best !!