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