2005 Fleetwood - Alumitite Roof Rebuild - Rack Track Leaks

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by maxstead, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    So, to start, thanks to all who helped me source the crank assembly needed to repair my "as-is" purchase of our 2005 Fleetwood Allegiance (Americana Line) trailer. Upon finally sourcing a key, and being able to actually peek inside, the interior is is fantastic shape - stove, fridge, heater look like they've never been used - and the curtains, cushions, covers, beds, all are in very very good shape. Then came the crank up.......wait for it, yes, that's right - alumitite roof with those lovely rack tracks that I have NOW read about - roof is shot. "Headliner" is bubbled, blistered, etc. I am going to attempt to rip the roof apart and rebuild, but cannot find how-to on the site for my "year" - most write-ups I have seen are for earlier or different roof materials.

    I have done a roof rebuild before (1974 StarCraft) but this looks a bit different - starcraft had a all square edges and all aluminum pieces were easy to get apart.

    Am I in for a nightmare? Doesn't look awful, but any advice and guidance appreciated.

    As I go, and likely for therapy purposes, I will post the progress, and how I make out so as to be able to help others that may be in the same boat, and wanting to take apart and save one of these PUPs.

    Thanks again!
     
    dksimon likes this.
  2. tzmartin

    tzmartin Active Member

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    Sep 9, 2015
    Good luck! I have a 1998 Fleetwood alumtite roof with the roof racks. I have had a little bubbling on one corner but it seemed to be from a puncture wound near the roof rack. A piece of eternabond took care of it. Make sure it's the rails before you pull everything apart.

    I use the rack for 4 bikes with the yamika posts and rails. Seems to work fine. I did tighten each screw on the roof rack a little to reseat the rail on the roof. One screw was not biting into anything and I filled the hole with caulk, let it dry, and then rescrewed it.

    I would think removing and resealing is not really that horrible of a project. I've considered removing the 80 screws on the roof rack and laying down a long strip of eternabond then reinstalling the rails. If I do that then i'll shorten the rack by an inch or so the water doesn't dam up between the rail and the ABS end pieces.

    There is a guy on this site who did pull the rails and reseal. Looked a little messy. I've also heard of people gorilla grip sealing the entire top. Up to you how much you want to spend on this project. I look forward to your updates!
     
  3. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    I have learned lots about this type of roof (alumitite), how it is installed, and how and where they are prone to leak. I also took lots of photos and measurements if anyone needs them, just ask. It was not completely different than the StarCraft roof I rebuilt before, in fact, it is much easier to work with I believe since the rack tracks are holding the roof "together" while I rebuild from the inside out.

    Update as to what I did so far:
    - removed all canvas and screens from roof (pull out top triangular bead from track and then slide out canvas from bottom rail) - some was so rotten that the upper rail just came off the roof. LOL.
    - once the canvas was off, my wife went to work cleaning it all - inside and out - no tears or rips, and looks like its never been used - just dirty
    - removed white decorative caps from upper crank posts (inside) and removed the 8 nuts holding the roof to the uprights. Note that the nuts are only on about 10 turns - I read that this is by design, so will re-install same.
    - built a few new work horses (had 2 already) and laid them out in garage to accept the removed roof upside down
    - had four strong guys lift roof off (remember electrical wire in left rear corner.
    - caried roof out, flipped it over, and back into next bay onto work horses. Used some yet to be installed baseboard to make up the space between horses and roof due to the protruding rack tracks.
    - began the tear down. Yikes.
    - out with the AC support rails, inner angles, end caps, etc. Be sure to remove the plastic end caps completely before the corner support braces, as once they are removed, the roof wants to lay flat and the end caps would not hold that kind of support
    - all luan has now been removed, so I am basically looking at a piece of aluminum with some styrofoam glued to it. I am leaving the main hardwood rails in the centre of the roof in tact (under the rack tracks) as well as the metal reinforcements on the cross of the roof. They are all in good shape.
    - discovered that the hardwood quarter round pieces that are tucked in between the roof and sides (presumably to keep aluminum shapely at rounded corners) had rotted in many spots - the styrofoam on the leading and trailing edge of the roof was completely sopped with water. Once I removed the aluminum and all channelling, it dried up in about 4 days. No mould or mildew, but the wood has stained the stryofoam almost everywhere. I am OK with that, and once new wood glued back in place, it won't be seen.
    - long side rails were easily removed once the caulk was "slit" by hammering a thin putty knife between the roof and channel and tapping it the length of the roof
    - end caps are easy enough to remove, 6 screws I believe per corner and some caulk (cut my finger on some caulk, so wear gloves for this part)
    - I will reman some wood pieces from some large size quarter round (lowes had it, HD was close, but not large enough to work)
    - I am planning on using pre-finished white hardboard (pondered plastic, but hard to cut)
    - found that HD sells low-odour (didnt care about that) contact cememnt that is safe for EPS (Extruded polystyrene) - that was important. Tried a few samples of EPS that I tore off in the tear down against some old roof sections and it seems quite strong.
    - I will cut all panels, glue them back in using H channels sold at Lowes for that 1/8" panelling (they are plastic) instead on that tape used by coleman.
    - I will add 3 screws per 4' roof section into the hardwood beam that has the roof rails attached to other side (to add support from falling and rigidity)
    - purchased some tri-fold rivets (white) online from a racer shop ion Florida
    - had to get a whack of stainless screws for the rails and angles to re-attach those components to roof

    So far it is somewhat enjoyable as a project, and more to come - I will post more updates.

    Here are some photos of the start of the project......
     

    Attached Files:

  4. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    More photos:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. M5Maniac

    M5Maniac New Member

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    Mar 8, 2016
    Great job, but it looks tedious! I have an '05 Fleetwood Valor and plan on tinkering with the leaky rails at the end of the month. I was wondering how to remove them, thank your for the insight! Can't wait to see the rest of your progress!
     
  6. misskat60

    misskat60 New Member

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    Feb 18, 2016
    So happy you posted this! We are about to fix the roof of our 2006 Fleetwood sun valley! Thank you!

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
     
  7. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    All wood is now out. Ready to start the rebuild.

    I noticed that the quarter round corner rails are different (smaller) on the leading and trailing edge. A lot larger on the sides. The same quarter round will not work, so looking for alternatives.

    For the rails, I am going to wait until the roof is all back together again and back on the camper and latched. I then plan on removing the screws and using a putty knife to get them off. I did the same process on the long side aluminum sides - i got the knife in between the U channel and the roof line and tapped it the entire length with a hammer - didnt pry it up - just tapped it along. Hopefully this will work on the roof rails and I can get them off, re-caulk underneath, then re-install with new screws, and caulk on the outside edges too.

    I also plan on cutting them shorter (maybe an inch) and then mounting them 1/2 back from original location. Two reasons - 1) new spot in wood beam to bite into with screws, 2) open up the ends for rain escape (instead of them butting up right against the end caps).

    I also found that the foam I used on the end caps is going to be too large - I pulled it off and will use expanding tape instead.
     
  8. edh

    edh Active Member

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    Jun 2, 2008
    Have you checked the floor for damage too? A leaking roof can puddle water on the floor and rot it too, possibly within the cabinets where it's hard to see. I hope not, as rebuilding the roof is fun enough...
     
  9. band3ls

    band3ls New Member

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    Feb 29, 2016
    Great work, and thank you for sharing all your efforts. I have a newbie question, and I apologize for hijacking your thread, but I noticed these in your pictures too. What are the screws/rivets/whatevers that hold on the aluminium trim, and what sort of tool do you use to remove them?
     

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  10. misskat60

    misskat60 New Member

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    Feb 18, 2016
    Where did you read that the nuts are only screwed on 10x by design? My husband is thinks they should be 'tight '. We ended up taking our whole roof apart...in 3 pieces. Now we're trying to remove the foam as it was soaked! Shocking since we've been drying it out for a couple of months now. Thanks for the post!!

    Sent from my SM-G920W8 using Tapatalk
     
  11. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    The "screws" that you see are actually tri-fold rivets or collapsing rivets as some call them - they were special order from a race shop. white aluminum.
     
  12. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    So just to let you know, the project finished well (I thought) as i was all put back together, fit perfectly, and looked fantastic. Wrong decision to use 1/8" fibre board (white on one side) - it did NOT hold up well. Condensation over winter storage caused many saggy areas in the roof, and seems that even with removing the rails, grinding the seam flat, epoxy, silicone, putting rails back, screws, rubber washers, silicone, etc. the damn thing leaked again. Yes, I'm going to tackle the job a second time - the trailer is immaculate other than the now, wet again, wood. I'm going to leave the rack tracks in place and simply fill them up completely with black caulk. I am not planning on using them for a rail system, so may as well guarantee no leaks in the future - should have done this earlier, but even the fibre board didn't like the condensation. I will try and find a plastic or fibreglass product this time, so any condensation won't hurt it. Should be way easier this time - LOL.
     
  13. D_Gibb

    D_Gibb Member

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    Jul 20, 2016
    I have an '05 Allegiance, and it's much in the same condition - nearly pristine except for some water issues. How likely would I be to prevent any future leaks if I just tackle a 'remove and caulk' on the rails? Any damage looks to be from the rails themselves. I am definitely not equipped to do a full roof rebuild...
     
  14. rsizle

    rsizle Member

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    Apr 17, 2014
    I stopped the water leak on the roof of my '05 Bayside by removing the rails, laying down 4-inch eternabond tape over the seams, and then re-installing the rails (with butyl tape bedding). I'll need to eventually rebuild the roof, but I think that by stopping the leak(s) I've bought myself some time.
     
  15. Charlie B

    Charlie B New Member

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    Sep 16, 2017
    Charleston, SC
    Did you ever attempt to remove the rails and seal? I just purchased a 2002 Mesa and I think I need to do the same thing. Thanks!
     
    michael martin likes this.
  16. D_Gibb

    D_Gibb Member

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    Jul 20, 2016
    I have not yet done this. We've been in and out of town lately, and I haven't had a chance to tackle it. I think it will end up being an early spring project, actually.
     
  17. bols2Dawall

    bols2Dawall S.W. Ontario

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    May 19, 2010
    I covered the openings on my rails by running 1" wide eternabond tape - 2 layers over the opening . I then ran a bead of caulk down each side of rails where they meet the roof . Easy peazy
     
  18. dksimon

    dksimon UNITED WE STAND

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    Aug 13, 2010
    Lewisburg TN
    I’m getting ready to rebuild a 2007 Fleetwood Williamsburg roof, can you give any updates since your last post on your rebuild. Have you had any issues since?
     
  19. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    I am about to re-start the entire project again - talk about fun ;-) It turns out that even though I removed my roof rails, cleaned them off well with wire wheel (and roof seam too), applied epoxy on the seam, re-attached rails with caulk, applied rubber washers and caulk to screws prior to re-inserting them (using a little larger screw) I STILL HAD A LEAK. I chose to fill the rails with RV Caulk - Black so you cannot see it, and it seems as my leak went away. So, I would recommend either doing same (and giving up rail use) or removing them and putting eternabond tape over the remaining seam (like a previous poster recommends). I am going to pull the roof shortly, and replace, yet again, the wood (this time I am investigating either a plastic sheet or back to marine plywood).
     
  20. maxstead

    maxstead New Member

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    Feb 28, 2016
    I just posted another update - I still had leaking rails - filled them with black RV caulk - now to rebuild the roof again - ugh. Not pulling rails this time.
     

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