Another awful ABS roof

KG1990

New Member
Jul 12, 2022
2
We purchased a 2003 Coleman Carmel last fall. We noticed a few hairline cracks, but the previous owner told us he sealed them every few years and they’ve stayed about the same, although he kept the camper in his garage. Well, now that our camper has been outside (in Western CO where temps stay above 90-95 over the summer), over the last several months with the heat, the cracks have significantly gotten worse and causing delamination. We want to fix the roof, but it started getting too hot out to apply Grizzly Grip so we thought we’d wait until early fall. I’m nervous it’s going to get worse by then.

I’ve done extensive research. This is our first camper of any kind let alone we had no idea about ABS roofs and neither did the previous owner who was able to keep it stored inside so never ran into the issue.

I want to seal the cracks with the ABS slurry, some spots use fiberglass cloth, then coat with Grizzly Grip and then Henry’s Tropi-cool on top of the GG. I know with GG alone the cracks will reappear so my goal with the Henry’s is to prevent that. Any long term success on those who’ve done this?

I redid the inside of the camper when we got it in the fall and I’m just bummed it looks so great inside and the inside roof is in great condition. I want our little family to enjoy this camper for several more years!

Thank you!
Karlina
 

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Sep 28, 2018
16
Absolutely don't waste a minute fixing the ABS. Remove it as instructed. The only place to leave it alone is where the latches are attached on each corner. Use a dremel or something like it to cut around the latches leaving a rectangle of ABS alone. Then fill with Bondo, Sand smooth and use your choice of waterproof coating to finish off. I used flexseal paint on mine and it has held up beautifully for 3 years. However it is probably not the best solution as I have learned, especially if you are leaving it outdoors all the time.
 

Rebecca Levings

New Member
Aug 30, 2021
2
Agree w/ above. We have to store ours outside as well, and did the ABS slurry fix last year. What a waste of time! All the cracks reappeared, plus WAY more! If you can't store inside in that heat, like we have here in Ohio, then you're better off to strip the ABS totally and apply any option above. Just not worth it. I'm planning to do ours before we put Myrtle the camper away for the winter when the temps are lower and more friendly for GG or the like.
 

Jim Keeling

Active Member
Jul 22, 2021
157
Georgetown, Tx
We purchased a 2003 Coleman Carmel last fall. We noticed a few hairline cracks, but the previous owner told us he sealed them every few years and they’ve stayed about the same, although he kept the camper in his garage. Well, now that our camper has been outside (in Western CO where temps stay above 90-95 over the summer), over the last several months with the heat, the cracks have significantly gotten worse and causing delamination. We want to fix the roof, but it started getting too hot out to apply Grizzly Grip so we thought we’d wait until early fall. I’m nervous it’s going to get worse by then.

I’ve done extensive research. This is our first camper of any kind let alone we had no idea about ABS roofs and neither did the previous owner who was able to keep it stored inside so never ran into the issue.

I want to seal the cracks with the ABS slurry, some spots use fiberglass cloth, then coat with Grizzly Grip and then Henry’s Tropi-cool on top of the GG. I know with GG alone the cracks will reappear so my goal with the Henry’s is to prevent that. Any long term success on those who’ve done this?

I redid the inside of the camper when we got it in the fall and I’m just bummed it looks so great inside and the inside roof is in great condition. I want our little family to enjoy this camper for several more years!

Thank you!
Karlina
Your roof is toast . If you do not replace it will continue to be a problem.
Just removed my old roof on Coleman 2000 Utah. Replacing with Duraback coating. Coleman made bad design. The fiberglass under layer and foam is a chore to remove.(several videos on UTUBE) Also Midwest Chemical makes est coating on Mkt.kit 2gal does 2 coats. $278.00 delvd.will attach photos of my project.
 

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RichRL

Member
Dec 2, 2019
12
Northwest PA
If you want to stop a crack from getting longer drill a small hole (1/8"to1/4")at the very end for the crack. That will spread the stress in all directions and relieve the initial stress. Steel beams that crack are treated the same way. Then go ahead and patch over the crack.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,269
Nj
If you want to stop a crack from getting longer drill a small hole (1/8"to1/4")at the very end for the crack. That will spread the stress in all directions and relieve the initial stress. Steel beams that crack are treated the same way. Then go ahead and patch over the crack.
Lol, you didnt see the pictures! Yes, that works, but the moisture gets sealed under the abs. So with the heat and cold the moisture expands and contracts. So, while your crack is reinforced, a new one will break through in the weakest spot right next to your fix. So unless you can get the moisture out between layers, its a futal battle.
 

bondebond

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2008
2,330
@Sjm9911 is correct. The drill-a-hole technique works in certain situations. That is not the OP's situation. That ABS is fracturing everywhere and is beyond saving.
 

Jim Keeling

Active Member
Jul 22, 2021
157
Georgetown, Tx
Lol, you didnt see the pictures! Yes, that works, but the moisture gets sealed under the abs. So with the heat and cold the moisture expands and contracts. So, while your crack is reinforced, a new one will break through in the weakest spot right next to your fix. So unless you can get the moisture out between layers, its a futal battle.
Replace it! Wasting money and time on repair.
 

wolfelot

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
9
That camper roof does look pretty rough. Mine was not as bad and I used the product below to repair my roof on a 2000 Coleman Santa Fe. I have 4 or 5 12 inch strips on it going perpendicular. I made the repair in March of 2021 and it is still holding up very well. I anticipate that it will last for years. In my opinion trying to do the repairs you are referencing in your post to salvage the existing roof are going to be a massive, MASSIVE waste of time and will cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars for almost zero long-term benefit. The eternabond will not look amazing and will be very hard to do without any wrinkles but will last for at least a few years for much less time and perhaps cost as well. Keep in mind your camper is almost 20 years old so who really cares what it looks like from the outside as long as it functions.


The next best thing to do would be to totally strip all of the ABS and do the grizzly grip repair to the naked fiberglass others have done this with some apparent success, but the eternabond method I described is far less time-consuming and may be cheaper. I am definitely amazed at how much time, money and effort some have put into 15-25 year old campers to try and make something perfect when a glorified duct tape job gets you to the same place functionally.

Good luck.
 

bondebond

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2008
2,330
I am definitely amazed at how much time, money and effort some have put into 15-25 year old campers to try and make something perfect

Some people are just that way...
aW9uLTYuanBn
 

DonsEye

Member
Mar 17, 2019
10
I recently made slurry repairs to mine. 2002 Coleman fleetwood mesa. It’s only been a few months, but good so far. I keep mine outside year around. Summer temps are 90’s easy.
I drilled a small hole at each end of the crack, routed out the crack for about 1/2 the thickness of the ABS, before I applied the slurry mix I took a small brush and went over the routed out area with MEK, using 3/4 or so wide pop sickle stick I filled the cracks. When all done I took a putty knife to knock of some high points along with light sanding. Repeated some areas 2 or 3 times until it was 100% filled and filled level with the top. Each layer I painted over with MEK first.
It’s only been a couple months but so far so good. Only cost me maybe $20 bucks and 1/2 day work. I read others that say this is a waste of time, but I would rather give it a try for a few buck than a total re-do.
Hard to do but take your time filling the cracks. The less slop outside the crack the better it will look, but that’s hard to do because the slurry only gives you a minute or 2 to work it.
 

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KG1990

New Member
Jul 12, 2022
2
I recently made slurry repairs to mine. 2002 Coleman fleetwood mesa. It’s only been a few months, but good so far. I keep mine outside year around. Summer temps are 90’s easy.
I drilled a small hole at each end of the crack, routed out the crack for about 1/2 the thickness of the ABS, before I applied the slurry mix I took a small brush and went over the routed out area with MEK, using 3/4 or so wide pop sickle stick I filled the cracks. When all done I took a putty knife to knock of some high points along with light sanding. Repeated some areas 2 or 3 times until it was 100% filled and filled level with the top. Each layer I painted over with MEK first.
It’s only been a couple months but so far so good. Only cost me maybe $20 bucks and 1/2 day work. I read others that say this is a waste of time, but I would rather give it a try for a few buck than a total re-do.
Hard to do but take your time filling the cracks. The less slop outside the crack the better it will look, but that’s hard to do because the slurry only gives you a minute or 2 to work it.
Ours is definitely in much rougher shape I’m well aware. Most would definitely trash the ABS. I see it as my time and money to figure out which works best for us. I’m not trying to get 20 more years out of a 20 year old camper, just a few. The inside is in amazing shape and everything works great. We only paid a couple grand so for us it’s a good deal and worth time and a little money to fix the only issue. Thank you!
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,269
Nj
I recently made slurry repairs to mine. 2002 Coleman fleetwood mesa. It’s only been a few months, but good so far. I keep mine outside year around. Summer temps are 90’s easy.
I drilled a small hole at each end of the crack, routed out the crack for about 1/2 the thickness of the ABS, before I applied the slurry mix I took a small brush and went over the routed out area with MEK, using 3/4 or so wide pop sickle stick I filled the cracks. When all done I took a putty knife to knock of some high points along with light sanding. Repeated some areas 2 or 3 times until it was 100% filled and filled level with the top. Each layer I painted over with MEK first.
It’s only been a couple months but so far so good. Only cost me maybe $20 bucks and 1/2 day work. I read others that say this is a waste of time, but I would rather give it a try for a few buck than a total re-do.
Hard to do but take your time filling the cracks. The less slop outside the crack the better it will look, but that’s hard to do because the slurry only gives you a minute or 2 to work it.
Get back to us in a year and tell us how it held up. Mine looked new when done and held up for for a year. Then boom , ng. Hope yours holds up better.
 

DonsEye

Member
Mar 17, 2019
10
I recently made slurry repairs to mine. 2002 Coleman fleetwood mesa. It’s only been a few months, but good so far. I keep mine outside year around. Summer temps are 90’s easy.
I drilled a small hole at each end of the crack, routed out the crack for about 1/2 the thickness of the ABS, before I applied the slurry mix I took a small brush and went over the routed out area with MEK, using 3/4 or so wide pop sickle stick I filled the cracks. When all done I took a putty knife to knock of some high points along with light sanding. Repeated some areas 2 or 3 times until it was 100% filled and filled level with the top. Each layer I painted over with MEK first.
It’s only been a couple months but so far so good. Only cost me maybe $20 bucks and 1/2 day work. I read others that say this is a waste of time, but I would rather give it a try for a few buck than a total re-do.
Hard to do but take your time filling the cracks. The less slop outside the crack the better it will look, but that’s hard to do because the slurry only gives you a minute or 2 to work it.
 

DonsEye

Member
Mar 17, 2019
10
Good news. Slurry mix is a fix. Pop up has been out in the heat and sun everyday since repairs were made. And we all know how hot this summer has been. It’s been 6 months since I made my slurry mix, routed out the cracks and patched. Knock on wood so far so good. The only issue is my slurry mix yellowed a bit, but that can be an easy fix. Attached are the pics from today. Previous post has the day I made the fix about 6 months ago.
 

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