Roof Membrane Replacement - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 09-17-2019, 04:43 PM   #1
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Roof Membrane Replacement

We purchased this 2008 Grand Junction last Fall [Model 335TRL] as a project. The first phase was too replace the roof membrane, which I started the 3rd week of July of this year. Over the Winter I researched materials & methods, & gathered what I needed. I wanted to build the scaffolding to accommodate the “slides out” as during the inclement weather I worked inside the trailer doing various renos. The lumber used in the structure was from my ‘take off” list for my home renovation next Spring. It took me 5 days to build the scaffolding 10.5 feet in the air, but at my age, [67] & working alone, [I’m getting clumsy] I had no regrets doing the extra work. You can see that I built a structure to support the front cap, as it had to be rotated forward at the top to remove & then replace the EPDM membrane. Dicor recommends that the membrane goes under the front cap, but goes over the top of the rear cap, this helps to prevent water from being forced underneath when travelling. I purchased a 9.5’ x 40’ EPDM membrane kit from PPL in Texas…do to shipping costs, our membrane came folded up in a box, so we unfolded it last October & rolled it onto a 4”x10’ PVC sewer pipe & then I hung it in my shop for several months, from each end, to get the creases out of it. To get it up on the roof as shown, I doubled up a section of hand rail & hung my block & tackle off of it, & hoisted it up.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:47 PM   #2
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Roof Membrane Replacement

The first picture shows the screws that I had chosen through my research. The “phosphate coated”[black] are a dual thread deck screw by “Dura-Grip”, they 1 ¼”. Dual thread being both fine thread for holding into the metal roof trusses, then the coarse thread for holding in the 2 layers of wood [3/8” & ¼” ply], they utilize a needle point for self drilling into the truss. The “Cad Plated” screw is designed for “snap lock” metal roofing, it has a 1/2” diameter flat head, with coarse wood threads, I have chosen to use this screw for securing the rolled aluminum edge transition from the roof to the sidewalls in lieu of the factory staples. I will then cover the new fasteners with the “felt tape”.
The 1st picture shows the Dicor Adhesive impregnated felt tape [CS200B-1], it is 100% water proof, sticks to anything, wood or metal & is reasonably priced in comparison to other products out there. I spoke with “Gorilla Brands”, & they weren’t confident that their product would react with the 901B/A adhesive, which is used to adhere the EPDM membrane to the plywood. They suggested “trial & error” ! Eternabond did get back to me, but it took longer than expected & I had ordered the Dicor product by then.
The 3rd pic shows the plywood I am using, it is 100% hardwood, but of more importance for me, is that it is guaranteed to have “0 Voids”. The lack of voids was all the reason I needed to make my decision. My existing roof substrate is 3/8” Lauan in decent condition, but it has these voids that do cause flexing/cracking sounds. Our plywood supplier tells me that they sell a lot of this plywood product to the RV Centers, in particular the Keystone dealer here. The 2nd pic shows my adhesive of choice, I will use a “v-notched” trowel to evenly spread it out on the first layer of plywood, before securing the second layer.
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Old 09-17-2019, 04:54 PM   #3
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Roof Membrane Replacement

Try this again, pictures didn't upload
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:00 PM   #4
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Roof Membrane Replacement

I did the tear off, the original adhesive is still very sticky, apparently the 901B/A adhesive remains sticky if it flashes off properly, based on direct discussions with Dicor. The 15K rear AC unit settled unevenly over the years, & you can see the result, the compressor mounting bolts cut through the membrane & rubbed circles into the roof plywood. I suppose that if someone sprayed water under there during cleaning, the water would have entered the unit. I checked to see if the clamping bolts were unevenly tightened inside the trailer or whether they had been over tightened, but it appeared to me that it was merely the weight of the compressor in that offset location & maybe soft foam mounting blocks. The factory used “duct tape” to act as anti chafing protection on all seams…seemed to have been adequate, except where the aluminum meets the roof from the wall transition. They stapled the crap out of the aluminum, & due to roof deck flexing along the roof edges, the staples back out & become a hazard to the membrane, the duct tape cannot offer protection in that case. The water staining you can see in the picture is a result of a backed out staple, which created a hook in the aluminum, creating a pinhole in the membrane.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:02 PM   #5
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What a job! A lot more than I could ever handle.
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Old 09-17-2019, 05:07 PM   #6
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Thanks Rusty...I'm sure the job wouldn't be too much for you, for me it's economics, I haven't a lot of money, so I suppose that's what drives me !
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:06 PM   #7
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Looks awesome, great that you are documenting meticulously, love to see that.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:10 PM   #8
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Very Impressive indeed! Thanks for sharing.


You have some skills for sure.


Good Luck!
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:47 PM   #9
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‘That’s amazing. I’m sure you will have an intense amount of satisfaction when you finally finish and go on your first trip. Have you planned it yet?
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:58 PM   #10
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Roof Membrane Replacement

Thank you all for the kind words, hoping to travel more in Canada, will continue to work inside the unit over the winter.

Once I removed the aluminum transition strips [ rolled edges] from the exterior walls to the roof, I discovered why there was so much deflection near the roof edges. The trusses are on 16” centers, there isn’t any support in between, allowing the 3/8” Lauan to move up & down when stepped on. I cut 48 pieces of aluminum angle 4” long each & pop riveted them to the aluminum angle that ties all the trusses together at the outboard ends. I added each angle about center between the trusses. This prevents the roof from deflecting in the space in between & really adds to the overall rigidity of the structure. There are several locations along the wall top where wiring was getting pinched when the roof was stepped on, the added angles now prevents that & I have also added a sheath around each wire pair. The space at the top of the exterior walls did not have any insulation, so I added that before reinstalling the rolled edges.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #11
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You'll be able to have a dance party up there! Nice work
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:18 PM   #12
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I think that roof is going to outlast your trailer by a long time!

Great that you have the knowledge, resources, place and time to take on a project like this. Doing a project for the first time is also such a learning experience that I bet if you did this again it would take half the time!

I hope you have many years of fun in your trailer.
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Old 09-19-2019, 03:44 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dsol View Post
I hope you have many years of fun in your trailer.
He's already having moths of fun on it
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:17 PM   #14
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He's already having moths of fun on it


Good point. How about we hope he has as much fun in it as on it!
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:41 PM   #15
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Haha ! You know what "Mom" said, get the work done first, then fun after ! There were some days that I felt like I had been pulled through a knot hole backwards !
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:45 PM   #16
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Thank you Dsol for your words of encouragement...the roof is done now & just in the nick of time, our skies opened up here for the past week now, I'm working inside the unit ! I worked about 4 hours each day, there was a week I couldn't touch it at all, [wife's to do list !]
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Old 09-20-2019, 01:50 PM   #17
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Roof Membrane Replacement

When I was doing the tear off of the attic mushroom vents, I noticed that the installer had never cut through the foil insulation layer, which meant that the vents were doing nothing. These vents did not look to be factory installed either…I say that as they were installed within reach of someone standing on top of a ladder leaned against the wall, not the usual location you would place them. I spoke earlier of the staples used in fastening the curved edges down from the wall tops to the roof sheathing. Many of these staples were shot near edges causing “broken hooks” which had penetrated the membrane, but what happens over time in addition to that problem is the roof flexing works the staples up & they bend the aluminum metal up creating another sharp edge. I removed all protrusions including the plumbing vents to give me an unimpeded flat surface to do the plywood sheathing. The skylight & vents are easy to find later by just drilling locating holes from inside the trailer, but before I covered the 3 plumbing vents, I marked coordinates on the scaffolding rails, then when the sheathing was completed I merely drilled a pilot hole at those measurements & routered the openings. I applied the Dicor felt [cotton] tape to all seams & doubled it on the curved metal, wall to roof edges…I like the product !
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Old 09-21-2019, 10:55 AM   #18
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Want to build me a me a 5th wheel?
Rusty
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Old 09-21-2019, 01:59 PM   #19
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Roof Membrane Replacement

As previously mentioned, the roof has no protrusions through [vent pipes] to help me lay the membrane flat, this allowed me to focus on keeping it straight & successfully removing any air bubbles from underneath. My neighbor was kind enough to join me at first light, there was no wind & temperatures were in the 60’s. From start to finish to lay & adhere the membrane, the job took 2 hours for the two of us. Dicor recommended that we fold the membrane in half, which we did, each of us used rollers on poles, we each had window squeegees to pull the air out. The rollers are by Wooster, 1/8” nap designed specifically for adhesive application, you roll it on, it remains white like paint, while it is wet, giving you the advantage to see not only how well you are covering the sheathing, but how quickly it is curing, it goes clear as it cures. Dicor wants the membrane laid down while the adhesive is wet. Now when I spoke with Dicor, I asked if I could have a successful install, by applying the adhesive over the old 901B/A as my original sheathing was in great shape…they said “no”, the 901 B/A is “water based” & requires new wood to absorb the chemicals during the flashing process [drying], otherwise it will not cure. So adding the second layer of sheathing had two functions, to stiffen the structure, but to cure the adhesive. It is important to note that it will not work on metal, [rolled aluminum edges along roof] nor will it join two pieces of EPDM together. I reused all my original aluminum extrusion trims, I scraped the self leveling off as best I could, then I used the Pro-form wax & grease remover to take off the remaining self leveling from the trims. I reinstalled all trims with stainless steel screws. Along the sides of the roof, in order to help rehang the gutters myself, I used galvanized common nails, heads cut off, as locating pins, pushed through the membrane into several original screw holes, to locate the gutters in the original locations. Why galvanized nails ? The rough surface of the nail prevented the gutters from sliding against the membrane easily, as you will have “butyl tape on the back side of the gutter which makes the extrusion very sticky & will cause alignment difficulties ? This process worked very well. Once the gutters were screwed into place, I pulled the pins [nails] out with pliers & I trimmed off the excess membrane, using the underside of the gutter as the straight edge.
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Old 09-21-2019, 02:00 PM   #20
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Haha ! truth is, I don't think humans have a long enough lifespan !!
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