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That start of the roof rebuild Jayco 23b. All in the need of a trip to FW!

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Hello all!


So I am slow at things and let's see if I can keep this repair/report up.


Here is the story.  We have a 2004 Jayco 23b.  Love this thing.  Bought it because of staying in the cabins at FW a long time ago.  But as much as it hurts to say this we have not used it as much as I want to.  So she sits outside.  I check her once and a while.  Found leaks here and there and fixed them.  But overall she is in great shape.  Well fast forward to about two weeks ago.  Noticed a leak in the bathtub from the ceiling.  No big deal I though.  Yeah I should remember that statement.  


Got up and checked the roof and it is soft in spots.  And I know they build these things really cheap and I was not covering her up.  Started digging around and yep roof leak and I bet has been going for years.  There is a seam from the rubber roof material to a rounded fiberglass edge at the rear.  Right over the bathroom.  


Well after looking and poking around.  There was a leak around the AC from clogged drain lines a few years back.  I should check that while I am at it  (insert adventure montage music here).  Welp the Jayco folks used a rubber roof material that has a felt backing.  Smart right?  Well that stuff wicks water all over the place and now Eric has to repair a few BIG chunks of the roof inside and out.  


Here is the best part.  Hybrid TT is built with a laminate construction with aluminum support/studs.  What that is kids is a big chunk of Styrofoam say 1.5" thick sandwiched with glue to 1/16" thick wood on the top and bottom.  Very strong as a complete unit.  spreading weight and what not.  Well the extremely wet micro thickness wood now has 0 strength.  


So follow along my journey and I hope learn from my mistakes.  I am not going to take it to the dealer and I am definitely not spending $5,000 plus to fix it like the dealer would charge and put the same thing back on.  


I will add pics as I go and wish me luck,  As I will be camping at FW this summer in this thing!

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Eric, don't sweat it. These campers are put together in minutes with cheap materials with not so highly skilled workers. You can take most campers completely apart with a phillips, a Robertson bit and a putty knife. I have been wanting to get a pic share site account so I can post here, but I'll do it for you so you can be confident. I flip rv's on the side and there isn't much you can't do in your driveway. Any specific questions?

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Here is what the roofing of a hybrid camper looks like when you peel it it back.










And here is the dehumidifier I have running in the bathroom tub to help dry it all out.  I figure I will let this run 24/7 for the next week.  also you can see where I am separating the roof membrane material from the very wet wood.  I took it all back until I hit dry wood.  So far it is drying out really well.  




And lastly this is what the whole camper is built out of.  PGHFiend wow you were not kidding on cheap construction and easy dis assembly!




I am now formulating the plan on repair and have a good idea on what I am going to do.

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That's pretty typical. I order my replacement filon and aluminum materials from a place called factory rv surplus out of Elkhart, IN. The tricky part of this is the roof and all trim sit on the walls, so you just have to put things back together in a different order. The walls are easy to make with foam, filon, Luan and regular contact cement and then hide all of the outside seams with aluminum trim or they make really thin diamond plate called starbrite treadflex. Lastly, the rubber roof will shrink once unfastened so you will need to make some special vice grips with angle stock welded onto them to act as big grips so you can stretch the roof rubber back without tearing it.

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So far I am enjoying the challenge.  I am lucky enough that my father is a master wood worker and lives with us.  So I have a full cabinet shop in our back garage.  And the project seems like it will not be to bad.  


My plan of attack.


Get everything as dry as possible.  So far it is doing a good job of that.

Then start rebuilding the roof but I am going to try doing it from the inside only not to disturb the outer roof layer.   I have the bad stuff pealed back to that layer.

Pull off the AC as the gasket needs replaced

Rebuild the roof in layers I was thinking of using 1/4 starboard around the AC area for a little more strength and water resistance as the layer against the rubber roof.

New foam

Luan the bottom layer

Then I am going to re-skin the inside roof with 1/4 luan inside to make it stronger and add to the overall strength.

Replace the AC gasket and Eternabond/Dicor the roof like crazy so no more leaks.

Then wallpaper the new inside ceiling.


I am also thinking of a layer of starboard around the AC on the roof all sealed up so water will then run away from the AC instead of towards it due to the weight.  Gotta think about a plan of attack on that one.  


And thanks for the vote of confidence TCD!  This is definitely a spike worthy project!  And lots of beer.  Hahahaha.

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PGHFiend.  What do you use to glue the rubber roof down with to the luan?  Is it contact cement?  It is the rubber roof with the felt backing.


Thanks for the help!!

I have found that 3M super 77 spray works pretty well to hold old rubber roof down.  Now I will say that I have never messed with the felt backed, but I would think it would still hold pretty good since the glue would bite on the fibers.  The trick to yours since it look like the roof is a luan foam sandwich, may be to put luan up, drill  a 1/2" hole in each panel " compartment"and then use a pro spray wand on some insta-foam and let it set up, then put your wallpaper over the holes once trimmed flat.  

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I like the idea of the spray foam compartments in the panels to help hold it.  


I was thinking like the way this guy does it.




But I don't want to cut the outside of the roof.  But I am going to eternabond every seam and around the AC when it is resealed.

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  • 4 months later...

Wow sorry for the delay!  Still working on it but the day job gets in the way!  I am an IT director for a fire district and we have been implementing a lot of changes and opened a new station that is our emergency operations center.  But I have replaced some of the rotted wood and I am ready to start sealing the back up.  I bought the special caulking for the roof and that is my next step.  I really need to replace the rook AC seal.  I need to look up if I can do it or I need to source it out.  Right now there is nothing supporting that section of roof but the aluminum beams.  I hope I can replace the seal from the inside?


I will keep everyone posted!

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It is a big job! A friend redid his roof several years ago with new membrane. Purchased the membrane, glue and sealant from Dicor if my memory is correct. Did not need to do the interior but he did replace the outer luan. Used 1/4" exterior grade plywood. Took him and his son 2 weekends. They did use a friend of theirs shed for the project.

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