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  #1  
Old 05-20-2013, 01:20 PM
Stone859
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Default Elkmont 24 Roof Problem

Hello:

I've been reading the post and following this group for some time, but this is the first time I've posted anything. My wife and I recently purchased a 2010 Elkmont 24 and took it out for the first time this weekend. The first day it rained almost all night and the next morning I noticed there was a small amount of water in the front closet (drives side). I went on the roof and noticed that the previous owner must have had some sort of a problem because they had taped (using a heavy RV tape with a thick black backing) over the plastic molding that holds the two panels together in the front of the trailer. The tape had lifted allowing the aluminum and the rounded plastic molding to pull away from the styrofoam center. The aluminum is lifted so much you can easily sick your finger under neath it, and it runs almost across the front half of the trailer. The other side seems fine. It seems like I should be able to glue it down and maybe re-stick that decorative piece down...or maybe purchase another plastic piece of trim.

We really love the trailer...it has a couple of issues that I think we can take care of but we were not expecting the roof to look like that. I've been towing some type of RV trailer for more than thirty years now and this is by far the easiest one I've ever pulled. Now I know that I should have gotten up there to take a look at the roof, but I just didn't think it was necessary...it was a recently widowed woman that was nice as could be and told me "It has never leaked"! Live and learn.

Any help anybody could give would be much appreciated.

Thanks
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Last edited by Stone859; 05-20-2013 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Photos Added
  #2  
Old 05-21-2013, 07:23 AM
brulaz
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Sorry to hear about that, but thanks for posting it. I'll be keeping an eye on ours from now on.

As for gluing the Al back to foam, I dunno, maybe somebody else here on the forum can help. Or call the factory and talk to Ed Lyttle.

The plastic strip can be ordered from the factory. Think it comes with a self-adhesive strip. Or it can be replaced with something else and a good adhesive like the marine stuff 3M 4200 or 5200. I've used 4200 to reset the Fantastic Fan and it's great.

I had a leak in the middle side-to-side seam. The Trailmanor factory fixed it under warranty by replacing the thin plastic strip with a big sheet of plastic across the top, sealed with a similar 3M hybrid polyurethane adhesive, or so they said. I painted the plastic with marine paint as I wasn't sure how UV resistant it was.

Isn't nice not to worry about wood framing and plywood in the roof?
  #3  
Old 05-21-2013, 12:41 PM
Stone859
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Thanks "Brulaz" for your post, and your help. I've been reading yours and other posts on this site and they're a great help. I guess I'm wondering...do all Elkmont 24's have this seam in front? Also, I've been looking at closely and I think now that aluminum that as far back under the seam there is aluminum...not two joints just butted up against each other. I think this will make bonding the pieces together much easier. I contacted Ed L. at TM and this is what he said:

"Good morning,

This appears to be a adhesive trim over the seam of a aluminum metal overlay in that area. The metal that is coming up can be cleaned between the two parts with mineral spirits as best you can and then add clear silicone adhesive and then weighted down over night. You then can clean the seam area and install a new trim strip. I can send this strip to you.

You ca also use a contact cement but it can harder to install.


If your leaks does not stop, check your lights to make sure they are sealed.



Hope this helps."


I'm going to have Ed send me the trim strips, and I will some type of Silicone under the aluminum then apply weight...it should hold. Then apply the trim strip. I had also thought that maybe along with silicone underneath you could use some small rivets, and then put something like "Eternabond" over the seam. Actually that would probably work better then the system they have now, but I think for now I will keep as stock as I can. Really the Silicone should hold pretty tight if I clean it well. By the way...what do you use to clean it? Ed says use Mineral Spirits (turpentine), but won't that leave an oily residue? Wouldn't it be better, after cleaning with the Spirits, to use alcohol, or acetone?

Thanks
  #4  
Old 05-21-2013, 01:36 PM
brulaz
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OK, but I'm not sure if I agree with Ed here. First, I don't know what Silicone Adhesive he's talking about. I know Silicone Caulks, but found them to be useless when my roof was leaking. And it was Ed that told me they had switched to 3M Hybrid Polyurethane sealants like 3M 4200 or 5200 to put the panels together. But I have no idea if these would work with Al to Foam. If the problem joint is Al to Al then I would use 3M 5200. Just make sure you get it right the first time, cause I understand it's impossible to get off.

Also if you end up using Eternabond to tape the whole seam (which might be an even better idea than the strip), I think any previous silicone application would cause problems.

As for cleaning, Acetone would work for sure, but it might dissolve the foam? I know people on this forum have made similar repairs to the top shells of their folding Trailmanors. Maybe try searching, and posting a question in the Exterior section might catch their eye?

EDIT: and yes mine, and I guess all have that seam in the front and down the middle. There's also a seam down the side covered by an Al strip.

Last edited by brulaz; 05-21-2013 at 01:39 PM.
  #5  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:15 PM
Stone859
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Ed's latest email came through as follows:


"Do not have a brand preference but 3M is good and it could be white and you could use this on the edge of the strip also but make sure it is a marine/RV type of sealant/adhesive.


The silicone is easy to clean off if you get it on places you do not need it and any glue would be more difficult.



Hope all works out."


I think he's talking about the 3M 4200 and 5200. What I think I'm going to do is use 5200 between the two panels (I'm almost certain it is aluminum to aluminum). I think I had better do the other side at the same time. I'll remove the plastic trim and that way I can really get in there and get it all cleaned and distribute the 5200 evenly. I'll probably also remove the plastic trim piece that goes down the center-front of the trailer (at least the top part...the part above the Trailmanor sticker). I'm going to think long and hard about the Eternabond. It may actually do a better job then those small little plastic trim pieces but I'm afraid of the way it might look. If I drop a line using masking tape to line the Eternabond up I think it will look pretty good. Also, the Eternabond will probably allow water to drain off the front of the trailer better (and not trap it on the roof) because it's not be as thick. Have you seen the Eternabond Youtube video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGiKusd5r8A It looks pretty easy to use and effective.

Thanks for letting me know about the front piece of plastic trim, I'm glad to know this is the way they were supposed to be built. I was afraid the factory had built mine differently then others.

Thanks
  #6  
Old 05-21-2013, 05:45 PM
brulaz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stone859 View Post
...
I'm going to think long and hard about the Eternabond. It may actually do a better job then those small little plastic trim pieces but I'm afraid of the way it might look.
...
Yep, some people don't like the way it looks. Maybe you could use the plastic strip on that front vertical bit, and eternabond across the top. With a neat caulk line on the front side it should look pretty good.

That video is interesting. Never knew you could get eternabond off!

Have fun. Pictures as the project progresses would be nifty.

Oh, another thing, how will you hold the panels together as the glue/sealant sets? Can you use weights, or ...?
  #7  
Old 05-21-2013, 06:47 PM
Stone859
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Putting the Eternabond on the roof of the trailer and the plastic trim on the front was what I was thinking about doing. That plastic trim has some holding power but not nearly what that Eternabond has. Today I pulled the plastic strip on the drivers side (the piece pictured) the rest of the way off and it actually came off pretty easy. It had a grey plastic/rubber/putty backing that while some of it stayed stuck to the trailer roof it was easily removed with just my finger nail.

Will keep all informed making sure to take some photos. Good idea.

Keeping it down is the easy part. I have some sand bags that should serve as perfect dead weight. I plan on using some masking tape along the edge so if some of the 3M 5200 oozes out it won't get on the rest of the trailer roof.
  #8  
Old 06-04-2013, 07:45 PM
Stone859
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Guys, just an update on my roof project.

I got to looking closely at my roof, and I ended up redoing all the seems and joints. This is pretty much what I did:

1) Removed all the old calk. I found using an X-acto with a chisel blade worked really well along with a set of picks (the ones with the orange handles that I purchased from Harbor Freight for $1.00). It was pretty easy to remove the old stuff. It seems like the factory used a combination of Silicon and Polyurethane for calking the seams of the plastic trim and I couldn't determine the rym-or-reason for doing so. Also, on my trailer they used two different types of trim. One has a grey adhesive almost completely across the back surface, and other has two small strips of adhesive on each side with a hollow cove between the adhesive strips. This trim with the cove is what the factory sent me to replace my old stuff and works much better over any seam and what I feel they should have used every where. It spans the seam over-lap and sticks to both surfaces instead of just the on that is the highest.

2) I cleaned all the seams, and this took some time. I used acetone, but you have to be careful because it will damage the paint...but it does gets it clean.

3) The seam on the front flap that was causing the leak in the first place is only on the drives side! I don't get this, and I see no reason for building the trailer this way. Anyway, I cleaned between the two surfaces and used 3M 5200 (one tube) between the surface with five sand bags holding it down for the several days while it was curing. I doubt if it will ever come up again!

4) Over this seam I used the cove trim, and did both sides on the front, just because it looks better.

5) I re-calked all the seams of the trailer with 3M 4200 (two tubes).

6) Now this is where I went the extra mile. After looking at all these seams I decided to try Eternabond. If you have never seen this stuff, let alone never used it, I'm here to tell you it's some serious stuff! I used two 50' roles that where 4" wide, and I put it over all all the joints, seams and around all the vents. It's not difficult to use this stuff, but if you accidently don't get it lined up correctly and set it down, it can be super difficult to remove (don't ask me how I know this). I also went deep and purchased the Eternabond cleaner and Primer. The cleaner is also very serious cleaner that I would recommend and the primer is probably over-kill when installing it on a clean warm surface...its really a very light contact cement. Before I used it I was afraid of how the Etrenabond would look once in place but I really don't think it looks too bad at all, and I know for a fact that it looks better then opening your closet door and finding water in it.

All this work probably took between 20-30 hours to do and is not difficult, but is tedious. The basic construction of the trailer is super solid, and you get a feel for this crawling around on the roof and looking at the thing with a magnifying glass. However, the Achilles Heal on this and any trailer is where the joints and seams are. However, I think I've been able to solve the problem (knock-on-wood)...time will tell.

Let me know if you have any question, and let me know what you think.
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  #9  
Old 06-05-2013, 05:57 AM
brulaz
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Nice job! The 4" Eternabond strips do look neat too.

Don't think you'll have anymore leaks!
  #10  
Old 06-05-2013, 10:38 AM
FujiPedaler FujiPedaler is offline
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Default Acetone?

You diffidently do not want to use acetone around any foam. it "WILL" dissolve it.

Mineral sprits is a good solvent and if you are really concerned about a residue, then you can finish with denatured school.

You might consider scuffing the bonding surfaces for a better bond (light sanding with 300 or 400 sandpaper then wipe again to get the sanding.

Good luck

Norman
 


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