Thursday, August 4, 2022
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How To Fix Pop Up Camper Roof

Refurbishing The Westfalia Luggage Rack

Pop Up Camper Roof Repair – Replacing Roof Side Walls
  • Referring to Page 75.8 of the Bentley Workshop Manual, carefully remove the screws holding the rear edge of the interior headliner of the passenger cab, then the four exterior bolts affixing the factory luggage rack to the vehicle. Also remove the four screws on the sides and front of the luggage rack. Be sure to keep track of all the bolts, nuts, and the rubber washers which provide a weather seal and prevent chafing of the Vanagons paint. If the rubber washers appear deteriorated or unduly squished, replace them. The entire luggage rack can now be lifted from the roof.
  • If your Westy spends much of its time loafing under campground trees, you will likely discover a surprising amount of rotted leaves, pine needles, seed husks, and other detritus lurking beneath your luggage rack. I found a veritable terrarium thriving under my luggage rack, and it took a couple trips to the compost bin to get it all out. Theres a preventative solution for this which well get to later, but for now give the Vanagon roof a good washing and hand-waxing to protect the paint. With any luck, this is the first and last time it will see the light of day since leaving the Westfalia workshops.
  • If replacing the front or side Westfalia decals, carefully measure or photograph the locations of the originals. Gently scrape the decals off with a putty knife or razor blade, using acetone to loosen them.
  • Materials List For A 14 Long Roof

    Versiweld TPO 060 10x 15 $150

    Versiweld TPO 302323 Bonding Adhesive $150

    2 pieces of 1 x 12 x 15 side boards $60

    2 pieces of 1 x 10 x 7ft boards for front and back of roof

    4 pieces of 4 x 8 x2 thick White foam $100

    8 – 2×2 wood pieces for Ribs and cut pieces for any roof vent frames

    3 pieces of 4×8 sheets of underlayment

    3 pieces of your choice of ceiling material

    Enough sticks of wood molding to finish off the roof edges. 45 feet +/-

    Wood Glue

    Metal screws for reinstalling the trims and roof channel with trailer bulb seal

    Wood screws for underlayment, ceiling material and rib installation

    Foam board adhesive for foam to underlayment and foam to ceiling material

    60 of butyl tape for trims, channels, vents and upright post holes and latch pieces

    4 Paint roller covers with a tight pile, paint tray and floor coverings that can be trashed

    Hot knife to cut foam

    Silicone sealant

    Table saw, miter saw, jigsaw, screw gun, / drill bit for post holes and / for latch holes

    Router to route the bottom edge of the boards to fit into the bottom channel

    Nail or staple gun for interior molding

    Hammer, crowbar and Awl for removal of old and installation of new canvas

    The Noise Of The Generator Will Drive You Crazy

    The noise of the generator is a pretty common issue, but not a lot of people have any problem with this.

    However, there is still a considerable portion of the population that is sound sensitive.

    There are pop-up campers in the market that have generators, which makes little to no sound, but some people still find it difficult to sleep with it.

    The following are the two main issues people have regarding the generator sound.

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    Rockwood Pop Up Camper Roof Rebuild: Deconstruction

    Disclaimer: We are not professionals. We are just outlining the steps we took to rebuild our Rockwood pop up camper roof. There may be different ways to rebuild a damaged roof, and our experiences should not be construed as professional advice. We love sharing the process of our remodel with you all, but please dont think were perfect. This is the first time weve taken on a roof rebuild like this.

    You might remember that we brought home a new little project last month. You can read all about our new little Rockwood camper here. There was some massive water damage, thanks to a roof leak, so we knew that our first project on this old gal was going to be a complete roof rebuild. Now, up until this point, all of our hands-on pop up camper experience has been with our Coleman camper. We are pretty familiar with Coleman pop up campers, but this Rockwood was a whole new ball game for us. We basically approached this roof rebuild like a puzzle. Because we knew wed forget how to put the camper back together again, we took a lot of pictures and labeled everything as we went along. I highly recommend doing this. Weve referred back to our pictures so many times already.

    REMOVING THE ROOF

    Then we grabbed our teenagers, and each person took a corner of the roof. We lifted the roof up and off the body of the camper and placed it upright on the floor of the garage.

    TAKING THE ROOF APART

    REMOVING THE FRAME AND CLEANING THE ALUMINUM

    Replace Fixtures And Apply Roof Sealant

    how to rebuild and repair a pop up camper roof

    Finally, youll want to replace the roof fixtures and lock them firmly in place. Caulk around any loose edges to prevent leaks from forming in the future. Then you can simply apply roof sealant to the surface and let it dry!

    Now you know how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof. Consult with your users manual for any additional information about repairs or roof specifications.

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    Recoat The Roof Surface

    At some point during your RVs life, you will probably need to recoat the roof. This is a protective layer that covers the roofing material almost like paint.

    Over time, the coating becomes chalky and may wear off. Although this is normal, its a clear sign that its time to recoat the roof.

    The coating is important because it helps to increase the waterproof and weatherproof capability of the whole roof.

    Be sure to keep in mind that you might need a specific type of coating depending on the type of roof material you have.

    One method of recoating is an RV liquid roof, which is an EPDM coating that you paint onto the roof of your camper.

    The liquid roof costs almost $90 per gallon, which covers about 42 square feet. For our 30-foot by 8 ½ foot camper example, wed need about six gallons to cover the roof.

    You can save if you buy the material in larger quantities, such as four or five-gallon pails.

    Once dry, the liquid roof barrier protects it from UV rays from the sun and also adds weatherproofing to block moisture and slow wear-and-tear from the elements.

    Should You Call For Professional Help

    Some jobs are just too big and too complicated for us to do at home. If you lack the experience or tools to complete a repair job like this, take your RV in to a local repair shop.

    Its also a good idea to see if your insurance will cover the cost of repairs as a soft spot on your RV roof can cause major damage. Knowing how to fix a soft spot on your RV roof is a useful skill, but some problems are too big to handle alone.

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    What Do The Reviews Say

    Buying a cheap or used pop-up camper is the best option for most customers because eventually you may want to move on to a new one, and in a situation like that, you will lose a lot of money.

    That is why it is always wise to buy a cheap or old camper at first.

    However, you can choose any one of them based on your preferences and needs. We have focused on conveniences, value, price, and luxury when we developed our list and everyone gives a different score or weightage to each of these characteristics.

    Attach Underlayment To Top

    pop up camper roof restore part 1

    This step is pretty easy and specific to your roof length. We used 3 pieces of underlayment sheeting from Lowes as it was 1/4 thick and not too expensive. It will be covered by the TPO rubber so its mainly for the TPO to adhere to. Due to the placement of the ribs we decided to lay down 1 piece from side to side and the other two front to back . This allowed us to screw the underlayment to the ribs and the side/front/back boards. Make sure to sink the screws or at least be flush with the underlayment, so your roof doesnt have little circles all over it. I also used wood glue on the ribs when I laid down the underlayment. Cut out the area where your vents will go before putting the TPO on. Once cut out, make a frame out of the 2x2s around each vent opening and screw it to the ribs and the underlayment. Screw from on top the underlayment down to avoid anything poking the TPO.

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    Clean Your Rv Roof Regularly

    As part of your RV maintenance schedule, you should clean the roof of your camper.

    Dirt and debris can damage the sealant on your RV roof over time, and make it more prone to developing leaks and causing water damage.

    Therefore, a regular washing is important to maintaining the integrity of the seals and waterproofing of the campers roof.

    A good rule of thumb is to wash the roof when youre deep-cleaning after each camping trip.

    To wash your RV roof properly, choose your detergent based on the type of roof you have.

    If your RVs roof is aluminum or fiberglass, you can use the same mild detergent you use to wash the rest of the RV.

    If your campers roof is TPO or EPDM, you might need a rubber-safe RV roof cleanser. Either way, rinse well after sudsing!

    Repair And Replace The Significantly Damaged Parts

    Now that area is prepared, you can proceed with the replacement and repairs. Take out the damaged roof panels and frames and measure them.

    Each camper is unique. It is best to take measurements of each part you will change out to get an exact replacement. It would help if you took into account the proper spacing between screw placements.

    Once you get your replacement parts, all that is left is to put them back into place. For the wooden parts, screw the panels and frames back into place. You can also use wood glue to provide additional support.

    Afterward, put your roof back into place. If your roofing is made of aluminum, you can use contact cement as an adhesive. If your roof is made of canvas, you can screw it into place.

    For minor repairs inside and outside, you can use a putty or utility knife and wood filler. You should scrape off all of your wood panels soft, powdery parts until what is left are hard edges.

    You can then use wood fillers to patch up the damaged area. Once the wood filler dries and hardens, you can sand it until the filling matches the surface around it.

    To prevent any future damages, it would help if you took steps to waterproof your wood panels and frames, as well as your replacement canvas.

    Once everything is back in place, you should seal the seams of your roof using butyl synthetic rubber adhesive. Afterward, you can paint your camper to give it a new look.

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    How To Repair A Punctured Rv Roof

    Although you might pay a professional to do a full roof replacement for your RV, there are many roof repair jobs that are easy and far cheaper if you do them yourself.

    One of these is repairing a punctured or torn RV roof. To fix this kind of damage, all you really need to do is install a patch:

  • Thoroughly clean the area around the repair.

  • Remove any excess silicone.

  • Apply sealant or caulking to any recesses, and let dry.

  • Glue down any loose roof membrane, and add fasteners if needed.

  • Let it cure 24 hours.

  • Apply the patch so that theres at least two inches of overlap on all sides of the repair area, and cover any reinforcement fasteners.

  • Seal the patch and edges around it with RV roof coating.

  • RV roof tape or RV roof patches are easy to apply, with adhesive on one side that sticks to your RV roof and seals up the torn or punctured area.

    These patches are very durable, and provide a permanent solution to a tear or small hole.

    Its a good idea to keep some in your RVs emergency tool kit just in case something happens while youre out on a trip. You dont want a punctured roof causing leaks and creating water damage!

    No Water From The Water Pump:

    how to replace or repair the skin on a pop up camper roof

    If there is no water supply in the water pump, then it might have something to do with loose, twisted, or ripped connections.

    Some of it, you can fix yourself, but others require expert help. A lot of times, people will forget about their water tank being empty, and then wonder why there is no water supply in the water pump.

    However, if everything else is fine, then the cause has to be one of the three.

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    Reasons To Choose A Campervan With A Pop

    From classic VWs to the latest modern conversions, its amazing to consider the amount of thought that goes into the design of these marvellous machines, and when it comes to investing your hard-earned cash, its important to consider the campervan in all its varied forms.

    Indeed, probably the most important factor when choosing a campervan is the type of roof it has.

    After all, the right kind of roof can make a small van feel much bigger, improving both practicality and comfort levels. So, might a classic pop-up roof be the one for you? Read our guide to find out the top 5 reasons why we think it could be.

    But whatever model of roof you choose, having the right insurance for your campervan is vital to protect you from accidents, damage, loss and theft while living the van-life dream.

    Which campervan roof style is right for you?

    The Common Fix: Caulking & Sealing

    Caulking is a popular form of roof repair because its relatively inexpensive and easy to apply. Although pop up camper roofs can require more thorough repairsparticularly when replacements are in ordera simple leak should be no match for someone with some caulking experience.

    The key? Use the right materials. If you use an RV sealant, be sure to browse the right sealants for your particular roof. You can choose from a variety of RV sealants here at RV by Life, for example. Simple caulking and sealing involves just a few easy steps:

    • Cleaning out the areaincluding clearing out debris or even sanding down material as necessary. This prepares the affected area for a more effective hold on the sealant.
    • Applying the sealant in a well-ventilated but also well-protected place. This will ensure a proper cure.
    • Final touches. After letting the caulk/sealant dry and cure, youll be able to manipulate it. This is important for the cosmetic finish, especially if youre dealing with the interior portion of your roof.

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    Refurbishing The Westfalia Popup Roof

  • As on the luggage rack, if the old seals on the main popup roof are deteriorated, remove them. If the interior metal clips molded into the edge seal have lost their grip and the seal is loose, try slipping a section of it off and re-crimping the clip with pliers, then reinstall. Pressure wash the entire roof to remove old grime and mold.
  • If the large Westfalia decals are in good condition and you intend to save them, be careful to avoid damaging them with the pressure washer or scrub brushes. If replacing, remove the old decals using the pressure washer or a citrus-based cleanser and a mild abrasive pad. Deoxidize the gelcoat on the entire popup roof, rinse, then replace the decal. Polish and wax the entire popup roof.
  • Replace the rubber seals, starting with the upper leading edge seal, followed by the main popup roof edge seal.NOTE: See note regarding seal shrinkage Step 6 above.
  • If your roof mounting hardware is rusted, consider replacing with stainless steel hardware. Its perhaps best to replace only one or two bolts at a time to avoid any major alignment issues along the way. This is also a good opportunity to clean the pivot points on the two rear hinge mechanisms clean with WD-40 and lubricate with light oil or a silicone spray lubricant. Do the same for the front latch mechanism.
  • With ongoing care, your Westfalia popup will continue to serve as the proverbial roof over your head while camping and roadtripping for many years to come.

    Finding A New Roof For A Pop

    Part 2: Removing the Roof (Pop Up Camper Roof Rebuild and Repair)

    One of the problems in this topic is that most people seem to simply rebuild or repair their old roofs. They do not search for a replacement nor do they talk about where you can find a replacement roof.

    Part of the reason is that most pop-up campers do not get a lot of damage done to them and it is easier to repair than to replace. You can check used pop-up camper parts & supplies stores to see if they have any on hand.

    Or you can contact the manufacturer of your particular pop-up camper and see if they can help you. failing that, you can try wrecking yards or other businesses that deal in damaged pop-up campers.

    There are not a lot of easy-to-find locations that advertise replacement roofs for pop-ups unless they make the roofs themselves and sell you a customized one. You can try the classifieds, including Craigslist, to see what is available but if the roof is attached to another camper, it better be very cheap.

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