RV Roof Repair Step 8: New Roof Plywood & Replacing Damaged Wood

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Welcome to my RV Renovation Series! In my last step I removed the rest of the damaged wood. Now it’s time to replace the roof plywood and any other damaged wood in the roof area.

WARNING: This is really just a rough draft of the post, a collection of photos with captions. I’ll be on the road for a few months and won’t have time to complete these posts until after, but for those of you who’ve written wanting to see the rest of the project, hopefully this is better than nothing. Thanks for your patience until then!

Here’s the

Next I’ll be replacing the rear marker lights!

  1. I see some pretty bad rust on your supports even some holes did you not replace these damage supports? Also what thickness and type of sheets of plywood did you use on the roof?

    Why did you need to support the ceiling?

    1. Hi Chris. There is definitely rust on the steel frame, but they are still solid. The only holes in the steel frame are drilled holes from previous screws. Replacing steel framing was way more work than I was willing to get into and outside of my expertise. If the ceiling had wood framing (I wish) and those were rotten, I would have replaced the without hesitation. I used 1/8 inch plywood & luan (also basically 1/8 inch plywood). Check out my previous post https://halbrindley.com/rv-roof-repair-day-3-rv-awning-removal/ near the bottom where I talk about removing the roof decking. This explains why I needed to support the ceiling. In short, the roof loses all its strength when you remove the top ply because it was a laminated (glued together) sandwich of luan on top, foam in middle, and luan on bottom, with steel frame in the middle for rigidity. When you pull off the top layer, the whole thing sags! (Except the steel frame which stays in place of course.) In order to glue the top luan back to the foam I basically had to push the foam back up level with the steel frame.

  2. Thanks for all the great info in your posts. I’m dealing with an unexpected repair of roof and overcab rot in a 1999 Coachmen Class C, which includes a full roof replacement due to poor maintenance and a badly done repair of the existing water damage. Reading through your posts has been interesting and informative, despite the differences in design between your Fleetwood and my Coachmen.

    I’m wondering why you switched from the 3M contact adhesive (which is what I had finally settled on using) to the Loctite Foamboard adhesive. It appears you used the 3M for the first, full panel, and then the Loctite for the others. Also, were you using the strips underneath the panels after the adhesive was applied to keep the plywood detached from the adhesive until you had it exactly in place, so as not to end up trying to adjust the panel’s positioning after it was already adhering to the underlying roof structure?

    1. Hi Rollin,
      Yes I started with the 3M and had great luck on my first piece. But the second piece went haywire and I couldn’t quite figure out why (it just wouldn’t stick). So I decided to try out the foam board adhesive and it seemed to go pretty well. However, when I placed the second layer I used the contact adhesive again and all went well.
      Yes, I was laying strips of pex plumbing pipe (any thin strips will do) in order to position the piece before laying it down. There’s not much wiggle room once it’s set! This way I could get a corner in the perfect spot and then start pulling out strips one by one til it fell into place perfectly. That part was actually pretty easy.

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