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Author Topic: Ceiling repairs  (Read 7645 times)
magicfish
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« on: March 24, 2010, 06:48:19 AM »

It's too early here to get the pup out of storage, but I'm making plans for repairs and mods to be done when I can.

The pup is an '85 Starcraft Starlite 21SD which we bought last May. The PO did some ceiling repairs at the back end. Now there is no luan and vinyl wallpaper for about the last 3' of the ceiling. Last summer we just lived with it as is but I want to fix it this year.

1. Where do I get the vinyl wallpaper? Is it wallpaper or is it a special material? Would I get it from a wallpaper store or where? I don't know what the chances are of getting a good colour match to the 25 year old material that is still on the front 2/3 of the ceiling. Should I recover the whole ceiling? If I replace all of it, does the old stuff just strip off or can I glue new material onto the old? I do not want to replace all the luan.

2. How is the luan fastened to the ceiling? I can't check it now of course but I don't remember any wood around the edges to nail it to. IIRC, there is just styrofoam.

Have any of you people that have rebuilt roofs done anything to detect future leaks? It seems to me that with a full ceiling, it could leak and trap a lot of water and cause a lot of damage before I would ever notice it.

3. The roof vent is a small 9" x 9" one and yellowed and cracked so I am going to replace it with a 14" x 14". There appears to be a big range in prices ($25 to $70) for vents without a fan. Are some better than others? Is the price for a vent with a fan worth it? We make coffee and sometimes boil water but we don't cook in the pup.

4. Anything else I should be aware of?

Glenn
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austinado16
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 07:04:00 AM »

Common failure in Starcrafts.  The pictures below show how mine was, and how I repaired it.  I used an 1/8" thick bathroom wall board called "Abitibi."  There is a similar product called "Bestile."  I pulled off all the vinyl wallpaper, and then pulled off all the loose, rotted luan.  I installed one panel at a time, using PL400 construction glue and air staples around the edges and on 6" centers down the very middle.  I came back and trimmed with a wood textured plastic cove molding that was white and then put the H filler strips in the seams between each ceiling panel by cutting the H shape down to look like a T and glueing it in place with white caulk and blue painters tape.

Regarding your ceiling vent.  The "Mini RV Vents" are still readily available and I'd suggest you just replace it.  Comes as a full unit for about $35 and drops right in.  If you try to put a 14" vent out in the middle, you'll have to do some major structural wood work to frame it out.











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magicfish
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 07:22:58 AM »

That looks really sharp. Did you put something on the sidewalls too to match the new extra white ceiling? My ceiling and walls are an off white and I think it would look strange if the ceiling was pure white.

My roof vent isn't in the centre like yours. It is off to the side, over the sink and stove. I was thinking of just removing the old one and enlarging the hole to suit the new 14" x 14". I think I would like the extra ventilation if we ever get some really hot weather again which we sure didn't get last year.
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austinado16
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 07:45:52 AM »

The side walls on mine are skinned in gloss white painted sheet aluminum, and I was able to save that, even though in that first photo you can see the front area of the roof is all rotted away.

You could either paint your side walls, or paint the ceiling after you get it installed.  The coating on the Abitibi or Bestile could be lightly scuffed with a scotchbrite pad, and then painted.

My vent is centered, because it's a 14x14.  The smaller models like yours all came with a vent off to the side, and the inside roof structure is framed out to accept it.  We've had our camper in the heat, and these vents (middle or off to the side) do little to help.  You'll have your plastic windows completely unzipped, as well as the bunk windows, and you'll still be too hot.  The heat just comes right through the roof, and the hot air does the rest.  Just buy a couple of 10" O2Cool battery powered fans and make or buy the reflective bunk end covers (Pop Up Gizmos).   You can make covers from the MPI "Sportsmans Blankets"  also called "Military Casualty Blankets" in the service.  It's the same material as the pop up gizmos and you can sew a couple together to fit your bunks.  Makes a huge difference in how hot the bunks get inside.  I made mine out of the casualty blanket version because I liked the olive drab the come in, better than the orange or blue of the sportsman's blankets that REI and Cabela's sell.  The military version is also dirt cheap from umpteen online sources.


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austinado16
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 07:51:47 AM »

Here's a source for your roof vent.  I've ordered from them several times and their prices are very hard to beat.  Order the $7 package of clutch head screws and putty tape that you see below the ad, and you'll be all set for a fast and clean installation.
http://www.rvpartscenter.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=35517&SID=9&DID=54&CID=331

If you don't have a BAL Light Trailer Leveler, this place has them for $60 and they could probably put the vent in it's box, inside the BAL's box and ship both together for the price of shipping the BAL.
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magicfish
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 11:54:20 AM »

Austinado's ceiling looks good and I may end up going that way, but back to the original question.
Has anyone re-done their ceiling with the vinyl wallpaper material? What is it called and where would I get it? And how is it installed, spray glue?

Glenn
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HappiKampers!
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 12:04:48 PM »

Here's a source for your roof vent.  I've ordered from them several times and their prices are very hard to beat.  Order the $7 package of clutch head screws and putty tape that you see below the ad, and you'll be all set for a fast and clean installation.
http://www.rvpartscenter.com/ProductDetail.asp?PID=35517&SID=9&DID=54&CID=331

Hey Austinado...just noticed when getting my roof ready for sealing that the vent lid for the vent is just sitting on top...not attached at all.  It looks like PO had a broken lid and got a new one but didn't fasten it down.  It actually looks like the wrong lid since the edge kinds looks like a spiral notebook (it's a curved channel of little metal "fingers") and the vent itself looks like a piano hinge.  I'm surprised it never flew off when towing.  It opens and closes from inside the PUP but if I yank on it hard enough from on-top, it comes off.

So my question to you, Starcraft Supreme Being, is should I just get the proper lid or since I an resealing my roof anyway, put in a whole new vent?
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Midwest Gals and a boy - South Burbs of Chicago!
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austinado16
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 01:35:08 PM »

Char:  Our campers use a standard 14"x14" RV vent.  The only thing you have to pay attention to is how the original hinge on the vent housing is built.  I believe ours use the type of vent lid that has a C channel on it, and it slides onto the mating piece which is part of the vent housing.  Then a screw goes in each end of the C channel to keep the vent lid from being able to slide sideways.

They run about $11 and come in clear, opaque white, or smoke.  I opted for opaque white so it lets in an even light.

Glen: The vinyl material was part of the luan, when the luan was made.  Probably a large machine ran the luan through a set of pressure and maybe heated rollers, while glue and the vinyl were fed in......out the other end came roof paneling clad in decorative vinyl.  This was eventually run through another press/heat type setup where the aluminum roof skin was bonded to the wood and styrofoam core, and to he Luan.  One big lamination.

If you don't want to reskin your ceiling, maybe an automotive upholstery shop could glue a vinyl of your choice using their high quality spray glue.  The problem/challenge I see, is coming up with method that will withstand the tempurature changes of the roof, and not just peel or fall off in a short while.

Or, what about peeling all the vinyl off and painting the ceiling with a good quality house paint using a 1/4" knap roller, and then come back in an accent color and sponge on a little color/texture, sort of like how it originally looked?  Home Deep Hole and other places have all sorts of paints and sponges and other stuff for doing this kind of accent paint work.

Heck, I say paint in flat black and use a fine texture gun to blow on tiny flecks of glow in the dark paint......and then lay there and look at the stars all night!!
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OneMoreDay
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 01:52:06 PM »

Don't know if it's exactly the same for RV applications, but Jo-Ann Fabrics sells both vinyl with backing and headliner.

Austin: Thank you for posting your ceiling photos! I've been looking for similar projects. So the only thing giving the roof lateral stability is plywood?
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austinado16
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 05:17:28 PM »

Quote
Austin: Thank you for posting your ceiling photos! I've been looking for similar projects. So the only thing giving the roof lateral stability is plywood?

The roof is strong because of all the layers being pressure/heat glued together.  It's a just a giant lamination.  Combine that with the side and end walls that are solid OSB plywood which is screwed and glued to the external wood frame of the roof, and the slight curve of the roof(most roofs anyway) and you've got a pretty strong and lightweight diaphram.
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magicfish
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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2010, 08:04:09 AM »

Austinado,

When I clicked one of your pictures, I found your album. How many pups do you have (or had)?  Big Smile
I like the counter tops in pictures 89 and 90. What are they? They look very smooth like a plastic. They also tone down the dark cabinets like we have too, which I don't like.
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austinado16
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2010, 08:40:51 AM »

Those are just some campers I've worked on.  The counter tops are the original formica.
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magicfish
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2010, 12:19:31 PM »

Austinado,
Your ceiling repair photos look as though you had at least some luan all over your ceiling. Is this correct?
I have an area about 23" x 60" that does not have any luan - just Styrofoam. Do you think I should glue some luan to that area and then glue and staple the Abitibi or would I be able to just glue the Abitibi to the foam area and staple around the edges? Would the Abitibi be able to accept screws for my new light that will go where there is just foam now?
How thick is the Styrofoam?
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austinado16
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2010, 12:41:08 PM »

Yes, my luan was intact, except in the patches down the middle that were so rotted that a layer or 2 of the luan had already delaminated...so I pulled the loose stuff down.

Regarding your sitation, I would think you want to infill that area that's missing the luan, otherwise your Abitibi or whatever you wind up using, might look sort of sunk in and uneven.  So maybe do 2 layers of Abitibi in that location?  Unless that would wind up being too thick?  Maybe just some thin wall paneling to infill and then Abitibi over that?  Just thinking outloud.

The PL400 glue and air staples staples trick works great, so lay down a heavy amount of the glue (cut the spout of the tube wide open) and it'll take a lot of 10.3oz caulking gun size tubes to do the entire ceiling.  You might want to buy 20 tubes of it and return what you don't need.   Better to have too much than to run out in the middle of hanging a panel and have to stop what you're doing and make a 1hr trip to the hardware store.

As far as hanging your lights, and depth of styrofoam goes.  Pull the trim off the ceiling vent and you'll see how deep the styrofoam is.  Probably 2"?  You'll cut holes in the Abitibi where the wiring for your lights sort of has a pocket cut out of the styrofoam, and that's it.  When it's time to mount the lights, you can just let the screws make their own holes, and they'll hold the lights just fine.
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Roxy
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2010, 04:42:24 AM »

Hi Austinado.  I have a further inquiry.  Is there any way that water would come through the middle seam (dividing seam running from front to back) of the roof?  This appears to be raised a tiny bit and I assume that water would run down both sides of the seam.  I believe that my problem started at the back of the trailer when there was separation in the caulking and water ran into the back of the trailer, in to the ceiling, through the lights and then on to the bunk cushion, which resulted in a nice mold stain (any ideas how to get rid of, including smell) on several cushions. Thanx.
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