After assessing the new RV and taking measurements of everything, it was time to get started. The first goal was to repair the roof because I needed to get it in the dry before I could do anything else. So I started demolition by removing the AC unit from the roof, tearing out the cabinets in the front area, and removing the inside ceiling so I could see what it’s going to take to fix it. I was only there for a couple of days during this trip, so this wasn’t a major work trip or anything. I wanted to get the roof covered so no more water would get in and to figure out what materials I needed to get in order to make the necessary repairs.
It appears the failure occurred due to the aluminum extrusions being cut nearly in two for air ducts to the AC combined with the roof leaking, causing the wood to rot. The notched aluminum extrusions were unbelievable because that was the only structural support in the roof in that area and the extrusions were spread apart by quite a bit. This motorhome was built by Thor Motor Coach, which is perhaps the largest company that makes motorhomes here in the United States. And somehow this hack job passed. It certainly makes me a skeptic of ever buying a new motorhome, seeing what I’ve seen underneath it all.
The aluminum extrusions in the roof measured an actual 1 in x 3 in x 96 in. I had enough information to return home with and begin developing a plan to repair the roof. For the time being, I made a crude frame to put on top of the RV to help dissipate rain water off of the roof. To keep the edges from rubbing a hole in the tarp, I cut some of the material from the awning and stapled it along the ridge of the frame. The material had sun-rotted along the top edge of the awning, plus I didn’t want the awning on it anymore. I’m going to try going without putting an awning back on it because I don’t think they’re really necessary.
I checked a few places locally to find a large tarp and WalMart ended up having the largest tarp and at a good price. I bought a heavy duty 12ft x 24ft tarp for $29.88. As a side note, I wouldn’t recommend a tarp for this. It leaked the second time I used it and I would’ve been better off getting some thick plastic sheeting, something like 4 mil plastic sheeting.
The next phase was to determine what I was going to replace the roof with and that was going to require some research and making some calls to figure out what the best option was as far as durability and price was concerned.