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Author Topic: Another Roof repair thread - how to remove glued down Luan  (Read 992 times)


  • Posts: 3
Another Roof repair thread - how to remove glued down Luan
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:09:16 AM »
I have a 98 Gulfstream Conquest Class C, 24 ft.  We picked it up 5 years ago with the thought we would keep it for a couple years, travel with the kids, and then sell it.  Well we decided now that the kids are grown and off on their own, we want to do some traveling on our own and want to keep it for another 5 years.  This little rig, fits our needs nicely, everything works (except the generator) but I need to replace the roof.  Being the cheap SOB that I am I used the ol' I can do it myself line on my wife.  (besides I am not sure it would be worth the investment to pay the local shop to do the work.)  I bought a "Kit" from best materials, watched a few videos and went at it.  Right now, I have all the vent covers, vent stack covers, and AC off.  I have peeled the old rubber membrane off (I am putting on a new one) and discovered that I should replace 4 of the 5 luan (really thin plywood) panels.  This is where I am a bit stuck. 

Each panel has 2 perhaps 3 screws that go along each side and are screwed into the top of the wall/frame.  So, I am thinking that they are glued down everywhere else.  I was hoping to see wood ceiling joists but I found that the roof has metal cross beams for support and Styrofoam.  I thought perhaps I would just buy new panels and glue the heck out of them on top of the existing panels but after a good night sleep, I realized that is a BAD (really bad)idea.  The panels need to come off, and that is my question....

How do I remove the existing panels that I need to replace without destroying all of the Styrofoam?  Is there a secret to this?  I have a nice demo bar that I can use along the metal cross bar but is that the best way to go?

Any advice?


98 Gulfstream Conquest


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  • former tent camper
Re: Another Roof repair thread - how to remove glued down Luan
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 08:33:24 PM »
I make no claims that this is the best method, but I can tell you how I did this on my pop up earlier this year.  I will start by saying it is a lot of work.  Don't try this if you have back, shoulder or neck medical problems.
The ceiling construction of my pop up seems similar to what you describe.  There was a large section under the roof-mounted HVAC unit that had significant water damage, so this is where I started removal.  As it seems you did, remove any weight you have on the roof; HVAC, bike or canoe racks, etc.  This is mostly for pop up types like me who might read this.
There were 2 visible channels that had to be removed; one bolt each end.  These provided shape and strength to the ceiling.  Again, remove weight from the roof before removing these supports.
Next I used a couple of plastic joint tape knives (used to smooth joints in drywall) and a rubber mallet.  I drove those knives between the luan and the styrofoam until I could get some leverage then peeled it down.  It was slow but effective.
I had to do 2 of three sections and was careful to take pictures and measurements of any attachments so I could replace them.
There was some adhesive residue left on the internal metal supports and it took some extra work to scrape away.  I didn't make this spotless because the FRP that I used instead of luan covered it nicely.  (FRP= fiberglass reinforced plastic).
The replacement full sheets were too awkward for me to handle by myself (my help had returned to university in Ohio) so I cut them in half and added a seam in the center. 
Virginia is for Lovers
current: 2006 Cherokee 25DD
former: 2001 Coleman Sedona pop up


  • Posts: 3
Re: Another Roof repair thread - how to remove glued down Luan
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 10:07:11 AM »
thanks for the reply Mike.  I started along that same path last night.  Luckily (or not) my luan started to delaminate so in places it is pealing off in layers.  One sheet down, three 4X8 sheets to go.  I also found some metal sheathing in place along some edges.  It was really rusted.  I am going to try and find something similar and put it down before I start to rebuild.


  • Posts: 3
Re: Another Roof repair thread - how to remove glued down Luan
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2017, 09:22:58 AM »
not sure many are looking at this thread, but I have continued to work on my project, this is going to be weekend #3...  Here is a review.

I took advice and started to pull up the luan using my putty knife.  I started with all good intentions of removing complete sheets, I figured that I need to replace 4 of the 5 sheets.  After I managed to do 2 sheets, I just could not go on.  I grabbed my circular saw, adjusted the blade to the thickness and cut the existing luan where it was bad.  I focused on just removing these portions.  Once I got that up, I went to the local big box store and picked up enough new sheets to replace what I had removed and to add a complete second layer.  I picked up 8 tubes of Gorilla glue adhesive (one for each sheet) I glued the heck out of the replacement sheets and the second layer sheets, I used some weights I had laying around to keep pressue on the new sheets and I tried to screw them with short wood screws into the bottom layer of luan.  I also picked up some other wood screws (different lengths) and screwed the second layer down around the vent hols, AC hole and along the side.  I then took some duct tape and when over all the seams.  This took me to late sunday afternoon on weekend two.  Living in New England we here scheduled to have a rainy week and for once the weather man got it rights  I took my new rubber roof, carried it up on the roof and layed it out over the length of the RV,  (it hangs about 8 feet off the back, 3 feet off the front and about a foot and half on each size.  I put some of the weights along the front,back and sides.  Everything is safe and dry.  This weekend is the big push to the end.  Glue the roof down, screw everything back together, install the covers and AC...