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Author Topic: Is my fifth wheel roof strong enough to walk on?  (Read 5706 times)


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Is my fifth wheel roof strong enough to walk on?
« on: April 02, 2009, 12:15:09 AM »
Good evening,
This weekend I want to do some work on my roof, I just bought this rv and I am in the military and come May I will be gone for most of a year, so the roof doesn't look bad but I havent been up on the roof walking around. The RV I have is a 1999 Jayco Eagle 263 (28') with a slide. I don't have a ladder built on the unit, so I was looking for a ladder to buy and install, but I read an article that said if your unit didn't come with one, it wasn't built to walk on, I have a hard time believing that, but want to make sure. Also, I have done some research and have Eternabond 4" roll on the way and got Dicor lap sealant, self leveling, but the tube says for 1/4" to 3/8" beads. Did I order the wrong stuff, or can I use it a little thicker? Say 1/2" bead, or should I buy a few tubes of other Dicor product? So with a 28' x 8' wide (224 SQ FT) what is that going to take, say 3-4 gallons? Does Home Depot have any good elastomeric paint, or should I stick with ordering off the internet? This is my wife and my first nice Fifth wheel so I want it to stay nice, but leaving for a year, I don't want to get a leak and it be destroyed by the time I get back.
From what I have read, my plans are get on the roof, I will be bucket and sponging it clean(soft bristle brush) and I bought a spray bottle of rubber roof cleaner at Wally world, Use a metal scraper and a utility knife to peel off the old sealer, Clean with acetone, I saw that at walmart too but it was like $7.00 for a can, could I use rubbing alcohol instead? I will be using eternabond on everything that I can, self leveling lap sealant on what I can't use eternabond with, then finally roll on elastomeric paint( and I think what I read was do at least 2 coats, but three is best, is this correct?

One last thing, the Fifth wheel we bought was lived in for a year right before we got it. The top of the slide is rough, should it be smooth and like a waxed surface? It was dirty when I picked it up, swept it off, but haven't used alot of cleaners on this rig yet. What is good to store in an RV for extended periods so the rig doesn't smell all musty for when I get back, Something like Bounce?

Thanks ahead of time,


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Re: Is my fifth wheel roof strong enough to walk on?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2009, 08:03:31 AM »
Hey Mark, welcome to RV ownership!  :)  I'll let someone else chime in on the roof issue, although without knowing your specific model I would say that Jayco should know how its built and may be able to give you that info if you call them directly.  Don't rely on anything you hear from a dealer or salesperson.

As far as reinforcement, YES on the Eternabond.  Great choice!  Hoenstly though, don't create more work for yourself by scraping off all the old sealant unnecessarily.  If you are buying the "1-Step" also called "Roofseal" product, it's designed to be applied directly over any old sealant.  Super easy.  The area just needs to be cleaned (I did that with a Simple Green type product and a rag) and completely dry before you put the tape down.  For overall roof cleaning with a mop/sponge, you can use something basic like Spic-n-Span.  I'm not sure what's special about "rubber roof cleaner" except it's probably more expensive.  ;)

Musty-ness (mustiness?) is caused by moisture, so dryer sheets might help the scent but won't change the humidity level.  Where will the 5er be stored?  I'm lucky enough to have mine in my side driveway, so I usually crack a window (one that won't be affected by rain) to keep the air moving at least slightly.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is my fifth wheel roof strong enough to walk on?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2009, 09:25:47 AM »
I would be extremely surprised if your Jayco roof was not ok to walk on. The ladder was probably just an option on that model.  If it's a rubber roof, it has to have plywood backing underneath. Just be careful and note any flexing or soft spots. If in doubt, take some 2x2 plywood squares up with you and stand on them as you work.

Self-leveling caulk is not going to build up a thick bead - it is designed to flow out level (that's why they call it "self leveling"). Where do you want a 1/2 bead and why?

I gather you want to re-coat the entire roof?  Is the rubber completely worn away (the weave of the fabric is showing) or is this a cosmetic or precautionary measure?  You can use a generic product like Kool Seal or get one of the RV-specific products off the internet.   I'm not sure it makes much difference. Review the various Kool Seal products here: http://www.koolseal.com/
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL


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