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Old 06-25-2015, 06:06 PM   #1
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Savannah , Georgia
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Roof patch solution?

I am in the planning stage of a full restoration/modernization of a 66 overlander. After inspecting the roof I found a large (3x4') patch made of a thin aluminum sheet which was sealed with a white sealer reinforced with a fiber material and secured with screws. The patch is covering the area used for the AC. The two roof vents were sealed using the same method. The stove vent as well as the plumbing vents have been removed and sealed as well.

My questions are; what is the best method to attack the large roof patch? How should I remove the white sealer? Are the missing roof vents available?

Also, the roof seams have some corrosion on the inside of the trailer. What is this a sign of, I'm guessing a leak, and what is the solution?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:44 AM   #2
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Pictures would help.

You should have lots of options. Removal of whatever is there, is likely just elbow grease and time. You can try different solvents to see if any work. Plastic razor blades are nice to have when cleaning up old sealant.

Patches are pretty easy- if you want to just do a better job. Buy your 2024 T3 Alclad aluminum from someplace like Aircraftspruce.com. Search for and learn how to work with solid rivets, aka bucked rivets. Vintage Trailer supply carriers rivets that match, as well as all the tools to install. Rivet gun would be the most expensive component, but you can get them on ebay or other places for cheaper. If you're doing a restoration, you'll need it.

AC installation requirements are pretty standardized these days, so if you're putting in an AC, you'll probably still use some patching to prepare for the proper size opening and then you'll need to reinforce appropriately. Lots of threads on reinforcing the roof for AC (the old ones mounted different than the new ones)

For your vents- if you dont patch them, you can probably find someone on ebay selling the ones they took out if you want original- just watch for them and they come up now and then. Otherwise, many of us are upgrading to a more modern vent such as the Fantastic Fan or the Maxx Air Maxxfan. I personally have used both, and I feel the Maxxfan Deluxe is far superior to the FF. The only downside to using the newer vent options, is they are plastic as opposed to the original aluminum. However, I got over that and considered the upgraded options a tradeoff favoring features over construction material. And if the plastic doesnt last, I can easily replace it to be new again, but I believe both Mfrs stand behind their product for life.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-26-2015, 09:59 AM   #3
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Mixter's post has lots of good info. The aluminum thickness you want is .032"
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Old 06-26-2015, 10:32 AM   #4
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A couple of thoughts:

I assume the PO removed the original AC unit, and applied the patch. These old ACs original usually used an odd sized hole, and were riveted/screwed to the roof around the perimeter of the unit, which created a zillion holes when removed. So if you want to install another modern AC unit, you might just want to leave that patch in place, but replace the screws with bucked rivets, and trim the sealants back to the edgeof the patch, and maybe re-goop with some vulkem. That is, if the patch is made of quality aluminum, and not something random (as described above).

I would be willing to bet something similar happened with the vents. Some previous owner may have removed the factory vents and installed some kind of Fantastic Fan (which requires a larger hole than the original vent). The next owner gets it, finds the fans/vents leaking, and decides to just remove them and patch them over. My point is, that before you spend too much time and money trying to source the original vents, you will need to make sure the vent holes haven't been enlarged to accept a fan of some kind.

good luck!
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Old 06-26-2015, 01:22 PM   #5
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Great responses. Thanks for the info.
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