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Old 02-06-2013, 05:48 PM   #1
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Fall City , Washington
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How to work on the top of an airstream

I need to perform routine cleaning & maint. of my fantastic fan on our 2010 25' FC. Including replacing the plunger switch.
How can I best access the top either by bridging it or sheating it or what? I've obviously cleaned the top from the side on a ladder but never been on top of my airstream.

I would appreciate experienced advise on this.

Lou
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Old 02-06-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
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Bonita , California
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Lean a ladder on the awning spool and walk on the rivet line.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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I have a big block of foam that came as packing in something long ago. I lay that on the side of the trailer. I have a Little Giant ladder which I then rest on the foam block. I extend the ladder well above the height of the trailer so that I can just step off of the ladder on to the trailer. Stay on the ribs which are under the rivet lines. You can tell instantly if you put your weight down and it is not on a rib. Be careful, especially coming down.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:04 PM   #4
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MAKE absolutely sure someone knows you're up there. It can be very slippery and if you take a tumble it could be disastrous.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:25 PM   #5
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Mercer Island , Washington
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MAKE absolutely sure someone knows you're up there. It can be very slippery and if you take a tumble it could be disastrous.
Yes, bring a phone in case the ladder slips!
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:56 PM   #6
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Beaumont , Texas
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I've washed the roof by walking thr rivet line. Very slippery. Other maint. required placing a piece of plywood accross the rivet line and working off it. The roof still soundes like you are crushing a beer can. After removing the plywood the roof looked normal.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:30 PM   #7
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hound View Post
I need to perform routine cleaning & maint. of my fantastic fan on our 2010 25' FC. Including replacing the plunger switch.
How can I best access the top either by bridging it or sheating it or what? I've obviously cleaned the top from the side on a ladder but never been on top of my airstream.

I would appreciate experienced advise on this.

Lou
1) The only truly soft areas are the front and rear end cap; stay off them.

2) You get up to the top by leaning a ladder against the side with suitable padding where the ladder contacts the shell. I use old towels held in place on the ladder with electrical tape. Be sure the ladder extends at least 3 rungs over the roof so you can hold onto it to keep your balance.

3) Once you're on the roof, you can step anywhere there's a rivet.

4) Safety is a major concern, use the buddy system, be sure of the ladder and the stability of the ground it contacts.
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:54 PM   #8
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I us a combination of everything Jammer said AND I have Olie's piece of plywood (actually 2 of them) which are large enough to span 2 ribs plus a bout 8". I use the wood for sitting and kneeling.

Also, it is worth buying good deck shoes, made for slick boat decks. The "stickier" the better.
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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2010 25' FB Flying Cloud
Fall City , Washington
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Accessing the roof

You've all got more courage than I have. I can just see my #10 shoe putting a big dent in one of the panels.

I appreciate all your advice and will use a padded ladder on the awning roller and padded plywood on top.

thanks a lot for the help.

Lou
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Old 02-07-2013, 12:38 AM   #10
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At 6'-4" and 285 lbs. I am not getting on the top of mine.
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Old 02-07-2013, 02:08 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hound View Post
I need to perform routine cleaning & maint. of my fantastic fan on our 2010 25' FC. Including replacing the plunger switch.
How can I best access the top either by bridging it or sheating it or what? I've obviously cleaned the top from the side on a ladder but never been on top of my airstream.

I would appreciate experienced advise on this.

Lou
Hi, I have been up there a few times. I use a mover's blanket thrown onto the top side of my trailer to cover where I plan to lean my ladder. Because of how my trailer sits in my driveway, I have to go up on the street side. I lean my ladder on the awning rail.

True story: I had to go up top to replace my Fantastic Vent plunger switch. I removed it so I could match it up with a new one. When I came down, I decided to take my ladder down too because it was based on my neighbors property. I laid my ladder down in my driveway, behind my trailer. I then went into my garage to put a tool away. Walking from my garage, and down my driveway, behind my trailer, I heard a big boom and my trailer started rocking like crazy. My first thought was that some idiot drove a truck up my driveway and hit my trailer. But in reality it was a 5.0 Earthquake. I was just on top of my trailer no longer than 5 minutes before the Earthquake hit.
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Old 02-07-2013, 05:08 AM   #12
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Venice , Florida
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I replaced all 3 vents and covers and never had to actually get on the roof. I leaned the ladder against the sides and could reach over half way across the roof so I never needed to climb on it. It takes a little stretching, but it's worth it to not damage the rivets.
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Old 02-07-2013, 06:28 AM   #13
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I use three or four 1 x 6 pine boards about 5' long depending on where I need to access. I run them parallel to the awning on the curbside and the awning acts as a stop to keep them from sliding off. They are long enough to span two to three ribs that way and their width allows for better distribution of the weight to the curvature of the top of the trailer. I do my best to not go up there but sometimes it is necessary.
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:43 AM   #14
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Eventually....someday....when I retire and get my place with a barn, I will buy some scaffolding, spend some time modifying it for all rooftop activity. Or, if I build, I may put in a "lowered ceiling" area kind of like the A/C, vent, skylight, etc. install area at JC.
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