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Old 11-10-2003, 12:26 PM   #1
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ceiling liner

I was hoping someone could help me with a problem I am having with the ceiling liner of my 96 Excella. The liner on the ceiling is falling down and is really beginning to be an eye-soar. Please let me know if you have any advice or if you have had a similar problem and what your solution was. Thanks
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Old 11-10-2003, 12:48 PM   #2
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This is a common issue with the padded headliner used for a few years. I have seen folks use a clear retainer with a screw to hold it in place. The only real fix is to remove the headliner and replace it. It is the glue failing that attaches the foam to the vinyl or the foam to the Aluminum sheet.
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Old 11-10-2003, 01:10 PM   #3
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I've been doing some research and so far have come up empty-handed, but do you know of anytime where Airstream did a recall on the ceiling liner if it really is such a problem for so many people? That would be very helpful, thanks.
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Old 11-15-2003, 09:52 AM   #4
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I also am having the same issue with my 96, the headliner is coming loose in several areas. In the spring I am going to attempt to inject some glue behind the headliner with a hypodermic needle. We used this method in the late 60's and early 70's to repair loose vinyl tops on cars and it worked well. The concern is will the insertion point show, and will we be able too inject enough glue for it to work. Will let you know once I try this in the spring, now is too cold.
Jim
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:05 AM   #5
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The problem with getting glue to stick to vinyl, is that flexible vinyl contains a plasticizer (liquid) which migrates to the surface and into the glue line, thus destroying the bond. Heat acelerates this process. The only glues that perform satisfactorily with vinyl are nitrile based. If I had this problem, I would:
remove the liner,
wash the vinyl with MEK
prime the vinyl with a solvent based primer
apply a contact cement adhesive
reapply the liner (timing is critical).
Hope this helps.
Dick
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Old 11-16-2003, 06:52 AM   #6
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Unhappy

The ceiling material is applied with a water base glue to keep plasticizers from attacking the adhesives. What ever adhesive you use would have to be one that would not attack the foam backing. Otherwise the end product would be one of dips ,valleys and hand prints.
The heat build up on top of the trailers can easily be over 120 degrees. This combined with the weight of the vinyl can over time cause the adhesive to fail or the foam backing to crumble.
Normally injecting glue behind the vinyl doesn't work because air can't get to area allowing the glue to cure.
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Old 11-16-2003, 09:30 AM   #7
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In order to remove the headliner requires the removal of all the upper cabinets, the curtains, and lights. The problem is the foam is no longer sticking to the aluminum in spots. It is not loose everywhere, some spots as small as a silver dollar and other areas as large as 6" x 16". If we try to remove the headliner we will destroy it where it is still attached.
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Old 11-16-2003, 03:23 PM   #8
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silverbullet 96,

What are you being told by the factory?

I heard a conversation by a WBCCI member that it is heat related? He led me to believe that a closed up unit that gets too hot will most likely develop this problem?
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Old 11-23-2003, 05:24 PM   #9
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I have talked to many folks and the factory about the headliner in my 95 30 ft. classic, and this is what I have learned.
- the only real long term solution advice from A/S is to remove and replace the aluminum backed foam/vinyl panels. ( or for the owner to somehow remove and replace the foam backed vinyl on the existing panels, too much of a job for me). The factory charge estimate was about $580/panel to do it by A/S. They take out interior cabs, etc and use new aluminum and glue foam backed vinyl to it.
-you can try spray adhesive such as 3M #76, but most people say it won't last. I did this on my bedroom panel and it has held for 2 months now, but I have not much faith in it staying up.
-the foam seems to get rotten at the glue line probably due to heat and moisture.
- I am looking at having the vinyl/foam removed from the alum by cutting around the cabs, etc, and scraping /solvent to remove the residue. Then have trim shop glue heavy/coarse headliner material to the clean aluminum. The result should be a permanent headliner like that in new hi -dollar motorhomes. An estimate for this is about $50/ft of trailer. This is still less than half the cost of new panels, and is permanent.
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Old 11-24-2003, 12:42 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for trying to help me out with my lining problem. I'm still looking for a recall so I wouldn't be out all this money to repair it. It just seems crazy if this many people have problems, why they wouldn't do something to help. Please keep letting me know of any solutions or anything you might have. Thanks Again
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Old 11-24-2003, 08:21 PM   #11
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Here is a minor ceiling problem with our 02 AS. From the ac and to the bathroom which is about 2 foot, when it gets really cold the aluminum pops and the ceiling gets flat. When I turn on the heat pump and the ceiling warms up it pops up rounded like the rest of the AS ceiling. I took out one of the lights and stuck my hand between the roof and ceiling only to find that there is nothing that holds the ceiling panel to the roof. I guess it is just the bend of the aluminum ceiling panel that keeps it's shape. One other thing, there sure is a lot of aluminum shavings between the roof and ceiling.
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Old 11-28-2003, 08:44 AM   #12
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I had no idea there is nothing between the lining and the ceiling, that could be a huge reason why my ceiling liner is sagging so badly. Do you know if it's the newer models only, or were all of them made this way? Thanks, you sure helped!
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Old 11-28-2003, 10:47 AM   #13
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Ya know that ceiling sag really bothered me, which by the way, was more like three feet from ac to the bathroom. The only thing I could find that keeps the ceiling in place is the cabinets and anything that is attached to the ribs or goes through the roof. Anyhow I glued a rubber spacer between the roof and sag in the ceiling where the interior ceiling panel has one of those interior white plastic seams. I placed the insulation back in place, and there was not much of that, like one inch thick. Well, it helped a little but still sags a wee bit when it gets really cold. Be carefull when you stick your hand between those panels, there are a lot of sharp edges and loose pieces up there.
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Old 11-28-2003, 01:39 PM   #14
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The interior skin is attached to the ribs as well as Z bars that run between the ribs and are fastened with pop rivets 8 to 10 inches apart. In between the ribs and Z bars are wires as well as the pink matt insulation.
The interior shape is the exact same as the exterior--from time to time the exterior skin expands and contracts as does the interior skin,this is due to changes in temperature. The secured aluminum has to expand when it heats up and can cause bulges in the skin.
The vinyl ceiling material is glued directly to the interior skin and will expand and contract with it.

Go to Jackson Center and take the tour, it is interesting.
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