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Old 11-11-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Portsmouth , Virginia
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Check one item off the list, roof is sealed up with Ceramiflex

One of the jobs I wanted to do on this trailer before the weather got too cold was to clean up the mess on the roof and get it sealed up. I had read on the Airstream Forums that folks were using a material called "Ceramiflex" made by the Sealoflex company that is described as "a water borne single component roof & wall coating" to help seal up any potential leaks as well as make the trailer cooler in summer by reflecting radiant energy. It is an elastomeric compound (it stretches with the expansion and contraction) and contains minute ceramic particles to help reflect light. Needless to say it isnt cheap and isnt available at the local HD or Lowes.


I ordered up a 5 gallon bucket which was the smallest size available from a local roofing materials distributor in Norfolk. With shipping it came a bit shy of 200 bucks. Ouch. But hopefully it will be money well spent. Then I waited till the weather would cooperate. Luckily, this weekend turned out to be perfect. Temps in the 60's and 70's in November. So I started in earnest Saturday morning to get the roof ready for the coating. Like all painting jobs, most of the work is in preparation, this was no exception.


To say the PO (previous owner) was caulk happy would be an understatement. Worse, he used silicone caulk which is the wrong material for aluminum. He had dabbed a nice sized dollup on just about every rivet on top as well as the joints around the 3 air vents and all around the AC unit. I also knew that the two plumbing vent covers needed to come off and get reworked. They are aluminum castings that cover the plastic pipe and use a rubber seal tight to the pipe that prevents any water going down and getting in between the walls and rotting the floor.


Front vent:


Rear vent, lotsa lovely old caulk.


Rear roof vent, old silicone caulk on top of even older vulkem which was the original caulking.


Antenna mount, at least what's left of it, more caulk.


So I went to work with a screwdriver, a heat gun and my corded drill with a wire wheel. For getting the silicone off the rivets, nothing beats the wire wheel. If I was polishing the roof, then it would be a big no no, but for coating it then it was a big time-saver and exposed the whole rivet nicely. I also used it around the roof vents an on the remains of the antenna rest which I was able to remove. I did intend to remove the remaining parts of the antenna mount, but the aluminum sheet I bought at HD was not big enough to cover the potential hole. That part of the job will have to be put off till later when I can get a larger piece.


I also noticed lots of dabs of silicone all around the base of the now exposed AC unit. This AC is not original to the camper but is about 20 years old nonetheless. Turns out they were all previous drilled holes and had been sealed up with a dab of silicone on each one. Rather than rely on a caulk or this new coating to do all the work, I ended up drilling out each a bit and put a 3/16 pop rivet in each one. Pop rivets are fairly tight little buggers and should seal out any water with the new coating on top.


New rivets all around:


The prep work took all of my first day and ran into the second day. Luckily the weather was even warmer today, up into the 70's. My first order of business was to finish up the two plumbing stack vent covers. Previously I had wire-brushed both and cleaned off all the old caulking. One post I read on airforums mentioned filing a channel on the bottom to allow water to drain out. I used a small milling machine to cut a small slot in each casting. I also used some caulk on the inside to hold a small section of screening in to keep bugs out. New stainless screws replaced all the steel screws previously used. Why on earth anybody would use steel screws on an aluminum camper is beyond me. Using some sheet rubber squares from the local HW store, I cut a hole a bit smaller than the 2" OD pipe and slid it over the pipe. I then drilled a couple of holes in the rubber as indexes and slid the vents over and drilled the other 4 holes. A bit of caulk on each hole before the screws went in should seal them up nicely.


Prior to trimming the excess rubber:


Trimmed up and caulked. You can also see the cleanups on all the rivet heads.


Last part of the prep work was to tape for a sharp outline. I decided to round over the corners to keep with the theme:




The rest of the story is painting. This material reminds me of white ceiling paint, VERY EXPENSIVE ceiling paint. First coat was thin, and I had to go out and get a new roller cover, the old one left a poor finish. The instructions call for 2 coats to achieve an 18mil thickness. I probably have about 3 on my roof. Cure time is 24 hours, depending on ambient humidity. Tomorrow should be dry so I think all will be fine.


Front looking back:

Back end of the camper:

Looking forward. You can see the old antenna mount and whatever is next to it still covered in silicone goop, waiting for me when I get some aluminum sheeting:


While I was removing the AC cover, I leaned against it a bit too hard and the plastic easily cracked. It actually cracked a bit more as I tried tried to get it off. To add insult to injury, I poked a bit at a spot on the evaporator fins and they crumbled to little bits. Something tells me we may be putting in a new AC unit in the near future, though this one still works.


That's it for now. Next big job is the axles. I've already gotten some of the parts in, and should be heading down to NC to pick them up after Thanksgiving. Thanks for reading.

Bob
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Nice job. How much of the 5 gallons did it take?
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Nice job. How much of the 5 gallons did it take?
Not a whole lot really. Maybe a gallon and a half if that much. They pack it in a plastic bag inside the 5 gallon pail so it's hard to see exactly how much is gone.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Looks good!
Did you do anything to the main skin of the roof to help adhesion?
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyair View Post
Looks good!
Did you do anything to the main skin of the roof to help adhesion?
Most of the work was removing all the existing silicone caulk which was done with a wire wheel on a portable drill. Other than that, I went over most of the surface with a sanding sponge to rough it up a bit (good amount of roughness already due to 40 years of wind and acid rain) and used a broom and compressed air to blow off all the particles remaining from the old caulk. I didnt want to use any water since I was fairly sure it would get inside all the prep work I had done. The product is advertised as not needing any priming and only a clean dry surface to adhere to.
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:01 AM   #6
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Looks very nice, hope it works as well as it looks. Please report back on how well it seals it up and if it seams cooler in the hot sun.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:39 AM   #7
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Since we only got this camper recently, will be hard to tell how the white roof will affect the temps in the Summer, we have no previous experience with it in that respect. Between the roof and sealing up the plumbing vents and recaulking the windows, I'm hoping I wont see any interior leaks, but time will tell. I still need to get up on the roof and pull out the remnants of the antenna system and patch/paint that area. Probably that wont happen till springtime or when I get some warmer weather.
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Old 11-26-2012, 01:00 PM   #8
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Ok, good info.
I will need to reseal my vents and some joints.
My antenna was gone too, just leaving the junk base up there...
This was all that was left..



In the process of replacing it with a Winegard Sensar IV, and was luck that the base of it covered the original mounting plate and holes....
.



My roof is well weathered too, but feels kinda dusty, and judging by the runoff on the polished sides its gonna need a good scrub and key for coating.



I was panning to use Henry Envirowhite, but was unsure if it would need an undercoat too.
Local Home Depot caries it at just over $110 for the 5 gallon can, so I will check out the stuff you used too.
687 Enviro White Premium White Roof Coating | Henry.com
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Old 12-08-2012, 05:35 PM   #9
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Curious...do people do this Ceramiflex paint on late model year AS?
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irm View Post
Curious...do people do this Ceramiflex paint on late model year AS?
Sorry to take so long to respond, just saw that there was a response. Short answer as far as I can tell is yes, any trailer that doesn't already have some sort of coating would be a good candidate. Ceramiflex is not the only coating you can use, there are quite a few others. Whatever you use, make sure it has some sort of elastomeric quality so that it will stretch when the skin expands.
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Old 06-23-2013, 06:38 AM   #11
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This may have been mentioned before, but those airstream aluminum(open top and rubber gasket) plumbing vent covers are a bad design in my opinion- a cheap and reliable fix that I did on my '93 years ago, is to buy some of those cheap rv plumbing vent plastic caps with the expanding clips and put them over each one- they fit snug but let air in /out, but no way they can really leak, if you make sure they stay on.
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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Looking cool, staying cool up on the roof

Recently I picked up a NIB Dometic low profile penquin AC unit for the airstream. The existing coleman unit didnt seem to do the trick with temps hitting the 90's so I called on a local CL ad for this particular unit and struck a deal about two weeks ago.

Replacing the unit was fairly straightforward, 4 bolts and disconnect the 110 from the coleman and it was just a case of prying it off the old foam that was stuck on fairly tight. A friend came over in the afternoon and helped me lower the old unit down and slide the new one up a ramp made of 2x4's up to the roof. We used a small section of plywood to preserve the top of the trailer.




As you can see, there was a large spot that wasnt covered with the ceramiflex last year. So I decided to fix that yesterday. In the spirit of while you're up on the roof, I decided to fix the problem with the remnants of the old antenna system as well. Last year I left it like this since I didnt have a piece of aluminum to patch it. Now that I have quite a bit of extra sheet material, I figured it was time.

This is what I started with:




Patched up:




Painted over with the ceramiflex:




Also painted by the new ac:




So while I was working up on the roof, It was really apparent that there was quite a temperature differential on the painted portion vs. the bare aluminum. I could comfortably put my hand on the ceramiflex part, but the bare aluminum was painful. The other thing I noticed is that the roof is several shades darker over the 6 months since I first did the job. So today I got up there again and scrubbed it all down as best I could. Later today or early tomorrow I'm going back up and will recoat it again to bring it all back to one shade. I'm also going to extend the coverage to the top of the awning on the street side of the trailer which should help the heat situation even more. It will make it a bit more visible from ground level, but at this stage I'll favor function over form.

Finally since we are talking cool, I remounted the old rock guard that I replaced the acrylic panels on. 80 bucks for the plastic if you dont count the one panel I cracked and had to go back for another small piece. But she looks like she's wearin Foster Grants now...

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Old 06-30-2013, 10:56 AM   #13
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Bob, I want to do the ceramiflex on a 77 overlander and would like to apply down to the top of windows to cover sun damage and lack of clear coat. Is the
ceramiflex too thin as to run down the sides of the trailer during application?, and is a foam roller used in the application? Thanks.
Ken
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Old 07-01-2013, 04:27 AM   #14
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Ken

You can treat it like any other water based paint. It wont run and I applied it with a standard short nap roller. Figure on two coats minimum for coverage. It's kind of a rough textured flat finish so I dont know that I would want it showing that low on the side of the trailer, but it would stick just fine.
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