Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-24-2006, 09:03 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
telluride , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
Getting on top of my Airstream...?

...I've searched the forums and not found the answer to this one. How can I get on top of my lovely Silver Bullet (76 Sovereign Land Yacht) to seal seams without damaging her? Her skin is so very soft!

janars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2006, 11:22 PM   #2
Site Team
Janet H's Avatar

1964 26' Overlander
1964 19' Globetrotter
Eastern , Washington
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 12,559
Images: 90
Try these links. this topic has been discussed several times - still, it takes some fortitude to go there....

1964 Overlander | '08 Touareg V6
Current Project: 1964 Globetrotter

Let's have a polishing party: I'll supply the trailer and buffing supplies. BYOB (bring your own buffer)

AirForums Custom Search
Janet H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 04:35 AM   #3
Rivet Master
enduroryda's Avatar
1994 21' Sovereign
Down on the corner... , CT
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 994
Images: 9
I pulled our truck up close to the street side...stood on top of the cab and got on that way. Stay on the ribs! Good luck
enduroryda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 06:43 AM   #4
Old Paint, rolling again.
sfixx's Avatar
1973 Argosy 20
Lorain County , Ohio
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 556
Images: 12
on a hot tin roof!

Originally Posted by janars
...How can I get on top of my lovely Silver Bullet...
Everybody agrees that once up on the roof you must stay on the ribs, but getting up is the problem. Standing on top of your tow vehicle may give that vehicle a dent in the roof!

What I do is lean an extension ladder up against the gutter over the entrance door. It's a very strong part and with someone weighing down the low end of the ladder I am able to get safely over the curved side and up to the peak. The ladder needs to be at a bit of an angle to accomplish this and the metal to metal is slippery so put a rubber car mat between the ladder and the gutter.

Best of luck,

Have you never questioned those who travel? Have you paid no regard to their accounts- Job 21:29
sfixx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 06:57 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Pick's Avatar
1972 31' Sovereign
High Springs , Florida
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 2,310
Images: 36
Send a message via AIM to Pick
I use an extension ladder against the awning, towards the front. Make sure the awning is tight against the skin. I have a Care Free, not a Zip Dee awning. Not sure of a Zip Dee's strength. Step ladders are dangerous, too easy to "kick out" in my opinion.
2003 GMC 2500HD 4X4 D/A Ext. Cab
Propane Powered Honda EU2000i
Lots of Hot Sauce!
Air # 283
WBCCI 1350
Pick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 07:27 AM   #6
Rivet Master
rebel beck's Avatar
1975 31' Sovereign
Oxford , Mississippi
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 870
Images: 35
I did all the reseal last spring and the best way for us was we rented 4 sections of scaffoling for a week I then went and bought 2 12 ft boards from a lumber salvage yard. I set the scaffoling up on each side and ran the boards across the top of the trailer. Worked great for us and no damage to the top.
75 Sovereign (Peppy)
03 Chevy HD (lil Peppy)
Air# 9552
rebel beck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 08:52 AM   #7
jcanavera's Avatar

2004 30' Classic Slideout
Fenton , Missouri
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 9,023
Images: 143
Send a message via AIM to jcanavera Send a message via Skype™ to jcanavera
I went up for the first time a few weeks ago and it's no picnic. While the riveted areas are very strong, they are not very wide either. I went up to check a leaking front skylight and with the competition from the TV antenna, it's very easy to step into a non riveted area.

Bottom line it's one thing to get up there, another to try to perform some work. The suggestion to get a working platform up over the top seems the best way to safely work up there. In the meantime I took the trailer to the dealership who is now removing the skylight and doing a reseal of it.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
jcanavera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2006, 11:05 AM   #8
1 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
telluride , Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 9
Thanks for all the quick and helpful replies! I think I'll try the extension ladder thing, I agree that the stepladder does tend to "kick out" too much. And I'll get a little help from my friends...
janars is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 02:48 PM   #9
4 Rivet Member
BB 55 Bubble's Avatar
1955 16' Bubble
Bend , Oregon
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 254
House roof

I did some work on my roof by backing up the trailer allong the eve of my buddys house that was about the same height as the trailer then with some manuvering I was able to get to all of the areas I needed. JUST BE CAREFULL, My trailer is only 16 feet and I can move on the pavement by hand. Do not turn your polish job into a pannel replacement party.
I plan to brining the trailer to the station here and do some "training" on the ladder truck so I can polish the top. That might not be a option to all.
Ever notice an Airstream resembles a piggy bank
BB 55 Bubble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 03:24 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
AZstreamin's Avatar
2005 30' Safari
Chandler , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 497
Images: 4
This is not recommended

Our last outing... while filling with diesel in Flagstaff a 50 or 60 mph gust came thru.. My rear roof vent (which was closed tight) blew off!! Would you believe sun rot, and I park in covered parking! So after chasing it across the parking lot, I suddenly realized...hmmm good thing it’s not raining. So now you know the why I needed to get on my roof....This however will be the example of how not to get on your roof... I remember reading some time back only stand on rivets while on the roof (that's where the ribs are) So I took out my 8 foot ladder and recruited a hand to hold it and placed the ladder parallel to the rear bumper.. Climbed up and very carefully boosted myself onto the roof without putting any weight on the end cap... I'm in pretty good shape but this is very tricky. So that is the easy part. To get down, I sat on the edge of the white roof where to end cap starts... feet hanging over the end cap, again carefully not putting any weight on the end cap and put a tip toe on the top step of the ladder. If you have ever done dips...this is a dip but 9 feet up. Not recommended. So I safely achieved my dismount and then realized.. opps.. forgot the damn duck tape on the roof.. So I did it all over again. One last time this is not the recommend method to mount the roof.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."- Mark Twain

AZstreamin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 03:53 PM   #11
Rivet Master
GlenCoombe's Avatar
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Belleview , Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 1,635
Images: 27
BB55, you're not the guy I saw this summer down at Brookings with the sat. dome and A/C on the roof are you??? Something tells me that it was a newer 16'er. I had to take a pic with my phone to record it but forgot to wipe the lens cover off.... very poor photo.
I was going to post it with a title that said "who says you can't take it with you."
Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
GlenCoombe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 04:48 PM   #12
Rivet Master
Becky B.'s Avatar

1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,631
Images: 19
I've been up there lots of times repairing caulk & polishing. I use an 8 ft. step ladder. I set it next to the door, steps facing toward the rear. I use the awning as a balance (no weight put on it, really) and hop on the other side of the awning. I stay on the rivets while working up there & never go on the endcaps (I know I read about this & Andy from Inland tells how to do it as well). The endcaps are "like eggshells" he said. My husband & son who both weigh between 185 & 200 lbs also have been up there w/o any problem.

1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 04:50 PM   #13
Rivet Master
Becky B.'s Avatar

1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,631
Images: 19
Oh, I did forget to say that I usually have someone around to hold the ladder and if there isn't anyone, I take my cellphone in my pocket in case of a wipeout!

1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 08:37 PM   #14
Rivet Master
1973 31' Sovereign
Portland , Oregon
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,245
Images: 22
I have one of those folding aluminum ladders that can be opened up into various positions. For getting up on top I leave it folded in half and lean it against the side. I have used two pieces of foam pipe insulation from Home Depot to put around the parts of the ladder that come in contact with the body. I usually lean it against the awning rail. For repairs near the sides I have been able use my ladder as a normal a-shape step lader with good results.

When up on top I find it very usefull to use soft rubber knee pads. It makes the work more comfortable, they have good traction and the surface is protected. I stay near the ribs but otherwise have not had any problems and I weigh in at about 240lbs.


malconium is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Skylight part question ColtSAA45 Roof Vents, Skylights & Fans 3 04-22-2004 08:05 PM
My dumb question about holding tanks JaceBeck Our Community 6 12-07-2002 01:22 AM
Dumb question - 345LE - does the gennie charge the auto battery? williamhenshall General Motorhome Topics 6 08-26-2002 05:49 AM
Battery Dead/Power jack question jcanavera Jacks, Stabilizers, Lifting and Leveling 34 08-16-2002 01:51 PM
Tire sizing question casarodante Tires 5 07-02-2002 10:19 PM

Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:03 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.