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Old 01-23-2004, 02:53 PM   #1
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never been on the roof

Since this is my first A/S I have a question. I need to get up on roof and take off the a/c to repair it. With my SOB it was easy put a ladder up against and walk carefully on the roof with plywood down for additional support. I would appreciate any suggestions. I don't want to scratch/dent the sides or roof. HELP !

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Old 01-23-2004, 07:18 PM   #2
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There have been some posts on this. You can lash a padded cross board to a ladder as long as it crosses two or more frames. Some folks even talk about carefully stepping on frames while standing on the roof. Stay away from the end caps -- they dent way too easily and are very expen$ive to replace.

Air conditioners are very heavy -- it could take some special rigging. Probably two strong people and some rigging to take some of the load -- you won't be able to carry it as you're going down a ladder.
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:19 PM   #3
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Getting up on the roof of any Airstream trailer from 1969 on up is very easy with most 8 foot or better ladders.

Place the ladder against the "drip cap" of a side window, and go for it.

Walking on the roof "DOES NOT" require any special anything. Wear some type of non-slip shoes and that is all you need.

Many years ago, Airstream had a picture of a 30 foot trailer, with 20 (twenty) men standing on the roof, to demonstate the strength of the shell. They then put the trailer back through the water bath, and found zero leaks.

Walking on the roof is done by every Airstream mechanic that ever was. Obviously, you don't jump up and down, but you can walk any place on the roof you may want to, except for the end segments. Carpets, boards and the like are not necessary.

For safety reasons, DO NOT GET UP ON THE ROOF IF IT'S WET!!!!!!!! You will find the roof, when wet, becomes extremely slippery.

Airconditioner service, vent covers, TV antennas, sewer vent pipe covers, all require getting up on the roof. You will find that at "ANY" dealership, walking on the roof, is no big deal. It's done everyday.

Andy
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Old 01-24-2004, 12:22 PM   #4
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You know when we were at the factory, they showed us the aluminum "I" beams they use up there. It has been suggested that as long as you follow the rivet line up there, you are in good shape.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:22 PM   #5
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pre 69

Andy, you mention post 69. What's the difference with a pre 69 roof. Mine is '67. Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:35 PM   #6
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1968 and older trailers did not have drip caps.

Early 60's and older had a very soft metal cap that would bend at the slightest touch.

In those cases, use a carpet pad between the ladder and sheet metal.

In all cases, it's better to get up on the roof using the curb side. There is an awning rail or perhaps even an awning to help.

Andy
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Old 01-24-2004, 01:51 PM   #7
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I am from Missouri

Andy, with all due respect,
can you post photos of your mechanics standing between ribs on the roof? I spent a few hours on AS's and I will say that the skin will definitely DENT!!!!!!!!!!!!

And obviously, the weight of the person standing on it certainly is a factor.

I would suggest an ounce of prevention is in order

Show me the pictures

Smily
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Old 01-24-2004, 02:10 PM   #8
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Smily.

I must disagree.

I have walked on Airstream roofs since 1966.

I have yet to dent one. I weigh 200 pounds.

Monday I will post a couple of photos showing more than one person in a confined area of the roof, before, during and after, all without any damage.

If as you suggest, the metal will dent, then behold the next time you hit a good bump. If the metal and type construction is as weak as you suggest, then "every" Airstream that has been on the road, would look like wadded up aluminum foil.

It ain't so.

Andy
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Old 01-26-2004, 06:37 PM   #9
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Question

Gentlemen:

First of all, thanks for the quick and knowledgable replies to my previous posts.

We recently bought a 2001 Bambi from Sanders RV in Gainesville and had a Fantastic Fan installed in the front vent. Apparently the tech dented the roof just behind the flashing collar so that a small puddle forms there, about the size of your hand (but not the depth or thickness of it). We only checked the fan from inside when we took delivery.

The seal is tight and in good condition, no leaks, but I am not crazy about having water sit up against any seal. I was able to remove the trim inside and pop the dent out but it popped back.

We are planning to drop the trailer off this February as we will be going right by the dealership on our way back from Fort Myers, but I would like to handle this myself if I could. I have lots of tools, and am somewhat handy(-capped, so my wife says, like Rainman only I can't add) but don't want to make things worse.

Can anyone offer a suggestion that does not involve removing the sealant and vent, and is not likely to doink things up any worse?

BTW the vent flashing is sealed underneath with Sikaflex (grey) and above with a white painted-on sealer that looks like the typical latex RV roof paint. I'm not sure if it is, and I guess I need to know, (1) just what the white paint-on sealer is if it's not latex, and (2) if it is okay to touch up existing seals with the latex product - the seals, not the metal - for extra insurance.

Thanks,

James the Ignorant.
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Old 01-26-2004, 07:38 PM   #10
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Illusion

Hmmm, Maybe you are seeing things

Some say that Airstreams are stronger than aluminum foil.

I tend to agree, but to imply that Airstreams do not dent or are not damaged from mechanics walking on the roof is bunk!

I have seen many post on this forum that speaks to exactly that, damage from careless placement of weight on top of AS's

I still want to see photos and I would really love to see an endorsement that represents AS instructs Airstream repair facilities to walk freely on the roof of Airstreams.

I would bet my Henschen axles that AS definitely will not endorse such tactics.

Smily
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Old 01-29-2004, 02:19 AM   #11
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Re: Illusion

Quote:
Originally posted by smily
Hmmm, Maybe you are seeing things


I tend to agree, but to imply that Airstreams do not dent or are not damaged from mechanics walking on the roof is bunk!

I have seen many post on this forum that speaks to exactly that, damage from careless placement of weight on top of AS's

I still want to see photos and I would really love to see an endorsement that represents AS instructs Airstream repair facilities to walk freely on the roof of Airstreams.

I would bet my Henschen axles that AS definitely will not endorse such tactics.

Smily

Not sure I understand what is going on here Smiley. What possible motive would InlandAndy have to tell you anything but the truth about standing on the roof?
I can not find any of the posts that mention roof damage from walking up there. Where are a few of the ones you refer to?

I have always tried to stay on the cross rivets on top and that can make for some dangerous stretching or even slight leaping to get to the next row. Today I got up there and just walked and I was very nervous, especially around the airconditioner area.
There was definately more flex between the rivet lines but nothing stayed dented when I moved off of it.
I weigh 215#.

I guess Andy is not going to post those pictures but I have seen the old ad with all the factory workers and execs upon an Airstream roof.
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:15 AM   #12
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Straight from Airstream Website

I was taking the tour at Airstream and low and behold

read it for yourself.

Q: My friend accidentally put his foot through the roof of his trailer. This roof looks pretty strong.

A: Indeed it is. Airstreams are given extra strength by using structural I-beams and U channels. This added strength allows you to walk along the rivet lines on the roof of our trailers without worrying about "dropping in" on someone inside.

Hmmmmm

Now I am not here to debate with the gurus, but you can believe that walking around on the roof an Airstream is a roll of the dice if you are not staying on the rivet lines.

Smily
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:41 AM   #13
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After owning a 1989 Sunline trailer that has a wooden frame, and having a fondness for clean trailer even the roof, I had to make sure I always put my weight on a rafter when I walked on the roof. I now own a 1987 Sovereign and do the same thing, always making sure to step where the rivets line up. At least on the Airstreams the seams are easy to see, where as on my old one you had to feel around with your foot before you made a move.
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Old 02-18-2004, 12:27 PM   #14
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We ought to dispense with the back and forth, and simply agree that based on these message boards, it's rare that permanent damage occurs from standing on your A/S, but that if you have doubts, it's not a bad idea to rig up a couple ladders and a cross-bar. I would think this a more safe, comfortable and relatively inexpensive way to spend any significant time, be it polishing polishing, like this guy: http://www.winickdesign.com/Interest...shopboss-L.htm

He appears to have placed a moveable wooden work station out of about 8 2x4's and a piece of plywood for caulking, working on AC, roof vents, etc.

Looks great to me, who at 280 lbs. wouldn't want to take the chance - pictures, testamonies, whatever. Simply move the rig back and forth as you need to access various areas. Nothing could be more convenient for polishing, I'd think. Well, nothing except putting your whole Airstream like a pig on a spit, roasting over a fire!

Imagine the manual for that contraption...
"Folks, now you can access your belly pan or roof vents with a simple turn of the handle! Work on your Airstream from any angle, while sitting in the comfort of your lawn chair!"

Brad
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