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Old 01-20-2009, 07:53 AM   #1
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New white plastic roofs !

Hi Streamers...
My 2007 Bambi has a white plastic roof! When did Airstream go away from aluminum roofs? I was surprised when I got up there for the first wash... and abhorred at the messy job of puttying around the A/C and all the vents. Has anyone used aluminum tape to put flashing over the putty? I heard this can greatly extend the life of the putty and prevent it's drying out and cracking.
All opinions appreciated.
Phantom
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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The roofs have been white since they went to the wide body configuration in '95. They are not plastic. They are aluminum that have been painted/coated/laminated with a plastic like material during the manufacture of the aluminum sheet. The ugly chalking job on the vents has been noted by many customers. Luckily most people do not climb up there to see it. Putting Aluminum duct tape over the chalking would likely prevent it from drying out and aging due to sun exposure. I have used high quality 3M brand for up to 14 years to seal holes.
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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I think the white roof would reflect a lot of heat,I`m thinking of putting Elastameric
[mispelled] on my Overlander ,has anyone done this,and with what results?
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Old 01-20-2009, 08:35 AM   #4
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Ditto -- it's coated aluminum. The white keeps the inside cooler than bare metal. There have been any number of posts on owners of older Airstreams using an aftermarket product to coat their roofs. KoolSeal is commonly mentioned. I don't think I'd do it on the higher curved old vintage Airstreams.

On the quantity of caulk issue, I recently spied this at the factory from Google Earth. The sharp eyed reader will note the license plate saying, "Wednesday."
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Old 01-20-2009, 09:01 AM   #5
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We have that white roof on ours - we make sure to give it a good coat of Walbernize twice a year to prevent it from aging and then chalking.
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:57 PM   #6
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My white roof seems really soft and flexible. It does not feel like it is aluminum underneath. Is this your experience too? I can buckle it in out out with just my hand. What's up with that? Gina
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Old 08-04-2009, 06:31 AM   #7
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The newer white roofs ARE aluminum - we saw them at the factory and the purpose is to reflect heat. I think the literature claims 10-15% improvement in interior temperature with shite.
They do seem to be a thinner gauge than the sides though and care should be taken to walk or sit only on the structural ribs that run across the roof 9follow the lines of rivets) when you are up there doing maintenance.
We walbernize twice a year to prevent chalking as well.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easyride View Post
I think the white roof would reflect a lot of heat,I`m thinking of putting Elastameric
[mispelled] on my Overlander ,has anyone done this,and with what results?
Dave
Quote:
Originally Posted by CanoeStream View Post
Ditto -- it's coated aluminum. The white keeps the inside cooler than bare metal. There have been any number of posts on owners of older Airstreams using an aftermarket product to coat their roofs. KoolSeal is commonly mentioned. I don't think I'd do it on the higher curved old vintage Airstreams.

On the quantity of caulk issue, I recently spied this at the factory from Google Earth. The sharp eyed reader will note the license plate saying, "Wednesday."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve & Susan View Post
The newer white roofs ARE aluminum - we saw them at the factory and the purpose is to reflect heat. I think the literature claims 10-15% improvement in interior temperature with shite.
They do seem to be a thinner gauge than the sides though and care should be taken to walk or sit only on the structural ribs that run across the roof 9follow the lines of rivets) when you are up there doing maintenance.
We walbernize twice a year to prevent chalking as well.
I painted the roof of our Sovereign white, with interesting results.
I did this while we installed new air conditioners on both our and our friends' Sovereigns. Their roof was not painted white. Our roof was 10 degrees cooler with both trailers sitting side-by-side. The interior of our trailer was cooler as well, by 8 degrees. Our new 13,500 btu a/c seems to be as effective as their 15,000 btu a/c, so it would be worth considering, especially if you live and camp in areas in full sunlight.
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Old 08-06-2009, 02:26 AM   #9
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Anyone have pics they can post of what the white roofs look like on the newer models?

Mary
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:11 AM   #10
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? what is the best method of gaining access to the roof, without damaging the side of the unit.woppa4
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Old 08-06-2009, 05:56 AM   #11
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? what is the best method of gaining access to the roof, without damaging the side of the unit.woppa4
I lean a short extension ladder against the rolled up awning and climb on the roof. I wear a soft soled shoe (usually topsiders), stay on the ribs as much as possible. DO NOT step on the end caps. FWIW I am no lightweight either (220#)

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Old 08-06-2009, 07:05 AM   #12
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Woppa4 -

I use a ladder with towels wrapped around the tops of the uprights and lean against the rolled up awnings (we have streetside awning too).
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #13
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Airstream needs to find a better way of sealing roof openings. The caulk is a mess. It's so poorly applied that you would think a child did it with their fingers. It's thick in some spots and thin in others. I seriously don't get why they go on as usual using a technique that is only effective until the sun starts drying it out, it cracks and then potential leaking. Is this a case of industry standard,so why change? I thought improving the product was a good thing? Maybe use a rubber gasket similar to ones used to seal vent openings on a house roof. How often to you have to get on your roof to reseal the vents? Come on Airstream this is an area that needs rethinking and improvement. Don't just change the cosemetics with new designer models make improvements that truly matter to the buyer.
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Old 08-06-2009, 09:06 AM   #14
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I was in Alaska last week fishing with friends. We were in a Fleetwood Class C moho. Wish I had taken my camera up the ladder to look at the roof. The caulking was so very neat! It was as if they had masked with an adherent plastic sheet and pulled it off when they were done.
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