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-   -   Headliner Sagging (https://www.airforums.com/forums/f39/headliner-sagging-40416.html)

Deb55 06-14-2009 03:28 PM

This seems to be a thread destined to live forever...I am about to start on my section of sagging headliner in the bedroom. I think the endcap leaked at some point in the past and caused the glues to fail. I've recaulked the outside but now we are out of the desert and, in super rainy Maine, the panel is sagging bad. My questions are: What to use to remove the old water based glue from the ceiling?
Where to find matching white vinyl-leathery looking Airstream headliner?

Any help would be appreciated!

Lucy749 07-01-2009 07:50 AM

Thank you everyone who posted through this thread! Topics are very pertinent! Our '94 Excella has a droopy ceiling and sad, although somewhat newer, drapes. Your help is invaluable.

Lucy749

Gene 07-01-2009 09:06 AM

I inherited a 1985 Oldsmobile in 1995 and it had a sagging headliner—cloth with foam backing. I tried to reglue it, but it failed fairly quickly. So we had to bite the bullet and get the whole thing redone. Though the Olds headliner was cloth, not vinyl, the principal is the same, and I think Andy has it right, it has to be completely redone.

The Olds is long gone—sold in 1999 after we put another 40,000 miles on it. It was the worst car we ever owned.

Gene

coolbikeman 08-28-2010 06:52 PM

I am looking at a 1995 Excella Classic 34' to purchase. There is the beginning of the ceiling vinyl starting to sag. I called the Airstream factory to get an estimate as to how much it would cost to redo the ceiling liner. Should get a call back monday Aug. 30, 2010 by the service adviser.

I am trying to get feedback as to whether the anticipated high cost of replacement is worth it or not? If Airstream does replace the liner, is there any guarantee that this same problem won't occur several years down the road? Has Airstream come up with a for sure fix for this problem, such as in their newest models? I wouldn't want to pay $100,000 for a new Airstream and have the ceiling start to come down in a few years.

I know this is a very old thread, but hope there are still people viewing that have experienced getting the entire ceiling replaced.

Thanks

Terry

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In (Post 586126)
According to Airstream, the cause of the material drooping, is the failure of the adhesive.

Back then the Feds demanded that a water base adhesive be used.

In time, it was determined that that was a big joke.

We all have seen automobiles with defective paint jobs from that same era. The clear coat finish on those vehicles, as mandated by the Feds, was also water based.

Water based adhesives, will fail in time.

The fix, unfortunately, is to remove the wall covering, and then remove the old adhesive.

New wall covering material should be used, since some of the bad adhesive is on it as well.

During the warranty period, Airstream also provided new wall coverings and instructed dealers to throw away the original coverings.

Common sense says that "all" the old adhesive must be remove from everything. The problem was and still is, that removing the adhesive properly and completely from the foam that's on the back side of the wall covering, is impossible.

Like so many other things, starting all over, from the very beginning, is the only long term real answer.

Such is the case with that vinyl wall covering.

Needless to say, the water based adhesive and paint idea, was scrapped years ago.

Andy
Andy


Inland RV Center, In 08-28-2010 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolbikeman (Post 888298)
I am looking at a 1995 Excella Classic 34' to purchase. There is the beginning of the ceiling vinyl starting to sag. I called the Airstream factory to get an estimate as to how much it would cost to redo the ceiling liner. Should get a call back monday Aug. 30, 2010 by the service adviser.

I am trying to get feedback as to whether the anticipated high cost of replacement is worth it or not? If Airstream does replace the liner, is there any guarantee that this same problem won't occur several years down the road? Has Airstream come up with a for sure fix for this problem, such as in their newest models? I wouldn't want to pay $100,000 for a new Airstream and have the ceiling start to come down in a few years.

I know this is a very old thread, but hope there are still people viewing that have experienced getting the entire ceiling replaced.

Thanks

Terry

The "proper fix" has not changed, nor has it's great expense.

Andy

Lucy749 08-29-2010 09:09 AM

Droopy ceiling
 
With our '94 Excella's delaminating ceiling, we turned to the sage advice of veteran AirForums members. The problem began with poor quality adhesive reportedly due to new Federal restrictions at the time; however, this problem is not just limited to AS 1994-95 trailers.

Our trailer's "bubble" sat from just above the streetside window up to and around the Fantastic Fan in the bedroom. We removed everything from the room which was not riveted down, and then spread drop cloths over the flooring. Limited workspace in which to move around in, neck kinks, and tired arms were my husband's nemeses as he first razored the vinyl off with the dry, powdery foam liner which. Dave invested a $40 paint breathing mask, 5 aerosol spray paint remover cans, and many quarts of acetone.

After cutting down the vinyl, he used a putty-like blade and scraped the remaining debris off. Dave scraped down to the aluminum ceiling. Next, he "washed" the ceiling with acetone to remove all particles. Finally, when he was finished completely, Dave and I decided we liked the whole ceiling bare.

Somewhere I have photos, if you'd like to see the stages, but I'm sure you have the idea that it is not a task for the faint of heart. Time consuming, yes. Rewarding, yes. Easy, no.

Earlier this summer, we sold our '95 30' Excella, and the gentleman remarked how much he liked the celing bare! That's my story.

All the best with your new-to-you AS; the Forums rock!!

Aviator 08-29-2010 02:44 PM

The ceiling in our 1997 was drooping badly. It had even pulled away from on of the trim pieces enough to leave a gap when you held it back in place. We had seen a couple of Airstreams which have had the ceiling screwed back up with caps on the screw heads. (Think upholstered look).

When we joined the Georgia WBCCI, we found out that Warren Fore, the club president does the work and does it very well.

I am sure if Coolbikeman and Warren were at the same rally, Warren would be happy to do the ceiling.

You should be able to contact him through the "Top of Georgia" website.

coolbikeman 08-29-2010 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In (Post 888328)
The "proper fix" has not changed, nor has it's great expense.

Andy

Thanks Andy for the quick answer. My other question I asked in my first message was whether replacing the headliner with the newest adhesive and liner materials would be a "permanent fix"? I wouldn't want to pay to have it replaced and then have to do it again several years down the road. Any advice on this? I may need to call your service center to ask more questions. I browsed quite a bit of you website the other day and there is a lot of information there about Airstreams.

Thanks

Terry

coolbikeman 08-29-2010 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aviator (Post 888579)
The ceiling in our 1997 was drooping badly. It had even pulled away from on of the trim pieces enough to leave a gap when you held it back in place. We had seen a couple of Airstreams which have had the ceiling screwed back up with caps on the screw heads. (Think upholstered look).

When we joined the Georgia WBCCI, we found out that Warren Fore, the club president does the work and does it very well.

I am sure if Coolbikeman and Warren were at the same rally, Warren would be happy to do the ceiling.

You should be able to contact him through the "Top of Georgia" website.


Thanks for the tip, AVIATOR. Maybe if I buy this one I am looking at, I can look him up.

Terry

coolbikeman 08-30-2010 09:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by starfire104 (Post 611814)
We also had this problem. We took it all down and had it reholstered $2500 later, it looks new and it should . I need to know about replacing the draperies, our are rotten and look bad. That is a lot of sewing, all those pleats...any suggestions where to go?

Hello Starfire,

I tried to send you an email thinking that would be the quickest way to contact you. Don't see where there have been any messages sent to you in my message sent section. So, I will try posting on the forum.

I was wondering where you had your Airstream ceiling replaced? That is much cheaper than having it done at the Airstream factory. Also, do you know if the material used will not have this same problem say in another 15 years or less? I just don't want to have to spend the money more than once. I am looking at a 1995 Excella 34' that is starting to show the sagging ceiling in one spot.

Thanks,

Terry

Inland RV Center, In 08-31-2010 01:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coolbikeman (Post 888827)
Hello Starfire,

I tried to send you an email thinking that would be the quickest way to contact you. Don't see where there have been any messages sent to you in my message sent section. So, I will try posting on the forum.

I was wondering where you had your Airstream ceiling replaced? That is much cheaper than having it done at the Airstream factory. Also, do you know if the material used will not have this same problem say in another 15 years or less? I just don't want to have to spend the money more than once. I am looking at a 1995 Excella 34' that is starting to show the sagging ceiling in one spot.

Thanks,

Terry

Terry.

The foam backed material was fine.

The entire problem rested with the Feds making Airstream use a "water based adhesive". It's the adhesive that failed.

Unfortunately, in order to correct the problem, all traces of the old adhesive must be removed. Then and only then, can you use a good adhesive with the same foam backed wall covering.

Andy

godaddy64 03-10-2011 03:41 PM

This thread won't go away because the problem keeps cropping up to new owners. Count me in the "take-it-all-off-with-a-stripper" crowd. I can't wait to see that bare aluminum skin... pun intended.:brows:

Which brings me to the old chemistry question: What's the best remover of old adhesive? Acetone? One search of mine turned up a reference to a citrus-based adhesive remover called "Rapid Remover." Has anyone here tried it or a comparable product?

Thanks!

Bluto 03-10-2011 04:35 PM

Just from what I have read on the subject, it seems as though the aluminum inside the trailers which was originally covered at the factory, is not as good quality as the stuff they leave bare on some trailers. In other words, don't expect the same quality of finish after you clean it up. I'm fairly certain less care was taken with the interior aluminum that was scheduled to be covered as compared to the trailers that have the bare aluminum interior walls and ceilings to begin with.

Luckyducks 03-10-2011 06:05 PM

I just finished doing the section of my (previously droopy) ceiling. It was over the main living area and I had to remove curtain valances, curtains, curtain rods, fan trim, tv antenna crank, skylight trim, and the smoke detector. Per some advice from Andy (Inland RV) in an older post, I used lacquer thinner and followed up with a degreaser. The lacquer thinner worked great. Use lots of rags and ventilate the trailer while you work. I then had a local auto upholsterer glue up the new ceiling liner (which I picked up last year at the factory). After a few hours of reinstalling all of the trim pieces, everything looks great now.

Regarding the aluminum lining, a number of my rivets had painted heads and holes were drilled in the aluminum (I guess for rivets) with just a small piece of masking tape over them. I guess you could put rivets in the holes and re-rivet the painted rivets.

bake315 03-10-2011 06:21 PM

OK, this is my first post in a couple of years, and thought this was a good place to start.

About 3 years ago my headliner failed completely. I bit the bullet and decided to clean the remaining foam and glue off. I found that I could get quite a lot of the remaining foam off of the ceiling by using a shop vac and crevice tool, and sort of "scrubbing" the ceiling with it. This cut down a lot on the mess.

The next thing I did was to open all the windows for good ventilation. To remove the remaining glue I used (brace yourself) brake cleaner. I found that I could spray/soak an area of the ceiling to weaken the hold of the glue. Then, before it dried was able to wipe quite a lot of it off using an old rag (also saturated with brake cleaner). For the toughest spots, I would soak the rag, then hold it against the spot, which allowed it to penetrate well without evaporating. The tough spots came off easily with this method. Final wipedown was again with a clean rag moistened with the brake cleaner.

I decided to leave the ceiling area from the entry door back to the bathroom area as bare metal. However I did reapply new vinyl to the section forward of that. I used Reflectix in lieu of foam because I figured it might act as a better insulator than a thin layer of foam. I first sprayed 3M High Strength 90 adhesive on the ceiling, and on the section of Reflectix. I let each set for about 5-7 minutes, then joined them. I followed this with a section of new vinyl - spraying both it and Reflectix waiting the 5-7 again, then joined the two. The bond between the two are quite strong, and I expect that this combination will last many many years - it's already lasted through 2 summers, one which was one of the hottest on record for Texas. Still looks great. Only thing to remember is that when applying the vinyl to the Reflectix do so with the flats of your hands - if you press with your fingers too much, you start to see the texture of the Reflectix underneath.

This was the solution for me. It may not be for everyone, and some may opine that it's a bad idea, won't work, etc., All I'm saying is it was a suitable solution, and in reference to my post way back in this thread, preferable to adding a bunch of additional holes in my ceiling. :)

Peace, out!

godaddy64 03-11-2011 04:39 PM

I may have to give brake cleaner a try... but better get a face mask with a solvent filter first. That stuff is woozier than goof-off and will erase your brain if you let it.

I've scraped much of the foam off the ceiling from my A/C to the Gaucho area, and the funky smell it releases is staggering. But to Airstream's credit, I must say I'm pleasantly surprised by the good looking aluminum skin underneath. Some solvents, spit 'n polish will make those things nice... and vastly less dated looking than that 90s vinyl.

Now how to get rid of that pastel watercolor floral pattern in the kitchen and bathroom walls?

dznf0g 03-11-2011 07:03 PM

I use brake cleaner for a lot of jobs. Think about it. It is designed to:
Degrease, clean and dry.
Not be harmful to:
natural rubber, paint, synthetic rubbers, all petroleum sensitive brake parts.

Get the original formula, not the "green" non-chlorinated stuff. The latter is not as good.

godaddy64 03-18-2011 06:02 PM

I tried a variety of products that were laying around in my garage and this was my experience so far:

a) Goof-Off graffiti remover works better than regular Goof-Off, but not really that great.

b) One brand of brake cleaner (CRG Brand, in red printed cans) worked quite well, but another brand (Johnson, in a green can) turned out a complete dud.

c) Turpentine is mostly useless.

d) Automotive Gasket Remover has proven to be most efficient so far but it's GNARLY and creates a dark, brown sludge out of the foam/adhesive.

e) This is a horrendously filthy and laborious task, and I'm down to doing small areas at a time. Even though I've got the fancy solvent respirator, I'm not staying in there too long. I will try the Jasco product and some Lacquer Thinner next, and so by the time I'm done with this job, I'll know exactly how to do it.:D

bake315 03-21-2011 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by godaddy64 (Post 962915)
Now how to get rid of that pastel watercolor floral pattern in the kitchen and bathroom walls?

I know, it's mighty ugly. In the kitchen, the wallpaper was on it's own sheet of aluminum. I ended up removing it, once I learned that the main inner aluminum skin was behind it. It looks as good as the bare ceiling, with the exception of one spot where some moisture at some point apparently got between it and the wallpaper, leaving a large area of oxidation.

In the bathroom it's the same story on the wall over the lavatory, but everywhere else it's obviously on the wood. I'm betting that the adhesive is strong enough to damage the wood if I were to attempt removal, so I'm considering paint there, but likely will "skin" those areas with aluminum or thin sheet acrylic.

On the brake cleaner choice, I've had good luck with the O'Reilly brand. I don't have a can in front of me, but I believe the main ingredient in it is Methyl Ethyl Ketone, or M.E.K. I actually used that back when I de-striped my Limited. It was the best option at the time because it didn't dry before fully penetrating the adhesive, like lacquer thinner does.

Gene 03-21-2011 12:49 PM

Reading what you guys are going through, I am very glad we have the aluminum interior.

Gene


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