the roof, the roof, the roof is… complete crap


After getting “Sonny the Sunnybrook” (is that what we’re calling it?) into my shop I made the decision that I really needed to put a new roof on the camper before doing anything else. It wouldn’t really make any sense to me to spend a lot of money on renovating the interior while the roof was leaking. After starting demolition it became increasingly obvious that the seller really didn’t keep the RV under shelter, that was just for the Craigslist ad. My first clue should have been his nice boat in his yard with the RV under the shelter. Oh well.

The rubber was way past its useful life. As you can see from the pictures the white top coat had turned to powder exposing the black rubber beneath. The skylight over the bathroom was cracked and improperly repaired and the entire front was rotten through.

To my surprise, although an aluminum superstructure, Sunnybrook opted to still use wooden roof trusses and 3/8” plywood.  I should have known better, my dad was one of the biggest Sunnybrook dealers for almost two decades but that’s a blog for another day. What I did learn from growing up in the RV industry is that removing an EPDM roof is likely the most miserable repair you can do. The rubber is glued very well and must be pulled up in 4-6” strips. Even in a smaller strip, I’d estimate that it takes 80-100 pounds of pulling pressure to get it off. Not to mention the old glue is still tacky. Everything it touches sticks to it. Very, very frustrating. Every time I removed more roofing, I found more problems. Extensive damage in the front bedroom and bathroom were the worst areas. All the plastic roof accessories such as plumbing caps, skylight, roof vents, and refrigerator vents  had to be replaced. Two sections of 3/8” structural plywood were replaced and numerous other trusses had to be rebuilt or fabricated.

After numerous hours (40+), $1,000 or so in materials (half was for the swear jar), and at least a pint of blood, the roof was complete! Now to start on the interior……




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