My wife has been wanting to get an RV to restore and we done did it. We picked up a 1978 Dodge Sportsman with a Georgie Boy Cruise Master box. (Class C of course).

It has more water damage than we thought including the cab-over area and the back half of the ceiling and roof. It looks like there was no real membrane or such on the roof so I'm guessing a replacement is in order.

To get started, I figured I'd start at the top and deal with the roof / ceiling issues. So with that in mind, I have no real clue how to get started as I don't really know how this thing is constructed.

It looks like I'll need to pull down some cabinets but can't see how they are attached. Also, once I get all the goo scraped off the roof I assume I'll find plywood. I'm guessing there is a plywood sheathed roof on top of studs, hopefully some insulation and then the inner ceiling. I'm thinking the cabinets will need to come down to deal with the ceiling issue.

My plan would be to remove the upper cabinets first, so how do I do that?

Then I would scrape the roof and see what I have. Do I need to remove any trim around the roof or ?

Totally out of my element here and looking for any and all help.

I do have car restoration and wood working / construction experience so I think the key is understanding the construction of this beast. Are there any diagrams / books / blueprints out there that show any of that?

Long post but any help is much appreciated!

Tags: C, Cabinet, Class, Construction, Removal, Repair, Roof

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Cabinets usually have those *square screws affixing the cabinets to the walls AND ceiling,, usually counter-sunk in the 1x1/1x2 cabinet framing. Under (or above) the ceiling panels are ribs across the ceiling from side to side, usually situated every 24 inches. with cotton type insulation between the cross ribs. Then you should have an aluminum or some cases,, fiberglass roof.  You need to locate the actual area where the water damage originated and work your way from there But pace yourself and tackle a small area at a time as to not overwhelm yourself.

I've been looking at a lot of videos and they all seem to have plywood roofs. Based on the soft spots I'm feeling up top, I'm thinking I have plywood also and not aluminum or fiberglass.

Am I missing something?

Am I on the right track by dealing with the roof first, then ceiling and the Cab-Over area and finally the rest of the interior? I know I have issues in the bathroom floor and at that lower corner.

Also some appliance issues but one area at a time..

You are doing it correctly, always start with the leaks, then replace water damaged areas, then appliances, then finish/trim work.  

I have a leak in the roof around the front AC unit and will need to replace some of the ceiling panels.  So I will gut the ceiling, taking the cabinets down, find and fix the leak(s) first, then re-insulate, then new ceiling panels, trim work, and finally cabinets.  The roof is low where the AC unit is, so I will also have to replace cross members that support the AC unit.  I will use 2x2x1/4 in thick tubing to replace the wood braces.

I resealed the left rear window where the rear bunk bed is at because it was leaking.  Now I have roughly a 4x6 area that needs to have the wall panel replaced.  So I will re-insulate at the same time.  In this case I have to pull the left rear bunk along with the cabinets.  Fortunately the part of the wall where the shirt closet is at was not effected by the leaking window so I should not have to pull it also.

Wish I had a big garage to put the MMP into, would be so much easier than fighting a tarp over it during the the fall and winter season and trying to keep it in place in the high winds that accompany winter around here.

Remodeling and finding and fixing leaks is not an easy thing to do, but definitely worthwhile to keep these classics on the road.

Hi Tim, the ply wood is the structural component then a thin layer of sheet aluminum or fiberglass layered over the ply. the ply is most likely thin sheeting. Most leaks come from around fixtures through the roof and travel down studs, wiring and other structures that direct its path. so a water spot on the right side may have come from the center or even the other side  of your roof.  a good inspection of those fixtures will tell you a lot. If you go to the roof take a sheet of plywood to kneel on so you distribute your weight especial in those areas known to be soft. There's a lot of good info here and a few good people to guide you through your project. As Lakota mentioned take a little at a time and make it a fun project . Good luck and keep us in the loop.     

This is what my roof looks like now. I'm really not sure what's going on or where to even start..

More Pics

Looking at the roof pic's IMO. do a very good inspection of the roof and determine areas of concern. If there are multiple week spots a complete replacement may be in order; if not I would start by stripping all the coating from around each protrusion.  remove all the old sealant in a strip about 4-6 inches around each and clean the bare metal with a good solvent. make any repairs needed then seal and move on to the next one.  NOTE Throw away anything you plan to use that contains silicone! It will not last. use Dycore , Sickaflex or other good quality purpose made product. Don't strip the whole roof or open up any more area than you can get done in short order. this will help maintain your motor home and won't overwhelm you.there are a lot of projects documented on this site and I looked at a bunch before I climbed up on mine and done it and your going the right rout by asking specific questions. There's a lot of good people here to help and they typically jump right in but, this is the vacation season and it may take a while so it's important that you post often so those checking in can get involved. Hope some of this is of help to you and as always Good luck with your project.  

I thought I'd start as you suggested with the gunk all around the ladders, rails, etc
I assume I'll need to remove the trim or seam strip that is screwed around the out perimeter?
Once I get to having to replace things..

I figured I'd use dicpor and eterabond tape to seal things back up and then either liquid rubber roof or a new membrane system to recover it all

Tim when I done mine I did not remove the trim strip in it's entirety. I bought a putty tool at Lowe's and removed all the excess butyle tape that oozed out from installation and under cut back about 1/8" then cleaned and resealed with Sickaflex non leveling sealant. On the vents and other flat areas I used dycore self leveling. I haven't had a leak yet except one vent that I didn't get to rehab last fall I caught a single drip out of the corner of my eye this spring and sealed it with a small piece of eterna bond. I plan on doing a complete reseal next spring hoping to keep things up to snuff 

I'm just thinking that if I need to replace any of the roof plywood the trim would need to come off. I know I have at least a couple of soft spots and can see the damage inside

There was a member that posted just in the last week or so of replacing bad wood from inside the camper. you might go back through the blogs and find his post and see if this method would work for your application. It was quite ingenious how he went about it. Ill look back as well and try to give you a heads up. 

Tim go to the top of the page under view Blogs and visit Brett Webb's entry of July 16 and again on the 22. he has been doing just the type of repairs as you have suggested you may need to do and has done a very nice job of illustrating his progress. 




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