Hi everyone!  I purchased a 1972 Raynel travel trailer that is 11' long a couple years ago. I'm finally getting back to restoring it.  I am wondering how much I should do to the roof. I don't think I have any leaks in it currently. I do  see where the tar had been put on over the different seams and I see they have a fine line down the center of it which looks like a fine crack.  On top of that there is old white sealer that is peeling up off of the tar and it resembles lichen on a tree. My question is: Should I strip down the old tar to the seam and start all over, or just scrape the roof clean and put a sealer over all of it?  I have never worked on a trailer before so this is all new to me. Would appreciate  some advice.

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Here's my two cents worth, The very best solution is to strip it off and clean the bare metal with a good quality solvent then go back with a modern non silicone roof sealer. If you have the time there are numerous article's on the process in the how too section or you can do a search in the upper right corner of the page. If your sure there is no leaking going on you could just peel the old white stuff off and clean the tar up with said cleaner and re tar over top of it with a good roofing tar but it should be done on a hot day so the adhesion is aided by the sun.

Thanks Rich for replying.  I thought starting with it all cleaned off might be best, but just thought I would get some opinions.

Yep a fresh start is the best but can be very labor intense. I think I would go that rout but to do it in steps to limit the burn out factor. Start with a vent, strip it, clean it then reseal  and move to the next one. This way you don't run the risk of loosing an opportunity to use your camper because half the roof is unsealed. The most important thing is to have fun with your restoration and it is easy to get overwhelmed and that leads to frustration and loss of interest. So remember to add the fun factor into your project. 

Hi Rich and Larry. After the cleaning, id like "liquid roof or liquid rubber" for a long lasting coating. it is self leveling so use caution on sloping areas. It is EPDM rubber with a catylist and very durable...id just do the seams

Thanks David. I was wondering what product would be best to put back on.  Can that be applied over the new tar on the seams, or is this "Eternabond" tape that is talked about on this forum better than using tar? Still trying to decide which products would be best.

eterna bond is a great product. doesnt contour well. it sticks great to clean surfaces. tar, when thick is kinda amorphic. i would not go over tar with anything and call it proper. clean metal for eternabond would be best. i used to heat gun or torch off roof coatings. if the old seams separated, i would coat, cloth, and recoat. that would work great with liquid roof. then just touch up with dicor if ever needed.

Here's a photo of what I'm working with.

I think I'll go with cleaning the tar off and using eterna bond then. At least it's a small trailer!  Just got three seams to deal with.  Would you apply that around the vents too?


Adding 4 cents worth,, When redoing around the vents,, LOOK at the surrounding roof (wood) where vent mounts for hidden water damage, and tackle that while the vent is off. This will save you an UH OH moment later.From the pic you added, it looks like they tackled the leaks with available means, hopefully they got it at the first sign. With a smaller roof as yours,, that would be a good weekend project to knock out. That Eterna Bond is really good stuff,, just follow the directions and it will be a piece of cake.

I think the biggest job is done, coming up with the game plan. I think your on the right track. one thing I would suggest for the vents is maybe using a self leveling product like David Craft mentioned and, for the reason Lakota mentioned around the vents as they do tend to need maintenance on occasion. . The Eternabond is correctly named and it is hard to remove when you have too. For that reason I would use the Dicor self leveling around them. another product called Sikaflex is also good but a little more costly.

Thank you all for the advice.  Great to have a forum like this for us amateurs!




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