Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

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Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby Evan Dunville » Wed Jul 05, 2017 2:18 pm

I will be adding the roof to my teardrop tomorrow (July 6th 2017) I was planing to do a total contact cement job but now I'm realizing floating it might be easier.

Please double check my methodology to confirm I'm on the right track.

Place the 0.040 aluminum over the frame. In my case i have a single 8.5' wide by 13' 5.5" piece to work with. (trailer is ~6' wide and the outer edge is 13' 6" )

I will attach the aluminum to the front bottom of the trailer and work my way to the back making sure the aluminum is pulled tight. adding screws along the edge (about every 6" or so) and with the countersunk screw heads pulled in flush.

Once all the screws are in i can flush trim the excess with a router. I can remove the screws holding down the aluminum and attach the trim with screws through the trim, aluminum and butyl tape going from the aluminum face to the underside of the trim. The back edge will end slightly short of the bottom of the trailer and i will cover that area with a piece of custom wood trim. i will also add some custom wood trim to the bottom front edge.

the alternative to this is to cut the aluminum just slightly undersized to the top of the trailer and avoid the router trimming aspect.

I have ordered the roofing aluminum and the trim B following the link below.

http://rvsiding.com/aluminum/

This Forum has so much great info, i wish i found it sooner, i will put up pictures of my build but im just rushing like crazy to get everything ready to go this Friday!
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Re: Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:32 am

I might add taping all aluminum corner and overlap seams with a permanent waterproofing tape like EternaBond or Corner Seal. Butyl tape shrinks after so many years. And I've found that using tie-downs to ratchet down my aluminum over a curved roof makes for much easier assembly and a much smoother finished product.

And be careful when bending that Trim B stuff. It'll want to crimp on you. Especially if it's not annealed :)
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Re: Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby Evan Dunville » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:08 pm

Just to update, putting the roof on was a few different stages, with varying levels of success.

Initially putting on the roof was fairly straight forward, we used the natural curvature of the roll it wrapped around the teardrop very close. after that things get more difficult....
In hindsight i would have been better served to place the aluminum flush on one side and close to position, mark the overlapping edge and trim it slightly thinner off the trailer with either power snippers, a circular saw, jigsaw, aluminum cutting disc on a grinder basically anything that can cut aluminum.

My attempt at flush trimming .040 aluminum was a total disaster, with the entire bit engaged in the work the bit was coated in aluminum and basically ruined within a very shot amount of time (maybe trimming 18") . If it was only taking a small bit of overlap it may have gone better.

I also got to look at my molding choice and it appears to be far too thick and wide to bend around the tight curves, i called the supplier and they will let me return it. I think i will try and find a plastic molding or even make my own out of wood built up in a few pieces.

I used countersunk screw heads thinking i could get them flush, that was also a mistake, the 0.040 aluminum was far too strong to be bent down by the screw heads and so they sit up on the aluminum, adding of trim will take care of this but i just wanted to let others know about my experience.

All in all we managed to get the roof on and trimmed when my brother showed up with an aluminum disc on and angle grinder. while i still have lots of work to make it as nice as i want its currently functional and the single solid piece is i think worth the added cost. I am very happy i did not try and use contact cement.
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Re: Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby Andrew Herrick » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:22 pm

All those small details sure add up, don't they?

Pan head or truss head screws seem to work best when working with aluminum trim. I use the self-drilling sheet metal variety.

I'm taking a guess here and assuming that your aluminum trim has a 1-inch leg? That's usually the culprit. You can get, for a pretty reasonable price, aluminum molding with a 5/8-inch leg that will bend around just about anything.

Lots of online teardrop stores stock it: Vintage Technologies, Teardrop Fix-It Shop, Babette's (eBay). I would personally recommend it over PVC, which isn't as durable, or wood, which may take you quite a while to fashion.

Keep up the hard work!
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Re: Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby mcubberley » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:57 am

Thanks in advance for the advice...

I am thinking of a similar process this weekend. Unfortunately, I have to have a seam on mine since I cannot get 5' widths of Aluminum. I have a 5'x8' run from front to back so I am taking a sheet of 4x10 and halving it to get two 5x4s I am planning on lapping the two edges, putting weatherproof table on the back side of the seam, butyl tape (not sure about this) between, and then using closed rivets to join the sheets. The exposed overlapping edge will be pointed down discourage water from catching on the small lip that will be created.

I am still wondering if I should seem the aluminum on the ground and then install it or should I install on the roof and then rivet after its on. My gut says to tape it and rivet it on the ground so that when I am done I can put another piece of tape over the back of the closed rivets just as a precaution.

Thoughts on including the butyl tape between the sandwiched seam? "Overkill and bulk that will just get in the way and use closed rivets and weatherproofing tape on the back side should be ok?" or "The butyl tape will help as a backup in case any tiny gaps or warps occur due to thermal expansion/contraction or squishing while riveting?" or "What the hell are you thinking. This is totally the wrong way to go about this?"

Edit: After reading and researching I can't find any mention of including a sealant between riveted sheets. I think I am going to forego the butyl between the seems because it seems like it will interfere with setting the pop rivets and cause bubbling between rivets. I think the two layers of weatherproofing tape on the back makes more sense.
Some day I will figure out something to put here. But for now....
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Re: Help Sort me out Adding alumium Roof tomororw!

Postby Andrew Herrick » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:40 pm

mcubberley wrote:Thanks in advance for the advice...

I am thinking of a similar process this weekend. Unfortunately, I have to have a seam on mine since I cannot get 5' widths of Aluminum. I have a 5'x8' run from front to back so I am taking a sheet of 4x10 and halving it to get two 5x4s I am planning on lapping the two edges, putting weatherproof table on the back side of the seam, butyl tape (not sure about this) between, and then using closed rivets to join the sheets. The exposed overlapping edge will be pointed down discourage water from catching on the small lip that will be created.

I am still wondering if I should seem the aluminum on the ground and then install it or should I install on the roof and then rivet after its on. My gut says to tape it and rivet it on the ground so that when I am done I can put another piece of tape over the back of the closed rivets just as a precaution.

Thoughts on including the butyl tape between the sandwiched seam? "Overkill and bulk that will just get in the way and use closed rivets and weatherproofing tape on the back side should be ok?" or "The butyl tape will help as a backup in case any tiny gaps or warps occur due to thermal expansion/contraction or squishing while riveting?" or "What the hell are you thinking. This is totally the wrong way to go about this?"

Edit: After reading and researching I can't find any mention of including a sealant between riveted sheets. I think I am going to forego the butyl between the seems because it seems like it will interfere with setting the pop rivets and cause bubbling between rivets. I think the two layers of weatherproofing tape on the back makes more sense.


I've got a post somewhere on this forum that deals with riveted seams ... here's the recap:

1. Yup, rivet and tape it on the ground. But here's the kicker: The overlap must be EXACT on both sides. Otherwise, you'll skew your aluminum, and even being 1/16 off in your overlap will ruin a perfectly cut 5-foot roof.

2. Weatherproofing tape on the backside is always the best second defense. I've had more success using EPDM closed cell gasketing foam rather than butyl tape in the seam. It will do better in expansion/contraction than the tape.

3. You might consider foregoing the rivets or else supplementing them with 3M VHB tape. If you buy the right one and prep the aluminum surfaces, it'll permanently adhere and seal the lap joint. And it's super-strong stuff and available in 5-yard rolls for this sort of smaller work. I was amazed the first time I used it.

You're on the right track!
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