Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

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Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

Post by Admin on Wed Jul 23, 2008 1:10 pm

Let me start by saying, welcome to the club and don't be afraid, you can do this all on your own, trust me, I've done it twice and if I can do it.....You can too!

I've seen two kinds of rotting on Bonnys and it was all depending on the type of roof set up.
On my first rebuild, my 1993 Ba700 it was the front and back roof panels that rotted out and the other was my friends 1979 Ba700 and on this one it was the side roof panels that had been affected by rot.

In both cases the same principles apply, it a mater of taking your time and noting everything to start with.

Remove the aluminium mouldings from the roof and or sides, take the screws out, you'll notice that some screws will simply spin and will not come out...Well, there's your rot spot right there, you can pull those out with a good pair of vice grip pliers.

The aluminium (older Bonairs) or the fibreglass (newer Bonairs) panels are in three pieces, either the side panels come off or the front and back, in either case this is where you will find your rot and the good news it that these panels are easy to change out.

Made of 5/8th plywood they are easy to duplicate even if you are missing most of the original to copy from. Simply take some measurements and transfer to your plywood. ( take into account that the original might of expanded a bit due to water so you might want to factor in 1/16 to 1/8, make sure. )

No that this stage is done crank up your Bonny, you are going to need to take the canvas supports off, look intimidating but it really isn't. Unscrew the screws all along the track, once that is done slide the canvas out of the track. Some rubber mouldings will also require removing; these are generally still in great condition so you will want to be careful with those.

Make sure that you clean the entire surface area of the affected spot, you do not want to keep any moisture or and rot particles, a good rag and some nice soapy water will do the trick, it there is excessive rot make sure that you disinfect with a strong cleaners such as Javex or something that will kill the bacteria.

Now you are ready to put in your new plywood, Not to bad so far, all the dirty work is done, well......That is until you start sealing the roof but that's another story we'll get to a little later.

Ok so, slide your panel into the original track/slot that is mounted on the roof part ( this one generally does not require removing), verify your measurement and make any small adjustment now because you do not want to start bending aluminium or cutting fibreglass later, trust me, been there, done that...LOL!

Here you can use glue and I strongly suggest that you do, a good builders glue such as PL200 from LePage works miracles, glue your panel to the other that is 90 degrees to it, this will help to hold in place when you are screwing and will make that joint even stronger for later when you need to mount the holding brackets back on.

Use stainless steel screws if you can, they are more expensive but will never rust and that right there makes all the difference in the world.

Now back to those rubber mouldings, once you've cleaned them and inspected them to make sure that they will last another 10 to 20 years, reinstall them, make sure they fit correctly, these rubber moulding are a big part of redirecting water out of your camper so it is imperative that these are well done.
Now it's time to reinstall the canvas track inside the camper, don't install the canvas just yet, we'll do this a little later, again, if you find any rusted screws please change them out, stainless steel again is preferred.

Ok so now for that canvas, well, lower the rook a bit, enough for you to still be able to be inside the camper but enough so that the canvas is loose. You will notice a "beed" or a stitch line on the canvas, that part slides in the track, simply slide into the track but not to fast so to have it catch a rip, take your time, you're doing great so far, no need to tear stuff up just yet.

Ok onto the aluminium or fibreglass panels, to reinstall these I used that famous PL200 LePage, apply generously to the plywood or the panel itself and stick the panel to the plywood, make sure it fits nice and even everywhere, very important because we will be installing the mouldings next and well.....Remember me saying something about cutting and or bending ...Well...

The mouldings need to be reinstalled to a very clean surface, remember that gunky stuff your took off once the mouldings were removed well that stuff is sealing putty, you'll need new putty, real cheap, you can get this at your local RV dealer or RV repair shop, cost is about $6.00 a roll and it will cover about 20 feet. This putty needs to stick real nice to the aluminium or fibreglass so make sure that the surface is extra clean ( I used WD40 to remove the putty followed with nice hot soapy water to remove greasy WD40 )because if the putty doesn't take right you will have another water infiltration problem in no time flat, this is an important part of your restoration, take your time and do it right so you can do it only once.

Oh yeah, if you have a choice of whit of the putty roll between 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch, take the 1/2 inch, works out better when installing, a little more forgiving.

A little trick here is to install the putty inside the aluminium track ( that you have cleaned as thoroughly as the roof ) Makes it a lot easier to align the track and it covers entirely with no worries.
Screw back into the original whole in the panel, do not make new ones unless you absolutely have to but it is strongly not recommended to do so.
The putty will seep out when screwing in (new stainless steel screws), that's ok, we want that to happen, once all the screws are in place, take a plastic putty knife to remove access putty. When removing the putty and scrapping it's good practice to "force in or push in" the putty at the same time as you are scrapping.

Now for the vinyl screw cover that fits into the aluminium track, my personal choice, replace with new, I mean with all that work you've just put in, you want it to show a little, right?

Oh yeah, a little trick, use a bead of external high elasticity silicone to cover every screw you install in the track, call me paranoid but heck, after all this work what is a little more, right?!?!?


You are done!!!

P.S.
Best thing to do in a restore like this is to take pictures, make notes ,draw stuff, always give yourself reference material, Bonair materiel is hard to find and if you can create some sort of document or reference point to help yourself along the way it's always a good thing.

Oh and, please come over here and share your restoration, I'm sure a lot of folks will enjoy the pictures and the comments.

Thank you and happy trails.
Rick

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Re: Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

Post by Csea on Sun Feb 08, 2009 7:23 am

Well at least once i open my bonny up, if I need to replace the roof I got a walkthru Very Happy
Any other advice you can give me? Im actually gutting the interior, putting new floor, updating cusion covers, curtains, ordering a new canvas, some new paint...


And yes I will be posting pictures... just waiting for the snow to dissappear.... Sleep

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Re: Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

Post by RickyBoy on Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:58 am

Measure twice and cut once...LOL!!! It's all a big jigsaw puzzle, take your time and take notes, as for the pictures, they are also for your own reference, we can not remember every little thing so pictures come in handy. Please post them !

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Just finished the roof on my 1200

Post by barmp1 on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:26 pm

Thanks for the steps. I just finished replacing 3 of the 4 sides on my 1977 BA1200. Started with a lot of rot, not much wood. There was nothing left in the front to make a pattern from (!) and 1/2 of the side around the door was also pretty much gone. Given that I had 3 sides off I was not able to raise the roof to much. Just enough to get a bunch of supports under and get it level prior to removing materials. The one difference for me was, I did not remove the canvas from the tracks (there was enough work to go around!) I was able to clean them up as suggested and reattach them as is. Having some extra quick-clamps around helped a lot as well - able to hold stuff in place and level it off properly.

Great guide though - many thanks. If anyone is looking for some additional tips, or list of hardware needed for this repair ... I kept my notes and list of stuff that needed to be bought.

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Re: Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

Post by dkeller on Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:06 am

Well, I am a new Proud owner of a 1977 Bonaire 1200.
The canvas is about 7 years old and in like new condition.

The unit comes equipped with a 3 way fridge, 3 burner stove, Converter and a Coleman Furnace.
** Does anyone have a users guide for the Coleman Furnace?***

Looked underneath the unit and 2 of the 4 cables are bright and shinny.

The top goes up with out issue; but alas, the top has seen much better days.

Both sides look like they need to be replaced (bits of the plywood are sticking out on the inside) and there is a 1” to 2” sag in the roof near the vent area, as well roof liner has pulled apart at one of the seams exposing cracked/delaminated plywood.

I think the best plan of action may be to rebuild the whole top.
I haven’t taken it apart yet as I have way too many projects on the go as of now.

But a few questions about the top:

1)Is it basically an big upside down 10” wooden box, or does it have a metal
skeleton thatall the pieces drop into and are secured in place with screws?

2)Is the top of the roof 1 big piece of plywood, or is it made up of say… three 4 x 8 sheets?

3)Has anyone tried using “CREZON” (high density plywood with water proof paper bonded to its surface) to
perform these repairs in the past?

Just trying to get an idea of what supplies I will need before I start the project.

I will be chronicling the rebuild process with dates and pictures.

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Re: Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

Post by RickyBoy on Mon Aug 17, 2009 12:21 am

1)Is it basically an big upside down 10” wooden box, or does it have a metal skeleton that all the pieces drop into and are secured in place with screws?
Basically yes, a big box, should not be no skeleton just foam insulation.

2)Is the top of the roof 1 big piece of plywood, or is it made up of say… three 4 x 8 sheets?
Should be no plywood at all, just the box frame, foam anf the skin on top.

3)Has anyone tried using “CREZON” (high density plywood with water proof paper bonded to its surface) to perform these repairs in the past?

Not me but it sound expensive for nothing really. I used simply plywood and that should last you 20 years so.....

hope it help and good luck with your Bonnie !

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Re: Roof repairs and replacing on a Bonny

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