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Reseal bodywork and roof
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userLucas
Posted: 9 February 2019 7:25 PM
Subject: Reseal bodywork and roof
 
Having a look around

Posts: 35
25


Hi
I am looking for some advice on resealing my motorhome,
a 2003 Autotrail Cheyenne.
After years of not being used by the previous owners it is now seeing plenty of miles as we travel across Europe fulltime.

Just the other month we found the skylight was leaking and have now removed some of the ceiling to allow the wood to dry out.
But whilst the skylight was being resealed at the repair centre they said our roof needed a respray to reseal it.
we were quoted €1000, Is there a diy option for this?

Also I have noticed that all the joints on the bodywork look like the mastic or whatever was used has deteriorated or in some cases is missing.
Should I be removing all the joining strips and re applying a sealant.
Or can I remove what is left on the outside of the strips and apply a sealant along the edge where the bodywork meets the joining strips.

This is all new to me so your advice will be appreciated.

Thanks

Jay
userKeithl
Posted: 9 February 2019 9:22 PM
Subject: RE: Reseal bodywork and roof
 


Forum master

Posts: 4479
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Location: Birmingham. 2004 Auto-Trail Cheyenne Mercedes 313.


Hi Jay,

We have a Cheyenne first registered in early 2004 but built late 2003 so very similar age to yours.

The roof is a one piece fibreglass moulding which incorporates the overcab moulding and overlaps the body sides and rear panel so there is nowhere for it to leak other than the holes cut for the rooflights, Truma flue and TV aerial. The only possibility for leaks is if the fibreglass has detiorated to the point where it is now porous but I doubt very much this would have happened without you noticing a plethora of 'blisters' all over the roof caused by a failing of the fibreglass known as 'Osmosis'. This is usually accompanied by weeping pores so should have been obvious before now.

My honest opinion is that the dealer is hoodwinking you into unnecessary repairs but strongly advise you to get a second opinion before committing to any further work.

The only leak we have had through the roof was where the Truma flue exits and the plastic nut underneath was not fully tightened allowing water to penetrate through the rubber gasket. Luckily we spotted it before any serious damage was caused.

And now for the side mouldings. They are an aluminium extrusion fitted onto special clips screwed into the bodywork and cannot be removed without damaging them beyond re-use. I have asked at the factory a couple of times and got exactly the same answer each time. The two adjacent panels are overlapped with adhesive and screwed into the framework behind and then the moulding clips are screwed on before clipping the moulding on. Unless there is evidence of leaking from the joint I would leave well alone. Replacement mouldings where available from the factory the last time I enquired.

I could possibly find photographs of models before the roof moulding was fitted if you want to see how they are built.

Keith.
userLucas
Posted: 14 February 2019 6:28 PM
Subject: RE: Reseal bodywork and roof
 
Having a look around

Posts: 35
25


Hi Keith

Thanks for the reply and sorry about my delayed response.
I have been lucky enough to be in a quite valley with out signal

The roof leak was from the skylight or a join in the roof.
My roof has a join in it at the rear end which was treated to some new sealant.
The fact it has a join and us not one piece makes me wonder if there has been some repairs in the past.
I will take some photos in the light tomorrow!!

There appears to be no blisters but the paint work/gel coat has lost its
shine and feels a bit chalky. There is also lots of chips in the top coat as well.
So I will get a second opinion from someone else.

As the side panels there has been no signs of leaks but the visibe silicon
is showing signs of deterioration.
Do you think I should just remove what I can see and reseal, or leave as is?

And if you have any photos that would be great ????

Cheers

Jason
userKeithl
Posted: 14 February 2019 7:31 PM
Subject: RE: Reseal bodywork and roof
 


Forum master

Posts: 4479
20002000100100100100252525
Location: Birmingham. 2004 Auto-Trail Cheyenne Mercedes 313.


Lucas - 2019-02-14 6:28 PM

My roof has a join in it at the rear end which was treated to some new sealant.
The fact it has a join and us not one piece makes me wonder if there has been some repairs in the past.
Cheers

Jason


Sorry Jason my mistake, you are correct! I forgot there will be a join across the roof near the rear. Ours has that join as well!

Have a look on the Gallery pages of the ATOC website for 'Factory Rally' photographs back through the years.

https://www.atocuk.com/gallery/

I'll see if I have any others to post later.

Keith.
usertringy
Posted: 15 February 2019 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: Reseal bodywork and roof
 
Liking what I've found

Posts: 72
2525


Hi,I had the exact same on my 2007 Apache 700 when it was 4years old. Roof lite leaked so I dicided to do it myself,on removal it seems like it had very little sealant on one corner when built.i resealed it with plenty of m s sealant using masking tape to keep it neat otherwise the sealant is difficult to remove but also it looks a professional job.i also used a feeler gauge to inspect every joint on the side joints and the two roof joints and found very little sealant,so i carefully cleaned out the gaps using a old credit card.then wiped down the joints with panel wipe then using masking tape to carefully mask alongside the joints leaving about 2milimeters space between tape and joint.using a sealant gun squirt sealant into the gap and with a wet finger smooth it into the joints and remove tape.all in all it was a bit time consuming but with a little care it looked great and was sealed perfectly.i used band stands and planks to make the access much easier on the high long joints.in my experience autotrail seem to use as little as possible sealant as they can and sometimes this is not enough sadly.the repair took me a whole week end but saved me a fortune and I knew it was done properly.hope this helps. Regards Tringy. Ps do the roof joints first to get the practice and its not so visible.
userflyboyprowler
Posted: 17 February 2019 10:49 AM
Subject: RE: Reseal bodywork and roof
 
Has lots to offer

Posts: 416
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Location: West Sussex and Spain


I would go along with Keith, in that you would see damage or starring if the fibreglass was deteriorating and needing repair. If so that could be individually sorted by a decent bodywork expert, First, I would be tempted to use a fibreglass cleaner, then a polish cleaner and then treat with a quality wax. In my opinion, it does no harm to wax the roof of a van every year, and keep up a level of protection, in an area which is generally ignored.
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