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Eternabond That Roof

An inspection of the roof of our 2005 Lazy Daze motorhome showed some cracks in the sealant along the roof edges as well as a lot of screw heads that were exposed. Time for Eternabond, which is an adhesive tape which provides an excellent waterproof seal. I ordered two 4" wide 50' rolls from Amazon.com, which had the best price when factoring in its free shipping.

 Here are some pictures of what I discovered on our roof.

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Step 1 of this process consisted of a thorough cleaning of the entire roof. A fun job on one's knees, with a bucket of water with some Simple Green in it, a scrub brush, and a hose for rinsing.

After the cleaning I covered the cracks and screw heads with some 3M 5200 marine sealant, which I then let set for several days.

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 When the day came to apply the Eternabond, I began by carefully cleaning the area that would be covered with the tape with acetone. Be sure to wear some heavy rubber gloves to protect your skin from the acetone.

I made a cardboard template that was 4" wide that I used to mark off a line along the outside edge of where the Eternabond was to be applied. The original sealant is about 2" wide in most areas, which leaves about 1" of flat roof on each side.

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 Our solar panels are aligned length-wise along the driver's side of the coach, making it difficult to work on that side. I placed a door panel over the solar panels; although I didn't want to put my full weight on it, it did provide a place for me to put one knee while working. I had two foam kneeling pads I used to lessen the pain on the knees.

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 I began the Eternabond installation at the front left corner of the roof and worked my way toward the rear. This stuff is incredibly sticky and you get only one chance to apply it - once it touches the roof, it's there to stay. It has a backing paper that I peeled off a foot or so at a time as I unrolled the tape and placed it in position. I then pressed the tape down with my fingers, followed by a wooden wallpaper roller used to really smooth down the tape.

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 The refrigerator vent is very close to the roof seam. In order to get the tape smoothly past the vent, I made a short perpendicular cut into the tape and then folded it up against the side of the vent. Thus there is no seam at the base of the vent.

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 The seam across the front of the roof is done last so that you can cover the leading edge of the side tapes. I used two rows of tape across the front, with the "fronter" piece of tape overlapping the "behinder" piece of tape. This shows the "behinder" strip in place.

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 Next comes the "fronter" piece of tape in place.

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Several years ago when installing various antennas on the roof I had used pierces of aluminum tape to hold the cables  in place. Over time that tape had deteriorated to the point where it was about to fail completely. I removed that tape and thoroughly cleaned off the residue it left on the roof. I then used small strips of the Eternabond to hold the cables.

All in all, I'm pleased with the results.  Eternabond is certainly a much cheaper alternative to a factory reseal job, and is much easier than attempting to strip off the factory sealant and resealing with fresh material.

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