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Question DetailsAsked on 5/13/2011

Coleman tent trailer roof defect

I found a large crack in the ABS plastic roof shell of my 1999 Coleman tent trailer. More cracks have appeared and the roof shell has begun to warp. we found out that this roof design, which was used by Coleman for several years, has failed for a large number of owners, and the manufacturer (Fleetwood) will provide a free replacement roof for original owners. However, because we purchased our trailer from another party, we are not covered by that warranty. They told us it would cost us about $3000 to have them replace the roof. Since we only paid $4800 for the trailer, and its Bluebook value is now about $2800, it doesn't seem to be worth the cost for replacement. We have also checked a number of RV service centers in the San Diego area, and none of them seems to know how to fix the problem other than a full roof replacement. Has anyone successfully challenged Fleetwood's position that they will only replace the defective roof for the original owner? Has anyone taken them to small claims court or otherwise succeeded in getting them to replace the roof or otherwise compensate the owner? Has anyone found a way to repair the ABS roof other than by a total roof replacement? I talked to a rep from Fleetwood about this today, and he said that he had heard that one owner was going to try to remove the ABS shell and put a rubberized roof coating on the roof substructure, but he never heard back as to whether that fix worked.

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6 Answers


Long answer short....nope, I have not dealt with the problem

Longer version: Coleman and/or Fleetwood are likely taking the position that their sole obligation is to serve the original owner because that is the only party to whom they have pledged any sort of promise of suitability for any purpose. Any subsequent purchaser would (according to them) have to seek non-warranty service from the party that sold the vehicle to them.

As for remedies, I wouldn't hold lots of hope for the rubberized roof coating whether it is rolled on or an actual rubber membrane. The problem is that the molded roof pulls things together structurally and maintains "square". Putting a rubber coating or cover on might stop rain penetration but it will not renew the structural rigidity. The crack, once formed, is affected by heating and cooling and the forces on it from movement which make the crack larger which etc, etc, etc. Cracks in automobile windshields or airplane canopies suffer similar problems.

You might be able to stop-drill the crack. Take a small drill bit (just slightly larger than the crack but not not "big" and drill at each end of the crack - make sure it is a sharp drill because you want a clean hole. That may distribute the stress and allow the crack to stop it's movement/growth. Then, use the rubber treatment.

If you get real ambitious, take the roof off and peel off the skin and make a form for a replacement then create your own with fiberglass cloth and resin. It is messy but you might be surprised at how quick you pick it up.

Or, you could call it a life lesson. Sell the camper to someone who wants it for hunting 'n fishing trips and can deal with minor cracks to be off the ground and out of the majority of weather and buy yourself another.

I would never suggest you do anything, ummm, unfair. But, do you still know the original owner? Know him/her well enough to let them take "their" camper in for replacement?[:(]

Good Luck

Answered 9 years ago by Old Grouch


I found more on Google today...I searched for Coleman Camper Roof Crack and got ~64K hits. A couple seemed worth review - you might want to start with

The story in the link I provided does indicate that some subsequent owners have been successful in their attempts to negotiate relief. Rather than the free replacement that original purchasers got, it seems that some subsequent owners may be able to get a replacement for around $700 to $900 in shipping and labor costs.

The story indicates that people are working through FFT (Fleetwood Folding Trailers) at

Good Luck!

Answered 9 years ago by #N/A


Bob, I don't know if you still have your camper, but do not despair. I had the same problem with my Fleetwood Bayside that I purchase in 2000. Here's the fix. Depending on the size of your pop up, you will probably need to buy 2 of the Duraliner kits. You can get them through Whitney's auto accessories (about $320 total). They are the only ones who have it in white. Apply 2 coats. It is a rubberized paint which people usually use to paint pick up truck beds. It will fill in all of the cracks and harden completely. This stuff works.
If you have any questions, e-mail me at
Good luck,

Answered 8 years ago by Traderman


linex will spray a top on it and it should last for a long time as it is guaranteed . The price is around $1500.00

Answered 8 years ago by lhipsher


I am sure that by now you have resolved your roofing woes but for anyone out there searching for a solution, I found one. My Coleman camper roof had cracked badly on one corner, down one side and under the awning bracket. You could actually lift the awning bracket up and away from the camper at one end and down half it's length. The ABS was bubbled up around the air conditioner and toward the tongue of the trailer. I thought it was hopeless until I did some research on the internet. Here is my solution: I cleaned off the ABS and the foam shell under the ABS as best as I could so as to have a dry, clean surface for the next step. Then in every place the the ABS had delaminated from the foam shell I used a 2-part epoxy to glue it back down. The product I used is G-Flex 650 Flexible Adhesive. The stuff is amazing! With a working time of 45 minutes and curing in 3-4 hours it gives you plenty of time to work. After gluing I stapled everything down to clamp it in place, later pulling the staples back out. I still had large cracks to fill in and places where chunks of ABS plastic were missing. I filled all those places in with Evercoat Rage, a product similar to Bondo. Then I sanded everything smooth so that the roof once more had it's original contours. Finally, I used a white bed liner product by Grizzly Grip, rolling it on with a 4" paint roller. Since I ordered two gallons of Grizzly Grip and it was more than I really needed I put on 3 coats but could probably have gone with just two coats and only 1 gallon of bedliner. The results are fantastic and look as good as original. G-Flex 650 about $65. Evercoat Rage about $22. Grizzly Grip about $100/gallon. Total under $200.

Answered 4 years ago by RNatzke


I'm hoping that RNatzke might share pictures of their repair. My roof on my Coleman Mesa is getting worse by the minute. I've tried the white tape which doesn't work and need a huge repair now. This is probably the best answer I've found so far.

Answered 4 years ago by ajcardinal

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