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Old 09-19-2021, 03:42 PM   #1
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Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch

Thank you to those who have messaged me about Freddy's patchwork.
‐-------------------

I know many have performed roof patches before me, yet I found only bits and pieces from each builders' process. I did read through several builds, and the knowledge I read within was applied to the meathod that follows.

I converted the 24" square from my rear hatch to a smaller 14-3/16" square, to utilize standard RV rooftop accessories, then patched the passive vent and the rear strobe. Finally, the front & rear warning lights. I'll try to detail all of the steps I followed, in this thread.






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Old 09-19-2021, 03:54 PM   #2
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First and foremost, I read through a lot of threads and didn't ask enough questions. At first. Then I sent a PM to EastCoastCB (he lives near enough), asking about a reputable sheetetal supplier. After answering all his questions, he offered up these 16guage patches that were "just sitting here, your if you want 'em", he said.


I drove to the address he provided, the following morning. ECCB wouldn't take my money and let me hang out for a couple hours, discussing rivets and laughing at the smoke.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:02 PM   #3
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Clean and prep the patches

Spritz on ospho wait 10 min.
Wire wheel until shiny. Wipe away residue w/ cloth. Reapply, wait 24 hours. Brush off residue, wash & dry before primer.


After cleaning each patch with Ospho and a wire brush, each was water rinsed & wiped. I then applied Apple Cider Vinegar and scuffed the surface using wire wheel to remove powdery scale. Wiped clean with ACV. Allowed to dry in the sun 45 min. Finally, brush painted with Clean Metal Primer.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:11 PM   #4
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Remove Hatch and Goo

Removal was straightforward.
The roof hatch was held in place by self tapping screws and three layers of sealer. Both hard & gooey.
Used a 3/8" socket/ impact drv to remove the screws,
a razor knife to cut the bead of sealer away,
a hand scraper with a small hammer to tap scraper between the metal & plastic.
Note: Watch for wasps.




The black goo peeled off by hand with scraper. The hard white bead required a couple sharp razors and patience.


Wirewheel removed the bead of hard calking
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:13 PM   #5
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I still need to get mine all patched up. its all full of boxes and stuff though.
lol And the key-box for the realtor is actually ON our bus' mirror hahaha
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:20 PM   #6
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Repair roof material

Used a Ball Pein Hammer & Wood Block to flatten, then dent the holes. Palm & block sanded w/ 60 grit.
Pollen was removed from surrounding area using only a damp rag.


I taped the underside of holes with aluminum tape. Then filled holes with fiberglass bondo.
Had to work fast as it hardens fast. Scraped the excess off while drying.


After 20 minute dry time, jitterbug sanded fiberglass with 60 grit then repeated with second fill & sand coat. A third coat was required on a few holes.


After a few hours of drying, I applied a thin coat of primer to to seal the patched and to protect bare steel exposed from sanding. Finally, removed foil tape from the underside. No Aluminum, please.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:46 PM   #7
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The Patch is my Template

These are the monotonous steps that will make or break the rivet seals I make later. They ought to be round and center aligned. Therfore, I carefully marked & drilled sixty-four 5/64" pilot holes, then enlarged each to 7/64".


Hole spacing:
11/16" from all sides,
1 - 3/8" center to center on leading and trailing edges (bus front & rear)
2 - 1/16" center to center on the bottom of the slopes (bus sides)


The size of the eHatch to AC patch is 28.5L X 30"W. Our ribs are 27" center. By coming away from the front and rear edge by 11/16" our rivets are in the center of the ribs and allowed the patch to span across both, without touching the existing rivets.
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:49 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
I still need to get mine all patched up. its all full of boxes and stuff though.
lol And the key-box for the realtor is actually ON our bus' mirror hahaha
It's hard to belive how much time passes. We are looking forward to seeing you two, soon.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:20 PM   #9
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Placing the Patch & Drill

Finding the center of the bus yielded a different result than what the factory chose. Every string I pulled, all of my measurement showed the harch was off by about 11/16 to one side. I could tell since the start, and all of the port side screws completely missed to the outside of the beam, while the starboard screws were well to the inside. So I centered the hatch with the bus, not the old hatch. See for yourself.


I positioned the center marks of my piece with the buses true center, and strapped it into place. Starting from the top of the arch, I completed each hole and installed a cleco. One front, one rear, repeat.


I tried ratchet straps first, but working alone, they proved to rigid to adjust for each hole. So I switched to two, tow straps and four 5 gallon buckets. (Hose filled after hanging.)



Strapping two pieces of framing, cut to size, I was able to apply pressure to the sheets, keeping them together while drilling & reaming each (every other) hole. The lumber, on edge, helps me stay perpendicular as I drill.


Drilled & reamed each hole to cleco size using 4 bits
(7/64", 1/8', 5/32", 3/16") switching bits four times for each hole,
then secure the piece with a cleco,
then move blocks to next hole and repeat each.
I also dip the bit tips into cutting oil, prior to each use.
Yeah, I put the O in ocd.
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Old 09-19-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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Take it all back down

After completing the holes across the arch, I continued with the sides. Hoping to avoid a ripple.


All holes drilled to 3/16", no ripples or bunching. Pencil Trace both sides, label in, out, ft & rr.
Must now remove all the clecos, clean surfaces of cutting oil, add Dynatron 550 to the sandwich, then re-insert clecos, dry ream each hole to the finish size (#11), finally install sealed rivets.


I completed most of the work while standing on this feed barrel, held upright by a 70lb fire ring. I worked through the 14-3/16" square after the first 20 holes.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:09 PM   #11
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Drill it dry, but goo it this time

With the patched removed, I washed the cutting oil from the surface using lots of soap, friction & rinse water. Ensuring an oil free, clean, dry surface.
Following my pencil tracing, applied two, thin, continuous beads of Dynatron 550.


I carefully, slowly lowered the patch onto the roof, using the holes and pencil marks as a guide. A small aliment tool helped with the first hole. I reinsert each cleco, once again utilizing the weighted tow strap to curve the rigid 16g. Starting at the top, front to back, working my way down. After filling all of the holes with clecos, I immediately replace each of those, with a stainless steel, closed end rivet.


The 3/16" (.1875") hole is perfectly sized for the clecos, the rivet holes finish size is .1910 (#11). The last ream was performed without oil to prevent corruption of adheasive. Progression of cleco to rivet, pictured. Note the bead of sealant squeezing out near the completed rivet, as they are tighter than clecos.


Each rivet head is turned in dt550 sealant prior to insertion.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:20 PM   #12
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Coming from another OCD builder the hatch patch looks great.

How long is the working time with the dynatron 550? The seam sealer I used set up much faster than I liked and I had to hurry to get all my rivets in.

Ted
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:26 PM   #13
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Coming from another OCD builder the hatch patch looks great.

How long is the working time with the dynatron 550? The seam sealer I used set up much faster than I liked and I had to hurry to get all my rivets in.

Ted
Thank you, T-Jones.

Longer when sandwiched, maybe an hour to get them all in, squeezed out until the last rivet.

Where the dt550 surface was exposed, it skinned over in a few minutes but several (20?) minutes longer if there is any thickness.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:51 PM   #14
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Water tight

I feel assured, but will test the seams. Unless I find a better way, I will repeat each step on the front roof-hatch-patch.


The underside of rivets and hatch-patch, note the wide overlap.


I'll add more soon.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Coming from another OCD builder the hatch patch looks great.

How long is the working time with the dynatron 550? The seam sealer I used set up much faster than I liked and I had to hurry to get all my rivets in.

Ted
Dynatron skins over in just a few minutes, but if you put some mineral spirits into a spray bottle, you can mist down the surface once in a while and keep it workable pretty much indefinitely. I've done all my riveting "wet" with the dynatron and there's really no rush if you use the spray bottle from time to time.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:25 PM   #16
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This is an awesome tutorial, thanks for putting this together. I think this will be very helpful for a lot of people.

I also removed my static vent and sheeted over the opening, but after doing so I disassembled the vent itself to see how it worked internally, and I came to regret removing it as it's actually a great little piece of engineering that allows air flow (especially when driving) without allowing any water inside even in a driving rain. Since its location was ahead of my bulkhead wall, I could have left it without compromising the insulation of my living space. I've occasionally seen pics of skoolies where people leave the static vent in place but seal up the four small openings in the corners with sealant or with their elastomeric paint, but this is bad because this is how water that is blown in through the vent openings is meant to drain off without making it into the inside.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:23 PM   #17
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This is an awesome tutorial, thanks for putting this together. I think this will be very helpful for a lot of people.

I also removed my static vent and sheeted over the opening, but after doing so I disassembled the vent itself to see how it worked internally, and I came to regret removing it as it's actually a great little piece of engineering that allows air flow (especially when driving) without allowing any water inside even in a driving rain. Since its location was ahead of my bulkhead wall, I could have left it without compromising the insulation of my living space. I've occasionally seen pics of skoolies where people leave the static vent in place but seal up the four small openings in the corners with sealant or with their elastomeric paint, but this is bad because this is how water that is blown in through the vent openings is meant to drain off without making it into the inside.
Thanks. Lots of ways to do a patch. I borrowed from your water-tight rivet box test. Also, following the KnowledgeBase of the skoolie.net co-op.


I took my vent of off, remembering what you wrote - regarding the engineering, yet I found a few oak leaves in mine. Patched it as well. More to come on that subject.
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Old 09-19-2021, 08:32 PM   #18
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Thanks. Lots of ways to do a patch. I borrowed from your water-tight rivet box test. Also, following the KnowledgeBase of the s.n co-op.

I took my vent of off, remembering what you wrote - regarding the engineering, yet I found a few oak leaves in mine. Patched it as well. More to come on that subject.
Ha ha, I just said it was waterproof, not oak-leaf-proof.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:11 PM   #19
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Weight in the belly makes a bowl

Riveting and bonding the two layers of arched, 16 guage steel have made the sides quite rigid. The patch is supported by two ribs, but the area that will support a 100lb load is a single layer, 5" in all directions.

To prevent sagging, I reused the factory eHatch supports.


Built to hold a fireman and a fat kid @ 26"oc, they'll do well with a 100lb ac @ 17"oc


Held by friction only, in this pic, the intention is to span the ribs, leaving a 3/16" gap (add sealant) to reduce conduction. Will press the wood frame, aka AC duct, upto the roof skin.


A/C duct and support frame, 14-3/16" square:
Primed, then painted twice prior to assembly. Again after sealing corner joints. Corners secured using 3" coated deck screws, while clamped flush & square.
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Old 09-19-2021, 09:43 PM   #20
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Push up and Hold up

My goal is to squeeze the roof steel between the wood frame below and the AC above (or other RV appliance) using the four corner bolts as clamps.

For this, I'll start with the wood frame lightly clamped to the sides of the roof, hand bumping until center, flush, plumb, & parallel with the roof hole, & tighten. Then clamp the steel supports to the frame until satisfied with the fit. Mark the hole with a sharpie.


Remove everything, set aside as positioned above. Drilled holes, used cutting oil and secured steel using upcycled bus screws.
Left a 3/16" gap between the outer skin and the steel frame supports to reduce thermal bridging. Sealed gap with PL S40.


Replaced the ac duct (wood frame). Held by friction only, at time of picture. Currently supported via 1-1/4" coated deck screws, through the steel side. Sealed between the wood & metal contact using PL S40. Mostly to seal off AC convection.
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