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Old 08-07-2017, 07:13 PM   #1
Gapopper
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Do Springdales have a walkable roof

Just purchased a 2014 Springdale 311RE and was wondering if the roof is walkable.
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:31 PM   #2
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They are built with roof trusses 16" on center. I tried to find information on the decking material for 2014 models, but can't. Keystone typically will say walkable roof in the brochures if it is, but the Springdale brochure for 2014 does not say anything about that. I would go on the safe side and walk only where the trusses are.
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Old 08-08-2017, 05:29 AM   #3
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Or you could put some 24 inch supports down. Plywood (be careful of roof membrane damage) or foam board to straddle the trusses and spread out the weight.

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Old 08-08-2017, 05:41 AM   #4
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supports.....to straddle the trusses and spread out the weight.
Agree. I just had the trim off of the bathroom vent. The trusses are not designed to walk on. Basically it's 2 pcs of 3/4"x 1 1/2" stock laid flat with filler block's between them to create the arch. It's designed to support it's self and a tad more for the equipment above.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:32 AM   #5
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Some other Keystone trailers are constructed with aluminum or steel rafters, that's not the case with Springdale.

Springdale trailers are constructed with wooden rafters. As posted above, they are not much more than 1x1 and 1x2 spruce that's glued and stapled together to form an arched rafter. Over the years moisture, twisting motion from towing, walking on the roof and decomposition of the adhesive will cause the rafters to "weaken". Additionally, as with any "mass produced product" there's no "sure fire way" to know that all the staples are actually "holding the rafters together"....

So, the less weight you put on any rafter, the less number of times you walk on the roof, the more you can "spread the weight" over a larger area, the longer your trailer roof will last.
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Old 08-08-2017, 06:55 AM   #6
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Some other Keystone trailers are constructed with aluminum or steel rafters, that's not the case with Springdale.

Springdale trailers are constructed with wooden rafters. As posted above, they are not much more than 1x1 and 1x2 spruce that's glued and stapled together to form an arched rafter. Over the years moisture, twisting motion from towing, walking on the roof and decomposition of the adhesive will cause the rafters to "weaken". Additionally, as with any "mass produced product" there's no "sure fire way" to know that all the staples are actually "holding the rafters together"....

So, the less weight you put on any rafter, the less number of times you walk on the roof, the more you can "spread the weight" over a larger area, the longer your trailer roof will last.
I agree the Springdale rafters are not built robust, but don't assume that because they are wood and not aluminum that they are not strong. In the case of the Springdale, that's is probably a correct statement. There are several high end brands that still use wooden rafters for different reasons and they are designed to be fully walkable. Last I checked, my house was built with wood rafters too. It's not the material, it's the design. Kids build bridges in shop class with popsicle sticks that can withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:36 AM   #7
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I agree the Springdale rafters are not built robust, but don't assume that because they are wood and not aluminum that they are not strong. In the case of the Springdale, that's is probably a correct statement. There are several high end brands that still use wooden rafters for different reasons and they are designed to be fully walkable. Last I checked, my house was built with wood rafters too. It's not the material, it's the design. Kids build bridges in shop class with popsicle sticks that can withstand hundreds of pounds of pressure.
Not only engineering, but even more so is the end construction, or the quality of the construction, from what I have seen the industry needs to buck up and do the jobs right!
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:46 AM   #8
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buy a couple of pieces of 2" thick insulation board at your local hardware store. Cut into 2x2' pieces and use them to span the rafters. If you're a big person duct tape 2 pieces together. Much easer to move around than plywood.
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:53 AM   #9
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Not only engineering, but even more so is the end construction, or the quality of the construction, from what I have seen the industry needs to buck up and do the jobs right!
That is the point I was trying to make (apparently I missed in communicating the idea).... I'll agree, a "wood" rafter if constructed properly will be stong and last for a long time. If, on the other hand, the rafters were assembled on an assembly line by workers who "missed the mark" with the glue gun and then stapled them together with staples that were 1" too far left on a 1" rafter, well, the only thing holding them together is "sheer luck"..... I've found that the "typical RV quality" is somewhere between "completely missing the staples" and "having 10 times the staples because the first try missed the mark".... So,

As for construction with wood, well, every home I've had has been constructed with wood rafters. They've been 2x4, 2x6, 2x8, 2x10 and 2x12 construction. They sit "stationary" and do last a "long time"..... RV's, on the other hand, are constructed with "#2 grade spruce" 1x1 and 1x2 with 2x2 in "high stress areas". They twist and "contort" down the road over bumps and turns at 65+ MPH. Not quite the same "stationary environment" and very likely not the same "5 year end result"...

sort of like asking a hummingbird to carry the mail when the carrier pigeon is on vacation.......
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Old 08-08-2017, 07:56 AM   #10
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You would think all modern trailers today would have a walkable roof so you could do routine maintenance and cleaning.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:18 AM   #11
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You would think all modern trailers today would have a walkable roof so you could do routine maintenance and cleaning.
Not when the industry is building 37'7" travel trailers that weigh in at 6550 pounds with a 680 pound tongue weight so they can be towed by half ton pickups.

"Helium technology" is a hoax, they really can't make trailers "float".... but they can make them from materials so "thin and lightweight" that they can barely support their own weight, much less that of a 250 pound man walking on the 1/4" OSB roof. As a comment, there are some RV roof/ceiling structures that are nothing more than 1/8" luan-2" of foam and 1/8" luan covered by the TPO membrane. Try walking on that......

I owned a Springdale fifth wheel, when a tree fell on the roof, (as you can see from the pictures, it wasn't a "HUGE" tree) I found out just what "lack of quality construction" really was. When the repair facility peeled the TPO and 1/4" OSB off the roof, I saw "rafters" that were more "hit and miss" than "quality built". I walked on my roof, very carefully, but given what I saw of the construction, I wouldn't do it without properly distributing the weight over multiple trusses......

ADDED: I weigh 190 pounds "soaking wet" and I would feel "uncomfortable" on a Springdale roof without foam or plywood to spread my weight. If I weighed 250, you wouldn't catch me on the roof, I'd use a ladder against the side.
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:43 PM   #12
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Well I weigh 230. I am glad y'all told me to stay off of it.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:30 PM   #13
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According to the new brochure, springdales have 16" on center rafters (doesn't say what size material is used) and 3/8 "walkable roof decking". I couldn't tell you what the 2014 version had.

Grand Design also uses wood rafters, but theirs are much different construction than the Springdale.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:14 PM   #14
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Years ago when I had the same question about another trailer, somebody said if it has a ladder, it's walkable. If it doesn't have a ladder, it's not. Don't know if that statement is true but I suspect it is.
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Old 08-24-2017, 12:38 PM   #15
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John, would you say that a Hideout 19FLBWE likewise should NOT have anyone go up on the roof for maintenance stuff?

Thx, Sharon
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