I want to mount four security cameras on the roof of the RV. Should I be concerned with drilling and sealing holes in the rooftop if I put Dicor over all the mounting fasteners? Should I find a stud or frame to drill into or …? Thanks. —Jerry, 2011 Thor Chateau 22B
Your Class C Thor Chateau more than likely has some type of rubber material as the outer skin of the sandwich design. Since it is a 2011, it would most likely be EPDM or TPO. Both of these materials are a very thin, flexible, rubber-like membrane that would supply little or no structure. It is a challenge to find any information about the construction of some of the rigs as they don’t want to advertise what the industry calls “stick and tin” construction. This is Mesa or ribbed sidewall outer skin, wood framing, and loose fill insulation. Nothing wrong with this type of construction. However, it has limited structural integrity and relies on interior walls to help support the roof.
RV outer construction
Typically, Thor uses a sandwich design that has the rubber outer membrane, a wood paneling called lauan, block foam insulation, another sheet of lauan, and either a fleet material or padded vinyl laminated to the wood. The lauan on the upper and lower level is only about 1/8” thick.
Some Class C manufacturers use a molded fiberglass front cap that would be much thicker. However, from the information I have found on your 2011, it just has the flat fiberglass sheet similar to the sidewalls that makes the transition from the roof around the radius of the cap or bunk area. Finding a stud or frame would be a real challenge.
Stick and tin RV construction
If your unit is stick and tin, then it would have a wood framework around the perimeter of the roof and the sidewall, so there would be some structure to mount to there. I do believe that Thor uses an aluminum framework for the sidewall, so there should be an aluminum roof to sidewall frame and joint. On top of that joint is an aluminum trim piece covering the seam, so you could mount it to that with some structure.
Since you did not provide the make and model of the security cameras, I’m not sure where the best place to mount them would be. However, you could mount them on the side at the corners rather than on top of the RV roof. This might create some blind spots in the front and back.
Mounting cameras on RV roof
If you mount the cameras on the top into the thin paneling, put butyl tape underneath. Butyl tape is a putty-like tape that is a good sealant. Mount the camera as directed, then cover the base with a sealant that is designed for the rubber membrane. You can determine the type of rubber by removing the interior shroud of your roof vent and look at the underside of the material. If it is black, the rubber is EPDM. If it is the same color as the top, it is TPO. You should be able to get a sealant that is designed for that material. Covering the entire base of the camera will help keep it tight to the roof.
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