I decided to replace the entire roof panel because:
- The damage at the front where a branch fell on the camper meant that at least the front 4′ or so would need replacement. Cutting the existing roof and adding a panel at the front would have been complicated by the thick coating of aluminum paint on the top and the insulation on the underside.
- Since I have to repair a number of the front panels anyway, I have decided to extend the cabover by 17″ to change the 46″ wide east-west bed into a queen size north-south bed. An addition 12″ of length will extend the bed to the rear over the front wall of the camper into the living space for a total of 75″ in length.
Removal of the panel was mostly done by sliding a putty knife under the roof panel and hammering on it to cut the rivets. The aluminum paint is about 1/8″ thick. In some places it flakes away easily from the aluminum, and it other’s it’s extremely durable.
The aluminum paint on the roof would be very difficult to remove, but leaving it would make it equally difficult to install vents and solar panels, and to patch the damaged area.
The original roof panel was 3′ wide and just under 12′ long. The replacement panel will be 4′ wide, so I was able to trim a few inches off each side of the remaining panels to eliminate all of the rivet holes and overlapping paint.