Roof On

Getting the roof back on was damn near impossible. The sides had been tough at times, but it always felt like we were going to succeed eventually. The roof, on the other hand, nearly defeated us.

Roof and sides

The roof was the most difficult obstacle to overcome.

At first, it didn’t seem like it was going to be too difficult. We planned to nail down the roof along the curbside from back to front, then do the streetside. It fit on before, so logically, it would fit on again. The curbside did go on reasonably quickly, and we made sure that we had it lined up correctly because we were able to match up the original holes in the skin and the wood. Once we started working on the streetside, we saw that the roof didn’t overlap the sides in most places. We pushed down and tried to flatten it out, which helped a little, but we were well short of getting it back in its original position.

We tried stretching the roof, pulling on it from one side and pushing from the other, and managed to get a few more nails in. Still, it was far from a good fit. We hooked up two ratchet straps and tried squeezing the frame together, thinking that it had spread more than we thought when it had been disassembled, but had to stop when the boards creaked ominously with the roof no closer. It actually seemed like the strap made the very top of the frame splay out as it was compressed closer to the center of the boards.

We had set aside an entire long weekend to reattach the roof, and after spending all day Friday and Saturday working on it, we were further behind than when we started. We had to take the roof off and try getting both sides on at once, starting in the back and alternating sides. We gathered all of our available helpers together on Sunday, and pushed the frame together from the sides. We had three people on the scaffolding on each side of the trailer pressing the roof down, and one person running back and forth to nail it down. Every nail was a struggle. After hours of effort, we managed to get the last section of roof to overlap the side and secured it. It took all weekend, but we finally triumphed over the skin, and could start replacing the windows.

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