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Old 03-14-2019, 04:59 PM   #1
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Class A Motorhome roof types?

Hello all. I am new to this forum but not new to camping. Camped all my life starting with a thick canvas Sears and Roebuck tent daddy had that him, mother and their six kids used to camp for weeks during the summers. Have had two tow behind trailers and am now looking to sell out - retire and purchase a motorhome to live in until the wonderful woman can retire as well; then hopefully hit the road. I really like some of the Tiffin, Winnebago and Forest River floor plans. I was looking at a nice-looking Forest River on Craigslist and they had a picture of the top of the motorhome in a garage. It looked like the roof was rubber, vinyl or acrylic. Is this true? I have read some threads which discussed delams and started me thinking, I have seen what delams can do to a pull behind. What type roofs do different motorhomes have? Which is a type of solid fiberglas or some other solid type surface that you can bet will not leak like a rubber roof as it ages without care. Which are the ones I want to focus on? Am I off base on this? Or is this one of the things that separate the motorhomes from fair, good to best?
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:15 PM   #2
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My Berkshirehas a one piece laminate roof. The outside layer is fiberglass.
There's a picture of the jig somewhere.... quite impressive.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:15 PM   #3
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All of the current Tiffin coaches have a one piece fiberglass roof. I don't know history about how long ago they went with the one piece, but I do know it's been for the past 10-15 years at least.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:22 AM   #4
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I think the general sense among owners is that one piece fiberglass roofs are better than the rubber roofs. This is not to say that people don't have issues with the fiberglass roofs. In addition, rubber roofs (which aren't really rubber any longer) have come a long way in their reliability so it is hard to say what the reality is. For me, I prefer a fiberglass roof not because of any empirical evidence but just my gut feel for expected longevity.
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:51 AM   #5
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I was a boat builder for 35 years and I have never seen a fiberglass boat that did not develop stress cracks in the fiberglass somewhere over time unless it was built with epoxy resin.
The roads in some parts of the country are very rough and coaches are subject to
a lot of vibration and fllexing. There are stories about cracks along the corners of fiberglass roofs of some brands and even roofs blowing off down the road. We owned an Itaska on which the fiberglass roof had failed and been replaced with TPO. We had no problems with the TPO roof on it and our Jayco trailer had a TPO roof with no problems after 9 years.
No roof is maintenance free. They all need to be inspected often and recalked at the seams and where vents, AC units etc. are attached. Keep up with the maintenance and you will have few problems.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:09 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teamfoxy View Post
I was a boat builder for 35 years and I have never seen a fiberglass boat that did not develop stress cracks in the fiberglass somewhere over time unless it was built with epoxy resin.
The roads in some parts of the country are very rough and coaches are subject to
a lot of vibration and fllexing. There are stories about cracks along the corners of fiberglass roofs of some brands and even roofs blowing off down the road. We owned an Itaska on which the fiberglass roof had failed and been replaced with TPO. We had no problems with the TPO roof on it and our Jayco trailer had a TPO roof with no problems after 9 years.
No roof is maintenance free. They all need to be inspected often and recalked at the seams and where vents, AC units etc. are attached. Keep up with the maintenance and you will have few problems.
Agreed. That said, if you do have to replace a membrane roof it's a bear. Glassing over an occasional crack on a fiberglass roof is a lot less work, especially since you can't see it from the ground and don't have to fill and fair....

I've had both but I think I'm happier (so far) with my fiberglass.
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Old 03-15-2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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Rubber, TPO, and fiberglass are pretty much the choices the manufacturers have to choose from. Of course there are also the spray, roll or brush on coatings.
Our first Type A (Santara) had rubber, traded off after two years so no problems. Second (Dutch Star) had a three piece fiberglass roof that we traded off after two years so no problems. Third (Dutch Star) had the BriteTec roof. Had the rig for 13 years and no problems with it. Present rig has no seams, not even at the endcaps. And no troubles either.
All rigs were stored outside with no covers. I did have to maintain the sealant around openings.
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:47 AM   #8
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With certainly, I do know that there are only two roof types; Leaking and not leaking. I've had both during my years of pull-behinds and Class A.

I prefer the ones that are not leaking - but that's just an opinion.

My ten year old Tiffin has a fiberglass roof. No trouble other than where amateurs (read service centers) have made penetrations and where some age-related wigglin' gives pathways that require dicor or eternatbond-type tape to fix.

Some types are "better" than others I suppose, but periodic maintenance and common sense can keep you dry.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:05 PM   #9
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With certainly, I do know that there are only two roof types; Leaking and not leaking. I've had both during my years of pull-behinds and Class A.

I prefer the ones that are not leaking - but that's just an opinion.

My ten year old Tiffin has a fiberglass roof. No trouble other than where amateurs (read service centers) have made penetrations and where some age-related wigglin' gives pathways that require dicor or eternatbond-type tape to fix.

Some types are "better" than others I suppose, but periodic maintenance and common sense can keep you dry.
I think you mean LEAKING and GONNA BE LEAKING. When looking at older rigs, I saw plenty of leakers of all types and brands as well as well cared for RV's. It is amazing how many RV's just sit in storage with little use and very little care.
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Old 03-15-2019, 08:08 PM   #10
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My Holiday Rambler roof is aluminum as are the side walls. Not much to worry about, just need to maintain caulking around vents, A/C etc.
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Old 03-16-2019, 10:53 PM   #11
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2002 Winnebago here, fiberglass roof. No cracking or other problems. I did reseal the edges a few years ago.

Resealing my roof edges
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:20 AM   #12
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No cracks or leaks in my 16 year old fiberglass roof. Had an aluminum 1/8” thick roof in my previous 40 year old GMC Motorhome that I owned for 29 years it was in excellent non leaking condition when I sold it a few years ago. I would prefer either of those to a rubber roof but that’s just my opinion.
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Old 03-18-2019, 04:01 PM   #13
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Thanks to all for replying. I believe maintenance is the key but Fiberglas has less problem areas to keep an eye on. Thanks again!
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