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Old 10-18-2016, 12:34 PM   #1
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Fiberglass or Aluminum roofs

Hello everyone,

Newly joined member here.. I've been reading through the threads - incredible amount of information here!

We are searching for our first DP - moving from 5ver.. I've been researching and learning and could use some help - Which older DP manufacturers used aluminum or fiberglass roofs? After a couple 5th wheels I am adamant about not having another "rubber roof"...

We are looking nationwide for a well cared for coach in the 1998 - 2003 year models at this point as we would like to pay cash.

I like the Fleetwood Discoverys, HRs , Monacos.. trying to narrow down our searches to only those that have alum or fiber roofs..


Thanks everyone!

Scott
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Old 10-18-2016, 02:39 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by smp005 View Post
Hello everyone,

Newly joined member here.. I've been reading through the threads - incredible amount of information here!

We are searching for our first DP - moving from 5ver.. I've been researching and learning and could use some help - Which older DP manufacturers used aluminum or fiberglass roofs? After a couple 5th wheels I am adamant about not having another "rubber roof"...

We are looking nationwide for a well cared for coach in the 1998 - 2003 year models at this point as we would like to pay cash.

I like the Fleetwood Discoverys, HRs , Monacos.. trying to narrow down our searches to only those that have alum or fiber roofs..


Thanks everyone!

Scott
Scott,
Another "Scott" here. First off, I'm with you on not being all that fond of rubber roofs. We had one on a '99 Fleetwood Bounder 34V and, while it lasted, it did deteriorate to the point that, right at about 8-9 years old, it had lost almost all of its white outer layer and, it was almost completely black. I had to recoat it to keep from boiling inside the coach.

So, when it came time to look for a coach, a rubber roof was definitely out. So, with that being said, we have an '04 Itasca Horizon 36GD with the 330HP C-7 CAT and it has a fiberglass roof. I love it. I'm one of those that really doesn't mind getting up there on occasion and, doing a little maintenance. I actually got up there about 3 years ago, washed it thoroughly with soap, water and cleanser.

Then, I machine buffed it and waxed it. Talk about a seriously nice looking roof. But, that's another story. Anyway, for the most part, a fiberglass roof is pretty much a bullet proof roof, based on normal wear and tear, and regular inspections and maintenance. I'm not aware of manufacturers that utilize an aluminum roof but, I think I've heard of one or two.

Everyone has their likes and dislikes about certain roofs. Some have had multiple coaches with rubber roofs and, are totally satisfied. I had an aluminum roof on an '89 Ultra, 27' Class C Ford. It was a fairly stout roof and never gave me any problems. But, since that one, I've not seen any with aluminum roofs but, again, I'm sure they're out there.

One thing, I could be mistaken but, you're thinking about a Fleetwood Discovery, correct? Well, being that it's a Fleetwood product, don't those have a rubber roof? I could be way off base here. Good luck on your find.
Scott
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:04 PM   #3
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Some of the early 2000's monaco/holiday rambler/beaver/safari coaches had aluminum roofs.
In particular the 2002 diplomat/endeavor/?/? (can't remember the beaver/safari corresponding trim names) did.
I think the '03's did also, pretty sure the '01 as well, don't know further than that.
Biggest headache is the seam between the aluminum roof and the fiberglass front/rear caps which requires sealing every 4 or 5 years due to the difference in thermal expansion between the aluminum and the fiberglass.
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:09 PM   #4
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My 2003 HR has aluminum roof I have had no problems since I check the seal to the caps regularly I do know some years it could be either and the fiberglass roof units were heavier due to that different material. (read a lot of spec sheets while shopping for mine)
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Old 10-18-2016, 03:46 PM   #5
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TPO is darn near as good and far superior to EPDM rubber. While I prefer fiberglass or metal, I wouldn't turn down a nice coach just because it had TPO. Not EPDM, though.

The important thing to remember is that the roof membrane is NOT what leaks (unless something penetrates it and then all bets are off). It's the seams and joints you have to take care of, and those are the same for all RV roof materials. Plus all roof materials need periodic washing if you want them to stay looking nice. Of course, EPDM sheds pigment (chalking), whenever it gets wet. That's its major drawback.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:54 PM   #6
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So I have found that I can still pull up the brochures for Monacos and Newmars on thei web sites.. :-)

The 2003 Monaco Diplomat is fiberglass but the 2000 Newmar Dutch Star is listed as "rubber roof"

Looking for Tiffin and Holiday Rambler now!

This is a lot of research but I am hoping it pays off in the long run. We are trying to stay under 40k and hopefully under 35k so we have extra funds for any updates that are needed...
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:07 PM   #7
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My 04 HR has fiberglass front and rear transition caps with an aluminum roof.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:28 PM   #8
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Vintage American Eagles have fiberglass roofs from 98 on.

American Dreams got the fiberglass roofs by 2000 if memory serves.

Both were designed and manufactured by the American Coach part of Fleetwood.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:46 PM   #9
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i wonder what my roof is as it is different than any i have seen. i have been on a lot..there are no seems front to back only where it meets sides and has about a 4-5" crown so no water spots. and very hard. has to have plywood and then foam that is cut and formed to the curve and glued as it is very stable. the covering is kinda like the pebble fiberglass sheets you see in bathrooms ect or meat rooms that get washed down//.you can jump on it, really. ther is no roof ducts for air or heat.. can any one tell me if this is used by any other manufacturer??
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Old 10-18-2016, 07:06 PM   #10
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We recently purchased a 98 American Eagle; which has a fiberglass roof. It gives us a piece of mind that it won't leak. We have had to re seal around the openings; just as would any other roof type. I did the work myself to save a good amount of money. The roof was like new except the old caulking that had deteriorated.
I would purchase another MH with a fiberglass roof; not just for the roof; but they tend to be on the higher end models.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:17 PM   #11
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So I have found that I can still pull up the brochures for Monacos and Newmars on thei web sites.. :-)

The 2003 Monaco Diplomat is fiberglass but the 2000 Newmar Dutch Star is listed as "rubber roof"

Looking for Tiffin and Holiday Rambler now!

This is a lot of research but I am hoping it pays off in the long run. We are trying to stay under 40k and hopefully under 35k so we have extra funds for any updates that are needed...

HR will depend on the model. After Monaco purchased HR, they phased in the HR models into Monaco production model at a time, so for a time there were both fiberglass and aluminum roofs in the HR lineup.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:37 PM   #12
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???

Not to change the subject - but someone is trying to get me to replace an 03 Adventurer roof with aluminum with Kevlar (sp) overlay. Does this make sense? Problem with condensation build-up?? Any thoughts??
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:47 PM   #13
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Ours has a rubber roof, however, it was not my first choice of material, it just happened that way. One Monaco Diplomat we viewed during our search was totally trashed due to lack of maintenance on the fiberglass roof. I have yet to see another coach with such extensive water damage internally as this one had, it literally made me ill. The coach, in my opinion, was a total loss. As I recall the model year was 2001. As mentioned, look for this type of thing when you inspect your potential purchase.
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