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Old 07-21-2012, 05:15 PM   #1
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Roof Condition / opinions needed

I have a 1996 Pace Arrow Vision, bought it about 2 months ago and don't really have any maintenance history. Supposedly while the last owner had it (8 years) it was under roof for 7 years. By the paper work I do know it was only driven about 2500 miles.

The roof was heavily spotted, looked like mildew to me, following are a before and after picture of my cleaning attempt. I found no tears, no repairs. The crowns on each side show bubbles and appear to not be adhereing well to whatever the edge crowns are made of. There is also some bubbles in areas of the roof where it appears there are roof panel seams below the rubber cover.

No sign of leaks or water damage inside. Recoat or replace, I guess those are the questions. The roof after cleaning shows some checkering if you look at it very closely.
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:11 PM   #2
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Looks exceptionally good if it is the original roof. By standard it should have been replaced years ago. Keep in mind that one that old is going to be very suseptable to the elements. You should follow up the cleaning with a rubber roof treatment. Keep an eye on the "bubbles"as they will crack and allow water in. Also be sure and use Dicor caulk and go over the seams and vents to insure good protection from rain. Just because it has been under cover does not change the age factor. Good luck
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Old 07-21-2012, 06:46 PM   #3
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Another solution to your roof is to use EternaBond tape. Two four inch wide 50 foot rolls will probably take care of your seams. In fact, you can probably place it over the "bubbles" you mentioned to insure they don't crack and let water in. One word of advice. Eternabond sticks almost immediately to what it touches and doesn't come off. Be careful if you plan to use it. I think it has something like a 10-15 year warrantee on RV roofs.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlfbatonrg View Post
Another solution to your roof is to use EternaBond tape. Two four inch wide 50 foot rolls will probably take care of your seams. In fact, you can probably place it over the "bubbles" you mentioned to insure they don't crack and let water in. One word of advice. Eternabond sticks almost immediately to what it touches and doesn't come off. Be careful if you plan to use it. I think it has something like a 10-15 year warrantee on RV roofs.

I assume the tape would be applied first then a total roof seal over that. Making another assumption I would guess once you "re-coat" a roof the tape is no longer an option.

BTW, so everyone understands my terminology, my roof is not seamed, it is all one piece. The seams I refer to are what I believe to be joints of the roof decking. Oddly (to me anyway) these seams did not show bubbles until I cooled them by scrubing and running rinse water on them, then they returned to a flat condition as they rewarmed in the hot Florida sun. The side roof crowns are another story they seem to be largely none adherent to the roofing material. Almost looks like the drip rails should be removed and the crown area lifted and reglued.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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"I assume the tape would be applied first then a total roof seal over that. Making another assumption I would guess once you "re-coat" a roof the tape is no longer an option. The side roof crowns are another story they seem to be largely none adherent to the roofing material. Almost looks like the drip rails should be removed and the crown area lifted and reglued."

I'm not sure, but I don't think the roof is glued. I have seen tpo roofs that pulled out from under the cap seal and they weren't glued. I suspect the "bubbles" are place where the roof has stretched.

The purpose of both the Eternabond tape and the Dicor caulk is to insure a water tight seal that protects the coach.

Eternabond tape is basically a finished product, but I have seen it painted with Cool Seal paint. It was developed for use in the NASA space program. The adhesive on the tape will stick to just about anything. if the surface is clean. If you cover the areas where the original seams were caulked, you will have a complete new seal, provided you clean the original seam well. If you apply the tape over the "bubbles" you can insure they will not crack and leak. Here is a website that might explain the tape better than I can.

Eternabond Roof Tape

I have used this product on many RV roofs among other applications with complete success. The best example I have is a friend stepped through his skylight on an older coach. Benig short of cahs he decided to use Eternabond to put the broken pieces back together. That was 6 years ago, and the tape is still holding and protecting as if new. Hope this helps you.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:01 AM   #6
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The bubbles you're cescribing are normal. It's not unusual for temperature changes to make the roof look like this.

I would coat it with "Liquid Roof" (a specific brand name) and be done.
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Old 07-22-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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Probably best to ask Dicor, they make a majority of the rubber roofs.

From Their website: My roof has air bubbles. Is this normal?
Typically, if air bubbles occur they occur during or very soon after the roof has been applied. A couple of reasons for the air bubbles would be that they were not broomed out during application, and we ask the installer not to stretch the material during installation to allow for expansion and contraction of the membrane. Air bubbles will occur with weather conditions and humidity. Air bubbles can also occur at the seams of the roof decking due to flexing and twisting that occurs during transit. Sometimes they occur if there is a significant difference in the temperature between the inside and outside of the unit. https://dicorproducts.com/faq/

The bubbles occur where the adhesive has released or did not adhere. They warn not to cut the bubbles and that a petroleum based cleaner can cause the rubber membrane to swell and release from the adhesive...
Your roof does not look that bad, to recoat or replace may not be that urgent...
Hope this helps.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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Brockx.....I can guaruntee that if you recoat the roof, you'll REGRET it forever. It's rubber and nothing really sticks well to it. The coating will eventually start to lift off and be a mess.

It's hard to tell from your photos, but it looks like your roof is in pretty good shape and you did a nice job cleaning it. If it doesn't leak, don't mess with it.

For preventative maintenance, use the products recommended to condition the rubber roofs. Basically, the conditioners keep the roof from becoming chaulky and leaving powder streaks down the side of the coach. You also need to check at all the vents and seams and reseal with the appropriate sealer to maintain a good seal. I'm guessing Dicor is appropriate for this.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trackman View Post
Looks exceptionally good if it is the original roof. By standard it should have been replaced years ago. Keep in mind that one that old is going to be very suseptable to the elements. You should follow up the cleaning with a rubber roof treatment. Keep an eye on the "bubbles"as they will crack and allow water in. Also be sure and use Dicor caulk and go over the seams and vents to insure good protection from rain. Just because it has been under cover does not change the age factor. Good luck
What "standard" are you using? I've never heard of one for roofs and the one some use for tires is simply for their piece of mind.
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Old 07-22-2012, 04:40 PM   #10
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Probably best to ask Dicor, they make a majority of the rubber roofs.
For the record: Dicor doesn't make roofing materials, the are a reseller of other makers products. They do wholesale the majority of roofing materials used by RV makers though.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:08 PM   #11
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All of you that answered this thread, Thanks!!! I feel alot better, about the situation. When we (wife and I) started looking we had a price point max of $12,000. We looked at everything that showed up from 15K down to 9k that was not obvious junk. I had no idea what delamination was until we started looking at coaches. Many of the 1990 / 2000 coaches we looked at were afflicted beyond return so we are really paranoid of roof and other sealing problems.

I feel something needs to be done to help mine as real close examination shows some checkering and after going back on roof again today it is still somewhat chalky even after the cleaning yesterday. Most of the mildew spot diminished greatly with a good dose of sunlight after the cleaning.

Thanks again
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:49 PM   #12
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I wouldn't even re-coat it unless there was signs that the existing EPDM rubber had worn away. You can tell that has happened when the weave of the underlying fabric begins to show. Until then, just clean it periodically to keep the mold down and the chalky residue from running down the sides.

I disagree with Diplomat Don about the longevity of a coating. If properly applied it should last many years. If it doesn't stick, it is because of inadequate surface prep.

The EPDM is fully glued to the main roof structure, which is luan plywood on your 96 Pace. I had a 96 Southwind myslef, a badge "sister' to the Pace. The rounded edges, however, are not so firmly glued and the tail edges are probably just held by the molding where the sidewall joins.

Make sure all seams and openings are well caulked or covered with Eternabond tape. Remove any dried (hard) caulk before re-caulking.

The manufacturer warranty on the EPDM material is 10 years, but a well-cared for rubber roof can last 20 or more years.
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Old 07-22-2012, 10:29 PM   #13
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Gary.....Not to be argumentative, but my experience came from owning a FLeetwood with the first generation rubber roof (soft stuff) which is probably what the OP has. It's already bubbling and moving around. That's exactly why a coating doesn't work. If it was the newer generation rubber roof (hard stuff) I would agree with recoating.

You're not going to get anything to stick to a soft, moving, rubber roof that will last. Too much flexing!
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #14
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Wow, that was pretty educational for me. I am about in the exact same situation as the OP. 1996 Pace Arrow, 12K no history other than the original buyer put 8K on it, sold it in 2006, the next guy put 4 K on it and has no ideal what the original owner did or didn't do. He does know he didn't do anything other than use it just a couple times a year. My question to the OP is did you just use household cleaning material to clean it up in the first place or did you go to the RV Store (Camping World, etc.) and purchase roof specific product, did you use an aggressive brush, or a softer type brush? I am about to to the same job as you did and of course have the same concerns. Any tips you can give would be appreciated.
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