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Old 07-18-2012, 02:59 PM   #1
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Rubber or fiberglass roof repacement

So, I'm looking for information and thoughts. I have 2 Class A's to re-roof.
I have re-roofed a class a before with EPDM.

#1: 1989 Georgie Boy 32' gasser w/ rubber roof.
#2: 1998 Overland 42' diesel pusher w/ rubber roof.

#1 will be around for another couple of years.
#2 will be around for a long time. It's going to be our retirement/travel home. We live in it right now.

Both will require some new sheathing on the roof.
I have butyl tape from a previous project. Will need more.
All vents and covers are in good shape.
Only issue is bad rubber on both.

I am using the term "rubber" for EPDM, TPO or Vinyl

Option 1:

I will need about $400.00 worth of sheathing to do both (that is complete coverage, if required).

580 square feet of roof:

I can get a 10' wide x 100' long roll of 45mil TPO delivered to my garage for $845.00

I can buy solvent based adhesive locally for around $120.00 for 5 gallons. Will need 2.

That brings me to $1485.00 to do both, plus misc. screws, caulk, etc.

Requires:

Removal of roof vents, vent pipes, caps, ac units, antenna, solar panel, awning, drip/edge, cap strips, stripping off old rubber, removing bad wood and installation new wood.

Then, TPO on roof, laid in place, rolled back or sideways, glue applied, rolled out, bubbles pushed out, cap strips butyl and screwed down, edges pulled tight, butyl and drip/edge screwed down, ac and vent openings cut, vent pipe holes cut and pipes installed, vents butyl and screwed down, solar panel re-installed, ac units on, awning installed.

On the other hand........

Option 2:

I am considering using fiberglass resin and cloth to "make" my own fiberglass roof.

I have read of others doing it. Replaces the rubberized roof system and creates a solid, hard, one-piece roof instead. New sheathing, resin, cloth, brush/roll it on. Sand and paint if you want or add color to the resin when you roll it on.

I will need about $400.00 worth of sheathing to do both (that is complete coverage, if required).

580 square feet of roof:

$480.00 for fiberglass matting (1.5oz) to cover both.
$400.00 for fiberglass resin (6 gallons)
$7.00 for white opaque coloring.

That brings me to $1287.00 to do both, plus misc. screws, caulk, etc.

Requires:

Removal of roof vents, caps, ac units, antenna, solar panel, awning, drip/edge, cap strips, stripping off old rubber, removing bad wood and installation new wood.

Add vertical wood strips at roof vent openings to run resin up onto and 1/4" tall seat for ac unit to seal to.

Then, lay-out of cloth, application of resin, application of resin, cap strips butyl and screwed down, butyl and drip/edge screwed down, vents butyl and screwed down, solar panel re-installed, ac units on, awning installed.

Might be able to attach vents to added vertical pieces, fiberglassed in place, instead of screwing down to the top of the roof. Less holes in top!

Estimated $200 savings by going to fiberglass. Not a big deciding factor.

Either system will require a lot a my labor. That is a given.

I know that the rubber system is a relatively simple process that has been done by many.

The fiberglass system is pretty simple itself, eliminating the handling of the rubber/roll.

I am on the fence right now, but leaning towards fiberglass for the long-term durability.

Looking for CONSTRUCTIVE opinions/thoughts on the re-roofing.

Thanks, Mike
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Old 07-18-2012, 05:17 PM   #2
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I have seen pictures of a DIY fiberglass roof on the internet but as I recall it didn't look very good. Also sounded like, and appeared, to be more prep work.

On the other hand, the internet blogs I've seen of redoing rubber roofs does look pretty simple. Might take a DIYer 12 hours with no resins to worry about. And perhaps less prep work?

JMO. BTW, my rubber roof has lasted 18 years so far. Had to cover some scrapes with Eternabond, but it's still keeping the rain out.
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Old 07-18-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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We reroofed our 1989 Encounter, see the summary in the REROOF link below. The original roof was almost 20 years old when replaced. Using EPDM again will give you another 15-20 yrs. I'd replace the original roof with EPDM or TPO.

Thick fiberglass roofs add more weight to the RV, weight that takes away from personal goods that you can take. Wrapping the fiberglass around the roof edges can be difficult. Fiberglass roofs do crack from body flex. An unknown leak can the same damage as any other leak, but wood repair can be more involved due to the fiberglass covering.

Using a large fiberglass continous sheet (purchased in a large coil, .04 or .06 thick) can be a lighter alternate to glass mat/resin fabrication. Our 2002 uses the fiberglass sheet for edge trim then a large flat piece is laid down the center. It does have a seam on all four sides of that flat sheet.

I'd replace the original roof with EPDM or TPO due to the ease of install & expected life of the RV.
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Old 07-19-2012, 03:17 AM   #4
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Since, you are going to have to repair the decking and remove the rubber to do so. I would recommend using a good grade TPO. Reason; you will want the flexibility and reduce weight on the coach. This is a better system than EPDM. No chalking and holds up well. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 07-19-2012, 08:42 AM   #5
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Don't know anything about it but I've read that Rhino Linings (I think it's the same company that makes truck liners) now has spray on roof products - if it's anything like the spray on liners, it might be a lot easier to apply and a lot more durable than rubber roofs.

Rhino Lining Roof
Rhino Linings Introduces Long-Term RV Roof Repair and Restoration Product
http://liners.rhinolinings.com/en/products/ecocoat (one of the pictures is kind of strange; looks like they applied it right over the vents, skylights, etc!)

Might be worth more investigation

Personally, I'm going to recover our roof with LiquidRubber (LiquidRoof) later this summer (I might have gone for the Rhino stuff but I already bought the LiquidRubber). I think if you have an aging rubber roof but that's still intact and doesn't need to be repaired, this might be the easiest / cheapest option.
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Old 07-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #6
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I didn't buy either rv's new. Both roofs had been neglected/abused by previous owners. Small tears/holes are fixable, but large areas of crumbling underlayment and loose rubber are not. I knew the 42 footer had issues, but price was low enough to do the repair.

I looked into Rhino Lining on my last roof project. They wanted like $4000 to spray the roof.
OUCH!

Jim_HiTek....No offense, but if you can do a rubber roof remove and replace in 12 hrs, you should go into business doing it. You will spend 12 hrs just getting all the "stuff" off the roof. Roof replacement is a long process. Been there, done it before.

As far as weight....

The 100' roll of 45mil TPO weighs in at around 230 lbs.
That's 0.23 lbs / sq ft.
256 sq ft roofx 0.23 lbs = 60 lbs of TPO

Fiberglass fabric @ 1.5 oz / yd and resin @ 4.5 oz / yd (wet weight - 2 coats) = 6 oz / yd.
256 sq ft roof = 29 sq yd
29 sq yd x 6 oz = 174 oz = 10.9 lbs.

I am not planning on building a boat hull on top of the rv.

Fiberglass is 1/5 the weight. Weight is in favor of the resin/fabric.

There will be the standard luan/plywood sheathing on top of the foam insulation either way. Standard rv roof construction. That weight is there no matter what. Only differencs is the roofing material.

Looked into UV protection. TPO is ready to go. White and brite.
Adding opaque pigment to the resin will give it the needed UV protection. White again.

My 42 footer has 2 a/c units, 3 roof vents, solar panel, tv antenna, 4 radio/cb antennas, 2 pipe vents, frig vent, air horns and a skylight over the shower. Every one of those will have to go thru the new TPO. The roof rack is coming off and staying off. I am not worried about the flat
holes. The pipe vents are the worst. If TPO is used, I will cut them off at roof level, roof and then glue/splice new tops on.

The 32 footer has fewer protrusions, but still the same issues.

I think I might give the fiberglass resin a try on the 32 footer. It has the most roof damage and I can test it out on that one. Work out the kinks before I tackle the big one. If it doesn't work out, we can cover it in TPO.

Still debating.....
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Old 11-26-2012, 05:08 AM   #7
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Did you ever get the fiberglass resin done for the roof? How did it turn out? Thanks
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