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Old 01-23-2014, 11:17 AM   #1
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TPO roof

So here's another newbie question. I have a TPO roof on my 6 yo rig, and I would like to place a UV protectant layer on it to get it ready for the AZ summer sun. All the literature I'm reading is about EPTM roofing. Is TPO and EPTM the same chemically, just slightly different or completely different? Are the products that are made to restore EPDM roofs compatible with my TPO? Thanks for reading.
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:17 PM   #2
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Hi Jeff---------We have the same 08 Outlaw with a TPO roof as well. I don't know if you have inspected your roof lately but I did last year with a RV Service company that had a tech living in the park. We found both front and rear chalking seams were separating. As well the vent stack cap was so brittle it fell off when I touched it. I had the seams redone with TPO compatible tape as well as TPO compatible chalking. I bought cleaner for UV protector from Camping World.
This year I am going to have to replace the vent on the fridge as it is getting brittle as well.
I don't have an answer weather both roofs are the same----all I can tell you is the tech said to make sure that anything I use is for TPO roofs.

Pitbull
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Old 01-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
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.... All the literature I'm reading is about EPTM roofing. Is TPO and EPTM the same chemically, just slightly different or completely different? ....
No they are not the same. EPDM is a rubber based material
; TPO is a plastic based material (thermo plastic olefin)

one of the reasons many rv mfgs moved to TPO (other than its a lot less work to maintain) is because it does not degrade under normal UV exposure. So I'm not sure why you think an extra UV protectant is needed. But Dicor does make some PTO approved coating products, you can read here < http://www.dicorproducts.com/ultrasealant/ >
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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Hi Jeff---------We have the same 08 Outlaw with a TPO roof as well. I don't know if you have inspected your roof lately but I did last year with a RV Service company that had a tech living in the park. We found both front and rear chalking seams were separating. As well the vent stack cap was so brittle it fell off when I touched it. I had the seams redone with TPO compatible tape as well as TPO compatible chalking. I bought cleaner for UV protector from Camping World.
This year I am going to have to replace the vent on the fridge as it is getting brittle as well.
I don't have an answer weather both roofs are the same----all I can tell you is the tech said to make sure that anything I use is for TPO roofs.

Pitbull
Yes Pitbull, I plan to cover the seams with Eternabond tape, but I would like to place a UV protectant on the EPO itself, that EPO material is very thin. You're not sure what product you used?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:13 AM   #5
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"it does not degrade under normal UV exposure"

Yes Jim, that's the problem. I think sitting in my driveway thru another AZ summer of almost continuous sunshine and temps up to 122 are not "normal UV exposure"! I'm building a home this year with a large RV garage to house my rig, so hopefully this is the last summer of it being outside. Thanks for that link, though it appears the Ultrasealant is just a caulk type of product only for seams? I would like to use something I can coat the whole surface with, but all I can find are products for EPDM : (
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:28 PM   #6
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Yes Pitbull, I plan to cover the seams with Eternabond tape, but I would like to place a UV protectant on the EPO itself, that EPO material is very thin. You're not sure what product you used?
Caution: Eternabond does not stick to TPO, at least it didn't for me. Tried it with the TT we used to have and had a huge mess. After several days, the Eternabond stuck to the fiberglass edges, but started to come off the TPO. It was a sticky mess to remove.

If you still want to try it, I recommend doing a short length of one of the seams to see what happens before doing everything.

I use 303 Protectant for UV protection on my motorhome tires once a month. It can also be used on plastics, so it should work on TPO. However, it will have to be reapplied fairly frequently.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:00 PM   #7
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It was Dicor that I bought from Camping World---the TPO cleaner and the UV Protector.

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Old 01-24-2014, 04:04 PM   #8
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The tech that used the same tape on our seams said that the problem most people run into is that they do not prepare the TPO roof properly. He used a alcohol cleaner to degrease the TPO before installing tape.

I don't know if that is any help

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Old 01-24-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Yes, thanks Pitbull, I did buy a spray can of Eternabond primer to use. I believe it is mostly just acetone, so if I run out I'll prolly just get some of that.

I see you've started to post on the Outlaw sites, welcome! There's a good bunch of knowledgeable people there.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:05 PM   #10
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NO problems at all using Eternabond on my TPO. I cleaned it with alcohol.
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:33 PM   #11
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"Caution: Eternabond does not stick to TPO, at least it didn't for me. Tried it with the TT we used to have and had a huge mess. After several days, the Eternabond stuck to the fiberglass edges, but started to come off the TPO. It was a sticky mess to remove."

Paz, did you prep the TPO with alcohol or acetone before deploying the Eternabond? I did seal my Siphon 360 vent cap with Eternabond and its adhering well so far.

Yes I have seen good things about 303 products on these forums, I'll check out their UV protectant, thanks.

I seem to be discovering that there isn't a lot of product out there for TPO maintenance. Is that because it is unnecessary, or because it's a relatively new component for the RV industry?? Inquiring minds want to know!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:48 PM   #12
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Quote:
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"Caution: Eternabond does not stick to TPO, at least it didn't for me. Tried it with the TT we used to have and had a huge mess. After several days, the Eternabond stuck to the fiberglass edges, but started to come off the TPO. It was a sticky mess to remove."

Paz, did you prep the TPO with alcohol or acetone before deploying the Eternabond?
That was back about 2001-2002, but if I remember correctly I didn't. I'm pretty sure no instructions of any kind came with the Eternabond back then.

Maybe I missed something, but I couldn't find anything on the Eternabond website about cleaning TPO with alcohol. All it says is to rough the surface of TPO with a Scotch-brite or similar abrasive pad.

The Eternabond website does say to use solvent like acetone, lacquer thinner or brake parts cleaner for EPDM. However, in my book, solvents like that are a no-no for rubber.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:47 AM   #13
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No they are not the same. EPDM is a rubber based material
; TPO is a plastic based material (thermo plastic olefin)

one of the reasons many rv mfgs moved to TPO (other than its a lot less work to maintain) is because it does not degrade under normal UV exposure. So I'm not sure why you think an extra UV protectant is needed. But Dicor does make some PTO approved coating products, you can read here < Dicor Products | RV Roof Restore >
You are mistaken. Nither TPO nor EPDM contain any latex rubber. Both are synthetics.
TPO is the newer and and tougher of the two and does not sluff off like EPDM.
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Old 02-12-2014, 03:06 PM   #14
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Just an update, folks. I sent a e-mail to the "ask Rudy" portion on Dicor's website. They replied that "All of our products have been tested & approved for rubber roofing & TPO roofing".

I then asked what they would recommend for my TPO roof, and they suggested Dicor Rubber Roof Cleaner, and after apply Docor Roof Gard.

So it seems to me that the term "rubber roof" is treated as a generic term to describe all pliable sheeted roof materials, whether they are rubber or plastic or resin based, at least by the people at Dicor. I guess I'm being a little anal about this, but I would sure hate to apply the wrong stuff and cause damage. After all, that TPO material is literally paper thin, not much margin for error.

Thanks for reading!
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