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Old 07-13-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
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What does a TPO roof look and feel like?

I checked out a 2005 Damon Intruder last week - it has a TPO roof according to Damon. The roof seemed to be like firberlass - it was smooth and hard when I hit it with my knuckles.

Someone else is telling me TPO is more like the EPDM rubber roofs; I've seen those and the membrane is flexible.

Is TPO a plastic that maintains it shape like fiberglass, or is it a material that goes down more like the EPDM roofs?
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Old 07-13-2011, 12:44 PM   #2
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I guess it is a combination of both. Here's an article on TPO.

- TPO Roofing Material
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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Interesting - especially interesting is the statement that it's lifespan hasn't been determined yet.

I think that is enough to drive me away from used rigs with that as the roofing material. I would think it's rubber component would break down over time exposed to UV rays.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemosley01 View Post
I checked out a 2005 Damon Intruder last week - it has a TPO roof according to Damon. The roof seemed to be like firberlass - it was smooth and hard when I hit it with my knuckles.

Someone else is telling me TPO is more like the EPDM rubber roofs; I've seen those and the membrane is flexible.

Is TPO a plastic that maintains it shape like fiberglass, or is it a material that goes down more like the EPDM roofs?
TPO is similar to EPDM in look and feel, except that it does not have a tendency to chalk like EPDM. We had a TT about 10 years ago with a TPO roof. It reminded me a lot of vinyl. Our TPO roof material was definitely flexible. It had texture on the outside and a fuzzy, non-woven backing on the underside.

If a roof is smooth and hard when you rap on it, I suspect it's fiberglass.
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Old 07-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #5
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TPO is a reubber roof, I think it is a sub set of EDPM but not sure on that.

Looks, like a q-ball if it's properly cared for.. Feel,, A very hard soccer ball. Very little, if any, give.
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:47 AM   #6
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wa8yxm - that is what I was seeing and is about the best description I can think of.
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Old 07-14-2011, 07:10 PM   #7
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Thanks... By the way "It's life has note been determined yet" is a very good argument for buying it.. It's been out at least a half decade, (in fact longer) and if they have not had enough failures yet to determine a "Mean time between failures" it's going to last for quite a while.
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Old 07-15-2011, 08:09 AM   #8
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My understanding is that EPDM should last around 10 years (longer in some cases) - I wouldn't expect to start seeing failures or problems for a decade I would think - I should hope that TPO is at least equal to EPDM in that respect.

I'm looking at RVs that are 5-7 years old, which is close to that decade mark. Not sure I want to find out in 3-5 years that TPO, while tougher, doesn't have a lifespan much beyond on EPDM.

I won't rule it out completely, but it does push me towards fiberglass roofs, which tend to be installed on some of the more highly regarded brands anyway. I have to admit that I've seen 2 Damon Intruders (an 99 and now a 2005) and thought they were solidly built.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemosley01 View Post
I checked out a 2005 Damon Intruder last week - it has a TPO roof according to Damon. The roof seemed to be like firberlass - it was smooth and hard when I hit it with my knuckles.

Someone else is telling me TPO is more like the EPDM rubber roofs; I've seen those and the membrane is flexible.

Is TPO a plastic that maintains it shape like fiberglass, or is it a material that goes down more like the EPDM roofs?
A good place to do some comparisons and learn about TPO and EPDM type roofing materials is www.roofhelp.com
EPDM has been around sinse the 1960s. TPO is a newer formulation and is considered to be more resistant to uv and mildew and much more resistant to puncture.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Jayco quit using the TPO roofs because of problems with the "fuzzy" backing wicking water a long distance from any leaks that cropped up (presumably at seams), increasing and complicating water damage.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:22 AM   #11
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Jayco quit using the TPO roofs because of problems with the "fuzzy" backing wicking water a long distance from any leaks that cropped up (presumably at seams), increasing and complicating water damage.
Thats very interesting. Sounds more like something a salesman might say.
Could it be that Jayco has more of a problem with their installation process or inferior materials being used to seal the seams?
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lemosley01 View Post
I checked out a 2005 Damon Intruder last week - it has a TPO roof according to Damon. The roof seemed to be like firberlass - it was smooth and hard when I hit it with my knuckles.

Someone else is telling me TPO is more like the EPDM rubber roofs; I've seen those and the membrane is flexible.

Is TPO a plastic that maintains it shape like fiberglass, or is it a material that goes down more like the EPDM roofs?
My TPO roof is like white smooth plastic , about 1/4 inch thick. Holding up well after 5 years with no chalking .
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Old 07-15-2011, 03:52 PM   #13
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Thats very interesting. Sounds more like something a salesman might say.
Could it be that Jayco has more of a problem with their installation process or inferior materials being used to seal the seams?
Actually, I got it from the Jayco Owner's forum which isn't affiliated with Jayco or its dealers.

All seams will leak sooner or later.
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Old 07-15-2011, 05:18 PM   #14
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Actually, I got it from the Jayco Owner's forum which isn't affiliated with Jayco or its dealers.

All seams will leak sooner or later.
Not trying to be argumentative. Its just that statement without some kind of reference back to Jayco would be hearsay.
We have been rving for over forty years with three different coaches and three different roof materials and never had a leak problem.
"All seams will leak sooner or later" should be qualified with if not properly maintained.
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