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Old 03-19-2013, 06:32 AM   #1
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Roofs: Rubber vs Fiberglass......

My wife and I have been checking out new RV's and when we looked at the Trilogy one of the points the sales person was quick to point out is the Fiberglass roof and the built in large propane tank. They compared it to new Motor homes.

I remember when Rubber roofs were new to the market and what everyone wanted. Is it worth the added costs to go with fiberglass? And what is your thoughts on the built in large capacity propane tank?

Is anyone other than Trilogy doing this on other 5'vers?
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:47 AM   #2
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I can tell you I have replaced 100's of rubber roof but not one fiberglass one so that should speak for the track record of them, they are durable and if something falls on it like a small limb or even a tool if you working on the top it's bounces right off. If something big and heave hit it there could be some damage there not bulletproof.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:39 AM   #3
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Excel Limited has a fiberglass roof and the Excel Winslow offers a Rhino roof as an alternative to the standard rubber. DRV Elite Suites has a fiberglass roof, too. I'm a huge fan of fiberglass roofs and would like it on my next fiver. Phillip
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:45 AM   #4
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Had them all, including aluminum, and fiberglass is probably the best for ease of care. It does add some weight though. We have a rubber roof on our current coach and I am a little more leery of limbs. We now have a garage for our coach so weathering issues are no longer an issue, except for the 3 months a year we travel.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:46 AM   #5
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Be careful when using the term "rubber roof". You are actually referring to membrane roofing materials, and there is more than one in use for RVs. The term "rubber roof" was originally applied to EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) membrane material. Also in use is TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin), an entirely different material than EPDM.

Our previous 5th wheels had EPDM membrane roofs. These are fine, but are subject to mechanical penetration from limbs, etc. and can exhibit chalking and streaking down the sides of the RV with water runoff. Our current 5th wheel has a TPO roof that is over 8 years old and has never required repairs, does not chalk or streak and is still in excellent condition.

I guess my point is, depending on what I was willing to spend, any of the 3 materials (fiberglass, EPDM or TPO) will work, but given my druthers, I'd go for the TPO or fiberglass.

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Old 03-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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I really appreciate the education! I have had RV's over 30 years and the industry changes so much and unfortunately sales people do not point out all the specs that can really make a big difference in the lifetime of a unit. Guess it leaves it up to us to educate ourselves and best way to do that is to network with other rv'ers. Thanks guys again for great info!
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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I overall like the Trilogy a lot. I like fiberglass roof and the build quality. It just might be my next 5er.

I am not sure the built in propane tank is a good thing or a bad thing. My current 30lb tanks are very managable and easy to get filled.

The built in tank is not going to be as easy to fill. But it is the same for a motorhome.
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Old 03-19-2013, 10:16 PM   #8
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Tuffr2, not sure why Trilogy decided to go with the built in LP tank, other than it is huge and should easily last you a long long time before a fill is needed. Our RV is on a perminate site we rent year round. There is a local company that delivers LP to local farms in the area so we could get service that way if needed but currently we just pull the tanks and go to town which is very manageable. Only thing that concerns me a little is the safety factor. A tank that size, if it ever blew they would be picking me up in the next state.
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Old 03-20-2013, 06:10 AM   #9
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I posted a question to the MH guys about the propane tank. The general theme is it is easy to fill. Any propane refill has long hoses so you just pull up and they can reach it.

Your situation is different. If you are not going to move it I would not get a 5er with a built in propane tank.

Also if I was not going to move it I would not worry about tires, frames or axels. I would focus on floor plan and size. Might even get a park model.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:46 AM   #10
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Thanks tuffr2, The salesman told us the same thing on the MH comparison but I feel more comfortable hearing details from RV'er who can say, been there, done that so I appreciate your input. Our RV is currently on a perminate site and we go there on weekends however our plans are to spend more time there and in apx 1 year go full time and pull it south for winters and back north over the spring/summer/fall. Our year around contract is around $700 bucks a year and includes all utilities. Beautiful Lakes, hill, rural area with trails and trees. I really want to get more educated on getting the best bang for the buck and not hurry into something like I have done in the past. Appreciate everyone's input!
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:10 PM   #11
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Rusty,

When you are referring to TPO are you meaning a roof that is made like a "sandwich", and I will try to describe the sandwich from inside of the RV out as..

Headliner .. bonded to.. foam insulation .. bonded to .. wood paneling .. bonded to .. (as best as I can describe) a long piece of fiberglass reinforced plastic about an 1/8" thick (much like the ones found at Lowes used in bathrooms that are 4' x 8' x 1/8"

The panel I am referring to at Lowes;

http://www.lowes.com/ProductDisplay?partNumber=8566-293-FTSTF.1&langId=-1&storeId=10151&productId=3162499&catalogId=10051& cmRelshp=req&rel=nofollow&cId=PDIO1").

Because that best describes my roof, and if it is, I can now get the appropriate sealers and cleaners....
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:19 PM   #12
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No, TPO is a membrane sheet (think of a relatively thin flexible film), similar to EPDM in that regard. HERE is a link that shows repair of a TPO membrane roof using EternaBond tape.

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Old 03-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #13
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I had a rubber roof on a 96. Did the Dicor coating in 2008. Was just fine.
Now, fiberglass. Cool! But rubber doesnt scare me a bit
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:57 PM   #14
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OK then, thats not what I have. Sorry for asking so many questions and I feel like I'm hijacking.

I consider fiberglass to be like a boat hull. Fiber mating layered and bonded with a resin, which is also not what I have. From my description can you tell me what I have? It's an 05 Gulfstream Endura so I know there are a few of us with it.

Thanks
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