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Old 03-04-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
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EDPM Roof repair versus replacement

Hello to all,

I recently purchased a used travel travel with a rubber roof on it. It's a 1995 model, but it's a one owner, and has been stored inside when not in use.

The trailer is in absolutely excellent condition, but I've read that the rubber roof has a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years.

Currently, there are no leaks anywhere. Upon close inspection, all I see is that the EDPM rubber is just dirty. The only repairs I can see is that it appears some self leveling sealant applied around the antenna and vents.

My question is, should I be worried about the age of the roof at all????? Also, since it's in pretty good shape, could I either just apply a coating and or EDPM sealant versus replacing the membrane???

Thanks for any help.

Dale
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:22 PM   #2
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There are a number of cleaners and conditioners avalibale for these roof systems, I would not worry about the age of the roof, I would how ever keep an eye on it. The areas you mentioned will be the trouble spots, vents, antenna, and edges. It would serve you well to check these areas at least annually and if there is any question replace the sealant.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
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Ain't broke - no need to fix. My roofs from 91 and it's doing just fine.

Once a yr I use warm water, sock with a bar of lava soap inside, and clean the roof - looks almost new.
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Old 03-05-2011, 07:01 AM   #4
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Guys, the roof on my '97 Jayco FS was supposed to be a rubber roof (according to the dealer ) but turns out to be a very THIN plastic , about the thickness of a cheap plastic table cloth , and seems to scratch and tear at the slightest touch ... Already had some small limbs go right through the roof ... Wonder if it's worth all the maintenance hassles vs. just replacing it with a Real rubber roof , or even something more substantial . like Aluminum ... That cheap plastic is just not working out ... Gotta' make it last ...
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RangeCampMan View Post
There are a number of cleaners and conditioners avalibale for these roof systems, I would not worry about the age of the roof, I would how ever keep an eye on it. The areas you mentioned will be the trouble spots, vents, antenna, and edges. It would serve you well to check these areas at least annually and if there is any question replace the sealant.

Thanks for the info. Sounds like good advise. Also, this trailer looks perfect. It's not faded, stained....etc.

Thanks again

Dale
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:08 AM   #6
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Ain't broke - no need to fix. My roofs from 91 and it's doing just fine.

Once a yr I use warm water, sock with a bar of lava soap inside, and clean the roof - looks almost new.

Well said Sir! I like you method for cleaning it though. Think I'm gonna use that one!
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:11 AM   #7
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Guys, the roof on my '97 Jayco FS was supposed to be a rubber roof (according to the dealer ) but turns out to be a very THIN plastic , about the thickness of a cheap plastic table cloth , and seems to scratch and tear at the slightest touch ... Already had some small limbs go right through the roof ... Wonder if it's worth all the maintenance hassles vs. just replacing it with a Real rubber roof , or even something more substantial . like Aluminum ... That cheap plastic is just not working out ... Gotta' make it last ...

I did a lot of research last night, and from what I can tell, several of the manufacturers moved from the rubber roofs to the plastic. I'm one of those "do it myself" guys, so I took a look at several rubber roof replacement videos on youtube, and while it's time consuming, it doesn't look to be to tough of a job.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:14 AM   #8
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There are a number of cleaners and conditioners avalibale for these roof systems, I would not worry about the age of the roof, I would how ever keep an eye on it. The areas you mentioned will be the trouble spots, vents, antenna, and edges. It would serve you well to check these areas at least annually and if there is any question replace the sealant.

I do have one question for you though: A dealer that I visited here locally told me that I should replace and or replace the self leveling sealant once a year, and then apply a sealant or coating to the whole roof..... If I did that once a year, wouldn't the sealant coating just build up and cause me problems? Just not sure if I like that idea.
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Old 03-05-2011, 08:33 AM   #9
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Bull , I think if they switched to plastic it's because it's cheaper ... I just made a new friend last week , an experienced RV repairman ! He works on GIANT RVs (busses) , gave me a tour showing me how cheaply these things are made ... Quite enlightening!!!
He also encouraged me to do my trailer DIY as something like a simple recaulk there could be more than 1500 USD The old bad caulk should really be removed ... then re caulked with the right stuff (what he told me) ... I've been encouraged to try Eternabond RV tape , so will have to remove ALL the caulk , thoroughly Clean , then apply the tape .... Easy on my smallish' TT .. Should be good for a few years ...supposedly ..
He also told me (and showed me examples) of how most All RV problems start at the roof !! Inspect your roof and insides Often !!! It's Fun !!!
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Old 03-05-2011, 09:07 AM   #10
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Hello to all,

I recently purchased a used travel travel with a rubber roof on it. It's a 1995 model, but it's a one owner, and has been stored inside when not in use.

The trailer is in absolutely excellent condition, but I've read that the rubber roof has a life expectancy of 7 to 10 years.

Currently, there are no leaks anywhere. Upon close inspection, all I see is that the EDPM rubber is just dirty. The only repairs I can see is that it appears some self leveling sealant applied around the antenna and vents.

My question is, should I be worried about the age of the roof at all????? Also, since it's in pretty good shape, could I either just apply a coating and or EDPM sealant versus replacing the membrane???

Thanks for any help.

Dale
Dale, however you choose to clean your roof make sure anything you think might be a stain is not where the outer layer of the membrane has not worn off. under the white later it is black and getting very thin. I had the EDPM put on mine and am not sure if I would go that way again. I sold that one a few years later, so I can not say for sure how it held up, but if I thought I was going to keep the rv for at least 5 more years I would go with new rubber. if your rig has been stored inside your rubber is probably ok because the sun is the culprit that hurts your roof. just keep it clean with NO harsh chemicals or PETROLEUM products.
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:20 AM   #11
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mikf is right the sun is the culprit, this is why you want to inspect your roof frequently and repair as necessary. Make sure that once you have cleaned the roof thoroughly that you us a conditioner that contains UV inhibitors, this will help protect your roof from the harmful effects of the sun. As GPW friend said most problems with RV start with a leaky roof. There are a lot of factors that contribute to this, cheap materials, poor design, and poor workmanship.
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:51 PM   #12
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Before Dicor - The Components RVs are Born With began selling roof care products they recommended Spic N Span for washing/cleaning their EPDM material. Their warranty says the material is warranted for 12 years with only washing, no other products required. Now they sell a line of roof care products and deleted the advice for using Spic N Span, can you say more money_.
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:22 PM   #13
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Thanks guys,

I did go today and buy some UV conditioner for it. From what I can tell, I don't see any places where it's too worn, but I plan to clean it next weekend, so I'll know more then.

I also purchased a good cover for it.

Since I'm so frigen cheap and this trailer is in excellent condition, I do plan to keep it for quit awhile, so I may replace it if I start seeing issues.

Very good advice. Thanks guys !!!!
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Old 03-06-2011, 06:39 AM   #14
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Bull, that cover is a good idea !!! My RV friend told me that although my Jayco dealer told me it would be fine living outside , that was a Lie !!! He said I should really keep the TT garaged /stored in an inside facility , or covered with a good tarp/cover. He also enlightened me that the dealers made most of their money on repairs (covered by Insurance)...so it would greatly benefit the dealer to have my TT fall apart! Hence the misinformation...
My dealer kindly offered the information (after the fact ), that he should inspect and re-caulk my TT once a year , to the tune of $1200.00 ... Now had he told me that before the sale , I'd have Never bought it !!!
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