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Old 09-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #1
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TPO Roof Cleaning/Sealing

Hello! Im a new owner of a second owner 98 trail-lite 8280 28' travel trailer. I have been trying to do some research on my current issue. I have found that i have a TPO roof on this camper. After looking around up there from my ladder i have concluded that my roof is in dire need of a good scrubbing and that my seams are in need of resealing. there is a seam at front and rear where the vertical face meets the rood. i can see where the current sealant is cracking and leaving gaps. So, here are my questions...

1. Cleaner i can use. My paperwork stated 409, fantastik or a mild detergent soap. i came across 409 in a spray bottle with antibacterial properties. And i got a bottle of regular blue dawn dish soap. I am wondering if i can also use simple green also if i felt i needed it for stubborn spots? I also picked up a deck brush for scrubbing. it has shorter bristles on it... fairly stiff bristles...is this ok to use?

2. Can i walk on this roof? May be a silly question, but again, this is my first camper and i want to be sure i can walk around up there without any issues?

3. Sealant. I can see where all my vents and seams need to be redone. So, i have seen a product called Dicor 501. Would that be the trick on my situation for my seams and my vents and skylight vents?
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:38 AM   #2
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Hi,
I am no expert and am still learning, however, what I have learned is with the cleaning a mild detergent will work fine. I have used diluted Simple Green on our first trailer which had a nasty roof. I avoid the commercial products that claim to clean and protect, spendy. On our new trailer simple detergent and then I used 303 Aerospace for the UV protection. 303 is a little expensive but unlike Armoral it truly protects.
As for walking on the roof - be careful - especially when cleaning and you have a hose and other items on the roof - it can get slippery or trip (my disclaimer) :-).
Repairing - I have used Dicor from the RV shop, butyl tape from the home improvement stores and I heard eternabond will also work. If possible check out the manufactures recommendation or a trust RV stores advice.
I would get the splits and tears repair as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
Someone with more experience may chime in soon and hope this helps..
Happy Camping..
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:41 AM   #3
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Hi,
I am no expert and am still learning, however, what I have learned is with the cleaning a mild detergent will work fine. I have used diluted Simple Green on our first trailer which had a nasty roof. I avoid the commercial products that claim to clean and protect, as the are costly and I am a skeptic of their claims. On our new trailer I just used a simple detergent, 303 Aerospace for the UV protection. 303 is a little expensive but unlike Armoral it truly protects.
As for walking on the roof - be careful - especially when cleaning and you have a hose and other items on the roof - it can get slippery or trip (my disclaimer) :-). Try to stay near supports or the sides.
Repairing - I have used Dicor from the RV shop, butyl tape from the home improvement stores and I heard eternabond will also work. If possible check out the manufactures recommendation or a trust RV stores advice.
I would get the splits and tears repair as soon as possible to prevent water damage.
Someone with more experience may chime in soon, until then I hope this helps..
Happy Camping..
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Old 09-11-2011, 06:48 AM   #4
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That little water stain on the ceiling of your travel trailer may not seem like much, but a leaky roof is no laughing matter. Just like in a house, hidden water leaks threaten the structure and electrical components of a recreational vehicle. An untreated leak can quickly cause thousands of dollars of damage.

Most travel trailers are roofed with a sheet of ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber, a thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane, fiberglass or aluminum. Rubber roofs are susceptible to tearing and long-term sun damage, while fiberglass and metal roofs tend to develop stress cracks and seam leaks.

Read more on Roof cleaning/sealing services that might help you a lot and gain more tips.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spl170s View Post
Hello! Im a new owner of a second owner 98 trail-lite 8280 28' travel trailer. I have been trying to do some research on my current issue. I have found that i have a TPO roof on this camper. After looking around up there from my ladder i have concluded that my roof is in dire need of a good scrubbing and that my seams are in need of resealing. there is a seam at front and rear where the vertical face meets the rood. i can see where the current sealant is cracking and leaving gaps. So, here are my questions...

1. Cleaner i can use. My paperwork stated 409, fantastik or a mild detergent soap. i came across 409 in a spray bottle with antibacterial properties. And i got a bottle of regular blue dawn dish soap. I am wondering if i can also use simple green also if i felt i needed it for stubborn spots? I also picked up a deck brush for scrubbing. it has shorter bristles on it... fairly stiff bristles...is this ok to use?

2. Can i walk on this roof? May be a silly question, but again, this is my first camper and i want to be sure i can walk around up there without any issues?

3. Sealant. I can see where all my vents and seams need to be redone. So, i have seen a product called Dicor 501. Would that be the trick on my situation for my seams and my vents and skylight vents?

You have gotten some good advise. Dawn works qiute well, personlally I use Murphys Oil Soap, but thats just my choice. The brush you chose will work fine.
You can walk on the roof, just be careful. They get quite slippery, especially when wet and soapy.
Dicor 501 is a great product. The key to a good bond is a clean surface. I clean the areas to be sealed with denatured alcohol after washing. Stay away from anything petrolium distillates. Warming the dicor will allow it to flow and level out better. I also use 303 and have been for the last 18 years.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:00 AM   #6
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hello all.

thanks for all the info.

i did my cleaning yesterday, was planning to do my sealing today, but weather doesn't look like it will be cooperating for the day. im not sure how long the dicor has till it sets up and can get wet... any suggestions there?

i found that the cleaning solution and brush didn't do much to my roof cleaning abilities. i ended up using my small electric power washer mainly. did a very good job. remember it is a 98 model trailer, so perfect isn't expected for sure.

i am hoping within the week to get my sealing all done. i just know we expect rain today so, im holding off for today.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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I use a pressure washer also, sometimes it takes a little force. Dicor skims over in a matter of minutes but takes about 48hrs. to fully cure.
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Old 09-11-2011, 03:18 PM   #8
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last question on dicor...

how soon can it get wet after application though? forecast is pretty sketchy around here this week...
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Old 09-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #9
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last question on dicor...

how soon can it get wet after application though? forecast is pretty sketchy around here this week...
Not to worry. It will bond asmost immediatly and is not water soluble,
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:53 PM   #10
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Unhappy Cleaning roof, Streaking sides

I've been watching the posts for some time now on cleaning, sealing the rubber roofs, especially the TPO type roof. I love all the helpful tips and tricks, thank you! And it seems there are as many answers as there are folks that worry about it. Like all things I guess, it boils down to just 'do it', and if it's no good, then 'do it' again. Using another strategy, of course. The biggest problem created here is being avoided I think, by my guesstimate. That being the streaking (sometimes permanently), or making a complete mess of the wax job on the sides and front/back caps of the coach when doing the roof. This does not just rinse off, has been my experience. A heavy barrage of hard work, elbow grease, and a railroad car of cleaner/wax might get you back where it was... only to be screwed up again the next time the roof needs cleaning.

Short of masking off the entire 9' X 38' of roof just to clean it, how about some of you experienced posters revealing your secret of keeping the sides shiny and impenetrable by the cleaners used up top. It's the old story of do one thing, and cause three others. And Oh, I'm getting soooo tired. And those folks making this junk are reveling in their spendy products.
Thanks, and happy motoring... the camping is the easy part. Roger
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:09 PM   #11
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I think like most when I wash I do it from the top down. I prefer Murphys oil soap and it is recomended for rubber roofs but I use it for the whole coach. I also use 303 protectant on the whole coach including the roof.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:37 PM   #12
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From top down

Yes, thank you. Obvious... and makes sense... however, do you actually wax the sides, or are you just using a wash/wax/rinse product in your wash cycle?

I may paste wax (hand polish) & buff the sides once a year, and then easy wash the sides 4 or 5 times a year depending on demand... However, I usually only subject my elbows and knees to the roof but once a year, and by then it's in fairly nasty shape in these Ozark woodlands. Whenever the opportunity arises to do it, I would prefer it does not mess up the sides... and even a rinse/wash of the sides at that time does not prevent streaking. At least that's my experience, with the products used and the concentrated efforts. I rinse the roof, I streak the sides.

I just thought maybe someone had an approach I hadn't thought of yet, short of using just plain water on the roof... Or just count on redoing the sides the hard way after cleaning the roof. I guess I need to rethink my program. Thanks
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:03 PM   #13
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Yes, thank you. Obvious... and makes sense... however, do you actually wax the sides, or are you just using a wash/wax/rinse product in your wash cycle?

I may paste wax (hand polish) & buff the sides once a year, and then easy wash the sides 4 or 5 times a year depending on demand... However, I usually only subject my elbows and knees to the roof but once a year, and by then it's in fairly nasty shape in these Ozark woodlands. Whenever the opportunity arises to do it, I would prefer it does not mess up the sides... and even a rinse/wash of the sides at that time does not prevent streaking. At least that's my experience, with the products used and the concentrated efforts. I rinse the roof, I streak the sides.

I just thought maybe someone had an approach I hadn't thought of yet, short of using just plain water on the roof... Or just count on redoing the sides the hard way after cleaning the roof. I guess I need to rethink my program. Thanks
I do not use wax and have not for almost 20 years. 303 protectant is all I use for the whole coach including the roof.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:51 PM   #14
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Murphy's Oil Soap, one long handle medium brush and a hand medium brush. Easyon the seals...

Not too much soap mixed in a 5 gallon bucket... Spray, clean, wipe, spray.. Start at the front and work back.
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