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Old 01-31-2016, 03:54 PM   #1
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EPDM rubber roof - When to replace?

I know the obvious is when it leaks, but ours is not leaking yet, but the trailer is a 2002 and original roof that doesn't look like it's been taken care of from the grey color. So, I am curious if there are ways to tell or if there is a certain age that most get replaced at? I have done a search on this site and others and only can find "how to replace", but not too much on why. Thanks in advance for any and all responses!

David & Marion, MacGregor, Manitoba
2015 Ram 2500 CC, SRW, Cummins
2002 Titanium 29e34RL
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:39 PM   #2
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Hey DM, We had a 98 Fleetwood. the grey color started to come off and it looked black. We had white run off the top when it rained. I also started to see small tears that looked like razor cuts. I probably let it go to long. I redid it with the Rapid Roof system and it wasn't to hard. Good luck!

Scott & Dawn 2007 National Tropical T330
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Old 01-31-2016, 07:49 PM   #3
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rapid roof system more info thanks
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:18 AM   #4
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I don't think there is a magic number. The EPDM roof on our 2004 5th wheel had a 12 year guarantee so I figure it'd last at least that long. After that, it depends on how it was maintained and whether the unit was stored inside or outside.
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Old 02-01-2016, 07:36 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies. I read online if you take a flashlight and put behind and if it is quite bright, the rubber has deteriorated (weathered thin) to need replacing. How would you do this test?? Watched a few videos on replacing the EPDM and it does not look difficult, just a bit of sweat equity and dry cool weather.
David & Marion, MacGregor, Manitoba
2015 Ram 2500 CC, SRW, Cummins
2002 Titanium 29e34RL
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Old 02-01-2016, 04:43 PM   #6
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A well taken care of rubber roof should never have to be replaced for the life of the coach. It sounds like yours is just in need of a touchup.
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Old 02-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #7
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The EPDM roof is very similar to those used on building roofs. It has about a 20 year life. The link below summarizes the reroof that we did. The flashlight test I did was from the old roof material we took off the roof. I know of no way to do this test without removing a section of the material, commonly referred to as destructive testing. Age & leaks are your best indicators to determine if a reroof is needed.
Bob Flight, Rochester, NY- '02 Travel Supreme,
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Old 02-02-2016, 03:58 PM   #8
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Actually, "when it leaks" has little to do with it, since leaks are nearly always at seams and openings and not the fault of the membrane itself.

Basically, the membrane is fine as long as you cannot see the weave of the backing material. If there is still a rubber coating, it's ok. But if you can see the backing, which is usually a black woven material, it's time to replace or re-coat.

Age-wise, both Dicor and Alpha warranty that membrane for 10 years and a typical life expectancy probably double that. Maybe just 15 years with no care at all, but many have hit 25 years or more. An occasional washing helps.
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition; 2014 Buick LaCRosse
Homebase in the Ocala Nat'l Forest near Ocala, FL
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:23 PM   #9
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Thanks Gary, that's good news to my ears and pocketbook as I do not see any backing weave, just dull grey grime. So when the snow goes and weather warms I think the roof will get it's first good scrubbing and a coat of sealant!
David & Marion, MacGregor, Manitoba
2015 Ram 2500 CC, SRW, Cummins
2002 Titanium 29e34RL
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:32 PM   #10
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dicor makes an excellent treatment. it is labor intensive but end results the roof will look like new
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Old 02-02-2016, 04:50 PM   #11
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Give this site a look see RVRoof.com. Saw a sample at the Tampa RV show and it looked quite impressive. Don't how much weight it may add to the RV or the cost but it has a lifetime guarantee. It didn't appear that much if anything could penetrate it. Good luck.

Steve & Sally / HiTee & Hudson Our Little Poms / Heidi & Houston Forever in our Hearts
04 NEWMAR MACA 3778 W22 / 05 PT Vert
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ace, replace, roof

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