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Old 10-23-2014, 04:38 PM   #1
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Used RV purchase advice; Fiberglass vs. Rubber roof

Hi Everyone,
Newbie here again with another question as I learn more and more about RV's before we purchase our first one. I appreciate being able to sponge up as much knowledge from you guys as my brain will hold!

We have pretty much narrowed down the floor plans that we like and the lengths that accommodate them. The age of the vehicles that we are looking at is at the 14-16 year old range. Some are advertised as having a rubber roof, some with fiberglass.

I just read the thread from another member who had his fiberglass roof blow off in high wind, and others with rips or separations in their rubber roofs. So, in your opinions, which is better on this age of vehicle, rubber or fiberglass?
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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Give me glass

I'll take fiberglass any day over a rubber roof. Just my preference.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:30 PM   #3
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FIBERGLASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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Old 10-23-2014, 05:32 PM   #4
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Floorplan before Fiberglass...
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:35 PM   #5
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We have fiberglass on a '94. We live in CO, the RV is stored outside and been driven in very high winds. When we bought it we taped down the front and back seams with Eternabond. Since then we also did the side seams with Eternabond. The Eternabond prevents any leaks at the seams so is a good idea. It is maintenance free which we like.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:40 PM   #6
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At that age the rubber roof should have been replaced at least once. If not you are likely looking at replacing it in the near future. Generally a new rubber roof is warranteed for 10 years. They should last longer and if the RV was stored inside the weathering would have been reduced.

Both have benefits and drawbacks.
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:56 PM   #7
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With any roof materials the condition and the quality of maintenance that the roof has been given is the main factor. If we assume a typical level of care then I would prefer a fiberglass roof on an RV of that age, unless the rubber one has already been replaced, which is a possibility.

With any RV of that age, the condition and the maintenance it has received are the key to a sound purchase. When used on a constant basis as is done when fulltime or even snowbird traveling, the appliances will be well into their expected life span to try to find one that has been used for the more typical vacation & weekend travel style. Good luck with your research and your future purchase!
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Old 10-23-2014, 09:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
At that age the rubber roof should have been replaced at least once. If not you are likely looking at replacing it in the near future. Generally a new rubber roof is warranteed for 10 years. They should last longer and if the RV was stored inside the weathering would have been reduced.

Both have benefits and drawbacks.
That's good to know, I thought that the rubber roofs were good for 20 years...so that is going to be an area for extra attention, especially if the previous owner never replaced it.

I was reading up on, and watching some video on Rhino Eco-coat roofing material. They boast a 30 year life span, no maintenance, and a 15-20 degree reduction in cabin temperature.

Has anyone done this on their rig? Are their claims accurate?
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:10 PM   #9
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I replaced the TPO on the 5er when it was 10 years old. The TPO was fine but showing some wear. It would have lasted quite a while longer but we keep it inside when not being used. There was a leak so the sheeting underneath had deteriorated.

I replaced with EPDM. I like it better because it is a bit thicker and IMO will give better insulation values so it will be quieter, warmer and cooler.

I did it myself for about 1200 in materials (EPDM, adhesive and plywood sheeting).
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom13 View Post
That's good to know, I thought that the rubber roofs were good for 20 years...so that is going to be an area for extra attention, especially if the previous owner never replaced it.

I was reading up on, and watching some video on Rhino Eco-coat roofing material. They boast a 30 year life span, no maintenance, and a 15-20 degree reduction in cabin temperature.

Has anyone done this on their rig? Are their claims accurate?
I think that what ever roof replacement is done the difference is the quality of the company that does the work. Any of them are capable of screwing up a roof. There are people well satisfied with Rhino Eco-coat and then there are those who don't like it. Line-X has a similar product. The important thing is having an experienced applicator. Get references and talk to people that have had it done. Not every Rhino applicator can put a roof on a RV. They need to have a shop with a high enough ceiling to get up on top of the roof and know the proper application, as well as correct any problem areas and work around AC, vents, skylights, etc. I also think it may be a good solution to a roof problem, especially if you expect to keep your RV for a long time then it would be a good value. A 30 year life span is of no real value if you will only keep the RV a couple years.
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Old 10-24-2014, 11:42 PM   #11
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Ours is Aluminum A breeze too keep clean.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:45 PM   #12
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Fiberglass
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Old 10-25-2014, 02:57 PM   #13
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I've had all three, aluminum, rubber membrane and fiberglass roofs over the years and definitely prefer the fiberglass. Have had to repair small tree branch damage to to both the aluminum and rubber. Fiberglass no so easily damaged. Wash it twice a year and wax it once a year.
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:53 PM   #14
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I vote for fiberglass! Hope I never have another rubber roof!
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