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Old 08-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #1
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Eternabond vs. Alumibond

I'm almost done bringing my 1985 Pace Arrow up to speed, last big project is sealing the roof. I have a local jack of all trades guy who will do the taping for $10 an hour, and my plan was to buy 200 ft of Eternabond, have him tape it, and I will do the sealing.

Well, a good friend of mine just bought a big rig service center, fully stocked with two floors of inventory. He has several rolls of Alumibond which he offered to sell me for !!31 cents a foot!! They use it to repair holes in the big rigs, he loves it.

I took a look at the Eternabond site and it looks like Alumibond is the same product but with a thick layer of aluminum (and that's exactly what it looked like lol). According to the site it is paintable and has all the sealing properties of Eternabond. I am wondering if anyone has tried the Alumibond on an RV? Assuming it performs the same as Eternabond, my main concern is will the paint stick to it, and for how long? I don't really fancy driving around with what looks like a giant duct tape job on my roof!
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:03 AM   #2
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They are both related products, one has an aluminum skin, one doesn't. I don't know how well either will stick to oxidized edpm. How bad is your rubber roof? And how hard do you want to work? I replaced my entire rotten-rubber roof, vents and luan. I chose the insane route of fiberglass with rounded edges epoxied to the sides. If I fall into a river upside down I'll float. But I eliminated over 600 leak points. And it will be easier to fix in the future. You might look into a new rubber roof.
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Old 08-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #3
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Double check that it will stick to rubber, but it should be the same stuff and work just as well. Especially if you use a little heat and pressure to seal it good to the surface. I bought and used 'Peel and Seal' which is the same stuff as Alumibond. Worked beautifully on my aluminum roof. Thicker, stronger, and stickier than Eternabond for a whole lot less.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. The rubber roof isn't all that bad, just old with some cracks around the vents, etc. The vehicle was a one owner, lightly used and well cared for, he did a good job of maintaining things. As far as replacing the rubber roof, I'm pretty handy but that's a bit beyond my skill level and budget. My budget for the roof is $800, and that includes paying full price for the eternabond. I could be wrong, though, if someone can explain the process of replacing the rubber that would help.

Also, maybe I am misunderstanding the process, I've done quite a bit of reading up on how to do this, but maybe i have been reading up on something that won't work for my rig?
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:24 PM   #5
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I used Alumabond on my previous '94 Fleetwood Flair. I was easy, stuck to the roof immediatly, and best of all was cheap. I had put my hand through the skylight, so I completely covered it in the tape. I sealed the front and rear seams at the caps, down the sides (overlapping the metal side trim about 1/4 in) and around vents and any other suspicious spots and then coated the whole roof with 4 thin coats of Kool Seal elastometric roof sealer, which is flexible, thick, and white. I also went aronund the vents with Dicor self-leveling caulk. The whole job took a few days and cost about $100!
We immediatly took the RV on a 13,000 mile trip across the US up into Canada and Alaska, down the west coast and across the bottom of the US back to Florida. It withstood rain, hail, snow and ice, low branches, and extreme desert heat without any issues. We put over 30,000 miles on it in less than 3 yrs. When we were put the RV up for sale 3+ yrs later I went up on the roof to see if it needed to be freshend up and it still looked and sealed great and I was able to sell the RV for more than I paid for it.
I would highly recommend for your application, it worked great for me and the price couldn't be beat.
Everything but the Dicor was bought at Home Depot.
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Old 08-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for that, what you did is basically what I had planned to do, sounds like I'm on the right track. As long as the alumibond will hold paint I think I'm going to go with it since it will save me a lot of cheddar.

One question, I was going to tape around the vents, do you suggest skipping that and just using the self leveling caulk?
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Old 08-17-2012, 04:45 PM   #7
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Haha okay, sitting in a shop while they do some wiring, owner took a look and said my roof is fiberglass not rubber. I laughed and told him good to know!
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Old 08-17-2012, 05:13 PM   #8
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I used the Dicor Self leveling caulk around the vents since once the tape is on, it won't be coming off, so if I had to replace a vent in the future it would have been easier thn cutting through the tape. The Kool Seal stuck to it like glue.

It doesn't matter that the roof is fiberglass, it will still work just fine. The tape will stick to anything dry and clean and will NOT be coming off anytime soon. Be careful putting it on, once on you can't peel it off to try again. If doing a long strip, snap a chalk line to giuide you.
Kool Seal (there are other brands of elastometric sealer as well) is made for mobile home roofs and will seal and stick fine as well. It remains flexible when dry, like rubber. Used a roller on a broomstick and it's as easy as painting. I did thin coats and used a 5 gal bucket on a 30ft class A. After 4 coats, I used what little remained to go around vents, antenna, etc. one more time. It is waterproof, but doesn't like to have water pooled on it for long periods. Wasn't an issue on a RV roof. It also doesn't bleed white down the sides of the coach like a rubber roof does and inhibits mold and alage. Roof stayed white and never turned black or green in the high humidity of florida.

Good luck and take pictures of your progress to post for others to learn on this site.
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Old 08-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #9
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I would clean and paint the fiberglass after taping instead of Kool Seal or similar.. marine Top Side paint will hold up great for 10 years or more.
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Old 08-17-2012, 08:15 PM   #10
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Ever think about arubberized spray sealant?

Not really familiar with camper repairs but I did a roof leak repair on my cabin using a sealer advertised on TV and also sold at Wallyworld. Worked great and at $12.95 a can, might be worth a shot? Good luck.
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Old 08-18-2012, 04:00 AM   #11
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Whatever you decide to use, make sure it will be flexible when dry, your roof will flex pulling into parking lots, driveways, etc.

If using marine top paint, make sure it will hold to aluminum as well as the fiberglass and is also flexible. When using the tape, a tiny bit of the sticky adhesive will be visible around the edges, make sure the paint will stick to that as well.

I considered using truck bed liner paint but after doing the math (less coverage = more gallons) and not being sure how well it would stick ( it would dry stiffer than the rubber roof below) it was more cost effective in my situation.

Not trying to disrespect anyone or their ideas, but try to get your advice from those who have done this type of project themselves with positive results over time, not an armchair quarter-back who just has an idea he/she thinks will work. I suggest posting this question in the vintage RV forum if you haven't already done so. I'm sure there are many there with experience and lasting results.

Good luck and safe travels, Jason
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Old 08-18-2012, 05:55 AM   #12
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Does your roof edge wrap around to the body, or connect with screws under a metal seam? If your top really is solid fiberglass, the surface should be sanded before applying anything. Unscrew an interior roof vent inside (two screws) and see if the wood surround is rotted. About half on mine was bad. I surrounded the weak points on my roof with 1/2" standoffs, like a boat. The good news about fiberglass is that it is easily patched with resin and glass and It will last forever.
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Old 08-18-2012, 01:12 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterS View Post
Does your roof edge wrap around to the body, or connect with screws under a metal seam? If your top really is solid fiberglass, the surface should be sanded before applying anything. Unscrew an interior roof vent inside (two screws) and see if the wood surround is rotted. About half on mine was bad. I surrounded the weak points on my roof with 1/2" standoffs, like a boat. The good news about fiberglass is that it is easily patched with resin and glass and It will last forever.
It wraps over the edge slightly and goes under a strip where the roof and body meet, if that makes sense. I'll try and post a picture later. Thanks for all the responses!
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