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Old 05-27-2010, 08:21 PM   #1
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rubber roof bubbles

I have a 2000 coachmen with a rubber roof that is soft in spots and has bubbles in several places. Is this seperation a serious matter and will it start leaking? Motorhome has spent most of its life in Arizona, now resides in rainy Washington.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:17 AM   #2
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Hello tailgunner and we come to iRV2.com. We are glad to have you join us here and we look forward to reading of your adventures and experiences I am sure you will enjoy the website and forums. Good luck and keep us posted.
I would be more concerned about the spot spots than the rubber roof membrane having a few bubbles. Inspect the soft area and look for a way water can enter to cause rot. When you find it, clean and seal. Can you go into a little more detail as to how bad the decking under the membrane is?
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #3
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By soft spots I was referring to the rubber material being soft,roof underneath seems to be fine. I noticed several wrinkles on edges,and several bubbles that measure from a couple inches to maybe 6". Roof is a bit chaulky,but clean and white, was concerned that bubbles might be allowing water to percolate through. I was considering coating roof with Liquid Roof,but what to do about bubbles?
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:13 PM   #4
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Bubbles will grow and are not as structurally durable as the still-glued-down field of the rubber roof; they can more easily catch on a tree branch or twig and tear a hole. You can use the nozzle of a caulk tube w/a good grade of multi-surface sealant as a syringe and squeeze sealant into the bubble area thru a small puncture, then knead it back out assuring you get as much of the bubble pressed back down to the roof structure as possible. IIWM I'd try Geocel brand ProFlexRV (Camping World or a trailer supply joint near you); I used that to seal the roof/sidewall seam on mine and it adhears well to multiple surfaces as well as stays a bit tacky. Might put a piece of Eternabond tape or equivalent (also CW or trailer supply) over the hole after the sealant cures.

If the roof was poorly maintained and is heavily checked, you may have reached the life expectancy of the membrane. I'd be checking into TPO type membrane replacement- way more durable (can be purchased w/a 30 year guarantee in some commercial roof applications) and is available at some RV re-roofers. Here is a LINK that discusses various roof repair & maintenance issues.
You can google:
rv tpo roof
rv epdm roof
and get lots of hits for further education and a whole lotta sales pitches
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:44 PM   #5
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We've had bubbles in ours where it curves down and meets the sidewell ever since it was new. Bubbles still there but no leaks in the 10 years we've had it.
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:34 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response, I was more concerned if bubbles would cause leaks. Guess I can rest easy now.
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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Bubbles under the rubber membrane are normally not a cause for concern. I contacted Dicor about bubbles on my previous motorhome and injecting adhestive into the bubble to adhere it to the sub-structure. They recommended leaving it alone, any holes would destroy the integrity of the roof.
Use of a petroleum product can cause the adhesive to release in large areas and that can be a problem.
Good discussion on roof care here: RV Reporter Articles

hope this helps...
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:12 PM   #8
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Drive north my freind, drive north.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:35 PM   #9
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You all might remember I'm the one that ran into a bridge in New Jersey. Does anyone know how much it should cost to replace a 41 foot rubber roof? Not sure what to compare my quote to... it's 3,400
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:58 PM   #10
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I don't know about comparison, but it doesn't sound outrageous. If you guessed $800 for material, that leaves $2600 for labor or 2.5 man days at current rates. You might find it cheaper but probably not by a lot.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:06 PM   #11
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If you want to replace yourself give this a read & study.
Follow instructions under pictures.
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:16 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007";647711]If you want to replace yourself [B][URL="http://www.outerland.com/RV/Roof/
give this[/URL][/B] a read & study.
Follow instructions under pictures.
WOW. That is very impressive! I don't have the talent to do that... But I sure wish you lived in my town.
Good Job
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Old 05-28-2010, 10:18 PM   #13
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The repair shop that gave me that quote also told me that it was impossible to do just the front 4 feet, because it can't be seamed. Well that alone cost them the job. I know it can be done. And I told them up front that it did not need to be pretty. So I will locate someone who can figure out a sound way to patch just the front 4 feet.
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Old 05-29-2010, 04:54 PM   #14
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I had the front 4 feet patched on my MH four years ago, and have had no problem.
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