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Old 04-23-2010, 07:23 AM   #1
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rubber roofs

We are currently looking at different motorhomes and I have a question. I have been told by several people to stay away from any motorhome that has a rubber roof. Being an Aggie from Texas A&M, I have several questions. What is a rubber roof? How do I know if the model we are looking at has one? Why are they so bad? What are some of your experiences good and bad with them?

I just figured that by posting this question on the few blogs I read I moght get some useful answers. Thank you in advance.

Ron & Carla
Fulltime July 2010


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Old 04-23-2010, 07:37 AM   #2
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A rubber roof is a large sheet of rubberized membrane that is bonded to the roof of a motorhome or travel trailer. Many, many rv's have a rubber roof. Modern rubber roofing is very durable and is typically warranted by the manufacturer. A rubber roof is easily distinguishable from a fiberglass or other type of roof by simply climbing up the ladder on the rv and looking and feeling the roof. A rubber roof is, well, rubber and a fiberglass roof will typically be smoother.
Being from the Northeast, I am not sure if a rubber roof will deteriorate more rapidly in the TX heat, but if you check with a local dealer I would be willing to bet that the majority of rv's sold down there have rubber roofs as well.
I am sure that someone on here with more information than me can give you some additional insight.

2004 Thor Mandalay 38B
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:38 AM   #3
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Oh, by the way, welcome to the site! There are many great people on here who have helped me with many questions.
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Old 04-23-2010, 07:39 AM   #4
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Being a Sooner from OU I don't know if I should help you but here it is anyway. Rubber roofs are made of sheets of EPDM. It is the least expensive and most common roof. They last a long time and the manufacturer projects a 12 year life. Many last a lot longer. The drawback of EPDM is that the sun chalks the surface and this can run off and form streaks on the sides of a rig. EPDM requires cleaning once or twice a year or it becomes dark. A step up is Brite Tek which is sheet of material and it does not chalk. I don't know the expected life of Brite Tek but it is a step up. Then you have fiberglass roofs which is another step up, but you need to have good fiberglass with the proper thickness. Having said all of this, I have an EPDM roof and after 10 years it is doing well. I have put sealer on it to reduce chalking and last year I coated it with an EPDM coating that all but stopped the chalking. I expect the roof will last indefinitely if I maintain it. That is probably already too much information.
Jim Walker
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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We have a EPDM roof on our 1999 Tradewinds and live in Albuquerque NM. It's the original roof and is in really good condition after these 11 years. It does get chaulky and I do need to clean it once a year. I use this product and it always comes out looking new.

Protect All - Product Catalog - Rubber Roof Care

I really don't think the type of roof is a deal maker or breaker, either kind will serve you well for many years. The condition of the roof, if your buying a used Coach, is much more inportant.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:05 AM   #6
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thank you

thank you for the responses.....

J Walker you should be a proud sooner this morning.........3 of the first 4 draftees in the NFL........all I can say is WOW
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Old 04-25-2010, 07:55 AM   #7
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I have a rubber roof on my Southwind, the previous owner kept it in Florida a lot, so the sun has deteriated it where it rolls over the edges. I knew that I woud have to replace it in the next year or so, but I got a good deal on it, I have temporarily sealed it along with covering the bad edges with durabond until I get a new one put on.
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Old 04-25-2010, 09:13 AM   #8
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The manufacture of my roof told me to only wash it with Murphy Oil Soap and it will not need any thing else.
Tiffin Allegro
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Old 04-25-2010, 12:44 PM   #9
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It cost the insurance company $5000 to put a new Dicor EPDM roof on my previous MH. A knarly old tree down my College Station ate it. Probably an Aggie Tree (lol). (my father in law is an Aggie). Dicor seems to be the largest manufacturer of EPDM roofs. One thing I learned from the old roof was not to use silicone sealers to try and stop the seam leaks because it does not bond well to the rubber. The best stuff is the Dicor sealer. It works.
Try this website for more info Dicor - The Components RVs are Born With
Mike Canter
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Old 05-08-2010, 06:13 PM   #10
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rubber roofs

My 1999 36' southwinds rubber roof started to wear out after about 9 years of Florida weather. I applied the recommended Dicor sure-seal acrylic coating bought from camping world. I used 4 gallons of the stuff in two coats. Not cheap at about $60 a gallon, but boy did it work. It is really tough and resilient. I used a sheep skin roller to apply this thick sticky icky stuff and achieved something of a uniformed textured finish. I am very pleased with it. two dry weekends and plenty of elbow grease are also required. You need to remove the A.C. covers to avoid painting them by mistake. From my experience it is well worth the effort to apply Dicor (and remove the A.C. covers). Two years later it still looks great and does not leak. I suspect that it will last longer than the original EPDM. Ed
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:45 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by VietVet View Post
The manufacture of my roof told me to only wash it with Murphy Oil Soap and it will not need any thing else.
How long have you been using the Murphy's Oil Soap and has it controlled the chalking?
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Old 05-16-2010, 06:25 PM   #12
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I have a rubber roof on a Gulfstream Yellowstone Class C that I bought new in 03. It has set outside in Florida sun sun when parked for 7 years. Each year in Feb. it gets a good scrubbing and checked out and Dicor applied on any iffy areas. No problems in 7 years.

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