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Old 01-24-2019, 06:41 PM   #1
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Roof replacement options

I have just become the new owner of a 26' '84 Fleetwood Jamboree. After inspecting the roof/ceiling before and after a rainstorm it is clear that it is no longer watertight. It has been coated at least twice with 2 different products that I can't identify and generally looks like a gloppy cracked mess. My plan now is to rip the old aluminum roof off completely and start over from scratch making a slightly sloped roof using some new cross members and some 5mil plywood underlayment. My question is, what would be the best material to inexpensively ($250<) seal my new roof without using aluminum again? I would like to do EPDM, but I know that I will have to use sections of some kind of metal to let the roof vents and A/C seal against and I was afraid that the corners on the metal will start to curl up over time and poke a hole in it.
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Old 01-24-2019, 08:47 PM   #2
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Chat with your local RV repair shop. They can replace the aluminum with TPO or PVC sheeting by installing a thin plywood over the framework after the aluminum is removed.
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Old 01-24-2019, 09:16 PM   #3
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If you're going to DIY, you'll still be into it for a lot more than $250. When you rip the old roof off, you'll find long term water damage. I don't like to be a killjoy, but you should probably:
A) Plan on a lot of work and $$$$
B) Plan on a lot more hard work and $$$
C) Have a shop do the work and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.

I've seen what happens on older RVs when they leak, and it's never pretty. If you decide to re-roof with rubber or TPO, fashion new roof trusses with 2x6 on edge, tapered slightly so the plywood deck you install will be slightly crowned. PM me if you want details.

Good luck,
Steve
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Old 01-25-2019, 05:44 AM   #4
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I do know all about long term water damage, this is my second older coach that has needed a repair like this so I know how much work it is, the difference there was that I tried to fix it from the inside out, not the other way around.. I do plan to make a crowned roof or maybe arched depending on how I do things. The one thing I don't know about with a membrane roof is how I go about sealing things like roof vents and air conditioners to it. If I use the membrane coating underneath the surface and use butyl tape like normal, won't the membrane wrinkle over time? I know I could always just paint over the installed roof vents with the EPDM, but then I'm still not sure what I would do for the foam compression seal for the AC. Does anyone have any thoughts / experience with this?
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Old 01-26-2019, 09:07 AM   #5
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The air conditioner seal is a dense foam and does a good job sealing so once installed and tightened down it will seal, the vents use the butyl tape under the vent and then seal the outside edge and screws with dicor self leveling calk. I replaced the roof on my last class A and used industrial reinforced TPO that was .060 thick it was a little harder to work with and heavy but came out great. After I removed the old roofing the plywood was rippled in places and I removed the layer of plywood in the rippled spots I resheeted over the old plywood with some 1/4 luann plywood and used gorillia glue to glue it down, it foams and fills the void between the plywoods I used a large head screws to hold the sheets down until the glue dried and then removed the screws then taped over the seams of the plywood with gorilla tape and then installed the TPO. It was a big job and cost about $1000 for everything the bigest expense was the TPO I had to buy a 100 x 10 ft roll and the glue for it the plywood was about $10 a sheet on sale x10 I replaced all the vents on the roof and installed a new skylight that was around $130 the two A/C seals were about $20 each x 2 misc stuff was several tubes of dicor self leveling calk, 4 rolls of butyl tape and lots of stainless screws. I still have close to half of a roll of the TPO yet and not sure what I am going to do with it.
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Old 02-07-2019, 10:36 AM   #6
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So even if I use a liquid membrane (EPDM) I should paint all the way to the edge of the vent holes, then install as normal with butyl and then cover with dicor? I only ask because I remember buying a used vent off a trailer with a rubber roof and it looked like it had simply been painted over with the roof coat to make it one uniform surface. I'm planning to use mainly nails and screws instead of glue since I intend to put a beam every 2-3 feet to give extra support in case I want to sit up there or install another cargo topper.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:28 AM   #7
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If you go the expense and effort to remove the old damaged metal roof, then frame and install plywood or OSB sheathing; you do not want to use a liquid membrane. The liquid membrane for RV roofs is only for treating an existing clean roofing material in otherwise good condition. For a new roof you will frame the holes for the roof vents under the new sheathing to provide a solid structure to which you attach the vent mounting screws, or in the case of the air conditioner it provides the solid structure to which the clamping bolts secure the unit and foam seal to the new roof. You will find the existing holes are framed, but it may be damaged from water leaks. Once you have installed the sheathing underlayment, the replacement EDPM membrane is glued to the underlayment following the membrane manufacturer's instructions, then butyl tape is installed around the vent holes, the vent housing screwed through the butyl tape, the new membrane, and into the framing. Once the vents are installed a self leveling sealant is used to seal the screws and the perimeter of the vent frame to prevent leaks. No sealant is used around the air conditioner unit. If you go to youtube.com and search for "installing a RV rubber roof," you will find a number of very informative videos that walk you through the entire process. Never use the liquid EDPM material over the new rubber roof, it only sticks to old rubber roofing which has shed most of its top coating and has then been cleaned with a special preparation cleaner. The liquid polymeric coatings for aluminum roofs only stick to clean aluminum, and products like Snow Roof and Cool Seal crack and peel off old coatings of similar products.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:42 AM   #8
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I do still plan to use a rubber coating, but only because I have found multiple liquid roof manufacturers that guarantee their product and also list bare plywood as one of the materials it will adhere to. I don't want another aluminum roof because in my experience they are flimsy and have an extremely limited lifespan. I would like to use a TPO membrane coating but it is too expensive for my budget.To be clear the roof is entirely compromised, nothing except the electrical components can probably be saved.
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:59 PM   #9
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You are on the right track. The liquid TPO "solutions" simply do not stand up to the flexing and expansion and contracting the RV experiences. Even with a new TPO membrane it will be very important to be prepared to scrape and reseal the areas along the edges and around vents that are sealed with the self leveling sealant. Plan on resealing in five years for a rig left in the weather, much longer for those kept under cover.
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