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Old 07-15-2021, 07:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: West Virginia
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2 roof questions

Hey, new travel trailer owner here. Just got a 2016 Dutchmen Kodiak 201QB. From what I could find out, it seems that the roof is TPO. In the manual, different types of roof materials are discussed. Under the "rubber" roof section, the manual states, "Only units with factory installed ladders have walkable roofs". My trailer does not have a factory installed ladder, but I'm confused if this just applies to rubber, or to my TPO as well. I actually already used a ladder and walked on the roof to inspect it before purchasing. Didn't seem to hurt anything, but I'm confused as to whether I should not be walking on the roof. I don't really know how else I could adequately inspect and repair seals.

Second question, the previous owner unknowingly applied some silicone sealant in 2 small areas of the corners of the roof seals. He said there were no leaks, but it looked like the sealant was lifting just a little at the corner, and he put a small amount of silicone in about a 2 inch area. I know that silicone is a no/no, and that other sealants will not stick to it, but I'm wondering if there's a way to safely remove it and replace with Dicor, or if I should just leave it alone at this point.

Thanks in advance for any help.
JT
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Old 07-15-2021, 08:09 PM   #2
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For your first question... if your roof is not "walkable" it generally means the roof structure itself is not strong enough to hold the weight of a person, eg if you walk on it you may break roof trusses/supports, or worse fall through. Rubber vs TPO shouldn't make a differnce. With a non walkable roof you'll likely need to do all maintenance while standing on a ladder or scafolding. You might be able to use pieces of plywood to spread the load and crawl on your hands and knees, but I'm nof sure about that.

For your 2nd question, I've not had to remove silicone from TPO so I don't have any advice.
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Old 07-15-2021, 08:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighwayStar View Post
Hey, new travel trailer owner here. Just got a 2016 Dutchmen Kodiak 201QB. From what I could find out, it seems that the roof is TPO. In the manual, different types of roof materials are discussed. Under the "rubber" roof section, the manual states, "Only units with factory installed ladders have walkable roofs". My trailer does not have a factory installed ladder, but I'm confused if this just applies to rubber, or to my TPO as well. I actually already used a ladder and walked on the roof to inspect it before purchasing. Didn't seem to hurt anything, but I'm confused as to whether I should not be walking on the roof. I don't really know how else I could adequately inspect and repair seals.

Second question, the previous owner unknowingly applied some silicone sealant in 2 small areas of the corners of the roof seals. He said there were no leaks, but it looked like the sealant was lifting just a little at the corner, and he put a small amount of silicone in about a 2 inch area. I know that silicone is a no/no, and that other sealants will not stick to it, but I'm wondering if there's a way to safely remove it and replace with Dicor, or if I should just leave it alone at this point.

Thanks in advance for any help.
JT
You should try to remove it. It's probably not stuck very hard and if he just gobbed it on it should come off pretty easy. Plus I don't know how dirty it is but nothing sticks to a dirty TPO roof or dirty caulking. A pressure washer will probably blow it right off. After you get it off clean anything you are going to reseal with alcohol. Don't use vodka, not strong enough, get some good old fashion rubbing alcohol. Also that TPO roof should be kept clean. Scrub it with a good TPO cleaner or Sunnyside TSP. Then pressure wash all the moldy looking grime off it.

I have no idea why they would say not to walk on it if it doesn't have a ladder. All RV roofs have to be walked on at some point to do the maintenance.

There are other products, better products than Dicor. Dicor just has one hell of a marketing program to get this stuff out into dealerships and hawk it at RV talleys. The good RV repair shops I know (insurance adjuster so I have RV repaired in a lot of shops) have products they prefer. Find out from the manufacture what they use when they build it. I have a Winnebago and they use a silicone base sealer. If you put Dicor on it it will not stick and peel away and make a real mess. Hopefully the PO didn't smear stuff on too many places and you can clean it up correctly. If it is a water bas sealer, use that, if it is a solvent base sealer, use that, if it is a silicone base sealer use that.
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Old 07-16-2021, 03:06 AM   #4
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If it is not a walk on roof don't walk on it. My roof is a non walking roof and 100% guarantee you'd go through it if you walk on it. About 30% of my roof feels like it is 1/8 inch thick or less. The section with the AC feels solid on the other side of the stringer I can deflect it easily a 1/4 inch with my hand.
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Old 07-25-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies, folks. Sorry, just now getting back on.

Yes, the small silver dollar sized blobs of silicone that the previous owner applied popped right off with my fingers. It had been applied over the dirt and was barely sticking to anything anyway. I talked to the owner of our local RV dealer / repair shop, and he instructed me on how to properly clean it with acetone, and provided me with the correct sealant.

I inspected the roof very well, and found just a handful of small hairline cracks in the sealant here and there. None were leaking, but I touched them all up just as preventative maintenance.

The dealer told me to use Dawn dish liquid for general cleaning the roof. I did, and it came out nice and white. I feel much better after cleaning, removing the old silicone blobs, and touching up the caulk. Everything is adhering as it should and I feel 100% confident with the roof.

Thanks for the help.

JT
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