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Old 11-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #1
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Hey Yall!...My hubby and I are still looking at rv's....I noticed some ad's that said "No rubber roofs!". Can someone explain to me about rubber roofs, please?

Hugs, Blanche
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Old 11-26-2006, 10:19 AM   #2
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Hey Yall!...My hubby and I are still looking at rv's....I noticed some ad's that said "No rubber roofs!". Can someone explain to me about rubber roofs, please?

Hugs, Blanche
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:18 AM   #3
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Rubber roofs are used on many RV's and they are a very cost effective roof material, that is why so many manufacturers use them. Two of our previous RV's had them. Never a leak, but the maintanance to keep them clean and treated trying to keep them from "chalking" was why we insisted on a fiberglass roof on our MH.

But they do "chalk" as the material ages and this chalking runs down the sides of the RV causing more black streaks and a mess on the coach.

Other than that, the rubber roof is a good material IMO.

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Old 11-26-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by poptart:
Can someone explain to me about rubber roofs, please? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
RV's come with 4 different roof's, if I remember correctly. Fiberglass/molded plastic is one type. Canvas is another. Metal is a third. Rubber roofs are the fourth.

Rain and hail can sound very loud inside the RV, but not quite as noisy as a metal roof. The amount of noise is directly related to the amount of insulation between the exterior of the roof and the ceiling in the RV.

Tent trailers w/molded plastic or fiberglass roofs have no insulation. Metal roofs are found on TrailManor trailers, Airstream trailers and others. We owned a TrailManor and even with 1" of styrofoam-type insulation (great for heat containment) the noise in a rainstorm was unacceptable.

Fiberglass roofs on many trailers and motorhomes are also subject to noise from the elements, but again, the amount of noise transmitted to the interior is completely dependent on how well insulated the ceiling/roof is.

Rubber roofs are the quietest, but as GStream40 pointed out, some people object to the black streaks.

Our present TT has a rubber roof and we clean it once a year to remove dirt and mold. Black streaks have not been a problem for us.
Paul <?)))>< Lake Almanor, CA

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Old 11-26-2006, 03:23 PM   #5
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The older rubber roofs were prone to chalking if they were not cleaned and sealed with wax. The newer 02-03 and up, roofs are much easier to maintain need to be cleaned in spring and a liquid wax applied and your good to go. To keep costs down many MFG's use the rubber roof.
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Old 11-26-2006, 04:21 PM   #6
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Rubber roofs seem to be the cheap way out, I have seen them seperating from the rv, especially fith wheels in high cross winds. I know they are more noisy in rain, but it seems to me a metal roof, or at least fiberglass is the least a major investment should have such as an RV. You never see rubbr roofs on a school bus or delivery vehicle such as fed ex and that says to me cheap cheap. Our hi-lo is a metal roof, if they can do it every one can. One of the problems wih the industry is first time buyers having a bad experience with build quality, and you get what you pay for. These roofs can take branches and minor scrapes better than rubber. All winnebago products come with fiberglass roofs, as do Holiday Rambler. Metal roofs are found in trailers such as ours and Airstream. Casita and the like are solid fiberglass. Look at the resale of these units and you will find why a little more pays in the long run.
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Old 11-27-2006, 08:52 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The newer 02-03 and up, roofs are much easier to maintain need to be cleaned in spring and a liquid wax applied and your good to go </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was under the impression that putting anything on a rubber roof, other than just cleaning it with a mild soap (like Dawn or Spic 'N Span), was a no-no.

Can you give a web reference that says rubber roofs should be waxed?
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:00 AM   #8
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Just a point of clarification. When most people talk about a "rubber roof", they are referring to a material called EPDM, which was subject to black streaks, chalking, etc.

A more modern membrane roofing material is UV stabilized vinyl, which is a completely different animal than EPDM. Our RV has a UV stabilized vinyl roof which has given no problems whatsoever.

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Old 11-27-2006, 09:23 AM   #9
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Many of the remarks on this thread are right on, but a number of them are questionable. For example, rubber(aka EPDM) roof materal rarely, if ever, has blown off. Also, a number of RV manufacturers have had problems with fiberglass roofs seperating from the edges of the RV.

TPO is a newer type of membrane roofing materal used on RVs and sometimes on buildings. It is basically made of vinyl, is easier to clean and does not produce as much black streaking.

Each of the roofing materials mentioned has its pros and cons.
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:47 AM   #10
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We've had two rigs with rubber roofs, a 95 Mallard 5th whl and a 98 Sea View MH. Only problem was a cut from a TV antenna that folded in the wind. that took all of 5 minutes to repair. Other than that I cleaned them twice a year. Rubber is quieter than the fibreglass roof on our current rig. We had the Sea View for 7 years and the roof was good as new when we traded.

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Old 11-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #11
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I agree with Glenn,, our 98 Fleetwood has not been a problem, including streaks,, Looks as good as new...If you want pics, email me...
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:45 PM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I was under the impression that putting anything on a rubber roof, other than just cleaning it with a mild soap (like Dawn or Spic 'N Span), was a no-no. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Not so.

The only thing you should avoid using on an EDPM rubber roof is any solvent that might loosen the glue that holds it down. EDPM is somewhat porous to solvents, especially "petro-chemicals" (gasoline, mineral spirits, toluene, naptha, etc), and use of these in any quantity can soak through enough to dissolve the glue underneath. Then you will get the bubble separation mentioned previously.

Even with the above caution, you can still carefully use a cloth dampened with one of those solvents if there is no other way to remove a stain (e.g. a grease mark). Just use it very sparingly and pat dry immediately after.

They make wax-like products for rubber roofs that are supposed to reduce chalking and keep them shiny clean longer. In some environments they help while in others they seem to have little effect. They are cheap enough and easy to apply, so it doesn't hurt to try one. Most RV stores (including CW) sell them.

Not everybody has problems with chalky dirt from rubber roofs (the dreaded black streaks). Dry climates usually aren't too bad, for example. But in areas with a lot of pollutants in the air and daily dew or frequent rains to wash the accumulated roof dirt down the sides of the coach, rubber roof dirt can be a real pain.
Gary Brinck
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Old 11-30-2006, 09:53 AM   #13
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Another question about roof types. Is there an up or down side to the various roof types when adding equipment to the roof, e.g. satelite dish, solar panels? Is ther less potential for roof damage with a fiberglass/metal vs a rubber roof (of course a lot depends on how well you seal the roof after installation)? Is there more potential for trouble with a rubber roof when you walk on it for maintenance?
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Old 08-18-2008, 04:58 PM   #14
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I have a 93 Jayco travel trailer, rubber roof. Great for 13 years, now leaks like a sieve. Been told 10 years is doing good, over 15 without needing replacement is unheard of. Replacement $3-5,000. No one recommends repair only. Looking at motorhomes and fifth wheels, but deeply afraid of rubber roofs. Maybe new ones are better, but I amjust too scared!
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