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I need to replace the roof on my 5er and plan on doing it myself with help from friends.  The local RV shops around here want $5k to start "and it could go up from there".   Right now it has an EPDM rubber roof; so has anyone replaced theirs, what did you use, and how hard was it todo? 

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Posted (edited)

20190604_132942.jpg.824191d8ada637163bcb6eabe17d944d.jpg  How do you know its needs replacing, big rips or black showing thru?  My 03 motorhome looked shot with black showing.  Ran across the old CruiseAmerica parts manager in our RV travels.  He told me what they use, said to get some stuff called rc2000 by inland coatings.  I called inland coatings to see where to buy, as I couldn't find it locally, and they had their sales rep called me.  Turns out that he also has a Northwood RV also.  Got RC2000 at a regular roofing supply place that has rubber roof materials (mostly commercial buildings) and not an RV dealer. He gave me some instructions that were not on the can and have been happy since doing it in 2011.  check out their project page.  https://inlandcoatings.com/projects-portfolio/     If your interested in using  rc2000 I'll post up what their sales rep had me do.  The big box stores has coatings also but I don't think they are as good. 

 

But if you need new EPDM... try pricing at regular roofing supply places that deal in rubber roofing products. RV places way out of line IMO.   EPDM comes in different thickness (all in mils thickness)  RV manufactures use about cheapest stuff they can get.  Bear in mind if you get really thick stiff, makes it really hard to roll over roof edge.  Before tearing off old, make sure you have new vents and A/C gasket.  You can pull the "garnish trim ring" on inside of a/c, skylights, vents to see how OEM cut out opening.  

 

One of my few brain cells of memory that I left remembers,  that either the inland coating RC2000 or the glue that I used is not be sold in Calif. (Glue was for different project, not roof coating)

 

Coating is 8 years old now.  You can see bird crap and all.  Think I've washed off roof 3 years ago?  RC2000 still doing its job.  Exposed all year in my NW weather.  But maybe sun where you are maybe more harmful?

 

(Maybe I'll clean it and get another pic) ?  But not today:)

 

20190604_132952.jpg

Edited by 015point9
Add pic's and typo correction
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I figured to go thru one off my roofing contractors and get new when I need it. I am thinking some of the flashing has to be heat welded but never looked close enough to detirmine that. But that coating looks very promising especially with the longevity you are seeing.

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I'm not much help but here's a link to a thread I started a while back. Some good suggestions although there are probably new offerings out there by now.

 

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@015point9 I would just recoat that roof. Mine looks the same way. Dark spots and white coating wearing off. Just don't use Dicor Coating that crap sucks. I followed the instructions and bought over $200 worth of primer and coating to have it start to peel now 4 years later. Stuff is junk. 

 

81PnaUjCGhL._SL1500_.jpg

 

Take soff brush or broom and soap and water and lightly wash the top of the roof. Then using a power washer with a wider angle nozzle and keeping back a foot from the roof you can power wash the roof clean.

 

As for roof replacement for @IBMobile sad part is you'll start to peel up the existing roof and find out there is more damage. This where it end up costing more and labor intensive. You'll have to repair or replace all the damaged frame and wood. Then you can lay down a new roof rubber and make sure it glued down properly. Other than that you'll have what happen to @MnTom where his roof balloon up and peeled loose and ripped on his RV.

 

As for roof materials I had an aluminum roof on my 1976 Dodge Jamboree motorhome and it sucked. Electrolysis ate holes in the roof metal small pin holes. Spent tons of time with sealants and all kinds of redneck idea. The worst part was the seems would open to the flexing of the body. Rubber roof at least will stretch and move for body movement and stay watertight. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the replays.  I thought about doing a roof coating but there is a small tear in it about 3" long and about 2" back of the front cap on the right side.  It's been there since around 06 with a patch but there is wood rot in the plywood just under that area that should be fixed.  I'm thinking I should do a full replacement while I can still climb a latter and have friends that can still help.  

 

Edited by IBMobile

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Posted (edited)

That self-sticking sealant patch will work for a temporary time and them leak. I had a small one on my roof it failed started leaking so I did the next best thing and never had a leak again. What I'm going to post next most will freak out. I used silicone and it sealed the leak and has remained sealed for years now. I've got 2 small holes with silicone on them no issues. Silicone bound to the rubber and not peeling or leaking. Where that patch material eventually peeled off. Another junk product I've got no love for. 

 

Eternabond White RV Rubber Roof Seal

 

Eternabond White RV Rubber RoofSeal

As for the peel... Dicor coatings don't last long.

DSCF4562.JPG

 

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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Yea, I used the Eternabond sealing tape and every year inspect the roof and put some of that Dicor self leveling sealant on it and no new leaks there.  

 

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On 6/4/2019 at 5:08 PM, 015point9 said:

20190604_132942.jpg.824191d8ada637163bcb6eabe17d944d.jpg  How do you know its needs replacing, big rips or black showing thru?  My 03 motorhome looked shot with black showing.  Ran across the old CruiseAmerica parts manager in our RV travels.  He told me what they use, said to get some stuff called rc2000 by inland coatings.  I called inland coatings to see where to buy, as I couldn't find it locally, and they had their sales rep called me.  Turns out that he also has a Northwood RV also.  Got RC2000 at a regular roofing supply place that has rubber roof materials (mostly commercial buildings) and not an RV dealer. He gave me some instructions that were not on the can and have been happy since doing it in 2011.  check out their project page.  https://inlandcoatings.com/projects-portfolio/     If your interested in using  rc2000 I'll post up what their sales rep had me do.  The big box stores has coatings also but I don't think they are as good. 

 

But if you need new EPDM... try pricing at regular roofing supply places that deal in rubber roofing products. RV places way out of line IMO.   EPDM comes in different thickness (all in mils thickness)  RV manufactures use about cheapest stuff they can get.  Bear in mind if you get really thick stiff, makes it really hard to roll over roof edge.  Before tearing off old, make sure you have new vents and A/C gasket.  You can pull the "garnish trim ring" on inside of a/c, skylights, vents to see how OEM cut out opening.  

 

One of my few brain cells of memory that I left remembers,  that either the inland coating RC2000 or the glue that I used is not be sold in Calif. (Glue was for different project, not roof coating)

 

Coating is 8 years old now.  You can see bird crap and all.  Think I've washed off roof 3 years ago?  RC2000 still doing its job.  Exposed all year in my NW weather.  But maybe sun where you are maybe more harmful?

 

(Maybe I'll clean it and get another pic) ?  But not today:)

 

20190604_132952.jpg

The pic of the bird poop on the roof gives me a thought to ponder. Does a Chicken Man sleep in his RV or roost on the roof :think:  :shrug:

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28 minutes ago, dave110 said:

The pic of the bird poop on the roof gives me a thought to ponder. Does a Chicken Man sleep in his RV or roost on the roof :think:  :shrug:

I sleep 2 ways. One, on the cold side of the AC unit or Two, on the warm side of the heater. The rest is up to your imagination.

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10 hours ago, dave110 said:

The pic of the bird poop on the roof gives me a thought to ponder. Does a Chicken Man sleep in his RV or roost on the roof :think:  :shrug:

 

In his mobile chicken coop. Gotta keep the raccoons and foxes out.

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Posted (edited)

My situation is a bit different with an all fiberglass camper, there are no seams except where the aluminum framed vents are screwed to the roof. A total of 4 vents, the factory used a coating called Hengs and is wrong since it turns into a hard almost glass like product that you need an air chisel to get off. trying to remove any of it shoots bullet like pieces everywhere. I call the stuff BS too because the different thermal characteristics between aluminum and fiberglass caused it to crack at the seam and is common knowledge that you need a flexible coating in a case like that.

 

So IBMobile, this may help..... with my experience with other caulking and sealants on my job I took a pair of scissors and shortened the brush to help spread  thicker caulking to use like a coating. Masking with blue tape around each frame to coat a nice discreet line, I proceeded to paint a nice thick rubberized coating around each vent. It spread nice and leaves brush lines but never peals. It stays rubber like over the 8 yrs its been up there. I can see that it does wear down from the sun and rain over time but does otherwise hold well.

 

If I had a tear in a rubber membrane I would coat it, then push fiberglass mating or mesh into that first coat and then recoat over the mesh. I would first do a test with some scrap piece of rv rubber roof and try different caulk to see which is impossible to remove. I would go so far as to boil it, heat it with a heat gun and soak it in water to see which will not come loose.

 

I usually don't go for products that show heavy advertising to overcome a word of mouth problem in their sales. I go for the industrial proven products.

Edited by JAG1
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When I redid a racecar trailer I bought to move with, I used some Gaco I got from a roofer buddy of mine. He also told me that Black Jack from Home Depot is good stuff with a 50 year warranty at about $200 for 5 gallon bucket.

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Posted (edited)

In the marine environment your polyurethane base caulking and sealants are considered the best. I've had my fiberglass camper in the oregon weather since new. It's a 2003 model that had leaks the first week I bought it. The warranty folks did shod work and I decided it wasn't worth it anymore dropping it off and trying to teach them how to do their job. Using different brands and types of caulkings I found one of the cheapest polyurethane caulks held absolutely the best over the years. Amazing cause it was put on in 04 and is still good. Amazing because it is sealing plastic to metal, two different surfaces. I'm sure most of you have heard of Vulkem. The stuff is really good and I used the fibered or textured one with fibers in it. It may reinforce it with the fibers. It has out performed Sikka Flex products, I hate to say, because some of that stuff costs about 5 times as much as Vulkem.

Edited by JAG1

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1 hour ago, 98whitelightnin said:

When I redid a racecar trailer I bought to move with, I used some Gaco I got from a roofer buddy of mine. He also told me that Black Jack from Home Depot is good stuff with a 50 year warranty at about $200 for 5 gallon bucket.

I seriously considered black jack for my roof since I realized my camper will never move from where it's at. I'm sure it would seal well, but Lord have mercy on the guy who'd have to work on it down the road. More than likely that guy would be me so now it just its with rubber roll roofing on top of it.

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Posted (edited)

Reason I'm suggesting a coating is because I have seen samples of the RV 'rubber roof'. I was very surprised how thin and cheesy it was. Also now that you have an old EPDM roof, a new coating would not be impacting its future removal as much. Polyurethane coatings are generally more expensive, will stay flexible, Easy to do a touch up repair and with the right prep work, won't come loose. BTW, Vulkem caulk is a polyurethane I would test on the EPDM first.

 

Polyurethanes cure over time and humidity or water in contact with new applications will speed up its cure time. They use it for underwater thru hull fittings on yachts. 3M 5200 is a more pure form of polyurethane. very expensive, but I wouldn't buy Home Depots 3M products as they are generally a cheaper ghosted version that can be sold at a discount.

 

I want to mention one other item without going into the disgusting details. As a home builder from time to time, mostly a residential contractor with varying completions in 36 years..... I cannot stand nor never want to do Business with HD. Many times getting treated poorly, substandard quality or factory seconds, poor design, numerous returns taking much time and expense to the homeowner. Like I said I don't want to discuss the most recent experience that again reestablishes my absolute distaste for the company. I am very thankful they exist only for the reason that they help keep my favorite lumber/ hardware store uncrowded and with good service.

 

 

Edited by JAG1

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Posted (edited)

Jag1 said..."Vulkem caulk is a polyurethane I would test on the EPDM first.

I'm happy with what I use for caulking at present time.  But before i found some stuff i liked i used to look up msds sheet on whatever caulking you I was thinking about using and cross reference to one of the many EPDM comparability charts on line.

 

3m5200... good stuff until you have to remove it.  Stuff is like concrete, more ways than one.  Being rv's are basically a wobbley box on wheels, caulking should remain somewhat flexible.  

 

over last 20 years plus using different brands/types I've had best results following winabago "caulking call out" sheets.  I dont own a winabago product, but they have usually best parts availability.  And  Not because stuff is superior but because I can go to any winabago dealer in US and get caulk that will match what I already applied and know color will match.  And caulk should be less than a year old.  I dont get caulk on line anymore because last experiance of caulk was already 3 years old when I got it.  If price is a concern order on line. Not cheap at RV dealer.

I'll post a pic of my box of goodies for caulking sometime.

 

https://winnebagoind.com/diagram/Sealant.htm

 

 

Edited by 015point9
Added info
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I looked at 2 call out sheets and found that the sealants were what they call Easealent-Urethane, Easilicone , and Easilicon adhesive.  Is this what you're talking about.

 

I'd love to be able to just lay down a seal coat but with the age of the rubber roof (17 years), sub straight damage,and not having to do this when I'm 75 I'm leaning towards full replacement starting in August after a camping trip with the grand kids.  In the mean time I'm gathering all the info I can about materials and technique for this project. 

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3M 5200 isn't hard like concrete it stays flexible. I guess you meant that it is very durable :thumb1:

 

I'm saying coat it because its easy to get it off in the future with the old membrane being left on there and the rv membranes are really cheesy boss. coatings are easy as pie to repair.

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1 hour ago, JAG1 said:

3M 5200 isn't hard like concrete it stays flexible. I guess you meant that it is very durable :thumb1:

 

I'm saying coat it because its easy to get it off in the future with the old membrane being left on there and the rv membranes are really cheesy boss. coatings are easy as pie to repair.

 

Sounds like he wants new roof being he doesnt know how much wood damage and get up on roof now versus 10 years from now.

RV roofs suck.  By now you would think somebody would of come up with a Tupperware lid type roof to just snap on. 

 

Going to find my RV part books and post some options.  Because he is going to have to find out if any damaged wood is cosmetic or structural.  Type of current roof, epdm or top or something that has material that looks like felt under wood.  If wood or alum frame.  If alum frame. Wood damage no big deal structural wise.  But if wood frame, bad wood might involve the wood framing, which would suck and be lots more work involved.  

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, 015point9 said:

By now you would think somebody would of come up with a Tupperware lid type roof to just snap on. 

 

 

Dream on... Don't we wish. :lmao2::lmao:

 

Edited by Mopar1973Man

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9 hours ago, 015point9 said:

 

Sounds like he wants new roof being he doesnt know how much wood damage and get up on roof now versus 10 years from now.

RV roofs suck.  By now you would think somebody would of come up with a Tupperware lid type roof to just snap on. 

 

I hear what you are saying Thanks for helping me to understand......... Your avatar keeps making me think your forum name is 'Super Mopar'. I like that avatar, but your idea of a tupperware roof would sell that brand of RV like hot cakes.

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12 hours ago, 015point9 said:

Sounds like he wants new roof being he doesnt know how much wood damage and get up on roof now versus 10 years from now.

That's it in a nut shell.       1065962050_animated-smileys-smaulis-0731.gif.294fa602a7562fed569c0982979f015d.gifIt's tough to heal a broken hip when your 77.

 

12 hours ago, 015point9 said:

RV roofs suck.  By now you would think somebody would of come up with a Tupperware lid type roof to just snap on. 

Would you have to "burp" it before snapping it shut.

 

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26 minutes ago, IBMobile said:

That's it in a nut shell.       1065962050_animated-smileys-smaulis-0731.gif.294fa602a7562fed569c0982979f015d.gifIt's tough to heal a broken hip when your 77.

 

Would you have to "burp" it before snapping it shut.

 

No easier when your older.  Wife had hip replacement at 71 and doc said one of the easier hip replacements he's done.  He said her hip was bone on bone for so long with no cartilage in between bones that old hip bones just fell out.  Couldn't operate earlier because of all cancer meds and blood thinners.  So I guess when you get older bones just fall out:)

Now her sister 67, my age is still on cane from knee replacement over 1 year ago.  Hell getting old I guess.  

But I made it through school without google:thumb1:

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