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Question on RV roof repair


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Hello all! I'm the new owner of a 1990 HI-LO 25 footer. I know nothing about campers. I didn't even know it went up and down til the guy put it down for me to tow. The roof needs repaired and it is like a fabric rubber coated looking material. What would you guys use to recoat? I'm sort of favoring doing the worse spots with Eternabond tape and then Koolseal over it all. The Koolseal supposedly comes in a formula for non metal roofs but I couldn't find it. Sound like a plan? I have A LOT to learn here so I'll take all suggestions.

Thanks

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Make sure the very front is sealed down well. I've seen a rubber roof catch all the air going down the road and lifting the entire rubber membrane like a huge air pillow.

What Joe said is good IMO, as they are finding eternabond tape to be murder to deal with later on down the road. Although it is good while it lasts and may last forever if kept coated.

Edited by JAG1
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I personally found EPDM Coatings customer service to suck!!! They were fabulous on the sales side of the coin however when there was a problem with shipping ( It was over 3 1/2 weeks late) They were slow to non responsive!! I would call and leave messages and no one would call me back, I would finally get a hold of a human and then it was a pass the buck kind of feel to it... Granted I didn't order a huge amount, just enough to patch the area that had a hole in the roof...By the time it came I already had the  repair done with the eternabond which arrived 4 days after I ordered the product...When it still had not arrived 3 weeks after my original order was placed I tried canceling the order completely but they said it had already shipped, they then emailed me a letter stating about having to pay the to and from shipping plus restocking fee and a charge if the can was damaged (it came with a dent in the can :doh: ) so by the time you add all that together it was cheaper to just keep the product and lose the headache of dealing with that company... Now  I had full intention that I would be buying enough to recoat the entire roof by the middle of next year but, that isn't going to happen!! I will be buying a full EPDM rubber membrane and redoing the roof that way!! My :2cents:

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Thanks for all the replies guys! Seems like an EPDM product is the best repair but also most expensive. It would run me about $400 for my 25er with the primer. I see Koolseal is an elastromeric not EPDM. and will probably not last as long but less expensive. The whole camper thing is kind of experimental for us so I'm not sure what I'll do yet. For now probably Eterna bond the bad spots where it leaks since I'm running out of good weather to do the whole thing anyhow. Do they come with good application instructions? I see you need a roller and a squeegee. What's the squeegee for?

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There are videos on YouTube. I just cut all the outside edges, around stuff coming through the roof with a brush. Two coats there would be ideal. A roller on a pole should get you by for the open areas. Squeegee just helps push out product you pour out on the roof. I didn't use a roller pan like you would for paint. Pour it out and push/roll it out. Be ready for wrinkles in the old roof, as it penetrates the old roof for mechanical bond. Wrinkles will flatten as it dries over a couple weeks. It's pretty much waterproof within a day or so I think.

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I had a new rubber roof put on my (old) 30' ToyHauler.  I think I got a good price...  I think it was $1200, white rubber painted on, work done indoors at his shop.  He also caulked & repaireed a lot of questionable areas, skylights, etc.  He painted the rubber up the sides of all the through roof fittings.  It did solve MOST of the leakage BUT there's still a problem area in the front...  roughly where the front, side & roof come together.  There is an extruded trim strip that joins the roof & side & wraps/extends down the front.  He roofed up & onto the extrusion & it's plastic insert (that covers the screws).  He used Marine grade caulk...  a lot of it...  to do fittings before roofing over them.  He only did the roof.  The roof has been all accross thye front top & the roof isn't perfectly flat...  tends to deflect water to this side joint. 

I'm honestly not impressed with this construction method.  The extrusion has very little overlap with the siding...  maybe 1/4".  Just not enough.  I notice newer designs have roofs molded one piece to come over the side.     

 

I'm back on it, or I should say, my friends & helpers are...  we just replaced the front parker lights & used under-water marine caulk since the roof water runs over it when it rains.    

 

We're also found leaks in a very expensive all aluminum horse trailer...  with a rounded extrusion at the top of the sides and large aluminum secions of aluminum roof...  but a freaking caulked seam where they join & pop-rivets on the framing where the sections overlap slightly.  I am furious but nothing I can do about it now. 

 

I bought an older Pace enclosed trailer (to transport my Handicap scooter)...  It has a molded fiberglass front piece with a aluminum front...  steel roof...   I expected the fuiberglass front piece would be on top & the other componendets shingled...  Under it.  I was wrong.  The molded piece is under, the outter piece is on top (camper caulk long gone) & now that the fasteners have slipped, a perfect scoop to bring rain in.  We are going to through bolt it, instead of screws and use marine underwater caulk when we reassemble.   

 

If I buy another unit, I'll be a lot more choosy about the type of construction.  I was blissfully unaware of the leakage problems inherent in the typical small extrusion roof/wall seam. 

 

I am very interested in the paint on rubber.  BTW, I used the grey camper roof paint & we it just doesn't adhere to the aluminum horse trailer or camper.  I'm going to disguard the remainder & possibly get more of the white rubber.     

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I'm not able to get on ladders so have to rely on others... 

 

Wife has been sealing the horse trailer...  cracks in the original caulk & over pop rivits (don't get me started) with underwater recommended "Life Caulk" from the Marine Supply store.  We had intermittant heavy rain squalls all day yesterday...  the horse trailer didn't leak.  That's progress! 

 

I'm going to go check the camper where my friend replaced the clearance lights sealed with Life Caulk. 

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Hey Russ, In my research I have found some butyl tape as well as butyl caulk. I think that's what they use for windshield installation so should be pretty water tight.  The EPDM Coatings website has many options to look at if you have not already. Also, I have found there are formulations for  aluminum as well as rubber so just an FYI.

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I've already committed to using the Life Caulk underwater type caulk.  We have successfully stopped the leaks in the horse trailer with it.  I have great confidence in it with a lifetime of experience (17 years professionally)...  I think the most shocking was the silicones (above the waterline & home use) which eventually failed...  horribly.  I almost don't care about the cost.  I care about long term staying power.     

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Butyl tape is used in auto glass installations but it gets very soft in hot weather and will be a black gooey mess. I would Not use it on roof repair.

The butyl tape we're talking about is the stuff that's used on rv's and is generally grey. It's used under transitions to accessories and corners of the RV. I was told by support at EPDM coatings to run a strip between the new and old seam of rubber roof. Smash it down good and then coat over it. Worked good. It comes in a roll with paper between the layers of the roll.

Edited by joecool911
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The RV butyl tape can be a problem when it ages.  If failed in my fifth wheel, years ago...  the water got in, the wood frame rotted & the screws released & by the time I found it the too small edge extrusion had popped.   It's failed in several places in my Toyhauler Camper where I have water signs in the walls, rotted spots in the floor, leaks around the windows & the new project older enclosed trailer, where the seams between the nose of the roof & sides is leaking.  I have no data on what might happen if it's over coated with something else.  I am convinced there must be a better way. 

 

The guy who applied my rubber roof, carried the rubber right up & over the extrusion.  He's done a lot of campers & RV.  He also used some sort of marine caulk / adhesIve on the trim beyond the roof area. 

 

I am very disappointed in the durability of the expensive toys...  I see better units now have done away with the roof seams.      

I think the traditional butyl tape is cheap...  made to go the warentee period. 

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