Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Truck Campers: Rubber roof confusion
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 > Rubber roof confusion

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biggjb

ottawa

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Posted: 06/15/19 07:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am in the middle of repairs on my TC and have removed a portion of the rubber roof due to holes and damage. I also repaired the roof and replaced the OSB with plywood. I am replacing only this portion of the rubber roof and am going to buy enough rubber roof to cover it. my confusion is when I go to various websites they state either EPDM or TPO material. Are they both the same with the same physical properties? Also, if they are different I am not sure which one would be better for the TC roof. Camping World sells rubber roof cleaner and repair kits. Can these products be used on both the EPDM and TPO material? Thanks in advance as I am coming close to finishing my TC.

theoldwizard1

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Posted: 06/15/19 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am not an expert but ...

My research says TPO is more durable, especially if you the commercial grade 60 mil. The big difference in between EPDM and TPO is that all seems on TPO are "heat welded" using a special high temp hot air gun. Very little, if any caulk is required.

Watch some of these video RV Roof Install The also RAISE all roof penetrations on "curbs" and then install and weld factor made curbing resulting in much better leak resistance.

gitpicker2009

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Posted: 06/15/19 09:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There's a company here in the Houston area which will remove your old rubber roof and replace it with an indestructible spray on bedliner material. When mine gets old enough to need it, that's the route I'm going. It's about 2 grand for 38 foot RV, so a TC should be very reasonably priced. They even go about 2 inches over the roof, like a lip, so there are literally no seams. Why don't manufacturers do that in the first place???

towpro

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Posted: 06/15/19 03:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dicore I have the EPDM on my Arctic Fox and the TPO on my Open range. The TPO reminds me of materiel that they make a beach ball out of. TPO is easier to clean, and less slippery when wet. But I think I like the EPDM better because the caulk used to fix it is more ready available.


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Posted: 06/15/19 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My impression of any of the RV rubber roofs as they are called, leaves me to believe the best time to coat them is when they are new. Before they start to break down from sunlight. I like the first video in the link and think that one is best. Whoever sprays around marker lites instead of removing them seems questionable but I am usually voted wrong in my opinions.

TxGearhead

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Posted: 06/17/19 06:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This isn't a lot of help, but to identify which roof you have you can look at the backside of it. I think if the back side is black, it's TPO. I think. Confirm that with a RV repair shop before you spend any money.


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Gjac

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Posted: 06/17/19 07:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

EPDM is a rubber material and TPO is thermoplastic. I would chose the TPO over the EPDM, it is a more durable material and will resist punctures and tearing from tree branches better than the EPDM. Having said that my EPDM roof is 25 years old and still does not leak. The white surface will slough off with time and the elements and eventually you will see the black sub coat. Coating the roof with Henry's, Heng's, Buscoat etc will preserve the EPDM longer and the white coating will keep the camper cooler.

Travels with Yoly

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Posted: 06/17/19 12:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a new TPO roof on our truck camper and I intend to treat it and the new fiberglass nose twice a year with 303 Aerospace UV Protectant. Just spray it on and wipe with a clean cloth. Leaves a teflon like surface that protects really well and inhibits dirt and other deposits from sticking to it. Yes, it would be more difficult to walk on but I'm always on my hands and knees anyway. I used it for 11 years on our Zodiac RIB. I'd wipe the hypalon tubes with it after cleaning it from winter storage. Each spring I'd simply hose of all the accumulated grime and pollen and wipe with a sponge. No scrubbing whatsoever needed to restore the bright white surface.

wvabeer

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Posted: 06/18/19 12:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

These guys are a great wealth of info. They helped me with mine. http://www.flatroofsolutions.com/


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AnEv942

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Posted: 06/18/19 05:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

biggjb, The existing roof on your 1999 Fleetwood Elkhorn is EPDM, if that was the question. Which for partial replacement I'd stay with same material.
Though only because any other material, caulk etc, would need to be compatible with both if different used.
All the EPDM Ive seen or used is black beyond the white top layer.


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