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Author Topic: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?  (Read 494 times)

rbkeene99

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Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« on: August 10, 2017, 06:29:39 PM »
I need a complete new roof on my class A.  Any thoughts on aluminum or rubber membrane roof? 
« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 07:24:43 AM by SargeW »

SeilerBird

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Re: roof
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2017, 06:38:59 PM »
You will probably get more responses if you phrase your title properly. 'Roof' just does not cut it. Try something like 'Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?"
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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kdbgoat

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Re: roof
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2017, 07:30:52 PM »
^yep^ I agree that would get more replies.

An aluminum roof will have as many seams and openings as there are in a membrane roof. I've never had an aluminum roof on an RV, but have slept in buildings with metal roof. It can get loud in in a good hard rain. If you are getting a membrane roof, talk to roofers that do commercial and industrial buildings. There's no rule that says you have to use membranes made specifically for RV's. The commercial stuff is probably better and cheaper than something marketed for RV's.
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8Muddypaws

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Re: roof
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2017, 08:29:12 PM »
There are all kinds of roofing options.  Aluminum, fiberglass, rubber, TPO, paint on, spray on.

What is the original problem?  Leaks? Soft spots?  Dry rot?
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Rene T

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Re: roof
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2017, 09:08:32 PM »
Welcome to the forum. You should change the title of your post.
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SargeW

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2017, 07:26:12 AM »
Title of post changed for clarity. Good suggestion guys.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2017, 08:04:14 AM »
I've owned coachs with aluminum, rubber, and now fiberglass. The Itasca that I had ,had a one piece aluminum roof and it had many pinholes in it, but it was pretty old when I bought it. Then I owned 2 coachs with rubber roofs, they too were old when I bought them, but the roofs were in very good shape. The coach I have now is old too, but it has a fiberglass roof. It has the white streaks that goes down on the sides and windows just like the rubber roofs did. The fiberglass and aluminum roofs are much louder when it rains, but are much easier to clean to mold off of. Putting on a new roof, the rubber roof would probably much cheaper to do.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2017, 08:11:42 AM »
In terms of maintenance and ruggedness, almost anything is better than EPDM rubber. TPO, aluminum or fiberglass sheeting are all more resistant to damage, easier to clean, and cause less streaking on the sides of the RV from water runoff.   

However, resistance to leaks is about the same and that's probably the primary concern. The seams and openings through the roof are where water leaks occur and all types of RV roofing have the same amount and type of seams & openings, are subject to the same stresses of movement, and use the same types of caulk (lap sealant).  No practical difference on that score.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2017, 08:15:59 AM »
We had a Class C years ago with an aluminum roof. While tracking down a leak, I discover the aluminum had thousands of tiny pinholes in it that a local sheet metal supplier told me was from acid rain after seeing a sample piece. After stripping the roof and replacing the Luan decking as needed, I installed an EPDM "rubber" roof. An additional benefit besides no more leaks was the reduced noise in rain storms. On our current Class A, the original EPDM roof has been in place for 16 years with zero leaks and zero patches. Our previous Class A's EPDM roof is now 22 years old, and also has had zero leaks with patches only where a couple of antennas were removed.
Dutch
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2017, 12:17:42 PM »
about half the problems people have with EDPM roofs are caused by a tree that looked higher than it was...

« Last Edit: August 11, 2017, 12:37:42 PM by TonyDtorch »

NY_Dutch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2017, 12:37:19 PM »
I suspect that number is be about right, Tony! Fortunately, I have a pretty good record of estimating heights...  ;)
Dutch
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2017, 12:43:28 PM »
and with a membrane roof,   sometimes a wind event can change your vacation plans.....

SeilerBird

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2017, 12:44:14 PM »
See how much better this thread is doing since you changed the title?
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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SargeW

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2017, 04:40:33 PM »
See how much better this thread is doing since you changed the title?

You are a good man Tom!
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SeilerBird

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2017, 05:04:51 PM »
Thanks Marty. I don't have an opinion on roofs, I know nothing about them, but I do know how to find information on the Internet. You have to use the proper search terms. :)
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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Mile High

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 10:53:31 AM »
I wasn't aware you could choose between aluminum and rubber.  I thought it had to do with the design of the coach.  Anyway, aluminum was always susceptible to hail around here. 
There is also spray liner roofs like rhino liner that folks rave about.
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Charlie 5320

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2017, 11:14:12 AM »
and with a membrane roof,   sometimes a wind event can change your vacation plans.....
Same can be said about fiberglass, just ask some of the Winne owners that have had their roofs blow off.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2017, 11:39:16 AM »
Same can be said about fiberglass, just ask some of the Winne owners that have had their roofs blow off.

yes that has happened on the Winne with that thin flat fiberglass sheeting that is just tucked into a aluminum track on the sides and held in place with caulking ....but I've never heard of it happening to motorhome with a real cast fiberglass roof.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 11:51:33 AM by TonyDtorch »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2017, 11:50:58 AM »
Few coaches have a "cast" fiberglass roof. The main area is usually thin fiberglass sheeting, rolled out, glued here & there, and fastened & sealed at the edges. The front & rear caps are molded fiberglass, but not the broad areas.

Winnebago had some major issues with the quality of the side seams that caused their buyers no end of grief, but it's not correct to blame that on the material used. Poor installation buggers up even the best material!.
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2017, 11:54:45 AM »
Few coaches have a "cast" fiberglass roof. The main area is usually thin fiberglass sheeting, rolled out, glued here & there, and fastened & sealed at the edges. The front & rear caps are molded fiberglass, but not the broad areas.

Winnebago had some major issues with the quality of the side seams that caused their buyers no end of grief, but it's not correct to blame that on the material used. Poor installation buggers up even the best material!.

IMO>  That Winne roof problem was caused by a bad design....the attachment design did not allow enough for body flex.   not bad installation.

One reason I bought a Rexhall was it was one of the very few coaches I could afford with a cast fiberglass roof.
 
And I think one of the reasons mid grade manufactures are using the thin flat fiberglass roof sheeting now days is so they can tell potential buyers....  " it has a one piece fiberglass roof like Monaco and Country Coach, not a rubber membrane roof".

If they figured out a better attachment for flat fiberglass sheet roofing there is nothing wrong with it.
 
I prefer the way a cast roof rolls 4" down over the edge and overlaps the flat wall....instead of a flat roof, and a flat wall joining right at the corner.

  I hate roof leaks and it appears acid rain eats aluminum and EDPM roofs rather quickly (10-20 years)...and it will eventually eat through my fiberglass roof, but I probably won't be around to see it.

this is all just my opinions   :)
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 01:19:56 PM by TonyDtorch »

oriontn

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2017, 01:10:21 PM »
If I were going to put a roof on a RV I would look at the spray-on type.  Something like Rhino Flex or a product similar.

TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2017, 02:03:58 PM »
If I were going to put a roof on a RV I would look at the spray-on type.  Something like Rhino Flex or a product similar.
A professional shop sprayed on Rhino liner roof would be a perfect repair.....I wonder what would it cost?
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 02:09:28 PM by TonyDtorch »

Mile High

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2017, 05:39:51 PM »

Winnebago had some major issues with the quality of the side seams that caused their buyers no end of grief, but it's not correct to blame that on the material used. Poor installation buggers up even the best material!.
Winnebago didn't have a major problem, rather some of the owners had a major problem :)  I don't think Winnebago took responsibility for any of them unfortunately.

I would agree with Tony, I don't think it was an installation issue, unless they were cutting the roof too short.  It's not the greatest design, and if the caulking isn't maintained it can leave you with a big surprise.  Awareness and some maintenance is all that is keeping the rest of the Winnie roofs on. 
Brad and Dory
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2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2017, 06:25:38 PM »
Cheez, guys. I was only suggesting that a properly designed and installed fiberglass roof is as trouble-free as any.  >:(
Gary
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TonyDtorch

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #24 on: August 14, 2017, 11:19:13 AM »
okay  :)  when I started out I wasn't going to 'rant on roofs',  ...but then I did.

 sorry.  :))
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 11:21:42 AM by TonyDtorch »

billwild

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2017, 07:01:35 PM »
I agree with you Gary, we had a fibreglass roof on our Holiday Rambler and it was basically trouble free. I loved it. Had a class C with an aluminum  roof,  pin holes and leaks were common problem.


Bill

Mile High

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2017, 12:08:38 PM »
Cheez, guys. I was only suggesting that a properly designed and installed fiberglass roof is as trouble-free as any.  >:(
  Your suggestion was well taken, but I think calling out Winnies issue as an "installation" problem rather than "design" problem caused some people to disagree with you, including myself.  I don't think it has ever been shown they were not installed properly, rather it is a design that requires maintenance and if the maintenance is not done it can be catastrophic.
Brad and Dory
2013 Winnebago Itasca Meridian 42E (new to us 2016)
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
FMCA 457993 / WIT W170238
Denver, CO

Steven Mael

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Re: roof
« Reply #27 on: August 16, 2017, 05:01:00 AM »
You will get very loud rain drops if you make an aluminium. It's kind of annoying.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Is an aluminum or rubber membrane better for a replacement?
« Reply #28 on: August 16, 2017, 08:47:22 AM »
Yeah, it's the way the Winnie roofs were designed that caused the ongoing problem.  Location and type of seam.  The only significant point here is that the problem has nothing to do with it being fiberglass - the problem would have been the same if the material was EPDM or TPO or metal.

Aluminum or other metal roofs are not necessarily noisy either. If the metal lies flat on a wood or other solid substrate, there will be no noise. However, if it is suspended over open space or very light insulation, it can resound like a drum. Both aluminum and fiberglass are rigid enough so that portions of the roof may be bridged over open spaces in the substrate, so that can lead to more noise. EPDM & TPO generally cannot be installed that way, so typically don't have that concern. Again, it's a matter of proper design, not the material itself.
Gary
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