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Author Topic: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT  (Read 568 times)

Peggyy

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Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« on: August 25, 2017, 02:55:24 PM »
Took our one year old TT in today to get checked for leaks.  Guy tells us we are supposed to be washing and sealing our rubber roof every six months.  Also supposed to be waxing trailer.   Dealership will do it for us for about $400.  Is sealing the roof something we can do ourselves? That seems like a lot of money for a wash, wax and seal?  He said doing it prevents the black streaks down the sides too.  Advice needed.  Thanks.
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donn

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2017, 03:53:42 PM »
Wash after every trip.  Wax a few times a year.  Basically like you would your cars.  As for washing the roof?  Sure wash it along with the sides.  Sealing?  A couple of tubes of Dicor Lap seal, crawl up and inspect the seams, and all openings.  Seal as necessary anyplace that looks questionable.  Save the 400 dollars for other things.  That is if your physically able.

Gods Country

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2017, 04:51:31 PM »
Don't trust a dealer to do anything.  That includes evaluating and performing preventive maintenance.

Cleaning a rubber roof is up to the owner.  Some clean it obsessively while others never do it all with no harm.
However keeping the surface reasonably clean will reduce the amount of work needed when sealing is required.
Washing and waxing is a matter of preference as well.  Sealing is something that should be evaluated a couple times a year, and not just the roof.  You should be checking over the entire trailer routinely.  Personally I keep a few tubes of lap sealant, and a caulking gun in the trailer for performing routine maintenance and potential emergencies.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 05:04:31 AM by Gods Country »

HappyWanderer

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2017, 09:24:17 PM »
I'm not even sure what "seal the roof every six months" is supposed to mean. As others have said, the most important thing you can do for your roof is to inspect it frequently for damage and loose or missing caulk. Finding and fixing any problems quickly is the key to preventing water damage.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 08:13:59 AM »
I suspect the dealer is talking about applying some "rubber roof treatment" or "protectant" product every few months, e.g. BEST 55048 or ProtectAll Rubber Roof. Those don't do much except to make the next cleaning a bit easier and certainly are not necessary to avoid leaks or extend the life. They are not "sealants" to the usual meaning of the term for roofs.

It's a good idea to wash the roof regularly, especially if it is EPDM rubber.  Besides the looks of the roof itself, dirt and oxidation by-products run down the sides of the RV and form black or gray streaks that can be difficult to remove if left for long.

Can you wash it yourself? Sure. You have to get up on the roof, but all it takes is a hose, a bucket of detergent & water, plus a soft bristle brush/mop. If you want to apply a rubber roof protectant, it only takes 20-30 minutes to wipe on with sponge or soft cloth.
Gary
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KandT

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 08:23:55 AM »
Anybody know if it is safe to use diluted bleach on a rubber roof?
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wackymac

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2017, 09:27:02 AM »
I use bleach, Dawn and hot water.  Wash the roof (TPO) every time I wash the MH, 2 or 3 times a year .  It's 16 years old, never been under cover and looks about 95% of new.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2017, 11:14:16 AM »
Quote
Anybody know if it is safe to use diluted bleach on a rubber roof?

Absolutely, and you can use fairly strong solutions if needed. And strong detergents as well.  The only thing you need to avoid is solvents like mineral spirits, acetone, gasoline, etc. Even those are OK if used sparingly, i.e. a dampened cloth. Those can penetrate enough to loosen the adhesives that hold the membrane down.
Gary
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kdbgoat

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2017, 11:19:41 AM »
Avoid detergents that are citrus based also.
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keymastr

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2017, 02:27:21 PM »
When they talk of sealing and cleaning a new rv roof they mean a simple scrubbing with mild detergent and then checking the seams for cracking that should be re-caulked. Something you should be looking for every few months but often you will need to do nothing until you see some cracking or lifting of the sealant.

A new wrinkle on this is that some dealers now offer lifetime warranty's as long as you pay them the $400 a year to do the sealing and roof washing. As I mentioned, often you will need to do nothing other than a 20 minute scrubbing and looking it over. Less than an hour is required for that and if some seams do need re-coated that will take just a few minutes more in most cases. Pretty good profit generator for the dealer at $400 an hour.

joester

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2017, 12:13:54 PM »
Our class c rv has a rubber roof, we replaced the roof a few years ago. Our mechanic recommended this cleaner: Bio-Kleen RV roof cleaner & protectant.
we bought a gallon on line (Amazon I think), and have used less than 1 quart each time we have cleaned roof. We use a floor sponge mop and a large grout sponge for the edges and around vents in tight. I sponge and clean, wife holds hose and does rinsing. I do about a 3' x 3' area at a time, then have her hose it off. Our roof looks great, but it does get very slick after using this, so watch your step while washing and once it's cleaned - slippery.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 10:22:15 AM »
Any floor wax or similar product will work fine to help reduce the dirty chalk that forms on an EPDM rubber roof. At least for a few months, anyway. The chalk is what runs off when wet and forms the dreaded "black streaks" down the sides of the RV. None of them will extend the life of the rubber in any meaningful fashion, though. Nor will they do anything to prevent leaks.

Regular washing also removes the dirt and chalk as it forms, thus preventing the streaks.
Gary
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Wi1dBill

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2017, 11:04:19 AM »
At least twice a year, inspect the roof.  Immediately, if you brush up against or backed under and into tree limbs.  Check around any hole that the manufacturer put in the roof such as vents and the skylight over shower sewer vent and along the nose of the rig. Any crack(s) should be cleaned and reseal with the correct sealant.   Clean the roof with a mild soap and a soft brush.  Pressure wash, only if you know what you're doing.   Allow the roof to dry. Then out of direct sun or late day,spray on a roof treatment.  I use 303, as it has a UV blocker additive and .  For the sides I use Black streak remover where needed. It will also strips off any wax.  Then wash the rig. After, I'll use a spray wax, some can be used in direct sun. 
On the nose of our 5'r I'll use Zep floor wax..about three coats, which help the bug guts to come off a lot easier. Still do that.    I heard some people doing their entire rig.  Tried it, and wasn't impressed on the sidewalls and it cracked and peeled on the decals.  Did look good for a couple months until I got into the AZ sun last winter.


Wi1dBi11

Peggyy

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2017, 02:42:48 PM »
At least twice a year, inspect the roof.  Immediately, if you brush up against or backed under and into tree limbs.  Check around any hole that the manufacturer put in the roof such as vents and the skylight over shower sewer vent and along the nose of the rig. Any crack(s) should be cleaned and reseal with the correct sealant.   Clean the roof with a mild soap and a soft brush.  Pressure wash, only if you know what you're doing.   Allow the roof to dry. Then out of direct sun or late day,spray on a roof treatment.  I use 303, as it has a UV blocker additive and .  For the sides I use Black streak remover where needed. It will also strips off any wax.  Then wash the rig. After, I'll use a spray wax, some can be used in direct sun. 
On the nose of our 5'r I'll use Zep floor wax..about three coats, which help the bug guts to come off a lot easier. Still do that.    I heard some people doing their entire rig.  Tried it, and wasn't impressed on the sidewalls and it cracked and peeled on the decals.  Did look good for a couple months until I got into the AZ sun last winter.


Wi1dBi11

 There are a lot of 303 products out there    Can you be a little more specific about what you use on your roof .   Thanks greatly appreciate it
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Gizmo

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2017, 03:47:18 PM »
When they talk of sealing and cleaning a new rv roof they mean a simple scrubbing with mild detergent and then checking the seams for cracking that should be re-caulked. Something you should be looking for every few months but often you will need to do nothing until you see some cracking or lifting of the sealant.

Yes and along with this, when cleaning the roof, make sure to pay attention to the sealant around structures such as vents, skylights etc.   if after cleaning they still look dirty, you might want to bring some acetone to bear on those areas.  Doing so will do two things, make it clean enough to determine if there are any cracks or voids to address and if so render the area clean enough to apply a sealant such as Sikaflex 715 or Dicor.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #15 on: October 04, 2017, 09:16:54 AM »
303 or the various "rubber roof protection" products are a waste of money & effort on an EPDM roof. Without  anything more than routine cleaning, the EPDM should last at least 15 years and 25 is more common. It's the seams and openings that need care, and that means occasional inspection and touch-up with an EPDM compatible lap sealant, e.g. the Dicor mentioned here.

However, neither the cost nor the effort of applying 303 is large, so if it helps you peace of mind, go for it!

The 303 product would be the "aerospace protectant".
https://www.amazon.com/303-30306-Protectant-Plastic-Fiberglass/dp/B000XBCURW/ref=sr_1_1_sspa
Gary
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Gizmo

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #16 on: October 04, 2017, 11:08:59 AM »
Aerospace 303 is without a doubt a great product, but Gary is correct, it and the so called "roof protectants" are a waste of time and money, even the manufacturer of my current and previous rigs said this much.  Another thing to be aware of with Aerospace 303 is according to the Mfg. it is good for about 5-weeks, so even if it was worth the investment in time and money to "protect the roof", it is not a job I want to do every month or so.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2017, 11:13:07 AM by Gizmo »
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
2017 Eagle Cap 1165 Truck Camper With Tork Lift Fast Gun Tie Downs & T.L. Wobble Stoppers
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ijon

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Re: Question about sealing rubber roof on TT
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2017, 06:31:47 AM »
I think the best thing you can do for your roof is to clean it and keep it inside if you can when not in use.

 

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