2 Roof questions

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

HighwayStar

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Posts
6
Location
West Virginia
Hey, new TT owner here. Just got a 2016 Dutchmen Kodiak 201QB. From what I could find out, it seems that the roof is TPO. In the manual, different types of roof materials are discussed. Under the "rubber" roof section, the manual states, "Only units with factory installed ladders have walkable roofs". My trailer does not have a factory installed ladder, but I'm confused if this just applies to rubber, or to my TPO as well. I actually already used a ladder and walked on the roof to inspect it before purchasing. Didn't seem to hurt anything, but I'm confused as to whether I should not be walking on the roof. I don't really know how else I could adequately inspect and repair seals.

Second question, the previous owner unknowingly applied some silicone sealant in 2 small areas of the corners of the roof seals. He said there were no leaks, but it looked like the sealant was lifting just a little at the corner, and he put a small amount of silicone in about a 2 inch area. I know that silicone is a no/no, and that other sealants will not stick to it, but I'm wondering if there's a way to safely remove it and replace with Dicor, or if I should just leave it alone at this point.

Thanks in advance for any help.
JT
 

steveblonde

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 8, 2015
Posts
3,924
Location
calgary alberta
1st question - dont walk on the roof thats why its says it in the manual unless your using a 4x8 sheet of plywood. Its not the rubber its the roof strength
2nd question i will leave alone
 

SpencerPJ

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 1, 2017
Posts
3,474
Location
Midwest
1. I don't walk on the roof, but I'm on the larger side. I do place my 8' step ladder against the side, piece of carboard in between, and can reach to the center of roof rather easily, and touchup caulk easily.
2. I probably would leave the silicone alone. I'd want to see a picture before I gave my 2 cents on what I might do.
 

Mark_K5LXP

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 17, 2018
Posts
1,415
Location
Albuquerque, NM
If the silicone isn't adhering, it has failed and is a potential point of water ingress. In my opinion, if you don't deal with that it will deal with you.

At a minimum you would remove all you can and survey for hidden damage. Past that you can take two courses - clean and reseal with something silicone based or use a different sealing method, doing whatever surface prep is necessary to accomplish that whether it's a compound or a membrane.

In my experience doing home renovations and now having a motorhome the practices are the same. You're usually better off to rip off the bandaid and scrape down/peel back/tear out to good substrate, then build back up. To poke around the edges or lay patch upon patch over a failed repair is just wasting time and not really solving the problem.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

HighwayStar

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Posts
6
Location
West Virginia
Thanks for the replies, folks. Sorry, just now getting back on.

Yes, the small silver dollar sized blobs of silicone that the previous owner applied popped right off with my fingers. I talked to the owner of our local RV dealer / repair shop, and he instructed me on how to properly clean & prepare the surface with acetone, and provided me with the correct sealant.

I inspected the roof very well, and found just a handful of small hairline cracks in the sealant here and there. None were leaking, but I touched them all up just as preventative maintenance.

The dealer told me to use Dawn dish liquid for general cleaning of the roof. I did, and it came out nice and white. I feel much better after cleaning, removing the old silicone blobs, and touching up the caulk. Everything is adhering as it should and I feel 100% confident with the roof.

Thanks for the help.

JT
 
Last edited:

Isaac-1

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 3, 2016
Posts
4,883
Location
SW Louisiana
Don't count on that working for removing the silicone, chances are anything you try to replace it with will fail too unless you use special silicone removal products, even then it is questionable.

As to walking on the roof, this depends on the underlying support structure, not on the membrane type.
 

HighwayStar

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Posts
6
Location
West Virginia
Isaac, I was instructed by the dealer to use acetone to clean the two small silicone spots. It came squeaky clean, and the new sealant is adhering well. The two spots were only about the size of a silver dollar. They were applied over the dirt, and were barely sticking. They came right off and cleaned up easily.

The Dawn was only used for the general overall cleaning. I may not have been clear on that. (edited post to be more clear)
 
Last edited:

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
74,357
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
I know that silicone is a no/no, and that other sealants will not stick to it, but I'm wondering if there's a way to safely remove it and replace with Dicor, or if I should just leave it alone at this point.
There is pure silicone and then a variety of silicone blends. It's the pure stuff that has problems with future applications; most blends do not. Any silicone blend advertised as "paintable" should not be a problem. But you probably don't know what he used.

I see no benefit to removing it before it becomes necessary for other reasons (it leaks). It may well last for many a year. In the meantime, you might try putting a dab of Dicor or other exterior window & door sealer on it to see if it sticks. If it does, no future worries. If it does not, well, you know you have some work to do when the time finally comes.

Pure silicone is almost always clear, so a colored sealant is very likely a silicone blend of some sort.
 

HighwayStar

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Posts
6
Location
West Virginia
Thanks for your input, Gary. I've seen your advice on other threads, and you speak more common sense and down to earth compared to lots of the doom and gloom panic responses that I see.

You must not have seen my additional comments. The small silicone blobs popped right off. They weren't really even on the membrane. More on top of the old sealant and the metal strip by the rain gutter in about a 2 inch area. I removed the old sealant and cleaned the area well with acetone and re-applied some universal sealant that my local dealer recommended. His RV repair shop has been in business since 1975, and he said if I followed his instructions that I'd have nothing to worry about. I took my time and did it right, and it's all adhering very well with no issues.
 

gwinger

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 6, 2018
Posts
105
Location
Natrona Hts PA
As far as the walkable roof. Ladders are an option on most trailers. Does anyone actually think the manufacturer puts different strength substrate on units with ladders? Maybe reinforcement where the ladder attaches to the roof.
 

HighwayStar

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2021
Posts
6
Location
West Virginia
@gwinger, The dealership told me that all of the newer ones are walkable, and that they walk on all of them. I got up there on my hands and knees to check the seals, and it didn't as much as creak, give, or dip in the slightest.
 
Top Bottom