Brite Tec vs Fiberglass roofs

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Smoky

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I had to make this choice when ordering the motorhome.? I elected to pay extra to go with the one piece fiberglass roof.

I am wondering now if that added weight to the coach?

Also, just what is Brite Tec?? Some people I know who bought the Newmar Kountry Star and went the Brite Tec route tell me it is a better roof than fiberglass and I was just wasting my money buying the fiberglass option.

Any opinions on this?? Too late to change my mind, but I am simply curious.? Guess it was one area I should have researched more deeply when I had the opportunity.
 

BernieD

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When we toured the Newmar factory, the worker in charge of the roof area highly recommended the Brite-Tec. It is quieter, easier to repair, lasts long, stays cleaner than EDPM but not paintable like fiberglass.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Brite-tek is one of the trade names for a non-porous, slick finish EDPM rubber. It is an excellent roof material, cleaning up easily  and not causing the dreaded "black streaks" that plain EDPM is infamous for.  About the only advantage I can think of for solid fiberglass is that it is much harder to puncture than an rubber-based material.  But punctures are rare and rips in rubber are easily fixed, so I'm not sure if that advantage is worth much in terms of $.  Out of curiosity, what was the price differential?

I don't know what the weight difference is. EDPM isn't exactly light either, but I would guess it is somewhat lighter than solid glass.
 

Smoky

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Gary:

The price difference was 2200.  We specified it and thought our quote included it.  Later we found it was left off the quote list.  The dealer felt we did not specify it.  In the end we paid an additional 700 for it and they took 2/3rds of the hit.  I think it was an honest miscommunication between us and the dealer, no lowballing involved.

I would like to know what other framily members have for MH tops?
 

BruceinFL

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RV Roamer said:
Brite-tek is one of the trade names for a non-porous, slick finish EDPM rubber. It is an excellent roof material, cleaning up easily? and not causing the dreaded "black streaks" that plain EDPM is infamous for.? ?About the only advantage I can think of for solid fiberglass is that it is much harder to puncture than an rubber-based material.? ?But punctures are rare and rips in rubber are easily fixed, so I'm not sure if that advantage is worth much in terms of $.? Out of curiosity, what was the price differential?

I don't know what the weight difference is. EDPM isn't exactly light either, but I would guess it is somewhat lighter than solid glass.

Gary,
We have a Brite Tek roof on our new coach. Looking at it, I don't see much difference between it and our old rubber roof. It does "chalk" and although there are no black streaks, there are white streaks. It also has spots on it just like our old rubber roof.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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It chalks?  That's a new one on me!    Mine had absolutely no chalk or residue of any kind, but it is a different brand than Brite-tek.  Mine is called Brite-ply from Dicor, who is also the manufacturer of Brite-Tek.  Don't know what the difference is, if any.    I would be curious to hear if anyone else has this expereince with Bri-tek.

If Brite-tek still chalks, then Smoky made a good choice going with the fiberglass.
 

Smoky

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I hope so Gary.  I ended up getting a deal at one third the MSRP.  f course it makes up part of the 29% overall discount which is in the normal range.  I did walk on the roof of an almost identical coach on the lot and I really liked the looks of the fiberglass roof.  Even had antiskid surface and felt VERY solid to walk on compared to the rubber roof on my trailer.
 

Smoky

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KKOlbus, thanks for that thread.

The more I read the more I am glad I got fiberglass.? Up on a roof, non skid is important for a 60 something year old.? ;D

I went back to the beginning of that thread and suddenly realized why so many people liked Brite Tec over fiberglass.? Up until 2005, anyone specifying fiberglass got a multi panel roof as they laid down the glass in strips.? I saw this on top of the 2005 Beaver Santiam and did not like the look, though it is seldom seen.

As of 2005 Newmar went to the one piece fiberglass top as an option.? Which is what we ordered.? People who visit the Newmar factory say the most awesome sight they see there is the raising of the one piece top and lowering it down onto the rest of the coach.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The Brite-xxx materials are indeed fairly slippery when wet. If your fiberglass is textured for non-skid, that is definite advantage in wet weather. OTOH, I only go on the roof 3-4 times a year and never when its raining!  ;D  Can't say that I've had any real difficulty when washing it either, but as a "60 something" myself, I do pay more attention to my footing than I used to.
 

Smoky

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LOL Gary!? I pay a LOT more attention.? I used to get mad at the aging prcess, but now I accept it and to compensate, I work a whole lot harder at having fun :D
 

Karl

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I'm with you Gary,

The less time you spend on the roof, the better - for both you AND the roof.

Some people have been talking about chalking or powdering of various roof surfaces but, after considerable searching of mfg'rs. sites, it's almost a given that any type surface is prone to that after a period of time. Just a fact of life.
 

Patrickh60

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Hi, Folks!

PMFJI,? as I understand EPDM, Brite-Tek and Brite-Ply are both still EPDM roofs and they will chalk unless the coach spends most of it's days in Arizona and similar dry areas.?

The only different "rubber" roof is made by Patrick.? Their roof is dyed rather than colored with powders like EPDM. Therefore it doesn't chaclk.? It is also much stiffer than EPDM so it cannot be used on roofs with sharp bends, such as a fifth wheel.

RV manufacturers like rubber roofs because they DRASTICALLY reduced the number of leak repairs.? As this information was relayed to me, 9 out of 10 fiberglass roofs came back for leak repairs.? After they switched predominantly to rubber roofs, 1.5 - 2 out of 10 coaches come back for leak repairs.

That's my 2?.
 

Tom

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Patrickh60 said:
RV manufacturers like rubber roofs because they DRASTICALLY reduced the number of leak repairs.

Hi Pat, have you seen any technical reason why that should be? I'm just having a tough time understanding why rubber wouldn't deteriorate long before fiberglass. Having owned numerous fiberglass boats, I don't understand how fiberglass can leak. OTOH if we're talking about leaks at seams and joins with other materials, that's a different issue.
 

Karl

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I have to agree, Tom. You might see an occasional poor lay-up job or a bad batch that doesn't cure properly, but 9 out of 10? If that's even fractionally correct, then we're in a world of hurt with all the fiberglass gasoline tanks they're dropping in the ground. Almost has to be the seams; not the glass itself.
 

Ron

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Having had both EPDM and fiberglass roofs I will take the fiberglass roof anytime.  I would strongly suspect that Whoever came up with the statistic that 9 out of 10 fiberglass come back for repairs must certainly be in the EPDM selling business. ;D

I have heard a lot more about EPDM roof repairs than I have ever heard about fiberglass roof repairs  maybe 15 -20 EPDM roof repairs to Zero fiberglass repairs that I have personally heard about.

The only reason I can see that manufacturers prefer EPDM is they are cheaper to install than fiberglass.  I have noted some manufacturers that touted EPDM roofs being so good are returning to fiberglass.
 

Smoky

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I agree with Ron and Tom.

I asked this very question this week at Newmar factory.  They tell me molded one piece fiberglass roofs almost never leak.

They said some customers like the Brite Tek because it is easier and cheaper to repair.  Also it is lighter.  I am worried about the weight of my new roof, but I really prefer it over the Brite Tec based on what I have learned.
 

Terry A. Brewer

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Ron

>>The only reason I can see that manufacturers prefer EPDM is they are cheaper to install than fiberglass<<

I agree...Can anyone name one highline coach that use rubber or whatever they call it for their roof?


Terry
At Torrey, UT
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Just to be clear, Brite-Tek is an EDPM rubber product, even though it has a hard finish.  It still comes in rolls of material and is layed out over the roof structure and glued down.  However, it's not the same as the older, porous surface, EDPM sheet material that was previously used for RV roofsl and does not share it cleaning problems.  For the RV manufacturer, it's probably a bit harder to work with and a bit more expensive than the older EDPM product.

True fiberglass roofs have to be molded to fit the particular RV length, width and shape and are solid. Definitely a more expensive process. Fabrication of the  mold itself will be quite expensive, probably $25,000 or more.  Note, however, that both EDPM and fiberglass are "one piece" and both have the same potential leak areas, i.e. the front & rear cap seams, side seams and all the various roof openings for a/c, sklights, plumbing vents, etc.  About the only substanial difference is that the fiberglass is more resistant to snags by tree limbs.
 
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