Can I replace my aluminum roof with Rubber?

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.

Sbarnwell0528

New member
Joined
Jun 19, 2022
Posts
1
Location
Asheville, NC
Hi folks! I purchased a 1998 Holiday Rambler Alumalite from a friend. Upon close inspection (he has no real rv knowledge) I’ve realized the roof is half aluminum, half rubber in 4 sections, taped up with eternabond tape. The caulk is faulty all over and in need of replacement, and the shower skylight has been leaking due to excessive pooling on the aluminum side where it’s caved in. I’m guessing there have been other leaks too that have damaged the roof deck…so my question! I want to just replace the roof, no more patches. Replace all of the roof decking that needs it, replace damaged skylights and fans that have stopped working. What challenges would I face in taking ALL aluminum off and replacing it with a rubber DIY system? Any advice?
 

donn

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2009
Posts
5,370
If it were mine I would peal the existing rubber off and see what's under it. Then decide how to proceed. If as I suspect there is aluminum I would probably clean everything up and if the metal is sound simply seal all the joints. Otherwise I would probably use something like KoolSeal over all the metal.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,141
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
You can use all aluminum or all rubber membrane, whichever you prefer. EPDM rubber chalks as it ages and the runoff leaves streaks down the sides of the coach, so I would suggest TPO rather than EPDM if you choose a rubber product. TPO is superior to EPDM in most ways. Aluminum can be bright metal or painted, as you prefer. You can also get white filon (fiberglass sheet) roof material.
 

8Muddypaws

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Posts
3,555
Location
California
There is a plastic product much like truck bed lining that has been used on roofs. I believe it is lifetime guaranteed.

It might be less expensive too.
 

DutchmenSport

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 30, 2021
Posts
236
Location
Anderson, Indiana
I wonder if your roof was originally all rubber and it developed leaks or tears in it. The prior owner used aluminum as a cover over the affected areas.

If you are going to deal with repairing it, then rip the entire roof off and see what's going on under it. Then, replace everything with one material.
 

Jkoht

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Posts
223
Why not clean up all the seams, relay new eternabond or caulk, and then paint the whole roof in elastomeric rubber roof paint? I did that with a cargo trailer and it sealed it up nice and tight now.
 

TheBar

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
Posts
1,283
Location
MS
You said you'll replace any roof decking that needs it. I hope your roof isn't rotted and doesn't need replaced. If so I would just use liquid butyl rubber coating. Lots of people on this forum including myself have had good luck with it: Click here

The "friend" you bought it from may not be aware he was selling you a huge project. Most roofs are a sandwich of structural foam glued between 2 sheets of 1/8" plywood. Nothing like conventional house construction. Plus if you have water damage in the roof your walls most likely have damage. The walls are the same sandwich construction to save weight.

If you intend to use heavier materials instead of the foam sandwich be aware the frame, springs, and axles are designed for the lightweight sandwich construction. Failure of these would be disastrous on the highway.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
76,141
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
A laminated aluminum roof with fiberglass end caps was standard construction for the HR Alumilite. As others have noted, the roof is a sandwich of several layers, probably with slim aluminum cross members, some type of insulation, and inside & outside skin layers. Older Alumalites used an aluminum outer skin, so I'm guessing the aluminum is the original and the rubber the patch.

There is a YouTube video showing an Alumascape roof replacement but I'm not sure of the year and whether the construction would be identical to yours. Probably very similar, though.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
123,917
Posts
1,258,009
Members
129,741
Latest member
tcohee
Top Bottom