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Old 10-15-2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Busses and Semi-truck trailers are designed to go millions of miles with no roof maintenance; even passenger vehicles can go hundred's of thousands of miles. All have metal roofs... why do typical RV's have rubber or fiberglass roofs that need maintenance and eventually leak? Why can't they have metal roofs with a rubber layer on top for noise insulation?

Since entry-level MH's now start at over $100,000 and 'nice' MH's can quite easily hit over $200k, I'm just wondering why...
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
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Busses and Semi-truck trailers are designed to go millions of miles with no roof maintenance; even passenger vehicles can go hundred's of thousands of miles. All have metal roofs... why do typical RV's have rubber or fiberglass roofs that need maintenance and eventually leak? Why can't they have metal roofs with a rubber layer on top for noise insulation?

Since entry-level MH's now start at over $100,000 and 'nice' MH's can quite easily hit over $200k, I'm just wondering why...
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:49 PM   #3
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Good question. Maybe a weight issue? Probably not for some of the DP's, but for towables and gas units, maybe so.
I think it would be odd, however, to have steel in the roof, since it's not in the sides...which are usually fibergalss or aluminum.
Heck, stick houses need roof repair every so often, and they don't bounce down the road, or get dragged through low branches in poorly trimmed CG's, etc.
Maintenance is part of RVing, so is spending money. I'm new to it, but those are a couple of things I learned pretty quick!
Good luck in your travels, that's a beautiful MH you've got there!
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Old 10-15-2007, 01:40 PM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Richard 34A:
Busses and Semi-truck trailers are designed to go millions of miles with no roof maintenance; even passenger vehicles can go hundred's of thousands of miles. All have metal roofs... why do typical RV's have rubber or fiberglass roofs that need maintenance and eventually leak? Why can't they have metal roofs with a rubber layer on top for noise insulation?

Since entry-level MH's now start at over $100,000 and 'nice' MH's can quite easily hit over $200k, I'm just wondering why... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Actually semi truck trailers are notorious for leaks and so were RV's with metal roofs.
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Old 10-15-2007, 02:43 PM   #5
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I've had a couple of campers with aluminum roofs that never had any problems. That said our current rv has a fiberglass roof that I like a lot as it's easy to clean and I would think also easy to repair if it ever needed to be. Meybe the expense of an aluminum roof has made the manufacturers use fiberglass and rubber instead. We had a travel trailer with a rubber roof that cost $400.00 more for than the standard aluminum roof. The rubber roof was a pain to clean and really got ugly after a decade of use and I ended up wishing I had never ordered it. My order of preference based on looks and ease of maintenance is in this order: Fiberglass, aluminum, and lastly - rubber.
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Old 10-15-2007, 03:18 PM   #6
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On our old MH we had a metal roof... no leaks but had to cold seal it every 2 years or so..
Fiberglass roofs are easier to maintain and are much quieter.... NOT all RV's have problems or make it a PM to inspect the roof every six months.. It all depends on the manufacturer and how they mount it to the sides... I think Winnebago built in an out with their 10 year warranty on the roof! They leave it all up to you..to inspect, fix and maintain... so if there is a problem the burden of proof is on YOU!
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Old 10-15-2007, 05:49 PM   #7
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The more important question is why Winnebago doesn't place more emphasis on roof caulking inspection and repair. It seems the average technician has no idea how to repair roof caulking. And, I seriously doubt if service technicians receive Winnebago training on this matter.

I have taken my Itasca Horizon to two dealers requesting that my caulking be repaired. Both dealers botched the job, giving it to the least experienced technician who knew nothing about making the repair correctly. Plus, both dealers failed to use the Winnebago approved caulking even after I specified it in writing.

I still have cracks in my sidewall/roof seams and need the caulking repaired. I have no idea where to get the caulking repair performed. I would be delighted to pay someone to do the job correctly. I cannot do this myself because of physical limitations. I am considering hiring a paint contractor and supervise the job from the ground, but even so I struggle with the idea of finding someone who will do a decent job. Unfortunately, this fairly minor repair, if not done correctly, can lead to major damage.
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Old 10-15-2007, 10:12 PM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LK23:

..."The more important question is why Winnebago doesn't place more emphasis on roof caulking inspection and repair.

Unfortunately, this fairly minor repair, if not done correctly, can lead to major damage."
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While I haven't had any problems myself, I agree with your two statements... we've just had our first rain for the season and for some reason, MH roofs came to my mind.

What I find interesting is that you can buy a new, cheesey enclosed utility / cargo trailer for $2,800 and it has an aluminum roof. Certainly it isn't as heavy duty as an RV roof, but it is aluminum...
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Old 10-16-2007, 12:24 AM   #9
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Richard 34A:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by LK23:

..."The more important question is why Winnebago doesn't place more emphasis on roof caulking inspection and repair.

Unfortunately, this fairly minor repair, if not done correctly, can lead to major damage."
</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

While I haven't had any problems myself, I agree with your two statements... we've just had our first rain for the season and for some reason, MH roofs came to my mind.

What I find interesting is that you can buy a new, cheesey enclosed utility / cargo trailer for $2,800 and it has an aluminum roof. Certainly it isn't as heavy duty as an RV roof, but it is aluminum... </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

I spoke with a mobile RV tech on the subject of aluminum roofs and the bottom line was how quickly we forget how bad we had it.

He does much less roof repair now that there are fewer aluminum roofs out there. He wouldn't want to tackle the job on the larger units we have today either. It was bad enough having to carry and unroll a 8 foot wide by 25 foot long coil of aluminum imagine 35+ feet 10 feet wide on a windy day.

Fewer trips to the emergency room also. Aluminum can make a nasty gash on you or your helper especialy if it has gotten away from you being caught by the wind.

Last time I spoke with Winnebago their wonderment is why dealers don't review, with their techs, the service bulletens and training materials on roof maintenance or any other issues that are sent to them. Roof maintenance is clearly documented and no secret.

Then again that would require the dealers to hire people with a greater then third grade reading ability. This is getting hard to find even amoung our college grads.
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