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Old 11-10-2004, 09:53 AM   #1
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I am entertaining the thought of using the 4" white back bonded "RV roof" tape from Eternabond to cover the notorious roof seams that seal the roof to the side wall.

Has anyone else done this? How difficult was the job? How long did it take you? Did you remove the old silicone sealant? and if possible do you have any pics of the end result.

I am looking for a permanent solution to the roof sealing maintenance. All opinions are appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:53 AM   #2
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I am entertaining the thought of using the 4" white back bonded "RV roof" tape from Eternabond to cover the notorious roof seams that seal the roof to the side wall.

Has anyone else done this? How difficult was the job? How long did it take you? Did you remove the old silicone sealant? and if possible do you have any pics of the end result.

I am looking for a permanent solution to the roof sealing maintenance. All opinions are appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2004, 10:39 AM   #3
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I haven't used it, but I heard you can freeze it so it cuts easy, and use 2" wide strips instead of 4". I recall seeing pics on this forum, you might search on "eternabond"...
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Old 11-10-2004, 11:33 AM   #4
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I've done our rig, and helped a fellow iRV2 poster do his as well. When we did his rig, I took several pictures of the process, so I'll try to remember to post them within a couple days.

I'll take a picture of the cutting rig I made for the tape also. Basically uses a guide system and a razor blade to enable a person to just pull the 4 inch tape through the blade and cut it right to width. Only takes a minute or so to cut the whole roll.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:19 PM   #5
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The tape works great. Best place to buy:
http://www.rooferstoolsonline.com/etrosewh.html
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:31 PM   #6
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Hey guys, does anyone know if the tape can be painted?
I have full body paint, and am thinking a white stripe on top of the paint will look a little strange.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:42 PM   #7
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Thanks so far for the information. The site from Don has a great price on Eternabond. I look forward to seeing the pics of the install and end result on a white roof.
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:27 AM   #8
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I did my coach seams this summer....really happy with the results....It's a two person job...I was on a ladder and my son was on the roof helping keep the tape straight....go slow doing a few inches at a time...I dusted the sides of the roll with talcum powder to keep it from sticking when I put it down...it is VERY sticky....good luck
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:04 AM   #9
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There's been a lot of discussion concerning the method to apply Eternabond to a Winnebago roof, so I tried to take some pictures the last time I did a roof. As previously mentioned, Eternabond tape is a great product, and I also found the best place to buy it online is Roofers Tools Online They have the best price, but be sure to order it about 2 weeks before you plan to need the material. It seems it takes them about a week to ship the material, then the actual transit time.



The tape is a white material with a thick soft grey adhesive on the back of it. The adhesive layer is covered with a clear peel off backing strip. Once the backing is removed, the adhesive will stick to anything it is touched to.

In order to cut the tape, it is suggested to freeze the tape for several hours or overnight. If you are going to cut it with scissors or snips, freezing them as well is suggested to keep the adhesive from sticking as bad. Following those instructions, I found cutting the tape difficult, as each snip of the shears found them coated with sticky adhesive.

I ended up cutting a couple pieces of scrap melamine material I had (although any wood would do) and making a table and guide. Very similar to using a table saw and fence arrangement to cut the tape.



In this picture, you can see the tape being fed from the roll into the left side of the guide. A guide block is nailed to the cutting surface and a razor blade is inserted into a slot exactly 2 inches from the guide block. By holding the tape straight against the guide, and feeding it through the blade, you quickly cut the tape into two 2 inch wide strips. When I cut the tape, I employed 2 helpers (my kids) to roll the two narrow strips up as I fed the wide tape through the cutter. Only took a few minutes to cut the whole length of tape I needed.


Once the tape is cut, I would also suggest using two persons to apply the tape. When I've done motorhomes, I found it most convenient to set up a scaffold so I can walk at a comfortable height the whole length of the motorhome. Although it takes several minutes to set up, the scaffold enables the tape to be applied in one smooth application without any pausing to move and re-climb ladders. Applied in any manner, two persons really helps as it allows the tape to be held straight by one person while the other actually applies it.

The reason to Eternabond the roof is to insure the integrity of the seal between the fiberglass roof material and the gutter flange which the fiberglass is inserted behind. By keeping the material sealed and adhered to the gutter, you prevent any chance of the fiberglass from pulling out or the seal cracking and developing a water leak.

Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures with the tape partially applied as my hands were full of a really sticky tape roll, but this last photo shows the tape inserted into the gutter. Again, the tape is applied to the fiberglass roofing sheet, and the internal edge of the gutter. I've found it easiest to insert the tape into the gutter first pressing it down into the bottom corner of the gutter as it is applied. I apply the tape the whole length of the gutter, then go back and fold it up so it contacts the roof. When applied in this way, you keep the tape bonded down as deeply as possible into the gutter where there is a smaller contact area. As the tape is folded up over the existing caulking and contacts the roof, it will not cause itself to be shorted on the length in the gutter.



Important item to remember, the tape should go all the way down into the bottom of the gutter, and be pressed in well there. Then lay it up over the gutter onto the roof. After Eternabonding the gutter to roof joint, as an optional item, applying a 4 inch wide strip of tape covering the joint of the front cap to roof is a good idea. In this photo, the front cap is not yet taped, but was done so after the photo was taken. The front cap tape comes down on each side and coving the end of the tape we already applied and ends right at the lower edge of the previously applied tape.

I should mention that the tape in the photgraph has what looks like vertical lines in it. These lines are from wrinkles in the tape when it is spooled in tight rools by the manufacturer. You can actually see one of them on the tape in the first picture when it is being cut. Those lines are not wrinkles in the applied tape, and will fade once the tape is applied. You do not want to get actual wrinkles in the tape adhesive when you apply it. While it shouldn't cause a leak, the appearance may not meet your expectations if you get actual wrinkles in it.

After applying the tape, unless specifically looking for it, the tape is not noticable. It blends in well with the white gutter and white roof.
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Old 11-11-2004, 09:42 AM   #10
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Excellent! Thanks for the procedure and pics Joe-K !!! Did you do any special surface prep like wiping down the area with naptha (lighter fluid) before the tape, or just do a good coach wash job?
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:22 PM   #11
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Great pics thanks a bunch.
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Old 11-11-2004, 02:05 PM   #12
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ok short of sounding lost, why are you taping the roof seams? This is the first I've heard of a problem with the roof to wall seams. Do they come apart thus causing leaks? If so isn't the problem covered by Winnebago if under warrenty?
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Old 11-11-2004, 03:50 PM   #13
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Ed,
It is suggested by Winnebago, and most other manufacturers, that the seams be recaulked annually I believe.
This is an area where if the original caulking should fail you could sustain an internal leak that you might not notice for an extended time.
Delamination, mildew & mold, and wall and flooring material may well be ruined.
Recaulking is eliminated by using the EternaBond product it seems to last forever and if correctly applied leaks are a thing of the past.
Now I still want to know if it can be painted??
Full Body paint with a white roofing racing stripe is a hard sell to my wife.
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Old 11-12-2004, 11:06 AM   #14
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I looked in all the books I have and couldn't find anything relating to recaulking the roof seams.??? I look the seams over when I wax the roof twice a year just to make sure there aren't any cracks in the seals. If it isn't broke why fix it. Besides isn't the roof and sidewall warrenty by Winnie for 10 years?
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Old 11-12-2004, 04:23 PM   #15
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Ed and Michelle > If you are regularly checking your top seams, you will begin to notice a tiny hairline crack in the caulk when the joint begins to break down. Push the roof material inward just above the caulked joint and you may see separation or not. Mine looked great until we were in Forest City and Winnebago service folks did a 'complimentary' roof joint inspection. I had about a foot and half above the driver's side front window that was not bonded, yet it was not leaking either. Just looking at it, I could not see the break in the bond, but pushing it in opened it up very easily. The technician said they recommend checking it each six months. Your coach being a 2003, you probably won't have any trouble for another year or so, but you ought to watch it closely.
The ten year roof warranty does not apply to seams and joints, just roof material.
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Old 11-12-2004, 05:57 PM   #16
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I apolgize for the poor quality photograph, but this was the only picture showing the beginning of the roof separation we are talking about.

As Doc described, by pressing in on the roofing material just above where it is tucked under the gutter extrusion, you can check for separation. This roof is less than a year old, and only had one spot that was separating and it was only about 2 inches long.

Very hard to see in the photo, but there is a dark line right next to the arrow point where the caulking is separating from the gutter. Eventually this separation increases and becomes a water leak. In extreme cases, the fiberglass material may come out of the aluminum channel.

Our Eternabond taping is preventative measure to avoid posibility of either happening and avoids the necessity of semi-annual inspections and recaulking from time to time.
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:12 AM   #17
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As others have said you can't always see the roof to sidewall seam is open just by looking. You do need to press on the roof where it meets the sidewall to see if there is a separation. And you need to do this all the way down both sides or it is easy to miss a bad spot. As for the warranty, it's worthless if you have not done proper maintenance of the seam. Letting water get in the seam causing delamination this is a maintenance problem not a defect in material. I have re-caulked using approved caulk only to find in less than 1500 miles the seam again has open spots. Eternabond is as near the answer to a permanent fix as there is for the roof to sidewall seam. Prepare the surface right the first time before applying the Eternabond and I think it will outlast the coach.

"I looked in all the books I have and couldn't find anything relating to recalling the roof seams.??? I look the seams over when I wax the roof twice a year just to make sure there aren't any cracks in the seals. If it isn't broke why fix it. Besides isn't the roof and sidewall warranty by Winnie for 10 years?[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-13-2004, 04:44 AM   #18
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Thanks Guys,
Now I'll have to check this out asap.
Thanks again for the feedback!
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Old 11-13-2004, 08:47 AM   #19
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I had to return my 2000 32V Adventurer to the factory last spring to have the sidewalls replaced (defective fiberglass). I had previously installed eternabond on my RV. The tech in charge of working on my RV as well as the service manager were very impressed by the eternabond--surprisingly, they were both unfamiliar with the product. They both said that reapplying it would be a great idea.
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Old 11-13-2004, 02:06 PM   #20
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We had a problem with our roof - side seams -- took it back to the dealer, and back and back.
Water pouring in and coming out under the TV as we were going down the road. The Eterabond solved the problem. Winnie company didn't want to know from nothing on the leaks (It sat on the dealer lot for 2 years). Winnebago has been told about this fix for at least 2 years.
The Eternabond company was very helpful on what to use to clean the area prior to applying the tape and also cleaning up the glue that creeps out. One thing that made it look smoother was a roller - as you put the tape down you rolled it down.
We also used the Eternabond on a crack in the back cap - somehow... something... fell on the motorhome during the winter. Looks better than a mess of caulk!
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