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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wanted to run this idea past a couple people for some input. My 1993 EPDM rubber roof is in bad shape, (( camper is otherweis perfect )) i priced buying the roll-on sealer stuff, patch, and caulk tubes from my dealer at about 400.00 bucks til its all said and done, not to thrilled with the idea since there is no guarantee on if it will fix it or how long it will last. I also priced a 8 x 23 ft one-peice aluminum roof from Great Dane (( they sell tractor trailer-trailers )). They sell this aluminum roofing by the foot for a total of 278.00 I was thinking about installing a new aluminum roof right over the existing rubber roof, cutting holes for the ac and vents etc etc and properly sealing them of course. Has anyone ever attemped this ?? or have any suggestions ?? :scratchhead:
 

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I have only heard of EPDM rubber or Fiberglass being used for RV roof material. The EPDM can be stretched and formed to the bends, angles, lumps and bumps of an RV roof. If Fiberglass is used it is preformed into the shape that is needed depending on the make and model of rig since this is not available for all rigs.

Like you said All roof installed items must be removed - A/C, antenna, and all the various vents covers. All the glue and leftover crud must be cleaned off, too. The new material really must not have an gaps underneath or weather changes will cause those gaps to increase in size. Most RV reroof jobs require removal of the old materials. It's not like a house where some have been know to slap a roof over the top of the old one. But a house doesn't bound down the road for miles and miles under the stresses of movement.

Using aluminum means you have to know how thick the sheet needs to be, then I've heard that aluminum is very expensive to fix it there is a field problem. Which is why aluminum car bodies are rare.

How much will this weigh compared to EPDM and how much cargo weight do you lose because of it? Will the roof trusses be able to support the additional weight especially if you are considering what is know as a "slap job" (don't remove the old stuff and just slap the new stuff over it). A fiberglass roof probably uses different trusses if it weighs more.

You'd also have to worry about shaping it to conform to all the bends, angles, lumps and bumps. Even if you find a low priced sheet for the roof, the labor cost in trying to retrofit the item on the roof could be very expensive. And after all the bending and pounding to get it installed, what's it gonna look like and since it's attached to the old EPDM roof will this cause the underlying EPDM to separate one day.

If I was going to do this by myself (not use a professional), labor would be a huge detriment. Not in cost (I work for myself for free) but in getting the aluminum to fit, and form correctly. Are rivets going to be okay, or is there an effective adhesive that allows you to adhere it to EPDM. If I'm driving 55 or 60 down the road and into a 30 mph headwind, will this roof stay attached with 85 to 90 mph winds or even slower side winds?

What does it do to the resale value or even can it be resold - would someone want to buy a "one-off" unique trailer?

Even considering this, you are much braver than I trying to reinvent this wheel. I'll stick to what's popular and available in this regard. Good luck with this one.
 

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On one of the rv sites I check out, there was a video on somebody that did what you want to do. Not aluminum, they used the epdm. I just don't remember what site it was. I'm being a great help. Anyway the video walked you right through the processes of putting on the roof.
I'm pretty sure it was the open roads forum. It might have been this forum also. I will do a couple of searches and see if I can find it.
I don't know about aluminum, that stuff is not easy to work with. There will be a lot of fitting and bending. One screw up and you will have to get another piece of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the good input, you have some valid points there. I actually got the idea from my 2010 United enclosed car trailer, it has a one peice aluminum roof on it with one vent in it, i was looking at it just kinda wondering why they don't use these on campers. If its solid, has no seams, and is one peice how could it leak ? and the durability can't be matched when comparing to rubber ? Im not sure what i am going to do yet i am still trying to figure out if i want to take that much of an adventure.
 

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There is a big difference between a utility trailer with a small solid flat roof and possibly just one standard 14"x14" vent versus a travel trailer that besides one or more 14"x14" vents or A/C unit, also has a fridge vent, grey and black tank vents, attic vents, antenna connections, ladder mounts and a bunch of other stuff that can be up there. There are so many openings to measure exactly, then seal real well. I'm just thinking since you have to remove all these things anyway it might be easier to roll out another EPDM roof. The rubber roof would probably be much easier to form and cut out holes as you roll it out, than trying to measure and fit a piece of inflexible aluminum then try to work with it and keep it in place as you try to measure and cut to size. Plus trying to get it up there and not bend it or crease it while you try to manhandle into place will be a chore, for sure.

Your eventual choice for sure, and it all depends on hard you want to work.
 

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The video I was talking about is right here under rv/camper discussion. It is sticky. check it out. It might help with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well after much research i think i may just apply some lap sealant, and get a roll of that eternabond tape, do that first, and see how bad it is after that, i don't want to dig myself into any crazy projects if i don't have to. I think the aluminum may be more of a chore than expected. Most of the roof is in fair condition ( no real damage or tears or anything ) to the exception of right above the door where it looks like a tree limb may have rubbed it or something. Thanks for all the replys.
 
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