Published Date: September 5, 2020
Last Updated on November 23, 2022 by Camper Front
Your RV roof is what prevents it from raining on you and all your interior, so it is very crucial to know the different types of RV roofs and the type installed on your RV.
This will enable you to take good care, particularly of the type of roof, and avoid practices that could be detrimental to it.
There are basically four types of RV roofing though only two types are commonly used; these articles will give you an insight into the different RV roof types available in the market.
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Types of RV Roofs
As stated earlier, there are four types of RV roofs, including;
- A fiberglass roof is a reinforced plastic of textile fiber embedded with glass in a resin.
- An aluminum roof which is a white silver metal made from sheets of aluminum roofing
- There is the rubber TPO roof, which is a single-ply made from polypropylene ethylene-propylene, causing the integrity of the rubber to change and using a chemical reaction to bond them.
- Finally, there is rubber EPDM, which is a membrane-type rubber commonly used for flat roofs.
This is just the basics; let’s get into the details.
1. Fiberglass Roof
Fiberglass is a common material used in the construction of RV roofs for a couple of reasons. Not only is it lightweight, but it is also relatively durable too. Compared to its rubber-made counterpart, fiberglass RV roofs require less maintenance.
Fiberglass consists of fiber-reinforced plastic that is coated in a clear or colored gel resin covering. This gel coating tends to fade and dull as a result of sunlight, heat, and moisture exposure.
These damaging elements work together to facilitate the oxidation process; this is why it requires constant maintenance. The level of maintenance your RV with fiberglass roofing requires greatly depends on the levels of exposure your RV gets.
Suppose it is stored in an enclosed area, where there is less exposure; you can carry out a few maintenance routines every six months or so. But If your RV sustains extensive exposure, you’ll need to maintain it consistently every three months.
The longer period of time you go without cleaning it, the more accumulated gunk there will be, and the harder it will be to wash away.
Keeping up on maintenance and basic inspections are easy preventative measures that will help to reduce your risk for leaks and ensure that your RV fiberglass roof keeps its chic appearance as you hit the road.
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2. Aluminum Roof
Flexible, durable, and lightweight, all of these properties describe the efficient and easy-to-work-with RV Aluminum Roofing. This standard for RV roofing has been around as long as RVs have been traveling across the highways and byways of our country.
While there are RV owners firmly on both sides of the fence when it comes to aluminum or rubber roofing standing at the top of the mountain of “best roofing material,” both can agree that there’s a reason aluminum roofing is still in use today. It’s a peak performer in the RV roofing category.
Aluminum roofing may not be one of the most popular types of RV roofing, but it is one of the best types of roofing, no wonder it is one of the most abundant metals in industrial applications across the world.
This metal insulates well, reflects sunlight, and withstands harsh weather better than other roofing materials. Although this metal may flex and bend under the fluctuation of temperatures, it will not crack.
It’s not just the durability that makes this metal an excellent roofing choice for RVs, but it has low maintenance requirements. If aluminum roofing is installed correctly, it will keep your RV in great condition for years to come.
Arguably, the interior component of your RV will fail before the aluminum roof will. It has a straightforward installation process, and unlike other roofing materials, aluminum is non-toxic. It is also considered eco-friendly because even in its static state, it doesn’t emit harmful chemical gases.
And even if you are to ditch your aluminum roofing for another, it is easily recyclable. However, aluminum is not heat resistant and will quickly lose its virtual appeal.
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3. Rubber TPO Roof
Thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) is a layer of a single-ply reflective membrane that functions as a combination of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene.
TPO rubber offers flexible and weather-resistant characteristics. It also has thermoplastic seams that are activated through a hot-air welding technique; they are relatively cheap to absorb and install also. The membrane of a TPO roofing system composes of three layers:
- TPO Polymer Base
- Polyester-Reinforced Fabric Center
- A Thermoplastic Polyolefin Compounded Top single-Ply
TPO roofing system resists mold growth, dirt accumulation, tears impact, and punctures. It provides a lot of flexibility that allows for expansion caused by heat; they are UV-resistant, which allows them to keep cool.
A TPO roofing system is a great energy saver by lowering the costs of heating or cooling down your RV. They are great at reflecting UV rays, so you don’t have to spend a lot on air conditioning, thereby reducing your carbon footprint.
TPO roofing is produced in wide sheets, which makes the installation process on RVs easy. It is possible to not have any joints on your roofs due to their width. They are also super lightweight and can be easily maneuvered into place.
However, the TPO roofing material wears out and degrades at a faster rate compared to other types of plastic roofing. And they usually require a laminate cover to prevent them from developing weakness and cracks.
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4. EPDM RV Roofs
Also known as ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, EPDM RV is one of the most popular RV roofing choices available. Most EPDM roofing options are made from a combination of recycled automotive tires, sawdust, and slate dust. It is cheap because it is made of recycled materials.
This synthetic rubber is explicitly designed for roofing, and they come in both sheet and liquid form. When used as a liquid, it will dry to a semi-solid finish, providing a flexible watertight seal.
Furthermore, EPDM sheets are dried out and cured, which gives them less flexibility but a slightly sturdier finish.
This material is usually black in color, although many liquid products dry to a white finish to give better UV protection and other benefits.
The downside to this type of roofing system is that It absorbs heat quickly, and this can lead to more work to keep your RV cool.
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Now that you have known the different types of RV roofs available you choose from, you can make a well-informed choice keeping in mind that each one comes with a list of repair costs, maintenance requirements, and other factors to consider.