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Old 04-27-2015, 07:45 PM   #1
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Slide out roof tears

I washed my 390RB today. In the process I decided to extend the slides and wash the sides and the topper. In the process I discovered that my dining room slide and wardrobe slide each have a tear in the roof material about 1/4" in diameter along the back edge of each. I used some clear silicon caulk to seal them.

I'm a little disappointed in the roof material. This motorhome has been meticulously cared for and is garaged when not in use. Don't know how they got there but I'm really bothered by this.

Anyone else having this problem?
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:39 PM   #2
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Do you mean in the slide awning cover or the actual roof of the slide?
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Old 04-28-2015, 01:25 AM   #3
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The roof of the slides!!
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:49 AM   #4
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What kind of material is it made of?
I admit I haven't looked as I don't have a ladder yet.
I assumed the top was like the sides.
Did you take any pictures?
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:35 AM   #5
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I believe that the slide roof is covered in some sort of rubber material. I believe that it is the same material that is used on the roof of campers that have a rubber roof and not fiberglass.

edgewant,
Could it have been caused by some type of animal? It could have happened when you were camped some where with the slides out and you were not in the coach.

Just a thought.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:52 PM   #6
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I am familiar with the material you are talking about covering the tops of the slides. It feels like a rubbery kind of membrane. To me it feels like the white waterproof first aid tapes, ankle and wrist wraps we used in high school sports. My first guess would be that there were air bubbles under it not allowing it to lay flat, which it needs to be. As to how the air bubbles happened is anybody's guess. But most likely it wasn't laid down flat and then had the air rolled out from under it. Another issue I have seen cause air bubbles are when the material isn't folded correctly and tight over/around the corners, that will let air back in under the material. Depending on where the air bubbles were located they most likely got pinched and then cut when retracting the slide. I had that issue on our 2014 5th wheel. A friend of ours had it on their travel trailer also. I used a wooden rolling pin on mine to get the air out. I used a spray on sealer to glue my fabric back down along the edges of the cuts. Sprayed over the top of them with several coats. Then when that was dry I spread a thin layer of a good silicone sealer over that. Lastly I put some tarp repair tape over the top of the sealer when it was dry. The silicone stays sticky and I didn't want to risk those spots catching on the slide seals when moving the slide in and out. The tape keeps it smooth and non sticky. I haven't had any problems since and no signs of leaks. I also had to "re-do" one of the corners on my big slide. The material was so bunched up there, it was like a knot and had some openings that I am sure water could get in through eventually. I sealed that up with the good quality silicone too. I got both at Camping World. Can't remember the name or type of the spray on roof sealer. I felt that this was a manufacturing issue, or quality control issue, but just fixed it myself so it was done with. I haven't had any problems with it since. We did the same things to our friends travel trailer and it fixed things for him also. I think these are just one of the things that have to be checked periodically and have routine upkeep done on them. Like you, I meticulously take care of my things and this still happened to me also. Just glad I caught it before it caused any real serious problems. Now that I know, its on the list of things to keep a routing eye on.
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:15 PM   #7
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No pics. Looks like either rubber or EPDM(?). Suppose it could have been caused by a kritter but I think its unlikely. There are air bubbles between the fabric and the substrate, Hadn't been a problem until recently. I usually spray my slide roof off every other washing and the last time I did it, late last year there were no tears. I think I'm going to try the eternabond tape. I think my initial repair is OK I just don't want this to become a bigger issue
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Old 04-28-2015, 04:18 PM   #8
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Is Forest River the only MH mfg to use this kind of material for the slide roofs? Wonder what Tiffin and Fleetwood use? I too thought it should have been finished fiberglass like the sides of the slides but I got surprised.
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Old 04-28-2015, 06:56 PM   #9
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Pix are attached:

Don't think they were caused by contact with slide frame. There are no sharp objects that would cause tears. There are some air bubbles between roof material and wood substrate but I honestly don't think that is the problem.
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Old 04-28-2015, 07:38 PM   #10
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Doesn't look as bad as I was imagining.
I was picturing 1/4" wide split all the way across the top side to side.

Having had a rubber roof on the last RV, I put sealant on it regularly as it is recommended so I don't worry much about a small blemish with sealant on it.

BTW, I think most will suggest using some Dicor lap sealant rather than clear silicon.
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