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Old 01-15-2011, 11:09 PM   #1
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Eternabond; The other side of the coin.

After reading how fellow FRF members have added Eternabond Tape to the roof of their units, I was ready to do the same (and I still may).
However, I was talking to a Prime Time service tech the other day and I was telling him of my plans. He advised against it. He then mentioned a few reasons why.

First, Prime Time belives the Dicor sealant is the best way to go, otherwise they would place Eternabond on their trailers to begin with.

Second, the tape doesn't always adhere to the Dicor very well. This could possibly (not probable but possible) cause a leak under the tape that would be hard or impossible to detect, until it's too late.

Third, If you need to replace a vent or something else on the roof, the tape is very hard to remove safely. You have to be very careful not to damage the rubber roof.

He said Prime Time believes regular cleaning, inspection and maintenance of of your roof twice a year and reapplying Dicor when and where needed is the best way to prevent leaks.

You may or may not agree with what he told me. I'm still not too sure myself, but I thought I would pass this info on to those who may be interested.
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Old 01-16-2011, 07:48 AM   #2
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Thanks Gary.

I have a giant box of Eterna-bond in the camper waiting for spring. The comment about changing out components on the roof is very valid. Careful work with a razor knife would be needed since you can't get the stuff up, once its down.

Walking on the roof twice a year, can't be good either, though.
My Dicor caulk looks horrible since it attracts mold and mildew.
Most likely I will press on and EB the roof seams as planned.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:02 AM   #3
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i think there is a primer you can use over odd surfaces like Dicor and i think you need to use it when your putting the EB on top of itself as well

my 2 cents

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Old 01-16-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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Gary, I have been wondering about some of the points that Prime Time has made.....that is why I have been holding out doing the Eternabond thing. Glad you started this thread.

My main concern was what if I needed to replace something on the roof. Granted, except for the shower skylite, I read of very few items that need replacing.

The only (apparent) leaks that I have had is the caulk around my front marker light, and my fridge vent.....both of those would not typically be Eternabonded. I check the roof caulking several times a year, and I satisfied that it is doing the job.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by mtnguy View Post
Gary, I have been wondering about some of the points that Prime Time has made.....that is why I have been holding out doing the Eternabond thing. Glad you started this thread.

My main concern was what if I needed to replace something on the roof. Granted, except for the shower skylite, I read of very few items that need replacing.

The only (apparent) leaks that I have had is the caulk around my front marker light, and my fridge vent.....both of those would not typically be Eternabonded. I check the roof caulking several times a year, and I satisfied that it is doing the job.
Yesterday when I was doing some caulking on the outside of my tt I noticed a few (not all???) marker lights without caulking and the ones that were, were only caulked at the top and about halfway down the sides. I guessed this was to let any water that may enter to drain out. I only noticed this on a few marker lights and the tail lights. Everything else (front hitch light, amber porch light, outside speakers) had caulk all the way around.
Does this sound right? Or should I caulk all around the lights.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #6
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I think my lights are caulked all of the way around, but I will check on that. The front lights could definitely get water underneath going down the road....I have a pretty good rake the front end of my Surveyor. With the side and rear marker lights, I am not sure if turbulence could force water up from the bottom or not.
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:05 PM   #7
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The Eternabond comes off with a hair dryer, Start at the corner and the then as you remove the tape aim the hair dryer on the edge thats being pulled up.....off it comes. Not saying it comes off easy that would defeat the purpose. Yes, the Eternabond will not stick to the Dicor sealent. Thats why your using wide tape to get to either side of the dicor sealent. Eternabond costs more thats why they dont use it. It is very time consuming to put on......most manufactures dont have the time to waste per-say, Dicor does an exceptable job for production line. The area has to be cleaned (rubber roof) before applying. I didnt and some corners started coming up. Now Im sure this was my fault...called Eternabond. They replaced all the Tape I used and sent me 6-cans of there cleaner for free. They explained how to get it up !! I did replace the area's that pulled up on the corners. So I know the Hair dryer method works. I still go up on the roof to check things over(hence seeing the cornes pealing up). I think thats the key too, Check your Camper over top to bottom ! PS The Tape hasnt pulled up since the redo !
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Old 01-16-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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Thank you David, I feel much better about proceeding with this project.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:26 PM   #9
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Thank you David, I feel much better about proceeding with this project.
Lou: What do you think about the question that came up earlier in this thread about whether caulking should go all the way around the lights? Seems to me that if water didn't get inside in the first place, there would be no need for it to drain out, except I'm wondering if there could be condensation that would need a way out. Thanks.
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Old 01-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #10
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Lou: What do you think about the question that came up earlier in this thread about whether caulking should go all the way around the lights?
Yes, that bothered me too, so I went out to check. Most of my exterior lights are caulked completely around. In fact the security lights (the giant round ones on the upper front) are caulked in so much there is no way to change a bulb! Even the screw holes are filled with caulk. I did find one caulked only on the top and sides; but it seemed like after shooting it all over the camper he did not feel like going for another tube.
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Old 01-16-2011, 05:00 PM   #11
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Yes, that bothered me too, so I went out to check. Most of my exterior lights are caulked completely around. In fact the security lights (the giant round ones on the upper front) are caulked in so much there is no way to change a bulb! Even the screw holes are filled with caulk. I did find one caulked only on the top and sides; but it seemed like after shooting it all over the camper he did not feel like going for another tube.
LOL. Thanks. I'll check mine and caulk any gaps, trying to still leave a way to get the lenses off to replace the bulbs.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:04 PM   #12
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If Eternabond is not recommended by the roofing manufacturer, then why is FR placing it on the 'higher' end units??? All of the roof seams on my first Rockwood had to be 'recaulked' after four years. It was needed, and the deterioration of the dicor had resulted in a water leak that seeped into one side wall. On our new unit (2011 2304), one of my first tasks was to Eternabond the roof. I'm glad I did - I was quite disappointed in the quality of the workmanship along the sides (wall joints). The unit was new and clean, so no problem. The material was wider than the Dicor'd seams - so it covered everything well and if it doesn't stick to the Dicor, I'm not worried about that a bit. My final inspection before winter storage showed no lifting. I'm certain that putting Eternabond on all of the joints will provide the advertised protection. At a minimum, it has already given me piece of mind.
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Old 01-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #13
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It is very time consuming to put on....
Some of you may have seen the photos of my roof that I did last fall with Eternabond. I did front and back seams which included a difficult area around the ladder, a skylight, the frig vent, a couple of vent stacks, two roof vents, and all of the tricky areas around the TV/satellite antennas. All of this took me 7-8 hours. I'm pretty meticulous about such things but I don't think I worked particularly slowly. It's just a very tedious job.
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Old 01-16-2011, 11:03 PM   #14
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I was hoping that starting this thread would bring out the people who have applied Eternabond. Seems like there has been no problems so far, except the one that was admittedly user error.
Everything has it's pro's and con's and it seems that with the Eternabond the pro's out weigh the con's.

As far as the caulking around the lights, I was thinking it should go all the way around. I'll probably contact Prime Time to get their take on that. I do know that there is caulking behind the lights.

Oh yeah, Char n Kath, it was Prime Time who recommended not using Eternabond, not the roofing manufactuer. Whether you agree with Prime Time or not, they do back what they say with a 25 year warranty on the roof. I don't know of any other rv manufactuer that does that.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:25 AM   #15
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Well, I must add that I only applied the Eternabond last fall and at the moment my trailer is covered by at least a foot of snow. So only time will tell.

As much as possible I cleaned the roof surface and the tape itself with acetone when it was applied. When it went down it seemed to stick like nothing else I've ever seen. If you screw up and let it flip over onto itself by accident, don't waste time...it will be hopelessly and forever stuck. Trust me.

One thing that's important is that Eternabond WILL NOT STICK to silicone. I read somewhere that a lot of cleaners have silicone in them so I avoided all cleaners and used nothing but water and/or acetone.

Eternabond doesn't stretch well so there is a definite limit to how much it can be "gathered" around odd shapes or even when over-lapping itself. If applying over an irregular surface I recommend smaller pieces that can be built-up shingle fashion. Like I said earlier, it can be tedious.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:58 AM   #16
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Three other buddies and I did our trailers with Eternabond approximately 2-years ago after doing a lot of research on the web. We purchased and used Eternaclean to clean the caulking prior to applying the Eternabond. Not to recommend using other than what the manufacturer suggests, we found that cleaning with Simplegreen followed up lastly with Isopropyl Alcohol worked just as well. The adhesion of the Eternabond is incredibly strong. We also purchased the Eternabond tapered application roller which adheres the tape up close to the caulking. With the tape being 4 inches wide, a lot of adhesion is made surrounding the caulking to prevent leaks. The white surface of the Eternabond is said to be UV stabilized as well.

We have not had a problem and feel pretty confident that it will prevent any leaks in our roof. You may check your roof thoroughly each year but on the chance you miss that one hole or crack and it goes by unnoticed for a while you may have an expensive repair on your hands. Would applying Eternabond to trailer roofs be bad for repair shop business? I am sure that roof leaks bring in some good money each year. Replacing roof vents will probably be a very rare or unlikely event that I am willing to risk versus spending a lot of dough on fixing a leaky roof.

We all still go up and clean our roofs each year, inspect our Eternabond tape and rest well knowing that a leaking roof event is now more unlikely to happen.

My recommendation to those looking at Eternabond is to do your research on the web and make your own decision. Outweigh your risks and benefits.

Happy Camping!!!
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