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Old 11-08-2010, 11:16 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 74
Rubber Roof Replacement

I had an encounter with a tree and made a series of cuts along the radius edge of the roof on my 2010 Sabre FW. Because it is not yet a year old and the damage is on a curved surface I am told by multiple people that the only proper solution is to replace the whole roof (that is, caulking or patching will not maintain integrity because it on the curved edge).

These roofs are a sheet of rubber-like stuff that is held with a water-based cement. This is why any cut,ever, must be repaired to keep water out.

Some shops want to replace the roof by just taking up the old one and putting the new one down. Others want to add another layer of 3/32 luan on top of the roof base before putting the new roof down. Each claims theirs is the "right" way. How can I tell what is the right way to do this job?

PS: this is an insurance issue and I have worked out that I should go that route given all the costs to me.

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:33 AM   #2
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The insurance company is only obligated to replace the roof to "as new" specs, if there was not any layer of luan there originally, they probably won't want to pay for that additional expense and labor. Having said that however, it does sound like a good idea, and the extra expense may be minimal, and therefore worth it. ASK QUESTIONS from the insurance company. Randy

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Old 11-08-2010, 11:47 AM   #3
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I have been searching sites on this and most say, since the original bonding material is water-based, the old roof membrane will come off easily. Then all that is needed is to repair any damage to the decking (there is none in my case as far as I know), re-tape the seams in the decking (sort of like wall board, I guess), and apply the new membrane.

Adding another layer of decking sounds like it would be good except: 1. a bit more weight, 2. the extra thickness would make matching the sides, front and back caps hard, 3. bonding the two layers of luan would be an issue, and 4. there is extra work and room for error.

I am just looking for anyone who has faced this problem before and how they resolved it.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:19 PM   #4
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Sorry haven't faced that problem before but it where me I would just replace the rubber membrane. As you stated it most likely will not line up with your front and back caps which would lead to more problems.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:50 PM   #5
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If in warranty I would chat with the factory and get their recommendation. If they say that the luan (even an extra expense) would stiffen the roof, I would do it and pay the delta out of my pocket.

Out of warranty, I might try to Eternabond the damage if it is as small as you say. I would take the side trim roof material hold down off, Eternabond the radius with a 6 or 8 inch wide (They make up to 22 inch wide!) tape long enough to cover all the damaged area. Then I would reinstall and reseal the trim to the side of the camper. I would have to see how bad the damage was.

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Old 11-16-2010, 06:37 PM   #6
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I have a 40' 5er and a couple of months ago, I had the same encounter with a tree limb in an RV park. Ripped the rubber off along a 20' curved edge section of the roof, tore up the rear ladder and the fridge vent cover. Every repair shop told me they wouldn't patch it as it would eventually leak. So they replaced the entire roof and they did install luan. The insurance company picked up the complete bill excluding the deductible. Total cost $6,500. Most insurance company adjusters pretty much takes the estimate of the repair shop, if they are reputable and do a lot of insurance claims, which mine was. On this trailer, the roof had a solid deck made of wafer board, but the repair shop still installed the luan because they said it make the rubber fit smoother(terrible word but I can't think of an alternative at the moment).

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