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Old 09-07-2020, 06:02 PM   #1
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2020 Vengence Rogue roof ballooning / potential fix

Just bought a used 2020 Rogue from a guy who bought it 4 months ago, drove it home, broke his back the following week, and had to sell it without ever being able to use it. Taking it home after purchasing, I noticed a small bubble at the front transition that grew while going home. before I knew it, it was a pretty significant bubble extending back about 3'! Seems excessive for a new RV to have these issues i thought.. Later on that night I Talked to my brother who is a structural/mechanical engineer about the design of the rv roof/adhesion process for the rubber(or whatever its made of). He just laughed and said no decent engineer in their right mind would think rubber contact cement would last more than a year( me pondering when my MFG date of the rv was), much less the lifetime of the rv.

So I called Forest River, and turns out the 1 year warranty doesnt transfer between owner(classic), and the extended warranty I have doesn't cover roofs as well. Ron Hoover basically said I'm screwed and it could be a 10k dollar job replacing the roof(not gonna happen in my liftetime). Anyways, with nothing to lose w/r to my roof I peeled back my roof, generously re applied dicor roof adhesive, and put everything back together. I let it dry for 48 hours and took it on my first vacation this weekend.. I'm sure I dont have to tell you the outcome, but I will. 75 miles into the trip, heres comes the bubble, followed by the same balloon i saw a few days ago. Now genuinely pissed off I went to home depot, got 6x 1"x 96" aluminum flat bars and a bunch of lap sealant, and secured the hell out of my front 4' of roof during my "vacation". I shouldn't be surprised since my father in law warned me RV stands for "ruined vacation". But, as for the result on the trip home today, no ballooning!(180 miles or so of driving).

Now for my observation: Between San Antonio and Corpus, me and my wife decided to see if anyone else on the road had the same problem. Turns out, this is extremely common! We counted 35 rv's going the other direction that had SIGNIFICANT ballooning, most of them worse than mine! Now this REALLY pisses me off. How can RV manufacturers design such a terrible roof that is proven to fail and fail often, leaving us RV'ers stuck with expensive repair bills?? I'm generally a reasonable person, but somehow we as a society have let the manufacturers get away with product standard that doesn't live up to any other normal standard, especially when they advertise made in the USA! People should be furious, and manufacturers EMBARRASSED. Just my $.02
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:25 PM   #2
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New to RV'ing/RV repairs, but this is what I did
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Old 09-07-2020, 06:51 PM   #3
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I'm thinking you have a TPO roof and one of the "cons" of this roof material is that it's hard to get things to stick to it. This is one of the reasons, I'm sure, that Alpha Systems says to only use Alpha products on this roof.

Now that you have the aluminum flat bar attached to the roof you can now have a solid place to screw down your solar panel mounts

FWIW, I know that Dicor is a popular product. Just make sure you are using their product that is SPECIFICALLY for TPO roofing material. The old EPDM compatible materials will be disappointing.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:55 PM   #4
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Was the ballooning visible from passing vehicles? I have a 31V that stores indoors. Reckon the Texas sun is loosening the adhesive?
My roof has a few small bubbles near the edge of the roof, but no areas that appear loose or stretched.
Were the loose areas visibly different looking?
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Old 09-07-2020, 10:05 PM   #5
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One other thought (can't edit these posts) relates to the vents in the garage on Vengeance Rogues. If the forward facing garage vent is open more than the rear facing vent, it would pressurize the camper shell and could (?) inflate the roof covering...maybe?
And, by opening only the rear facing vent, maybe create a vacuum inside the shell?
This assumes no fuel inside the garage. I generally have a gas golf cart in there and both vents open. So far, no fuel smell. No rain incursion either. Driven thru the monsoons!
Just thinking out loud.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:21 AM   #6
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Was the ballooning visible from passing vehicles? I have a 31V that stores indoors. Reckon the Texas sun is loosening the adhesive?
My roof has a few small bubbles near the edge of the roof, but no areas that appear loose or stretched.
Were the loose areas visibly different looking?
Loose areas were not visible once I stopped driving, and there is no stretching and ironically would rebound to original shape/appearence after about 30 minutes after I quit driving. I think this problem goes undiagnosed the majority of the time due to physically being out of sight for most drivers. My roof is slanted down making the front transition and first 4' of roof visible from the side mirrors, and thats the only way I figured out it was ballooning. I'll upload a video shortly of how it looks from my perspective FYSA.

I love the idea of opening the rear fume vent, i think that would significantly drop the pressure inside the cabin and help equalize the pressure. I'm also thinking about covering my roof with crazy seal. Not sure if anyone has dealt with it yet, but Im trying to strengthen the roof as much as possible to prevent stretching and tearing in the future, as well as seal up the 50+ screwholes i just punched in my roof

Really, these are all just bandaids and the real problem is the design. Someone needs to buy forest river an air tunnel and start incorporating basic aerodynamics in their R&D.
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Old 09-08-2020, 06:37 AM   #7
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Old 09-08-2020, 01:13 PM   #8
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Driving back from Utah last year I saw a lot of rigs with ballooning roofs. One 5th wheel had torn loose from one side and was flapping like a flag on a very windy day. I bet the owner had no idea it was doing that.
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Old 09-08-2020, 11:41 PM   #9
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Well. Now gotta mount the GoPro up there. Got me concerned...?!
Or maybe let the wife stand on the bed fuel tank with her phone at 70? Or maybe not.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:23 AM   #10
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Well. Now gotta mount the GoPro up there. Got me concerned...?!
Or maybe let the wife stand on the bed fuel tank with her phone at 70? Or maybe not.
Haha good luck with that! I unfortunately think youíll find if you donít have that issue yet, you will soon.

So hereís an update from crazy seal btw. First off, seem to be great people with a great product(Iíll post reviews later to verify initial impression). But I sent them all the pictures of before and after my balloon. They said this problem is extremely common and their product fixes it. She recommended the one coat system since my roof is generally good shape, and guarantees it will work. 50 year transferable warranty. So my big question is why the f is there a company out there willing to offer a badass product with essentially a lifetime warranty for way cheaper than any roofing system on the market, and the rv industry refuses to adopt it? I think roof repair has to be a huge money maker for them and are unwilling to slaughter the cash cow for a better,CHEAPER product.
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:26 AM   #11
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Driving back from Utah last year I saw a lot of rigs with ballooning roofs. One 5th wheel had torn loose from one side and was flapping like a flag on a very windy day. I bet the owner had no idea it was doing that.
Yeah, itís a huge problem that no one seems to be talking about, so Iím assuming not only did the 5th wheel owner not have any idea, 99% of them donít.
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:09 AM   #12
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Post the outcome. Never know. Maybe I'll skate by on this. The camper is stored indoors when not in use. It was quite fresh when we bought it. Rarely sees sun.
I saw some new (actually unsold but looked at hard?...) that were seriously screwed from looky loo's I guess. I made an offer on one "as-is" but no go. I didn't want the dealer trying to repair the thing. Nothing major--just cab doors, outside compartment doors, loose hardware. Endless. It was not an FR unit.
Anyway. Kept looking and found a primo fresh, with no issues, 31V Rogue at Bill Plemmons, Winston. They were good to deal with. We've been pleased with it.
My only gripe relates to the lack of a operators manual. The online thing is generic.
Pulled it out for a quick trip and here comes the rain. I oughta get paid for bringing rain to central NC...!
Oh well, we're going anyways.
Cheers!
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Old 09-09-2020, 08:26 AM   #13
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Had the "ballooning" problem on my older Montana, (2000). Cut small slits and used a squirt bottle and hose to inject adhesive under EPDM. Used a roller to roll it out into a large area. Did that in a number of places as the front third of the trailer was loose. Used Permabond and EPDM sealer over the slit. Held up well, and was still looking good when I traded it. Crusader has not had issues so far. I have indoor storage which I'm sure helps. Part of the problem may also be the aerodynamics of the front cap. My Crusader has a very curved cap that allows for smoother air flow over the area where the cap meets the EPDM. My old Montana was very flat fronted which would cause the air to create lift where it transitioned from the cap to the EPDM. Just a thought. Lots of air movement at 60 plus MPH.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:10 PM   #14
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We have a small rooftop curve and round front entry. I would guess there's no gross low pressure area above the camper?
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:20 PM   #15
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Had a 2007 Jayco that we sold in 2017. When we sold it, not a wrinkle, bubble, tear. The roof was as tight and as white as the day it was built. 2018 Cherokee had about a dozen small bubbles in it when we sold it in July.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:23 PM   #16
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New to RV'ing/RV repairs, but this is what I did
May I ask what model Rogue you bought?
Note your warranty issue. Our selling dealer offers a "free" long-term warranty...with caveats.
I looked at it and found that it required a 'certified' tech conduct an annual inspection on major systems. The roof membrane is evaluated q 3 months or some such. I see $$$ and maybe more harm than good when dinking around with 'things.'
I'm going to pass (already have) as the unit is stored inside and very well maintained.
The selling dealer has a good service department. But he's 100 + miles over the hill too.
I'll deal with it. So far, all good. Subject to change!
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:29 PM   #17
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Had a 2007 Jayco that we sold in 2017. When we sold it, not a wrinkle, bubble, tear. The roof was as tight and as white as the day it was built. 2018 Cherokee had about a dozen small bubbles in it when we sold it in July.
I've read that smsll bubbles are not of concern. The larger and more complex the RV, the more likely are small bubbles. I would guess that as with all things 'RV' YMMV.
At the least, having an indoor place to work does help should repairs be necessary.
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:42 PM   #18
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I've read that smsll bubbles are not of concern. The larger and more complex the RV, the more likely are small bubbles. I would guess that as with all things 'RV' YMMV.
At the least, having an indoor place to work does help should repairs be necessary.
My concern, none of the bubbles were there when I bought it.
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Old 09-13-2020, 11:18 AM   #19
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I have been fighting bubbles along my edges where I first noticed them. Then my transition started to lift. 3 trips ago I caulked under roof molding or gutter. that seems to where they cut material for roof. I have not checked this trip but seems like I have stopped it.
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Old 09-15-2020, 07:38 PM   #20
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Just put this first coat down. Looks descent, expecting slightly different results. Hopefully it will level out and look a little better in the am
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