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It might be useful for new folks to know about how long rv roofs tend to last. It could even help so of us oldtimers too.

There are a lot of older rv's out there that have different type roofs going all the way back to metal. I for one did not know until just a few years ago that the metal ones (particullary aluminum) could ever wear out or least for a really long time. Now we have had the "rubber" roofs for a long time and most people don't know how long they will actually last. I have one and it is 15+ years old and so far so good. There are lots of older rv's with this type of roof that would be a bargain as a starter rv but not if you have to replace the roof in the first year. In the past there have been some comments but mostly about tears, basic maint. and some stuff about resealing.

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No matter what material your RV roof is made of, the #1 factor in how long it remains weather tight is the care which the owner gives to it. But there are other things which can play nearly as bit a part. Aluminum is very susceptible to degradation from exposure to salt air, while the EDPM roof is probably least effected by that. On the other hand, exposure to extreme heat and sun is probably least damaging to aluminum, and most to EDPM but it can be hard on fiberglass too, particularly if it isn't kept waxed. Tree limbs are more likely to damage an EDPM roof but they can do harm to any roof, depending upon just what sort of exposure they have. Manufacturer's warranties tend to be longest on the EDPM for the materials that they are made of, but any of them can easily last for the typical life of the RV under ideal circumstances.

 

Aluminum can sometimes last of 30 years or more, but if exposed to acid rain or lots of salt air they will develop corrosion spots that can begin to leak if not corrected. Tears and chalking are the most damaging to the typical EDPM roof while degradation of the gel coat is the usual first indication of problems developing with fiberglass. With either of the latter two materials, protection from sun and severe weather can greatly increase the lifespan of the materials.

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My EDPM is 14 years old and has been treated once. Outside all that time. Currently in AZ. Hope it gives me a few more summers.

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Yup, exposure is everything. My truck camper has an EPDM roof but lives under roof... (giant car port) It get's dusty but no frost/thaw cycles and little or no UV. I expect it to last a long time. The fiver is out in the weather....... I fully suspect I'll be replacing a roof at the 7-10 year mark. (If I keep it that long). Keeping up with the caulking is number one though.......

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