Roof Coating

I want to coat my roof as I have ownwed my coach for two years and have not done this. I figuer it would be a wise thing to do. Any suggestions on what to use. I used some stuff on my previous RV that the parts dealer suggested although it left white streaks down the sides when it rained several weeks later. I would clean them up until next time it rained. Was thinking something that would be more of a rubber consistency when it dries. Thanks.


Senior Member
Re: Roof Coating

Steve does it just need cleaning? I have never done anything to mind except wash it regularly with spic and span. I have never put anything on it that takes the oil out of the rubber roof.
Re: Roof Coating

Well, I am being an honest dealer here. You don't need to do anything to your roof for the first 10 years of it's life, but keep it clean and leak free. YOUR ROOF MATERIAL IS JUST FINE. There is a 12 year warranty on the roof material (EPDM)...why put a coating on something under warranty????

After the warranty period, when you see some black showing thru the white, you need to coat it then, and gain a few more years.

NOW, you do need to clean it periodically and keep up with the seals at the edges and around vents, so there are no leaks.
Re: Roof Coating

This can be found on the web.

Truth About EPDM Rubber Roofs


EPDM is one of the most versatile and long lasting materials ever manufactured for outdoor exposure. Most RV industry experts consider EPDM rubber roofing membrane the most dependable, most cost effective and easiest to maintain roofing material there is. Yet, today's average RVer is deluged with information, a great deal of it misinformation. Consequently, RVers are spending millions on unneeded products, many of which can be harmful to EPDM rubber roofs.

This Public Service Announcement details the truth about EPDM and reprints manufacturer's guidelines on cleaning and maintaining the EPDM rubber roofing membrane on your RV. If you have questions after reviewing the material, please contact Dicor Corporation, the RV industry's largest supplier of EPDM rubber roofing. Dicor's address and phone numbers are provided.

Mis-Information, Mistakes & Money

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Engineering specifications describe EPDM as, "Ideal for outdoor applications because of its excellent resistance to ultra-violet light, ozone, oxidants and severe weather conditions."

EPDM rubber roofing membrane is made to last 20 years or longer and has a 10 to 12 year guarantee depending on the brand. The guarantee does not require the use of any protective 'roof treatment' or 'roof protector' product and recommends only cleaning. Unlike natural rubber (latex) or blends (tires & wiper blades), EPDM does not require periodic applications of any product to protect it from ultra-violet light or ozone.

The statement or implication that you should purchase and apply a product to "protect" your rubber roof the elements is misinformation. Buying and using such a product can be a mistake and may even damage the EPDM membrane.

Petroleum Distillates... Not for EPDM

Petroleum distillates are incompatible with and should never be used on a number of plastics including vinyl and rubbers, particularly EPDM. Engineering specifications rate EPDM's solvent and oil resistance as "POOR". Dicor's Care and Maintenance instructions warn:

"CAUTION: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof."

Laboratory tests conducted in July of 1996 evaluated the effect of a leading RV "roof treatment" product on EPDM roofing membrane using standard sunlamp and immersion testing procedures. The "roof treatment", which contained petroleum distillates, caused a 63% mass change (swelling). In the summary/recommendations portion of the lab test the scientists stated they would recommend the "roof treatment" and more tellingly noted, "Per the MSDS, this product contains petroleum distillates, a substance that is known to be INCOMPATIBLE with... EPDM sheeting".

For your rubber roof, for the EPDM door and truck seals around slide-outs/pop-ups, in the baggage compartments or for the EPDM door and trunk seals in your car, petroleum distillates are a huge "no no". And don't be fooled by names such as "organic solvent", "hydrocarbon carrier", etc. Petroleum distillates by any other name should NEVER be applied to EPDM. If you aren't sure about a product, contact the manufacturer and have them send you a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Look under the section entitled "HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS". If it lists any petroleum distillates, do not use it on EPDM.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it necessary to protect my rubber roof against UV light?
A: No.

Q: What do I need to do to care for my rubber roof?
A: Periodic cleaning (See Dicor Care & Maintenance instructions)

Q: One manufacturer told me their roof treatment product had only a minor percentage of petroleum distillates, something like 20 or 30%. Does the percentage matter?
A: No. Usually percentages given are based on weight. Since petroleum distillates are significantly lighter than water, in reality 30% by weight might be 40% or more by volume. But the percentage of petroleum distillates doesn't matter. THERE IS NO LEVEL OF PETROLEUM DISTILLATES THAT IS RECOMMENDED.

Q: If I use a roof treatment product containing petroleum distillates on my rubber roof, can that void my warranty?
A: Yes

Q: If I'm going to buy a used RV and it has a rubber roof, how can I tell if the previous owner used petroleum distillates and damaged the rubber roof? What would the damage look like?
A: Two things: First, swelling. Uneven thickness of material. Second, loose areas. Petroleum distillates soak in and cause the adhesive to loosen and the membrane to balloon. Then, when the ballooning goes down, it may never again adhere properly or completely.

Q: Is it easy to repair tears in the roof membrane?
A: Any tear in an EPDM roof membrane can be repaired using a number of repair methods. Dicor has a prepackaged peel and stick repair kit that works well on small tears (up to 8"), a larger kit that should be used on larger damaged areas, and also rolls of peel and stick material for long, narrow tears.

Q: Oxidation: My roof seems to oxidize and run down the sides when it rains. What's going on?
A: First, EPDM roofing membrane does oxidize slowly; it's supposed to. In a dozen years it may oxidize 10% of its thickness. This is normal. Cleaning at least four times a year will help greatly, more often if your local conditions and experience warrant.

Q: The rubber roofing wraps over slightly on both sides of my RV and you can see it from the ground. It gets dirty and doesn't look good. What can I do about this?
A: Clean the area and treat it with a product that will repel soiling and is safe for EPDM. One product that performs and lasts well, is safe for EPDM and is commonly available at RV stores is 303 Protectant.

Dicor Corporation · P.O. Box 1806 · Elkhart, Indiana 46515


Senior Member
Re: Roof Coating

this why I rely on Ken, he will give you a honest and great answer, way to go Ken :laugh: Now how long did it take you to write it :approve:
Re: Roof Coating

Thanks guys......Someone said that I should recoat the roof so I though may be a good idea. Thanks for setting me straight. What about a cleaner...anything in particular and what kind of sealer is best around the seals at the edges and around vents. Love this forum....just saved me a days work and probanly a couple of hundred bucks!


Senior Member
Re: Roof Coating

I use spic and span on mine and for re sealing I use dicro self leveling. ASK Ken he sells the dicro, it is a little high, but well worth it in the long run. OH it high from the manufactory not Ken, he makes very little on it.
Re: Roof Coating

Laboratory tests conducted in July of 1996 evaluated the effect of a leading RV "roof treatment" product on EPDM roofing membrane using standard sunlamp and immersion testing procedures. The "roof treatment", which contained petroleum distillates, caused a 63% mass change (swelling). In the summary/recommendations portion of the lab test the scientists stated they would recommend the "roof treatment" and more tellingly noted, "Per the MSDS, this product contains petroleum distillates, a substance that is known to be INCOMPATIBLE with... EPDM sheeting".

There's something terribly wrong with the source that the original author quoted from.
Re: Roof Coating

Clean the roof with as mild a cleaner that will get the job done. We do a lot with just a pressure washer...nothing else.
You need to be carefull with that too, as too close can cut the roof from pressure. Holding the pressure washer about a foot away with a 30 degree nozzle, and not staying in one place, seems to work pretty good. My washer will make 2,500 psi, if I remember right.


Senior Member
Re: Roof Coating

I might put the brush down this year and try the pressure washer. I also think mine is 2500 psi. Or soap it up then use the washer
Re: Roof Coating

We are going to be in the 60's next week... I am thinking about cleaning my roof then.

Routine maintenance also includes checking the seams and resealing with DICOR Self Leveling Sealant. Do NOT use caulking or other types of sealant...ONLY a Self Leveling Sealant made for rubber (EPDM) roofs.

Walk your roof twice a year. You won't need to do something every inspection, but look at it and stay ahead of any problems.

The roof is the most important part of your RV....also the most neglected.


Re: Roof Coating

i look at mine everytime i think i might have a prob ,, but i don't have a rubber roof ,, all fiberglass ,, so i just use reliable on it ,,and go to town ,, all though it makes a mess of the sides ,, but ,, i have to wax them anyway ,, and also i am thinking this year of maybe using some mop and glow on my roof ,, to keep it in shape ,, never know till i try :eek: :laugh: :approve:
Re: Roof Coating

My roof is dirty and needs some cleaning. Not sure what products have petroleum distillates. I dont have a pressure washer right now. Do car washes have these chemicals in them? or a mild dish soap? Someone mentioned spic amd span...would this be a good hoice? What about 303 Protectant that was mentioned in the last queston of the article Ken wrote. Does this stuff work well and is it really pricey? Din't think cleaning a roof could be so complicated.
Re: Roof Coating

Just use Spic and Span or a mild car wash. That will work. Use a soft bristle brush and you will be surprised. Even if you just use a brush and water, you will be amazed how clean it comes.


Junior Member
You seem to be very knowledgable and honest. My husband and I purchased an 09 timberlodge. We love it... however we were not very wise purchasers, as we later found out Adventure was in the process of going out of business as we were signing the sale! Not happy that the dealer did not mention it either, but this is pointless. Fact remains, we were poor consumers. Here we are a few years down the road and the rubber roof is completely seperated from the camper, only being held on by the edges. Looks like $4500 to have it replaced. UGH! Do you have any words of wisdom before we pursue the repair bill? Is Adventure Mfg. in existance in any other name? Is there any hope for having someone stand behind this roofing warranty? Thank you!
Sorry I did not see this until now, been busy getting ready for my Open House.

I have not encountered what your describing, sorry. Sounds to me like a manufactures defect, and yes they are out of business. The orginial 12 year roof warranty only covered the roof membrane itself, not how it was installed. Only if the room membrane leaks will the 12 year warranty kick in. The truth is parts and labor are covered for 5 years, the balance of the 12 years is only parts.

Now, the membrane should have been glued down to the wood underneath....are you saying the glue let go? Do you have bubbles under it? Is it really "completely seperated"? That would sound like a glue issue. Honestly I have removed rubber that is years old and the glue won't let go!!

$4,500???? Really?? If you rotted wood under the rubber, maybe...if your just replacing the rubber...that is a little steep. Don't know where you are, but we could do it for less.
How can I maintain RV Roofs I can apply successfully EPDM Roof coatings. RV Roof Maintenance is necessary to be saved from unexpected repair bills. But mostly consideration is not being given to RV Roof Maintenance. Commonly it is forgotten, unless it gets leak or damage. Making a point of climbing a ladder to inspect the roof of your Camper at regular intervals is not as difficult to face as you have to after developing a problem. Inspection makes aware of developing problems before getting pile of repair bills. RV Roof Maintenance saves from unexpected repair bills .it is necessary to extend the life of your Camper.


Senior Member
Purchased Dicor sealant, tape, primer and coating in 2010. Cleaned the roof with a brush and water. Cleaned off excess layers of sealant. Used the 6 inch tape all the way around the top of the RV covering the lap sealant with tape. Re-chalked(sealed) vents and such. Did not use primer(didn't want to rinse off...had just waxed it) Put 2 coats of coating on. It was so bright you needed shades while in the shade. To this day (2015) it is still white and bright, Taping all the way around seemed to make it so I never have to seal the edges again.
Of course you should always inspect your roof for any issues, however, this is the course I took and it has work wonders.
I wonder if 5 year old sealant, primer and coating(paint) is still good....Hmmm