Rubber roof Fleetwood

In February I am coming to Florida to buy a pre-owned RVA dieselpusher. On the internet I found some possible coaches. I owned a Fleetwood Southwind 1994 with a rubber roof. I now sold it.This roof made nasty stripes on the sides of the car after rain or foggy, damp nights. The rubber desintegrated as to say. Does anyone know a solution to solve this? Can it be painted? What do you American RV owners found out to battle this? Have the Fleetwoods after 2001 still these rubber roofs? And if so, why? I would prefer an aloy (?) roof.
If it is also a problem over there I consider to buy any brand BUT Fleetwood. However the Southwind was an nice rig. Curious for your answers. Have a nice day :laugh: Hans

C Nash

Senior Member
Rubber roof Fleetwood

Hans, The black streaks are something a rver just has to live with. Most of it is pollution and not the rubber roof although they seem to be worse. Mine now has an alum. roof and it streaks. Some have put clothes pins on the gutter ends to help. keep the top and gutters clean will help. AAfter a good cleaning on the sides a good coat of wax will make it easier to clean the streaks off. Have threaten to just paint mine black all over :eek:


Senior Member
Rubber roof Fleetwood

The EDPM or rubber is still by far the most used roofing material for the RV industry. There are many reasons. It weighs less, is more durable, costs less, and is easier to install, than most other choices. Metal roofing is nearly gone for many reasons. It costs more, has more problems, requires more maintenance and it does not work well with the modern arched roof of RVs. It is also noisy and difficult to repair. And aluminum has become very expensive.

Fiberglass is an alternitive that is used on some RVs and it is probably the next most popular material. It is less often damaged by low tree limbs, but it is much more easily damaged by hail. The maintence is slightly less than EDPM, but repair and replacement is far more expensive and it weighs several times as much. And it isn't quite what many buyers think they get. On all except the highest priced motorhomes, the fiberglass used is about 1/8" thick and is glued over a plywood deck, just as EDPM is. It is much more prone to problems like edges coming loose and such. My RV tech friends all prefer EDPM to the more common fiberglass. The highest priced motorhomes do use a one piece fiberglass roof that is built much like the end caps on most motorhomes. But those roofs weigh far too much and are too expensive to be used on the low to mid priced motorhomes.

Probably the best choice for a new motorhome today is what is called "Beite Tec" and is sold by Dicor, who also makes most, if not all, of the EDPM roofing. This "Brite Tec" has all of the advantages of EDPM and few of the problems. It does not chalk like EDPM, nor does it damage as easily. Weight is about the same but the cost is significantly more. If I were to buy a new RV today, "Brite Tec" is what I would insist upon for a roof.

As to care of the EDPM roofs, there are conditioners that do slow the rate of chalking and somewhat help the streaking problem. But the chalking comes off in a more white to gray steak, while the black that is often blamed on it is from the windows and other seams that use the butyl caluk.
Rubber roof Fleetwood

Hello Chelse,
Thank you for your answer. It makes my decision easier. I am very curious what I will see for RV dieselpusher offers in Florida.
Have a nice day. :laugh: Hans
Rubber roof Fleetwood

Hello Kirk
You really spent some time to answer my question. Thank you very much. You changed my opinion about this rubber roof. Now I know that as a matter of fact this one is BETTER than the other ones. You know, here in the Netherlands people don’t own such big RV’s. So it’s hard to compare with other RVers. I like the American RV’s a lot. So that’s why I buy my second one now. I am happy that I found this Forum. For instance, I am now reading and learning all about Allison transmission from “Allisonman” I am going to ask him about Jake brake, PAK brake and exhaust brake. The differences are not clear to me. And when I take my RV to Europe it must be the right choice. Have a nice day. :laugh: Hans
Rubber roof Fleetwood

Here is some rubber roof primer & top coat that sounds good. I never used it because I don't have a rubber roof. Maybe this will help you.

Product code: 45907
Price: $49.95

"Rubber Roof Primer improves topcoat adhesion. Protects and extends the life of RV roofs. Durable under small, shallow ponded areas. Must be topcoated with Rubber Roof Top Coat. Rubber Roof Top Coat is white, elastomeric and reflects 94% of the sun's rays. Keeps interior cooler and saves energy. Repairs blend in, to look like new. Easy to apply with deep nap roller or brush, soap and water clean up. Mildew and algae resistant. Must be primed with Rubber Roof Primer. 5 year warranty. Gallon."
Rubber roof Fleetwood


Nice reply and I learned alot. How difficult is it to remove an old rubber roof? Anyone attempt this as a "Do It Yourselfer"?




Senior Member
Rubber roof Fleetwood

I'm not sure about that one. It would be quite a job as you must remove all roof penetrations and all trim along the roof line, as well as the trip between the end of the roof and the end caps. I'm not sure how they take the old roof off, but I do know that petrolium products or solvents whill cause the EDPM to come loose from the glue, if applied to the surface of the material. I would suspect that may be how they get it loose. I also know that the material comes in a roll, the width of the roof and is cut to length for the job. But I have never known anyone who did the job himself. I did see one roof in process of being replaced at an RV shop, but didn't stay to watch the operation. As I recall, there were at least two techs working on the roof.
Rubber roof Fleetwood

Hello turnip42
Thank you for your contribution.
I saw the website and will keep this product in mind. When I really buy the a coach with a rubber roof I let you know how I am progressing. Nice to see that people care. You are great help. Have a nice day. :laugh: Hans
Rubber roof Fleetwood

There has been several articles in FMCA magazine about repairing rubber roofs. To replace a rubber roof is very costly primarily because of the amount of labor. It takes a lot of time to remove the old material and scrap away the adhesive.

I have heard of several people having a spray on bed liner material, like RhinoHide applied as a replacment for the EPDM rubber roof.

George Wharton