The first major project I had to undertake was to remove the old roof and put a new one on it. This involved removing everything from the roof, the vents, the luggage rack, the ladder … everything. I also had to decide what type of material I was going to use for the new roof.
Choosing An Aluminum Roof For Our Class C Motorhome
I didn’t know anything about what types of materials were used on RV roofs. I learned that the original roof was the EDPM rubber roofing membrane and it was beyond repair. From my searching around the internet and reading various websites, it seems like there’s three main materials used for roofs on RVs.
- EDPM Rubber Roofing Membrane – This is a very common choice and it’s inexpensive. It’s also supposed to be pretty easy to work with and install. It is usually sold by-the-foot, such as this RV Rubber Roof material.
- Fiberglass Roof – This one was mentioned in this article, but it does seem quite rare as they suggest. I wasn’t really interested in this one due to it’s weight and because fiberglass just doesn’t seem like a good material for a roof, especially when it’s going to be baking in the sun and because UV rays tend to breakdown fiberglass.
- Aluminum Roof – Now this one sounded like a good idea. That same article said this one was even more rare, but the idea of a metal roof sounded pretty durable and awesome. RV Parts Nation seemed to have the best price for RV Aluminum Roof and for 30 feet, it was going to cost $520 plus a few hundred dollars to have it shipped to me.
So I could save a couple of hundred dollars going with the rubber roof, but it was the failure of a rubber roof that led to me having to replace the whole roof, so I really wanted to go with aluminum instead. But the cost of shipping it was just too high and it was too far to drive to pick it up. That’s when I came across a forum where they were discussing where to buy the continuous roll aluminum roofing. Someone suggested to check at a tractor trailer repair place, such as Southern States Utility Trailer, and you would likely find it cheaper there. The closest one to me was in Jackson Mississippi, so I gave them a call. They quoted me something like $670 for 30ft x 105in of it, which was a bit high. I was trying to figure out how I was going to pick this up and get it to my dad’s house, which I figured I would have to rent a trailer from Uhaul and tow it there. But the trailer rental was going to be quite expensive since I was picking it up at one location and dropping it off at another. So I discovered there was another Southern States Utility Trailer in Monroe Louisiana. I could rent a trailer where my dad lives for a few hours to go pick up the metal from Monroe, which was much cheaper. Not only that, they quoted me over $100 cheaper for the same aluminum roofing ($15.83/ft plus sales tax).
The aluminum roof that RV Parts Nation sells is 0.025 inches thick aluminum. The aluminum roof that Southern States Utility Trailer sells is 0.04 inches thick aluminum, almost twice as thick! I knew it was going to be heavier, but we’re talking about the roof material, so I didn’t see where that was the place to try to skimp and shave weight at. The trailer was going to cost me $42 to rent and since there’s a Lowes in Monroe, I could also pick up several sheets of 4 x 8 RevolutionPly 5mm Poplar Plywood to use as the underlayment for the roof.
Now it was on to stripping off the old roof ….