A Winnebago Journey DL Class A RV has a fiberglass roof, a sheet of thin plastic with millions of lengths of embedded plastic fibers that is molded into a single large piece, large enough to fit on the roof of my 35′ RV spanning from side to side, as well as from slightly under the front end cap, all the way back to the rear end cap. So approximately 270 square feet of material. It is made with a slight dome shape to shed water, matching the roofs profile. At the edges on either side, it is formed to roll over the edges of the roof, a rolled edge that goes down the side of the RV (over the sidewall) about 4″. It’s sealed to the side walls by a couple beads of special sealant applied to the sidewall just before the fiberglass panel is placed on the unfinished roof. This bonds the roof to the sidewalls without using screws or brackets…allowing the roof to expand and contract somewhat.
[Note: There is much talk on the forums I frequent whether or not owners should use silicon on the roofs edges to head off any failure of the factory sealant. Sometimes there is conflicting information from Winnebago or it’s reps of the type to use…so I’m going to avoid that whole argument and just use Eternabond instead. I’ve noticed forum posters recommend either regular ordinary outdoor silicon or a special sealant suggested by Winnebago. It’s not clear which product is suppose to be better or if re-caulking even works. For the story of what I ended up doing see the link below for ‘Roof Edges’.]
The metal ‘rain gutters’ are attached to the sidewalls slightly lower than the bottom of the fiberglass roof. The end caps (large molded pieces of plastic that make up the front and back covers of the RV), made separately, are screwed to the roof and frame, and a self leveling sealant, usually Dicor, is used along the transition between the fiberglass roof and end caps…front and rear. Dicor is also used on top of the roof to seal all the holes and edges up there and because the roof is directly subjected to weathering, especially sun and heat, it’s important to check the roof seals periodically, 2-3 times a year, to ascertain the health of those seals.
Here’s a couple pictures of my healthy fiberglass roof, for reference. The work I’ve done on it so far is simply preventative maintenance. I’d rather not have to deal with a leak during a heavy rainstorm like I did several times in my Bounder, so I’m trying to get ahead of any problems.
These shots show that right now the roof is in pretty good condition, and I plan on keeping it that way. Every device, vent, or cover mounted on the roof has the potential for leaks, as do the edges of the roof, and the endcaps. So I need to get up there and check on things a couple times a year, and also right after big wind, hail, and rain storms to make sure everything is still in tip-top condition.
Here’s a shot looking towards the front of the RV.
This shot looking towards the rear of the RV includes not only the normal RV roof items, but also the plastic sack I used to carry several items up to the roof, which were the roll of tape, a rubber roller to smooth out the tape, scissors, and a straight edge.Here’s a drawing from Winnebago that shows what part numbers are required for the different types of caulking used on the roof.
And the following sections are mainly about having added Eternabond Roofing Tape to the roof where I feel it’s best to use it at this point in the roof’s lifespan.
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