“The sky may fall on your head tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.” This is what the Chief Vitalstatistix, the famous Gaul Chief used to so often say in the Asterix comics by Uderzo and Goscinny. Just imagine what would happen if we don’t have a roof over our heads. We would have had similar fears. A good roof is a must not only for a secured home but also when you are outdoors traveling in your RV. Your roof is your guarantee for safety.
Like the roof of a house, the roof of an RV also protects us from the harsh weather conditions. Today most of the RV roofs are built to make it full-proof for all seasons. Major damage to an RV roof or an RV as a whole is caused due to the seepage of rainwater and it is paramount that your rooftop should be waterproof. The other factors like hail storms, strong winds, low hanging tree branches, boulders, etc. could equally cause major damage to your roof. This means that along with being waterproof and water-resistant it has to be strong and durable t stand up to such severe tests.
Now, RV roofs are usually made up of three materials.
Rubber is the most common of the three materials and mostly used in making RV roofs. It is available in two varieties
- Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer
- Thermal Poly Olefin (TPO)
A rubber roof is lighter and cheaper in comparison to a fiberglass or aluminum rooftop. Even though fiberglass rooftops are heavier, thick, hard and more expensive but your maintenance cost would be much less than rubber. This also stands for aluminum too. Different brands provide different models with options and budgets to suit your pocket.
It is not easy to get models with fiberglass roofs but it in that big a challenge as there are still some brands that do make their RV roofs using fiberglass. Today we are going at some of the best available options in RV with fiberglass roofs. We will also know how to clean and maintain your RV roof. We will also look at some basic queries related to the strength and durability of a fiberglass roof.
1. Venture Sonic Lite
This model is part of the Venture RV brand owned by K.Z., Inc., a subsidiary of the Thor Industries, Inc. Venture RV started its journey back in 1972 by building truck campers but very soon moved on to manufacturing travel trailers. The brand is popular and patronized for building lightweight and ultra-lightweight travel trailers. The company is known for its high-quality production standards, work ethics and job satisfaction. The company has been awarded the RVDA Dealer Satisfaction Index consistently for the last 18 years which speaks volumes about the brand’s reputation in the industry.
Out of the 5 models that Venture RV produces two models among them are having fiberglass roofs.
- Sonic Lite
Here we will look at the Sonic Lite model.
The model offers a single piece seamless fiberglass roof extending from the front profile to the rear bumper (labeled number 1) in the image below. The roofing system excludes risks of leaks and rainwater seepage. It also negates the threats from leaks in the sidewalls, doors, windows, compartments, and corners. This is also a perfect way of making the structure weather-proof and long-lasting.
2. Happier Camper
Happier Camper manufactures two models in its travel trailer brands. Both the brands are made up of 100% fiberglass double-hull shells providing strong, durable, lightweight, flexible and comfortable travel trailers. Having fiberglass shells is a big advantage over other competing travel trailers in the same segment from the competition as fiberglass expands and contracts less to climate change than other materials like metal, wood, etc.
The other big advantage of owning a Happier Camper model is the flexibility and variety in design that is provided by the AdaptivTM ecosystem.
HC1 Travel Trailer
Forester models belong to the Class C Motorhomes and are manufactured by Forest River Inc. Before we further about the fiberglass rooftop system and features of Forester models it is important to know more about Forest River Inc., as our next model of is Motorhomes is also from the same brand.
Forest River Inc.
It was founded in 1996 by Peter Liegl with the vision and mission to become the best RV brand with customer satisfaction as its sole and number one priority. Currently located at Elkhart, Indiana it has huge production facilities at Oregon, Silverton, Hemet, White Pigeon, Michigan, and California. Forest River Inc., was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway which is one of the world’ s largest holding companies in 2005
They develop products for recreation, transportation, and cargo handling. Its customer-centric approach helps it to build travel trailers to fit all budgets, needs, and lifestyles. Forest River Inc has got a huge production setup with multiple facilities outside the USA. Timely delivery is one of its promises that it preaches and performs. Today it boasts of more than 110,000 members in its Forest River Owners’ Group (FROG) who not only regularly participate in rallies but also help the company with important feedback and comments to help it prosper further. Most importantly they come with Green Certification provided by TRA.
Other than the Forester brand the group has other major brands in Coachmen RV, Forest River RV, Prime Time Manufacturing, Dynamax Corporation, Palomino, and Shasta.
All the Forester models come with fiberglass roofs. The Forester Classic, LE, MBS and TS models all come with multi-layered laminated rooftops. The R-18 strong and durable crowned fiberglass roofs have luan decking, A/C ducts, interior sound deadening ceiling panels to cut out the noise, tubular aluminum framing, and block foam insulation. This kind of roofing system helps to get rid of the rainwater quickly and doesn’t allow marks to form on the rooftop which is generally common with rubber roofs.
The poster and image below will give you every necessary bit of information on Multi-Layer Fibreglass Laminated rooftops that come with Forester brand Class C Motorhomes.
You can go ahead with any of these models as long as it suits your requirements and budget.
a) Forester Classic
b) Forester LE
c) Forester MBS
d) Forester TS
It is another Class C Motorhomes brand from Forest River Inc. There are four different models in Sunseeker Classic, LE, MBS and TS. All these models provide the same multi-layered laminated fiberglass roofs and features as in the Forester models. Other key features that characterize this brand include Green Certification by TRA, floorplans with pass-through storage and maximum headroom in the living area of the RV.
a. Sunseeker Classic
b. Sunseeker LE
c. Sunseeker MBS
d. Sunseeker TS
5. American Coach
American Coach is a leader in the premier luxury Class A coaches segment.
American Coach belongs to the REV Group, a leader in the motor vehicle industry. The group produces 20000 vehicles a year from its 18 facilities spread across the length and breadth of the USA. Emergency, bus, recreation, and specialty markets are the segments in which REV Group manufactures its vehicles. These include luxury coaches, commercial buses, ambulances, fire apparatuses, travel trailers, truck campers, yard trucks, wheelchair accessible vans, and street sweepers.
The American Eagle 45K and 45G and the American Dream 42Q, 42V and 45A models come with one-piece fiberglass roof
American Eagle – Molded Fibreglass Roof Video
6. Open Road Allegro
This brand of Class A motorhomes belongs to Tiffin Motorhomes, a company with a reputation for manufacturing luxury Class A and Class C Motorhomes.
Tiffin Motorhomes is known for its innovative technology, luxurious designs, consistent performance, and quality construction. A family-owned business, very rare in the RV industry. It all started in 1941, in a small town in North Alabama when Alex Tiffin started Tiffin Supply Company. It was a store that provided anything and everything you needed to build a house. In 1965, Alex Tiffin bought a cotton gin and gave the responsibility of the business on the young shoulders of his son Bob. Going ahead, in 1972 Bob got attracted to an RV business and decided to take over at the time when it was about to shut down and thus heralded the birth of Tiffin Motorhomes, Today, his three sons Tim, Van, and Lex run the show.
Their Class A Motorhomes brand includes Allegro Breeze, Red, Red 340, Open Road, and Bus. The other two models are Phaeton and Zephyr. We will focus on the Open Road Allegro model which happens to be the first model under the Allegro brand.
One of the highlights of this model is its roof. It is constructed of a one-piece, moisture-resistant molded fiberglass cap. This helps to stop the seepage of rainwater, provides strength and insulation. Tiffin Motorhomes have their fiberglass plant which helps them to make their construction cost-effective without surrendering on quality and safety. The roof system is a part of the solid engineering and great construction standards maintained by Tiffin Motorhomes.
The product also comes with a 10-year construction limited warranty, 5-year delamination limited warranty, 1-year limited warranty, and 1-year roadside service.
The construction video below will take you through a brief tour and discuss the roof system and its benefits in detail.
7. Minnie Drop and Hike
These travel trailer brands are part of Winnebago Industries Inc., one of the leading manufacturers of outdoor lifestyle products. It is a name that is now synonymous with the RV business. Winnebago Industries, Inc. boasts of the following brands manufacturing motorhomes, travel trailers, fifth wheels, and boats.
- Grand Design RV
Currently, they have production facilities in Iowa, Oregon, Minnesota, Indiana, and Florida.
Minne Drop and Hike models are the two brands in the travel trailers segment of Winnebago that come with a one-piece fiberglass roof with a 10-years parts-and-labor skin warranty.
Winnebago Minnie Drop
Video of the construction of a Winnebago fiberglass roof
One-piece fiberglass roof is a standard feature in Winnebago travel trailer models.
8. Encore Class A Motorhomes
The Encore Class A Motorhome is part of the Coachmen RV brand which is an integral part of the Forest River, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway Company. Based out of Middlebury, Indiana, it has got a major production facility of 220 acres with more than 23 acres of under-roof arrangement for manufacturing purposes. This unit is used mostly to produce Class A, B, and C Motorhomes, fifth wheels and travel trailers. Their travel campers are produced at Centerville, Michigan.
The Encore model is available in both diesel and gas-powered models. They are built with single-piece fiberglass roofs.
The link below to the information flyer for Encore will provide an overview of all its winning features.
Maintenance of a Fibreglass Roof
Even though fiberglass roofs are strong, durable and require very little maintenance but still you can’t completely rule out the damage caused by harsh weather conditions, debris, and accidents.
Water damage is the most common and biggest worry to an RV. Mostly this happens when there is a leak in the roof. These happen along the seams like places where the roof was cut to install the AC, vent fans, air vents, antennas, plumbing vents, holes made on the interior of the roof to mount or hang something, etc.
Roof Coating and use of sealants are the two most common repair techniques to fix leaks and roof punctures. Generally, roof coating and sealing should be done at least once a year as a precautionary measure even if there is no visible damage to the RV roof.
Sealants are a more affordable option for fixing leaks and are available without much of a hassle. Some of the common brands of sealants are Dicor, ToughGrade, EternaBond, and Geocel. Among these Dicor is a very popular brand.
The caulking is to be done along the seams around where the AC is fixed, the roof vent, plumbing vents, skylights, roof tracks, etc. This makes it water-resistant and waterproof. Experienced travelers even apply the sealants after the roof coating is done for better results.
Use of sealants is a more frequent option but if you are looking to give your RV roof a long-lasting life, protection against harsh weather conditions and waterproofing. The video will take you through the complete process of roof coating a fiberglass RV roof.
A Roof Patch or Roof Tape is another option that is easy to use and is water-resistant. Eternabond tapes are widely used to seal roof leaks.
The other ways by which you can keep you RV in good condition is through cleaning and covering up your RV roof with a cover or the complete RV with a cover.
Dust and debris are very common elements that tend to destroy the finish, the shine on the roof and overall the exterior. It is thus advised that you deep clean your RV after every trip. Mild detergent or spray washes could be used by if you have to remove oxidation then you need to use an oxidation remover. The video coming talks about what to use to clean your RV roof.
Oxidation removal video from fiberglass roofs
Here’s one popular RV roof polish and cleaner
RV Roof Cover
Roof cover is necessary if you have to keep your RV outdoors. It is suggested that you go for a full cover for your RV for better protection. It is important though to get a hand on a cover which is made particularly for your model and fits the size. It is also important to see that air circulation is maintained so that moisture or mildew collect on the exterior of your RV. Good RV covers ensure that air circulation is possible and water-resistant and waterproof. Some of the best RV cover brands are Classic Accessories, Camco Ultraguard, RK Masking, ADCO Designer Series, KING BIRD, Covercraft, etc.
Full RV Cover
Although it is the last resort still you need to take this hard call if your rooftop is seriously damaged. Replacing an RV roof is a big job and expensive too. You can either do it on your own or through an RV repair professional at a service center. People sometimes decide to do it on their own as the cost varies from a service center to center. If you are doing on your own then there are materials and tools available readily but it is prudent to get it done at an authorized service center by a professional with credibility. You could approach the manufacturer and seek their opinion and help. Now, if you persist on doing it on your own then you should thoroughly consult the manual.
Can I walk on my RV roof?
If you need to repair your RV roof then you have to get on the top of the roof. Now the question arises as to whether RV can hold your weight or not.
Generally, all RV rooftops can handle up to a weight of 300 lb which is enough to support an individual. It is still not advisable to get up on the roof unless you have a serious business or repair job to be done. There could be serious accidents, injuries and worse to worse case death if you are not careful or cautious. The ladder at the rear usually contains the information on how much weight your RV roof can handle. It is advised to always check the manual to confirm it.
Today RV roofs are made of very strong and durable materials and can even hold up to 3 to 4 persons on the rooftop.
I hope that you have carefully gone through all the content and the videos and found them interesting and informative. Now you can go ahead and make your choice of the brand with you would like to go.
Please comment below to know what you found to be useful and what you felt was short on expectations. Your feedback is very important for improvement.