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Thursday, September 9, 2010

TPO Tear on RV Roof

I’m considering purchasing a used Cruise Master motorhome with an 8-inch tear in the TPO roof. It’s not too deep, but deep enough to get your fingernail in. Is this repairable on TPO? I’m also concerned about a soft spot about six to eight inches in diameter just off the center-line. The reason I ask is the roof warranty is not transferable so nothing is covered if I buy this motorhome. What do you think?
E., (Baltimore, MD)

E, for just about any roof repair, as you might have noticed, I recommend Eternabond sealing tape. The only precaution is that the repair area be clean and totally dry. I’ve had success with this product on every type of roofing material from aluminum, EPDM (rubber), TPO and fiberglass. 

As far as the soft spot, it could be evidence of a leak with possible substrate damage. The only way to know for sure is to remove a portion of the TPO and carefully inspect the plywood substrate below. 

If you really like this coach in all other aspects, I don’t feel this should be a deal breaker. It could, however, be a strong negotiating chip. Keep a close eye on the soft spot after you repair the tear. If it continues to grow in area, or become softer, it may be time to take a deeper look at the substrate. All, however, is repairable, in my opinion. Be sure to inspect every component and seam on the roof. You’ll be able to use Eternabond just about everywhere up there.

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