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Old 10-11-2013, 04:45 PM   #1
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Help Identify Roof (EPDM, ALPHA-PLY...)

I have an Eagle HT 26.5RLS fifth wheel, date on the label states it was manufactured 05/2012. I contacted Jayco requesting the type roof on the RV and their replay was "alpha ply roof membrane". I am confused because the physical characteristics of the roof seem to be more like an EPDM.

The roof texture is smooth, slippery when walked on and wet. I washed the roof with soap and a brush and had much chalking, running down the sides of the RV and drying. There is what I believe to be spots of mold on the roof.

The texture on both slidesouts is rough, "orange-peel", no chalking when washed, no (or very little) mold spots, much easier to clean.

Perhaps I have it wrong, but I thought an Alpha-Ply roof is orange peel, doesnt chalk, and is less likely to mold.

Based on the characteristics of my roof (main and slideouts), what typre roofs are they? I understand that Alpha-Ply requires that their sealants be used, the main reason the questions.

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Old 10-11-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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Now you have me wondering on mine as well. Mine is slippery when wet, and has black spots. I thought mine was suppose to be Alpha-Ply, but perhaps is EPDM. Mine too was manufactured in early 2012. Mine though is a 32TSBH. Great question!

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Old 10-11-2013, 10:26 PM   #3
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They mention some differences here. Similar to what the OP indicates.


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Old 10-11-2013, 10:48 PM   #4
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In 2012 brochures Jayco referred to the Eagle HT FW roofing material as "Seamless one-piece rubber roof", which to me is the EPDM material, which I believe is supplied by Alpha Systems, LLC. EPDM and Alpha-Ply are two different products, each with a different membrane composition.

I do recall seeing "Alpha-Ply" roofing material (also supplied by Alpha Systems), and "One-piece seamless roof covering" ("rubber" omitted) referenced in a couple of Jayco's 2014 brochures.

It's possible that the Jayco rep isn't aware of the two different membrane products being used. Did the Jayco rep use your FW VIN to confirm the product used on your unit? It's possible that you may have both based on your descriptions, with 2012 model year as a product transition year (?). I don't know what was used in 2013 model year.

Alpha Systems, LLC., roofing materials: https://www.alphasystemsinc.com/Product/ProductList/1


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Old 10-12-2013, 12:33 AM   #5
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I didnt even know what an Alpha Ply roof was until I was reading a few post last week. We have had our 2014 White Hawk for just 3 weeks so I viewed the newly updated Jayco website and learned I have the Alpha Ply roof. It is textured and seems to be the same on my slideouts. Yet another reason to love my new Jayco.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:05 AM   #6
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When I inquired with Jayco on the roof, I used their website form which has a field for the VIN and I entered mine. As to whether they used the VIN and looked up the actual specs on my particular RV, not sure.

I had visited Alpha Systems website and saw that they produce different roofs, and that Alpha-Ply requires special sealants be used, this is the reason for my original inquire.

I actually had 2 responses from Jayco, the 1st being "You have an alpha system rubber roof". To me this could mean either roof, so I emailed back asking specifically if mine is EPDM or Alphy-Ply. Jayco responded back with "Your roof is the alpha ply roof membrane".

I am thinking I have an EPDM on the roof and perhaps Alpha-Ply on the slideouts.

Any further help much appreciated!

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Old 10-12-2013, 09:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dxrobertson View Post
...Any further help much appreciated!

I would get an e-mail contact for Alpha Systems and send them actual pictures of your various roof sections. I would think that they can easily identify the material(s) for you.

Sorry to be a bit pessimistic... It's hard to beat the success and proven durability of a properly installed EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer [M-class] rubber), roofing system. It has a proven long history on commercial buildings and RV's. So having a more traditional EPDM roof system would not be a negative for me.

As to being happy to have the new style roof material as opposed to traditional EPDM. Only time will tell if the improved new, lighter material is better or worse.

I recall that Fleetwood/Coleman marketed the one piece pop-up roofs as the best thing since sliced bread. Time wasn't so kind on those.

In searching for how long Alpha-ply has been around I found this.

Posted By: JJBIRISH on 02/26/13 09:24am

Just another of the many reformulations in TPO’s jaded history… each reformulation is the next cats meow in roofing…

TPO has been reformulated at least 5 times and each mfg has their own version of the new formulation, I don’t know how anyone knows what to use with it… one things for sure when you work on TPO or even install new TPO you don’t know what formulation you are working with, and none of them have a history to base which is good, better, or worse… I assume the reformulations are because of problems or failures of previous versions…

Alpha-Ply I believe is the second attempt at non-backed TPO… I wouldn’t want it on my roof until they can figure out a formulation that is good for the long haul…


FWIW. vic
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Old 10-12-2013, 10:32 AM   #8
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According to Mark Polk (RV Education 101) the roof material that is black on one side and white on the other is EPDM while the membrane that is white (or same color) on both sides is TPO. He has a video explaining this on his website. I hope he is right cuz I just installed a new FanTastic Fan using sealant for an EPDM roof and all seems to be O.K.

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Old 10-12-2013, 11:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by VicS1950 View Post

I recall that Fleetwood/Coleman marketed the one piece pop-up roofs as the best thing since sliced bread. Time wasn't so kind on those.

Man, you got that right. I had one. What a disaster. First it warped, then it started cracking. It had a 'lifetime' warranty but only for the original owner and I was the second. It cost way more to replace than the trailer was worth. I ended up giving it away to a guy who had an idea for fixing it. Don't know how it turned out.

Our '06 Jayflight has an EPDM, I believe. It's over seven years old, mostly in the AZ sun, and still looks good with minimal care.
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:06 AM   #10
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I hav2 a 2010 Eagle with ALPHA roof. Be sure if you re-seal the seams you use the ALPHA Self Leveling Sealant for those areas. I applied the sealant on the front seam, around all the vents, and TV antenna. No issues over the past 3 years.

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