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Old 11-19-2021, 08:36 AM   #1
TomTerrific
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Angry Rubber Roof Discoloration

I have a 2021 Avalanche 5th wheel AV295RK.

Looking at the roof, I see one section over the kitchen discoloring in a distinct 4 x 8 ft section.
I originally thought it was from the vent exhaust but I haven't used the vent much and only one roof section is discoloring.

Any ideas what is going on?
This rig is 6 months the old.

Thanks in advance for advice.
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Old 11-19-2021, 03:27 PM   #2
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I have moved this post from an old thread to one of its own.
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Old 11-19-2021, 04:59 PM   #3
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I'd bet the plywood was/is moldy or some other form of fungus. Hope you're warranty is good
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Old 11-19-2021, 07:00 PM   #4
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Looking at the stains on the entire roof, I'd suspect that it's spent those 6 months parked under trees or with wet leaves laying on the TPO membrane. There is a lot more "staining and gray swirls" than I've seen on most "6 month old trailer roofs"...

That said, the roof decking is usually OSB or luan plywood. Luan, if that was used on your trailer, has an A side and a B side. Usually one side is darker than the other. I think that comes from where in the log the layers are cut. The further out on the log, the more porous the layer, so the more adhesive it will absorb when the adhesive is mopped onto the decking, just before the TPO is pulled over the trailer and then rolled onto the surface to press it in... If all of the luan was laid "A side down" except for that one sheet, that could explain why there's a difference in coloration on the TPO surface. The different color wood layer would cause the underlaying wood to be different temperatures when baked by the sun, probably causing a different reaction to either the adhesive or the TPO membrane, causing it to "bake differently" in the sun and turn gray at a different rate than the cooler parts over the "other color luan plywood. Or, if the decking is OSB, it could be that sheet was the top sheet on the pallet that sat out in the sun for a week before being moved into the assembly plant and the sheet was "weather stained" causing a similar "heat soak difference now that it's installed under the TPO.

My first thought would be to do a good, thorough cleaning of the entire roof surface, see what it looks like after that, and if there's any question, you can always pull the vent and/or the air conditioner, gently peel back a couple inches of the TPO around those holes and inspect the decking to see what it looks like...

To me, there's not an issue that I'd be overly concerned about as far as appearance. It's obvious that the staining is over a specific sheet of roof decking. So, it's not a "membrane problem" but a "decking caused issue".

Again, looking at the entire TPO membrane, the entire surface is in need of a good cleaning, followed by a thorough inspection of all the sealant and structures....

ADDED: Only your dealer and Keystone can give you a "final decision" on whether any warranty applies to this staining.... But, don't be surprised, (barring any specific physical findings such as soft spots in the decking or damaged decking), that Keystone declares this a "cosmetic defect not covered by warranty"... To them, it would probably be similar to sun faded curtains or a "misprint" in the vinyl flooring. They probably will consider it appearance related, not a manufacturer's defect.... I'm not saying that it is or isn't going to be the outcome or that such a decision is a good thing or a bad thing, but don't be surprised if that's what you are told.
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Old 11-20-2021, 03:26 PM   #5
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2021 TPO roof membrane and slide out TPO should not look like this after six months..either all of the TPO has been exposed to something in the air where that RV is at causing the issue or you’ve got some issues with the roof and slide structure under the TPO

Image is from my eight year old Keystone Alpine . My TPO looks almost as good as the day I bought it
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Old 11-22-2021, 05:45 AM   #6
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Rubber Roof Discoloration.

Thanks for all the good advice.

As full time RVer I dont have a lot of Warranty options.

I have indeed been camping in forested state parks and Army Corp parks by lakes rivers and now down on the Gulf.

I started cleaning and got a lot of it off with Camco product but still blotchy.

Should I consider a repaint/resurface project?
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Old 11-22-2021, 09:08 AM   #7
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According to the TPO roofing membrane manufacturers, Alpha Systems and DICOR, the answer is, "Staining will not affect membrane performance."

Alpha Systems has some good information in the FAQ section of their website concerning "chemicals sprayed on the wood under the membrane" and how they can affect the top surface: https://alphallc.us/products/roofing/

DICOR also has some good information concerning their TPO membrane: https://dicorproducts.com/faq/

To me, the bottom line is that mold/mildew are "supposed to not grow" on TPO roofing material. I've seen lots and LOTS of mold/mildew on RV roofs. There has to be a reason. What I've found, at least what I "think" I've found is that the actual membrane will not support mold, but anything that's sitting on the surface will definitely become "food for mold"... So, the answer to staining and discoloration on any RV roof is, IMO, to keep it clean, keep it dry and keep it sealed.
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Old 11-22-2021, 10:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomTerrific View Post
Thanks for all the good advice.

As full time RVer I dont have a lot of Warranty options.

I have indeed been camping in forested state parks and Army Corp parks by lakes rivers and now down on the Gulf.

I started cleaning and got a lot of it off with Camco product but still blotchy.

Should I consider a repaint/resurface project?
If you feel you must do some sort repair or cover up be sure to research what's chemically compatible with whichever roofing material you have or risk something more serious than discoloration.
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Old 11-22-2021, 05:07 PM   #9
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The stains seem extreme for a such a new camper. However I have been curious why my roof gets dark stains right at every 4 foot plywood sheet joint. Looking down the camper every 4 foot is basically a black line (note my buddys Grand Design did the same) across the width. Using Dicor cleaner and a bit of Simple green removes most of it but have to suspect something from underneath is at play.
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Old 11-22-2021, 05:59 PM   #10
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Long shot but could it have something to do with the airflow over and around the ac unit and vent cover? Because they are so close together? Causing a low pressure area around the vent that prevents the airflow scouring action that normally keeps the dust from accumulating on that panel…I’m thinking some of you pilots would know
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Old 11-22-2021, 06:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by K_N_L View Post
The stains seem extreme for a such a new camper. However I have been curious why my roof gets dark stains right at every 4 foot plywood sheet joint. Looking down the camper every 4 foot is basically a black line (note my buddys Grand Design did the same) across the width. Using Dicor cleaner and a bit of Simple green removes most of it but have to suspect something from underneath is at play.
Here's a photo of the Cougar assembly line from around 2016. There is a 2" wide strip of paper "kraft tape" applied over the roof decking sheet butt joints. I'd suspect that the dark lines you're seeing "at every 4 foot plywood sheet joint" is the adhesive on that seam tape or the chemicals in the paper tape. It's not "normal" but certainly not isolated. I've seen lots of trailers with the same "roof seam discoloration". Keystone considers it cosmetic and not an issue covered by the warranty.
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:32 AM   #12
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ROOF Discoloration

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Originally Posted by travelin texans View Post
If you feel you must do some sort repair or cover up be sure to research what's chemically compatible with whichever roofing material you have or risk something more serious than discoloration.
How do I know what kind of roof I have?
Alpha System?

Thanks in advance for advice.
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Old 11-23-2021, 05:41 AM   #13
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How do I know which roof manufacturer is mine?
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Old 11-23-2021, 06:24 AM   #14
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.... However I have been curious why my roof gets dark stains right at every 4 foot plywood sheet joint.
Mine has done the exact same thing. After 3 years (purchased new), I decided it was time to wash the roof (Alpha system), as the roof still look really good, but the seams caused black lines. After washing, the roof look much cleaner, but the darkened streaks remained. I figured it had something to do with the material under the rubber, so didn't worry about it.

After washing, I did check with my RV dealership service department and asked about treating the roof. The service manager told me I should treat the roof with rubber roof conditioner after each wash, and pointed me to the correct one. Next day, (actually, the next 3 days), I applied the treatment (2 coats), and I was amazed how much the treatment absorbed back into the rubber and the rubber became silky smooth again. The streaks are still there and the service manager said they would not hurt the function of the membrane at all, and the sealer would not hurt anything on the streaks either.

So, hopefully, it will be another 3 years before I need to wash it again!
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Old 11-23-2021, 07:30 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TomTerrific View Post
How do I know which roof manufacturer is mine?
I suspect that in the packet of manuals/product manuals is a manual for your rubber roof that explains your warranty and such. Have you looked through these manuals?
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by jasin1 View Post
Long shot but could it have something to do with the airflow over and around the ac unit and vent cover? Because they are so close together? Causing a low pressure area around the vent that prevents the airflow scouring action that normally keeps the dust from accumulating on that panel…I’m thinking some of you pilots would know
It looks like the university of Texas at San Antonio has a wind tunnel…might need you to swing by for a couple of days of testing to prove or disprove my theory….strictly on your dime Tom as this is a “research endeavor”… I’m sure you understand
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Old 11-23-2021, 03:37 PM   #17
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I believe as others have said that the seam discoloration is from underneath but the actual accumulation of dirt on the one area could be from where it’s parked with wind blowing over the trailer and getting stopped by the ac unit and vent being so close in proximity to each other…or like I said earlier airflow going around and over the fan and ac shroud acting like an air foil

From the crickets response I’m assuming you all politely think I’m just crazy lol
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:03 PM   #18
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I suspect that in the packet of manuals/product manuals is a manual for your rubber roof that explains your warranty and such. Have you looked through these manuals?
Didn't find any manuals. Called the dealer service and they verified my roof and the Dicor sealant.
Not much other infolation about to clean other than "Dawn"... Guess I'm on my own.
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:05 PM   #19
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I understand. Longshot on my dime part. ;-)
I'll stay with 409 and Other mild clensers.
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Old 11-25-2021, 02:07 PM   #20
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Not an airfoil. Definitely related to one sheet of roofing. I'll keep scrubbing. Maybe a little bleach ..
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