Roof replacement - Filon to PVC?

Discussion in 'Roof/Floor Repair & Maintenance' started by rockfx01, May 30, 2021.

  1. rockfx01

    rockfx01 New Member

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    Aug 4, 2015
    We're working on rebuilding a 1996 Palomino Mustang FL that we bought a few years back and needed work then and hasn't been used since. I've been posting the nitty gritty details and pictures in this thread:

    Yesterday we got to the point of being ready to actually start tearing down the roof. We've been trying to salvage as much as we can from the original camper (joke's on me - it hasn't been as much as I'd hoped) and I was hoping to save the Filon roof but after the work we did yesterday that is seeming like most likely a completely non-workable option. The Filon is 25 years old and no major tears, but it has hairline fractures in multiple places. It's hard to tell if they go all the way through or not but I suspect that is at least one of the sources of water penetration we've had in the roof. I was thinking we'd maybe remove the Filon, replace the wood as needed and then attach new wood framing where needed and then coat the whole thing in EPDM or similar. We were finding it to be pretty much impossible, even with a heat gun, to remove the wood from the Filon without damaging or fraying the Filon. The trailer ends were a similar experience when we tried peeling the wood off a couple weeks ago so the results with the roof weren't a big surprise.

    Anyways, now we're trying to determine what our alternative options are for replacing the roof, as we need to get it done ASAP if we're going to be ready for a trip in July. I'm going to rebuild the entire roof frame either way so I'm wondering whether there is any reason *not* to replace the Filon with PVC instead? I haven't seen much in the way of people replacing Filon with a different material, mostly just repairs, or replacing Filon with Filon. The roof is about 13' end to end.

    An 8.5' x 15' roll of Filon costs ~$430 on RecPro.
    8.5' wide PVC sheeting is available by the foot for ~$13/linear ft - less than half the cost of Filon and I've seen it even cheaper elsewhere.
    An 8.5' x 15' roll of aluminum runs ~$700

    I looked at TPO and EPDM as well but of the three alternative options, PVC seemed to be the best option in terms of durability, maintainability and cost.

    The main difference I'm aware of is with PVC/TPO/EPDM I'd likely need to add a thin layer of luan/underlayment over the top of the ceiling framing for the adhesive to attach to. The original roof is just a few 1x2's and 1x4s with foam insulation filling the gaps and glued directly to the Filon. Without the rigidity of the Filon, I expect it would need a bit more support.

    Any wisdom from others with more experience would be greatly appreciated. This is our first camper and I'm pretty handy but way out of my depth here so I'm flying a bit by the seat of my pants and hoping whatever we do works :D

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