Spring cleaning HTT EPDM Roof & dewinterizing

Discussion in 'PopOut (Hybrids)' started by Storm Trooper, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    I just finished cleaning my epdm roof and dewinterizing the HTT.
    I've written in the past about epdm roof maintenance and the recommendation that it be cleaned twice a year.
    Having purchased my HTT in June of 2010, I never got to cleaning the roof at the end of the season, due to the change of cold and wet weather early in the fall.

    So I decided to clean the roof before we go camping April 15th. Having everything ready, ladders, brushes, cloths, bucket, hoses and roof cleaner (Thetford Premium rubber roof cleaner and conditioner). It's important to purchase a roof cleaner that has a conditioner as it helps the roof remain pliable. Roof cleaners that don't have the conditioner may dry out your roof.
    I inspected the roof and caulking and found it in decent shape. However, since I didn't wash it last season the epdm had a number of stains that took a while to cleanup. Especially under the antenna where the aluminum stained the roof. That can't be good for it long term. There was also staining along the A/C and roof vents.
    It took me about two and a half hours mostly using the long handled brush I had, but also hand scrubbing. You can't do a very large section at a time when you are on an eight foot ladder.
    This is not an easy task and certainly not one the RV dealers mention often.
    Also very important to do since you can't see branches, etc that fall on your roof and may do damage. Better to catch any penetrations of the roof early, so they can be repaired before you get more expensive damage,

    It should also cut down quite a bit on the HTT side wall staining since the roof is clean.

    This year I will plan to do the 2nd. roof cleaning late August or early September and start it all over again next Spring.

    Note : Forest River Products apparently use Alpha TPO roofing which you should clean three to four times a year according to the roofing manufacturer.
    Follow Alpha TPO's recommendation for cleaning products.
     
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning & dewinterizing

    Lou ~ How is that type unit/roofing material suited for covering with a plastic tarp for long term storage (and I suppose when not being used, too) ... the same guidelines as with the poup camper(?)
     
  3. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning & dewinterizing

    Fly,

    I assume you meant the breathable fabric covers and not a tarp.
    Breathable covers should be ok, but I wouldn't use them in the winter here in the Northeast.
    I can't think that I've ever seen them used in our area. The snow and ice loads this past winter would have torn it or caused damage to the A/C shroud and vents due to additional weight being forced on them by the cover..
    This winter we had over four feet on snow on the HTT and I wasn't able to clear it off. Then we had an extremely damp snow that was almost like frozen rain, followed by more snow. When I tried to remove it with a snow rake, there were layers of snow/ice/snow/ice. An almost impossible task. I did remove about 50 or 60% worth, but that was all I could get off until we had some serious melt.

    I did use a breathable cover on my Coleman Avalon pup the prior year, but that tore and almost collapsed the A/C shroud due to the additional weight concentrated on it by the cover. I wouldn't use it again if I still had that pup. Not in our area and weather conditions.
     
  4. IV Nurse

    IV Nurse New Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning & dewinterizing

    Lou,
    Was thinking about roof cleaning, etc. today as well. Thinking is as far as I'm getting for a while I guess. Just released from hospital Friday with pneumonia. The pup is opened so I think it will get washed following the CT rally. Want to restock supplies, do some minor mods (PVC bumper storage for hoses and mats, grease the stabs, replace anode rod, recaulk the shower, clean and lube bedslides etc.).

    Glad to see the cold weather leaving...I'm so ready to camp! Was hoping to go out for a short trip this weekend, but weather is marginal and don't think I'm up to the preparation. Bummer.

    Deb
     
  5. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning & dewinterizing

    Deb,

    Sorry to hear about your hospital stay, but I'm glad you are feeling better.
    Yes, if only to clean the roof of my old Avalon, I only needed a 3ft stepladder to get to it.
     
  6. IV Nurse

    IV Nurse New Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning & dewinterizing

    Lou - How do you find the space and setup with the new rig vs the Avalon? Up until this last hospital visit I was thinking we had a few years left til we needed to reconsider. Thankfully, Jay is moving around better. Guess we'll be switching jobs on the setup. LOL!
     
  7. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    There are pluses and minuses to both.
    Towing the HTT is no different than a regular TT. More expensive and harder to tow. Certainly to pup gets 2 wins on this one.
    Sizewise, setup up they are both around 29ft. Setup is a little quicker on the HTT. This one goes to the HTT.
    The hybrid had smaller beds than the pup did. Two queen in the HTT and two king in the pup. The pup wins.
    You can load clothes and fridge, etc in the HTT much easier. The HTT wins.
    They both have canvas, the HTT not as much, pup does win this one. At least HTT has some canvas as opposed to being a tin can camper.
    Storage (side to side outside access) is also easier in the HTT. The HTT wins.
    Cleaning and maintenance, with the same equipment in both, it's a whole lot easier with a pup, the pup wins.
    Pulling out and pushing back in the bed ends vs the HTT lowering and closing the bed ends, I have to say the pup wins unequivocally.
    Heat, the Avalon and the HTT both are very quiet since they have ducted heat. This ones a tie.
    Both have a 3 burner stove, but the HTT has a hood, so the HTT would get this one.
    A/C again is a tie.
    More windows in the pup than the HTT. Pup wins.
    Bigger and much easier awning on the HTT 8x16, vs pup 7x16, HTT wins.
    Electric slide on HTT vs manual on pup, HTT wins.
    Same style stabs on pup vs HTT, another tie.
    Fold down Couch and huge dinette on the pup vs my HTT is another tie. Almost equal.
    Both the HTT and pup had shower/ toilet. Bathroom sink in the HTT would give it a plus, HTT wins.
    Being able to stop on the side of the road (without setting up) for lunch when traveling, HTT wins.
    The corian one piece style countertops in the pup vs two piece presswood countertop in the HTT, Pup wins, especially for more than double the countertop.
    Both have grey and black water tanks. Another tie.

    Out of everything I do miss the king beds (more than I thought I would) and the ease of towing with the pup.

    This comparison is my opinion and valid only comparing the Fleetwood/Coleman Avalon to the Keystone Passport 235.

    Looks like pup 8, HTT 8, 5 ties. Overall, it depends on what you want.
     
  8. busdriverwc75

    busdriverwc75 Chester County, PA

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    Thanks for the report on your roof cleaning. I haven't used it yet, but I bought the same Thetford stuff last wk & have the cleaning job on my "to do" list for this week.

    I already dewinterized, sanitized, & reorganized all the interior cabinets while camping this wknd. This wk, my focus is on the exterior; tightening any loose screws, touch up caulking if needed, & a major cleaning of trailer & awning.
     
  9. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    The thetford stuff ought to be liquid gold at the prices they charge. [:(]
     
  10. phipps

    phipps Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    I have always read that you should not use any kind of "conditioners" or "treatments" on a rubber roof. I've read that mild, non-petroleum based cleaners are recommended.
     
  11. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    Phipps,
    Here is a link to the Thetford product.
    http://www.thetford.com/Home/Products/ChemicalsCleanersHome/PremiumRubberRoofCleaner/tabid/143/Default.aspx
    You are correct about the non petroleum cleaners which the Thetford product is.
    EPDM roofs will benefit from 303 Aerospace protectant on their roof to prevent / minimize future staining. I'm told that the Thetford product has a similar conditioner in it along with UV protection.
    Also, some of the EPDM guys recommend cleaning four times a year. Whew.
    I'm going to be lucky to do it twice a year.
    I bought this product on the recommendation of a local RV repair manager who said it was one of the better products on the market for maintaining EPDM roofs.
    I've known him for about 15 years and trust his judgement as he's had a lot of roof repairs done at his facility and he has seen what happens to those that don't maintain their roofs or use the wrong product on it.
     
  12. phipps

    phipps Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    I'll have to check out the link.

    Wow, 4x a year! I know how much time/labor it took me to wash ours last fall, I can't imagine doing it 4 times! Of course a taller ladder would have helped a lot, I only had a 6' step ladder.
     
  13. IV Nurse

    IV Nurse New Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    Lou,

    Just read your side by side comparison. Very through. Did you ever have problems sliding the beds? Mine seem harder than they used to be.
     
  14. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    Clean the tracks with a damp towel and lightly spray silicone on the tracks and rollers being careful not to get any on the sunbrella.
    I'd do that once a season in the spring and they'd be like new. Also, this is more difficult, but get some slide-out spray and do the rollers under the slide. You will have to remove the front panel at the bottom of the slide to get to them. It will make that huge slide work much easier.
     
  15. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    I just saw an ad from an RV dealer for them to wash and put uv protection on rubber (epdm) roofs. Only $349. Sure glad I did it myself...
     
  16. grandebob

    grandebob New Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT Roof & dewinterizing

    What are you using to clean your roof?
    How can I tell what kind of roof my KZ has and what I should be using to wash it?
     
  17. Storm Trooper

    Storm Trooper Home is where you park it!

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT Roof & dewinterizing

    The description and link for the cleaner I used are 5 posts above your question.
    As far as your roof, if it's soft and pliable, it's probably epdm.
    However, you should confirm this in your manual or contact the local KZ dealer or call KZ directly.
    Using the wrong cleaner could possibly cause damage.
     
  18. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT Roof & dewinterizing

    I have been using a product that is actually amazing for cleaning our roof. It is hard to find retail. Its called Appro Xtra duty C by a company named Apter Industries. I quoted Storm Troopers post as "Using the wrong cleaner could possibly cause damage". I found out about this product at The RV dealer where I purchased our Aerolite. This is what his service dept uses for roof cleaning. I have used it now 3 times and he has used it hundreds if not thousands of times. You wet down the roof, put this stuff straight strength in a spray bottle, spray maybe a 4X4 or 3X3 section, wait about 30 seconds, maybe a quick brush if its really bad, then hose it off. Its amazing stuff. Once done and dry you do have to then apply the EPDM conditioner. I use a pricey one from the same dealer you spray on then spread with a sponge mop. Once you clean it once and apply this conditioner the next time its even easier. And if you mix the Appro Xtra C with water, I think I use 1 cleaner to 4 or 5 parts water, and use it to wash the entire camper, It will clean up the black streaks from the caulking, small mildew / mold spots in the caulking, you name it. I am sold on it.
     
  19. Mickeyrv

    Mickeyrv Week day camping is great

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    [TV] [HYC] This country needs to have handymen that will clean and wash campers,boats, etc for less than 40 bucks per hour plus supplies, These camper sales service shops are now over 100 dollars per hour.
     
  20. jlynn58

    jlynn58 Active Member

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    Re: Spring cleaning HTT & dewinterizing

    I keep on hearing how hard it is to tow and back up a HTT or TT. I would rather tow and backup my HTT than my Pop up. For me it is easy to do.
     

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