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Old 12-27-2015, 09:40 PM   #1
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Default Aluminum Roof Question

Hi everyone,

I decided a while back that our next RV will be a truck conversion, and I'm enjoying the research process.

Manufactures like Showhauler and NRC use a one piece aluminum roof. Do they leave it unfinished or do they paint or coat it?

I've seen construction process pics showing bare aluminum, but not sure if it stays that way when the rest of the rig is painted.

Thanks
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Old 12-27-2015, 10:54 PM   #2
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My Haulmark has an unfinished aluminum roof.

Shiny surface reflects the suns heat really well.
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Old 12-28-2015, 07:02 AM   #3
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+1 on the aluminum roof. I see the haulmark is now starting to go w rubber (EDM?) roofs...
imo you can't (or at least shouldn't) walk on a rubber roof.

the aluminum sheet is gonna last a LOT longer & be maint free compared to a rubber roof.
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Old 12-28-2015, 11:52 AM   #4
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I've had aluminum roofs on a bunch of race trailers, and the aluminum itself is maintenance free, that is true. The typical installation method on those has purpose built aluminum trim that screws in from the side and clamps the edge of the aluminum down so there are no screws through the roof, and a heavy bead of self leveling sealer all the way around the edge on the roof. That sealer will need scraped off and reapplied in about 10 years in my experience. Which is just a time consuming pita to scrape off, and I think I used about a dozen tubes of sealer on my 40' trailer the last time. Rubber roofs are more industry standard for RV's with the curved edge of the roof no need for that big bead of sealer. In the long run you'll spend way less time on maintenance vs. the annual clean and seal to do a rubber roof properly. I'm sitting in a camper with a rubber roof right now, and spent a lot of time in race car living quarters with an aluminum roof, and the biggest difference inside is the rubber is WAY quieter on a rainy day.

I used aluminum on the roof of my small toter when we built it. Comes in a big roll cut to your length from your friendly local semi trailer repair/dealer. I don't remember the price but it didn't sound bad at the time. Of course my truck has a small roof. One piece is the only thing to consider, don't even think about sheets and seams on the roof. They should be able to get you various widths, and the sheets for true semi trailers are oversized and they have a tool that bends the edge over so everything overlaps.

If you want to walk on it you will need something substantial under the aluminum, trailers with a "walk on roof" option come with a layer of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood depending on what you are doing up there. It's fine to step carefully from beam to beam to do occasional maintenance, but if you planning on climbing up there and putting up a bunch of na$car flags or some such every weekend it will be bent down between the beams and making puddles in no time.
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Old 12-29-2015, 03:33 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for the info
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Old 12-29-2015, 04:30 PM   #6
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to answer your specific question - non of the aluminum sheet roofs that I've seen are coated or painted with anything (other than sealer around the edges and where any wholes are drilled for fans, sat dish, vents, etc).
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Old 12-29-2015, 07:42 PM   #7
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We're using polyurea on the roofs and have had very good results. It has some elasticity like a rubber roof but it lasts much longer and is much stronger. It is used for things like ocean buoys, rail road coal cars, floor surfaces, etc.
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