falling through my RV roof - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 11-04-2018, 04:11 AM   #1
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falling through my RV roof

We have a new 2018 Dutchmen Kodiak Ultralite 255BHSL. The manufacturer brochure specifically states that my particular trailer has a "fully walkable" TPO roof with 5-inch thick high strength aluminum trusses.

But then, the manufacturer owner's manual has a general statement that RVs that do not come with a factory-installed ladder do NOT have walkable roofs (mine did not come with a ladder).

Huh? What gives? I have two official documents from the manufacturer for my specific rig that state opposite things.

Any thoughts? It seems so much easier to get a cover on the darn thing if I can get on the roof to assist.
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Old 11-04-2018, 04:51 PM   #2
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We have a new 2018 Dutchmen Kodiak Ultralite 255BHSL. The manufacturer brochure specifically states that my particular trailer has a "fully walkable" TPO roof with 5-inch thick high strength aluminum trusses.

But then, the manufacturer owner's manual has a general statement that RVs that do not come with a factory-installed ladder do NOT have walkable roofs (mine did not come with a ladder).

Huh? What gives? I have two official documents from the manufacturer for my specific rig that state opposite things.

Any thoughts? It seems so much easier to get a cover on the darn thing if I can get on the roof to assist.



We bought a 2018 UltraLite 243 BHSL last November. Here is the reply I got from a supervisor in Dutchman Customer Service, when I asked about walking on roof.


"Certain units are built with 3/8” decking that does allow for walking on the roof for maintenance, cleaning, etc…They are not designed to have a roof party but they can support a person for the afore mentioned reasons.

Your unit has a laminated roof, and is not designed for walking.

Most care and maintenance of the roof can be done by using a ladder along side of unit to check seals, clean membrane, etc…

Many folks take their units in a couple times a year to have their dealerships check for the seals around the roof vents, AC’s, etc..

I have talked with folks that do this themselves. Most will be sure they either walk gingerly on the roof truss and some will use a plywood half-sheet as additional support."




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Old 11-05-2018, 11:10 PM   #3
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3 options...
1- Pay the dealer to walk around up there and caulk it (which is mandatory maintenance)
2- Carefully go up there yourself and stay close to the trusses, I'm on my roof 4-6 times a year
3- Do nothing and a bird will fall through your rotting roof within 3-4 years
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:03 AM   #4
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3 options...
1- Pay the dealer to walk around up there and caulk it (which is mandatory maintenance)
2- Carefully go up there yourself and stay close to the trusses, I'm on my roof 4-6 times a year
3- Do nothing and a bird will fall through your rotting roof within 3-4 years
So, I have 2.9 years to get something done.
Hehe.....
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Old 11-06-2018, 01:01 AM   #5
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Thanks wildwest. I just wanted to know if the manufacturer deems my roof "walkable" or not. I will just call them since they have contradictory documentation. As for your points:

1. I am not caulking anything....yet. Just trying to put a cover on it before winter.
2. Not sure where the trusses are. They cannot be seen from the outside.
3. Not sure about a bird or rotting roof. Why would a TPO rubber roof rot? And birds?
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:57 AM   #6
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Wildwest was just kidding about #3 (roof degrading to the point that if a bird lands on it, it will fall thru). FYI, TPO will degrade over time without treatment).
Rusty
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Old 11-06-2018, 02:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hart_family View Post
3. Not sure about a bird or rotting roof. Why would a TPO rubber roof rot? And birds?
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Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
Wildwest was just kidding about #3 (roof degrading to the point that if a bird lands on it, it will fall thru). FYI, TPO will degrade over time without treatment).
Rusty
Rusty gets my sarcastic nature.

From the time you leave the dealership your camper will be constantly flexing when your're moving it. It wont take long for cracks to develop in the caulking on the roof, I had to caulk within the first year of ownership.

If neglected it won't take long for water to penetrate and get into the plywood roof and cause not so fun or cheap damage.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:01 PM   #8
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I finally called Dutchmen on this. They said the statement in the owner's manual is just a generalized "threat", and not necessarily correct. They also said their sales brochures are often incorrect or change (nice). They looked up my model by VIN and stated that my blueprints show I have an "alpha" TPO roof and is indeed considered "fully walkable". That said, I am going to be on all fours and move carefully, staying away for openings, edges, and penetrations.

As for roof maintenance, I will watch that too. Dutchmen referred me to the maintenance chapter of the owner's manual, which states that a TPO roof needs no maintenance, so not sure what "treatment" is being referered to. However, the seals and joints may need to be watched closely. There is a 12-year warranty on the roof for what that is worth. I will inspect the roof when I get it out of storage in the spring. Seems to me that the roof is the most important part of an RV. If it can't keep weather out, what good is it?
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:45 PM   #9
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I finally called Dutchmen on this. They said the statement in the owner's manual is just a generalized "threat", and not necessarily correct. They also said their sales brochures are often incorrect or change (nice). They looked up my model by VIN and stated that my blueprints show I have an "alpha" TPO roof and is indeed considered "fully walkable". That said, I am going to be on all fours and move carefully, staying away for openings, edges, and penetrations.

As for roof maintenance, I will watch that too. Dutchmen referred me to the maintenance chapter of the owner's manual, which states that a TPO roof needs no maintenance, so not sure what "treatment" is being referered to. However, the seals and joints may need to be watched closely. There is a 12-year warranty on the roof for what that is worth. I will inspect the roof when I get it out of storage in the spring. Seems to me that the roof is the most important part of an RV. If it can't keep weather out, what good is it?

Interesting, An ultralite that has a walk able roof.


So my email got trumped by your phone call
I wonder if you could see what your roof is made of under that TPO? If you ever take the inside cover off your A/C, check it out.



Only shows how confusing it is getting the correct information.



Good luck and thanks for the update.
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Old 11-07-2018, 10:50 PM   #10
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Dutchmen referred me to the maintenance chapter of the owner's manual, which states that a TPO roof needs no maintenance

That's laughable. Take it in 5 years from now with a roof leak and see if they cover it. They'll tell you the roof wasn't caulked and deny your claim. That manual is an outright lie.
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