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bluegrassthumper
06-20-2010, 08:59 PM
I have the North Trail 21FBS and have just cleaned the roof. Does this model have the rubber roof and what type of roof dressing should be applied?

jimtoo
06-20-2010, 09:20 PM
Hi bluegrassthumper,

Welcome to the Heartland Owners Forum and Family. We have a great bunch of people here with lots of information and all willing to share their knowledge if needed.

I'm sure someone will jump in here soon and give you the answer to your question.

Enjoy the forum.

Jim M

Recovered from 25-May-2010
06-21-2010, 06:42 AM
I don't know what material you have on your roof but mine on my B.H. is rubber and I wash mine with dawn dish soap and after it drys I mop on 303 protectant and I then use 303 and the mop around the rubber and plastic on the outside window frames. After that I open up the slides and use the same stuff on the slide out wipers. This 303 stuff is expensive but if you want to save yourself a lot of work removing black streaks just use it on your roof and window trim. Tom M.

SouthernNights
06-21-2010, 07:58 AM
That is interesting that you use the 303 on the rubber roof also.
Is anyone else doing that?? Not doubting the effectiveness of 303 but I remember hearing (I think from a dicor rep) that other than cleaning the roof it really doesnt need any other product on it including their own.

jmgratz
06-21-2010, 07:59 AM
That is interesting that you use the 303 on the rubber roof also.
Is anyone else doing that?? Not doubting the effectiveness of 303 but I remember hearing (I think from a dicor rep) that other than cleaning the roof it really doesnt need any other product on it including their own.

My comment to that would be if a Dicor roof needs no other treatment then why does Dicor make a roof treatment for their roofs? Just wondering.

SouthernNights
06-21-2010, 08:08 AM
My comment to that would be if a Dicor roof needs no other treatment then why does Dicor make a roof treatment for their roofs? Just wondering.

$$$$$$$$$$$$

I agree that it would make sense that something else may be needed, but i really dont know. Their website does have their own product for caring for the roof, so is 303 an approved subsitute?

robnmo
06-21-2010, 09:07 AM
That is interesting that you use the 303 on the rubber roof also.
Is anyone else doing that?? Not doubting the effectiveness of 303 but I remember hearing (I think from a dicor rep) that other than cleaning the roof it really doesnt need any other product on it including their own.

We got the same info at the Factory (Heartland). Simply wash it with something like Ivory soap and water, keep it clean and nothing else is needed.

Gaffer
06-21-2010, 09:16 AM
What I heard is that Dicor started making roof cleaning, and protectant products simply because of demand. They still say "just clean it with Dawn and leave it alone".

SouthernNights
06-21-2010, 10:02 AM
I thought I had heard that correctly but I am getting to age where my memory is becoming selective...

slmayor
06-21-2010, 12:10 PM
303 has been approved by Dicor to use on their roofs. Info is on the 303 site. We use it simply because it makes it much easier to clean the next time, as well as adding some UV protection. It seems to reduce the black streaks somewhat as well. We only apply it once or twice a year. The big bottles of the stuff are cheaper than the small spray bottles. I was scrubbing the roof yesterday (used roof cleaner/ wash) and tried the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on some tough spots and boy! does it work well. It was pretty disgusting up there even with all the rain we've had.

SouthernNights
06-21-2010, 02:58 PM
Well, I got very interested in this considering our climate down here in the sunny south.
I found two very worthwhile bits of information including one that Jim B posted after he did his research a few years ago.
Bottom line is both Dicor and the EPDM industry ( which would include Alpha if they are still supplying the rubber roofs for Heartland) both agree that there is no need to put on any "dressing' to help promote the longevity of the membrane.. However, as slmayor pointed out, 303 is mentioned by name in Dicors literature as being effective to "repel soiling"

//heartlandowners.org/showthread.php/892-Cleaning-the-EPDM-Rubber-Roof

(reposted from the AFNash Forum)
PROPER CARE AND MAINTENANCE OF RUBBER ROOF

Subject: EPDM Roofs Service Announcement

THE TRUTH ABOUT EPDM RUBBER ROOFS
Approximately 75% of all Recreational Vehicles now manufactured have EPDM Rubber Roofs. Because of the advent of 'rubber roof treatment' products in the last few years, the tremendous amount of misinformation and lack of understanding about this material and it's proper maintenance, 303 Products, Inc. and Dicor Corporation (a leading supplier of EPDM roofing material) have recently published a public service announcement which details the facts...important information RVers need to know.

RV RUBBER ROOFS
THE TRUTH ABOUT EPDM RUBBER ROOFS
EPDM RUBBER: What it is and why it lasts so long.
PROPER CARE: What manufacturers actually recommend.
WATCH OUT! For RV products that can damage EPDM rubber and void your warranty!
How to keep your EPDM rubber roof clean and looking like new.

Overview

EPDM is one of the most versatile and long lasting materials ever manufactured for outdoor exposure.
Most RV industry experts consider EPDM rubber roofing membrane the most dependable, most cost effective and easiest to maintain roofing material there is. Yet today's average RVer is deluged with information, a great deal of it misinformation, about rubber roofs. Consequently, RVers are spending millions on unneeded products, many of which may be harmful to EPDM rubber roofs.

This Public Service Announcement details the truth about EPDM and reprints manufacturer's guidelines on cleaning and maintaining the EPDM rubber roofing membrane on your RV. If you have questions after reviewing the material, please contact Dicor Corporation, the RV industry's largest supplier of EPDM rubber roofing. Dicorís address and phone numbers are provided.

Misinformation, Mistakes & Money

EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. Engineering specifications describe EPDM as "ideal for outdoor applications because of its excellent resistance to ultra-violet light, ozone, oxidants, and severe weather conditions."

EPDM rubber roofing membrane is made to last 20 years or longer and has a 10 to 12 year guarantee depending on the brand. The guarantee does not require the use of any protective `roof treatment' or 'roof protector' product and recommends only cleaning. Unlike natural rubber (latex) or rubber blends (tires & wiper blades), EPDM does not require periodic applications of any product to protect it from ultra-violet light or ozone.
The statement or implication that you should purchase and apply a product to "protect" your rubber roofing from the elements is misinformation. Buying and using such a product can be a mistake and may even damage the EPDM membrane.

Petroleum distillates - Not For EPDM

Petroleum distillates are incompatible and should never be used on a number of plastics...vinyl, most rubbers and particularly EPDM. Engineering specifications for EPDM rate its solvent and oil resistance as "POOR". Dicor's Care & Maintenance instructions warn: "CAUTION: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof". One of the mildest of solvents is mineral spirits, and DICOR even warns against this: "DO NOT use mineral spirits in a large area or allow it to soak into the membrane.

Laboratory tests conducted in July of 1996 evaluated the effect of a leading RV "roof treatment" product on EPDM roofing membrane using standard sunlamp and immersion testing procedures. The "roof treatment", which contained petroleum distillates, caused a 630% mass change (swelling). In the summary/recommendations portion of the lab test the scientist noted they would not recommend the "roof treatment" and perhaps more tellingly noted, "Per the MSDS, this product contains petroleum distillates, a substance that is known to be incompatible withÖ.EPDM sheeting".

For your rubber roof, for the EPDM seals around slide-outs / pop-ups, in the baggage compartments or for the EPDM door and trunk seals in your car, petroleum distillates are a huge "No No". And don't be fooled by names such as "organic solvent", "hydrocarbon carrier", etc. Petroleum distillates by any other name should NEVER be applied to EPDM. If you aren't sure about a product, contact the manufacturer and have them send you a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Look under the section entitled "HAZARDOUS INGREDIENTS". If it lists any petroleum distillates, do not use it on EPDM.

The FAQ's:

Q: Is it necessary to protect my rubber roof against UV light?
A: No.

Q: What do I need to do to care for my rubber roof?
A: Periodic cleaning (See DICOR Care 8 Maintenance instructions).

Q: One manufacturer told me their roof treatment product had only a minor percentage of petroleum distillates, something like 20 or 30 percent. Does the percentage matter?
A: Usually percentages given are based on weight. Since petroleum distillates are significantly lighter than water, in reality 30 percent by weight might be 40% or more by volume. But it really doesn't matter.
THERE IS NO LEVEL OF PETROLEUM DISTILLATES THAT IS RECOMMENDED.

Q: If I use a roof treatment product containing petroleum distillates on my rubber roof, can that void my warranty?
A: Yes.

Q: If I'm going to buy a used RV and it has a rubber roof, how can I tell
if the previous owner used petroleum distillates and damaged the rubber roof? What would the damage look like?
A: Two things: First, swelling. Uneven thicknesses of material. Second, loose areas. Petroleum distillates soak in and cause the adhesive to loosen and the membrane to balloon. Then, when the swelling goes down and the membrane flattens out again, it may never again adhere properly or completely.

Q: Dicorís Care & Maintenance instructions says you can use mineral spirits on stubborn stains. isn't mineral spirits a petroleum distillate?
A: Yes. But note the instructions say to use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits and then only to remove a stubborn stain; to never use a petroleum distillate (even a solvent as mild as mineral spirits) directly on the membrane, in a large area or allow it to soak in. In no way is "treating" the roof membrane with a product containing petroleum distillates recommended or condoned.

Q: Oxidation: My roof seems to oxidize and run down the sides when it rains. What's going on?
A: First, EPDM roofing membrane does oxidize slowly, it's supposed to. In a dozen years it may oxidize 10% of its thickness. This is normal. Cleaning as recommended will help greatly. At least four times a year, more often if your local conditions and experience warrant.

Q: The rubber roofing wraps over slightly on both sides of my RV and you can see it from the ground. It gets dirty and doesn't look good. What can
I do about this?
A: Clean the area and treat it with a product that will repel soiling and is safe for EPDM. One product that performs and lasts well, is safe for EPDM and is commonly available at RV stores is 303 Protectant"

DicorTM Corporation
Brite-Ply Roof Care and Maintenance

Proper care and maintenance of your recreational vehicle, including your Brite-Ply roof is important for trouble-free performance. Normal maintenance is simple, easy, and requires no special material.

(1) Keep your roof clean. Clean your roof at least four (4) times annually.

For normal cleaning:

Use RC100 or a mild laundry detergent. (See CAUTION below.)
Rinse complete roof with clean water to remove any loose dirt or debris.
'Using a medium bristle brush, along with the cleaner mixed with water, scrub the entire roof.
Rinse thoroughly with clean water to avoid residue build-up on the roof or sidewalls of the vehicle.

For more difficult stains, you may use RC100, mentioned above, in a more concentrated mixture.
For stubborn stains, use a cloth dampened with mineral spirits.
DO NOT use mineral spirits in a large area or allow it to soak into the membrane.
Household bleach can also be used (fully concentrated) and allowed to soak in stubborn stain areas, then scrubbed with a medium bristle brush or a cloth.
Rinse thoroughly.

Recommended cleaner:

RC100 Dicer Synthetic Roof & General Purpose Cleaner.
Caution: DO NOT use cleaners or conditioners containing petroleum solvents, harsh abrasives, or citric based cleaners. You may cause irreparable damage to your roof.
Use caution when working on top of your vehicle. The wet Brite-Ply membrane may be extremely slippery.

(2) Beware of areas where fruit or tree sap or harsh environmental fall-out may stay on the roof for an extended period of time.
These conditions may result in unremovable stains.
If you are in these conditions, you may have to increase the frequency of your cleaning or premature deterioration may occur.

This Public Service Announcement is provided as a public service by:
DICOR CORP. 303 PRODUCTS, INC.

goodtruck
06-21-2010, 03:18 PM
I have not used the 303 but a rubber roof cleaner and protector that I got at the Heartland Dealer in Houston (lone star RV).It cleaned the roof really well and as far as protecting the roof only time will tell.