Are you planning for a long drive yet cannot leave the safe haven of your home? Thankfully, the new technology created a mobile house or the RVs where we can worry no more but to ask which is the best RV roof between the TPO vs Fiberglass RV roof.
Refer to this table for a quick comparison:
|TPO||Fiberglass RV Roof|
|Material||Laminated Rubber||Resin and Fiberglass|
|Durability||Wear down faster than fiberglass||Small chance of damage and cracks
Rust and fire resistance
|Heat resistance||Reflect heat||Does not reflect heat|
|Design||Rugged looking||Sleek and clean surface|
|Installation type||Single layer||Structural layers|
|Installation option||Easy to install via welding, adhesives, or screws||Required professional installation|
|Weight||Heavier||More lightweight, thus less suspension|
This article will further discuss the distinct features in terms of price, materials, and quality of TPO and Fiberglass RV roof and will conclude the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide which roof material is suitable and ideal for your RV.
The Features of the Two RV Roofs
1. What is a TPO RV Roof?
TPO is a type of rubber that is usually a mix of polypropylene and ethylene-propylene rubber. This type of material reflects sunlight and heat well. Furthermore, it allows various installation options, including welding, using adhesives, or attaching to the deck.
These rubber roofing materials tend to be soft and may have a chalky texture as they age. Due to this, the material wears down and fluctuates in quality.
However, TPO roofing is gaining popularity among trailer owners for its affordable price and minimalist color that usually comes in white.
2. What is a fiberglass RV Roof?
Fiberglass is commonly used in boats, bathtubs, aircraft, and RV roofing. It has proven to be durable, safe, and can provide high thermal insulation. It has property resistance which makes it better than steel.
The Fiberglass RV roof is a tough unit composed of synthetic materials or resin and glass fibers. The material component of the fiberglass camper roof is resilient from brittle.
The combination of glass and resin produces a strong material that makes the roof capable of supporting heavy loads.
Fiberglass RV roof is also known to have fewer seams or openings, resulting in fewer leakages. Also, the fiberglass component doesn’t react to any chemicals making it fire-proof.
- The TPO roofing can be attached on the roof mechanically or through plate bonds that can be used on a flat and semi-flat surface the same with the PVC roofing. It can also be adhesively attached or glued down using special adhesive to bond with the membrane.
- Usually, the fiberglass RV roof material is installed in large sheets above a structural layer of wood which acts as its foundation.
The TPO roofing system should be washed and cleaned regularly to ensure no debris and dirt are stuck. A well-maintained set of TPO roofs can last up to 25 years. However, under bad conditions, it might break and crack much sooner.
The travel trailer with fiberglass roof experienced minimal roof repair; thus, it lasted for about 30 to 50 years with proper roof maintenance.
- TPO roof
The roofing cost of TPO varies on the thickness of the roofing, which can be measured per square foot with price ranges from $3.50 to $14.00. In addition, it also requires you to buy insulation materials that will act as the support of the roofing. Meanwhile, the RV TPO roof replacement could cost $5-$6 per square foot.
- Fingerglass roof
The cost of a Fiberglass Rv roof ranges between $90-$115 per square meter while the fiberglass rv roof replacement has a starting price of $2 per square foot.
5. Pros and cons
- One piece TPO roof or a single layer roof cost less than other types of roof materials.
- Its color provides natural UV and sun protection which also reduces the heat buildup inside.
- The TPO roofing is not easy to tear or break.
- Flexibility of TPO membrane in terms of installation process.
- A lightweight roofing system
- A high chance of additional roofing cost in terms of its maintenance, repair, and replacement.
- The quality of TPO roofing depends on the manufacturer
- Do not last long compared to other roofing materials.
- It is prone to crack and leaking
Fiberglass RV roofing
- Durability, longevity and strength of the fiberglass roofing material
- Less roofing cost in terms of maintenance, repair, and replacement.
- It has good insulation of indoor temperature
- The color or it’s coating is customizable
- More expensive RV roofing material
- Fiberglass has limited sun tolerance, when it is exposed to heavy sunlight it tends to weaken the material.
- The fiberglass roof is heavier which adds to the RV weight.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
What is the best roofing material for an RV?
Fiberglass roofing is the best RV roofing material for its durability, quality, and survivability in the long run. It requires minimal maintenance and repair that makes it cost-effective and a good investment.
Is a fiberglass better on an RV?
In terms of durability, yes. A fiberglass is better on an RV because it is designed to withstand extreme conditions. However, if you want a more affordable and easy to use roofing, TPO is also an excellent pick.
How long will a TPO RV roof last?
TPO RV Roof can last up to 25 years with proper care and maintenance. However, it can become brittle and cracked when exposed to harsh elements without covers and maintenance methods.
When do you expect the RV roof to leak?
Usually, it will take 5-10 years for the roof to leak depending on the material used. However, with a protective coating, it will take longer for the RV roof to have leaks.
What’s the differences between TPO vs PVC RV roofs?
TPO has RV roof replacement options such as PVC in terms of the durability which were already tried and tested. The difference between TPO vs PVC RV roof is the high cost of the latter in exchange for the strength and stability of its roof material.
It is also designed to be non-reactive to chemical exposures unlike the TPO roofing which may react to oil or grease. With this, PVC roofing is known to be excellent in terms of fire resistance compared with TPO roofing.
The best RV should overcome traversing on rough roads, new states, and unpleasant weather while securing comfort, warmth, and safe shelter for the travelers. In comparison, TPO vs Fiberglass RV roofs are both roof materials that are widely used by trailer travelers.
However, the pros and cons presented between TPO and Fiberglass RV roofing should undergo strict assessment regarding the factors to consider.
Besides the cost, you should also weigh out the durability and quality of the material in the long term. You should also consider that any type of RV roof requires proper care and roof maintenance.
Welcome to a new journey! I am Rober Clark, also a full-time RV-er and currently exploring the US with Dane. I have four years of working as a contractor, so building a home inside the RV is an extremely rewarding task for me. I find new challenges and new limits to break every day.