New RV or New Roof – The Decision

Do we stay or do we go?
We had to make a decision. New RV or New Roof.
What did we choose?

It may seem like a no brainer…. $5,000 vs. $50,000 but there was more to it than that.  We got Regina, our 1998 Fleetwood Pace Arrow, in September of 2015. We planned on launching full-time in April 2017 but we ended up leaving in February 2017. As our launch date quickly approached, we knew that there were some areas of the roof that needed to be addressed. The roof had been recoated prior to our acquisition, but she didn’t have any leaks. When we decided to full-time, we said we were going to try it for a year and see how it goes. At that point we would reassess and decide if we wanted to continue in our current rig, get a newer and smaller rig or come off the road. We knew immediately once we launched that we wanted to continue this lifestyle indefinitely, but we didn’t know if we would want to downsize or stick with Regina. Unfortunately, Regina’s roof had other plans. Within the first month of full-time we were springing leaks like nobody’s business. The seams were lifting, water was getting under the top layer and we just kept on patching because we didn’t know if we were going to keep her. Since we were headed to a drier climate, it wasn’t that big of a deal to patch and wait.
After many long talks, looking at finances, shopping for a new RV and figuring out how we wanted to enjoy this lifestyle, we’ve decided that we want to continue living in our Pace Arrow. She may be a little big for what we want, but she’s built like a damn TANK. She runs great, we’ve done a ton of upgrades, she’s comfortable for us and most importantly, we own her debt free. That’s a HUGE part of our decision. We don’t want to make a minor upgrade just to upgrade. We would have to finance if we upgraded because we would want something less than 7 years old. We aren’t ready for that kind of commitment because, let’s face it, debt free is pretty freaking nice.  To be completely transparent, we do have some debt…but it’s VERY minimal (remember in May when the dog tried to die…yeah, that hit the wallet pretty hard.)  Keeping Regina and replacing her roof will enable us to be completely debt free by the end of the year. Well, sooner if we give up our craft beer habit if we’re being completely honest here.  I say that as I take another sip of a Hugh Malone IPA from Allagash!
So…where does that leave us with the roof? DIY, dealership, private company?
We’ve decided after much research that we are going to go with RV Roofing Solutions. We have had a number of phone calls with the owner, Scott, and since he is going to come to us in Maine and it fits in our budget we feel like this will be the best solution for us. We understand that many of you have done it yourself, but this is not a project that we would like to tackle. It’s not beyond our level of ability, but there are issues on the roof that need to be addressed that we are not knowledgeable enough to make the decisions about how it should be approached. To be honest, we know how we are when it comes to jobs of this nature and we feel that if it’s hot or we’re grouchy or we just don’t feel like doing it, certain things are going to be half assed and rushed. There are so many variables, things like clean should it be…should I scrape an area, should I pressure wash an area, what if certain portions of the rubber roof really need to be replaced but because our lack of experience in this department we don’t realize it and coat over it???…we’ve wasted our time and money if we mess it up. Plus, if we decide to stay in Regina for any length of time beyond this point we want to be sure the roof is going to hold up and we won’t have to deal with it again. RV Roofing Solutions offers a 10 year no leak warranty and that’s likely longer than we will be in this RV.  The warranty is also transferable, which is a great selling point.
Another reason why we chose to go with a company instead of doing it ourselves is that the prior coating is failing. A few people have told us that we could just get a roll on coating and redo the roof ourselves, but it’s not that simple. Since our current roof is failing, a portion of the roof is going to have to be removed. It was a cheap roll on coating that is beginning to lift and peel and that is not something we want to repeat.  This is not going to be a simple re-coat. We don’t want to have to deal with this again since this option will likely outlast the RV.  This new roof is also ZERO MAINTENANCE. No getting up on the roof and caulking all the time and in the event the RV does outlast the roof, a simple one coat re-coat extends the warranty another 10 years.
We plan on being completely transparent through this entire process. We want to tell you what we were told, what we spent, the process and the results. Plan on more posts and videos over the next month on the progress of our roof. For now, here’s what we know:
Our RV is 38ft, we were quoted $3990  – includes tax, cleaning, minor repairs.  We plan on replacing all of our fans (3) with new Fantastic Fans. If we have Scott do that install it’s $35 per fan. That does not include the cost of the fans, we will purchase those.  He will also need to do some pressure cleaning possibly, which will be at a cost of $75 per hour. He said it’s never taken more than 4 hours to do an entire roof. If we need any repairs to the roof itself that are not minor, there would be an additional charge. We are not anticipating that, as we regularly inspect the roof and there are no soft spots. Although, we will be putting some money aside in our roofing budget just in case.  Between the roof install, the fans and a little wiggle room we are looking at a budget of $5,000.
One of the things that was a huge seller for us is that Scott will be coming to Maine to do the install himself. We really need to get this done before we leave and we are very comfortable that it’s not just some subcontractor. He manufactures all of the material himself and installs it, so we’re not chasing some unknown installer. He assured us that if we have any issues, we can call him directly. He has been in business for many years and we have found many positive reviews. In all of our searching, we have been unable to find an unhappy customer. We found him from an ad in Escapees magazine. Lucky for us, he’s got other jobs in Maine so the timing was perfect.
Stay tuned for before photos, videos and progress on our new roof installation.
If you’ve had your roof redone, what was your experience? Who did you go with and were you satisfied?

6 thoughts on “New RV or New Roof – The Decision

  1. Travis T says:

    We had Rv Armor do our roof and are totally please with thee results. Plus it has a life time warranty. We have a Fleetwood Pace Arrow 1999 35 foster and just love it. Did a cross country trip last year for three months and totally enjoyed every minute. While we were full time when we were younger we are not ready to give up out home and since we are also debt free there is no real reason to let go of the house. We travel at least three to four month a year and it. works well for us. Enjoy and check our the SKP RV Club. Great support and friendly people. I am a life member.

    • Pookie says:

      That sounds like a great balance! We are so excited to be on the road enjoying this lifestyle! We are SKP members. We just renewed again last month. That’s how we found this roof guy, he had an ad in Escapees Magazine.

  2. RV Roof Repair says:

    The best way to know whether you have to replace the RV or repair the roof is to go for inspection or have it professionally assessed and find out the extent of the damage done to the roof. If the damage is extensive it will need replacing but if it just needs some repairs or re-coating than Liquid RV Roof is your best solution

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