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Old 09-26-2018, 10:08 PM   #1
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Long Term Review of PH to Roof Solutions

A bit of an introduction from a new(ish) SMB owner here along with a question about people's long term experiences with different solutions for the penthouse rub on the roof issue.


I picked up my 2003 E250 EB 2WD from a gentleman in Portland, Or. in May of this year. Fortunately there is very little rust on the van, likely due to the favorable climate there. I believe the van was converted by SMB California a ways into its life and the roof tape was never applied. I found the tape on the SMB website and planned to apply it after my paint repairs dried. I'm starting to rethink that, as some folks have reported rust issues under the tape from water being trapped there. I did the full POR15 repair process, applying it to the whole gutter and areas where the paint had been rubbed off by the top. Then I followed it up with Rust Bullet's Whiteshell (my van is white, it matches ok for roof use). I think this will keep any future rust at bay, but I want to prevent continued wear through.


So, now for the discussion topic. What experiences have people had over the long term with different solutions to this problem? What did you do, and how long has it been? How well is it holding up? I'm specifically considering bed liner or the Avery tape over the POR/Whiteshell, but I'm intrigued by the Dico CoolCoat product. Has anybody used this? Seems like a win for keeping the interior cooler in the summer, but I don't know about its durability.

This post has some information about the rust repairs, but no long-term updates.


Lastly, thanks for all the posts and great people in this forum.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:53 AM   #2
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My van is a 1998 and neither I nor the PO ever had the rub tape on it, and the paint is fine and not worn. I guess maybe I'm just lucky? :-)
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:34 PM   #3
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Mine's a 1990 and the paint is rubbed through to bare metal at the front corners of the top. It's on my list of things to deal with later. The van spent all its life in dry climates, so there's hardly any surface rust in spite of those parts being bare steel.

I think on my van part of the problem was that the front roof latches had been allowed to get very loose, and were probably allowing the top to shift around while the van was in motion.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
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My van is a 1998 and neither I nor the PO ever had the rub tape on it, and the paint is fine and not worn. I guess maybe I'm just lucky? :-)
Yep! Either that or very low miles, and very few of those in a dusty environment????

I strongly recommend rub tape or the clear bra type protection tape. Clean the roof with alcohol before applying and carefully squeeze out the air when applying the tape.
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:27 PM   #5
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I have the Avery UHA (Ultra high adhesion!!) tape on a roof that was installed in 2014.



I've had to replace some of the short pieces in the front where the channels are located due to the sun loosening the tape glue and the tape squirming around....and I've noticed that in hot direct sun the tape expands a lot and buckles and lifts up...it settles back down when cooled off.



Other than that, it seems to hold up OK. A thick Rhino liner type coating sounds interesting.....
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Old 09-27-2018, 08:36 PM   #6
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I have a 2017 Ford Transit. At 4000 miles the paint had been worn through. No tape had been installed by SMB West. When I inquired SMB promptly sent a roll of tape. However, posts about rust under the tape got me concerned. Also, along the sides, gutter like depressions would have made tape installation difficult or impossible.

So, I went to a shop that does spray on pickup bed liners and had them apply a strip all around under the PH edges. Works great!
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:35 PM   #7
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I scraped and sanded down the rust spots and taped things off and shot around the whole gutter area with rattle can truck bed liner, it’s holding up pretty good, cheap solution and I can easily touch up again if needed.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:37 PM   #8
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REF: Did you spray across the front of the roof as well? A 2" wide stripe?? ..The rattle can bed liner seems like an interesting solution.....no tape un-glueing and buckling in the sun...
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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I installed the poptop myself following boywonder’s Post. Before I installed it I raptor lined the entire roof(minus area to be cut out) and gutters. It has held up extremely well over the last two years.
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:02 PM   #10
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REF: Did you spray across the front of the roof as well? A 2" wide stripe?? ..The rattle can bed liner seems like an interesting solution.....no tape un-glueing and buckling in the sun...


No, I probably should have and might end up doing something like that, but I just tapered the spray line from the edge of the gutter back to the front corners of the penthouse canvas
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