RV Roof Material Comparison: TPO vs EPDM

RV Roof Material Comparison: TPO vs EPDM
RV Roof Material Comparison: TPO vs EPDM

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) vs. Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM)

Most RV connoisseurs know that after exposing an RV to harsh environments throughout the years, it can become very common that part of it gets somewhat damaged. A common part that is replaced is the roof. And it’s no surprise since it endures rains, snows and a lot of heat to keep the passengers safe. That’s why it’s important that the roof is constantly maintained and is made of good reliable materials.

In this post, we will talk about 2 of the most popular types of roofs, TPO and EPDM. TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin, which consists of a single membrane that covers the roof, and even though it has the word plastic in its name don’t be tricked, the material really isn’t plastic, it’s considered more of a rubber-like material. On the other hand, EPDM stands for Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, it is quite a long name so let’s stick to its initials! This material is considered to be very durable and also considered a rubber-like material. Let’s now proceed to compare both of these roofing techniques.


This might be interesting but although some sites claim that one is way cheaper than the other it’s not precisely true. You’d be surprised that their price is relatively similar between the two of them. A square ft of TPO costs around $1.90-$3.50 USD while a square ft of EPDM costs around $1.80-$3.50, it all depends on the brand and where you buy it. Also remember that it all depends on how thick you want your roof and how many layers you really want or need, so you can measure the roof and do some calculations yourself considering that average price.


Considering that the roof is something you are going to invest in you might want to be informed in how long will it usually last. You don’t want to be upgrading it constantly. According to some studies, TPO usually lasts between 15 to 20 years, and EPDM lasts between 25 to 30 years. While 15 years is still a lot you might want to choose the options that last longer so you don’t even have to worry about it since some people don’t even keep their RV for more than 30 years. So that would mean you would never have to change it again.


TPO offers a few varieties of colors such as grey, tan white and others. These light colors will reflect the sunlight a lot. On the contrary EPDM is only available in black, and we all know black colors usually attract sunlight, so in this case, it will retain the heat from the sun. The only downside is that some people may not like this limited option of colors especially if their RV has a light color, black wouldn’t precisely match.

Another interesting fact is that EPDM has been around for approximately 60 years so it has a big reputation behind and TPO can be considered relatively new, being around only 20 years.

2 thoughts on “RV Roof Material Comparison: TPO vs EPDM”

  1. I see white EPDM roofing advertized and so not sure why you say it is only available in black? Am I missing something?

  2. I have read that the use of TPO roof membranes for RVs is that it does not have a long lifespan and the use of TPO is that it tends to deteriorate faster in the sun. Is that correct?


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