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A Few Ways to Repair Your RV Roof

Even if you’re careful, there likely will come a time when you need to repair your RV roof. Luckily, there’s more than one way to fix these issues.

The worst thing you can do is delay addressing the problem. These issues don’t fix themselves, and procrastinating worsens the situation.

Today, we’re sharing a few ways that you can repair your RV roof.

Let’s get started!

Four people sitting in chairs on a RV roof, which made lead to the need for repairs.
An RV roof needs a good maintenance and repair routine.

What Is the Most Common Type of RV Roof Repair?

There’s one common type of maintenance that every RVer should be doing regularly. Unfortunately, we hear far too many horror stories from owners who don’t. Checking, resealing, and patching seals is a primary task that many warranties require you to complete every 30 to 90 days.

When you fail to maintain your seals, it’s only a matter of time before water enters your camper. Exposure to the sun and weather elements can cause these protective layers to fail. Sadly, it’s often too late once you discover the issue. 

Water may enter through the roof, but it’ll work down your walls to the flooring. Moisture sitting on these surfaces can lead to mold growth and musty odors. You must be vigilant and on the lookout for any indications of water intrusion.

How To Repair Your Rubber RV Roof

If there’s damage to your rubber roof, the first step is to clean it thoroughly. This allows you to inspect the damaged area and devise a plan. A mild detergent and soft-bristle brush will do the job in most cases. Just make sure not to scrub too hard and cause more damage.

Most owners can handle repairs themselves as long as they’re minor. Unfortunately, more extensive work may require a total replacement or professional help. When in doubt, contact a pro to ensure the job is done correctly.

From time to time, the surface may begin to appear chalky. This is a sign that you need to apply a new coating. You can roll on a new layer after cleaning and letting it dry. The larger the area, the more material you’ll need. Make sure the coating you purchase is compatible with your rig’s construction. And you’ll want to follow the instructions for whatever product you choose.

One crucial task is to inspect the seals along the joints and seams of your roof. Mother Nature can do a number on them, especially if exposed to the elements. There’s also a chance the manufacturer could have done a better job. Look for any cracks or peeling that need addressing. Remove damaged materials and use a caulk gun and the proper sealant.

The last common type of repair is addressing rips and tears. Like the other repairs, you’ll want to clean the area where you’re working. After it dries, you can use EternaBond or another tape to patch the rip or tear. This is most effective on minor damages or as a temporary fix on more significant spots. Just ensure you give it enough time to dry so it cures correctly.

We see people on their RV roof all the time, but Can (and Should) I Walk On My RV Roof?

The Best Way to Repair Your Aluminum RV Roof

Some RVs have aluminum roofs. While they’re more durable, they’re not invincible. If you bump an object or something that falls onto the metal, it can puncture it. Minor issues can be addressed with a patch, while significant damages can require replacing the entire aluminum sheet.

When fixing a small spot, you can clean the affected area and use a peel-and-stick patch over the damage. It can be an excellent temporary repair until you can address it correctly. Just give the patch time to set before exposing it to rain.

If you experience severe damage, leave it to a professional. Replacing an entire sheet of aluminum is a challenging job. In addition, ensuring that it’s watertight isn’t easy. If you want to avoid major issues down the road, find someone with the right skills.

EternaBond RoofSeal Repair Tape is often a great choice for quick roof patches.

How To Repair Your Fiberglass RV Roof

A fiberglass roof on your RV can be very delicate, and repairs can be tricky. However, owners can usually fix minor issues on their own. Like rubber materials, these can become flaky and require a new layer of liquid sealant. You’ll want to use medium-grit sandpaper over the entire area. This creates an ideal surface for the adhesive to bond. You can then wipe it down and paint on the sealant.

You can use a patch if you experience a hole or tear in your fiberglass. However, this is typically only a temporary solution. A more permanent fix will require more work and materials. You’ll need to sand down the area until it’s smooth. Since you’re dealing with fiberglass, wear protective gear like gloves, goggles, and a mask.

Once you have sanded down the area, follow the instruction to apply patches and resin. This’ll likely require several layers and patience. However, it’ll be as good as new once you finish the job with sealant. Give it time to dry before exposing it to the elements.

A woman is cleaning the rooftop of a RV.
Proper RV roof maintenance and repair is essential

Maintain Your RV Roof to Prevent Needing Repairs

The key to avoiding extensive and costly repairs is preventative maintenance. You should get up onto your RV at least every 30 days. Doing so makes it easier to notice changes or potential issues. Catching them early can help save you from a major headache.

Once or twice a year, you should do a thorough cleaning. Scrub all of the surfaces with a mild detergent and soft-bristle brush. Use mineral spirits and a toothbrush on your seals. It can help you spot any pinpoint holes allowing water into your camper. A little work now can help you avoid much more work in the future.

If you notice any areas along the seams where the sealant is failing, fix it immediately. You don’t want water intruding into your space and causing issues. If the bond is crumbling or peeling away, use a scraper to remove the old material. This ensures your new layer has a solid surface to do its job.

Many owners think they have nothing to worry about because their rig is new or they have a warranty. Unfortunately, if you read the fine print, you’ll probably see that they require you to keep up with routine maintenance. We’ve seen manufacturers reject claims because it’s apparent the owners didn’t do their part.

Replacing your RV’s roof can be expensive: How Much Does Camper Roof Replacement Cost?

Proper Maintenance is Essential for a Healthy RV Roof

Your RV roof plays a critical role in your rig’s longevity. Caring for your camper means starting at the top. Regularly inspect the surface for any changes or potential issues. Catching them early is critical to avoid a messy and expensive problem.

We’ve seen far too many fellow travelers receive costly RV repair bills because they didn’t properly maintain their roof. Don’t be next!

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