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Simple Rv Roof Repair Hacks

RV 101® – How To Repair an RV Rubber Roof

RV roof repair is one of the best skills you can learn for maintaining your RV. Damage to an RV roof is easy to overlook but one of the most critical elements of camper maintenance.

Rubber roofs have become the standard in the RV industry. This is fortunate because rubber roofs are relatively easy to repair. As a result, roof maintenance and repair is one of the easier RV skills to learn. Well walk you through the basics.

Lets dig in!

Rv Roof Repair: Fix Your Epdm Rubber Roof The Easy Way

RV roof repair is vitally important. Neglecting it can compromise the integrity of your RV travel trailer or motorhome. And since fixing a tear in your rubber roof is so easy, there’s no reason to delay.

Perhaps you’ve discovered from experience that RV rubber roofs and tree branches don’t mix. Rough housing on your rubber roof won’t help matters either, and is just plain dangerous. Whatever the cause, accidents can rip your rubber, and that can lead to water leaks. Next thing you know you’ve got extensive water damage and your RV has turned to a pile of rubble.

But fear not, because repairing damage done to your RV’s roof is child’s play. And if you’re short on money or time, repairing a rubber roof will be much less costly and less time consuming than a complete RV roof replacement.

To help you stay dry I’ll talk a little bit about EPDM rubber roofs , then I’ll go over roof repair methods, patch kits, RV roof repair tape, and lastly, resealing roof seams.

How Often Do I Need To Seal My Rv Roof

You should inspect your RV roof and the rest of the vehicle every six months to catch small problems before they become large, expensive ones. However, you don’t need to recoat the seal on your RV roof every six months. In fact, about every two to four years is ideal, depending on the kind of weather you have and the type of environment you drive through on a regular basis. Certain kinds of climates can cause more wear and tear on the roof than others. And always, after a large storm or heavy snow, inspect the roof for damage.

Also Check: Will A New Roof Lower My Home Insurance

Use Patches For Larger Areas

For larger gouges and tears in the roof, use a patch. Many manufacturers have patch kits that work well, but Eternabond and similar roofing tapes can also be used as patches.

Either of these options should hold you over until you get to the point that you can apply a new coat of roofing paint for a watertight RV roof repair.

How Important Is Roofing Membrane

Do it yourself RV Roof Replacement

If you recall from our post on the different types of RV roofs, the roofing membrane is the final fail-safe on your RV roof. From top to bottom, you have the roof cover layer, the roof decking layer, and then the roof membrane.

The membrane is a final seal to keep water out of your RV, regardless of whether you decide to repair, or replace it yourself, or ask a professional to do it for you. Be sure to request a membrane layer on your new RV roof.

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Rv Water Damage Repair Costs

When it comes to repairing water damage in an RV, costs vary wildly depending on the severity of the damage, and whether or not youre able to do the repairs yourself. Heres a few examples of what you might confront when dealing with water damage:

  • Minor window leak: Cheap, easy to repair, and just requires more coats of sealant. This fix should be under $20. We use Gorilla Clear caulking for our windows, keeping water leaks at bay. $20 now can save a lot of money down the road.
  • If youve been storing your RV somewhere with flooding or high humidity, purchasing a small dehumidifier to absorb surrounding moisture is a good investment- These can run anywhere from $30 to over $100 and will keep your RV dry.
  • In some cases, the damage might be caused by a faulty fridge. If youre handy with tools and have the know-how, you can often fix a fridge problem cheaply, however, if it needs to be replaced, RV fridges are notoriously expensive: $200 on the low end, to over $1,000
  • If your toilet is the culprit, they are easily replaced and are affordable. The average cost is around $130, but can go over $1,000. The $130 options are the more traditional RV toilets, and are easily replaced with a couple tools most RVers have on-hand. And like everything in an RV, if you can fix this kind of problem yourself without the need for a repairman, it will save you a good chunk of change

Flex Seal On Rv Skylight

If you are going to use a Flex Seal product on your RVs skylight, then you should look for the clear spray. You want to seal the skylight against any possible leaks and UV rays without blocking the light from coming inside.

The real danger in using flex seal clear is if it is like the spray on white version. The latter version can yellow and flake after being exposed to the suns UV rays for some time.

If you need to seal the edges around the skylights frame, it is not hard to do. Just make sure the frame and the area surrounding it is nice and clean. Put down some tape to keep the Flex Seal from covering the wrong spot.

Next remove the old sealant completely. Then use a 45 degree angle to spray the Flex Seal around your frame, making sure you do not have any gaps when you do.

Also Check: Are Metal Roofs Cheaper Than Shingle Roofs

How To Repair Fiberglass Rv Roof

Some RVs come with fiberglass roofs. The way youll approach these repairs are slightly different than those of rubber roofs, especially when it comes to the supplies that you need.

Resealing fiberglass roofs

Similar to rubber roofs, the top coating on fiberglass roofs can oxidize over time, causing a flaky, chalky look. Before cleaning, scrape off any loose, curled pieces of the coating off. After that, rub fine to medium-grit sandpaper over the surface of the roof. A slightly abraded surface will allow the coating to adhere. Rinse again, and then apply the liquid sealant to the roof with a paintbrush or roller.

For sealing seams, apply a self-leveling sealant designed for fiberglass around joints as you would with a rubber roof.

Patching a hole or tear

In an emergency, you can fix a hole or tear in a fiberglass roof with a quick fiberglass repair patch. For a more permanent, sturdy fix, a little more work is needed.

Youll first need to sand down the damaged area until the damaged or frayed material is smooth. Make sure to wear the appropriate safety mask, goggles, and gloves, as fiberglass can irritate the lungs, eyes, and skin. Once the area is smooth and clean, youll apply fiberglass patches and resin, layer by layer, according to the repair kit instructions.

Finish the job with some sealant, and refinish the area as needed.

Does Camper Insurance Cover Leaks

How to replace your RV or Motorhome roof EPDM or TPO

Full coverage camper insurance will cover leaks.

However, they usually will not cover leaks if youve caused them. Meaning, if you leave a skylight open and water damage occurs you may not be covered.

If you tend to be forgetful, you may want to buy a skylight that automatically closes when exposed to water.

You can read more here about what a typical RV insurance cover.

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How Much Does It Cost To Reseal An Rv Roof

How much does it cost to reseal an RV roof? The professional dealerships that specialize in RV repair and maintenance charge over 1000 dollars for the job and $1,500 to $2,000 for a full reseal on larger RVs.

The cost of resealing your RV roof is dependent on many factors, the first being the kind of materials that make up your roof.

EPDM Roofs have the advantage of being an extremely durable rubber roofing membrane and go by the tongue-twisting name of

Fiberglass Roofs are easier to maintain and are lighter and more aerodynamic and save on gas mileage. The cost to repair and the roof is much steeper than the costs of an EPDM roof.

Rubber TPO roofs are made of thermoplastic polyolefin, which is a type of single-ply rubber.

Aluminum roofs are quite rare nowadays and can easily hide damp until its too late. They are relatively low maintenance roofs and are durable if maintained.

You have the option of doing the job yourself and saving money, but it is quite specialized and labor-intensive, and you have to know what you are doing.

How to Easilly Seal Your RV Roof Like a Pro > > Check out the video below:

Rv Delamination Repair Kit

Having an RV delamination repair kit can save your campers life .

You can either buy one from Amazon and other online stores or you can purchase all the materials separately.

You will need to do the math on this but the pre-made kits tend to be a bit cheaper.

Usually, you will receive the following when you purchase an RV delamination repair kit:

  • Bonding system
  • Injection syringes
  • Soft to the touch or spongy
  • Tap any dented places with a plastic spoon, if it sounds hollow, its delamination
  • Bubbles and waves that get smaller or flatter when you RV is placed in the shade

Also Check: How Often To Get Roof Replaced

Signs Of A Mobile Home Roof Leak

Ideally, there will be some kind of visual clue that signifies a leak is happening.

Whether you have a pitched or flat roof youll want to look for the following signs both inside and outside of your home. Here are a few things to look for when trying to locate a leak on your shingled mobile home roof:

How To Use Flex Seal To Repair Rv Roof

Rv rubber roof repair

The cost of repairing your RVs roof is not as much as a house roof would cost. But it is still up there and may set you further back than you wanted to be. That is why you need to find those roof leaks and patch them as quickly as possible.

The damage to your RV may not be just to the roof but to other interior parts of your vehicle. Here is how to apply Flex Seal to spare you this agony:

  • Dont cover the whole roof- spend the time and find the leak. Patching a small portion of your roof is a lot cheaper than recovering the whole roof.
  • Clean the leaky area- you should clean it very thoroughly. Your cleaning should be better than hospital clean. Get rid of all the dirt, debris, old sealant and more.
  • Shake a lot- Flex Seal come sin its own spray can. To get it to work right, you need to shake it up and shake it up well
  • Spray the contents- After shaking, make sure to completely cover the leaky area. By the time you are done the contents of the can will be on your RVs roof. Use more then one can if you have more leaks or a big one to seal
  • Let it dry

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Different Types Of Rv Roofs

There are four types of materials used in RV roofs. The materials used are:

  • Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer Rubber
  • Thermal Poly Olefin Rubber
  • Fiberglass
  • Aluminum.

Most people assume that any roof on the RV will do as long as it is well installed. However, when getting a roof on the RV, it is best to understand that various types offer different experiences. Each have their own pros and cons.

Understanding the pros and cons of each RV roof material will enable you to make an informative decision.

Choosing a wrong roof option will end up frustrating you in the long run.

Before seeing the advantages and disadvantages each of these roof materials have, lets address the other main question .

What type of Roof My RV has?

Can You Put Vinyl Plank Flooring In An Rv

Yes, it is possible to do this, and putting in this floor will be similar to putting in a wood floor or adding carpet to your RV. The key to adding this material to your RV is the subflooring.

If it is in good shape, you should buy some polyurethane and coat the sub-flooring to protect it against water leaks. This is not mandatory but a good damage precaution. Then if the flooring is not in good shape, you will need to make repairs as described above and still do the polyurethane step.

Once that is done and dry, your next step is to add a layer of the vinyl plank. If you do not know what this flooring material is, it is similar to linoleum or vinyl sheets, just thicker. That extra thickness makes the material more durable.

You can install an underlayer for insulation and added water protection, but it is not necessary. Also, you can install this material over existing flooring material, except carpets, IF the original flooring is in top shape.

The planks usually come with the tongue and groove construction system, making installing the vinyl straightforward. The tricky part of this installation will be cutting all the corners and curves found in RVs.

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Sagging Dark Spots Or Peeling Ceiling Panels

Dark spots on your mobile homes ceiling are the most common indicator that you have a moisture issue of some sort, either a leak or condensation. Learn how to paint your mobile homes ceiling here.

If your wallpaper or vinyl-coated wall panels start peeling youll want to do a thorough investigation around the area to determine why its happening. There may be a leak or condensation issue.

How To Repair Or Replace Your Rv Roof

RV Roof Repair

If you own an older RV of youve owned your camper for awhile, theres a good chance that youll need to replace the roof at least one time during its lifespan.

If you stay on top of repairs and maintenance, and fix any leaks quickly, you can minimize or postpone the need to replace the whole roof.

However, if there are multiple areas where the roof is damaged, or theres a single area with extensive damage that is compromising the rest of the roof, it may be time to replace it.

Also Check: How To File A Roof Claim

Why Do I Need To Recoat My Rv Roof

Recreational vehicles, or RVs, are notorious for leaks. Plus, the fact that these vehicles may often be sitting unused for weeks or even months at a time means that you may not realize that your RV leaks until it’s a big one that damages the interior of the structure.

If you own an RV, there are several things you need to know about inspecting the roof and ensuring that it can protect you, your family, and your belongings.

Make Sure You Can Afford To Pay For Rv Repairs

As with all things, it is up to you to do your homework. RVs are luxury items, and should be seen as such. How much it will cost to repair will depend on what you buy, how well you care for it and where you take it to be serviced.

Unfortunately, even when you take steps to reduce expenses, the price is never going to be cheap. However, motor homes, travel trailers and campers are wonderful to own, but before you buy one, you need to make sure you know how much it will cost to keep it repaired.

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How Much Does It Cost To Reseal A Camper

45 Cents per Square Foot
Fiberglass Roof 18 Cents per Square Foot
Metal Roof

Re-coating is probably on the order of $1500-$2500 depending on size and labor costs, and replacement fabric is probably $5000-$7000. Re-coating is well within the capabilities of an owner to do-it-yourself, so the cost would be just for the EPDM coating.

One may also ask, how much does it cost to reroof a travel trailer? According to them, the average cost to replace an RV roof is around $300 per linear feet. This is due to how labor-intensive replacing a roof is.

Also to know is, how often should you reseal your camper roof?

That’s why most experienced campers recommend you go over your RV roof coating and reinforce seams with RV roof sealant at least once a year. One example type of RV roof caulking is the popular sealant Dicor, available at Amazon.

Can I walk on the roof of my travel trailer?

As long as you are comfortable with going on top of the roof, you should be OK. The roof of most RVs should be strong enough to support you as long as you walk lightly. I would not recommend going up there and jumping up and down or using a Pogo Stick.

How To Patch A Rubber Roof

How much Weight Can A RV Roof Top Hold? When it comes to ...

If you can get your hands on some EPDM rubber, this is a quick and easy way to patch up your RV’s roof.

  • Take a piece of EPDM rubber membrane and use a razor knife to cut a patch 2 inches larger than the damaged area. Round the corners and leave no jagged edges.
  • Center the patch over the damaged area and use a pen or pencil to draw a line around the patch, marking its location on your roof.
  • Lift the patch and use a scraper to remove any old caulking stuck to the damaged section. Clean the area using a clean cloth and a touch of rubbing alcohol or some Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner. A scrub pad may be used on stubborn dirt, stains, sap, etc. Clean the bottom of the patch too.
  • Apply an even coat of EPDM adhesive to the bottom of the patch and to the damaged area outlined on the roof. Once the adhesive is dry, press the patch into place. Lay down a bead of Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant over the edge the patch. Once dry, your job is done and your RV’s roof should be ready for rain.
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