Remove Everything From The Roof
It is likely that you have some things on the roof of an RV that you need to remove. That can include roof vents, skylight domes, antennas. You need to remove all of that, leave nothing behind. It includes termination bars, strips everything that you have on the roof must be uninstalled and set aside.
It is quite easy to remove these with a simple screwdriver. Usually, it is a ¼ head screwdriver. Scrap off all sealant from these elements too, use a putty knife or a 5-in-1 tool for that. Clean them thoroughly so you can install them back later.
Rubber Roof Is Not Glued Down
artmart said:nope. What year is this trailer? This is not common and occurs on some brands and you can blame whoever put it together. This can also be caused by a low branch that caught the front of the roof as you or the prior owner was driving away.
and it sometimes works loose and causes bubbles
Jb Weld Kwik Weld Epoxy
Just as above with the construction adhesive, JB Weld Kwik Weld epoxy can be a very useful glue to have on hand for all the small day to day RV repairs that come up while living or traveling in a camper.
Preparing a broken refrigerator shelf for epoxy repair
It particularly comes in handy when you need to repair something that requires a faster set time, whether its your plastic RV door handle, RV refrigerator shelves, your kids toys, or the broken handle on your favorite beer stein or coffee mug.
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How To Install A Rubber Roof On A Camper
The roof of your RV is one of its most integral features.
Its the main component protecting you from the harsh elements outdoors: fog, dust, sandstorms, rainstorms and more.
This is why having a high-quality rubber roof on your recreational vehicle is of utmost importance.
If youve never done a rubber roof installation on your camper, this step-by-step guide highlights everything you need to get the job done quickly and done right!
And feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions!
- Putty knife
- Metal shears or saw
Although you can sand manually, we recommend using an electric sander. This will save you multiple hours of wearisome hand-sanding and scraping, especially if you have a medium to large camper. If you dont have this tool, consider borrowing or renting one from a friend or neighbor.
Also important to note is that if your recreational vehicle is already equipped with a rubber roof, then theres no need for shears. The only time you need shears is if youre removing an old metallic roof before installing the rubber one.
How Much Does It Cost To Replace Rubber Roof On Rv
The cost of a rubber roof will vary from one manufacturer to the next. Overall, vehq.com estimates that a rubber roof replacement costs between $300 and $325 per linear foot. However, how much you spend on a roof repair will depend on various factors such as whether youre doing the replacement by yourself or hiring a professional.
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Bubbles Under Your Rubber Rv Roof Are Most Commonly Caused By Improper Installation
When the rubber roof was installed the roof surface either wasnt completely clean or it wasnt completely dry, which means the adhesive wasnt able to bond properly with the rubber. Or the adhesive wasnt applied evenly during installation.
You may also have a roof that was installed properly, but over time some loosening has occured at the seams which lets water sneak under the rubber.
The bottom line is if the bubbles are getting larger or if they are large when you first spot them, you need to fix them.
Fastening Down The New Rv Roof
Next, you will be replacing the RV roof and it will be helpful to have a buddy during this process. Roofing membrane, especially EPDM, is heavy and might be difficult to move around and line up on your own.
Place the new roll of rubber roof membrane the front or rear of the roof. You will be gluing the roof down in four-foot sections, working down the length of the RV until it is finished.
With a paint roller and tray, roll the adhesive onto the wood deck, doing a section that is the full width of the coach and 3-4 feet from front to back. Let stand until tacky, then roll out the new membrane over the area where you have applied the glue.
As soon as possible, smooth out all air bubbles from under the membrane. Repeat this for every four-foot section until you have covered the entire roof.
At this point, you will have excess roofing material over the edges. Cut it back to the point where you want to seam it, but make sure you only remove as much as you need to and not more. This process is best done with a regular utility knife.
*Tip: A stiff broom or a squeegee is the best tool to get air bubbles out from under the surface of the membrane. Also, the membrane will be more malleable and easier to both places and remove bubbles if it has been warmed up by the sun.
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Mounting Flexible Solar Panels On An Rv Rubber Roof
Mounting flexible solar panels is even easier. Use whatever adhesive is suggested for the product and stick it on the roof. No need for lag bolts or any screws. These adhesives have a very strong bond so once it is in place the panel will be very hard to remove.
A quick note about flexible solar panels. Because these panels are bonded on the roof, there is no gap between the module and roof. Ideally, air has to flow between a solar panel and RV roof to keep the temperature down. Contrary to popular myth, solar panels do not work better at hot temperatures, in fact performance will dip the hotter it gets as the voltage level goes down.
Modern flexible solar panels are designed to keep temperature around as low as possible. But be aware of the lack of air flow and how it can lead to overheating in certain situations.
Resealing Rv Roof Seams
Finished with your RV roof repair? Great. Now that you’re up there you might as well take a good look at those roof seams. Check the seal between the roof and the walls, and also where the roof meets any components such as the air conditioner, roof vents, skylights, antennas, etc. If the RV roof sealant looks like it’s had better days and is no longer doing its job, you could have a water leak. Better to be safe than sorry and get it fixed now.
First, remove old caulking with a scraper tool, then clean the area to remove all dirt and grime. Use a cleaner that’s compatible with EPDM rubber, such as Protect All Rubber Roof Cleaner. Now reseal the seam using an RV roof sealant such as Dicor Self-Leveling Lap Sealant, which remains flexible when dried. This sealant is applied using a caulking gun and goes on slightly runny in order to fully cover the seam. Once dry it has a smooth surface with a rubbery feel.
An alternative to RV roof sealant, albeit more expensive, would be to use an RV roof repair tape such as EternaBond or DiSeal Tape on your RV roof seams. These tapes are longer lasting than RV roof sealant, and once you’ve sealed your seams with it, you most likely will never have to do it again. These self-sealing tapes are said to last over 20 years.
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Tips For Installing Solar Panels On Rubber Roofs
- Use the screws, nuts and bolts that came with the solar mounting kit. You can buy these at any hardware store, but the ones bundled with the kit are designed specifically for solar mounting.
- Apply a generous amount of sealant. If your RV goes through rough roads or you drive through strong winds and rain, make sure to fortify the panel mount. This is only for flat modules, because you have to fold tilted panels when driving.
- Use a stud finder if possible. This provides extra support for the roof especially when combined with sealant.
- Ask for professional help if needed. If you are not sure how to proceed, ask a professional installer to do it for you. Installing solar panels is a serious undertaking, so dont hesitate to seek help from experts.
How To Remove A Rubber Roof Membrane
- Written by Brandi Grays on Jan 17, 2010To ensure our content is always up-to-date with current information, best practices, and professional advice, articles are routinely reviewed by industry experts with years of hands-on experience.Reviewed by
A rubber roof membrane is an essential part of any successful rubber roofing job. However, if you want to change the style of your roof, youll have to remove the rubber roof membrane. This can be achieved rather easily and without much expense on your part. You will only need a few readily available tools.
One thing to consider before performing the tear-off is the way that the roof was initially installed. The following procedure will guide you through the tear-off of a roof that was applied with liquid or latex adhesive. If your rubber roof was nailed down you will need to have a hammer available to remove nails. If staples were used, you will have to be able to remove them as well. Dont worry, however, rubber roofing is the easiest to remove and doesnt require a professional.
Step 1Check the Weather
It is easiest to remove the rubber membrane when the rubber is warm. When the rubber is cold it can become rigid and stiff. If it is at all possible you should wait for warm weather to remove the membrane. Check the forecast to determine the best time to begin the project.
Step 2Cut the Rubber Membrane
Step 3Remove the Membrane
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How To Patch A Rubber Roof
If you can get your hands on some EPDM rubber, this is a quick and easy way to patch up your RV’s roof.
How To Install An Rv Rubber Roof
Your RV’s roof is one of its most important features, as it’s the only thing standing between a rainstorm and your good night’s sleep while camping. Rubber is the most common roof material among RVs, so it’s important to know how to install a rubber roof properly.
Installation will require a few tools and, potentially, a friend. Here’s how to do it.
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How To Prep The Roof
Theres not a whole lot to do here, but attention to detail will pay off.
The first thing you want to do is inspect your roof for damage. If there is any water damage you will need to repair it before moving forward. We arent going to get into the details of that in this guide, but we will cover it in another article.
Once youve given your roof a visual inspection make sure any screws, stables, etc., are flush or recessed into the decking and not creating any high spots.
You will also want to check any seams or depressions in the wood that may need attention. For the seams and edges on my roof, I used Gorilla tape as an extra layer of protection. I covered all the seams where there was a chance of the roof being unlevel. I also covered all of the sharp edges the roofing material covers. A little time and a little expense go a long way.
Youre also going to want to sweep or blow off the entire roof making sure there isnt any debris or other things on top. You dont want anything between the decking and the EPDM.
I swept everything the best I could and then I got out the blower. I ran the blower across is several times just trying to make sure I got everything off of there. It seemed to work pretty well.
Now its time for installation.
Does My Rv Have A Rubber Roof
If the roof is metallic, it is aluminum, and if it feels solid but not metallic, that is fiberglass. Vinyl resembles rubber but it wont give when you pinch. Your roof is rubber if you pinch and it pinches up.
There are two types of rubber RV roofs, TPO and EPDM. Gray or white streaks along your RV suggests it is an EPDM roof, and EPDM also gets very slippery when wet. TPO rubber looks and feels like orange peel and is glossier compared to EPDM.
Both types of roof work well with solar panels. As long as the roof is solidly built and the panels are installed correctly there should be no problems. However, EPDM and TPO roofs require regular maintenance. Even if your solar panel does not need frequent cleaning, your roof does. Keeping your roof clean helps keep the roof in shape so it helps maintain your panels too.
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Remove All Vent Covers Vents & Other Installed Items
To fully expose the existing roof membrane, remove any vents, vent covers, skylights, air conditioner rooftop units, antennas, satellite dishes, or other items from the roof’s surface. It is important also that you do not forget to remove the plastic caps and any flanges around the plumbing vent.
Most of these items are easy to remove. You will have to remove any old lap sealant from the edges of the flange so you can get at the screws that will need to be removed. To remove the air conditioner, you will have to unscrew the four bolts holding them down.
These can be found inside the ceiling assembly on the interior of the RV. Once you have these out, you will be able to remove the rooftop unit. You will also have to disconnect any wiring between the top and bottom assemblies.
Be careful not to damage any of the items when removing them so they can be re-installed without an issue. When you have the components of the roof clean up all the edges, clean any remaining lap sealant from the flanges, and set everything aside.
How To Install The Epdm Roof
You are now prepped and ready for installation. Start by laying out the entire sheet of EPDM on the roof of your camper. This helps get everything lined up and helps relax the material.
Once it is laid into position, you need to decide how much of it you want to glue down at one time. Some folks do half a time and some do much less. I chose to break it up into smaller sections and it seemed to work pretty well for me.
Once you decide how much you want to glue down at once, its time to fold back a portion of roofing material. Once it is peeled back, you are ready to apply the acrylic adhesive. My kit came with RecPro RP-8010 acrylic water-based adhesive.
After thorough mixing, pour the adhesive onto the decking and use the roller to apply the adhesive. I used a paint roller with an extension fitted with a 1/4 nap roller head to apply an even coat of adhesive. Allow the adhesive to sit for a bit before positioning the EPDM material back into place.
Slowly work the EPDM material into position to minimize air pockets and wrinkles. Continue repeating this process as you work your way across the RV roof.
If you discover air pockets that need to be addressed, now is the time to fix them. The glue allows you a little time to reposition the material if needed, so be sure to take advantage of it. Any small air pockets can be addressed with a squeegee or shop broom. This also allows the roofing material, decking, and adhesive to form a nice smooth bond.
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Loctite Power Grab Ultimate Construction Adhesive
Loctite makes quality products and this Power Grab Ultimate construction adhesive is no different. Its very useful for carpentry repairs and virtually any other RV repair projects that need glue inside and out of your rig.
Just glue some material together, clamp it and forget it. Super strong, versatile, and bonds to just about any surface its like Liquid Nail, but better.
Remove All Vents Hoods & Housings
The first thing we need to do is remove any vents, vent hoods, and housings that are on the roof of your vehicle.
Vents and housings are fairly straight forward to remove. Simply unscrew them with a Phillips or a 1/4 head screwdriver and use a putty knife to scrape off the old lap sealant and pry the vent or housing off the roof.
*Tip: If youre reusing the vents or housings, be sure to carefully remove them as to not crack or damage the base. And completely remove any old sealant from the unit.
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