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How To Repair A Roof On A Camper

Remove Rotted And Water Damaged Wood

RV 101® – How To Repair an RV Rubber Roof

In the video above, you probably saw just how rotted away some of the wood on our camper was. This thing had clearly been taking a lot of water for a long time. We opted to completely remove all four sides of our roof, as well as replace the outside edge of 1 x 2 framing.

At this point, if the water damage is extensive enough, you have the option of completely removing the skin, the foam, and all of the framing lumber and rebuilding it from scratch.

If I had remembered to take a picture of the roof turned upside down before we started to repair it, heres what it would have looked like.

We decided that instead of completely taking apart the entire roof and replacing all the foam and framing, we would just replace the pieces of wood that had taken water and were no longer structurally sound. In the video, I mentioned that we thought we were going to keep some of the 1 x 2 frame, but instead we decided to just replace all the 1 x 2s along the edge. Thankfully, we didnt need to replace the interior 1 x 2 frame, and therefore we could keep the skin and foam attached.

More on how we rebuilt the roof frame and sides in the next step, which youll find in the second post in this series.

How To Maintain Your Rv Roof

Even if youre repairing or replacing your RV roof yourself, the materials alone are going to cost several hundreds of dollars.

You can maximize the lifespan of your roof and minimize the frequency of re-coating by regularly cleaning it, checking frequently for leaks, repairing damage quickly, and keeping it covered.

Here are some RV roof maintenance tips as well as best practices you can follow for RV Roof Damage Prevention.

Investing In A Rv Roof Cover For Durability

In addition to all of the maintenance you should do to maximize the lifetime of your RVs roof, you may want to consider a cover for your camper or just for the roof.

Its optimal to store your RV indoors, but this is often very expensive and might be out of budget for most RV owners.

An alternative is a waterproof and UV-resistant RV cover or an RV roof cover.

These come in a wide range of measurements, so the trick is to get one that is specifically designed to fit your camper or its roof.

However, even RV covers have their disadvantages. A good quality RV cover will allow moisture to evaporate, but it also prevents airflow from circulating around your RV underneath it, so mildew can grow.

So, its best to give your RV a break and only cover it during storage season.

Note: Tarps are even worse than RV covers at allowing mildew and mold to grow in a short period of time, so only use these as a short-term solution.

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Identifying A Fiberglass Roof

Most modern RVs do not have fiberglass. The reason being the fiberglass RV roofing is becoming rare. Fiberglass roof display below characteristics.

  • This type of roof will be hard. Fiber roofs are known to be the hardest and none flexible.
  • The fiberglass is smooth and slippery when wet.
  • It can be dangerously sleek when it is wet. Thus, one needs to be cautious when cleaning it.

Keep Your Rv In Great Shape

how to repair a water damaged pop up camper roof

Naturally, you want to make sure that you are doing your best to keep your RV in excellent condition, and that means you need to take care of those RV roof leaks as soon as you find them. Add fiberglass patches to the roof to take care of the larger leaks, and then make sure you cover the roof with Liquid Roof. This is a liquid EPDM that can provide a waterproof barrier on the top of your roof to ensure you do not have to worry about leaks in the future. It is a fast, simple, and effective solution that is a good option for any RV owner to consider.

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How To Fix A Leaking Camper Roof: Best Guide For 2021

Fixing a Leaking Camper Roof : For the adventure seekers having access to a comfortable camper can be a great advantage. The campers provide all the facilities of that of a home while you are on the road. But sometimes these campers cannot withstand the extreme climatic conditions and succumb to damages caused by many incidental factors.

One common problem that is often seen in these campers is a leaky roof. There are quite a few ways which can help you to learn how to fix a leaking camper roof on your own and this article is surely be of great help in this respect.

Camper Roof Repair Step 1

Welcome to my RV Renovation Series! So you want an RV but cant afford one. If youre like me and have more time than money, then perhaps your best option is to buy an old RV and fix it up. If you happen to find a really good deal, then chances are it has water damage. All old RVs do! Time to consider an RV roof repair!

I know, an RV roof replacement can seem like an impossibly difficult task. I get it. I bought my RV over a year ago and didnt have the guts to start tackling this task until today. But Im here to tell you, if I can do it, you can do it. Can I actually do it? Stay tuned and find out!

I bought this 1993 Jamboree for $5000. It has only 55,000 miles and all the appliances work and I love the layout. The catch? Water damage! Ive never worked on an RV before and I have to admit, Im scared. Ive done a lot of house remodeling and Im still scared. Thats because this is all new to me and I have no idea what to expect. Hopefully if youre considering doing this yourself, following along on my RV roof replacement project will give you the courage to dive in!

Steps Covered Today:

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What Kind Of Rv Roofs Can Be Repaired With Flex Seal

There are two primary materials designed and used specifically for RV rubber roofs. They are EPDM and TPO. Both TPO and EPDM are classified as rubber roofs, but they are a bit different in form and appearance.


TPO RV roofing is the most popular option for RV roofs in use today. It is a popular choice because it is inexpensive to buy and its white. The TPO membrane has a shiny, laminate appearance with the outer layer having a plastic look and feel to it. It can either be fitted with screws or otherwise mechanically attached. It can also be glued down. When it comes to detailed work and seams, both glue and heat can be used to create a seal.

EPDM Rubber Roofs

EPDM is a second popular option for RV roofing. It differs from TPO in several ways. EPDM is a synthetic rubber material which can be vulcanized. This means it can be dried and cured to form sheets. Alternatively, you can also use EPDM in its un-vulcanized form. In this form, itll never completely solidify. Its relatively common to use both EDPM types together for an RV roof. Vulcanized EPDM would be used for the roof membrane, while non-vulcanized EPDM can be used for any flashing or detail work. EPDM rubber roofs are usually maintenance-free for about ten years, but they will oxidize over time.

Fiberglass Roofs

Metal RV Roofs

Complete Guide To Fixing A Leaking Rv Roof

RV Roof Repair

The most common problem RV owners complain about is probably a leaking roof.

A leaking roof can quickly destroy an RV and yet most people dont know how to fix them. In fact, youll find many used RVs selling as-is for dirt cheap prices just because theyve suffered from a leaky roof.

Fortunately, an RV roof can be fixed pretty easily.

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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.

They Help You Keep Your Cool

Finally, roof repair coatings help you keep your cool. They reflect heat and UV rays back into the atmosphere, lowering the ambient temperature within your RV and reducing the need to use the AC. They also help to reduce the effect of heat on the substructure of your roof, prolonging its life and saving you money over time, as well.

As you can see, there are quite a few interesting things about EPDM RV roof sealant. Easily applied on your own, completely waterproof, incredibly durable, these coatings embody next generation technology and ensure that youre able to protect your investment.

Have you been troubled recently with RV roof leaks? Many RV owners will eventually find that they have a leak in their roof that has the potential to cause quite a bit of damage to the RV if they do not take care of it sooner rather than later. It is also important that you understand some of the most common reasons that RV roof leaks happen in the first place. Understanding why and how they happen can often give you a better idea of how to prevent them from happening or repair them if they do occur.

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Emergency Rv Roof Repairs

A leaking RV roof is something that you need to fix immediately. The longer a leak continues, the more water damage will occur, and the higher the cost of any future repairs will be. When you discover a leak in your RV roof, you will need a way to quickly and effectively stop the leak. And you will probably need to do this with something you can carry with you in one of your RVs storage compartments. In a situation like this, one way to stop the leak in your RVs roof is to apply a durable and waterproof sealant over the leaky area. There are many new rubber coating products on the market today. The question is, which might be the best suited to fix the leak in your RV. Flex Seal is an excellent option to consider. However, as with any product, Flex Seal has its limitations. And, there are some advantages and disadvantages to using this product.

Advantages of Flex Seal

Flex Seal provides a low-cost option to an otherwise costly repair. Repairing a roof is going to cost much more than using Flex Seal. It dries fast and seals leaks within minutes of being applied. Flex Seal is readily available at a range of retailers and is perfect for quick fixes while on the road until a more permanent repair can be arranged.

Disadvantages of Flex Seal

Flex Seal is a temporary fix and not a permanent solution to a leak. Flex Seal should not be used to repair a whole roof. When theres a lot of roof area to cover, you will want to consider other options.

Remove All Vents Hoods & Housings

Repair Trailer Roof

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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Set Up An Rv Carport For Shelter

So my first step was making a shelter so I could work without rain pouring in. I bought a 12 x 26 SuperMax Canopy by ShelterLogic and jacked up the legs with wood extensions to make the canopy high enough that I could stand on the roof and walk beneath it. That seemed to be my cheapest option. It seems like there are no canopies available that are tall enough to function as an RV carport. You could buy an actual metal roof RV carport but those are way more expensive, generally $2000 and up! Also these dont usually have enough clearance above for you to work on the roof. Or you could build a wood framed shed roof and strap a tarp to it . I calculated the cost of doing it that way and it came out to a similar price as buying this canopy. I figured I would rather have it semi-portable so I went with the canopy, plus this allows me to adjust the height up and down when I need to. Of course the cheapest option of all would be to just throw a good tarp over the top of your RV for rainy days and only work on sunny days!

Rv Roof: Beginners Guide

The roof is what protects you from harsh elements when you are in the RV. Nothing is as irritating and bad as having a leaking roof in your RV.

Water damage is what is known to reduce the life of most of the travel trailers. Thus, you need to have proper information about your RV roof, its cleaning, maintenance, repairs, and sealing.

Also, if you are deciding to replace your RVs roof then its imperative that you have all the basic knowledge.

A well maintained RV roof can increase the overall life of your RV.

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Do You Have The Proper Tools And Materials

Different roof materials require different repair tools and products. Rubber roofs need to use rubberized sealant while fiberglass roofs use fiberglass repair tape and gelcoat. If you are unsure what kind of roofing products you need, you can either consult your owners manual or ask at your local hardware store.

If the damage is too large for a DIY repair, you should consider bringing your RV to a professional repair shop.

Help From Hallmark Rv

Leaky RV Roof Repair – Quick and easy instructions

Over the years, we have observed dozens of people caulking and sealing truck camper roofs and side walls but had never actually done it ourselves. For expert advice on how to properly caulk and seal our truck camper, we went to Bill Ward, President of Hallmark RV.

Our original plan was to remove all of the existing sealant and replace it with new Sikaflex 715 and 521 sealant. Bill suggested another approach. From experience, he advised not removing the original seals unless they were damaged or compromised.

Bill said, Why mess with a good seal? You could end up doing more damage than good. If some of the seals are in good shape, leave them alone.

We had envisioned a completely re-caulked and sealed camper, but the real goal was to prevent water intrusion, not to seal for sealants sake. Besides, not everyone has the time or inclination to remove all of the seals and reseal and entire truck camper. After our experience, removing all of the seals and resealing the whole camper would take an individual several days.

We took Bills advice, and only fixed what was actually broken.

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Fix A Small Leak On A Fiberglass Roof

Generally, fiberglass roofs only start to leak when they have sustained significant damage. They can also develop leaks around installed items, such as air conditioners or satellite dishes. To repair a significant hole in a fiberglass roof, you must first take the proper safety precautions. Youll need a respirator mask and safety glasses, as well as a die grinder to grind down the damaged areas and smooth them out. Thoroughly clean the area, and then apply resin. Sand it down, and then apply a gel coat that matches the surrounding area on your RVs roof. If done properly, this should keep any additional water from entering the RV.

Repairing A Rubber Rv Roof

While rubber roofs tend to last longer compared to metal or fiberglass roofs, they are prone to becoming brittle over time. If your rubber RV roof has holes, the best product on the market is ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber membrane coatings. When you use EPDM products, you will be able to have a solid and durable RV roof that can last you up to 10 years. However, make sure that you only wash it with mild soap, as petroleum-based cleaners can damage the structural integrity of EPDM roofing materials.

After applying the EPDM membrane, you need to apply a sealant on top to prevent the EDPM from oxidizing when it rains. If you do not apply the sealant, the EDPM will develop a chalky appearance with streaks running through the membrane.

You also need to seal the roof joints to ensure that your roof is watertight. Caulk is a good material to use to help prevent water damage to your roof.

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