Hello everyone. I hope you all had an exceptional summer creating memories as you traveled to your favorite spots or, found new destinations to explore in your RV. I also hope that you didn’t have any issues with your RV’s that may have put some sour notes into those adventures.
Speaking of sour notes, I want to talk to you today about something that many of us tend, I think, to overlook as RV owners and that is the roof on our RV and the fact that it needs to be looked after and maintained just like the rest of the trailer/motorhome. So, I want to offer up some helpful tips for maintaining the roof on your RV.
Now, I just want to clarify that I’m not saying that we all neglect our roofs but, If some of you are like me we probably don’t give the roof on our RV the attention it needs. OH, we might check it at the beginning of the season but how closely do we actually check it and, do we check it several times throughout the year.
Truth be known, I am in that category. But, I have come to realize that the roof membrane is a very important part of our RV. It stops the water from getting in, protects from the heat, UV rays, rain and snow and dirt that wants to invade our home away from home.
What some of us don’t realize is that those elements of the weather really affect the condition and life expectancy of that roof and it will last for many more years If we check and perform regular maintenance on it. This will help protect your roof and your investment so you can get many more years of reliability from your RV which translates into many more memories and adventures.
So, without any further rambling on, let’s look at some maintenance tips that will help your RV roof to last longer.
1. First and foremost it is important to check your RV roof several times a year. This is necessary in order to find signs of wear and tear…a tear from a branch when you were parking at a campsite or seals and calking may be pulling up or coming off allowing the possibility of water to enter your RV. If everything checks out then it’s OK to go ahead and clean and protect the roof.
2. It’s important to keep the roof clean. The dirt you see on your roof may not just be dirt/soil. The air is full of a lot of stuff and some of that stuff is acid that can get on your roof from the rain. This acid can, over time, break down that rubber and cause it to crack, letting in water. So, before you start cleaning your roof, make sure you check your owners manual and determine first: the type of roof you have and second: what the correct type of cleaner is for your situation. Manufacturers don’t all use the same materials on the roofs of their RVs.
It was brought to my attention recently, that you should always consult with your RV “Owners Manual” to see what it says about the care and maintenance of your RV’s roof and what type of material it is made of. This also goes for any other maintenance you may be doing.
You can also consult your RV Dealership for the correct cleaning solutions for your RV. They have a wide range of cleaners, protectants and, sealers that are compatible with many types of RV roofs.
Above all, DON’T use a cleaner if it has abrasives or if they are citrus-based, on a vinyl or rubber roof. Using bleach may not be the best thing either. Bleach is corrosive and may cause week spots in the roof material.
3. When you are cleaning the roof don’t forget to rinse down the sides of your RV. This will keep the cleaning residue off your decals and paint so they won’t be damaged. While you are up there cleaning the roof, make sure to remove any leaves that may be stuck in the air conditioner and any debris that may be in the narrow gutter on the sides of the roof. This brings us to our next step and that is:
4. Maybe this should be done before you start cleaning. Check the sealants around the roof edge and around the vents and other components that are on the roof, (air conditioner and TV antenna base etc.) This should be done every time you check the roof and may mean that you have to remove some of the vents and covers in order to get a good look at all the seals. All it takes is a small tear in the rubber or a crack in the sealant to let in water. A lot of damage can take place from the smallest opening.
5. You’ve checked for wear and tear, cleaned the roof and, allowed it to dry thoroughly. Now is the time to apply a roof sealer. According to my research, this should be a self-leveling roof sealant.
Again, as I mentioned above, you should ask your RV service Technician about what they recommend as their best choice of product for this step. Many of the products used to clean and seal RV roofs have UV protective additives in them to help protect against the suns rays and give longer life to the roof.
6. Lastly, if it is at all possible, keep your RV covered. This is especially important if you are going to store your RV outdoors for a long period, IE. over the winter months. Covering your RV will help protect it from the harsh winter weather. Left exposed to these elements WILL produce ware and tare and diminish the life of the roof. Covering your RV also helps protect against the damaging rays of the sun which can speed up this process.
Doing frequent inspections will save a lot of grief and unwanted expenses down the road and, yes, it takes a little hard work. But, by taking these steps, you will ensure that your RV will not only be in the best condition for many years but you will also have peace of mind and many more memories down the road.
So, I hope this post has been helpful and you have enjoyed reading it and, as always, If you have any comments or questions you can leave them in the comment box below. I would love to hear from you and will respond to everyone who leaves a comment.
If you are interested in learning more about RV roof repair and/or a step by step re-coating of your RV roof check out EPDM COATINGS at:
In the meantime, I hope you all have or, have had, amazing adventures this past season. Safe Driving and perhaps we will meet somewhere.