There are very few things that can quickly ruin an RV vacation – but a leaky roof is one of those things. If you hear the rain starting to fall outside as you relax inside the RV, only to realize that the rain is making its way into the cabin of your rig, you will suddenly be in for a long night. In order to avoid this frustrating and uncomfortable fate, you need to make sure that your RV roof is in great condition prior to every trip.
Beyond making your RV difficult to use, water leaking in through the roof can destroy any future resale value that the rig may have had. If you allow water to sneak in through a leaky roof for very long, the inside of your RV could quickly become damaged beyond repair. In order to prevent your RV from becoming a total loss, perform roof repair maintenance as soon as you realize there is a problem.
Monitor the Situation
Okay – so this first point doesn’t technically qualify as ‘repair’, but it is still important. As an RV owner, you should get into the habit of periodically checking the condition of your roof. Most RV’s have a rubber membrane that makes up the roof, and that rubber can be subject to damage if it is hit by an object somewhere along the way. Even a seemingly small tree branch can do enough harm to eventually create a leak in your roof. By reviewing the condition of your roof once or twice per year you can potentially spot developing problems and fix them before they get out of hand.
Performing a Repair
Think of the process of repairing your RV roof as being similar to repairing an inflatable raft. If the rubber surface of roof has become damaged, you will need to purchase a repair kit, or patch kit, to solve the problem. These kits are offered at all RV retailers, and you should be able to find a variety of sizes to best suit your needs. As you are applying the patch kit, be sure to follow all of the instructions included with the kit, and consult your owner’s manual as well. Unless your roof has sustained major damage, a repair kit should be able to solve the problem and keep the rain where it should be – outside of the RV.
Watch Your Seams
Even if you haven’t sustained any damage to your roof, leaks could still be developing through the seams. Most RV’s will have a caulking used on the seams and seals of the roof to prevent water from entering, but this caulking can dry out and crack over time. If you have determined that water is getting into your RV through a leak in a seam, consider using a tube of sealer specifically design for use on RV roofs. In fact, even if no water is currently entering your RV through the roof, refreshing your seals with new caulking every few years is a great maintenance item to add to your list.
Keep the Roof Clean
This is another maintenance point that is important to the health of your roof in the long run. From time to time, wash the roof of your RV to get rid of any chalk buildup that has accumulated over the years. You can purchase rubber roof cleaners that have been specifically formulated for use on RV’s. However, be sure to check in your owner’s manual before buying a cleaner to be sure that it is approved for use on your specific RV.
Even the nicest RV isn’t going to be of much use with a leaky roof. Whether you have noticed that water is sneaking in through your roof, or you simply want to prevent that from happening, use the tips above to keep your roof in great condition. By using the right tools for the job such as a roof patch kit or a tube of sealer, you can bring your roof back to great condition with minimal effort. Not only will this work allow you to preserve the value of your rig, it will also provide you with peace of mind knowing that you should stay dry inside your RV all vacation long.