RV Roof Maintenance

Performing RV roof maintenance every spring on your travel trailer is probably the most important habit you can develop.  After a long winter and use from the previous season, there are many possible problems that can develop.  If these are not detected and corrected, severe and costly damage can occur to your unit.  As the says goes, out of site, out of mind!

RV Roof Maintenance Prevents Leaks

Checking the roof of your trailer is one of the most important parts of your maintenance routine.  Travel trailers are notorious for developing roof leaks.  The seams on your roof expand and contract throughout the year from the extremes in the weather.

Check the seams for cracking, if cracks develop a good quality all weather RV grade silicon caulk is usually the best and cheapest repair.  In years past, putty cording was often used.  It is a good sealant, but unfortunately it does not hold up to the elements as well as silicon.

Most travel trailers come with a one piece rubber roof now days. This is a huge improvement over the old bare metal roof that had to be coated every other year.  However, this does not mean that you will never have to coat your roof.  The rubber takes a lot of abuse from the sun, rain, other elements from nature.  The bare minimum you should do is give it a good scrubbing after opening it up for the spring.

Check the roofing material for signs of wear and cracking.  If you detect any, or your trailer is more than five years old, apply a coating of rubber roof sealant.  This is a silicone based cover that is applied like paint over the surface of your roof.  This can be purchased at your local RV dealer, Walmart, or at Camping World.

Other Rooftop Leak Points

When performing RV roof maintenance, one of the most overlooked causes of leaks is the air conditioner.  The unit sits on the roof and has a rubber gasket that in time will dry rot, allowing water in the coach and can cause the interior ceiling to rot. 

Performing a check on the a/c seal is easy. 

  1. Remove the interior control panel in the coach , unplug the unit, and  unscrew it from the roof. 
  2. Now, go on the roof and lift the air conditioner , exposing the gasket and check for cracks and breaks.  Again, your local RV dealer or Camping World have replacement gaskets for your unit. 
  3. Now replace the air conditioner, tighten the screws snugly, plug the cord back in the receptacle, and replace the control panel.

Scott-Certified HVAC-R

Other places to check include the plumbing vent caps, skylight vents and TV antenna.  These are common leak points and need to be checked annually. 

One thing that can save some annual maintenance is placing a roof vent cover over your skylight vents.  These not only protect the vents, but allow you to open the vents during rainstorms without getting wet.  Plus, they allow you to keep them open for some air flow during storage, really hot weather, or when you are on the go.

Safety First!

Whenever you are performing RV roof maintenance, be aware of your surroundings on the roof. It is extremely important to keep aware of this.

Some things to be aware of...

  1. Ladder and the location
  2. Any soft spots?
  3. Watch out for anything that may be on the roof like your AC, TV antenna, Air Max unit over your bathroom fan, anything that may be on the roof could cause a tripping hazard.

Also, be sure to wear the appropriate safety attire like safety glasses and a hard hat.  My saying goes-better safe than sorry!

Don't Put it off!

Spending a little time on RV roof maintenance may not seem too exciting, but the little bit of time and effort you put into it will save you more heartache down the road.  The pay off is many years with a solid trailer that looks almost as good as the day you bought it.

Written By: Scott

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