Roof Inspection and Maintenance

Inspection and Maintenance of RV Roofs

One of the most essential tasks that you need to do on your RV is to perform RV roof maintenance. Proper maintenance of your RV roof means that you must know how to inspect, repair, and clean it. This is because if you don’t perform regular maintenance on your RV roof, most probably, you will encounter more serious problems down the road.

RV Roof Inspection and RV Roof Maintenance

An RV is considered a huge investment, that is why it is only appropriate that you should get the best return on your investment. Always perform periodic inspections and RV roof maintenance on your rig, twice a year or even more. Inspection and maintenance should not only be done on your camper roof, but also on your entire RV to avoid more severe issues later on.

Aside from doing periodic inspections, you should also inspect your RV right after it is being exposed to rough weather conditions such as snow, hail, drought, as well as extreme wind, rain, or heat. It is worth knowing that if you expose your RV to the blistering sun, then your motorhome roof could show some signs of wear quickly. This is the reason why you should make it a habit to perform monthly roof inspections. Always remember, “Safety First”, every time you go to your RV roof, always see to it that there is someone present.

Climb Into Your RV Roof

Before doing this task, keep in mind that climbing into your RV roof is not for everybody. If you think that you can’t safely climb onto your RV’s roof, then you can ask someone to do it for you. However, you have to ensure that they know what they are doing and the task is done accurately.

Once you have reached your RV roof, examine the entire roof area to know where you will step. It is important that you should not step on RV roof vent covers, skylights, solar panels, or near the roof’s edge. These things are very fragile and might not support your weight. Likewise, you should not grab or lean on antennae or pipes.

RV Roof Inspection

You have to make sure that your RV roof is free from any holes, cracks, debris, and rubbings. Check if there are chips, cracks, and peeling on the skylights, vent covers, and roof air conditioners. Verify if the caulk and sealants on the skylights, vents, and rooftop components are in good condition and are still pliable. If you discover that your RV roof sealant has been missing, cracked, dried out, torn, or peeling, then it must be replaced right away so you can maintain the watertight integrity of your RV roof. It is advisable that you must use self-leveling sealant.

Cleaning Your RV Roof

The extent of inspection and cleaning that are needed will likely depend on where you usually park your camper. For instance, if you park your rig under the trees where it will be exposed to direct sunlight or extreme heat as well as freezing temperatures, then you should pay more attention. Cleaning your motorhome will require two people. It is important that you should have at least one spotter. Get another person to help you in handing over the cleaning solution, water hose, and cleaning tools. In this way, you don’t have to go up and down the ladder over and over again to get all the cleaning gear that you need.

Cleaning essentials such as roof cleaning solutions, a long-handle brush, as well as a 5-gallon bucket can easily be lifted by hoisting them on a rope. But you have to be careful so you won’t scratch or damage the side of your rig while hoisting them. Using the same rope, you can hoist your hose to the rooftop of your RV. The hose must be secured with a bungee cord on the rooftop to prevent it from slipping off the roof. Also, you won’t be having some difficulties in holding it in place while you are cleaning.

Using Cleaner on Your Motorhome

Before using any roof cleaning products, you have to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Keep in mind that the cleaning solution will likely run down on the sides of your RV. That is why it is important that you should rinse the roof and sides of your rig completely with lots of water to avoid any streaking and wax removal on the sides of your vehicle. Also, you have to ensure that the cleaning solution and applications are appropriate with the gaskets and rubber seals of your RV.

Clean one area at a time to make sure that the cleaning solution will not get dry on your RV roof. Be careful with your steps since your rooftop could get slippery with the combination of water and the cleaning solution. As you move around your RV, avoid stepping near the edge of the rooftop. You should prevent stepping inside the loops of your ropes or hose. Aside from the main rooftop, you should also scrub all slide-out tops. Be careful when rinsing the slide top areas and try to prevent any excess water from getting into the sealed areas.

It would also be a good idea to inspect and clean your slide toppers as well as the actual slide-out rooftops. In order to get a good look at them, you need to get on your hands and knees. Once you are done cleaning, try to visually survey the whole rooftop area one last time before you start lowering down your RV roof cleaning solution, RV roof cleaning brush and other RV roof cleaning products to the ground. 

How RV Repair is Done?

Be sure that you have an RV roof repair kit with you. If you know what your RV’s roof material is, then you will know the appropriate caulking products you can use. Generally, the roofs of travel trailers and fifth wheels are made up of rubber membrane while the roofs of older models of motorhomes and travel trailers are made up of fiberglass. 

Be sure that your roof repair kit includes a caulk gun, fiberglass roof sealant, rubber roof sealant, and high-adhesive roof tape. It should also include a clean damp rag for cleaning up any caulk mistakes as well as a clean dry rag for wiping the caulking areas. If you discover that there are tears or cuts as well as rubbings on your RV roof then allow it to thoroughly dry. Afterward, cover the blemishes with white roof tape. This can help in preventing any potential leaks or any further damage. Since this roof tape is highly adhesive, then it is important that you have to be accurate in its placement. Remember that once it sticks, it won’t come up anymore.

After you are finally done with all your RV roof inspection and RV roof repair, it’s time to bring down all your gear.

Do You Want to Recoat Your RV Roof?

Another essential part of RV roof maintenance is recoating your RV. Most likely, the roof of your camper or motorhome will require a fresh coat of RV roof coating at least every three to five years. However, it will also depend on the condition of the roof. Be sure to follow the application instructions provided by the manufacturer. In case there are a lot of damaged areas and weak spots, then it is recommended that you should re-coat the whole RV rather than performing spot RV roof repair. 

Looking for more tips on how to care for your RV? Check out the Harvest Hosts Beginners Guide to RVing – whether you’re new to RVing, or have had your hand on the wheel for a while, there’s always something new to learn.

Richard Gastmeier

Richard is the General Manager at RV Part Shop. RV Part Shop is a leading retailer of RV parts and accessories, truck accessories, marine parts and outdoor and camping gear, featuring over 100,000 products.  The company serves customers in both Canada and the USA from 23 different warehouses continent-wide.

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  1. Lauren Pham
    17th November, 2022

    We have our rv and doing some pretty a significant rv roof restoration project.