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A Complete Guide To RV Roof Maintenance: Keeping Your RV in Tip-Top Shape

Get the most out of your RV with this comprehensive guide to RV roof maintenance.

With proper maintenance and regular inspections, you can ensure that your RV roof stays in top condition for years to come.

In this comprehensive guide to RV roof maintenance, we will walk you through everything you need to know about cleaning, repairing, and protecting one of the most essential components of your home away from home.

From what supplies are needed for successful maintenance to tips for avoiding common mistakes, we’ll ensure you have all the information you need for your next roof check-up.

Read on to get started!

rv roof maintenance cover

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RV Roof Maintenance Tips

Here are some informative and helpful RV roof maintenance tips to keep your roof in excellent condition:

  1. Regularly inspect your RV roof for signs of damage.
  2. Keep your RV roof clean and free of debris, leaves, and twigs. This will help prevent moisture from penetrating the surface and causing damage.
  3. Choose the right cleaner for your roof. Use cleaners approved for your type of roof and free of harsh chemicals.
  4. Use soft-bristled brushes when cleaning your roof to avoid scratching the surface.
  5. Avoid using pressure washers when cleaning your roof. High-pressure water can force water under the roofing material, causing leaks and damage.
  6. Be mindful of low-hanging branches or overhangs that could cause damage to your roof. Park your RV away from trees and avoid driving under overhangs that are too low.
  7. Inspect the seals around openings and vents on your RV roof to ensure they are not cracked or damaged. Repair or replace damaged seals as soon as possible to prevent water from entering.
  8. Evenly distribute your weight when walking on the roof to help prevent injury or damage. Avoid stepping on any unsupported areas.
  9. Regularly apply a sealant to your roof to help protect it from the elements.
  10. Choose a sealant that is appropriate for your type of roof and is recommended by your manufacturer.
  11. Repair any damage to your RV roof as soon as possible. Minor problems can quickly become major issues if left unchecked.

Read more: RV Maintenance Tips Every RVer Needs

RV Camper Roof Maintenance & Repair Supplies

rv roof maintenance cleaning

Here is a list of camper roof maintenance and repair supplies you should have on hand:

  1. Roof cleaner – approved for your type of roof
  2. Soft-bristled brush for cleaning the roof
  3. Rubber gloves and safety glasses
  4. Sealant – appropriate for your type of roof and recommended by your manufacturer
  5. Cleaning solution – mild soap and water or a specialized cleaner for your type of roof
  6. Caulk & caulking gun- to seal around openings, vents, and areas where different materials meet
  7. Roof patch kit – for repairing small cracks or holes
  8. Putty knife or scraper – for removing old sealant and cleaning the roof
  9. Paintbrush – for applying sealant or repair materials
  10. Ladder – for accessing the roof safely
  11. Flashing tape – for sealing seams or small areas of damage
  12. Roof vent covers – to protect your roof vents from sun and weather damage.

Read more: Best RV Roof Sealant

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RV Roofing Material Maintenance Differences

Different materials used in RV roofing require different levels of maintenance.

Each material requires unique approaches, from sealant and patching to cleaning.

In this section, we’ll explore the different types of care you need to take depending on the material you have on your camper’s roof.

RV TPO Roof Maintenance 

TPO roofs are becoming increasingly popular among recreational vehicle enthusiasts due to their lightweight nature, low cost, and overall durability. 

While TPO will last for many years, seams and joints are particularly vulnerable to damage since they are exposed to elements like water and UV light. 

Layers of TPO are usually overlapped, but if they peel to expose the adhesive, degradation will likely speed up thanks to UV light and rain.

So, it’s important to understand the right way to maintain your TPO roof material to keep it watertight and looking like new for many years to come. 

From choosing the right cleaner to avoiding damage from falling branches, you can take plenty of steps to protect and maintain it.

Here we’ll look at the common mistakes and maintenance tips for keeping your RV’s TPO rooftop in great condition.

rv roof maintenance looking after seals

Choosing The Right TPO Cleaner

When cleaning a camper’s TPO roof, choosing the right products is essential.

It’s best to stick with those approved for rubber materials and don’t contain harsh ingredients such as ammonia, silica, or citrus.

If you need to use bleach, always dilute it with water and rinse it off thoroughly.

Whatever cleaner you’re using, test it out on a small spot before applying it over the entire roof and causing any potential damage due to improper use!

Avoiding Damage From Falling Branches

rv roof maintenance protect roof from falling branches

Falling branches can cause severe damage to TPO roofs by penetrating the single ply.

Check around the area where your RV is parked for any trees that could cause harm when branches fall in high winds or bad weather conditions.

If some trees pose a risk, consider moving your vehicle away from them.

Sealing And Repairing TPO For Extra Protection

In addition to regular cleaning and prevention tactics, sealing or patching up a section on your TPO roof may be necessary due to wear & tear over time or unforeseen accidents caused by outside elements like falling debris, etc.

In these cases, it’s important not only to choose the right adhesive/sealant option but also to use only the proper tools/materials recommended by dealers/manufacturers specifically designed for this type of material.

We recommend Premier Pro sealant for TPO roofs, but you can use our favorite general-purpose RV sealant, Sikaflex if you apply a primer first.

RV Fiberglass Roof Maintenance 

A fiberglass roof is a stiff/rigid material, typically installed in large panels or sheets overlaid on a wooden base.

Fiberglass roofs offer many benefits for RVers. They are easy to install and maintain, as well as being lightweight and durable.

They also provide excellent insulation from heat and cold, helping keep your interior temperatures comfortable during extreme weather conditions.

They are also resistant to cracking, warping, and fading from UV rays, meaning they will last longer than other roofing materials.

While fiberglass roofs have many advantages, they can be more expensive than other roofing materials due to the cost associated with installation and maintenance.

Maintaining your fiberglass roof is essential for keeping it looking good and lasting longer. Here are a few tips for caring for your camper’s fiberglass roof:

  • Keep the roof clean and free of debris. This will prevent any moisture from penetrating the roof and causing damage.
  • Avoid walking on the roof as much as possible. Excessive weight and pressure can cause delamination or other damage to the roofing structure.
  • Inspect the roof regularly for any signs of damage or wear and address any issues as soon as possible.
  • Use only high-quality sealants and repair supplies when repairing your RV’s fiberglass roof.

Roof Inspections

You should also inspect your roof regularly for any signs of wear or damage, such as cracks or chips in the surface that could lead to leaks if left unchecked.

It’s also important to protect your fiberglass roof from extreme temperatures by applying a protective coating such as acrylic sealant every few years, depending on how often you use your vehicle.

This will help keep moisture out while providing additional protection against UV rays that can cause fading over time.

rv roof maintenance

Additionally, you should avoid walking on your fiberglass roof whenever possible.

Although it is durable and can usually withstand some light traffic, it could still cause dents or scratches that could lead to leaks if not addressed promptly.

Finally, if you plan on storing your vehicle outdoors for extended periods, cover it with a tarp or RV cover.

Cleaning A Fiberglass RV Roof

Cleaning a fiberglass roof is straightforward.

Regular cleaning with a soft brush or cloth using mild soap and water solution will keep it looking good between seasonal cleans.

Be sure to rinse off any soap residue thoroughly after each cleaning session so it doesn’t build up over time.

While using a pressure washer to clean a fiberglass roof is generally safe, it’s essential to avoid certain areas to prevent damage.

Seams, vents, and antennas are all vulnerable spots that should be avoided when using a pressure washer on your RV roof.

This is because high-pressure water can penetrate small gaps and cracks around these areas. At worst, that could lead to water damage to your RV’s interior.

Using a pressure washer around these areas can also loosen or dislodge seals or seals’ protective coatings, leaving your RV more vulnerable to leaks or water damage.

Look For Signs Of Delamination

Delamination is a common issue that can occur with fiberglass RV roofs. It occurs when the layers of fiberglass separate from each other, causing a bubble-like effect.

This can happen due to moisture that has seeped into the layers or from a defect in the material.

Delamination can weaken the roofing structure, eventually leading to water ingress and other issues.

There are several ways to spot delamination on an RV fiberglass roof, including:

  • Visible bubbles or blisters
  • Soft spots or areas that feel spongy or unstable
  • Ripples
  • Visible cracking or peeling of the fiberglass layer

If you suspect delamination on your RV’s roof, addressing it as soon as possible is essential.

Here are some steps to repair it:

  1. First, locate the area of delamination using the visible signs mentioned above.
  2. Use a utility knife to cut an “X” shape into the bubble or blister, taking care not to cut through to the roof.
  3. Clean the delaminated area with a cloth and a fiberglass cleaning solution.
  4. Mix a two-part epoxy resin and apply it to the X-shaped cut you made in Step 2.
  5. Use a roller to press the fiberglass down and remove any air bubbles. Clamp in place if possible.
  6. Cover the area with a plastic sheet to prevent it from getting damaged during curing.
  7. Wait for the resin to cure and harden (usually 24 hours).
  8. Remove the plastic sheet and use sandpaper to remove any excess resin or rough spots.
  9. Apply a sealant over the repaired area to protect it from further water damage.


rv roof maintenance oxidization

Oxidation is a common issue that can occur with fiberglass RV roofs.

It’s a natural process that happens over time when the fiberglass is exposed to UV rays from the sun, causing it to discolor and fade. Unfortunately, that can make it appear dull and worn out.

To prevent oxidation, follow these steps as part of your RV roof maintenance routine:

  1. Apply a UV-resistant coating or wax to your RV’s fiberglass roof. This will provide an extra layer of protection against UV rays from the sun that can cause oxidation.
  2. Keep your RV clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris that can scratch or damage the fiberglass.
  3. Wherever possible, store your camper in an RV storage facility or a shaded area or cover it with a high-quality RV cover when not in use.

If your RV’s roof material shows signs of oxidation, there is still time to remedy the problem.

Here are some steps to follow to remove oxidation from an RV fiberglass roof:

  1. Start by washing the roof with warm water and mild soap to remove dirt, debris, or other contaminants.
  2. Rinse thoroughly and let the roof dry completely.
  3. Apply a fiberglass cleaner that removes oxidation using a clean cloth or sponge. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.
  4. Allow the cleaner to sit on the fiberglass for the recommended duration to allow it to penetrate and loosen the oxidized layer.
  5. Scrub the surface with a soft-bristled brush or pad to remove the oxidized layer.
  6. Rinse with clean water and allow it to dry completely.
  7. Apply a UV-resistant coating or wax to the fiberglass roof to prevent further oxidation.

Preventative measures such as UV-resistant coatings, proper cleaning techniques, and storage can help reduce the likelihood of oxidation.

Read More: Best Oxidization Remover For RV Campers

EPDM RV Roof Maintenance / RV Rubber Roof Maintenance 

An EPDM roof is a rubber roofing material used in many RVs. It’s a synthetic rubber material with excellent weather resistance properties.

EPDM RV roofs come in various thicknesses and colors and can be installed in large panels or sheets to fit the size and shape of your RV.

EPDM RV roofs have many benefits, including:

  • Durability: EPDM is a durable material, able to withstand extreme weather conditions such as rain, hail, and UV rays from the sun.
  • Easy Installation: EPDM roofs are relatively easy to install, which makes replacements or repairs less time-consuming and less expensive.
  • Lightweight: EPDM is a lightweight material that helps reduce the overall weight of your RV, improving fuel efficiency and handling.
  • Flexibility: EPDM is a flexible material that can expand and contract with temperature changes, making it less likely to crack or tear.

While EPDM is a tough material, it’s still vulnerable to punctures, tears, and damage from sharp objects such as tree branches.

It’s also known to fade over time, especially in areas with high UV exposure.

The surface of an EPDM roof can be a bit rough, which makes it more susceptible to staining from dirt, debris, and other contaminants.

Maintaining Your EPDM RV Roof

rv roof maintenance roof cleaning

Proper maintenance is vital to keeping your EPDM RV roof in excellent condition. Here are some tips for maintaining your EPDM RV roof:

  • Clean the roof regularly with a soft brush or sponge, mild soap, and water solution. Rinse thoroughly and allow it to dry completely to avoid water pooling.
  • Inspect the roof regularly for signs of wear, tears, and punctures. Address any issues as soon as possible to prevent water damage from occurring.
  • Remove any debris accumulated on the roof, such as leaves or branches. This can help reduce the likelihood of punctures or other damage.
  • Apply a roof protectant or conditioning treatment to help prevent fading and maintain the flexibility of the rubber.
  • Avoid using harsh cleaners or abrasive tools, which can damage the rubber material.

How to Avoid Damage to Rubber Roofs

To avoid damage to your camper’s EPDM roof, take these precautions:

  • Avoid parking or driving your RV under trees or near low-hanging branches, which can cause scratches, punctures, or tears on the surface.
  • Do not put unnecessary weight on the roof, such as when installing a satellite dish or solar panels.
  • Be careful when walking on the roof. Use approved protective mats, and only access it when necessary.

Aluminum or Steel Camper Roof Maintenance 

Many RV camper conversions have metal roofs. Skoolies, Sprinters, and other popular van conversions all have steel or aluminum roofs.

One of the most significant advantages of a metal RV roof is its durability.

It’s an incredibly strong material that can withstand harsh weather conditions such as heavy rain, hail, and snow.

Plus, it’s resistant to rust and corrosion. So it won’t rust or deteriorate over time like other RV roof materials. 

rv roof maintenance

Maintaining an Aluminum RV Roof

To ensure the longevity of your aluminum roof, it is important to take care of it properly.

Regular maintenance can help to prevent damage and prolong its life. Here are some tips on how to maintain your aluminum roof:

  • Regularly inspect your roof for any signs of damage, such as cracks or dents.
  • Clean your roof regularly with a soft-bristled brush and mild soap.
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that could scratch or damage the aluminum surface.
  • Check the seals around vents, antennas, and other roof openings regularly to ensure they are not cracked or damaged.

Read more: Free Printable RV Maintenance Checklist

Explore More About RV Maintenance

In Conclusion

Maintaining your RV roof is essential for ensuring its longevity and keeping it in good condition.

Regularly inspect, clean, and repair your roof to help prevent damage from the elements and prolong its life.

Ensure you have the right supplies to maintain your RV roof properly, and always be mindful of potential hazards when walking on the roof.

With proper maintenance, you can keep your RV roof looking great for years!

Are there any supplies or techniques you found to be especially helpful? Have you encountered any problems or issues when maintaining your RV roof? Let us know in the comments below, and help others maintain their RVs as best as possible!