Our guide shows you how to seal the roof of an RV step by step. This simple but essential maintenance will help protect your vehicle against the elements.
How to seal the roof of an RV: Choosing the right sealant
RV roofs are resilient, but elements like UV rays and oxidation inevitably cause damage over time. Eventually, you will need to seal the camper roof again to protect your vehicle against extreme temperatures and water damage. Resealing the roof will also help keep out dust, dirt, and insects.
To keep your RV in good condition, you should reseal the roof every few years, or once every 1-2 years if you live somewhere with particularly hot or cold weather. Once you’ve learned how to seal a camper roof, you can easily do the maintenance yourself whenever necessary.
The first step is choosing the right sealant, which depends on the material of your RV roof. Most modern RVs have roofs made from rubber, as this material is particularly durable, but older vehicles often have metal or fiberglass roofs. When choosing a sealant, the first thing you need to do is ensure that it is compatible with the material of your RV roof. Also check that it has the qualities you need, such as flexibility, UV protection, and water resistance.
For rubber roofs, look for products that are labeled “roof sealant” or that specifically mention rubber. While sealant tape can be handy for quick fixes, your best option for long-term protection is a high-quality liquid sealant.
Do not use petroleum-based products on rubber roofs because they cause serious, irreparable damage.
If in doubt, always consult the owner’s manual for your vehicle, and check the manufacturer’s instructions for the sealant.
How to seal a mobile home roof step by step
Before sealing the camper roof, inspect the roof carefully. If you notice anything that needs repairing or upgrading, attend to these issues first. For example, you may need to replace covers or use repair tape for holes or tears. If the roof is severely damaged, it will possibly have to be replaced entirely.
However, if your mobile home is just in need of some TLC, you’re now ready to start sealing. Here’s how to seal the roof of an RV for long-lasting results:
- Gather your materials. In addition to any protective equipment recommended by the product instructions, you need cloths, soap and water, a blade, a caulking gun, sealant, and a smoothing tool (optional).
- Prepare the roof. Clean it thoroughly with soap, ensuring it’s free of any dust or debris. Wait for it to dry.
- Remove old sealant. Scrape away old sealant with a blade. Working on a warm day or using a hairdryer makes the job easier, as the heat softens the sealant.
- Apply new sealant. Use a caulking gun to apply new sealant. Hold the gun at a 45-degree angle and move the nozzle slowly and smoothly along the edges.
- Make sure every surface is completely covered. You need to apply sealant not only to the roof edges, but also to any cracks and around anything protruding from the roof (such as vents, skylights, or antennae).
- Smooth the sealant (optional). Use your finger or a smoothing tool to even out the wet sealant.
- Wait for the sealant to dry. It usually takes 24-48 hours. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for more precise information.
Finally, for an extra layer of protection use a paint roller to apply rubber or silicone coating across the entire roof. Apply two coats to an old roof.
Now that you know how to seal a camper roof, you can take care of this essential maintenance on your own – no need to pay a professional!