Happy campers

How to seal the roof of an RV: Protect your home away from home!

Read on to find step-by-step instructions on how to seal the roof of an RV. We’ll help you choose the right sealant and effectively take care of this important task. Don’t let a little rain ruin your trip!

The basics on how to seal camper roofs

RV roofs put up with a lot of harsh conditions – like rain, wind, wildlife, and UV rays. Over time, this can cause small cracks to form, leading to costly roof leaks. The good news is, with a little preventative maintenance, you will be able to avoid these problems and have years of trouble-free travel.

We recommend getting up on the roof at least once a year to look things over. If you see any cracks, damage, or potential problem areas, address them before a leak develops.

Then, every 2 or 3 years, coat the entire roof with a protective sealant. If you know how to seal the camper roof, this will not be an expensive or time-consuming process.

How to seal the roof of an RV: Step-by-step directions

As you inspect the roof of your campervan, take note of any damaged or loose hardware, such as roof vents, an air conditioner unit, storage rack mounts, ladders, or solar panels. If these need to be tightened up or repaired, address them first.

Also, repair any damage or tears to roofing material. Then, you can begin to seal the camper roof. Here is a handy checklist of the tools and supplies you will likely need:

  • carefully selected sealant
  • caulking gun, if needed
  • sealant tool (for smoothing and feathering)
  • razor knife or putty knife
  • soap and water or another compatible cleaning solution
  • clean cloths

Once you’re prepared, carefully head up on the roof! Follow these steps to seal the camper roof:

  1. Toss on some sunnies, a hat, and some sunscreen as the motorhome roof may reflect the sunlight upwards.
  2. Thoroughly clean the roof with soap and water before sealing. Scrub away dust and grime. Dry with some clean cloths.
  3. Scrape away old sealant with a razor or putty knife.
  4. Apply new sealant from the tube or caulking gun. Dispense sealant liberally in a smooth, steady fashion—around a 45-degree angle. Then smooth it out using a sealant tool.
  5. Ensure all cracks, gaps, and seams are sealed. Make sure to check antennas, roof vents, skylights, and wire entry areas. Any visible bolts or fasteners on the roof should also be sealed.
  6. Allow the sealant to fully dry before driving or doing other roof maintenance. In general, this will take about 24–48 hours, but check the product label for details.

As mentioned above, periodically coat the entire roof with a compatible sealant to protect the materials from drying out, cracking, and otherwise deteriorating.

Make the job even easier by working on a warm day. The added heat will help soften the existing sealant, which will make it come off quicker and with less effort.

How to seal camper roofs: Sealants and helpful products

Choose roof sealants and coatings based on the type of material the roof is made of and the condition of the roof. The owner’s manual will likely have directions and suggestions.

Many modern RV roofs are made of rubber, while older ones may have metal or fiberglass panels. Make sure to choose a sealant that is compatible with each material it will be in contact with.

When it’s time to seal your trailer’s roof or maintain your RV’s roof, consult your owner’s manual or dealer documentation. Usually, rubber and latex-based sealants are well suited. Latex-based sealant is similar to paint, but specially formulated to reflect heat and renew the rubber surface. Silicone sealants are also available, but a number of RV enthusiasts shy away from them since silicone does not adhere properly to some roofing materials.

If you find some loose roofing material and want a quick fix, Loctite Extreme Gel is the solution to your problem. This powerful and highly viscous adhesive bonds and repairs almost any surface. Extreme Gel is perfect for rubber and other flexible roofing materials because it stays flexible. It dries clear and is resistant to water, vibration, and UV light.

Another handy product to help seal your camper roof is Loctite Epoxy Gel. Epoxy Gel will do the trick when you need a high-strength adhesive to fill seams and bridge large gaps, and it can stand up to harsh UV rays too. Once the two components are mixed, this epoxy will form a tough, rigid bond in just 6 minutes, getting you back on the road faster!