Traveling around in your camper is a great way to spend your time on the road due to the vehicle facilities and appliances. Nonetheless, the camper is not exactly invincible against outdoor elements. It could be damaged by a variety of factor if you are careless. Should you fail to deal with the damage in time then the repair fee could easily give you a headache. One common problem often encountered by experienced RVer is a leaky roof when it’s raining outside. Want to know how to fix a leaking camper roof? Then this article shall be of use to you.
While fixing a leaky camper roof is not too hard, it’s highly unlikely to be a simple walk in the park either. You have to prepare many tools and materials to give the roof a comprehensive repair so it would not leak again any soon. Since most of the work shall take place on the camper top section, you may end up a couple feet off the ground. Safety becomes a very important issue at that point so remember to stay concentrate at all time. In case your camper doesn’t have a built-in ladder, there is a good chance it’s unable to support your weight. Use multiple scaffold sets, plywood stacks and alike to perform the repairs without putting yourself at risk.
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A small and slim crack on the roof could lead to significant internal damage if you underestimate it. Whenever you experience a leaking roof, you have to perform repair as soon as possible. The longer you ignore the issue, the more extensive the damage becomes.
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Necessary preparations and required materials
First, you have to wipe clean the roof and remove all existing dirt, therefore, an appropriate cleaning solution is required. Do avoid cleaners with citrus ingredients or petroleum solvents though since they can cause additional damage to vinyl and rubber roof. After that, you must look for a quality sealant, rubberized products are excellent but there are other options as well. As long as the sealant is compatible with the camper roof then feel free to use it. You can even play it safe and contact the vehicle manufacturer in order to get a reliable answer. Finally, a roll of fiberglass tape may come in handy in case there are severe damages to the fiberglass roof.
In term of tools, you don’t need sophisticated stuff, all it takes are common tools around the house. To apply the chemicals and clean the roof, grab a paint brush, a broom, a trowel and a pair of gloves. Handle the cleaner and sealant carefully, they could ruin your clothes in a heartbeat so try your best not to spill them. For advanced fiberglass repair, you may want to get a sharp utility knife or a cutting wheel to split fiberglass tapes. Cover the roof seams with fiberglass tape then add a couple of sealant layers to eliminate the leaks once and for all.
Guide on how to fix a leaking camper roof
Step 1: Clean up
Get on top of the camper then start cleaning its roof as thorough as possible to prepare for the upcoming works. Scrap off every foreign debris and roof material crumbs you can find before washing the place with the cleaner. Pay attention to what you are doing, one moment of careless could make you punch through the camper roof or tear it apart. Next, wipe the place with a towel or a brush to remove all remaining water then leave it there for a bit. Water could dilute the sealant and impact its effectiveness so you must allow the roof to dry completely.
Step 2: Repair the leak
- To rubber roof
Rubber tends to last longer than other roof materials but you still have to maintain it regularly and perform repairs if needed. For sealant, Leak Stopper and Dyco Seam Seal are good choices yet it’s wise to consider coating products like EPDM and Dicor as well. Again, do remember to wear protection gears, you can never be too safe with these chemicals. Use a brush or trowel to spread out the sealant equally across the roof seams. Don’t focus on the problem area alone, cover everything in order to prevent potential leakages in the future. In case there are substantial damages, fill the holes with roof patching tar and cover them with fiberglass tape. Apply additional of layers tar and sealant on top of the tape to finish the process.
- To fiberglass roof
The sealing process of a leaky fiberglass roof is not too different from its rubber counterpart. While the repair is relatively straightforward, it could be troublesome to restore the original gloss. To get the material shine back, you could attempt to clean the roof using Butanone or Acetone to remove stains and greases. After that, apply a layer of gel coat wax in a circular motion but do check the instruction manual beforehand. Repeat the procedure till you are able to achieve a smooth and glassy roof surface. Get rid of the excess wax to complete the repair.
- To metal roof
Metal used to be the preferred material for camper roof before the age of rubber and fiberglass. To deal with a leak on metal roofs, you could count on Kool Seal though household roof coatings would do just fine. For special structural damage, you probably want to use a roll of Eternabond tape to cover the holes. Handle it with care though since once it sticks to a surface, you cannot peel it off. Cover the seams with the tape and apply a layer of sealant over it to eliminate the leakage for good.
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And that is most of the main points, not too hard to take in, right? Camper roof is tough but you can’t expect it to be immune to outdoor element and time. With the help of the information above, now you should know how to fix a leaking camper roof effectively and efficiently