RV motorhome and Camper Trailer Roof Maintenance and Repair FAQS

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RV Roof Maintenance and Repair

A leaky roof on your RV, whether it is a large motor home or a small tow-behind model, is the most destructive of problems faced by many owners. A small unnoticeable roof leak will gradually spread out to other sections of the unit’s body, walls, and floor structure.

This is why it is so important for an owner to visually inspect the RV's roof several times a year. The reason for this frequent inspection is because many units are only used a few times a year, therefore a leak may spread quickly with no one to notice the beginnings of a ceiling stain.

If your RV or camper trailer is stored under a shelter of some sort this is not applicable as your RV roof and rubber coating will last many times longer than a camping unit which sits out in the weather. Direct sunlight and heat may deteriorate the chemical compounds of many sealants over time, allowing moisture to eventually find the cracks in the roofing material.



1959 Serro Scotty

A real classic
A real classic
This roof is in need of a repair job as water is seeping down around the roof mounted AC.
This roof is in need of a repair job as water is seeping down around the roof mounted AC.

Accessing RV Roof and Damage

The following tips will help you visually inspect your unit's roof for leaks.

A small unit may be inspected without having to get on the roof and in fact, it is recommended you never stand on an older camper’s roof as many weren’t built to support heavy weight. Any repairs to these types of roofs may be safely accomplished by placing planks across the top of the unit with the walls supporting the weight.

Just be sure the walls themselves are not water damaged and can support your weight. Try to stay as close to the side of the unit as you can while inspecting or performing repairs to the roof. If the roof is badly damaged, you may require scaffolding to span the distance across the roof in order to access the repairs.

RV Roof Types

Airstream roof.  Care must be used when accessing the roof area.
Airstream roof. Care must be used when accessing the roof area.
Use a protective padding or scratches and dents may occur.
Use a protective padding or scratches and dents may occur.
The seams in this RV's roof need coating with a good sealant to prevent future leaks.
The seams in this RV's roof need coating with a good sealant to prevent future leaks.

RV Roofing Types and Materials Used

There are several types of roofing materials used for RV roof coverings with each requiring different techniques for maintenance and repair. We will start with the older types and move on to the newer types. The “oldie-but-goodie” tow behind camping trailers of yesteryear are still around with some becoming highly sought after for restoration and investment.

Old Airstream, Avion, Serro Scotty, and other less well known but still classic models, are frequently spotted being towed by equally classic restored cars and trucks. The Airstream and Avion roofing material require special repairs not usually done by the amateur, so repairs for these units will not be included in this article.

The roof material on most older units consisted of sheet aluminum attached to 2x2’s reaching from one side of the unit to the other. These 2x2’s attach to the side walls and also form a base to attach the ceiling to. On some of these 2x2’s the roof sheeting may meet which requires annual sealant application to ensure watertight sealing.

The sides of the sheeting are usually screwed down the same way and require the same sealant applications. It is not unusual for holes to be punched into this thin roofing material by falling limbs or other debris. Fortunately these can be easily repaired.

DIY RV Roof Replacement Kits

Dicor RP-RRK-30 RV Roof Renew Kit
Dicor RP-RRK-30 RV Roof Renew Kit

Rubber roof repair kit. Complete with patching and sealants.

 

Roof Inspection and Repair

If the hole is more than an inch in diameter it may be best to cover it with a small piece of aluminum sheeting. Cut the patch larger than the hole, use putty tape or other non-hardening putty around the edges, and use self taping screws to secure the patch to the roof.

Smaller holes can be patched with sticky backed aluminum such as Peel N Seal roof repair tape. The sheet metal screws which hold the sheeting down need to be sealed annually by coating them with a flexible rubber or plastic coating to prevent leaks caused by the flexing of the roof and body while the unit is being moved to or from the next campsite.

The newer camping units may use a rubber sheeting over the aluminum covering to insure waterproofing the roof. Once again, annual inspection and preventive maintenance is important to keep the roof in good shape.

There are products made especially for these types of roof materials and will protect and repair rubber roof coverings. Pay close attention to the area around roof mounted A/C units and any other vents used for gas refrigerators, air ventilation, or plumbing fixtures.

There are kits made just for replacing this rubber roof material available from RV dealers and suppliers. Annual application of a good sealant coating will save you possibly thousands of dollars in the long run.





RV Roof and Ceiling Inspection

Complete inspection of the roof includes checking the inside of the RV along the walls where the roof sheeting is attached to the edges. This interior inspection may include having to look inside cabinets and closets to see if water damage is apparent along the top sides of all walls.

Discoloration of the ceiling or walls indicates a present or past leak has occurred. If the discoloration is slight a simple sealing application may solve the problem. Rotting or mildewed wood indicated a serious need for repairs.

Check the top of the unit to ascertain the location of vents, A/C units or any other item which entails waterproofing. Check these same items on the inside to be sure they are still watertight. Many motor homes use vinyl stripping to cover the screws on the upper exterior of the unit.

These strips do not last forever and tend to crack and will fall out of the retaining groove eventually. Replacement strips can be purchase at many RV and camper trailer repair sites. These leaks are often hard to detect and it is a good idea to replace all of the stripping every five years or so.

Another hard to detect leak area is around the running lights. These lights use a rubber gasket to seal between the light fixture itself and the body of the unit. New gaskets or an annual sealing using silicone caulk will usually solve this problem. This type of leak may go undetected and cause deterioration to walls and floors.

Repairs on a camping units roof may run into thousands of dollars if the owner does not catch the leaks in time. Preventive maintenance is usually easy and relatively inexpensive to perform by most owners having basic skills. Just like our real homes, these recreational units need love and care to provide you with the best possible use. Happy camping.


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Comments 140 comments

joe 6 years ago

is the scotty for sale


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Sorry Joe, but my wife would kill me if I sold the Scotty. There are quite a few of them still around in this area but finding one in good shape for a fair price is getting harder.

I recently bought a newer model (1969) and made a quick resale to someone I knew was looking for one.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thank you Jay. Feel free to use any information you like from this hub. Thanks again for reading!


amanda 6 years ago

Well, mine's already past the point of just seeling. My ceiling is rotted and sagging bad all around the vent in the roof. How do I replace the section of ceiling? I have a 15' field and stream from the early 70's that I love.

:)

Thanks


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

it's hard to tell you how to fix this without seeing it, Amanda. It may be possible to just remove the damaged section of ceiling around the vent. As long as the material above the ceiling is still sound you can replace the old material.

Further info may help me suggest a better solution for you.

Thanks!


marvin31503 6 years ago

Can you tell me where the drain holes is located under the roof mounted A/C unit of a Coleman A/C unit? My A/C cools great but water is leaking down thru the return air cover. I assume there is a drip pan someplace under the unit but I can't see it from inside the cabin of my motorhome. Do I need to remove the top cover and inspect the unit from the top? Can it be blown out from the inside compartment?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Marvin! You may or may not have a drain in your rooftop AC unit. You must remove the AC shroud (4 large screws or nuts) to clean out the drain. If a drain is apparent, simply use a piece of stiff wire to clean it out. Unless you also remove the accumulated dirt and debris the drain will clog again .

More than likely the coils are really dirty which prevents the exhaust fan from dispersing the moisture in the air. This also causes the dirt to accumulate even quicker.

Check out my RV AC repair hub linked on this page under "More RV repair articles." It will tell you how to clean the coils. Hope this helps!


Marvin 6 years ago

Thank's Randy for the info. I will give it a try. This web site is lots of help for us newbies to Motorhome campers. One thing is for sure A person needs to be a jack of all trades or either have deep pockets to own a motorhome.

Marvin


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Glad you find this site useful, Marvin! Ask if you need to know anything not covered by my many RV repair articles!

A motorhome is quite expensive to keep up, especially if you have to pay someone for the repairs. But most repairs are fairly simple if you have basic tool skills and the right info.

Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask more questions!

Randy


George 6 years ago

Im trying to find out what type of roof i have in my camper. I know it is not aluiumin. It feel like rubber , but someone told me i might have fiberglass. The roof feel like it is made out of canvus. Can anybody tell me. I want to use a roof coating for my camper, before the cold weather get here. I was looking at different type of liquid roof materials.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Impossible to say without observing your roof, George. Contact the maker if possible. Are you sure it isn't a rubber roof?

At any rate, the sealants shown on this page should work fine if applied carefully! Sorry I cannot give you more specific info. Perhaps if you give me the make and model I can find out for you. Thanks for reading!


george 6 years ago

Thanks for responding. The make is a 1994 coachmen catalina. Its a 34 foot trailer camper


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

From what I can discover, your camper trailer has a rubber roof, George! Check out a good sealant such as those on this page or through these links! It would be better to apply the coating while it is still warm so the sealant can seep into any cracks or holes.

Good luck with your project!


george 6 years ago

Thanks for all your help.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 6 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Glad to help, George! Stop by and tell me how the roof sealing went!

Thanks

Randy


Mark 5 years ago

I built a wooden box onto a 4x8 flat trailer the whole box is painted with rustoleum but I need something to seal the roof which is also plywood do you guys have any ideas for me? it holds all out camping equipment.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Other than sealing it with some sort of rubber roofing or metal, I cannot say! It will not last very long without some sort of waterproofing. Thanks for stopping by!


crosscut 5 years ago

just found a blister about 3"w x 2"h on the roof of my slideout on a 07 keystone,any advice with this problem...


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

A small patching kit is sold on this page for just such problems, Crosscut!


Marvin 5 years ago

Thanks for the info about cleaning the AC coils They were dirty as heck. After that I cleaned the roof with a commercial roof cleaner and some of the coating washed off and left several black places in the roof. Is the White Elastomeric Roof Coating okay to coat the roof? The roof isn't leaking any place and I want to just make sure the reflective coating is put back on.What is your advise about this? Thanks for your help.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Glad cleaning the coils did the trick, Marvin! Yes, the coating should be fine! There is a silver coating made for just such applications! Thanks!


Hurricane 5 years ago

I have leaks in the roof of my 2000 Thor Hurricane. I caulked the seam between the EPDM membrane and the retainer strip along both sides of the MH, leak stopped. Well the leaks are back so this time I am looking to seal the seam with a product called Eternabond. My thoughts are to apply the tape at the bottom os the retainer strip and wrap it up and over on to the EPDM sealing everything up. Any problem with this application?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

That should do the trick, Hurricane! Eternabond is a very good product when used correctly! Let me know how well the repair works if you will!

Thanks,

Randy


jgonzalezjr82 5 years ago

i just bought a 10 324 fwbh keystone sprinter and seems to have a small leak on the roof of one of my slide outs, i live in the fw and i'm also kind of far from the dealer, i've been doing research on how to fix, theres not visible damage, the only thing that i guess is the sealant might be bad, and i've been considering applying liquid roof on it, any suggestions! it's cheaper buying the fix than taking it to the dealer since i live 350 miles away one way.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Either a liquid or patch sealant should do the trick for you, JGonzalez! This hub has several different products which are made for just such repairs! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

Randy


Kurt 5 years ago

Recently I purchased a 2002 Lance pickup camper. The roof is aluminum in good condition as new. The problem is the oxidation from the aluminum has created severe black striping down the sides/back of camper that will not wash off using available chemicals purchased from RV dealer. Do you have any suggestions? Also, what is the best treatment to roof to prevent this from happening again once I get sides/back cleaned up?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Not sure if the black striping is on a painted or unpainted surface, Kurt. I will try to check Amazon products to see if I can find a product to solve your problem. If I do, I will add it to my roof repair products on this page.

Check back later if you can!

Thanks for the question, something new to research for me! Others will benefit from this info too!

Randy


Hoop building 5 years ago

Thanks for the article. I do have one comment for input. Many consumers choose not to cover their RVs during the winter (or any time of the year for that matter). There is a cost effective alternative. A fabric covered hoop building can protect RVs year round. These hoop buildings can be anchored to any surface including gravel, concrete, asphalt, and sand. This can help prolong the roof of an RV.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I am going to allow your link Hoop building, because you are indeed right about protecting the RV roof from the elements when not in use. Now, post my link on your site if you want yours to remain here! LOL!

Thanks, Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Hi Randy. I have 2 leaking questions: the window and the furnash. I bought a relatively new travel trailer a few months ago (it's is a bit worn) to live in temporarily and plan to sell this spring or late summer. Just noticed a leak near the front window beneath the shutter. The rubber seal piece has unpopped at one corner of the window so I caulked the gap without thinking to press the seal piece back in place. It's leaking worse now. How can I know if the leak is from the window or the roof? The trailer is not quite level, a bit low in front. The previous owner did repair work on the roof last summer and this is the only water I have seen inside the trailer. The wallpaper is bubbling but assume this is condensation? The furnas--when it rains hard or steady, a water puddle developes inside the compartment outside and the furnas does not ignite--tries several times and then shuts off. It works again once the weather improves and dries out in there. Should I be concerned? What can I do to prevent water from getting in there? I am missing one screw on the cover and there is black rubber seal around the compartment door. Should I replace the rubber or does this water indicate a more serious problem? Also the floors feels soft, more so when it rains and the furnas is out. Could there be structural damage? Would it be worth the cost to have the trailer re-sealed entirely if I plan to sell soon? If repair work can be done by me (I can't do the roof), like caulking, could that be done in wet, inclement weather? Looks like things will be wet until spring. Any advise would be great and thanks.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Mike,

This sounds like roof leaks to me. There are seams along the edges of the roof which may be allowing water to leak down into the window area.

There are also seams around the furnace exhaust also. Without knowing whether your roof is a metal or rubber type, it is difficult to give you advice on repairs.

There are sealants which can be applied while the materials are wet, but knowing where to apply them is another thing.

Sorry I cannot be of more assistance. More info might help me offer more adivice.

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks Randy. I was afraid it might be the roof. I don't know what type of material it is, maybe in the owner's manual. There is no ladder on back to climb up and take a look so I suspect it's not a walking on kind of roof, don't know. Plus, since I don't know what I'm doing and want to sell this soon, I would probably de-value it with any attempt to fix it myself. Appreciate the input.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Sorry I couldn't help you much, Mike! But feel free to ask for more info if you decide to make repairs. Thanks for checking out my articles and stop in again!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

I decided to have an rv tech come out and do an inspection and hopefully just a patch job.

I'm wondering though, my furnash shut off during a big rain storm last week. There was a puddle of water inside the compartment (outside of trailer) The rain stopped and things are dried out a couple days and the furnas is working again. This has happened a few times and I go ahead and use it if it starts, but is this safe? (I discovered a screw missing on the cover plate, maybe water is getting in there because it's not closed tight--there is an old screw broken off inside. I'll ask the tech about repairs so I can close it but wanted to get your advise about safety using furnash with water prob.

Thanks!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I would think the furnace would be okay but the water will eventually cause problems. This still sounds like water is leaking down or around the vent pipe. The tech guy will be able to tell you for sure.

Thanks for your comments and for reading my articles, Mike! Stop in again!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks for all you help, Randy, much appreciated!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Wish I could have solved your problem, Mike! You are very welcome!

Thanks!

Randy


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Carl-sorry I cannot display your question. The link in your name is not allowed. Yes, you will probably have to run new cables for the satellite dish. Not a big problem for most RV's.

Randy


Ginny 5 years ago

We need to replace our rubber roof on our Jayco 36' fifth wheel. Where can we get our supplys for something like that? Is it a complicated ordeal?


Jeff C 5 years ago

Randy, I have a basic Sun Valley 2001 26' travel trailer, no slide outs with a rubber roof. I sealed it up great at the beginning of the 2010 season but it still developed its 1st floor soft spots. I see nothing in the way of ceiling or wall water spots. The bedroom (front of camper) floor got real soft. I started ripping it up & found a lot of the particle board ( Why do they use this cheap crap ? ) deteriorated. It looks like I have to pull up the bed & bed side cabinets attached to the floor & replace the whole front section floor. Fun is ! My questions are: Where the heck could the leak be if I sealed the roof,door & windows very well? I also sealed the roof vents & skylights. How could my floor (which is soaking wet)be rotting out. Could this be from a couple years ago if I didn't do such a good job sealing? I didn't take the AC cover off ever. Do I need to seal there?( Quite a way from front floor) ( I did notice a bit of a drip during a rainstorm while the AC was on last year but I just read your string on how the AC drain clogs up & needs to be cleaned out so I doubt this led to my floor problem. My TV antennae is loose but I wouldn't think this is the problem? ANy tips so I can take care of the source prior to all of the floor work I need to do?

Thanks, Jeff


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Jeff.

Sounds like quite a puzzle you have there. I wonder if your RV has a metal covering underneath the floor like the one in my RV floor repair article? The camper trailer in that particular article had suffered from a leaking hot water heater several years before the present owner bought it.

Although the leak had been repaired and new floor covering put down, the metal covering beneath the camper and the vinyl tile on the floor kept the moisture in between with no way to dry out. The particleboard eventually began to deteriorate as the glue dissolved.

When we started to replace the floor it was still damp even though it was several years after the original leak was repaired.

Otherwise, there is a leak or leaks still present or a plumbing problem you haven't found. If you think further info might help, please ask. Thanks for reading my articles.

Randy

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Me again. I was just reading these question/replies and have a question about floors. I have a Dutchman trailer and read your aticle on replacing floors on the Dutchman. Although I haven't noticed leaks inside the trailer or discoloration, the floor by the mid-to-rear section feels soft to me, squeeks in the same place every time I walk there. Also the floor feels soft, flimsy in the entire trailer but more-so in this section noted. An rv tech said the floor was fine and should harden when the wet weather passes.

The front window is leaking beneath the bottom shelve--I decide to caulk there instead of towing the trailer in for re-sealing. It appears to still be leaking a bit there, hard to tell since we haven't had a downpour since.

Any thoughts about the floor or window? The rv guy climbed up on a ladder said it actually looks pretty good but I'm wondering if you have to climb onto the roof and look close at all seals?

Oh, by the way, is silocone caulking best for exterior window?


Mike 5 years ago

A follow-up about the Dutchman front window. I asked a few weeks ago and you suspected it was probably a roof leak. The rv guy later looked and said the roof looked pretty good and touched up a front roof corner but still leaks. I caulked around the front window with silicon a day or two ago but appears to still be leaking a little, hard to tell. Two people have looked and suspect it's the window but how can you tell?

The siding slopes down over the front of the trailer in front and it would appear that water would drain down the front (the front slope out a bit). The shop said I'd have to bring it in to take a good look but they can only refer me to a glass shop if the window need to be taken out and resealed.

I can't afford the expense in this process of detecting where the leak is coming from, between the cost of a mobile rv guy to come out and look, towing the rig, hourly rate of inspection at the shop, towing it to a glass place and cost of taking the window out, ect, on a good hunch--as they say, there is no guarantee this is where the leak is either. Is there a better of detecting leak point-source?

Why can't they make rv's with thick, flexible rubber. We can send men to the moon but are still have leaky rv's. I'd propose designing an rv structure with a 5-inch rubber mold without seams to cover the basic structure to avoid these leaks. It just doesn't make sense to me that rv's are built the way they are. Can't wait to sell this thing.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

It's difficult to say about the floor, Mike. As you can see in the pictures included in the floor repair article, the floor is not very well supported and relies on the Styrofoam in between the floor joists to give support.

The particleboard used in these units will tend to deteriorate over the years, especially if moisture manages to get beneath the floor. The metal covering the bottom of the camper tends to not let the floor dry out and may keep the moisture trapped for years.

This moisture will eventually cause the particleboard to disintegrate as in the photos. If you have such a problem it will become evident sooner or later when the floor begins to become really soft.

Yes, silicone caulking is good for sealing around the windows and for other leaks. It is a good idea to coat the roof with a good quality sealant every few years, especially if the unit is stored out in the open instead of under a shelter of some sort.

I hope this info aids you in your questions.

Thanks again,

Randy


mike 5 years ago

Thanks, Randy. They say Dutchmens are good starter trailers for the new-be and when I read your article about floor replacement on the Dutchmen, I can see why the floors feel flimsy with limited support, and I am concerned about it deteriorating. It's a 2005 and I hope there is still some life to it.

Again, I really appreciate your advise about the roof. I keep coming back to the notion of resealing the roof to ensure all possible leaks are sealed, it's tough to choose between an expensive window job or an expensive roof resealing job--I sense this could run $1,500 - $2,000 easy. Maybe a do-it-yourself job this summer.

Thanks again. And hopefully there will be this Dutchman for sale for the next new-be rv'er :)


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Unfortunately Mike, many motorhome and travel trailer makers go the cheap route when building these RVs. This is why Airstream travel trailers are so expensive. Their airplane-type construction using a metal fuselage type frame and quality wood materials guarantee long dependable service. Like many other products, you often get what you pay for.

Resealing the roof is not to bad of a job and will cost less than you think if you buy your own sealants. There are several examples of sealants on this page and others offered when you access the links.

Good luck on your repairs and thanks again!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Hi Randy, it's me again. I guess it's my trailer morning.

I'm wondering, since there might be a short 24 hour break in the weather tomorrow with only 50% chance of precip, and even nice today asside from a few light sprinkles, maybe I could grab a ladder and get up near the roof and do some caulking along the rib where the siding begins down the front slope of the Dutchman trailer and re-do the window seal area.

Will rubbing alochol work to clean the areas before applying caulking and does it take long to dry? I'm guessing only a few seconds for alochol to evaporate. Do I scrape off and dig out the old caulking on the corners or just wipe clean and put new caulking on?

I have silicone and also this other stuff, all in one adhesive/sealand geogreen, 3 hour drying stuff. Should I stick with siliocone?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

The alcohol should work fine, Mike. You simply need something to remove any oil or substance which might prevent the sealant from sticking properly.

I would remove any old caulking which appears to be loose and then fill in the area with new. Not sure about the other type caulking but it sounds as if it might suffice for the job. Go for it!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks again. Think I will venture into the caulking once these clouds dispurse and "get er done." I have learned that a person really does need to be willing to try to do their own repair work if possible.

And yes, the Airstreams look great. I saw a small one recently, looked new and very nice!


kevin 5 years ago

i have a 1992 terry resort camper and i am having a hard time getting roof leak stopped, do you know what type roof was originally on it , it has been worked on several times

thanks


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@Kevin--Sorry, but I am not familiar with what type roof originally came on your camper. There several kinds or repair and patching kits you might try to stop the leaks. I would think it may have had a rubber roof at one time.

Randy


kevin 5 years ago

do you think peel and stick roofing works well? i am thinking about trying it

thanks


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

There are several such products, Kevin. Lowe's carries a very thick type of roofing seal product. I think it is called "Peel and Seal." Just make sure the area is cleaned well and use a hair dryer to warm the area if the weather is cool. I've had great results with this type patching process.

Randy


kevin 5 years ago

i just uncovered my camper and noticed some low spots on the roof, can i fill them in with something, maybe bondo? any suggestions? thanks for your help


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I suppose you could use bondo on a metal roof, Kevin. But why would you want to unless it is leaking?

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Hi Randy,

Do you happen to know of a good product or procedure to clean off the black dribble stains on the side of my Dutchman and what those marks are from? It's starting to make my trailer look old and weathered. I have rubbed them out when drive and it comes off like black dust/smudge but it's hard work, doesn't all come off (stains!) and comes back the next time it rains.

Would that peel and stick (tape?) stuff work for my Dutchman roof and window, too? (regarding Kevin's question above.)

Thanks and good morning!

Mike


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hey Mike,

The best black streak remover is called exactly that! B.E.S.T Black Streak Remover is featured in the above ads on this page. It often displays as being out of stock because it is so popular, but usually ships in a short time.

Peel N Seal will adhere to most any surface and seals very well if the surface is clean and the weather is warm. I highly recommend it for many types of RV roof leaks. Thanks for stopping in again, Mike!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks, Randy! With the nice weather headed our way, I can't wait to try this best black streak remover (very unsightly) and do more repair work.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I know what you mean, Mike! I'm in the process of rebuilding an old 86 Nissan, with a built on camper, for a friend of mine.

I'm ready to go camping at Ft. Clinch State Park on Amelia Island Florida. This is my favorite camping and fishing spot.

Stop by again and let me know how your RV repairs are coming along.

Thanks,

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Hi Randy. Can I bug you again? I know I've been asking lots of questions but I'm learning as I go along. I haven't actually done much work yet--missed a nice day today but hopefully it will be nice tomorrow, too.

I was just up on a ladder looking at the roof (2005 Dutchman trailer) and the roof appears to have a rubberized type fabric over the top, sealed along the edges. Someone caulked around the vents, ect. I can't see where any water would be getting in. However, the roof is not level--it dips down slightly as at quarter sections. Is this normal or damage?

Not sure how I would proceed in maintaining this roof--does this fabric peel off, does it need to be replaces every so many years? How would I scape off old caulking around the vents without tearing the fabric. What the heck is it?

Still don't see where water is coming in through the window... just don't see many cracks in the caulking...


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Mike, good to hear from you again! You have a rubberized roof on your Dutchman. A roof of this type will last quite a few years if stored under some type of shelter when not in use. But if exposed to the elements, it will eventually need replacing.

Constant exposure to direct sunshine, especially in southern climes, will eventually cause the rubber to blister and finally break open or crack.

If you scroll to the top of this page, you will see RV roof repair kits for sale. There are both motorhome roof replacement and travel trailer roof replacement kits available through the link. They are sold by size and include DIY info.

Puzzling about the window leak as the walls are fairly solid, aren't they? Sandwiched Styrofoam and aluminum sheeting, if I recall correctly? I'll look at a similar model and see if I can get some ideas why you're having the problem.

The dips in the roof are probably normal, Mike. These type RV roofs are not very sturdy as a rule.

Later on!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks, Randy. I'm glad to hear I have a rubber roof, it's a great idea to have a protective lining up there. It might have a fews blisters but otherwise looks pretty good. Thanks for the link to the repair kits above.

Yeah, I'm not sure about the window; please don't feel like you have to do any Dutchamn research, I was just curious. I tried re-caulking the window but it rained and washed off. Hopefully will get the chance to try again tomorrow.

Your Florida camping and fishing spot sounds great compared to this rain in the west, but summer will be here soon.

Thanks again!


Mike 5 years ago

Randy, would you happen to know about sticky awnings? I pulled my down for the first time (it's great! wish I would have done this sooner). Now I can't get it to retract. It's manual. I pull on the awning to release tension but the lever won't move at all. I have it fully extended and now I'm worried about wind.

I took the hook pole and just pulled down on the lever to open the awning, it didn't appear adjustable and the awning slide open so I assumed I did it right... I should have researched this before opening it!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hey Mike! I plan on doing an article about awnings soon, but am too busy right now to get right on it. Awnings can be a bit tricky sometimes and I have witnessed a guy cutting his hand pretty badly attempting to set his up.

The ratchet assembly can become sticky if it hasn't been used for a while and needs to be lubricated on an annual basis. There is a spring loaded pin which keeps the awning locked when pulled out, as you probably have already figured out.

When the awning is pulled out a bit, it is supposed to release and allow the spring to retract the awning back into the cover. This locking pin assembly probably only needs lubricating to make it function smoothly again.

I will check further and try to complete the new article fairly soon. Good to hear from you!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

I was just able to get it to roll back up by rolling the roller back and forth while trying the lever--the lever flipped to "roll up" after a few tries. Hopefully it just needs lubricating as you mention and not repair work.

Thanks much again for your advice, I really appreciate all the help you've provided and look forward to reading your awning article!


badgurl profile image

badgurl 5 years ago

What's the quickest way to remove the old gray sealer/covering ? I have a 69 Prowler and the covering is cracking. I started to remove and it's taking forever using a scraper and hammer (of which I punched a small hole in the aluminum) and a wire brush and grinder with a wire wheel. Is there a solvent out there to make this easier?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

@badgurl-You've got me there as I've never attempted to remove all of the roof coating on a roof before. Usually the coating will come off easily if it is in bad need of repair, such as cracking or peeling.

If it seems to be stuck too good then I would recommend simply re coating it until the cracks are filled. I will check to see if there are any solvents mad especially for this purpose, though!

Thanks for stopping by!

Randy


badgurl profile image

badgurl 5 years ago

Thanks Randy ..... so I guess I just scrap and take off as much as I can and just cover it back over? Sounds easire than to totally remove.


xactdude 5 years ago

is it possible to apply a rubber roof directly over the existing rubber roof?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I wouldn't think so, Xactdude! Usually the old roof is blistered and this makes the new roof not fit down smooth like it should. But if you try it, let me know the results!

Randy


xactdude 5 years ago

actually i know better, but this one has splits on the edges giving me some wall leaks and just thought i'd check. the main field is actually in fairly good shape. i just keep being reminded by all those rv roofs i see on the side of interstate, and after looking at them i noticed that none of those have any indication of glue on them.

randy, are u in the service business? this is my 3rd unit to own and i'm beginning to feel like a journeyman on these things


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I am actually a Jack-of-all-trades, Xactdude! Among other things, I work on RVs and travel trailers when repairs are needed. I try to help owners save money by keeping them away from the RV repair businesses which often charge exorbitant prices for repairs most owners may be able to perform themselves.

Many owners discover they CAN do many of their own repairs if they can gain a little confidence in their abilities.

Thanks for your questions and comments, they may help others with similar problems when they visit these RV repair hubs.

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Hi Randy!

I have a solvent question. I caulked around the window with silicone a few months ago and went over it with this All-in-One Adhesive/sealand Geogreen stuff used in construction trades, works well around sinks but it rained right and began washing off before it was able to dry (has a milky look). I tried to wipe off the remaining so I wouldn't end up with streaks down the front of the trailer.

Well guess what? I don't have so many streak marks from that milky caulking but do have huge smudge marks around the window and down the front of the trailer. Now that the sun is coming out from the dark winter, you can really see the discolor in it from dirt. I have ruined my pristine trailer! (in front anyway) Looks like crap.

Is there a solvent I can use to get this stuff off? And since the window is right above 2 propane tanks, would I need to worry about using combustable solvents?

We are starting to get some fantastic weather here at west -- what a difference it makes!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I wouldn't worry about the propane tanks causing a problem while using a petroleum based solvent to remove the streaking.

You might try using one of the products on this page :

http://www.amazon.com/RV-Do-Cleaner-8-ounce/dp/B00...

You may end up buffing the spots with a wax or rubbing compound to get ba better appearance, but I can't guarantee anything for sure, Mike.

If you do find a suitable cleaner please let me know so I can recommend it to other owners. Thanks for your great input and questions as usual!

Randy


Mike 5 years ago

Thanks Randy. It looks like it actually discolored the paint, turned it gray from white. Maybe oxidized? I might try the rubbing compound. Thanks for the link to the cleaner. I'll let you know if I find a cleaner that works. I heard this caulking is great stuff but I'm guessing it's safe to say not to use it unless you are sure there is enough time for it to dry.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Thanks to you too, Mike! I didn't know if the exterior was painted on or blended into the material. Please do let me know the results of your efforts. Good luck!

Randy


David 5 years ago

Hi Randy,

I bought a 2006 29'FEMA camper with a slide out that was never used before.

I recently notice slight water damage up on the side of the ceiling. I looked on top and noticed the seam on the edge of the roof was weathered and not doing its job.

The problem is the small leak has damaged the wood in the roof and I need to replace it.It feels hollow in a 1 square foot area

I'm pretty handy and just wanted to know what kind of job I have ahead of me.

I understand prepping is the most important part for a good seal.

Any advice would be great.

Thank you


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello David,

If I remember correctly-my friend bought a similar FEMA model-this RV has a rubber or vinyl covered roof with a plywood or composite supporting panel. If you are planning to replace only the bad spot then one of the patching products on this page should do the job.

There are other patching kits offered which you will find if you view those offered here. I may only offer a certain number on this page and cannot cover all products for different roof repairs.

I would suggest you start out by only cutting into the center of the bad spot to see what materials need to be replaced. this will indicate the thickness of wood and the size of patch needed for a good seal.

If you are fairly handy with tools this project should be a piece of cake. And you are correct about prepping the area to be patched. Use a good cleaner and you should have no problem getting a good seal.

Thanks for the question and feel free to ask for more info if I didn't answer your concerns.

Randy


Dan 5 years ago

I bought a 1960s-1970s norris camper it seems to be in decent shape for its age no major problems the roof has got den sealed and does not leak at this time however around ac unit it is starting to sag a bit is there any remedy to this and is there any other pertinent info on this camper? Thank you for your time


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Dan-I'm not familiar with your model of camper but it probably uses a wood spar type roof. Wooden joists are used for supporting the roof material and the ceiling paneling.

Without removing a section of the ceiling and reinforcing it with new joists, there is not much else you can do. Not a difficult job, though. We repaired just such a roof in this article:

https://axleaddict.com/rvs/How-To-Repair-Or-Remode...

Randy Godwin


Jerry 5 years ago

I just bought a 1997 Allegro Bay and it has a Duo-Therm AC. It's very difficult to follow the book on how to set the unti to run in the front and back. Is there any easy way to set the thermostat?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Sorry Jerry, I'm not familiar with the settings on your A/C unit. But google Duo-therm and you should find an easier explanation for the correct thermostat settings and operation.

Randy


Mike 4 years ago

Hi Randy. Just dropping in to let you know that I never got around fixing the discolored paint from that caulking on the front window. I sold my trailer and evidently the window didn't look that bad, it sold pretty quick. I just wanted to say thanks for all your help during my RV adventure. It was a little more work/responsibility than I realized getting into it and I appreciated your help.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Any time, Mike! Sorry your "RV adventure" was a little more work than you expected. You are not alone in this as owning an RV is like a home, it's always a work in progress.

Thanks for your input and I appreciate your time and questions on this article. Good luck!

Randy


mod657 4 years ago

Randy, I have a 1985 Jayco pop-up. I need to replace the (aluminum I think) top and siding. Can you tell me how and where to find the material to accomplish this? I'd like to make the top with one piece of metal rather than having two pieces joined at the center. Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Mod657. I found a few places which stock metal for both RV siding and roof applications by Googling "RV metal siding." Here is one of them :

www.interstatemetals.com/

I hope you find the materials you are seeking, but if not, please feel free to ask me for more help if needed. Thanks for your questions and time.

Randy Godwin


christie 4 years ago

hi we have just bought an old millard and she has had quite a few leaks on her day my hubby is a plumber so fingers crossed all is well but we have decided after no leaks to redo the inside walls. it is a bit daunting any suggestions?

christie


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Christie! Using thin wood paneling is usually the easiest material to work with. Often you can simply go over the old wall covering and increase the strength of the walls in the process. It is also faster because removal of the old materials may be quite a job.

Feel free to ask further for any info you may need in your repairs. Thanks for checking out my articles!

Randy Godwin


christie 4 years ago

thanks Randy that is a great idea!!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

You're more than welcome, Christie! Thanks for the question and good luck on your repairs!

Randy


annette 4 years ago

my add aroom is only one year old and it has a leak along the roof where the add a room is attatched to the rv i need advice how to repair it thankyou


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Annette! I assume you are referring to the slide-out on your RV. If so, there is a gasket which allows the slide-out to seal along the top of the roof. Apparently there is something which keeps it from sealing properly, perhaps some debris have been trapped underneath the gasket which allows water to enter and causes the leak.

If this isn't the problem then check the roof for punctures caused by falling limbs or some such object. If I'm misunderstanding your problem, then feel free to ask for further info.

Thanks for your question and for visiting my site!

Randy


Beth 4 years ago

My husband I just got a Dutchman Coach travel trailer. The person we bot it from had pretty much gutted the trailer except for the bathroom in an attempt to make a work trailer out of it. Since we wanted one to take to deer camp we thought nothing to expensive! Anyway, we are starting from scratch basically and I was wondering where can I go to get some good layouts for a 15 foot trailer? We are in the process of re-roofing since we have found some leaks that are going to require an new ceiling. The floor is in great shape and water pump works, air conditioning and heater both work so i think we are ahead of the game. We are both pretty handy when it comes to building and sewing so I just need some layouts. Can you steer me in the right direction? Thanks

Beth


Beth 4 years ago

And another question....do the existing floor to ceiling dividers that enclose the bathroom...are they there to keep the structure of the camper trailer 'true'? My husabnd seems to think so but iI think if it is aluminum and 2x2's the structure should come from that. Can you enlighten me? I would like to reconfigure the wall but he is afraid to....

Thanks

Beth


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Beth! I don't know where you might find a layout for your particular camper but would suggest you look at other RVs close to the size of yours to see if you find one you like. Some RV dealers may have layouts of their present models to give you an idea of what could be done.

And yes, often the off center walls, as well as some of the cross walls, are often used as structural support for the roof. This is especially true in the case of roof mounted A/C units which tend to weigh enough to eventually make the roof sag without this support.

I hope this info will give you an idea what you can and cannot do to your camper. Have fun designing it like you want it! And thanks for the questions and your time!

Randy Godwin


Nick 4 years ago

I have a 1996 Dutchmen popup camper that I bought used 2 years ago. The roof had a few minor holes in it, so I used a two part epoxy to fix those and then used Kool Seal to seal the entire roof-[I still haven't fiqured out the type of material the roof actually is]

I recently noticed a few more tears on the roofs edge-is using an epoxy a good idea on repairing this??

Also, the ceiling inside has an area that is rotten but I am not sure exactly on how to replace that.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Nick! Your Dutchman may have a rubber roof as many do today. I cannot advise you on the epoxy repair but I suppose it can't hurt anything. There are repair tapes made for just this purpose and perhaps some advertised on this page would work well.

I'm not sure about the ceiling material but I'm sure it can be repaired by cutting out the rotten spot or either covering the entire ceiling with some other material.

Feel free to ask for more info if needed.

Randy


Cathy 4 years ago

We have a 2006 Montana that we do not have storage for. I am seeing conflicting reports about recoating the rubber roof, some sites say just keep clean with mild product, which we do 3-4 time per year. When should we try to recoat or have dealer do?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Cathy, yes, there are conflicting reports concerning whether to recoat a rubber roof or not. But I feel anything you can do to protect the roof from excess sunlight can only increase the longevity of the material.

When you consider the expense required for replacing a rubber roof, you can see how investing a bit of cash to increase the life of the material would be worth it.

it isn't a bad job to roll on some coatings and you can do it yourself. How often to apply the coating depends on where you live.

Randy


annie0452 4 years ago

Hi We bought a nash travel trailer not ago only to find out the roof leaks and the place went otut of business wheere we bought it so stuck now trying to fix it. it has a rubber roof I know andhave the rubber coating to redo the coating but we found out where it leaking and it has damaged the wood under neath which feels like luuan My question is can you cut through this rubber stuff and do small repairs the parts that are rotted are only about a foot square or so. I just don't want to cut it and be going some where and the roof go flying by.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Yes Annie, you can cut and fold back the roof to repair the bad spots in the underlying wood. After the repairs the roof cam be folded back in place and sealed with a special repair tape which comes in may sizes. You can find this tape by checking out the other Amazon sealants on this page under related products.

Good luck on your repairs!

Randy


Elaine 4 years ago

We are restoring a 1969 Forester, about 13' The inside is gutted & we need to put some support in the roof as it is sagging. We are worried just adding additional 1 by 2s won't do it. Any suggestions?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Elaine! I have used steel angle iron to reinforce the 2x2's in some instances and have used hardwood, instead of fir or pine in others.

The simplest thing to do is just use more rafters than was originally used in the construction of your RV. Just be sure you have them correctly spaced to install the ceiling material on the proper lengths.

Hope this gives you a few ideas you can use.

Randy


Evelyn 4 years ago

I have a new used pull behind camper. I noticed that the roof has dips in it and I want to fix this. Towards the back by the bathroom the whole width of the camper is lower about 3 feet in. What can I do before I reseal the roof? It is maybe 5-7 inches lower.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Evelyn! Obviously the rafters or whatever is supporting the roof has deteriorated which results in the dip or sag in the roof. The only solution is to remove the ceiling under the sagging area of the roof and replace the supports. I'm not sure what is used for support in your RV.

Let me know if I can help you further. Thanks for reading and your question.

Randy


ruth 4 years ago

Randy, I have a 94 scotty, 26ft. I am interested in selling it, getting too old to haul it around. Any idea what it is worth?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Ruth! I would suggest you look for a similar model on the net to get an idea of your RV's value. Perhaps simply Googling 94 Scotty 26' might get you started on getting a ballpark estimate of what to ask for your camper. Sorry I cannot be of more help!

Randy


ruth 4 years ago

Randy, thanks anyway. I will try to google it Ruth


Will 4 years ago

Hey Randy,

Awesome Hub. I have a 1985 Raod Ranger Model 182. Has been in my family for its life. I have a soft floor and the wood under the roof is damaged from the vent covers being off for many years. Oddly enough there are no dents in the roof and the rafters seemed to be solid. How do you take off the ceiling without disturbing the roof?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Will,

What kind of materials are used for the ceiling? I'm not familiar with your RV as far as the way it is constructed. Whatever the material it apparently is attached to the rafters by some manner. You may have to remove the damaged area to see how it is attached and therefore how to remove it without damaging the roof material. You didn't say what his consisted of in your post. A little more info may help.

Thanks for the question and for reading. You might check out my floor repair article for ideas on the soft spots in the floor of your RV.

Randy


Will 4 years ago

It seems to be luan, and I have read your floor hub, which is also awesome. The whole problem is I have to reapair the floor, then tackle the ceiling seeing as both are water damaged. The roof on top seems to be solid but the ceiling on the inside of the camper, where the water pooled around the bottom of the vent whole, in between the ceiling and the roof, has water damaged wood that has since dried. I want to replace the whole ceiling, but scared of damaging something else. Not to mention the benches for the table are not easily removed either. I feel like I am going to break something else while i try to dismantle it also. Seems to be no screw attached. Anyway, sorry for rambling. I don't see any screws attaching the ceiling to the rafter either. Is there some weird way the ceiling and the walls are attached on the inside?

Thanks for reading,

Will


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Yes Will, there is no standard way of replacing the floor or ceiling as there are so many different companies using different methods of constructing their RV units. There shouldn't be anything which cannot be repaired or replaced even if you make a mistake, Will. But feel free to ask any questions if you encounter problems you can't handle. I'll do the best I can to help you with them. Thanks again!

Randy


WIllow9238 4 years ago

Thanks, they attached the benches from the inside if the walk. How did they do that? I ended up pulling the screws right out if the paneling. Thank goodness I was going to replace it anyway. Thanks for your help. Trust me, I will be nacho to ask more questions. Thanks again.

Will


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

One never knows what they will encounter when repairing an RV, Willow! Please do ask if you need any more advice, I'll help as best I can.

Thanks for reading and for the questions!

Randy


WIllow9238 4 years ago

Wow sorry for the typos. Posted from my phone. But again, thanks


Tom 3 years ago

Randy....i belive and animal mixed with a little rot put a whole underneath my viking popup....when i went to open it only one sode goes up because the hole is located right beneath the support poles and has bent and ruined the metal braces commected near the floor on those sides.....not being the most mechanical guy is my

Pop done for or is there places who may be able to fix it?? Help


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Tom, your pop-up most likely can be repaired but I really don't know where to tell you to go to get it done. I can only tell you to check around for RV repair place in your area. It shouldn't be a very expensive repair job at any rate. Sorry I cannot advise you any better.

Randy


Rob Clem 3 years ago

Hi guys love the questions and answers, I have a new question, I have a 1984 Vanguard 5th wheel which had a leaking roof vent. I have installed a new vent sealed it and after 8" of rain over a week it has not leaked. Most of the ceiling 2 x 2's were rotted or missing due to rot, I have replaced all the 2 x 2's and glued them to the metal roof and using jacks I have taken the dip from the roof and it drains nicel. I live iin Calgary, Allberta (Canada) , when we build rooms in a basement we have cement walland install 2 x 4's and insulation the vapouer barrier (plastic) then sheet rock. in my trailer there was no plastic vapour barrier. So my question is "should I install vapour barrier?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Rob, and thanks for the question. I have mixed feelings on using a vapor barrier in an RV ceiling. On the one hand it gives a bit more protection against dampness and leaks, but on the other hand it could cause water to collect if there's a leak and you may not notice it until it's too late to prevent damage to the materials.

I say it's up to you Rob, whatever you feel is necessary to make the repair job better for your area. Thanks for stopping by and feel free to ask for more info if you need it. :)


Trisha 3 years ago

Hello,

I just bought a new camper and was deceived. I was told the roof didn't leak and the water damage was old and repaired... Silly of me I know.. There is water damage around both vents. It is sopping wet for a good two inches around the two vents. This seems to be the only place and its slowly dripping.

Is there any way of fixing this myself?

How much would it cost to get it fixed approximately at a repair shop?

Thanks


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Trisha. When you say it's wet around the vents, are you referring to vents in the floor or in the ceiling? I'm clear about the roof leaking but are asking about the roof or ceiling repair cost?

It is possible to replace the roof on your camper with a new rubber roof kit. I believe there are some sold on this page. A repair shop will probably charge a couple of thousand or more depending on the size of your RV. Is there anything else I can help you with?


Trisha 3 years ago

Its wet around the vents on the ceiling. I'm assuming I would have to fix the ceiling and the roof? I think it will mold considering its sopping wet.

I have a 20ft 1978 scamper trailer. Is there anyway I can get around replacing the ceiling?

Would it cost a couple thousand to fix the ceiling and roof or just the roof?

Thank you again for the help. I don't know much about trailers.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I've posted a repair kit above in the article as the rubber roof replacement kits are no longer sold at Amazon. It may be possible to simply repair the area around the vents, Trisha. It's difficult to advise you since I cannot see the damage to the ceiling.

And since the trailer is over 30 years old, now I'm wondering what sort of roof you have on your Scamper? It may not be a rubber roof, and if not, it could be relatively inexpensive to repair or patch.

A bit more info may assist me in advising you. Does it have a rubber roof, and if not, what sort of material is the roof composed of?

thanks,

Randy


Danny 2 years ago

I have a 1969 swinger. The roof is leaking where the trim screws hold the roof and siding together. I tried to seal with roofing tar but it's still leaking. Not as bad but leaking. Is there a places that might sell new trim? I had to tear walls in back wall out and panels out, need help please.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Danny, I Googled "RV exterior trim" and came up with several places which sold different sizes of exterior trim. You should have no problem finding what you need there. Thanks for the question. :)

Randy


nancy 2 years ago

i bought a '97 slide in camper that i found to have extensive water damage to the roof around the vent. I removed the roof from the camper and have been working on it all winter. I removed all the old styrofoam insulation and painted the inside of the roof with a spray rubber coating, then i replaced the vent(problem) and noticed that when i had the lights on in the garage i could see pin holes in the metal, I reinforced the vent opening with sheet metal and proceeded. I am now ready to rewire and put in led lights. the question is i would like to paint the outside when i am finished to repair the pin holes..i have had several different ideas given to me, one was to use a rubberized coating which i am afraid will break down with time, one was to take it to a local dealer that paints truck liners on trucks and put that on the roof, would that seal the leaks and have longevity, or would it be prone to cracking? thanks for your help. Nancy


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Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia Author

I would opt for the rubberized coating, Nancy. In order to keep the roof waterproof you must recoat the roof every two seasons or so. I don't know much about how the truck liner materials will last over the years.

Randy


JoeCephus profile image

JoeCephus 18 months ago

I have a 2008 wildwood 26ft travel trailer. I purchased it used and noticed some of the window caulking had oozed out from around the windows and ran down the outside. The seller said he had it parked at a site near a lake and it apparently got too hot and caused this. I noticed the rubber seal in between the window and aluminum siding is still good. Have you ever hear of this?


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Joe, yes I've heard of this happening when some types of sealing caulks are used to prevent moisture from entering around the windows and doors. Unfortunately, someone used the incorrect type of caulk on yours either when it was made, or by a previous owner.

If you reseal it yourself, make sure you use a good silicone caulk made especially for windows. Thanks for the question, Joe. :)

Randy


JoeCephus profile image

JoeCephus 18 months ago

This is good news that it might not be uncommon. Do you know of any cleaner to get the old caulking off the aluminum? I thought I would use Dicor caulking for windows once I removed the old.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

I cannot recommend any particular caulk remover, Joe. Usually the old caulk is so old it simply pulls out of the cracks. Dicor should do well for replacing the old caulked ares. Good luck with the project. :)


Joe 18 months ago

Thanks again and keep up the great work.


Chris Carda profile image

Chris Carda 18 months ago from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Hi, just came across this site as I'm a 1st time camper owner and the site is great!! Just purchased a 2004 Americamp Travel Trailer (28ft). In very good shape overall, however a tree fell on the front section causing a few holes in the roof (main area was about 18-24 inches). Was repaired with something before we purchased and is water tight however we would like to make sure its not an issue going forward. We have access to the aluminum rafters from inside and those are pretty good, however I am going to rebrace 2 of them as they dipped. Which leads to my biggest concern - on the top of the roof above that area there is a noticeable low spot in that area. Watertight currently but I'm worried about sitting water and the repair job they did. I'm hoping that the interior bracing will take care of most of that as I lift it back to original shape, however am wondering if I can cover/ fill in the remaining low area from the outside with foam roofing - building it up so the top is concave again and the water would run off totally. Or do you have other recommendations I could do? I'm trying to not have to tear the whole roof apart. If it matters, the camper will be at a single site over the summer and then stored over the winter so not a ton of actual pulling it - probably just twice a year 120 miles one way. Thanks for any help!!


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 18 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Chris! Since the RV is going to be in one place and movement isn't a factor, I think using foam roofing to allow the water to run off is a fine idea. Let me know how it works out if you don't mind. Perhaps others would benefit from your experience. Check out my other RV repair hubs if you need any more repair advice. Thanks for the question too. :)

Randy


Chris Carda profile image

Chris Carda 18 months ago from Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Thanks, I'll let you know!


Patty Kearns 14 months ago

Hi, I have a 1992 Coachmen Catalina 27', I'm assuming it has a rubber roof as it isn't fiberglass or metal. We've been doing some restoring recently and found about inch wide, 14 inch long rotted section of wood on the roof. How would we repair this. We recently replaced the flooring and other problem areas but was not aware of this hole.


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 14 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hi Patty, I will assume there is some type of plywood beneath the rubber roof and this is what's damaged. You may be due for a new rubber roof if this is the original one. They seldom last more than 15 years especially if the camper is stored out in the sunlight. I suppose it would be possible to remove the damaged section of th rubber rood, repair the damaged wood, and put a patch on the roof when finished. More than likely though, other leaks may appear soon if the roof is not replaced.


Patty Kearns 14 months ago

Thank you :)


Diana 4 months ago

Hi I bought myself a 1967 scamper that had very bad water damage. I had to take off the tin roof and replace all the boards from the bottom of the front window up & over to the back window. I have installed new roof panels and just need to add the insulation & small thin boards that run from back to front. My ? is when I place the tin back up what is the best way to ensure it seals as there is not much tin to work with. I have ground off many layers of old products off the tin & need to tsp it then apply roofing tape and rubber seal all over the roof top after it is up. Should I just paint the rubber around to the side a bit or apply something else? Thanks for any info. Cheerios


Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 4 months ago from Southern Georgia Author

Hello Diana, if you can find a paint matching the color you desire, and will adhere to the rubber well, then yes, painting it is fine. Thans for the question and good luck on your roof repairs. :)

Randy

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