DIY RV Roof Repair: How to Repair a Tear in Your RV Roof

In this post, we want to share with you how to DIY RV roof repair. Living in an RV has amazing moments, but things also go wrong.

Knowing how to DIY a lot of the things that can break or mess up will save you not only a lot of money on RV repairs but could also save you a lot of potential time in the shop!

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How we got a tear in the roof of our RV

We try to plan our routes carefully to avoid low-hanging objects over the road. Sometimes though, we find ourselves in unplanned situations. This is how we ended up with a few small tears on the roof of our RV.

We had to turn down a side street with low-hanging trees. We thought we were clear of the branches, but we ended up catching a few of them on the far left side of the roof. There were a total of 4-5 small holes in the side of the roof.

Initially, we didn’t check the roof because we didn’t think we hit anything. That proved to be a mistake though and a lesson we learned from!

Picture showing the hole in our RV roof. The hole is just on the side of the roof and is the size of a small coin.
One of the tears in our RV roof

A few weeks later we endured a severe thunderstorm and a LOT of rain. During the storm, we found that we had a small amount of water leaking through one of the light fixtures in the bathroom. Thankfully we did not end up with any permanent water damage.

After the storm, Tucker went up on the roof and that is when he discovered the holes. He patched it best he could with heavy-duty gorilla tape and then ordered the materials needed to do an RV roof repair.

The EPDM rubber roofing material that most RVs come with is generally pretty tough as far as roofing materials go. Rubber roofs last for years but they do tear if caught hard enough.

Repairing an EPDM roof is much cheaper than an entire roof replacement, so it makes more sense to repair your RV’s roof material instead of putting on a new travel trailer roof.

We will show you in this post just how easy it is to DIY!

RV roof repair steps and materials

Showing the lap sealant that we used to repair the hole in our RV roof.
Dicor lap sealant

Materials needed for an RV roof repair

You only need a few items to repair your camper roof.

As you can see, you don’t need to purchase many materials and they are relatively inexpensive. We had everything on hand already except for the Dicor Lap Sealant and the Eternabond tape, which cost us less than $45 total.

Much cheaper than taking our RV to the shop for repairs or even an RV roof replacement!

The first step is cleaning the roof

First up, remove any temporary patches. In our case, this meant removing the gorilla tape that we had used as a temporary fix while we waited on the materials we ordered.

You’ll want to clean the area around the tear that you will be patching well. This allows the patch to properly adhere and will prevent future leaks.

If the damaged area has old Dicor, you must remove as much as possible.

To clean the roof, use rubbing alcohol and either a rag or paper towels. Tucker went over the area 2-3 times to make sure it was cleaned really well. Let it dry completely before moving on.

Secondly, apply the Eternabond RV Rubber Roof & Leak Repair Tape

Applying Externabond tape over the hole in our travel trailer roof
Applying the Externabond tape

After the area has thoroughly dried from cleaning, it’s time to add the Eternabond tape, which is an RV roof repair tape. Eternabond makes the best RV roof tapes and is a great product to have on hand for the emergency repair of a leaky roof.

You will want to measure out how much you need and cut a piece accordingly.

Remove the backing and apply carefully over the tear in the roof. Once it has touched the roof it adheres pretty quickly so you’ll want to make sure and position it right the first time.

Start with one side and smooth it out. Press firmly and continue to rub it and smooth out the patch for several minutes.

Next, coat the entire patch with Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant.

Using a caulk gun, coat the entire patch with Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant. This rubber sealant creates a secure secondary seal on your rubber roofing and ensures that the leak is properly sealed. This is likely the same sealant that was used on your RV roof to seal around the roof vents, air conditioners, etc.

There are a lot of Dicor RV roof repair products that you can buy including roof coatings, roof sealant, and more for the surface of your roof.

Applying the Dicor lap sealant with a caulk gun during our RV roof repair
Applying the Dicor lap sealant

Start on the edges and work your way around the entire patch, filling in the middle as you go. If the damage is on the edge of your camper roof like ours was, you may have some Dicor that runs down the side.

Wipe any excess off and don’t allow it to run down too far.

This is a self-leveling sealant so you should end up with a fairly level patch. According to the manufacturer, in 4 hours it will be waterproof, in 48 hours it will be 80% cured, and in 30 days it will be 100% cured. So over time, it will completely harden and you won’t have to worry about it anymore.

Our RV roof repair finished product with Dicor lap sealant applied to cover the hole in our trailer roof
After the Dicor lap sealant was applied


What is the best way of repairing the RV roof leak? Do it yourself or hire some professionals?

If the leak in your RV roof is a small area, the best way to repair it is to follow our step-by-step guide and repair the damaged area yourself to fix the small leak. If there is extensive damage, then the problem area might need to be assessed by professional repair services.

How much does a RV roof repair cost?

A simple RV roof repair, as we did on our repair job, is relatively inexpensive and should cost less than $50 for DIY RV owners. To replace an entire RV roof with significant damage would result in much more costly repairs.

Conclusion: DIY RV Roof Repair

I hope that you have found the information in this post helpful. Be sure and pin this post for future reference in case you might need it later on!

To prevent RV roof issues, checking your roof regularly during RV maintenance is a good idea. This will give you peace of mind and verify that your roof is in great shape.

Much Love, Janae xoxo
Photo of author
Janae, alongside her husband, Tucker, has turned the world into her playground. Having lived and traveled in an RV for over four years, she has trekked through 22 US national parks, ventured across 28 states, and explored the natural beauty of 12 countries. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been when she witnessed Iceland's shimmering Northern Lights, explored the rugged terrains of Southern Utah, and traveled across Ireland for almost two months. A lover of adventure and couple travel, Janae's writings have been featured in notable travel websites and magazines, and she has collected an online community of over 30,000 passionate fellow travelers.

12 thoughts on “DIY RV Roof Repair: How to Repair a Tear in Your RV Roof”

  1. I keep thinking hopefully this is something I’ll never have to deal with but I know that’s not the case! Thank you for sharing your experience and providing clear cut instructions on how to fix it!

  2. This is great Janae! We’ve never had to do this and I didn’t realize it could be relatively easy. Thanks so much for putting together such a detailed ‘how-to’!

  3. Thanks Janae for writing a great DIY post. I want to share my experience with you as the roof of the RV holds the most importance because it is the backbone of the whole camper. Sometimes while sitting idle, some mold or algae can start to appear because of the humidity in the weather. To avoid these risks, I always apply “RV Roof Magic” because it gives me a complete tension free 5+ years of assurance from all odds of roof damages and maintains the temperature inside the camper by forming an insulation membrane.

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How to DIY Your RV Roof Repair
How to DIY Your RV Roof Repair