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

Living in an RV has its 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 but could also save you a lot of potential time in the shop!

In this post, we want to share with you how to DIY RV roof repair. Be sure and pin this post for later in case you ever need to reference back to it!

Either watch the YouTube video below, or keep scrolling for step-by-step instructions!

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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 in 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 with 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!

a small tear in the roof of our RV
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.

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, but it does tear if caught hard enough.

Repairing an EPDM roof is much cheaper than a roof replacement and we are going to show you in this post just how easy it is to DIY!

RV roof repair steps and materials

Dicor lap sealant used as an RV roof repair sealant
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 Externabond Repair 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!

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    First step, 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.

    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
    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. 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.

    Pressing firmly on the Externabond tape
    Press firmly to adhere

    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 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.

    RV roof repair finished product with Dicor lap sealant
    After the Dicor lap sealant was applied

    Be sure and pin this post for later!

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

    PIN FOR LATER

    Looking for more RV related tips? Check out 7 Tips to Prepare for RV Travel Days and Advice to Newbie RVers from 32 Full-Time RVers.

    Much Love, Janae xoxo

    10 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!

      Reply
    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’!

      Reply
    3. Yikes, we’ve never had a tear, but if we got help from someone regarding one, it would be YOUR advice we’d want! Thanks so much, Janae!

      Reply
    4. 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.

      Reply

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