The roof of our RV is a very sensitive piece of equipment, and the maintenance and repair of your roof is an essential part of maintaining the property value of your vehicle. Neglected roofs depreciate your investment and present numerous health hazards. A leak in your roof can cause mold growth; damaged wires can cause a fire; damaged or faulty insulation can lead to expensive power bills. In order to repair your roof, the following steps should be followed. Get a group of friends or family members who don’t mind manual labor, because this endeavor will be too much for one person.
Park your RV in a garage to protect it from the elements. The space needs to be large enough for the RV, the roof, and provide you with ample space to repair the existing roof or build another. Before you get to work, cover the roof with wood planks or a tarp so you are not walking directly on it. This sensitive piece of hardware can be easily punctured or destroyed by body weight.
As you get started on your repairs, remove all of the fixtures, including vents and moldings. It may be necessary to use a heat gun to relax any stubborn materials and prevent further damage. Remove the metal staples securing the metal roof to the vehicle and carefully roll it up if you plan on reusing it.
Next, remove the insulation. If it’s wet or otherwise damaged, dispose of it. Before you remove the wires, take a picture of the layout so you can put it back together correctly later on. Then, remove all light and electrical fixtures. Next, remove nails, screws, and anything else securing the roof in place. Finally, remove the roof.
Give the roof a thorough inspection. You want to look for cracks, leaks, and any damage done around the sunlight sealant. You will want to remove the coating from the damaged areas, and each type of roof requires a different removal technique. If you have a metal roof, scrape off the sealant with a metal brush. For rubber, use rubbing alcohol to remove the sealant.
Once the roof is cleaned you will want to remove any damaged or rotted wood from the frame. Depending on the extent of the damage, you may have to build an entirely new frame. New panels should be attached with glue and staples. As you took a picture of the wire and fixture layout, make marks on the new pieces where these items will go and drill holes for each. Once complete, you can return the roof to its rightful place. Make sure you attach it securely to the side walls and interior cabinets. Now you can re-install your electrical fixtures and wiring. Test them to make sure they work when you’re finished, and then install and seal all moldings and fixtures with putty tape.