How to Fix the Roof on a Fifth Wheel Camper

by Dakota Wright
Fix a leaking camper roof to prevent interior damage.

Fix a leaking camper roof to prevent interior damage.

Over time, your fifth wheel camper roof may spring a leak or an already-existing patch job in that area may begin to break down and leak again. If not handled immediately, a small leak can damage much of the interior, costing you time and money. Luckily, fixing a leaking camper roof is a job easily tackled by the average do-it-yourself handyman. When completed a new patch job will protect your home-away-from-home with minimal maintenance. Gather your materials and complete the job before the next rain storm.

1. Remove debris and dirt buildup from the camper roof with a broom. New patch material will not adhere properly unless the leaking roof is adequately prepped. Ideally, the area should be clean and dry.

2. Scrape off the old elastic roof patch, if there is one. Failed elastic roof coating is best scraped off using a metal putty knife. Remove the screws holding the aluminum flashing or sheet metal patch.

3. Scour the area under the removed aluminum to remove the excess tar or pliable adhesive patch. Once it is removed, scrub the area with a wire brush. Sand the area to be patched with rough, 60-grit sandpaper to scuff the surface and return it to bare metal.

4. Spread elastic roof sealer around the hole in the roof. Spread the material to a thickness of 1/4 inch. A putty knife will speed the application of the roofing patch. Be careful not to get the patching material on bare skin or clothing as it's hard to remove.

5. Cut a piece of aluminum flashing bigger than the hole in the roof. Tin snips cut flashing with ease and produce the cleanest lines. Place the thin-gauge aluminum over the hole in the roof. Press it firmly in the center and around the edges to release trapped air. Replace the screws, or insert new ones, around the edge of the patch.

6. Apply a layer of roofing patch over the aluminum to seal the screws and complete the patch job. Cover the patch with a tarpaulin or bucket to protect it from the elements when drying.

Items you will need

  • Putty knife
  • Cordless drill
  • Wire brush
  • Sandpaper
  • Elastic roof patch
  • Aluminum flashing
  • Tin snips
  • Tarpaulin
  • Screws, new or existing


  • Inspect fifth wheel roof patches every year before harsh freeze or thaw cycles.
  • Replace patches as necessary, before you notice a problem.


  • Snow loads can degrade elastic roof patch; remove snow from the roof of a fifth wheel camper as soon as possible.

About the Author

Dakota Wright is a freelance journalist who enjoys sharing her knowledge with online readers. She has written for a variety of niche sites across the Internet including “Info Barrel and Down Home Basics.” Her recent work can be seen in “Backwoods Home Magazine.”

Photo Credits

  • Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images