Unfortunately, for many camper owners, a leak in the interior side of the camper is the first indication that the roof has sprung a leak. The soft spot on the roof of the camper is typically a sign of dry rot or some other defect in the roof structure. Often, leaks simmer for some time before they become apparent with a stained ceiling.
Climb on a stepladder to conduct a thorough inspection of the camper roof. Spread a piece of plywood or other wide board on top of a metal roof to ensure that it spans the roof rafters, usually placed every 48 inches. This plank provides adequate support when you're working on metal roofs.
Remove any fixtures, vents or other objects from the roof repair area from the inside. Go to the top of the roof to continue the task as necessary. Sketch the position of any object removed to use later during reinstallation. This includes electrical wiring that is disconnected. Use a heat gun to soften the roof coating around the object. Scrape the coating and remove it.
Take off the roof covering, which usually consists of plywood screwed into the rafters and walls. Set the depth of the circular blade to cut through the thickness of the roof sheathing. Do not cut into the roof rafters. Strip out all materials, such as fiberglass or wool insulation, between the cavities to expose the roof’s support beams. Discard the materials in a garbage can. Remove roof trim if necessary.
Replace all rotted or damage roof rafters with the same-sized lumber. Complete the repair to the exact dimensions as before. This ensures that fixtures and vents line up properly during reinstallation of the new materials. Place a carpenter’s level on the boards to ensure a straight and level fit.
Reroute electrical wires as necessary. Secure new plywood, of the same thickness as the plywood removed, to the rafters and walls in the same manner as before. Apply heavy-duty construction adhesive and screw the plywood in place.
Mark the location of any vent or light fixture removed. Cut the opening with a jigsaw and reinstall the object.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for applying a coating over the repair area and for sealing around vents, fixtures and other items. Allow the coating to dry. Apply a coating over the entire camper roof.
Reinstall the molding or trim or replace it with new material. Replace damaged ceiling panels on the interior side of the roof.
Items you will need
- Wide board
- Circular saw
- Garbage can
- Heavy-duty construction adhesive
- Roof Coating
- Ceiling panels
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