×

How to Re-roof an RV

by John Landers
A rubber RV roof can last 20 years or more.

A rubber RV roof can last 20 years or more.

Like a home, there comes a time when the owner of a recreational vehicle will have to replace the roof. Most RVs have either a metal or a rubber roofs. One of the most common roofing materials used is ethylene propylene diene Monomer (EPDM). The material makes for a quieter RV by reducing noise emanating from rain hail, wind or roof vibrations. EPDM provides a watertight finish. The white colored material also reflects heat, which saves energy.

1.

Place 2-by-6 inch boards across the roof to avoid placing weight on damaged on rotted roof components. Remove all accessories and trim from the roof, including roof vents, solar panels, luggage racks roof ladder and metal edge trim. Some components will need replacement.

2.

Sketch the various cutouts locations for pipes and other protrusions when replacing the roof sheathing. Remove the existing roofing material. Inspect the exposed roof deck. Replace rotted or damaged plywood.

3.

Replace wet or fiberglass insulation with rigid foam board insulation. Butt the panels together and stagger the joints. Fill any gaps ¼-inch or wider with expanding foam insulation. Insert screws and deck plates as instructed by the manufacturer. Install extra fasteners around pipes, skylights and other protrusions.

4.

Unroll the membrane over the roof into the proper position. Allow three inches of material to extend over the edges. Make sure the sheet does not have creases or wrinkles. Allow 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the weather, for the material to relax. Cut the material to length with a utility knife. Apply duct tape along the width and ½ along the length. The duct tape holds the membrane in place until bonded to the roof surface.

5.

Roll the membrane back to expose the underside. Apply adhesive to the roof deck and to the back of the membrane with a medium nap roller. Do not allow the adhesive to puddle Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for allowing the adhesive to dry.

6.

Position the sheet on the coated deck. Roll the middle of the sheet onto the deck first to prevent the sheet from wrinkling. Use a broom to help the sheet achieve maximum contact with the deck.

7.

Ensure seams have a 3-inch wide width. Snap a chalk line 1/2-inch from the edge of the leading seam. Roll the membrane back to expose the seam. Apply primer to the deck. Align the edge of the tape with the chalk line. Unwind the seam tape along the length of the seam. Exert pressure along the tape to remove excess air. Roll the membrane back over the seam tape. Reach under the membrane and pull away the release paper on top of the seam tape.

8.

Follow the manufacturer’s instruction for installing and securing membrane around penetrations, such as vent pipes or air conditioner housing. Trim the edges of the membrane and re- install the metal edge trim.

Items you will need

  • 2-by-6 inch boards
  • Rigid foam board insulation
  • Expanding foam insulation
  • EPDM
  • Utility knife
  • Duct tape
  • Adhesive
  • Broom
  • Chalk line
  • Seam tape
  • Primer

About the Author

John Landers has a bachelor's degree in business administration. He worked several years as a senior manager in the housing industry before pursuing his passion to become a writer. He has researched and written articles on a wide variety of interesting subjects for an array of clients. He loves penning pieces on subjects related to business, health, law and technology.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images