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RV roofs are the ones that keep you off from getting wet with its leak-proof technology. Most roofs are made from rubber, fiberglass and aluminium. Protecting the RV roof from sun should be on every RVers mind.
Also, good understanding of the roof material would help to decide which is the best possible repair and maintenance technique that we can use.
Majority of the RV’s are made of a rubber roof, which when exposed to hot weather wears out or breaks down. The wearing out of these rubber roofs can cause leaks during rain and can damage the RV’s in a significant way.
So, how do you protect it from sun and UV radiations?
To protect the RV roof from sun, clean it regularly, seal the roof surfaces using silicone based sealer and cover the RV to limit the sun exposure.
The damage sun can cause to your RVs roof can be higher if it is exposed to high UV radiations for prolonged time.
In this article, lets cover all the steps you need to take so as to protect your RVs roof.
Damage Sun Can Cause
Unlike winter or snow, the damage sun can cause may not be visible to you quickly. But, it can be bad in long term. And therefore, tackling it in time is the best option you have.
The most crucial aspect that requires an anti UV cover is the RV roof that gets the maximum exposure while in the sun.
Staying long in the sun can cause damages such as splintering, fading, drying and cracking. This can become a costly affair if proper care is not taken in the initial phase.
Sometimes the continuous vulnerability can also cause shrinking of the rubber roof, which can lead to seals tearing away from the edges of the roof vents and even fading of the fiberglass.
Clean It Up
In order to protect these rubber roofs, it is essential to clean the roofs regularly. This is mainly to wash away the dust particles with the acid presence that can even cause cracks in the rubberized roofs.
The next step would use any light car solution and with the help of soft bristle brush scrub off the cracks and seals of the roof vents and skylights.
One can also use commercial camper roof sealer with silicone content to seal off the roof surface. Make sure to cover the RV’s while not in use with UV resistant covers with little breath-ability to protect from moisture trapping.
Sealing And Coating the roof
Sealing and coating is a good way to protect the roofs from getting damaged. The coating is one of the best ways to do proper roof maintenance.
The best way to maintain the roof depends a lot on the roof material.
If the roof material is made of rubber, then rubber roof coating is the idlest way. The liquid EPDM rubber coating is the best available option in the market for roof coating. They are weatherproof and will last for over 10 years without any problems. The fiberglass roof coating can be done to protect the roof made of fiberglass.
Another way of sealing and coating the roof is by using dicor roof coating. An innovative way to protect the roof is by using this type of coating which can prevent leaks and also limits weathering. This coating provides a cooling effect on the roof, which can offer a more pleasant feeling inside.
The elasticity nature of this coating makes it long-lasting with its ability to stretch and contract at the same time. As to its seamless nature, this coating provides a very neat and uniform coating on the roof.
Inspect The Roof
It’s always good to do a thorough inspection of the RV roof timely. This could help in minimising the repair cost and gives more durability to the trailer.
The first thing to do is check for damages. Look out for the cracks, holes and any fading in the roof. If you find any of these, take an immediate step to fix it.
Search for seals : Next would be to do a detailed search of the seals of the roof. Any misses in the seals can cause leaks in future. If one comes across any cracks or damages, then ensure to repair it immediately.
Check Around Vents, Air conditioner
Another vital part that needs to be inspected should be surface around the vents, racks, A/C units or solar panels. Make sure to have a closer look at these parts as the damages can cause severe leakages and irreparable losses.
Extra attention needs to be given repair and maintenance in order to use it for the long term.
Steps To Protect
It’s essential to maintain the rig in proper condition and protect it from UV damages. Here are some of the easy and simple steps that you can follow to make the trailer look awesome:
- Wash the RV often this helps to reduce heat.
- Always try to dry off the excess water after the wash
- Wax the RV on regular intervals to using good quality RV wax to ensure that the vehicle is in good condition and UV protected. There are many types of waxes that are available in the market. Its always better to choose the one that could give a better shine, prevents corrosion and is non-abrasive.
- Avoid parking the RV’s under the shades as it may allow more water to stay on the roofs
- Use RV covers to protect the rig from the harmful effects of the sun
Restore RV Exterior
Throughout usage, the RV exteriors are subject to many scratches. To restore them and make it look brand new follow the below steps:
- Use a polishing compound, the best one recommended would be Meguiars’s Mirror glaze polishing compound and run through the surface with a power buffer at a very low speed over the area where there are scratches.
- Next would be to use some rubbing compound depending on the surface of the RV.
Both these steps would bring back the shine and make it appear brand new.
Cleaning RV Exterior
It’s usual that while camping and travelling, the exterior of the RV gets dirty quickly. The key to keep exterior new and fresh is to clean it often. If one allows all the dirt, dust and bugs to remain in the RV, it becomes difficult to clean it off.
Rinse the area thoroughly with water While rinsing makes sure not to spray water on any of the appliances. Make use of a car wash soap that is compatible with the surface of the RV Use long handle brush with soft bristles to wash the high spots and wash mitt to clean the other areas.
Use bug and tar removal products to remove off the bugs immediately. Use commercial cleaners after reading the instruction to get the best results and for protection of RV paint and graphics.
What you will Need
The products that need to be used while cleaning the exterior of the RV are;
Wash Mitt is one of the best RV washing tools that one can use
Long-handled brush with soft bristles
NuFinish Car Polish
Meguiar’s Gold Class Shampoo and Conditioner
Absorber – a drying tool
Yes, there are homemade RV cleaners that fits in your pocket yet effective. Some of the homemade RV cleaners are:
All-purpose RV cleaner
The cleaner is made from white vinegar, water, baking soda and tea tree oil or lemon, which are mixed and applied on the dirt area to be cleaned. This can also be used to clean the roof and also dashboards and steering wheels.
Window and Mirror cleaner
Made by mixing white vinegar, rubbing alcohol, warm water, cornstarch and lemon juice which is sprayed on the mirrors and windows to remove stains.
Homemade Roof cleaner
This is one of the best roof cleaner made from water, dish soap and mineral spirits that are mixed to remove the dirt on the roofs using a long handle bristles and wash mitt.
Tackling Oxidation In Fiberglass RVs
Fibreglass RV has a strong gel coating that helps to protect the surface of the RV. A good cleaning is essential after every travel to bring the glossy finish to the RV.
The first step in cleaning the fibreglass is to sweep the roof. Apply a fibreglass based bug and tar remover on the affected areas. Later wash off the fibreglass with the soap solution and rinse it with a good amount of water. After washing, make sure to wipe it with dampen cloth that is dipped on Methlye ethyl ketone to remove off all the grease and oil. Once finished, apply fibreglass wax and keep it shining.
One can remove the oxidation from fiberglass by
Use hand buffing
Use a fibreglass restorer and apply it on the area using a scrub and polish until the resistance is not felt. After that, using a cloth wipe off the excess.
Use power buffer
With the help of an electric power buffer, one can remove oxidation more quickly and can be used over large areas.
Each season has its danger and storing the most expensive RV is anyone’s concern. If one has sufficient indoor storage, then that would be a good option. But when it comes to cost, it can be alarming.
So the best option is an RV cover for more enhanced protection of your trailers. RV covers cost less and has many benefits such as protection from UV, dust and dirt and snow and is most idle during the winter season. The RV cover has its advantages such as roof paint protection, and interiors remain more cool and comfortable.
It has its own set of disadvantages such as covering RV is time-consuming and laborious, water may seep in during rain, the cover would make the RV rooms to appear dark, lifting the cover with snow could be a cumbersome job.
I did a complete article on whether to use a tarp or cover for your RV, do take a look before you decide.
So weighing the pros and cons, it would idle to choose a good quality brand RV cover that would suit your trailer. Always check out for the excellent quality material and the layering and any extra features that would suit your requirements.
Roof types take a look
The market offers a variety of RV roofs for the rigs. In-depth knowledge of the roof material can give an upper edge in selecting the right one for the correct use.
The main cull for any damage in the RV would be water damage. This can only be answered with a good quality roof material and proper maintenance. If your roof has already gone bad and you are looking for replacement then this what you should know about their types.
The different RV or travel trailer roofs are:
Rubber roof is the most commonly seen RV roofs. These type of roofs are the least expensive and can be easily installed. They are either made of Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) and Thermal Poly Olefin(TPO). They are mostly lightweight, reflect heat and needs only small repairs.
2. Fiberglass Roofs
Its fusion mix of synthetic material and glass fibers which are made in large panels or large individual sheets. They are more durable and hard on the surface. The fiberglass requires less maintenance and is one that is most preferred over rubber roof. It comes in different colors and is rust-resistant.
This is one of the most rarely used roof material due to its heavyweight. It is fire resistant and can avoid even the smallest holes in the roof. They require less maintenance and is not heat resistant.
Get UV Protectant
The choice is unlimited when it comes to the best wax for the RV’s. It makes it quite challenging to choose. Here are some the best UV protectant that one can look at while buying :
Meguiar’s M-5016 Boat
It is a non-abrasive liquid wax cleaner that helps to clean, polish and protect the RV most easily. This is ideal for fibreglass RV. It helps in removing the minor scratches and light oxidation. It also gives high protection from UV rays.
Turtle Wax T-477R ICE Spray Wax
This is the most rated best spray wax which works on any material, even glass. It works well of the RV exteriors and requires less time and effort. It also comes with UV protection which helps in reducing the fading effect.
Meguiar’s M5616 Pure Wax Carnauba Blend
This product is another best option one can look at because of its dependability and easiness to use, either using hand or machine. It provides high gloss protection even when exposed to UV rays.
303 30320 UV Protectant and Dust and Dirt Repellent
Yet another product on can look on to is 303 30320 UV protectant that can work on any type of material and is amazingly effective in bringing a brightening effect to the surface. It gives a high level of UV protection and prevents cracks and other fading issues.
Star Brite 75732 Premium RV Polish and Wax
Another most recommended and UV protection wax are Star Brite 75732 that is specially designed to clear off the dirt. It guarantees long-lasting protection and shines to the surface.