How To Repair Holes in an RV Roof

TheRVgeeks Repair 25 Comments

Besides telling you about RV roof repair, we have winners to announce in our Hughes Autoformer Contest! Two lucky HowToRVgeeks viewers just won brand new 30- & 50-amp units. Was it you? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find out. wink

In the world of technology, 9 years is an eternity. After all those years of reliable service, the time had finally come to move on from our DataStorm internet satellite dish. During a week-long visit last year, our friends Jason & Nikki Wynn suggested that it was past time for us to ditch the dish and switch to a Millenicom Wi-Fi device.

They were right, but what would we do about the holes that would be left behind when we removed the dish from our roof?

Watch the video to see how we patched the holes in our fiberglass roof, but you can do the same thing on just about any RV, including rigs with metal or “rubber” roofs (TPO or EPDM), too.

You can also watch our video about how to prevent RV roof leaks before they start.

So… about that contest…

Out of 847 entries, congratulations go out to:

  • Scott T. (Entry #13), who won a 50-Amp Hughes Autoformer for his 2008 Grand Junction 5th Wheel.
  • Doug H. (Entry #684), who won a 30-Amp Hughes Autoformer for his 2007 Fleetwood Pioneer Travel Trailer.

Scott & Doug have been contacted and their prizes are on the way to them!

Thanks to everyone who entered. Stay tuned for the next HowToRVgeeks contest, coming soon. If you haven’t already subscribed, do it today!

Even if you didn’t win, you can still protect your RV’s electrical system and equipment by ordering a Hughes Autoformer here:

30-amp Hughes Autoformer
50-amp Hughes Autoformer

Visit Hughes for more information:

www.autoformers.com
www.facebook.com/autoformers

Follow Nikki & Jason Wynn’s adventures here:

www.GoneWithTheWynns.com


Products Used In This Video (available on Amazon):



We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, but our opinions are our own and we only feature products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence. The RVgeeks participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.


Comments 25

  1. Hi Guys, thank you for your very helpful videos. I need your thoughts related to small cracks on my fiberglass roof. I purchased a new Newmar coach with the factory fiberglass roof and after 14 months and only 400 miles of ownership noticed several small 1 to 2 inch diameter (what I would describe as spider cracks) all located mid way from front to back of coach. I talked with the great guys at Newmar regarding my concerns and sent them photos. Newmar technicians talked with the roof supplier and are saying not to worry, the cracks are from stress in the clearcoat and not in the fiberglass material. The fix is to sand the areas with a 600 grid paper and apply a clearcoat spray.
    A year has past now and I noticed there are many more small spider cracks in other places all over the roof. Have you experienced or know of these cracks in your years of RVing and how should I address them. You guys are awesome.
    Thank you for your help. Regards, Keith

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Keith!

      I guess our first question would be “why is there clearcoat on the fiberglass on the roof?” Are you by any chance referring to the perimiter of the roof where it curves down to meet the sidewalls? We’ve never seen fiberglass with a clearcoat on it…. other than painted sections, as in that curved perimeter area.

      Our white fiberglass roof has never had any issues, and seems to be a normal fiberglass gelcoat with nothing that could crack. The perimeter however is another story. That area, both all along the sides of the roof as well as the front and rear caps, is painted body-color, and covered with a clearcoat. Well… it WAS covered with clearcoat, until it began flaking off quite a number of years ago. It started slowly, but has progressed to the point where there’s more area without any clearcoat than with it. It looks horrible (but fortunately not so horrible from the ground), and we’ve been planning to have it re-painted and re-clearcoated for some time. We just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      Our problem is a known issue though, and we think it’s somewhat common. We just had friend get the perimeter of their Winnebago’s roof re-painted and re-clearcoated after they had the same flaking issues we have.

      If you’re having the beginning of the same clearcoat-flaking-off-the-perimiter issue we’ve got, we’d recommend getting in touch with Newmar about it, and being as forceful as needed to get them to re-do the whole perimeter. Because we can tell you from experience that it will continue to get worse until it looks awful. Ours didn’t start until maybe about 5 or 6 years ago, and slowly at first, but it was flaking, not cracking. Of course our now-12-year-old rig was already getting old enough at that point that we never contacted Newmar about it. Wish it had started sooner, and we probably would have.

      If you’re having this issue up on the main, white area all over the roof, we have no experience with it, have never heard of it, and don’t know what to tell you to expect. We’re still are trying to wrap our heads around plain white fiberglass having clearcoat on top of the gelcoat. Can’t imagine why they’d do that, since the embedded color in the gelcoat is what keeps fiberglass looking like new for a very long time (like ours does).

      From the timeline you mentioned, we assume you’re out of warranty regardless of what model you own (what with the higher end rigs getting two years of warranty). But just out of curiosity, what model do you own? We’re not saying that Mtn Aire, Essex, London Aire & King Aire get special treatment above and beyond other rigs. But it can’t hurt your chances of getting special out-of-warranty dispensation if you’re driving one of those. ;-)

      Sorry we’re probably not much help here, but please let us know what you decide to do and how you make out.

  2. Pingback: Boost Your RV WiFi Signal - Installing a WiFiRanger Elite Pack - TheRVgeeks

  3. Great videos! Gotta say, they are super helpful. I recently acquired an old Coach with a rubber roof, and there dis speculation of potential leak at the antenna. Nothing seen, but cabin pressure test indicated it may be a potential spot. The shop wants to install a whole new antenna for around $300. Frankly, I don’t use it at all and its probably analog ( 1998), so wanted to simply seal it up. They say I can’t. I couldn’t understand why a simple repair couldn’t be done. A little Google and Voila!- here you are! I’m subscribing. Next -I wonder how that repair is holding up for you? I also noticed someone in comments on Youtube that suggested a bulkhead cap. Not sure where to find such a thing. Maybe in your “store” or links? Anyhow, just looking for your feedback. Keep up the great work! Thanks.

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jennifer! Our repair is holding up great. But if you remove the antenna and there is a hole to fill that goes all the way through the roof to the interior, you might want to fill/pack the hole prior to waterproofing it with Dicor and/or Eternabond. Keep in mind that the repair we did here was only small screw holes that did not penetrate the entire roof, so just waterproofing was enough. Sorry we’re not sure what bulkhead cap they might be a referring to. So glad you found us here. Welcome! ?

      1. Thanks for the reply! I did indeed see the screw holes you did, in which you used Eternabond tape and Dicor lap sealant, but in that video, you also covered an actual hole by screwing in some metal or aluminum sheeting ( a sort of plate) with added dicor. ( the hole left by your dish antenna) so I would think you had a hole going through too. Sorry for the detail question, but I’m trying to understand more fully, as this shop is trying to sell me a whole new antenna, based on a pressure test for leaks, which I don’t even want or need use of. Thanks again. I sure do appreciate it, and all you do.

        1. Post
          Author

          Hi Jennifer. That hole we were covering in that video doesn’t go through our roof the way a TV antenna mount does. That hole was for access to the conduit used to route cables from the roof into the media cabinet in the front of our RV… and that whole assembly came that way from the Newmar factory. So it’s a little bit different.

          That said, we don’t see why it wouldn’t be possible to plug up the hole left from a TV antenna, should you decide to remove it. You’ll just need to fabricate some form of plate over the hole in the roof on the inside… fill the hole with insulation, to keep it from being a source of cold/condensation… and cover the hole up on the roof (ideally by embedding a cover into a pool of Dicor, screwing it down and then possibly covering the whole assembly with Eternabond tape, just for good measure).

          Hope this helps!

          1. That does help! Thanks so much for the clarification and fore taking the time. Best!

          2. Post
            Author
    1. Post
      Author
    1. Post
      Author

      All in all, pretty reasonable for a tube of Dicor and a roll of Eternabond tape. Individual prices are listed in the links above. The Eternabond seems a bit pricey, but it’s amazing stuff.

  4. Welcome to the cellular data world.
    On the upside, there’s plenty of extra room for additional solar panels now! I’m still waiting to get my first rig until the financials work out, but I’m planning a highly electrical-oriented configuration, and plan on running as much solar and wind as possible. I plan on lots of boondocking, and have truly appreciated all your videos, like the recent LED lighting series, because they’ve helped me squirrel away a significant amount of info about the life and the daily trials. I intend to hit the ground, and never look back!

  5. Great video! I will be referring to this regularly as time marches on. I love my Millenicom Internet connectivity, too. You guys rock! Thanks for all that you do!

    Scott

    1. Nobody mentions that Millenicom just raised their fees by $20 per month. Granted it is nice to take it anywhere you want and NOT have to have a dish to access the Internet.

      You see I just connected to Millenicom on the 5th of April thinking I was going to only pay $69.99 for access to the internet, when the May bill came to me they charged me $89.99 for May. They stated that they had sent a letter around on the 1st of April stating the price increase, but FAILED to let me know when I was getting hooked up with them. And after I had to pay the $50 for activation and another $119 for the device it just does NOT make sense to disconnect from them now. Verizon is ripping EVERY one off just because they have the network across the Continental US does NOT give them any excuse to raise their prices for all this. Wireless means just that not FOIS (Fiber Optic Internet Services)!

      1. Hi Michael. We were also somewhat frustrated by the large percentage increase from Millenicom, but we have to admit that we thought $69.99/month was such a bargain that we just kind of shrugged and thought “Oh well… it’s not such a bargain any more” but it is still better than anything else we’re aware of. I can sure understand your irritation at being a brand new customer and having this happen. For whatever it’s worth, the service on the dish had become somewhat ponderous (like shutting us down for 24 hours if we used bandwidth too fast for even a short time). There’s no good solution… although I hear that internet speeds in South Korea are so good, it might be worth RVing there. :-\

        1. While the price hike was steep, it’s still the cheapest game in town for 4G speeds–and they still use Verizon as their carrier. Additionally, Millenicom has removed the 20-25gig/month cutoff. Before if you exceeded their limit, you’d be out of luck for the remainder of the month. Now, if you exceed the limit, they simply bill you for another 20gig. While expensive, not cutting off folks might help some folks in dire need of their Internet fix.

  6. I worked at a publishing company in North Carolina. I was the one who was always grousing about how NO ONE could spell and NO ONE used proper grammar! When I left that job to move to Florida, my co-workers gave me a t-shirt as a going away present. It read:

    “Does ‘Anal-Retentive’ have a hyphen?”

    Touché.

    1. We’ll have to check to see if our video script was “anal retentive” or “anal-retentive” just to be sure. lol Since we write for a living (websites), we do try to pay attention to spelling, grammar and punctuation. We always notice if the signs at an RV park point the way to the “Bathroom’s” or not. ;-)

  7. So, I see you used Eternabond on the end caps. I have a 1999 HR Endeavor with a split down the middle aluminum roof and was going to replace the original seam tape with Eternabond. I was wanting to also do this on the end caps.

    I guess I can do this to make a solid upgrade to just caulk from the original manufacture.

    Sound good?

    1. Our RV came from the factory with Eternabond connecting both the front and rear end caps to the roof. Your plan sounds like exactly what we would do. The stuff is a little expensive, but it’s indestructible! We have links here in the post to 2″, 4″ and 6″ wide rolls, all 50′ long. Let us know how you make out!

Leave A Comment