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Ah, the RV roof – long a source of frustration and consternation, based on the enemy of all RVers: leaks! Although the RV roof has a bad rep, roof leaks can (and should!) be avoided. Keeping the integrity of your RV roof strong is merely a matter of good maintenance. This involves regular monitoring of your roof sealants, and sometimes it calls for a new RV roof coating. In today’s post, we’re looking at five of the best!
So, rather than cursing your RV’s leaky roof, let’s give it the attention it requires.
What to Consider Before Choosing an RV Roof Coating for Your RV
- 1.1) What Type of RV Roof Do You Have?
- 1.2) What Is the Current Condition of Your RV Roof?
- 1.3) Is Your Roof Already Leaking?
- 1.4) Does Your RV Roof Have Holes That Need Repair?
- 1.5) Have You Checked & Maintained Your Sealants?
- 1.6) Have You Used the Proper Sealants?
- 1.7) Are You Able to Coat Your Own Roof?
- 2) How Much Does It Cost to Recoat an RV Roof?
What Are the Best RV Roof Coating Products For Your RV?
- 3.1) Dicor RPCRC1 White EPDM Rubber Roof Coating
- 3.2) Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating
- 3.3) Dicor RP-MRC-1 Elastomeric Coating for Metal RV Roofs
- 3.4) Dicor Fiberglass RV Roof Coating
- 3.5) Roof Coatings, LLD RC5000RV Liquid RV Roof Coating & RV Roof Repair
- 4) How Frequently Do I Need to Recoat My RV Roof?
- 5) Have You Used Products Like This?
What to Consider Before Choosing an RV Roof Coating for Your RV
When you’re in the market for an RV roof coating, the very first thing you need to know is what type of RV roof you have.
What Type of RV Roof Do You Have?
If you’ve read our post, “The Complete Guide to Your RV’s Roof”, you already know that your RV’s roof is likely to be made of one of four materials.
Before you begin shopping for an RV roof coating product, you absolutely need to know which type of RV roof your rig has. This will determine the type of product you’ll need to use to recoat the surface of your RV roof. If you aren’t sure, check with your RV manufacturer to confirm.
What Is the Current Condition of Your RV Roof?
You’ll also need to survey the current condition of your RV roof prior to applying any RV roof coating. There may be a few issues that need to be addressed before you can recoat your rig’s roof, and there is no point whatsoever in recoating a roof that hasn’t had these issues addressed.
If you’re trying to repair or prevent leaks, you need to address any areas that are already leaking or are already vulnerable to leaking. Only then should you recoat your RV’s roof. Recoating the roof isn’t guaranteed to stop leaks due to issues like roof damage or damaged or broken down sealants.
Is Your Roof Already Leaking?
If you’re already experiencing leaking issues anywhere in your RV, you’ll need to address those issues prior to recoating your roof. Have a look at our post and video, showing you how RV roof leaks can cause serious damage, and how (and why!) you need to deal with RV roof leaks ASAP.
Does Your RV Roof Have Holes That Need Repair?
There are a variety of items installed on an RV roof and those items can leave holes when they’re removed or replaced. In addition, things like tree branches can create holes in the surface of an RV roof.
Prior to investing your time and money in the process of recoating your RV’s roof, take a close and careful look all over your RV roof, and deal with any holes requiring repair. For some good advice on repairing RV roof holes, see our post, “How to Fix Holes In an RV Roof”.
Have You Checked & Maintained Your Sealants?
One of the most common reasons for RV roof leaks are damaged or worn sealants on your RV’s roof. Sealants need to be maintained. Their constant exposure to UV rays from the sun, hot and cold temperature extremes, ice, snow, tree branches, etc. leaves RV sealants vulnerable to damage over time.
The sealants on your RV’s roof are among the most important maintenance items you should be tending to on a regular basis. For a very clear and thorough overview on how and why you need to maintain your RV roof sealants well, we again welcome you to visit our YouTube video, “RV Roof Fail! Water Damage”.
Have You Used the Proper Sealants?
Once you’ve committed to the important task of monitoring your RV roof sealants regularly, you need to make sure you have the proper sealants on hand for the job. When you visit your rig’s roof and find sealants that require repair, you don’t want to run to your local hardware or home improvement store and pick up a tube of silicone or caulk. This is likely to be a grave mistake.
You need very specific sealants for your RV’s roof, and you really should have the proper sealants on hand. For more information on the proper sealants for an RV roof and how to apply them, see our post about why it’s so important to choose the right RV caulk for the job.
And while we’re on the topic of choosing the right sealants and coatings for an RV roof, let’s address the Flex Seal elephant in the room. While this product may have worked well for some RVers, Flex Seal is not the proper sealant or coating to use if you’re interested in securing the integrity of your RV’s roof. For details regarding why we hold this opinion, feel free to have a look at our post giving you 5 reasons not to use Flex Seal for your RV roof.
Are You Able to Coat Your Own Roof?
And finally, a very important question to ask yourself prior to buying an RV roof coating product is whether or not you’re able to coat your own RV roof (or have the desire to do so).
Many RVers draw the line at doing work on their rig’s rooftop, and that’s not a bad call. In fact, it’s a highly reasonable call, especially if your rig’s roof is difficult to get up on and navigate with a safe, secure grip. As well, if you’re not physically comfortable climbing a ladder and working very cautiously on a high, often slippery surface, this is another good reason to skip RV roof work.
These are critically important considerations because injuries caused by falling from ladders or RV roofs are real threats to life and limb and certainly will prevent you from enjoying your RV. So make this decision carefully and realistically, and secure the services of a professional if you can’t or don’t want to work on your RV’s roof. A good mobile RV tech may be able to come right to you to address your roof maintenance and repair needs. For more on this option, see our post, “Where to Find Mobile RV Repair Near You”.
How Much Does It Cost to Recoat an RV Roof?
There is really no way to generalize the cost to recoat an RV roof because there are so many variables to consider. These include any damage that needs to be repaired first, how much prep work is required (and the products required for the prep work), the recoating product being used, the type of RV roof you have, the size of your RV, and whether you intend to recoat the roof yourself or employ the services of a professional.
The best way to obtain an idea of the cost to recoat your RV roof is to first determine the type of roof you have, and then, if you plan to recoat the roof yourself, look at the best products available for coating that type of roof (see below) as well as any necessary products used for preparing the roof prior to recoating. Then consider the size of your RV roof and how much product you’ll need to recoat the entire roof.
If you’ve decided to hire a professional to do the job, make sure you know the type of roof you have on your RV prior to calling for estimates.
What Are the Best RV Roof Coating Products For Your RV?
There are a number of RV roof coating products on the market. We suggest doing your homework before investing your time, money, and energy in the process to make sure you’re getting a product that is tried and true for your type of RV roof.
Let’s take a look at some of the best RV roof coating products for various types of RV roofs.
Dicor RPCRC1 White EPDM Rubber Roof Coating
Dicor is a trusted name in the RV community and in the industry itself, and there are good reasons for this. People trust products that work and that have proven to be durable and reliable over time.
This particular RV roof coating product is for EPDM rubber roofs (as well as PVC roofs). This is an acrylic roof coating that flexes well, making it an excellent product for the roofs of RVs.
There are a couple of things you need to understand about this product upfront:
First, it’s one part of a two-part system and must be used with the cleaner/activator. The cleaner/activator (to which we’ll link below) is a very important part of this system. People who don’t bother to use the prep product prior to using the RV coating product are likely the reviewers complaining that the coating didn’t last. Dicor clearly states that this is a two-part system. Be sure to use the cleaner/activator in preparation for recoating your RV’s roof, or all bets are off as to how durable the product will be.
Used properly, this product is guaranteed for five years, which is a respectable duration for an RV roof coating.
The second thing you need to be aware of is that two coats of this product are required for the product to work as designed. One gallon will give you ONE COAT over 125 sq. ft. (for an 8.5-foot wide roof, that would be just shy of 15’ of length). So, you’ll need to figure the square footage of your RV’s roof and be sure to figure in TWO coats when ordering the product (in addition to the cleaner/activator).
This is an acrylic coating that provides a high-quality protective barrier for extending the life of an EPDM roof membrane. Used as directed, it will offer excellent UV protection and weather resistance. Proper adhesion is dependent on the use of the cleaner/activator shown below the roof coating product.
- Well Suited for Retrofit Installations
- Flexes very well
Remember, this coating must be used with this product:
Coating System Roof Cleaner/Activator
- USE: This roof coating system extends the life of an EPDM rubber roof on RVs.
- EASY TO USE: Saves more than 25 percent in labor compared to competing products
Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating
Heng’s Rubber Roof Coating is another popular RV roof coating product for rubber roofs. It offers good UV resistance and expandability, meaning that it expands and contracts with your RV’s roof.
Reviewers note that cleaning your RV’s roof extremely well and using a degreasing agent is imperative, and they also note that the product is thin and requires 2-3 coats. Most reviewers report excellent results as long as care is taken to adequately prepare the roof and apply the coating.
- Designed for use over RV rubber roofs, at seams and tears and to seal vents, air conditioners, etc.
- It is UV resistant and expands and contracts with roofs
Dicor RP-MRC-1 Elastomeric Coating for Metal RV Roofs
This elastomeric coating is Dicor’s product for metal RV roofs, but Dicor notes that this product is appropriate for aluminum, steel, fiberglass, and previously coated RV roofs. (It is NOT appropriate for EPDM rubber or TPO roofs.)
Please note that this product is used in a two-step process, the first of which involves the application of a rust-inhibitive primer that we’ll link to below.
As with the first Dicor product noted above for EPDM roofs, it’s NOT recommended to use this product without first applying the primer. As in any painting or coating work, RV-related or otherwise, proper preparation is absolutely key, and this product is no exception.
This product requires two coats for good protection, and one gallon should cover 200 sq. ft. with ONE coat. (200 sq. ft. ÷ 8.5’ wide roof = approx 23’ of RV length)
- The package length is 23 inches
- The package height is 5 inches
Again, this product MUST be used after this primer has been applied first:
Dicor Corporation RP-MRRIP-Q Metal Roof Rust Inhibitive Primer
- Helps Control rust
- Acrylic rust inhibitive resin
This is an RV roof coating product made by Dicor and intended specifically for fiberglass RV roofs. It’s formulated with 100% acrylic fiberglass resins creating a flexible coating that allows for appropriate expansion and contraction to match the property of your RV’s roof.
The bright white reflective surface is said to lower interior RV temperatures. Dicor notes that this product is NOT appropriate for EPDM rubber or TPO roof membranes.
Dicor also offers a fiberglass clean and prep product that needs to be used before the roof coating is applied.
The fiberglass RV roof coating can be found at Camping World, and the prep product required can also be found there, though Amazon tends to consistently have the best price:
Dicor RP-FCP-1 Fiberglass Clean & Prep
- Package Weight : 4.399 kilograms
- Fast acting formula, Biodegradable, Easy to use
Roof Coatings, LLD RC5000RV Liquid RV Roof Coating & RV Roof Repair
This product bonds to EPDM, TPO, PVC, Hypalon, and Fiberglass with NO primer. Two coats are required, with a single coat covering 100 sq. ft. of roof. (only about 11.5’ of an 8.5’ wide roof)
While we’re less familiar with this product than we are with the others, it appears to have some good ratings from Amazon reviewers. We suggest you check them out yourself and compare them with the thousands of ratings shown for the products from Dicor and Heng’s, (depending on the type of roof your RV has).
- 20 Mil Dry Film Thickness
- Covers 100 Sq. Ft. Per Gallon Per Coat. 2 Coats Required
How Frequently Do I Need to Recoat My RV Roof?
The answer to this question will depend to some degree on the proper application of the RV roof coating you choose. We can’t state emphatically enough that if the manufacturer of the coating product states that a prep product is required and two coats of the coating product are required, you really need to follow their directions or you may be recoating your RV’s roof again in short order.
Also, some climates cause more wear & tear on RV roofs than others. So, how frequently you may need to recoat your RV roof will depend on whether it’s spent months sitting in a hot, high-sun environment or whether your RV’s roof has been covered in ice and snow every winter. (See our post on “The Best RV Covers to Protect Your RV”, if interested.)
We’ve read claims that RV roofs should be recoated annually (which seems excessive), while others claim that every 2-4 years is adequate. In reality, you should be checking on the condition of your RV’s roof regularly, checking your sealants every couple of months, and keeping a very close eye on the roof in general.
Depending on the variables including the type of RV roof you have, how well it has been maintained, the climate and general environment your RV has been in, and whether the roof has incurred any damage will command the interval of time between necessary roof coatings.
Have You Used Products Like This?
We’d be very interested to know if you’ve used RV roof coating products in the past and how satisfied you’ve been with the products. Toss us some details in terms of how easy the application process was, whether the cost of doing it yourself was worthwhile, and how durable you’ve found the product to be over time.
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials 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.