When people think of the most important components of an RV, they typically think about such items as the engine and the interior of the vehicle itself. The roof seldom gets mentioned, even though it is actually the most exposed area of the RV. Because the roof seems to be out of sight and out of mind, many RV owners neglect it until it is too late and then major damage occurs. You want to avoid this mistake by taking certain precautions and performing routine maintenance on your vehicle that eliminates much of the wear and tear that your roof is put through on a daily basis. To begin this process, it is first important to understand what type of roof is actually on your RV.
Various Types of RV Roofs Manufactured Today
There are three primary types of material that comprise the majority of RV roofs on the market today. Roughly 4 out 5 roofs are made of a single piece of rubber, while the rest are made of either metal or fiberglass. Because of its unique composition, a rubber roof is not as likely to be damaged by weather related elements, but they do tend to be more harmed by sharp or hard contacts that tend to hit the surface of an RV. Tree branches are especially worrying to many RV owners because of their tendency to poke holes in the rubber, causing a leak.
On the other hand, a roof made of metal or fiberglass certainly possesses the hard surface that can withstand direct hits, but it can be damaged by the weather. So it is really a toss up as to which is the better roof, but since rubber is more flexible and generally more affordable, manufacturers tend to go with that as their primary option. No matter what material your RV roof is made of, however, you will eventually need to repair it. How frequently you need to do this is largely up to you, which speaks to the importance of proper maintenance.
Make Inspecting Your RV Roof Part of Your Regular Routine
An RV is a big investment, so you want to spend the time necessary to inspect the roof on a regular basis, at least once a year, and get any needed repairs done as quickly as possible. If you are driving through areas that have extreme weather conditions, such as snow or a lot of driving rain, you might want to up that inspection to twice a year. Extreme weather conditions can cause the seal of your RV roof to crack, and this the primary factor behind roof leaks.
If you can locate a small crack in a seal early on, the repair will be relatively easy and inexpensive. When looking for cracks, make sure to pay attention the areas around the seams, including areas such as roof vents, any sky lights, vents to your sink, and the front and rear top seams forming the foundation for the roof. These repairs will go a long way towards ensuring the integrity of your RV roof for quite some time to come.