How to Deal with RV Roof Leaks

 

There you are, minding your own business, relaxing with your family in the comfort of your motorhome, listening to the soothing sound of the rain falling outside. Then it happens – drip, drip, drip. The dreaded sound of water inside your safe haven, right where it’s not supposed to be. RV roof leaks are no fun, but you don’t need to panic. Unless something has fallen on top of your motorhome and created a gaping hole, it’s likely that you can deal with the situation yourself. The most important thing is that you don’t put off doing something about the problem, as this is sure to lead to much more expensive repairs than a simple roof patch.

Finding RV Roof Leaks

Locating the source of the issue is typically the most difficult part of the task. It’s important to understand that in a motorhome, water from a leak often travels throughout the area between the roof and the interior ceiling before finally dripping down into the room. This means that wherever the water is dripping on inside of the rig may very well not be the place from which it’s actually originating.

You have a couple of options when it comes to finding the source. You can take your RV to a shop that deals with repairs and pay them to smoke the rig out. This involves the professional blocking off all possible exits such as vents and pipes, and filling the unit up with smoke to see where it’s escaping out of the roof.

Or, if you’re so inclined, you can attempt to perform a pressure test yourself. Making this method work involves creating enough air pressure, possibly through the use of fans, to create a pressure differential between the outside and the inside of the rig (of course blocking all vents and drains first). You then apply bubble solution to the suspect areas of the roof, such as seams and protrusions like skylights and vents, and see if any bubbles form.

The important thing to remember if you’re doing the leak test yourself is not to create so much internal pressure that you cause damage to the RV, although this is unlikely when using air sources found around the house. It’s a good idea to either cobble together a makeshift manometer, or use a real one, in order to monitor the pressure differential between the inside and outside atmospheres.

Fixing RV Roof Leaks

Once you’ve determined the location of your RV roof leaks, you’ll want to thoroughly clean the areas, and cut or scrape away any damaged caulking or liquid roof patching material. Next you can apply a repair product like EternaBond tape, or in the case of a tear or thin area in your roof’s rubber membrane, patch the area with a product like Liquid Roof.

Fixing leaks in your motorhome’s roof can be a project, but with a little persistence and some good luck, you can get the problem under control and prevent any extensive interior damage to your ride.