How To Prevent RV Roof Damage This Winter
RV roof damage can lead to a host of problems if not found and repaired quickly. Moisture can gain entry through the impaired area, causing water damage to interior panels, upholstery, drapery, carpet, and more.
If left unattended, this will lead to wood rot, mildew, and mold, which could render your RV uninhabitable. Your best defense against RV roof damage is to take preventative measures, especially from snow and hail.
“Keeping your RV clear of snow, hail, and other elements that are thrown its way will keep it in tip-top shape and help you save money on repairs down the line.”Per Wholesale Direct Carports×
Here are a few ways to avoid RV roof damage this winter.
Cover your RV roof
Keep snow and hail from landing on the roof of your RV. No roof damage can occur if snow and hail never fall on your RV.
RV covers will prevent potential roof damage from moisture intrusion but do little to protect your RV roof from hail damage or the weight of snow. If a cover is the only option, consider using slanted/pitched sheathing under the cover to help shed snow and protect against large hailstones.
Move your RV
Weather apps do a pretty good job at providing information on approaching storms that are likely to produce snow or hail.
Radar images on these apps will also display the approaching storm and the expected track it will take. With this information, you have time to move your RV out of harm’s way.
Store it undercover
This can be in a commercial facility or in a structure on your own property. Possibilities include garages, pole buildings, metal RV carports, etc. This article covers many of the options listed.
Protect items on your roof
The top membrane on most newer RV roofs is made of rubber or PVC. Both of these materials are quite flexible and do a good job of keeping moisture out and repelling hail without damage.
However, your vent covers, air conditioning shroud, plumbing vents, skylights, etc. are made of plastic that can easily be damaged by medium-size hail stones or collapsed by heavy snow. This is especially true of plastics that have become brittle after years of exposure to the sun’s UV rays.
To protect these items when hail or heavy snow is expected, consider covering them for protection. Items RVers use include wood sheathing, inverted metal wash tubs, inverted Rubbermaid containers, old wooden fruit boxes, etc.
Avoid parking under trees
Tree limbs can break off during hailstorms or from the weight of snow, sending them crashing onto the roof of your RV. To minimize the chance of roof damage to your RV, avoid parking under trees when snow or hail is a possibility.
Remove snow from the RV roof
Even if the snow falls as light, fluffy powder, it will eventually start melting and turning to ice. The repeated freeze/thaw cycle of ice on the roof of your RV can potentially cause all kinds of damage to seams and fixtures.
The other concern is heavy rain following a snowstorm. Like a sponge, snow can absorb copious amounts of water. Snow left on the roof of an RV can eventually become so heavy with rainwater that it can collapse the roof.
Use caution when on the roof of an RV removing snow. Also, use something soft like a broom to sweep away the snow. Sharp objects like a snow shovel can easily cause damage to the roof membrane or vents/covers.
By retracting your slideouts before a hail or snowstorm, you can protect the slideout roofs/slideout toppers from potential damage.
While it won’t prevent RV roof damage, you should also retract your patio awning before a hail or snowstorm to avoid damage to the awning.
While comprehensive RV insurance can’t prevent roof damage, it can provide peace of mind that you are protected from the unexpected, like being caught unprepared in a hail or snowstorm.
Get tips from other RVers
Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.