How to Redo a Camper Roof | Step-by-Step Guide

Redoing a camper roof is a crucial maintenance task that can extend the life of your recreational vehicle and protect it from water damage. Whether you’re dealing with a worn-out rubber membrane, cracked fiberglass, or corroded aluminum, this comprehensive article will guide you through the process of restoring your camper’s roof to its former glory. From selecting the right materials to executing the repair, we’ll cover everything you need to know to tackle this DIY project with confidence.

How to Redo a Camper Roof

Tools & Materials Required to Redo a Camper Roof

Before you begin your camper roof project, it’s crucial to assemble the proper tools and materials. The specific requirements will vary depending on the type of roof you have and the severity of the repairs needed. Here’s a breakdown of the typical needs for different roof materials –

Rubber Membrane Roofs (EPDM, TPO)

Rubber membrane roofs are popular due to their durability and ease of installation. 


  • Roof scraper
  • Utility knife
  • Heat gun (optional, but helpful for loosening adhesive)


  • New EPDM/TPO membrane
  • Roof adhesive
  • Lap sealant
  • Butyl tape
  • Seam roller

Repair (For minor leaks):

  • Sealant
  • Patch kits

Fiberglass Roofs

Fiberglass roofs are lightweight and offer good insulation. 


  • Hammer drill
  • Chisel
  • Grinder (optional, for smoothing edges)


  • Fiberglass repair kit (including resin, mat, and hardener)
  • Sealant
  • Roofing tape

Repair (For minor leaks):

  • Fiberglass repair kit
  • Sealant

Aluminum Roofs

Aluminum roofs are durable and low-maintenance. 


  • Rivet gun
  • Drill
  • Sheet metal tools (optional for patching)


  • New aluminum sheets
  • Sealant
  • Butyl tape
  • Rivets

Repair (For minor leaks):

  • Sealant
  • Patching materials (optional)

How Do You Redo a Camper Roof?

Redoing a camper roof involves several steps, from removing the old roof to installing the new one. So, let’s break down each stage of the roof renovation process.

Removing the Old Roof

The first step in redoing your camper roof is to remove the old, damaged material. 

Removing the Old Roof

This process will vary depending on your roof type, but generally involves the following steps –

Step 1: Start by removing vents, AC units, antennas, and any other accessories mounted on the roof. This will give you clear access to the entire roof surface.

Step 2: Carefully scrape away the old sealant and remove any trim pieces or molding around the roof edges. Be gentle to avoid damaging the underlying structure.

Step 3: Remove the old roof material.

  • For membrane roofs: Use a heat gun to soften the adhesive, then carefully peel back the membrane.
  • For fiberglass roofs: Use a hammer drill and chisel to chip away the old fiberglass. This can be dusty work, so wear appropriate protective gear.
  • For aluminum roofs: Remove rivets with a drill and carefully lift off the aluminum sheets.

Step 4: Once the old roof is removed, carefully examine the roof deck for any signs of water damage, wood rot, or structural issues. Replace any damaged decking or support beams before proceeding.

Preparing the Surface

Proper surface preparation is crucial for ensuring the new roof adheres correctly and performs well. 

Preparing the Surface

Follow these steps –

Step 1: Remove all debris, dirt, and remnants of the old roof material. Use a pressure washer if needed, but allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding.

Step 2: Address minor repairs.

  • For membrane roofs: Fill in any small cracks or holes with an appropriate sealant.
  • For fiberglass roofs: Use a fiberglass repair kit to patch any minor chips or cracks.
  • For aluminum roofs: Smooth out any dents or rough spots with sandpaper or a file.

Step 3: Depending on your new roof material, you may need to apply a primer to ensure proper adhesion. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific roofing product.

Installing the New Roof

The installation process varies significantly depending on the type of roof material you’re using. Here’s a breakdown for each type –

Installing the New Roof

Rubber Membrane (EPDM/TPO)

Step 1: Apply roof adhesive to the cleaned and prepared surface, following the manufacturer’s instructions for coverage and drying time.

Step 2: Carefully unroll the new membrane over the adhesive, starting at one end of the roof and working your way to the other.

Step 3: Use a seam roller to press the membrane firmly into place, ensuring good contact with the adhesive and removing any air bubbles.

Step 4: Secure the edges of the membrane with butyl tape for added protection against leaks.

Step 5: Cut openings for vents, hatches, and other roof penetrations, following the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation.

Step 6: Apply lap sealant around all seams and penetrations to create a watertight seal.


Step 1: Mix the fiberglass resin according to the kit instructions. Work in small sections to avoid the resin setting before you can apply it.

Step 2: Apply a layer of resin to the prepared surface, then lay down a piece of fiberglass mat, saturating it with more resin.

Step 3: Continue layering resin and fiberglass mat until you achieve the desired thickness (typically 2-3 layers).

Step 4: Allow the fiberglass to cure completely, which may take 24-48 hours depending on temperature and humidity.

Step 5: Once cured, sand the surface smooth and apply a final layer of resin or gel coat for UV protection.

Step 6: Apply sealant around all roof penetrations and edges.


Step 1: Cut new aluminum sheets to fit your roof, allowing for overlap at the seams.

Step 2: Apply a bead of sealant along the edges where the sheets will overlap.

Step 3: Secure the aluminum sheets in place using rivets or self-tapping screws, ensuring a tight seal at all seams.

Step 4: Apply additional sealant over all fasteners and seams for added protection against leaks.

Reinstalling Roof Accessories

Once your new roof is in place and fully cured, it’s time to reinstall your roof accessories –

  • Carefully cut holes for vents, AC units, and other accessories if you haven’t already done so during the roof installation.
  • Apply a generous amount of sealant around each penetration before installing the accessory.
  • Secure each item according to the manufacturer’s instructions, typically using screws or bolts.
  • Apply an additional layer of sealant around the edges of each installed accessory for extra protection against leaks.
  • Allow all sealant to cure completely before exposing the roof to water.


Redoing a camper roof is a significant undertaking, but with the right tools, materials, and approach, it’s a manageable DIY project that can save you money and extend the life of your RV. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs of minor issues can help prevent the need for a full roof replacement in the future. Always prioritize safety when working on your camper roof, and don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you encounter any issues beyond your skill level.

People Also Ask

How often should I inspect my camper roof? 

It’s recommended to inspect your camper roof at least twice a year, typically in spring and fall. Additionally, perform a quick check after any severe weather events or long trips. Regular inspections can help catch minor issues before they become major problems.

Can I use a different roofing material than what was originally on my camper? 

While it’s possible to switch roofing materials, it’s generally not recommended unless you’re working with a professional. Each roof type requires specific installation techniques and may affect the overall weight and structure of your camper. Stick to the original material type unless you have a compelling reason to change and are prepared for the additional complexities.

How long does a typical camper roof replacement take? 

The duration of a camper roof replacement can vary widely depending on the size of your RV, the type of roofing material, and your level of experience. As a rough estimate, expect to spend 2-4 days on the project. This includes time for removal of the old roof, repairs to the underlying structure, installation of the new roof, and reinstallation of accessories. Always allow extra time for unexpected issues and proper curing of adhesives and sealants.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *