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Roof Repair

While getting ready for my first long trip in my Roadtrek van, I decided to check the roof of the 5th wheel (my main home) and found the upper front 12 feet in somewhat bad shape. I had repaired the lower portion previously with new wood and a thick plastic like covering the RV repair place now uses over the rubber membrane.

The upper roof appeared to have a coating applied over the membrane which had split in several places and the coating was now flaking. The roof was black in spots and hot as hell! It was not leaking. Yet. Unfortunately, RV shops were already booked up and my time was running short to head out on my trip for which I already had an appointment to meet someone in Utah to get some work done on my van. I decided to go the roof coating route for the repair and bought Henry’s Tropicool at Home Depot. The cost to coat a roof yourself is very low at around $300 including throw away tools such as cheap roller covers, 3″-4″ paint brushes, a roller extension rod, gloves, etc. You can’t clean this stuff up afterward so you will have to use new ones for each coat. I put 2 coats on.

5th Wheel Roof Before

To put it on, you need to do it in the cool of the morning or evening and it should not be windy. The wind delayed me several days. First I scraped the old caulk off the front seam across. Not fun. The black got on my shoes and left shoe prints everywhere that I had to clean up when done. I taped over the seam with an Eternabond equivalent and caulked the edges down. I inspected the caulking around the vents and it was decent so I left it but added some of the tape again.

I washed the roof well and had someone on the ground with a hose to spray the sides as it dripped down so they didn’t get black streaks.

To start the coating, I used a paintbrush to go along the edges and around the vents. I then switched to a roller on an extension pole and a paint pan to roll it on front to back. It went on easily but you have to be careful near the edges so it doesn’t drip down the side or block up the rain gutters. I waited 24 hours and used a new roller cover and paintbrush to do the second coat.

It looks great and the roof is now much cooler than it was. No leaks. Going with a roof coating I will need to redo it again in a year or two but it is not expensive and the next time should be even easier. I’ll watch it for deterioration over time and may or may not replace that part of the roof eventually.

For two coats on my 8′ x 12′ piece of roof that I did, I used 1.5 gallons of roof coating.

5th Wheel Roof After





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