Holes in RV or travel trailer roofs can lead to costly roof damage. All it takes is a tiny pinhole leak to ruin the roof decking and cost thousands of dollars in repairs. Once a vinyl RV roof has a hole in it you may think that you have to replace the whole roof. That is not the case, unless the roof is several years old and has multiple cracks and tears.
Recently I had an accident at a car wash that caused three small tears in the travel trailer’s roof. I pulled into the stall, thinking that my RV’s roof would clear the swivel arm of the pressure hose and misjudged the height. The first hole was about eight inches long, the second hole in the travel trailer roof was about five inches long and another was about two inches long.
I went to my local RV dealer who first wanted to charge me $500 to fix my travel trailer rubber roof. I politely declined and went to the parts department to see what products that they sold for a do it yourself RV roof repair. They suggested that I use a special peel and stick RV roof patch called Patchit.
Here is how to install one of those patches plus some information that they don’t tell you in the instructions.
Clean The Area Around The Hole In Your RV Roof
First use something like alcohol to clean your RV’s vinyl roof. I used contact cleaner, which dries clean and removed the scum and buildup that would have prevented the RV roof patch from sticking.
Next trim the patch into an oval shape if you prefer, that will cover the tears in your travel trailer’s roof by at least two or three inches on all sides.
Carefully peel off the backing of the RV roof patch and start sticking it on the area where the hole is, starting at one end and working the bubbles out. Once the travel trailer roof patch kit has been firmly stuck on, work out any remaining wrinkles or bubbles.
Peel off the grey backing so that the white part, which matches your roof, is revealed.
Caulk The Edges Of Your Travel Trailer Roof Patch
Some roof repair kits like the one made by Patchit (most common one sold in RV dealers) contain a tube of rubberized gray caulking to seal the edges with. If your kit contains this open the tube of caulking and apply a bead to the edge of the patch. You can use latex gloves to smooth the bead of caulking out. You may apply caulking to roof patches that do not come with a tube of caulking for extra protection. Use gray roof repair caulking sold at hardware or RV stores, made for vinyl.
That’s it. You have successfully patched your travel trailer roof for about $100 cheaper than the dealer would do it or for about $2000 cheaper than a new roof. Patches typically last as long as the roof and will not leak.
Some kits like Patchit only contain fixed sizes of patches. You can get more for your money by buying a roll of the same, self adhesive material sold in RV dealers. These can be cut for roof repairs on smaller or longer holes, as seen below. The tube of sealant that comes with a Patchit kit will work for these patches as well.