First Time RV Owner Faced With Roof Repair After Only 2 Weeks

by Lynn Culver
(Mena, Arkansas)

Question: We bought a used RV and it had apparently had its rubber roof repaired improperly some time prior. I think that about a four foot wide strip of rubber was replaced over the bedroom and seamed to the main rubber roof with a metal strip of something. For some reason, this 4-foot patch was not glued down. Where we live are problem buzzards, that will tear the rubber off windshield wipers and window trim on a car, and when I saw that this part of the roof was wrinkly and not flat , I thought, if the buzzards ever land on this RV they would destroy it.

It only took about 2 weeks after it arrived for me to oversleep one day and go out at 8:30 am and find a flock of buzzards on the roof and the rubber ripped to shreds.

Right now that section is covered with a tarp and we have to tackle this repair. There is just a bare piece of chipboard that was under this rubber section – no glue or anything – I don’t know how it was attached, I will have to take another look later when we take that tarp that is taped down off.

My husband wants to replace this section of the roof with a single piece of metal rather than try to use another piece of rubber roof. I have been reading about RV roofs on the Internet and I cannot find where anyone ever replaced just a section of a roof. I have also read where coating a metal roof with liquid rubber extends its life.

I don’t want the
roof to look funny, or leak. I would like it to match. I also wonder about joining the roof to the walls, and if you have to loosen the walls to get the rubber under them and then seal over them, or what. I haven not found anything that specifically deals with the walls.

What about putting a piece of metal over the wood and then coating the metal with the liquid rubber product to make it match the rest of the roof?

If this were you, what would you do to repair it?

Lynn Culver

Robbie: Wow, in my 33 years of RV repairs I've never heard of buzzards eating the rubber off a roof, but if this is the case the only thing you can do is replace the area with metal. Coating with the rubber compound is an extra step and can be done after the roof is repaired.

To connect the roofing material to the side walls your husband will remove the side moldings and bend the metal over the sides and replace the molding over it. You can purchase the roof metal in any length you want.

If these buzzards destroyed the front section it seems like only a matter of time before they eat up the rest. I believe I would consider recovering the roof in one piece of metal and have it all protected from future damage. You've only had the RV for a short time and doing it right the first time is going to save in the long run. Send pictures of before and after and I'll post them for our readers to see.

Good luck,

Comments for First Time RV Owner Faced With Roof Repair After Only 2 Weeks

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Jul 27, 2011
First Time Owner Faced With Roof Repair After Only 2 Weeks
by: Lynn Culver

Thanks for the advice. I just want to say that the buzzards did not bother any other part of the roof that is glued down flat.

The repair had rubber wrinkles an inch or more high, and it was real easy for the buzzards to grab hold of the rubber and pull and rip. They even landed on my brand new patio furniture set up by the RV and damaged the piping around the cushions. We hate those birds.

I live in the country, and we raise wild cats and butcher a lot of animals, and so we have a higher than average buzzard population, but they are a real problem in this part of the country. Buzzards will peck the eyes out of a calf while it is being born and kill it.

We had a compost heap about 200 feet from where we set the RV, and I knew that was a mistake as well. Needless to say, my husband has used the tractor to remove the compost heap to much father away so that attractive nuisance is gone.

The damage is about 3 feet long the entire 8 feet width of the RV and I ordered a gallon of liquid roof, and some 4" enternabond tape to use as well as the piece of metal my husband purchased. When we actually do the repairs, I will take some photos for you. Do I need some of that Dicor stuff too?

I feel that we were deliberately misled. The RV was a very competitive price, and even if we have to spend time and money, it?s ok. But the RV had all paperwork inside, including a receipt for $2,000 to repair to the roof and structural damage in 2007. The owners name was blanked out on the receipt (did it even belong to this RV?) Anyway, seeing that, and seeing that the ceiling in the bedroom below this part of the roof does have signs of a roof leak sometime in the past, one would assume the RV was damaged, repaired properly, and problem was solved. But there is no way a licensed repair shop would replace a piece of rubber roof without gluing it down with contact cement. Further, its pretty chincey to use chipboard instead of plywood. I really think this was an owner done improper repair. And the RV dealer told us newbies the roof was fine.

My husband is a real handy guy and should be able to tackle this, but joining the metal to the walls is what seems tricky to me. Like I said, we were so horrified, we just immediately tarped over it and taped it down and have not taken another look at how the roof meets the walls there.

Anyways, that?s a little bit more about my RV.

Lynn Culver

May 26, 2014
buzzard damage
by: Ky

last spring buzzards pecked out part of our trailer roof as well, and caused enough water damage to total our travel trailer. This was the original roof on an immaculate camper we bought new. We bought it back at salvage price, junked the title and leave it at our farm for camping. My husband fixed it with the rolled rubber roofing materiel and it did not leaked.....until this spring when thr buzzards started again! And they are federally protected so we cant even shoot the damaging birds! This is very frustrating! Any ideas?

Aug 10, 2015
rubber roof patch
by: Anonymous

so can you patch a section of rubber roof and connect to other rubber or do you need to replace whole roof?

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Robbie Warford, San Diego RV Repair

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