Can I stand on the roof of my caravan?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can I stand on the roof of my caravan? We will discuss how much weight a  caravan roof can support and what are the strongest motorhome roofs. 

Can I stand on the roof of my caravan?

Yes, it is possible to stand on the roof of a caravan, although we do not recommend it! Caravan roofs leave little room for climbing and can be fragile under your weight. As for RVs and full-size motorhomes, the roofs are larger but require a lot of precautions to climb on them. The type and build of your motorhome will determine whether or not you can safely stand on its roof.

Common sense rules for walking on a caravan roof:

  • If the caravan has a roof ladder, there is a good chance that it will be possible to climb it;
  • Some developers put a sticker somewhere with the maximum weight limit allowed on the roof. If you weigh more, don’t go up there;
  • Check the condition and consider  the age of the roof;
  • If you have a fibreglass roof, you can probably walk on it because fibreglass roofs are the strongest.
  • Do not walk on a wet roof, no matter how heavy it can support, a wet roof is slippery and dangerous;
  • Take no chances and walk on a badly damaged motorhome roof;
  • Take into account the weight of any equipment before venturing there (solar panel, air conditioning, etc.)

You can climb onto the roof of your caravan to clean and maintain it

Most people who get on their caravan do so to clean the roof or to do maintenance or to fix something. Few are those who go there for pleasure, but it can happen, in particular, to take a picture. Some even go so far as to use the roof as a terrace …

Remember that every time you step on the roof you run the risk of damaging it. If you stay upright, all of your weight will be concentrated in two points, under your feet. You may therefore sink the roof if you walk on a place without reinforcement.

A ladder or a stepladder should be high enough to clean the roof of your caravan. Besides, with a pressure washer, you can reach anywhere on the roof. Nevertheless, be careful about the pressure you send. Do not use too much pressure and keep a good spray distance.

But if you still want to get on your roof, keep it as short as possible. First, assemble the accessories you need, I am thinking of a brush, a broom or a blower. If after removing leaves and twigs you want to wet the roof, be very careful because the surface will be slippery. Stay on your ladder, stay safe.

How much weight can the roof of the caravan support?

So how do you know if you can walk on the roof of your caravan? This is a question many of us ask ourselves and few can answer.

So I decided to do some research and couldn’t find anything very convincing on the subject. There are a lot of comments on the forums and the figure that comes up often is 100 kilos. But it is very difficult to find reliable information on this matter.

I looked at the manuals and specifications for several motorhomes and could not find any information.

So I came to the conclusion that the best thing to do is call the company that fitted out your motorhome. If the manufacturer is unable to tell you the weight limit on the roof, then it’s better not to risk it.

Other questions you may be interested in

How fast can I pull my travel trailer?

What is the standard height of a caravan?

Are Hobby caravans good?

What is the strongest caravan roof?

We have already given you a tip that the strongest caravan roof is made of fibreglass. There are different types of motorhome roofs. Manufacturers regularly innovate in this area. Polyester is the most widely used material these days.

Polyester: Polyester roofs have many advantages. Corrosion does not reach them and they are non-porous. It is a very rigid material that does not deform under the impact of hail. It is generally very weather resistant.

Fibreglass: Fiberglass roofs are shiny and strong. They are very easy to maintain. They provide a solid and hard surface on which to walk is possible, with all the necessary precautions. But they can be extremely slippery when wet.

Aluminium: You are unlikely to find a motorhome with an aluminium roof unless it is quite old. Aluminium roofs are not very strong, and it is a heavy material that impacts the payload of the motorhome. I strongly advise against climbing on an aluminium roof.

It is important to know what material the roof of your motorhome is made of before you consider mounting it. Do not climb on an aluminium roof. For the rest, take all the necessary precautions.

How to walk on the roof of your motorhome

Clearly, being able to climb on the roof of your motorhome depends on the material and the structural support.

Each roof has strong areas and weak areas. Knowing where the strong and weak areas of the roof area will help you navigate your way safely and not damage it.

  1. Walk on the strongest areas: The strongest part of the caravan roof is actually just above the cell walls. This is obviously where the roof has the most support. The further you move towards the centre, the more likely you are to feel the roof buckle under your weight.

So I advise you to stay at the edge of the roof, you should be able to reach the whole roof with a broom or a high-pressure lance.

  1. Avoid weaker areas: The weakest areas of a motorhome roof are in the centre and wherever the roof has been cut. The centre of the roof is furthest from the side support and therefore this area is the weakest, so do your best to avoid going there. I think it’s possible to stay on the ribs and still get to the centre with a broom or a high-pressure lance.

In addition, all areas of the roof that have been cut to allow the installation of a skylight, air conditioning and the like are also weak points. Avoid approaching these cut-out areas so as not to exert pressure and ultimately peel off the joints around these cut-outs.

  1. Use a ladder or stepladder to climb: If your motorhome is not equipped with an original ladder, take your ladder. Protect the angle under the ladder with a blanket and have someone block the legs and hold the ladder. If you are alone, wait until a partner joins you.

In summary

I wouldn’t teach you anything by telling you that getting on the roof of a caravan can be dangerous. I do not specifically recommend you to do it.

Yes, it is possible to climb on the roof of some motorhomes. Some models even have a built-in scale to allow this. They are not there to look pretty. They allow you to go up to ensure the maintenance of the roof on an occasional basis.

If you know the allowable weight, use common sense, and follow the above safety tips, you will be safe and will not damage the roof of your caravan!

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can I stand on the roof of my caravan?

How to waterproof the roof of a caravan?

To waterproof the roof of a caravan, you can apply a diluted undercoat of waterproofing resin, and let it dry for 6 hours. Apply a first pure layer of waterproofing resin, and leave it to dry for 6 hours; apply a second pure layer of waterproofing resin and leave it for 24  hours.

How to repair the roof of a motorhome?

To repair the roof of a motorhome, you must fit a new layer of fibreglass and a topcoat, for example, lacquer or topcoat. If the roof of your aluminium motorhome has leaked on the seals, it is impossible to redo the seams.

How to clean the roof of your motorhome?

To clean  the roof of your motorhome, you must:

  1. Wet the vehicle with a jet of water.
  2. Apply defoamer or antifungal if necessary, clean with a brush and rinse.
  3. Mix the detergent with water in a bucket.
  4. Dip the brush or sponge into the product and clean the roof.

References

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