How do you fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper? We will discuss some of the reasons why your pop-up camper roof may be sagging and explain how you can fix this issue. We will also discuss the basics of pop-up camper roof maintenance. 

How do you fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper?

To fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper you first must understand why it happens and what it means. When the roof of your pop-up is sagging, it causes a lot of damage to your camper: deformation of the roof covering, water infiltration, cracks in the roof, etc. 

But the longer the roofing and framing problems persist, the more you risk a collapse of your roof and this is not without consequences for your camper. So what causes a sagging roof? Here are the most common causes related to sagging camper roofs:

  • The ageing of the camper
  • Roof cracks and water infiltration
  • The weight of snow and ice on your camper roof
  • Defective insulation and ventilation. 

All of these cause potential dangers to the structural strength of your camper. If you suspect a roof or frame sag, act quickly by calling in the professionals!

Solutions for a pop-up camper sagging roof

To avoid any risk of roof or frame subsidence, it is recommended that you have your camper roof inspected regularly, at least once a year. With a good roof inspection, you can have peace of mind every year and pose no risk to the structure of your home on wheels.

But if you’re struggling with sagging roof or framing issues, you need to call in roofing professionals. Experts will know how to assess the condition of your camper roof. With a reliable diagnosis, the cause of the sagging will be known and tailor-made solutions can be taken.

Depending on the condition of your camper roof, simple solutions can be considered such as good maintenance of your roof. On the other hand, if your roof is sagging and potentially dangerous for the structure of your camper, partial or total renovations should be considered.

The faster you act, the less expensive the repair costs will be. On the contrary, the longer you wait, the more dramatic the consequences could be with the collapse of your camper’ structure.

The standard steps in repairing a sagging roof on a pop-up camper are:

  1. Remove the outer frame to assess the damage
  2. Disassemble the canvas and remove the roof
  3. Remove rotten and water-damaged pieces
  4. Rebuild the roof structure with new pieces
  5. Reapply the roof and canvas to the RV
  6. Seal holes and seams to prevent future leaks
  7. Repair the ceiling. 

How to fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper by yourself

A pop-up camper or trailer tent roof is raised through a system of pulleys and cranks. Improper storage and care of the pop-up camper, including keeping it exposed to the elements, causes the vinyl roof to rot in some places and what we know as a sagging roof. 

If the damaged sections do not compromise the integrity of the camper, the pop-up roof can be restored instead of replacing it.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Clean the damaged area on the inside and outside of the roof with a mixture of a spoon of dishwasher liquid and four cups of hot water. Dry at the cleaned area with a soft cloth to remove excess moisture without causing further damage.
  1.  Draw a square around the damaged area with a permanent marker. Cut the canvas along these lines with a sharp pair of scissors to remove the damaged area, creating a repairable hole.
  1. Cut two pieces of canvas, which is provided in the vinyl repair kit, slightly larger than the hole prepared in step two. Locate a vinyl repair kit from a local home or camping supply store that matches your pop up camper roof colour.
  1. Apply a thin layer of the kit’s vinyl adhesive around the hole on the inside of the RV roof. Center the patch over the hole, and hold it in place for 30 seconds. Let the glue dry for an hour or two.
  1.  Apply a thin layer of the kit’s vinyl adhesive around the hole on the outside of the RV roof. Center the patch over the hole, and hold it in place for at least 30 seconds to allow the glue to set.
  1. Allow the glue to set for another 24 hours before lowering the roof or using the unit.

Some useful tips:

  • Cover the pop-up camper with a plastic tarp or store it in a garage when not in use, especially during the winter.
  • Purchase a vinyl repair kit with the “waterproof” label. If one cannot be found, spray the exterior of the roof over the patch with waterproof silicone spray after the glue is allowed to set for at least 24 hours.
  • It is recommended that you replace the roof of a pop-up camper entirely that is badly rotted or damaged.

How do you clean and maintain a pop-up camper roof?

To clean a pop-up camper roof, it is essential to use the right products. There are several “miracle” products for cleaning the roof:

  • Black soap: Mix black soap in a bucket with water. It is an efficient solution for any type of task, economical and ecological.
  • White vinegar and washing up liquid: Combine the washing up liquid, vinegar and clear water in a bucket. For the proportions count, 10% dishwashing liquid, 10% white vinegar and 80% water. For persistent stains, increase the quantities of products.
  • Bleach: Bleach is a very effective product but it is a bit aggressive for the canvas fabric. Leave on the stain for a few minutes then rinse with water. Do not use it too often and only on very difficult to remove stains. Bleach works great on mildew stains.

To clean a pop-up camper roof, you have to carefully proceed step by step. The outer canvas and the inner canvas of the pop-up camper must also be cleaned!

  1. Unfold the pop-up camper;
  2. Set it as low as possible for easier cleaning;
  3. Wet the roof with a jet of water;
  4. Apply the product of your choice following the directions;
  5. Rinse thoroughly with clean water;
  6. Let the pop-up camper dry completely!

Note: To keep your pop-up camper roof in good condition for as long as possible, you need to have a few simple actions on a daily basis and during winter storage. The proper maintenance of a pop-up camper is essential to make it last over time.

Here are the few things to do to keep a pop-up camper roof in good condition:

  • Avoid parking under pine trees in summer;
  • Don’t let leaves and pollen accumulate on the camper roof;
  • Never close the camper with leaves or pollen inside;
  • Fold up the camper in case of heavy rain;
  • Never store the camper with a wet canvas;
  • Apply once a year when cleaning the WD40 to the roof mechanism;
  • Apply a waterproofing product to the roof and pop-up camper canvas to protect it from water and humidity. 

The bottom line

The condition of the roof of a pop-up camper should be checked at least twice a year. The roof is the perfect place for water leaks. We must repair the camper roof as soon as the inspection shows us a leak. Besides cleaning your pop-up camper, it is also important to regularly inspect it for tears, holes, and fix the damage as soon as possible.

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

FAQ on How do you fix a sagging roof on a pop-up camper?

How much does it cost to replace a roof on an RV?

On average, the cost to replace a roof on an RV is $300 per linear foot. This means that for replacing the entire roof of a 30 feet long RV you could pay $9000 (labour cost and materials included in the price). 

How do you clean a pop-up camper roof?

To understand how to clean a pop-up camper roof, you have to know how to recognize the types of stains on the camper roof. The pop-up camper exterior is subjected to climatic conditions, to the sun, to rain, to temperature variations, to pollution… It is especially subjected to leaks throughout its life. Your pop-up camper roof can also stain over time.

How long does an RV roof last?

An RV roof can last up to 20, even 25 years. It is not uncommon to experience some leaks around half that time, but the better you take care of it the fewer problems. 

What is the best type of roof for an RV?

The best type of roof for an RV is the rubber EPDM roof. They cost less to repair, are easier to maintain and have a warranty of up to 10 years. 

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