Tuesday, October 3, 2023


Protecting your RV roof through winter

Courtesy of Dicor Corporation
We all know winter weather can be harsh. The effects of months and months of cold winds and snow can be damaging to a lot of things, especially your RV’s roof. Even for those living in slightly milder areas, an RV exposed to the elements without periodic care can suffer some real damage.

Keep it indoors

Now, obviously it is ideal to be able to store your RV indoors throughout the winter. Facilities like pole barns, additional garage stalls and even an outdoor RV stall/port can be priceless resources for winter storage. This will prevent any kind of winter weather to directly impact the integrity of the RV, and minimal inspection is needed to ensure the vehicle is in tip-top shape.

Most people do not have the extra space at home for such storage, or the resources to rent a nearby storage space. Like we said, indoor storage is the ideal solution, but it certainly isn’t the only option to lessen the effects of winter.

Throw a tarp on it

Something as simple as a tarp can make a big difference in keeping the integrity of your RV’s roof. Tarps, weighed down or tied in place, can keep the moisture of snow from causing any leaks, and can also keep any debris from frozen tree branches from puncturing or scratching your roof. We recommend regularly removing the snow and any fallen sticks or branches from atop your RV every so often to prevent any additional weight on your roof.

[Editor’s note: Tarps are a controversial issue. Since some don’t “breathe,” they can create a moisture load that some experts suggest can cause damage. They also raise other issues, as discussed in another article.]

Keep it clear

For those who do not have a covering or protection for your RV, clearing the snow from the roof regularly is the next best option. As snow piles up, and eventually begins to melt, it can cause major issues. Water will always find somewhere to go, and the smallest scratch on the membrane or crack in the seals of your roof can lead to severe leaking and water damage inside your RV. Not to mention the excess weight of a heavy snow fall can negatively impact the integrity of your roof’s structure.

As always, if you are going to get on your RV roof, be sure you use extreme caution. This is especially true in the winter, as water and ice can make the roof very slippery, which can be dangerous. If you are going to remove snow, it is best to work from scaffolding on the side as opposed to on the roof directly. If you have any hesitation about performing roof maintenance yourself, have your local RV service center professionals handle the task for you.

[Editor’s note: This information is provided by roof membrane manufacturer Dicor. While there’s usually plenty of “promotion” for their product included, some of the information and principles may be of assistance to our readers.]


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Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


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1 year ago

I would agree with the previous answers. Do not use a tarp – they do not breathe! If you can buy an RV, spend the extra to buy a proper cover. It will protect your investment in the long run.

Rick K
1 year ago

Throw a tarp on it, yet no mention of an actual cover designed for the job? I don’t think I would trust the information.

1 year ago
Reply to  Rick K

Agree! We damaged a roof with a tarp. It rubbed the sides of the trailer and left scuff marks.
This is not good advice.

1 year ago
Reply to  McTroy

A tarp also traps moisture. This will cause mold and algae to grow on the roof.
There are roof covers made that are made of the same material as full covers.
They allow moisture to evaporate.
There have been other hints on this site saying NOT to use a tarp.
And, how many people actually have scaffolding? A good sturdy ladder works fine.

Wally Day
6 years ago

My wife and I travel in our Thor Serrano. We enjoy the freedom and flexibility of using it with the Jeep we tow. We are relatively new at this and really appreciate the information in your newsletter.

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