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How do I mount and seal security cameras on roof of RV?

Hello, Dave,
I want to mount four security cameras on the roof of the RV. Should I be concerned with drilling and sealing holes in the rooftop if I put Dicor over all the mounting fasteners? Should I find a stud or frame to drill into or …? Thanks. —Jerry, 2011 Thor Chateau 22B

Hi, Jerry,
Your Class C Thor Chateau more than likely has some type of rubber material as the outer skin of the sandwich design. Since it is a 2011, it would most likely be EPDM or TPO. Both of these materials are a very thin, flexible, rubber-like membrane that would supply little or no structure. It is a challenge to find any information about the construction of some of the rigs as they don’t want to advertise what the industry calls “stick and tin” construction. This is Mesa or ribbed sidewall outer skin, wood framing, and loose fill insulation. Nothing wrong with this type of construction. However, it has limited structural integrity and relies on interior walls to help support the roof.

RV outer construction

Typically, Thor uses a sandwich design that has the rubber outer membrane, a wood paneling called lauan, block foam insulation, another sheet of lauan, and either a fleet material or padded vinyl laminated to the wood. The lauan on the upper and lower level is only about 1/8” thick.

Some Class C manufacturers use a molded fiberglass front cap that would be much thicker. However, from the information I have found on your 2011, it just has the flat fiberglass sheet similar to the sidewalls that makes the transition from the roof around the radius of the cap or bunk area. Finding a stud or frame would be a real challenge.

Stick and tin RV construction

If your unit is stick and tin, then it would have a wood framework around the perimeter of the roof and the sidewall, so there would be some structure to mount to there. I do believe that Thor uses an aluminum framework for the sidewall, so there should be an aluminum roof to sidewall frame and joint. On top of that joint is an aluminum trim piece covering the seam, so you could mount it to that with some structure.

Since you did not provide the make and model of the security cameras, I’m not sure where the best place to mount them would be. However, you could mount them on the side at the corners rather than on top of the RV roof. This might create some blind spots in the front and back.

Mounting cameras on RV roof

If you mount the cameras on the top into the thin paneling, put butyl tape underneath. Butyl tape is a putty-like tape that is a good sealant. Mount the camera as directed, then cover the base with a sealant that is designed for the rubber membrane. You can determine the type of rubber by removing the interior shroud of your roof vent and look at the underside of the material. If it is black, the rubber is EPDM. If it is the same color as the top, it is TPO. You should be able to get a sealant that is designed for that material. Covering the entire base of the camera will help keep it tight to the roof.


 You might also enjoy this from Dave 

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Dear Dave,
I would like to install a King Falcon Wi-Fi antenna on the roof of my rig. Do I cut the rubber roof prior to attaching the antenna or attach it directly to the roof? —Andrew, 2021 Forest River VIBE 28RL

Read Dave’s answer.


Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and the author of the “RV Handbook.”

Read more from Dave here

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Jeff Craig
23 days ago

Save yourself the time, hassles and money and get a Blink outdoor camera system, with the Gen 2 control module. Those cameras can be USB powered (with the right connector cable) and the Gen 2 module has a USB stick option that records all movement when armed. I have three cameras on my 35ft Class A (Outside on windshield, rear facing on drivers side mirror and a doorbell unit) and with my wifi setup (hotspot or TMo Home Internet (aka Trashcan) we have constant coverage. just make sure that whatever camera covers the approach to your RV is down about knee level, as elevated views make it easier for people to cover their face.

DW/ND
23 days ago

I too am considering some camera options…. Getting paranoid? – maybe! On 29 Oct I had some kind soul deplete the air from my street side rear dual tires by removing the valve core. An attempt was also made on the left front tire however it has a different extension so it was only let down about 60%. The motor home is parked in our yard, next to our home, in a rural subdivision. The street side is away from view from the house. The tires have 470 miles on them and they are ruined as they are both off the rim! Paranoid – yeah now that the horse has left the barn, I will close the door!

Admin
Diane McGovern
23 days ago
Reply to  DW/ND

Wow! Sorry to hear that, D & J. I hope 2023 goes better for you. 😀 –Diane at RVtravel.com

LadyCash
23 days ago

We are full time traveling RVers. We use Blink out door camera outside on posts if available or tree (after getting permission to mount) where we stay a few months. With cat thieves, and economic turn creating more desperate people we feel safer when we leave for a day of grocery shopping or sightseeing.

Bob
23 days ago

The OP doesn’t say if these cameras are battery operated or hard wired. Most battery operated ones are only IP65 rated. Waterproof to a certain extent. Driving though a heavy rain at 65mph may compromise the camera.
If the cameras are to used only when parked, they can be mounted up high on the sides with 3M dual lock. Allows them to be removed when traveling.

tom
23 days ago

Any additional holes in these roofs are just asking for trouble. Side mounted may be your friend. Remember they need, in addition to mounting holes, wiring for both power in and signal out.
Fussion makes some side mounted cameras that replace side marker lights. They use the light power line and emit wifi images. Very pricy.

Bob p
23 days ago

I believe if I was that paranoid to need security cameras all around my RV I’d stay home.

Spike
23 days ago
Reply to  Bob p

That was my initial reaction as well…or if in that bad of a campground…move.

Carl W
23 days ago

Very informative! I know it is sometimes difficult to find good content for a newsletter like RV Travel Tips but Dave always seems to do so. I only wish all the writers were as proficient in selecting their topics.

bill
22 days ago
Reply to  Carl W

I think they are just as or more proficient .. just different areas of expertise.

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