I have found it necessary to occasionally coat my camper trailer roof. The roof takes a beating from weather, vibration and constant wind, when being towed down the highway. Coating a camper trailer roof requires some knowledge of its construction. It is constructed with cross ribs that support the roof paneling. Wooden cross ribs and plywood paneling will deteriorate, over time, if water seeps through. Although most modern camper trailers have an outer skin of aluminum, leaks will occur in the joints between the aluminum sheeting and around the vent pipes and air conditioner. Walking on the roof may cause more damage or even a cave in. You can prevent this with the use of an eighteen-inch wide sheet of plywood as a catwalk. Cut two, 4 feet by 18 inches of 3/8-inch, or 1/2-inch plywood for a catwalk.
Prepare Your Camper Roof
Climb a ladder and place the first piece of plywood where you will step onto the camper trailer roof. Place the second piece where you can step to your work area. Use a broom to sweep the debris away from the air conditioner and vent caps. Sweep the entire roof clean of foreign material. Remove all loose and flaked material from the old coating, with a putty knife. Use a hose and power wash the roof so it is clean of dust and dirt.
Materials and Tools
To coat your camper trailer roof, you will need a putty knife, a four-inch, soft paintbrush and a thick, soft paint roller. Materials should consist of enough white, rubberized roof coating to cover the entire roof. See my review of Henry products here. The square feet coverage will be on the label. Polyester cloth will be needed for patching.
Patch Your Camper Roof
To repair cracks and holes in the old roof coating on your camper trailer, apply a thick coat of white coating over the break and about three inches around the outside edges. Cut a patch from the polyester cloth and lay it over the break. Apply another coat of roof coating over the patch and allow drying time.
Apply White Coating to Your Camper Roof
Use a four-inch, soft paintbrush to edge around the pipes and air conditioner, as well as the edges of the roof. Pour a puddle of the white roof coating onto the roof at the opposite end of the trailer from your ladder. Using the paint roller, roll out the puddle into a thick coating. Repeat the application on the full area of the roof and allow drying time. Apply a second coat and allow it to dry for a full day.
Coating the roof of your camper trailer for the first time takes several coats to cover the bare aluminum without having the coating run down the sides. Thin coats, applied several times, will cover the roof sufficiently. Dark stains on the inside ceiling, caused by a roof leak will bleed through any new interior paint. A product called “Kilz”, found in most hardware stores, will cover the stains and can be painted over.
Sources: Personal experience