The thought of replacing your RV’s roof might be at the top of your potential RVing nightmares. The whole process can be confusing, costly, and time consuming. However, if you go in knowing what to expect, it will be less stressful, and you’ll end up with a shiny new roof providing peace of mind out on the road.
Finding RV Roof Damage
How do you know if your roof needs to be replaced? Of course, you might have had a crash or storm-related event where it seems probable your roof has been damaged. Other times, your roof might need to be replaced due to age, general wear and tear, or other factors.
Interior damage is a possible sign. Check along your ceilings and walls for soft spots that might indicate moisture or water leaks. Look for bubbles in the wall coverings. Ceiling stains or patches of mildew or mold can also indicate water intrusion. If you find any interior damage, the next step is to identify the source of the leak.
If you can climb on your roof and walk around, regular visual inspections are recommended, minimally once or twice a year. Look for signs of obvious damage, like cracking, warping, or gouges. Also, look for these items on the sides of your RV, as water leaking from the roof can damage the exterior walls.
If you have damage to your RV roof, a professional should determine whether you’re better off repairing or replacing the roof. Repairs are less expensive upfront but may affect the resale value of your rig. Roof replacements are costly but provide both value and peace of mind.
Paying for an RV Roof Replacement
If your roof damage is extensive enough to require replacement, there are three possible ways to pay for the costs:
- If your RV is under a manufacturer’s or extended warranty, the warranty provider may cover the roof if the damage is caused by a manufacturing problem. Be prepared to show that you have properly maintained the roof since purchase.
- If you have insurance coverage, the insurance provider may cover the roof if the damage is caused by a collision or by a natural event, like limbs falling in a storm. If someone else has crashed into your RV, their insurance could potentially cover the replacement.
- If your warranty or insurance doesn’t cover your roof replacement, you will need to pay for it out of pocket.
If a warranty or insurance covers the cost, you’ll only have to pay the amount of your deductible. If the costs aren’t covered, you may find yourself paying several thousand dollars. Replacement costs vary widely, depending on your roof’s materials, size, and your location.
Types of Insurance Coverage for RV Roof Replacement
If your insurance covers the roof replacement, you’ll need to find out if it will fall under your comprehensive or collision coverage.
- Collision coverage: If your roof damage occurred while you were towing or driving, the damage will likely fall under collision coverage. If the damage is viewed to be your fault, it could affect your future rates.
- Comprehensive coverage: This applies to other scenarios where damage occurs, generally while the RV isn’t in operation, such as storm damage. Your future insurance rates may not go up if you’re found not to be at fault.
The RV Roof Repair Process
Unless you’re exceptionally handy, you’ll likely need to find a professional to replace your RV roof.
After finding a repair shop, you will drop off your rig for an initial inspection. The technician will provide a quote to your insurance company. In some cases, the insurance doesn't send an adjuster out for an in-person inspection, but some companies require you to have an adjuster look at your RV roof to verify the damage. Then you wait to hear if the replacement was approved.
From there, the roof technician will offer you different types of roofs depending on your rig. In some situations, you might have various roofing options to consider, with each offering distinct pros and cons. Once the insurance is approved, the technician got to work.
It may take several weeks or months to get your RV’s roof replaced. Most people opt to have theirs done during the winter months when they aren’t traveling. The time involved will depend on your shop’s schedule, whether the shop has to wait for approval from a warranty or insurance company, supply availability, and other factors.
Once the shop removes your roof, hidden interior damage may be found. If further damage is found, you may be contacted to approve additional repairs. Your insurance company will also have to approve additional costs.
The Final Outcome
After most likely a few weeks, your roof replacement will be complete. Our insurance company paid the shop directly for everything other than our deductible. It can sometimes be a much easier process than you imagined, especially if you know what to expect.
FAQs About RV Roofs
A full RV roof replacement typically costs several thousand dollars. The cost depends on the type of roof and material, as well as the size of the roof. For a rough estimate, you might expect to pay around $300 to $350 per linear foot.
A quality RV roof should last between 10 and 20 years, as long as it’s regularly checked and maintained.
RV insurance likely covers a replacement if your damage was caused by a collision or natural event (like a storm). It’s unlikely to cover a replacement if the damage is from age, wear and tear, or lack of maintenance.
How long is a roof warranty on an RV?
Roofs may be covered under your general manufacturer warranty or under extended warranties. Most manufacturers offer warranties between 1 to 3 years. Extended warranties can add years to your warranties lifespan for an additional cost.
We hope we answered all your question regarding your RV roof. If you have any additional advice, comments, or concerns we would love to hear them in the comments!
See you on the road!