Identifying the Roof Membrane Before an RV Rubber Roof Replacement

rv rubber roof replacement

A solid and reliable RV roof is important if you want to continue enjoying your mobile home without the hassles brought by an inadequate roofing. A basic knowledge of the different types of RV roofs is crucial if you want to care for your roof.

There are basically three types of materials that your RV roof could be made of—metal, fiberglass or rubber. Identifying a metal roof is fairly easy. While they are not common these days, metal roofs such as galvanized metal and aluminum were widely used decades ago. Fiberglass roofs are also becoming rarer nowadays.

Around 20 years ago the RV industry found a new type of roofing material that works better than metals or fiberglass and has qualities not found in the old roofs. The product is a rubber roofing membrane that is lightweight, cost-effective, easy to install and maintain, seamless and resistant to UV light.

EPDM and TPO Rubber Roofs

The two popular types of RV rubber roofing are EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and TPO (Thermal Poly Olefin). If your RV has a rubber roof, it could either be EPDM or TPO. When the time comes when you need to have an RV rubber roof replacement, you should be able to identify the type of rubber your RV has in order to install the right material.

How do you know which type of rubber roof is installed on your RV?

Check Owner’s Manual

The first thing you should consult is the RV owner’s manual. It should plainly state what type of rubber membrane was used on the RV. It will also lists the maintenance and cleaning instructions for your RV. If you have no access to the owner’s manual or for some reasons it does not specify the type of rubbing membrane used, there are ways to determine the type of your RV rubber roofing.

Gray or White Streaks

Look for gray or white streaks on the sides of the RV. EPDM membrane is designed to oxidize over time to protect it against UV rays and ozone. The oxidization or shedding produces the gray or white streaks found on the body of the RV.

Unlike EPDM, TPO rubber roof does not oxidize so you will not see any white or gray streaks on the sides of the RV. Another characteristic of a TPO membrane not found in EPDM is its glossy look.

Slippery When Wet

Another difference between the two types of rubber roofing is that EPDM is very slippery when wet while TPO is not.

How to Prevent Stray Cats from Climbing the RV Roofing

cats on rv roofing

Stray cats climbing on top of the RV roofing present multiple issues to the owners. They litter the roof with food remnants and emit sounds deep in the night that could keep them awake. Cats also scratch the protective coating on the roof, which ultimately degrade its condition.

There are several steps that you can take to prevent stray cats from climbing on top of your roof.

1. Use Citrus

Cats do not like the smell of citrus. You can use air spray with lemon or citrus scent and spray the whole length of your RV roof to keep stray cats away. If you have lemons or oranges, you can place them on different areas of the roof to make it smell like citrus.

2. Motion-Activated Sprinkler

Install a motion sensor at the top of the RV roof or the sides where stray cats usually pass to climb on top. Connect the device to a sprinkler system that is attached to a hose. Once the motion sensor detects activity on the roof, it will set off the sprinkler system, and water would come out drizzling the cats. After a few times of getting sprinkled with water, cats will remember the experience and avoid going up on your RV roof.

3. Offer An Alternative Place

Another way of keeping stray cats away from your RV roof is by luring them into another place nearby. Look for an unused area near your RV that is suitable for luring the cats into. You can use catnips to lure stray cats into the area. Crush the leaves of the catnip to release the aroma that is irresistible to cats and put them on the designated place. The stray cats would hopefully stay there for good instead of lounging on your roof.

4. Cat-Repellents

Products advertised as cat-repellents are available. Some people attest to the effectiveness of these products in keeping cats away. These are generally sold in spray form, which make them convenient and easy to use. Just spray evenly on the surface of the roof and you have an anti-cat smell floating around your RV roof.

5. Habitat Modification

You might want to find out the reason why stray cats love hanging around your roof. Perhaps something could be found there that attracts them. One way of keeping cats and critters from your roof is through habitat modification. These unwanted visitors could be persuaded to stay elsewhere by introducing changes to the immediate environment such as not leaving food lying around, storing trash in closed containers and removing food and water sources near your RV.

Liquid RV Roof Coating Pros and Cons

liquid roof rv roof coating

Even the sturdiest RV roof will ultimately develop cracks and weaknesses due to prolonged exposure to extreme weather conditions.

To ensure that your RV’s roof remains in pristine condition, regular checkup and maintenance are necessary. In the event cracks develop on the roof, you can select from several RV rubber roof coating products available in the market. However, with so many roof repair products to choose from, people are expectedly confused on which ones deliver on their promise.

One of the well-known products in the market today is Liquid Roof RV roof coating. It is a liquid EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer), and therefore, possesses all the characteristics of EPDM when properly applied to the roof. When it cures, it offers the same advantages of an EPDM membrane, including flexibility and stability.

We reviewed the Liquid Roof RV roof coating and came up with its pros and cons. Here are what we found:


  1. Versatile. It can be applied to virtually any surface such as fiberglass, fabric, sheet rubber, plywood and metal with the use of a brush, roller or squeegee. Most people prefer squeegee while others opt for a combination of brush and roller.
  2. Convenient. The product becomes water proof instantly after application, although there is a required curing time. The best part is that only one application is needed for total protection. It also self-levels once applied, thus minimizing on labor hours. You have plenty of time to properly apply the product before it cures.
  3. Economical. One gallon of RV roof coating covers 40 to 46 square foot. It lowers interior temperature by reflecting sunlight with its white color, which means huge energy savings.
  4. Total Protection. The product is resistant to ozone and Ultraviolet rays from the sun. It can withstand freezing snow, alkalis, acids and salt water. It also prevents ponding of water on the roof that could lead to leaks.
  5. Durable and Flexible. Liquid Roof remains flexible and durable at temperatures between -60°F to 300°F. The coat sinks into every crack and crevice in the roof, ensuring a water-tight application.


If you buy a four-gallon container of the product, be sure to use it within a year from opening. Some people found the content separates into a rubbery top coat and white stuff underneath after some time. Others complain that applying the coat is slightly difficult because of its thickness.


The superior qualities and performance of Liquid Roof RV roof coating easily outweighs the very few apparent weaknesses of the product. In truth, these are not flaws that affect the quality of the product but merely the result of its improper use.