RVs are a unique creation: part vehicle, part living space, and all of it requires routine maintenance and care that can be quite different from that of a car or a permanent structure. Even mobile homes, which are often similar to RVs in roofing materials and styles, still use different products and materials. That’s why the first step on your RV maintenance checklist should be to educate yourself on the proper materials and methods for handling things like the roof of your RV.
Resealing an RV roof is a standard part of maintenance that can give your roof years of additional life. Those who have EPDM rubber roofs don’t need to worry about this process because EPDM roofs are maintenance-free when applied correctly, aside from the occasional washing. Over time, however, it may be necessary to fill in cracks, replace worn or damaged seals, or even reseal the entire roof for a fresh start. The cost of the process will vary significantly, depending on a number of factors.
Do It Yourself to Save
Professional RV shops and dealerships do provide a number of maintenance services, including resealing. However, most places will charge over $1,000 for the job, with larger RVs requiring an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 for a full reseal. You can cut your RV roof reseal cost significantly by doing the work yourself. If you have the time, the tools and materials that you need are reasonably affordable on their own. Keep in mind that with the estimated costs provided here, the majority of the charge is in labor (many shops and dealerships charge $80-$100 per man hour). Doing the work yourself can cut the bill down to about 1/3 of what they charge.
How Big is Your RV?
As mentioned above, the larger the RV, the larger the cost of maintenance services like resealing. Even if you do the work yourself, your RV roof reseal cost is going to be affected by how big of a roof you have to reseal. Also factored into this is the style of RV roof you have, as well as how many fixtures are on it. If you’re dealing with a vent, air conditioner, satellite dish, skylight, and every other possible roof fixture, you are going to spend a lot more time and money on the sealing process, regardless of who does the work.
Don’t Cheap Out
Keep in mind that you get what you pay for with RV resealing, as with any professional service. This is a laborious process that involves removing all of the old sealant. That part can take hours, because a careful hand is required to remove the caulk or adhesive without damaging the fixtures or the roof itself. Remember that while a quote might seem expensive, these people really are putting in a lot of work.
On the same hand, when you do the work yourself, you have to do it right. You could save a lot of time by just caulking over the old seals, but that isn’t doing anyone any favors. All that will do is make it even harder to scrape and prep whenever you finally do get around to resealing the entire RV roof. You might spend 15 or 20 hours prepping and resealing your own roof, but you can save a fortune on labor costs and know that the job is done right.
There are a lot of elements that go into determining the average RV roof reseal cost. Materials, the size of your RV, and who is doing the work are going to have the biggest impact. Be sure to ask around and find out what others in your area are spending, and how they are saving, by making the most of DIY roof resealing.