Camper Roof Replacement Cost (2024 Guide)

Typical Price Range To Install a new Roof
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Buying an RV is very exciting as it allows you to realize your dreams of on-the-road adventures. The thoughts of a roof replacement and the associated costs are naturally not at the forefront of your mind.

But the time does come when you’ll have to consider which roofing material fits your budget and whether it’s the right choice for your RV vehicle.

There are several solutions available, and we’ll examine each closely, go through the pros and cons, and makes price comparisons.

Types of RV Roofs

Roof replacement is not the same as roof repair. It allows you to choose the type of roof you want for your RV, not just mend the existing one.

When choosing a replacement, there are several factors to keep in mind. Undoubtedly, for most RV owners, budget is at the top of the list.

But you must think about how complex or expensive the roof maintenance will be, as well. You also need to factor in the lifespan of each material to estimate the cost-effectiveness of your choice.

While RV roofing options are not as versatile as they are for residential homes, there are still four excellent choices. Here’s everything you need to know about RV roof replacement options.

EPDM Rubber Roof

By far, one of the most popular RV roof replacement options is the ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM rubber. It’s commonly referred to as membrane rubber, made from sawdust and recycled automotive tires.

Benefits of EPDM Rubber RV Roof Replacement

Because it’s made from recycled materials, the EPDM rubber is not only low-cost but environmentally friendly. This is an important feature for many RV owners, especially those who have already chosen to downsize in their efforts to live more sustainably.

But EPDM rubber is also a long-lasting material, with an estimated lifespan of 20 years. In addition, it is a lightweight material, meaning it will not add unnecessary weight to your RV.

The EPDM rubber roof is not prone to blistering, rotting, or cracking and can be customized to fit your recreational vehicle perfectly. If the roof gets damaged by force majeure or an accident, the repair process is quick and relatively inexpensive.

Drawbacks of EPDM Rubber RV Roof Replacement

One of the most obvious downsides of the EPDM rubber roof is that it’s not very aesthetically pleasing. The standard EPDM roof comes in black and absorbs heat, which might not be ideal for those who travel during the year’s hottest months.

Although, with certain types of coating, that issue can be minimized. Another downside is that finding a reliable EPDM rubber roof installer for your RV can be difficult.

EPDM Rubber RV Roof Replacement Cost

If you’re planning to replace your RV’s roof with the EPDM rubber, keep in mind that the price ranges from $4 to $8 per square foot.

The price difference depends on multiple factors, including the quality of compounds and the brand you choose.

It’s important to note that these prices are for the material only, the installation cost is not included. That can also vary significantly, depending on whether you install the roof yourself or hire a roofing contractor.

Did you know? The number of RVs in the U.S. has increased exponentially in the last 40 years. There are over 60% more RV owners in the nation than in the 1980s.

TPO Roofing

Do you like the idea of a durable membrane rubber roof but don’t appreciate the heat absorbing properties and the appearance of EPDM? Then the thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO might be the right choice for you.

Benefits of TPO RV Roof Replacement

One of the most prominent advantages TPO has over EPDM is that it’s white, which is in line with what most RVs already have.

This benefit makes rubber TPO slightly more expensive, but it also makes it a better option for RV owners who love traveling in the summer.

In fact, rubber TPO is UV-resistant and will keep the inside of the vehicle much cooler. Another essential advantage of TPO is the impact and tear-resistant properties, ensuring the RV roof can tolerate various weather conditions.

Drawbacks of TPO For An RV Roof

We’ve touched on important upsides of TPO compared to EPDM rubber, but there are a few disadvantages worth noting. Most importantly, the TPO doesn’t last as long as its more expensive counterpart PVC roofing membrane.

TPO roofing is a relatively new technology, and the leading manufacturers have yet to develop a formula that would boost TPO’s longevity.

So, if you’re searching for a solution with maximum long-term effects, a TPO membrane might not be the best choice.

TPO Membrane RV Roof Replacement Cost

If the white and shiny roof is the only option for your RV, you should know that a TPO membrane costs between $5 and $6 per square foot.

Let’s say your RV is 250 square feet; the cost of rubber TPO for the entire roof will cost between $1,250 and $1,500.

The additional installation materials are not included in the price, nor any protective coating. Also, keep in mind that the total cost will go up if you hire an RV roofing contractor.

Fiberglass Roof

Reinforced plastic, or fiberglass, is a popular choice for RV roof replacement among many recreational vehicle enthusiasts. This is an incredibly tough and protective material but comes with a few issues.

Benefits of Fiberglass RV Roof Replacement

Overall, many RV owners choose fiberglass as a roofing material because it requires less maintenance. It features excellent resistance to snow, heavy rain, and even hail.

Furthermore, fiberglass is fire-resistant and entirely resistant to mold mildew.. In terms of longevity, it’s similar to EPDM rubber, ranging between 25 and 30 years.

Fiberglass is the way to go if you want a roofing material that offers many customization options. Many shapes, colors, and patterns are available making it possible to match them to your recreational vehicle.

Drawbacks of Fiberglass RV Roof Replacement

Fiberglass is heavier than EPDM or TPO, which can be a deal-breaker for some RV owners. If you’re on the road often and take a lot of cargo with you, every bit of extra weight can be a problem.

Although fiberglass is indeed tough and durable, when it does get damaged, the repairs can get expensive. Finally, fiberglass doesn’t tolerate heat very well, so you’d have to be careful about excessive exposure to the sun.

Fiberglass RV Roof Replacement Cost

The good news is that when you’re replacing the entire RV roof, fiberglass is an affordable option, especially if you can do it yourself.

However, the fiberglass roof prices can still have a relatively wide range. Fiberglass RV roof replacement costs $2 to $4 per square foot. Again, these prices are without the cost of additional materials or the cost of labor.

Pro Tip: One of the best ways to protect your RV’s fiberglass roof is to cover it. RV roof covers are often designed to fit your recreational vehicle perfectly and will protect it from sun exposure and dirt.

Aluminum Roof

An aluminum roof might seem like an off choice for some RV owners. Indeed, it’s even heavier than fiberglass, so why even consider it?

Benefits of Aluminum RV Roof Replacement

When it comes to strength and durability, nothing beats an aluminum roof. You don’t need to stress over potential tree branches piercing the roof or even bother with a lot of maintenance.

An aluminum roof is also an energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly option. It can withstand extreme weather conditions and can be fixed easily when damage occurs. Finally, and most importantly, an aluminum RV roof is the most long-lasting solution.

An aluminum roof on your RV can last between 30-50 years with minimal maintenance. That might be longer than your RV’s lifespan, but since aluminum can be recycled, it’s also one of the most cost-effective options.

Drawbacks of Aluminum RV Roof Replacement

Without a doubt, the aluminum RV roof is the noisiest option on the list. If you don’t mind listening to the sound of rain, acorns falling, or random debris hitting the roof, then perhaps this isn’t an issue.

An aluminum roof is also not heat-resistant, so you will likely need to run the AC much of the time during the summer.

Lastly, when it comes to RV roofing, aluminum can be tricky to install as it requires using nails instead of fasteners. In terms of DIY projects, the aluminum roof might be the most challenging of all RV roofing solutions.

Aluminum RV Roof Replacement Cost

Regardless of being the most durable RV roofing material, aluminum is not the most expensive. The price tag per square foot ranges between $3 and $4 per square foot, which would make a 250 square foot RV roof replacement cost around $750 and $1,000.

But when combined with the potential high installation cost and the weight of the roof, it places aluminum as the least popular type of RV roof.

Did you know? The average RV owner travels close to 5,000 miles every year. But for many people, that number is much higher. That means they are also much more likely to ensure their RV roof is in excellent condition.

When Is the Right Time for RV Roof Replacement?

If you’ve just purchased a brand new RV, then worrying about roof replacement is in the distant future.

However, if your RV has been on the road a lot, it’s natural to wonder when the right time is to check the roof and plan a replacement. While some issues require repairs, others will indicate that it’s time to invest in a new RV roof.

For example, if there’s apparent rubber deterioration, especially around roof edges, the problem should be addressed.

These damages could have been caused by years of use or may be the result of a hail storm.
Of course, if there are water leaks inside the RV, that’s a sign to inspect the roof thoroughly and look for cracks and tears.

Ideally, RV owners should check the roof twice per year and schedule maintenance or a replacement, if necessary.

What Is the Best Type of RV Roof?

It’s impossible to give a definitive answer to this question because it mostly comes down to personal preference. But for many RV owners, the ultimate deciding factor is affordability.

In general, RV roof materials don’t drastically vary in price, but the cost of labor, additional materials, specialized coating, and the brand you choose can widen that gap.

The EPDM rubber membrane is the go-to choice for most RV owners, as it’s the easiest to install and can be done at home. However, some RV enthusiasts want the durability of aluminum and will accept any downsides of this choice.

How Do You Maintain the EPDM Rubber Roof?

Investing in a high-quality roof cover will help any RV roof last longer. It will also shorten your time to remove leaves and branches from the roof.

But when you’re on the road, consider seeking shelter when it’s raining to avoid water pooling and potential leaks. Finally, it’s important to point out that it’s not advisable to pressure wash the EPDM rubber roof.

Do You Need to Re-Seal A TPO Roof?

If your RV has a rubber TPO roof, you will likely need to re-seal it at some point. That will vastly depend on the general maintenance of the vehicle, how often it is used, and the quality of the initial installation.

The re-sealing of the TPO roof typically costs around $0.45 per square foot. But you also have to take into account the cost of roof cleaning chemicals that prepare the roof for re-sealing.

What Happens If I Don’t Replace My RV Roof?

Ignoring small roof cracks and leaks can only be done for so long. Eventually, if not replaced, your RV roof will experience major leaks, sealant damage, and even roof collapse.

Some RV owners spend a fortune on repairs while trying to avoid a roof replacement, which is a more expensive investment upfront. But these costs add up quickly, so choosing to replace the roof can be a more prudent solution.

High-Quality and Affordable RV Roof Replacement Is Possible

If you’re a seasoned RVer, making sure that your adventure-mobile stays in great shape is vital. Like any vehicle, regular maintenance is key, but sometimes that means replacing the entire roof.

The EPDM rubber is the go-to choice for most RV owners as it’s affordable and really low-maintenance. The rubber TPO comes in second, with a slightly higher starting price but can still be less expensive than some EPDM brands.

Choosing between fiberglass and aluminum means considering higher installation costs and more weight on your vehicle, but better longevity.

Author: Leo B
For over 20 years Leo has run a successful roofing business in New England, specializing in metal roofing, as well as cool flat roofing technologies. Having replaced and installed hundreds of roofs in New England, Leo has first hand experience with pretty much every residential roofing material and roofing manufacturer available in the US.
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