The sun’s UV rays are very powerful and can do damage to your RV’s roof if you don’t protect it from these harsh rays. You put sunscreen on to protect your skin from these UV rays, so why wouldn’t you protect your RV’s skin as well? Many RV roofs are made of EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer). Overtime the sun’s UV rays can cause drying, cracking, fading, and oxidizing to your RV, especially on these rubber roofs as they gets the most direct sunlight. Sometimes rubber roofs will also shrink and the caulking will pull away at the edges if you don’t protect it. Storing your RV under a cover or in a garage when not in use can help lessen the sun’s damage, but this is not always an option for all RVers. Even those who do store their RV under a cover should take note to protect their RV’s roof.
Several manufacturers have developed protectants which can be applied to the roof of your RV to lessen the damage from sun. The purpose of these protectants is to condition and moisturize the roof. In addition, they will seal cracks in the rubber. Many people would assume that you should use a silicon based product to condition your roof as silicon is known as a sealing agent, but most conditioners don’t actually use silicon as it can attract fungus and mildew. In fact, it is usually recommended to stay away from silicon on rubber roofs.
Often it is recommend that you clean the RV with mild soap and water prior to application of the protectant. Once the protectant is applied, let dry and you should be good to go. Obviously you will want to read the manufacturer’s label for specific application instructions and to also see how frequently this conditioner should be applied. In many cases it is recommended that you apply once or twice a year. As with other maintenance techniques which are recommend once or twice a year, I suggest doing it once before you take your RV out for the first time of the year and once at the end of the year before you store it (I just think it is easier to remember this way and you can knock out all of your tasks at once so that you will be able to enjoy your trip without having to worry about maintenance). This little bit of work will make the roof of your RV last much longer and look much better.