What Kind Of Caulking Do You Use On An RV Roof?
A leaky RV roof is a nightmare no camper wants to go through. Water damage can happen fast in a camper and doing as much as you can to prevent it is going to be a lot less work than trying to fix it after it’s happened.
So what kind of RV caulk is best for sealing RV roofs to keep them watertight and leak-proof?
There are lots of RV caulks out there but the kind you want to use on a camper roof is the self-leveling kind.
The reason for this is you want as much caulk as possible to cover and seal the various seams, vents, and skylights on an RV roof.
A non-sag RV caulk might have gaps in the center where you tried to cover a seam and a screw at the same time. You want RV roof caulking to be a solid piece that covers everything that could potentially cause a leak.
Self-leveling lap sealant looks almost exactly like regular RV caulk when it comes out of the tube. But after about 15 minutes you really start to see the difference.
It spreads out and makes a nice watertight and flat caulk surface that water will run off of easily.
There are one or two cases where you might use a non-sag RV caulk (click to view on Amazon) on a camper roof.
If you are caulking around something that has a thick edge like a TV antenna you may want to go around the thick edge with non-sag lap sealant first and then use self-leveling lap sealant after.
Also, use the non-sag variant for whenever the RV roof starts to curve down and becomes a vertical surface.
In this review, I’ll go over some of the best RV self-leveling lap sealants on the market today. A few of them are used by many RV manufacturers and are the top choice of many full-time RVers.
Check out the “What To Look For” and “FAQ” sections to help answer any questions about what RV roof caulk is best for your camper.
Best For TPO
Best RV Caulks For RV Roofs
Dicor is definitely the most popular RV caulk brand out there. You see it everywhere and many camper manufacturers even use Dicor in their factories.
It’s a trusted name and product that I’ve used myself many times.
The Dicor self-leveling lap sealant is made with a polyurethane base. Polyurethane based RV caulks are great for using on roofs because they are great for waterproofing and are good at moving with the material they are bonded to.
Many self leveling caulks for RV use are polyurethane (sometimes called urethane) based.
The RV roof sealant is advertised to be compatible with any roofing material like aluminum, wood, vinyl, galvanized metal, fiberglass, and rubber.
There is a fine print on the label that states that it’s not compatible with “some TPO” RV roofs.
It’s not clear what that means exactly but I’ve used it on two different rubber TPO camper roofs and had excellent results both times.
It’s definitely compatible with EPDM roofs but if you have a TPO roof and you are worried about it not working the Alpha Systems RV roof caulk reviewed later in this article might be a better option for you.
One feature of the Dicor RV lap sealant is its ability to create a tight waterproof seal while still remaining flexible. It will never become hard or brittle no matter how long it’s on your RV roof.
Because it stays pliable it doesn’t have any issues with cracking or breaking from your camper’s movement during travel.
It’s UV stabilized and doesn’t deteriorate or discolor over time, it does pick up dust though, which is easily washed off and doesn’t affect its sealing ability.
Dicor is very specific about the cure time of its RV caulks. This version will form a skin after just 5 minutes, become waterproof after 4 hours, and be 80% cured in 48 hours.
They say it takes up to 30 days to cure 100% but 80% cure after 48 hours is enough to consider it ready for the elements and camping.
The application style is a standard caulk tube that fits any regular caulk gun. You can cut the tip at different levels for different sizes of beads.
For any RV roof sealing, I recommend a large 1/4 inch bead. It might feel like you are using a lot of caulk when you are sealing things on the camper roof but you can never be too careful, and you only have to do it once every 10 years if you do it right.
A tube contains 12.3 oz of RV caulk. The linear feet of each tube isn’t advertised because it’s a number that can vary greatly depending on your caulking style and what you are sealing.
For reference, I use almost an entire tube when I install 14×14 inch vents or RV roofs. I use a lot because I cover both the edges of the vent and the heads of the screws at the same time.
White RV caulks and sealants are recommended for pretty much any RV roof since it reflects heat better than any other color but if you want to match colors this lap sealant comes in black, grey, dove, and ivory colors as well.
The Dicor RV Self-Leveling Lap Sealant is a fantastic product and one of the best RV caulks out there.
It’s my pick for the best RV self-leveling lap sealant for RV use and the one I have used myself on lots of different campers.
- Works On Any RV Roof Material
- Stays Pliable (Never Cracks)
- Creates A Strong Seal
- UV Stabilized
- Waterproofs Quickly
- Lots Of Color Options
- May Not Seal Well On Some New TPO Roofs
The Ziollo RV flex repair self leveling RV sealant uses a hybrid polymer base. It’s an excellent sealant for most kinds of RV roofs.
It’s great for EPDM rubber, aluminum, fiberglass, and more but the only area where it’s lacking is with TPO rubber roofs. You can still use it on a TPO roof but Ziollo recommends using a TPO primer first for best results.
I was unable to find a good TPO primer so I don’t recommend this RV sealant for that kind of roof.
What the Ziollo RV self leveling lap sealant is good for is its ability to be applied over old caulking. Most RV sealants need to be applied directly to a clean surface that has the old caulk removed but this one bonds well with other caulks.
You still need to clean the old RV caulk you want to cover and make sure to remove any loose pieces but if you need a quick fix for a leaky area on your camper roof this is a great option.
Another cool thing about it is it can be applied in wet conditions which means it’s a good option for stopping a roof leak as it’s happening.
When applied in dry conditions and used as a regular RV sealant it does take a little longer than some of the other RV caulks in this review to become fully waterproof and cure.
In the right conditions, Ziollo says it can be painted over within 24 to 48 hours.
The application style is a standard caulking tube that has 10 oz of caulk inside.
The Ziollo RV Flex Repair Self Leveling Sealant isn’t what I would use for resealing an RV roof or even for installing a vent.
What’s it’s good for is emergency use. If it’s raining and you see a leak you can use this to quickly cover the bad spot on the RV roof and stop water from getting into your camper.
It has a longer shelf life than most other RV caulks and it’s one of the few sealants that’s ok to apply over old caulk.
- Can Be Applied In Wet Conditions
- Great For Emergency Use
- Can Be Applied Over Old Caulk
- Long Drying Time
- Not For TPO Roofs
Alpha Systems is another excellent option for resealing an RV roof. It’s used by some camper manufacturers and it’s the most reliable choice for TPO rubber roofs.
It’s compatible with all other RV roof types as well. That includes aluminum, fiberglass, and EDPM rubber roofs.
This RV caulk uses a low VOC formula, which means it’s safer to use both for you and the environment.
It’s pretty unclear what the main base of this RV sealant is but it’s something that bonds well to rubber and is very resistant to weather and vibrations from travel.
One thing to be aware of, especially if you’ve only used Dicor self leveling lap sealant before, is it doesn’t spread out quite as much. That means you will need to create a thicker caulk layer than you might be used to.
It creates an excellent watertight bond and Alpha Systems has an entire line of cleaners, tapes, sealants, and caulks that can be used together to fully reseal a camper roof very well.
The cure time is pretty standard. It’s waterproof after just 4 hours and fully cured in 48 hours.
The application style is a standard caulking tube that has 10.3 oz of sealant inside.
Besides white, you can also get grey, beige, and almond colors.
The Alpha Systems RV Self Leveling Lap Sealant is another fantastic option for fully resealing an RV roof or installing vents and fans.
I recommend it for TPO roofs, especially if you have an RV with a new roof. The other kinds of RV self leveling lap sealants seem to have the most problems with newer TPO roofs and Alpha Systems is the most TPO compatible choice.
- Works On Any RV Roof Material (Even TPO)
- Stays Pliable (Never Cracks)
- Creates A Strong Seal
- Waterproofs Quickly
- Lots Of Color Options
- Doesn’t Spread Out A Lot
Premier Pro Products version of an RV caulk for sealing camper roofs is a little different than the others in this review.
Instead of putting their sealant in a caulking tube, they package it in a resealable bag.
It’s meant to be poured or brushed on and one bag has 25.3 oz of sealant in it which is like 2 1/2 caulking tubes.
The idea is a quicker and easier application process that requires fewer tools.
When applied around a vent or fan it doesn’t lay as thick as regular self leveling lap sealant but the durability and waterproofing is said to be just as good.
One benefit to the thinner application is it dries very fast and becomes waterproof almost instantly in the right conditions. If you’re in a hurry this could be the best choice for quickly sealing a vent or fixing a leaky roof seam.
It’s a universal sealant which means it’s made to stick to anything including all types of RV roofs like aluminum, fiberglass, TPO Rubber, and EPDM roofs.
Much like the Ziollo RV sealant reviewed above this works great over old caulk and is a good emergency RV caulk to have on hand just in case the roof starts leaking and it needs to be fixed quickly.
The ability to reseal the bag also makes it a really good emergency option because you can use it over and over again and not have to mess with trying to seal up an opened caulk tube.
The Premier Pro Products RV Roof Sealant Caulk is becoming more popular with RVers who do repairs themselves because it’s easy to use and requires fewer tools.
It creates a strong waterproof seal fast and I recommend it for emergencies or for resealing cracked caulking on your RV roof.
- Great For Emergency Use
- Can Be Applied Over Old Caulk
- Easy Application
- Fast Drying Time
- May Not Last As Long As Other RV Sealants
- Not Good For Thick Edges (TV Antennas)
What To Look For In RV Roof Caulk
Roof Material Compatibility
There are four main RV roof materials: TPO rubber, EPDM rubber, aluminum, and fiberglass.
If you have an aluminum or fiberglass RV roof pretty much any of the RV self-leveling lap sealants in this review are going to work great.
The main thing to be careful of is properly prepping an aluminum or fiberglass roof before application. It’s usually recommended to rough up the surface the RV caulk will cover with a brush first and then clean with denatured or isopropyl alcohol.
Rubber RV roofs are the most common, they will either be TPO or EPDM. It’s important to know what kind of rubber roof your RV has before purchasing a sealant.
Most of the self-leveling RV caulks in this review will work on both TPO and EPDM roofs with the exception of the Ziollo RV Flex Repair Self Leveling Sealant that needs a primer to be painted on first.
Cure time could possibly be an issue if you are working on your RV roof outside and you live in an area where it rains a lot or the weather is unpredictable.
Sudden rains or even winds can mess with soft and uncured RV caulks and sealants.
Most RV self-leveling lap sealants are at least waterproof after a couple of hours but some can take days and even weeks to fully cure.
If you’re in a pinch and need something that will seal an RV roof leak almost instantly the Premier Pro Products RV Roof Sealant Caulk (click to view on Amazon) or Ziollo RV Flex Repair Self Leveling Sealant (click to view on Amazon) are good emergency options.
When it’s time to reseal your RV roof make sure you plan right so you have at least a few sure days when you know it’s not going to rain or be super windy.
All of the RV sealants and caulks in this review have excellent weather resistance after at least 48 hours but some take a little longer than others to become fully waterproof.
Best RV Roof Caulk
It’s actually pretty difficult to choose the best overall RV self leveling lap sealant.
It can depend a lot on what kind of RV roof material your camper has, what you are using the RV sealant for, and even the weather conditions.
Best For Fixing Leaks As They Happen
If you are in a pinch and need something to fix a leak that happening while it’s raining Ziollo RV Flex Repair Self Leveling Sealant (click to view on Amazon) is one of the only options that will work in wet conditions.
Best To Have On Hand To Repair Damaged RV Roof Caulk
Because of the resealable bag and the ability to bond to old caulk the Premier Pro Products RV Roof Sealant Caulk (click to view on Amazon) is a great option to have on hand at all times for quick repairs while you’re camping or traveling.
Best For TPO Rubber RV Roofs
If you have a TPO rubber RV roof the Alpha Systems RV Self Leveling Lap Sealant (click to view on Amazon) is the most reliable choice.
Most Popular Option
The most popular RV self leveling lap sealant and the one that’s recommended by the most RVers is definitely Dicor RV Self-Leveling Lap Sealant (click to view on Amazon).
You see it everywhere and many manufacturers use it to seal camper roofs right in the factory.
I’ve used it myself on many TPO RV roofs and never had an issue with it and it’s definitely worked really well. I haven’t had a leaky camper roof yet. And even after full-time RV living for a few years, it hasn’t cracked or started to peel in any way.
The end decision is up to you and if your camper does have a TPO roof you might want to go with the Alpha Systems but for every other kind of RV roof material Dicor is my top pick.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Roof Caulks
Why Did the RV Caulk I Used On My RV Roof Start Peeling Off?
Most RV roof caulks that are self leveling are made to be used on pretty much any kind of RV roof. Whether it’s rubber (TPO or EPDM), aluminum, or even fiberglass most of the RV caulks in this review should work.
If you sealed your RV roof with a good self-leveling lap sealant and you check it after a few days only to see that the caulk seems to be peeling up around the edges or it doesn’t seem to be bonding with the roof material very well the most likely cause for this is the roof material wasn’t cleaned enough before the RV caulk was applied.
It’s so important to follow the material prep instructions that come with the RV caulk you are using. Many recommend cleaning off any leftover caulk and dirt that may be left on the roof.
You should also do a final cleaning with something like rubbing alcohol to make sure the surface is as clean as possible and free from any oils or dirt that might stop the RV caulk from bonding.
What Caulk Do RV Manufacturers Use as an RV Roof Sealant?
Most RV manufacturers use Dicor RV Self-Leveling Lap Sealant (click to view on Amazon) but there are a few that use Alpha Systems RV Self Leveling Lap Sealant (click to view on Amazon) made by Lippert Components.
Both are excellent options for sealing RV roofs and keeping them leak free.
The Alpha Sytems is known to be better for all TPO rubber roofs but Dicor is used the most for every kind of camper roof.
Can I Use Flex Seal On My RV Roof?
One newer product that’s starting to show up everywhere is Flex Seal. They started with the tape that could fix any leak and have now moved on to making more products, one being a liquid paint version that is “rubber in a can”.
Since it’s a pretty affordable option some RVers have tried using it to reseal their RV roofs or to patch problem areas.
After reading their experiences I’ve come to the conclusion that while you can use Flex Seal on an RV roof it’s not the best long term option.
It’s the more affordable option, but for a reason. RV specific caulks and sealants have special formulas that are specifically made for everything an RV roof goes through during the camping season.
Flex Seal might keep things watertight for a while but it will probably start to leak again soon. A higher quality RV sealant is more guaranteed to stay leak free for longer and withstand more weather conditions.
I don’t recommend using Flex Seal on an RV roof unless it’s an absolute emergency and it’s the only option available.
Have any more questions about RV self leveling roof sealant or sealing a camper roof? Leave a comment below.