What is an RV Roof Coating?
A watertight camper roof is one of the most important things when it comes to proper RV maintenance and care. If you want your camper to last for years and years, it’s going to need a leak proof roof.
Most RV roofs are made to last at least 20 years (except Aluminum) but they can start leaking as early as 5 years depending on the weather conditions they’ve been put through.
Related Product: See how level your RV is using an App on your phone with the LevelMatePro Wireless RV Leveling System (click to view on Amazon)
Normally, the source of roof leaks will be from the sealant. Resealing a camper roof (click to see best RV sealants review) is something that should be done almost yearly, especially if you are a full-time RVer.
But there’s one more thing you can do to prevent leaks and lengthen the life expectancy of your RV roof. That’s applying a roof coating to help protect the roof material from sun damage and weather.
An RV roof coating is a type of paint you roll or brush onto the roof of your RV to add an extra layer of protection.
Many confuse coating and sealing RV roofs, but they’re really two different things.
Sealing an RV roof is when you replace the sealant or caulk that’s protecting the seams, molding, and areas where there are holes or gaps in the camper roof membrane.
Coating an RV roof is when you paint on an extra protective layer that’s compatible with the type of roof your camper has.
Camper roof coatings don’t necessarily stop leaks. If a roof is already too far gone it will need a full replacement, roof coatings are more of a preventative measure, and not a leak solution.
You should add RV roof coating at least every 4-5 years, sometimes more often if you live in a sunny and hot climate and your RV isn’t stored under a roof.
It might seem like overkill but replacing an RV roof is a lot more work, and keeping it in excellent condition for as long as possible is going to save you in the long run.
Best For Rubber Roofs
Best For Metal & Fiberglass
Best RV Roof Coating Reviews
Below I’ve compiled a list of some of the best RV roof coating options out there. Since there are a few different types of RV roofs you will need to first figure out what’s on your camper and then choose the compatible roof coating type.
Many RV roof coatings are advertised for “rubber roofs” which can be slightly misleading since there are two kinds of RV rubber roofs, TPO and EPDM.
And most of them are only compatible with EPDM RV roofs and require a special primer to work with TPO.
I’ve tried to point that out in the table but I’ll also mention it in the review of each product to help you find the right products for your camper roof.
Fiberglass and aluminum roofs don’t need coatings as often as rubber ones but they are still a great way to protect from UV rays and to help keep the inside of your RV cool so I’ve added a few of those to the review as well.
Side Note For Airstream Owners: Airstream doesn’t recommend using coatings or waxes on their roofs and the only sealant used is acrylic resin.
Dicor is the company name you will see the most when looking at RV sealants and roof coatings. They make some excellent self-leveling lap sealant (click to see review) that I’ve used to seal my camper roof.
They make a few different kinds of RV roof coatings but the most popular is their EPDM rubber roofing coating system.
It’s part of a two part cleaning and coating system that’s for EPDM camper roofs only.
It does technically say on the can that you can use it for “some TPO RV roofs” but they’re not very clear about what that means exactly.
If your RV has a TPO rubber roof you could still try and use this system with a TPO primer but Dicor doesn’t currently offer any other TPO roof coating solutions.
The camper roof coating is acrylic based. It offers excellent UV protection, and it will help strengthen and in some cases, seal the thin rubber membrane.
It’s flexible, vibration resistant, and if you use white, it will reflect the sun and make the inside of your RV cooler.
For best results Dicor says to start with part one of the system, the EPDM Rubber Roof Cleaner/Activator (click to view on Amazon). It’s both a cleaner and a primer.
Dicor recommends putting up plastic sheeting around the sides of your camper to stop any cleaner/activator from getting on the exterior paint job as it could potentially damage it.
Besides having to hang up the plastic the cleaner makes the prep job a lot easier. Just sweep or blow off any large debris and dirt from your camper roof and spray it down with the cleaner/activator.
Wait at least 15 minutes, then rinse it off with a pressure washer or brush.
One quart of the cleaner will cover around 125 square feet. A 30 foot camper roof is around 240 square feet which means 2 quarts should be enough.
After the roof has fully dried the camper is ready for its first coat of Dicor EPDM rubber roof coating.
It comes in gallon sized cans. 1 gallon will cover about 125 square feet. Two coats are recommended for maximum life and protection.
125 sq. ft. of coverage seems to be for two coats. RVers with 30 foot campers recommend 2-3 gallons.
The Dicor EPDM Rubber RV Roof Coating is the top choice of many experienced RVers with EPDM rubber roofs.
I wish they were a little more clear about its use on TPO. It’s the second most common kind of camper roof and you don’t want to put in the work to properly coat your RV roof only to have it start peeling after a few weeks.
Proper prep and primers are the most important part for the longevity of any camper roof coating. If you do it right Dicor could work for a TPO roof but there are other TPO options in this review you could use as well.
- 2 Part System Includes Cleaner/Activator
- Durable Acrylic Coating
- Excellent For EPDM
- Long Lasting
- Not Clear About TPO Roofs
Henry is a big name in not only the RVing world but in roofing as well. Their products are used on buildings, homes, mobile homes, and campers.
They make some of the best roof coatings and paints on the market today.
I’ve got two in this review and they are both my top choice for all the different kinds of RV roofs.
For rubber camper roofs the Henry 887 Tropi-cool roof coating offers the most benefits. It works on both EPDM and TPO rubber, so that’s a big plus for TPO roof campers.
It’s a silicone roof coating that is flexible, durable, and very UV resistant. It also reflects heat very well, and it’s mold and mildew resistant.
This stuff adheres to pretty much anything. That’s why it will work on picky TPO rubber RV roofs.
While RV roof coatings will not work as a sealant for large holes and tears, they can help stop leaks from micro tears and holes in the roof fabric/membrane.
Henry offers a lifetime warranty for this roof coating. They also advertise “permanent ponding water resistant” which means this stuff will help keep your camper roof leak free.
Best of all you only need one coat and there’s no primer necessary.
You can paint over all of the seams and sealants with Henry 885 Tropi-Cool Seam & Repair Roof Sealant for an even more thorough coating and RV roof sealant job.
1 gallon is will cover 75 square feet, according to Henry.
RVers have reported being able to cover 30 foot camper roofs with about 2 gallons. But the amount could vary depending on how badly the roof needs a new coating, prep, and how thick you paint it on.
This version can be used on fiberglass and metal RV roofs as well but there’s another kind by Henry reviewed below that’s a little better for those roofing materials.
The Henry 887 Tropi-Cool Roof Coating is going to be the longest lasting and best overall rubber RV roof coating.
It stays bright white for years which is great for protection against harmful UV rays and keeping your camper cool.
The only slight downside is it can be pretty difficult to paint on for beginners. It’s very thick and sticky right out of the can and it’s impossible to clean off of brushes and rollers.
Make sure you get supplies that can be disposed of afterward.
All in all, it’s one of the best options out there for rubber camper roofs, especially TPO.
- 1 Coat
- No Primer Required
- Increases Water Resistance
- Mold & Mildew Resistant
- Lifetime Warranty
- Adheres To TPO & EPDM
- Extremely Durable
- Sticky & Hard To Paint On
Liquid Rubber is starting to make a name for itself in the world of camper roofs and RV maintenance.
Their RV roof coating is easy to apply and offers great protection for any kind of RV roof. It’s made of an acrylic/polyurethane hybrid base which means it can also be used on fiberglass and metal/aluminum camper roofs.
For EPDM they recommend using the Liquid Rubber EPDM Primer (click to view on Amazon) followed by 2 coats of the roof coating.
For fiberglass and aluminum, no primer is necessary but they recommend “roughing up the surface” before application.
Like many RV sealants and coatings, the only area where it struggles is TPO rubber roofs.
Liquid Rubber doesn’t currently make a primer for TPO, they recommend using the EternaPrime (click to view on Amazon) by Eternabond.
Besides the easy application, this RV roof coating offers UV resistance and reflection, water resistance, and high flexibility.
It’s made with VOC and solvent free materials making it more environmentally friendly than other kinds of RV roof coatings.
It’s also water based and non-flammable.
1 gallon will cover about 100 square feet. They recommend at least 2-3 thick coats and estimate 5 gallons of coating required for 30 foot campers.
Also, don’t forget about the primer if you are coating a rubber camper roof.
The Liquid Rubber RV Roof Coating is a great option for those who don’t want to have to deal with thick and sticky paints. I
t’s the easiest to apply in the review and perfect for first time do-it-yourself RVers.
It does require a lot of coats and primers but it’s a great product and a good option that’s more environmentally friendly than others.
- Easy To Apply
- VOC Free
- UV Resistant
- Water Resistant
- Can Be Used On Fiberglass & Metal
- Acrylic/Polyurethane Hybrid
- Very Flexible
- Requires 2-3 Coats
- Primers Necessary For Rubber RV Roofs
The name Heng’s is tossed around a lot when you start talking campers with professionals. It seems like many are using either Dicor, Henry, or Heng’s RV roof coatings.
Heng’s is an excellent option but there’s one big downside, it’s really only good for EPDM rubber RV roofs.
Some RVers have reported good results on their TPO roofs and you could potentially make it work for TPO with the right kind of primer but it’s advertised as an EPDM rubber roof coating.
Even though it’s pretty limited to just one kind of roof it has the huge benefit of not requiring a primer which means a lot less painting.
It’s another acrylic based sealant, much like the Dicor and Liquid Rubber RV roof coatings.
You get excellent flexibility, UV resistance, and water resistance, and it’s fairly easy to apply.
1 gallon will cover around 200 square feet but at least 2 coats are required.
It’s about 2 gallons for a 30 foot camper.
The Heng’s RV Rubber Roof Coating is a pretty standard acrylic based option that works well on EPDM RV roofs.
Not having to use a primer makes the application much quicker and it’s a great option if you want to be able to quickly coat and seal your camper roof.
- Durable Acrylic Coating
- No Primer Necessary
- UV Resistant
- Easy to Apply
- At Least 2 Coats Required
- For EPDM Only
Now it’s time to talk about the camper roof coatings that are specifically made for fiberglass and metal/aluminum.
Henry makes a fantastic elastomeric roof coating that works great for these kinds of RV roofs.
The 587 acrylic based roof coating is very rubber like which means it’s flexible enough to use on campers and very durable.
It’s made specifically for metal roofs but it will also work on fiberglass.
It’s UV resistant, reflective to keep the inside of your camper cool, durable, mildew and stain resistant, and has a 10 year limited warranty.
It’s also very good at waterproofing and basically a sealant that will help seal any small holes or cracks in the roof seams.
There’s no primer necessary and you only need 2 coats for full protection.
1 gallon will cover around 100 square feet.
Around 3 gallons should be enough for a 30 foot camper roof but you may need more or less depending on how thick you want each layer to be.
Much like the Henry Tropi-Cool reviewed above, it’s very thick and sticky which means it’s not easy to apply. It might take a little more time to paint on than some of the other options in this review but because of the durability, you shouldn’t have to recoat nearly as often.
Henry is a fantastic company that makes some of the best RV roof coatings around. The Henry 587 Roof Coating is my top pick for metal and fiberglass camper roofs.
It’s super durable, has the best waterproofing abilities, and it stays super white for a long time which will help keep your RV cool.
- No Primer Required
- Increases Water Resistance
- Mold & Mildew Resistant
- 10 Year Limited Warranty
- Adheres To Metal & Fiberglass
- Extremely Durable
- Sticky & Hard To Paint On
- 2 Coats Recommended
Last but not least, Dicor’s elastomeric RV roof coating for metal and fiberglass.
Dicor is another excellent brand that makes quality RV sealants and paints.
Much like their rubber camper roof coating, this version is recommended to be paired with their primer when being used on a metal roof.
It’s not necessary for fiberglass but I recommend using it since it’s also an adhesive that will help the final roof coating stick better and for longer.
The Dicor Metal RV Roof Primer (click to view on Amazon) is acrylic based and meant to help reduce the risk of rust and help the coating adhere.
1 quart of the primer will cover 50 square feet.
The RV roof coating is made with an acrylic elastomeric resin base that dries into a rubbery coating that’s flexible and crack resistant.
It’s a bright white to help reflect the sun to keep the inside of your camper cool and to keep harmful UV rays from damaging the roof.
Fiberglass breaks down in the sun. A roof coating like this is really a necessity to help it stay leak free longer.
For aluminum RV roofs it’s mostly used to help keep the heat away. Even reflective metal surfaces absorb more heat than white ones and if you have an unpainted aluminum camper roof you might want to consider it.
1 gallon of Dicor will cover about 200 square feet. At least two coats are recommended even with the primer.
The Dicor Metal/Fiberglass RV Roof Coating is another fantastic option for reducing UV ray damage and cooling off your camper on hot sunny days.
Even though aluminum RV roofs are extremely durable and don’t break down in the sun a camper roof coating is a great way to stay cool and reduce glare from the sun.
- Reflects The Sun
- Durable Acrylic Base
- Helps Waterproof Seals & Seams
- Easy Application
- Primer Required
- Needs 2 Coats Even With Primer
What To Think About with RV Roof Coatings
TPO rubber RV roofs seem to be one of the hardest materials for RV sealants and coatings to stay stuck to, and lots of campers have a TPO roof.
It might seem like overkill, but getting a compatible camper roof coating or primer is important for its longevity.
The new coating might seem to stick well at first, but start peeling and cracking way before it’s supposed to.
I was surprised by how difficult it was to find an RV roof coating that was ok to use on TPO without needing a primer.
There’s only one in this review and that’s the Henry 887 Tropi-Cool Roof Coating (click to view on Amazon).
Primers are an adhesive activator for many different kinds of RV coatings and sealants. And there aren’t many companies that don’t recommend using both a primer first.
There are different kinds of primers for different roof materials as well. An EPDM rubber roof primer is going to be different than a TPO one.
Make sure you get the right primer with the right product and check to see if it’s compatible with your camper’s roof material.
Proper Cleaning & Prep
When people experience problems with camper roof coatings and sealants the most common reason is improper prep.
Your RV roof has to be clean before applying anything that’s going to need to stick to it for a long time.
All sorts of oils and dirt can stop the adhesive from creating a tight, long lasting bond.
Make sure you follow the instructions that came with your RV roof coating for proper prep.
If you use the correct cleaners like the Dicor Rubber Roof Cleaner (click to view on Amazon) and a pressure washer or brush it’s normally a pretty easy job.
My Pick For Best RV Roof Coating
After researching RV roof coatings I found that the name Henry kept coming up when talking about the best products for restoring or resurfacing RV roofs.
It’s pretty easy to see why.
The Henry 887 Tropi-Cool roof coating is some incredibly strong and sticky stuff that is perfect for keeping rubber and even metal RV roofs protected from UV rays and weather.
There are no primers required, even for TPO, and all you need for full protection is one coat. But you can add another just to be safe if you want.
They guarantee leak free roofs after using their coating and so far it seems like one of the longest lasting camper roof coatings out there.
The application process isn’t the easiest, and it will probably be a pretty big mess when you’re painting it onto the roof.
But once it’s done it shouldn’t need a recoat for a long time.
Frequently Asked Questions About RV Roof Coatings
How Often Should I Recoat or Resurface my rubber RV Roof?
Most RV roof coating manufacturers recommend reapplying every 4 to 5 years, some guarantee their products for longer than that.
But your camper could require it more often if you live in a hot sunny climate and you don’t store your RV under a roof.
When Does a Fiberglass RV Roof Need Coating or Painting?
A fiberglass or aluminum RV roof doesn’t require a coating as often as rubber, especially if you keep them clean and waxed.
The most common problem that occurs with fiberglass camper roofs is chaulking.
It usually happens after about 7 to 8 years but it all depends on maintenance and the storage situation.
When chaulking starts to happen, adding an RV roof coating is a great way to stop it and extend the life of your fiberglass RV roof.
Should I Apply RV Roof Coating Before or After RV Roof Sealant?
Most camper roof coating manufacturers recommend applying it after the RV roof sealant.
Some roof coatings are silicone. Not many things stick to silicone, that includes RV sealants.
It’s better if the sealant is applied first and then the RV roof coating so you know it will create a good seal.
The coating will also help strengthen the sealant. So in most situations, it’s best to apply a camper roof coating last.
Have any more questions about RV roof coatings and sealants? Leave a comment below.