How to Wash RV Roof

clean an rv rubber roofIs your Recreational Vehicle’s roof beginning to lose its sheen? We will show you how to wash the RV roof. Maintaining your RV’s roof is critical, whether it is your everyday motorhome or a vacation camper. The roof is what keeps you and all your belongings dry and safe. An essential part of the maintenance routine is to clean your RV roof yearly. How to clean your RV rubber roof doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

How to Wash RV Roof thoroughly, you need to know the makeup of your roof. Most manufacturers provide their customers with detailed guidelines about roof care, depending on whether the roof is aluminum, fiberglass, or rubber.

The third is perhaps the most prevalent type of roofing around. The material’s cost-effectiveness and durability make it a popular choice for manufacturers and RV owners. On the flip side, rubber roofs require slightly more maintenance than aluminum or fiberglass roofing. Rubber RV roofs, for instance, should be cleaned thoroughly at least three to four times a year. Depending on how you use and store your RV, you may need to do it more frequently.

RV rubber roofing is presently available in two variations: your roof may be an EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or a TPO (Thermal Poly Olefin) RV Roof. Each has a slightly different procedure of upkeep. Be sure to familiarize yourself with your RV rubber roofing type to optimize your maintenance game.

NOTE: Whatever the type of roof, always remember to keep your safety at foremost concern while cleaning your RV. Cleaning the roof is going to require you to climb up. Walking on a wet surface can be dangerous. Invest in a good pair of grip shoes to minimize the chances of accidental falls. Also, ensure you are using a safe ladder.

If you have a roof rack and ladder-ready RV, your deck is heavy enough to allow you to stand on it, but you will still have to be light on your feet. Using particleboards to distribute your weight as you move is also advisable. If there is no ladder on the back of your rig, your RV probably does not have a walkable roof. In either case, it is in your safety interest to work with a second person or a spotter while cleaning an RV rubber roof.

Now that you are ready to clean, learn how to clean the RV roof.


Rely on Water to Clean an RV Rubber Roof

Yes, you read that right. There is nothing as useful as water on a rubber roof. However, leaving your roof to collect water will spoil your roof with mold and mildew. Oxidization and short circuits are potential hazards of water damage. But plain water can also be your best ally when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning with water is useful when you regularly have your rig’s roof care routine. It is essentially a two-step process:

Sweep the collected debris out. Do this carefully. Be attentive to fixtures and caulking when you sweep your roof. Invest in a good brush or broom for the purpose. You intend to remove the grime on the surface, not leave it scratched or damaged.

Rinse the dirt once you have dislodged accumulating debris; it’s time to spray it all off your roof. Use a suitable hose and start by spraying up from the sides and back. Then when you reach the roof, work in a circular motion over small surface areas. Use a medium bristle brush to assist in this rinsing. Wash down the sides again at the end to prevent dirt streaks. Be careful with the pressure you apply on your brush as you clean the roof.

Use Petroleum-free Distillates when you Clean an RV Rubber Roof.

If water rinsing is not sufficient and your roof has more stubborn dirt spots, you might need to use a bit of a cleaning agent. Any mild agent is excellent as long as it is not a petroleum distillate. Petroleum distillates are corrosive and can cause moderate damage resulting in a roof that slowly develops swollen spots and unevenly thick surface areas. If your roofing is EPDM rubber, you need to be careful about staying clear of petroleum solvents.

Your roofing is supposed to last 20 years or longer and probably comes with a decade-long guarantee. But this is only possible if you only clean the roofing regularly with petroleum-free solvents. Remember that it is normal for the EPDM roofing membrane to oxidize slowly and naturally, but petroleum-based distillates can speed this up irreversibly.

So, if you rely on store-bought cleaners on your EPDM roofing, use a mild detergent that does not contain degreasers. Dilute it further (roughly a capful to a gallon of water) and proceed to rinse using the method already suggested. Remember to work through one small section at a time using gentle circular motions. Be extra careful to rinse edges thoroughly to prevent residue build-up.

Vinegar is a Great Natural Cleaner

One of the most potent natural cleaners out there is vinegar. It is a non-toxic substance with the added advantage of being perfectly safe for your pets or for any perchers that may occasionally bask on your roof. It is also a readily available kitchen item. To use vinegar as a cleaning agent, soak your cleaning sponge and spread it over the surface. Be sure to have swept the surface before dabbing it with vinegar.

Vinegar works great on molds. If you are dealing with stubborn mold growth, apply vinegar to the area and its surroundings and leave it soaked for about an hour. Rinse the entire surface off with water. You may have to repeat the process or invest in strong vinegar to combat severe mold growth. Even if your roof does not have mold spots, it is good to give it an occasional vinegar wash to prevent mold growth.

Try Household Bleach

Another beneficial agent against mold and mildew is your regular household bleach. Mix about a cup of bleach with about a gallon of water and fill a spray bottle. Spray stains, accumulating grime and mold with this solution, leaving the bleach to do its magic.

Bleach tends to dry off in about fifteen to twenty minutes. Using a soft bristle brush or scrubber, gently scrub out the affected areas. Remember to use the spray to dampen hardened grime, so you do not peel out the roof coating. Always use a circular motion to clean. Once done, rinse out the roof with plain water.

Do not pour the solution on the roof directly. If you cannot use a spray bottle, wet a rag or sponge in the solution and use that instead. Pouring a bleach solution directly on the roof is sure to make the solution drip down the sides of your camper, leaving your paint to discolor. Remember that just like harsh chemicals, harsh brushes or improper pressure while learning to wash the RV roof can cause damage. Patience is an essential ingredient when it comes to cleaning your RV’s roof or any other part.

Use Your Regular Dishwashing or Laundry Detergent.

You do not need to invest in a separate cleaning agent for your RV rubber roof if you use mild detergents to clean your utensils and laundry. Most mild detergents work well to keep your roof sparkling as long as you remember to dilute and use them. Create a solution by mixing about 3 oz of your soap in a gallon of water. Apply this using a medium bristle brush on your roof after thoroughly sweeping it.

Scrub gently after about 10 minutes and rinse it off. Remember to work in small sections and to use a circular motion while scrubbing. As mentioned before, avoid detergents that use petroleum solvents as their degreasing agent. Besides, avoiding cleansers that use citric additives is a good idea. As long as your soap is free of harsh abrasives, it is an ideal cleaner, especially when it comes to tackling chalk accumulations and sticky grime spots. Mild mold build-up is also cleansed well by detergents. Remember to rinse the roof thoroughly to avoid residue build-up on the sides.

Fight Tree Sap with Fast Action

If you use your RV in areas where the possibility of fruit fall and tree sap (or any harsh environmental fall-out) is frequent, you are no stranger to the kind of dirt they spread on your roof. Tree sap and fruit have an especially sticky gluey consistency, which can become a nightmare to clean when left too long. The stores offer an abundance of tree sap stain solutions, promising magic results. But do not worry; you do not need a special cleaning agent to tackle tree sap.

What you do need is your cleaning reflex. Tree sap should be removed as soon as possible, so get your cleaning game on as soon as you notice them. Letting sap accumulate on the roof for an extended period can result in unremovable stains. Bleach and vinegar solutions used repetitively in the manner discussed above will enable you to get rid of the stains. Remember, the best action against tree sap is to remove it when it is fresh. Please do not wait for your next cleaning schedule to handle them.

Use Ice Cubes to tackle Sap Drizzle.

While discussing tree sap, we must remember that it is not always possible to clean off sap the moment we see it. Furthermore, the RV added problem is getting spray painted in a sudden shower of tree sap on a chilly camping day. Shaded Glens is a popular and accessible parking spot, especially during the summer, and while the trees offer a more relaxed camping spot, drizzles from the trees are a known big nuisance.

Sap spray can coat the roof in ungainly stains. These resin splatters are not only unappealing to the eye; they can cause the paint and coating of the roof to erode if left to be as is. When cleaning is not possible immediately, a useful technique for scrapping out the sticky sap is to use ice cubes and freeze-dry it before cleaning it off. For this, cover the roof (or affected area of the roof) with wax paper and top that with ice cubes.

Leave the ice there for some time. Let the stains freeze solid from their sticky state- this may take an hour to a couple of hours, depending on the amount of sap on the roof. Once that happens, use a spray bottle to mildly wet the area with any of the solutions discussed above. A warm water and vinegar combination may work best in this regard. Scrub the sap off using a medium bristle brush in a circular motion.



The above is by no means an exhaustive list. But it is undoubtedly one you could follow with minimum risk of damaging your RV rubber roof. As an RV user, you are no stranger to stains appearing because of the weather or environment. Dirt and stains are expected to turn up on the roof, and learning how to wash the RV roofs should not be a back-breaking activity.

Regularizing your routine and storing your camper in a dry place to minimize the risk of molds and mildew is the key to a shining sparkly roof. I hope the seven tips discussed above on How to Wash RV Roof make cleaning an RV rubber roof easier. Do remember to keep yourself safe while you reach out for that piece of muck! Remember to clean an RV rubber roof at least 3-4 times a year.


Bestseller No. 1
Dicor CP-SB10SQE Soft Bristle Exterior Wash Brush with Squeegee for Exterior RV Roof Cleaning and Maintenance
  • USE: Makes washing an RV a quick and speedy process
  • SQUEEGEE: Incorporated piece helps wipe away moisture and increase drying speed
  • SOFT BRISTLE: Ensures no scratches or marks are left behind on your RV surface
  • COMPATIBILITY: Made for ideal use with Dicor's long telescoping pole, but compatible with a variety of brush poles
  • SIZE: Brush measures 10 inches wide for easy cleaning
SaleBestseller No. 2
Dicor RP-RC-1GL Deep Cleaning Rubber RV Roof Cleanser Spray Refill, White
  • The package length is 57 inches
  • The package height is 8 inches
  • The package width is 11 inches
  • Package Weight : 3.992 kilograms
Bestseller No. 3
Dicor CP-SB125E Soft Bristle Exterior Wash Brush for Exterior RV Roof Cleaning and Maintenance
  • USE: Makes washing an RV a quick and speedy process
  • SQUEEGEE: Incorporated piece helps wipe away moisture and increase drying speed
  • SOFT BRISTLE: Ensures no scratches or marks are left behind on your RV surface
  • COMPATIBILITY: Made for ideal use with Dicor's long telescoping pole, but compatible with a variety of brush poles
  • SIZE: Brush measures 12 inches wide for easy cleaning
Bestseller No. 4
Liquid Rubber RV Roof Coating - Solar Reflective Sealant, Trailer and Camper Roof Repair, Waterproof, Easy to Apply, Brilliant White, 5 Gallon
  • FLEXIBLE RV ROOF COATING - Solar reflective, cool roof & UV resistant, Final membrane has over 1000% elongation preventing adhesion failure, and is UV Stable stopping the sun from degrading the product
  • PROTECTIVE SEALANT FOR - RV roofs, metal roofs, flat roofs around the home, mobile homes, campers, trailer, gutters, sheds, foundations, planter boxes interior basements, fences, stucco, wood, concrete, metal and more
  • EASY TO APPLY - Just like painting! Apply by brush, roller or high quality paint sprayer. Use heavy coats to build up the waterproof membrane. You can close the container and use later if you have left over material
  • ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY - Liquid Rubber RV Roof Coating is water based, containing no solvents, or VOC's. Safe for humans and pets alike, can be used indoors and outdoors with no special breathing apparatus
  • COVERAGE - Apply a minimum final thickness of 1 gallon/50 sq ft (4.65 sq m). Should require 2-3 heavy coats. 1 x 5G pail will coat RVs up to 30 feet; be sure to use up all material
Bestseller No. 5
303 Rubber Roof Cleaner - Safely Removes Build Up On The Rubber Roofs of RVs, Campers, Pop-Ups, and Motorhomes, Eco-Friendly, Will Not Harm Solar Panels, 1 Gallon (30239)
  • Remove Build-Up – This powerful formula safely dissolves heavy dirt and buildup on the rubber roof of your RV, camper, pop-up, or motorhome without harming solar panels or siding.
  • Camping Season is Here – Stay ready for your next adventure, whatever dirt it may bring, and keep your roof looking newer for even longer. Pair it with 303 Aerospace Protectant for the ultimate protective layer against dirt, UV rays, and more.
  • Plant-Friendly – This non-abrasive and biodegradable formula can be safely rinsed onto any campsite, without harming the surrounding plant life, keeping even your favorite camping spots safe from harsh chemicals.
  • Directions – Add 5 oz of cleaner to 5 gallons of water and proceed to pour on and scrub the roof. Rinse entire roof with a hose and let air dry. Rinse any residual runoff immediately to prevent streaking/water marks from occurring over sides.
  • For 42 years, 303 Products have provided premium protection for your cars, boats, and beyond. All 303 Products are good for 2 years after the packaging date on the bottle – YYDDD. Proudly made in the USA by a family-owned company.
Bestseller No. 6
303 RV Wash & Seal - Clean, Streak-Free Finish, pH Neutral with High Foaming Formula, Provides A Deep Gloss Finish on RVs, Campers, Pop-ups, and Motorhomes, 1 Gallon (30240)
  • Deep Cleanse and Shine– This high-foam wash leaves your RV or camper with streak-free shine and a layer of protection for the ultimate summer getaway. Plus, our non-abrasive pH neutral formula won’t strip any existing waxes or coatings.
  • Camping Season is Here – Stay ready for your next adventure, whatever dirt it may bring. RV Wash & Seal keeps your RV or camper protected and looking flawless even in harsh environments and inclement weather.
  • UV Protection – Powerful UV protection preserves your paint from cracking and fading under the sun’s harsh rays. Now you can enjoy the sunniest of days at your favorite campsite without worry of sun damage.
  • Directions – Add 1 ounce of wash to 5 gallons of water. Gently scrub surface with wash mitt to remove dirt and grime. Rinse thoroughly and dry immediately with a clean towel.
  • For 42 years, 303 Products have provided premium protection for your cars, boats, and beyond. All 303 Products are good for 2 years after the packaging date on the bottle – YYDDD. Proudly made in the USA by a family-owned company in Chicago, IL.
SaleBestseller No. 7
Eccotemp i12-LP Water Heater, 4 GPM, Black
  • Whole home indoor, gas powered tankless water heater, rated at 4 GPM that activates only on demand and no pilot light needed, reducing energy consumption
  • Sleek, modern design with black tempered glass front panel featuring an easy to use LED display controls
  • Features fully automatic temperature controls with an energy saving mode and child lock technology
  • Safe electronic ignition system; Plugs into standard 110v electrical outlet with UL-listed cord
  • Uses standard 1/2" NPT water fittings and comes with horizontal venting allowing for a convenient and quick installation
Bestseller No. 8
Everbond RV Roof Waterproof Coatings - RV Roof Sealant - Solar Reflective Sealant, for Trailers, Campers, Roof Repairs, and Leak Repairs. Easy to Apply Titanium White 5 Gallon Pail
  • Surfaces: You can use Everbond liquid rubber on most surfaces including EPDM roofs, TPO Roofs, Metal Roofs, Fiberglass roofs, Concrete, Aluminum roofs and much more.
  • Coverage: Everbond liquid rubber RV sealant can be applied up to 50 Sq Ft per gallon coverage.
  • Solar Reflective: Industry high 87% UV reflective. Titanium infused blocks UV light in turn leads to energy savings and efficiency
  • Complete Waterproof System: Everbond liquid rubber is a one stop shop to waterproofing anything. Its advance formulas are designed to not only stop leaks but also move with your RV movement when on the road. It will stretch and stay flexible without shrinking
  • Uses: Full RV roof replacement, repair and leak fix, home restoration, Boat repair, concrete. Can be used indoor or outdoor, Low odor, Waterbase non toxic.
SaleBestseller No. 9
Mold Armor Home FG502 Instant Mold and Mildew Stain Remover, Trigger Spray 32 Fl Oz, Pack of 3
  • Home Armor, 32 oz., instant mildew stain remover, twice as strong as the leading brand, bleach based formula, cleans mold & mildew stains
  • Adds extra shine to your product
  • Removes mold and mildew stains and odors caused by mold Cleans with no scrubbing Cleans with the power of bleach
  • Is twice as strong as the leading product
  • Ideal for use on tile, grout, tubs, toilets, fiberglass, shower doors, vinyl curtains, counters, and sinks
SaleBestseller No. 10
Dicor RP-RRK-30 RV Roof Renew Kit
  • Includes four Gallons of Dicor White Acrylic Roof Coating, two quarts of Dicor Cleaner/ Activator, one 4 inch x 50 feet Roll Coating Ready Cover Tape, one Metal Pan, one 9 inch Paint Roller, two 9 inch Roller Covers, one roll 1 inch Masking Tape
  • Each kit comes with a warranty and easy to follow instructions
  • Contents will cover a 30 feet unit;A polyester fleeced-back seam sealing tape for sealing cracks or tears in EPDM rubber or TPO RV roofing
  • Individual components can be purchased separately
  • Contents will cover a 30 feet unit; Cleaner Activator: A low viscosity, pinkish liquid that chemically alters the EPDM surface to which it is applied creating a lock and key effect with the subsequent two coats of ACRYLIC COATING.

Last update on 2023-03-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Best RV Roof Coating and Sealants
How Do I Protect My RV Tires?
RV Wash and Wax: Top 10 Best Products
Top 12 Best RV Cleaners
What should I look for in buying a new RV Trailer?