Should You Use RV Roof Repair Tape?
RV roof repair tape is touted by seasoned RVers as a quick go-to solution for RV roof repairs. This tape can easily be used in situations where you might not be able to (or want) to caulk with self-leveling sealant. It could also be used to make a temporary fix when you’ve got a small crack or divot in the roofing material or fiberglass of the RV, and you can’t get a proper repair done right away.
RV roof repair tape is commonly known as Eternabond. However, Eternabond is a brand name. There are a handful of brands of RV roof repair tape that are designed to do the same job that Eternabond does.
RV roof repair tape brands vary in their abilities and usage, but they all use pretty much the same technology in their design. However, Eternabond remains popular with RVers for its name, ease of use, and effectiveness.
Eternabond is also known for longevity due to its UV-resistant properties. Although there are lots of other RV roof repair tapes, we are going to look at Eternabond in this article because it’s often synonymous with roof repair tape.
Eternabond RV roof repair tape is a UV-resistant polymer-faced tape that has a thick, gummy, pressure-sensitive micro adhesive underneath it. A roll of Eternabond tape feels kind of thick and is fairly heavy for its size. When properly used, Eternabond tape will stick on many surfaces for years; fill gaps, cracks, and holes; and provide protection from UV rays.
Why use roof repair tape?
RV roof repair tape is really versatile for creating a long-lasting sealed surface. Most of the time, it’s used in the following ways:
- Sealing small tears, holes, and cracks in RV roofs
- In place of self-leveling sealant around waterproof roof fans, A/Cs, and other roof penetrations
- Waterproofing roof edge seams
- Waterproofing rubber roof seams
- Gasket for semi-permanent fridge
- Waterproofing edges of OSB subfloors
It’s a good idea to keep a small roll of RV roof repair tape in your toolbox in case you need to make an emergency repair due to flying tree limbs, hail storms, etc.
RV roof tape is available in widths from 4 inches to 36 inches. Any size will work well when used according to directions. However, if you don’t use RV roof tape the right way, you’ll probably be disappointed with the results.
There are a few simple steps to making sure your RV roof tape will seal properly. When properly applied, Eternabond will last for many years. Eternabond tape can last as long as 7 or 8 years and some have reported it lasts even longer than that.
How to apply the tape
The adhesive compound on roof repair tape works best at warm, but not hot temperatures. Choose a warmish day to apply the roof repair tape.
Thoroughly clean the area you are going to tape. You’ll need to remove any loose debris first, using a soft brush. Then give the area a good wash using warm water and detergent. If you using Eternabond on a leaky spot, you’ll want to be careful not to soak the area. Just make sure it’s really clean.
Dry the area completely, and wipe the area with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue. Allow to dry.
At this point, you may choose to use a primer to help ensure adhesion to polymer surfaces. If you are applying Eternabond tape to smooth fiberglass, you may wish to lightly scuff the surface with 80 grit sandpaper. Eternabond makes a primer called EternaPrime that you can use to help create a surface that the tape will stick to.
Roll out the tape as needed and cut. Be careful not to stretch the Eternabond tape, or it won’t stick properly.
Apply pressure. Eternabond tape needs pressure in order for its chemical processes to allow a complete bond to form and good adhesion to take place. A roller with weight behind it is ideal for doing this evenly. But if you don’t happen to have one, you could just use your body weight on your hands or a 1- or 2-foot 2×4.
RV roof repair tape will work perfectly and give lasting results when it’s applied properly. As a matter of fact, if you ever need to remove it, you’ll need to apply heat and an awful lot of elbow grease.
Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.