Picking the Right RV Roof Cleaner and How To Clean Your RV Roof

Published on September 16th, 2019

Many RVers commonly overlook one of the most important parts of their RV – and it’s right over their head. We’re talking about your RV roof, of course! Nothing lasts forever, and if you enjoy having a roof over your head as you travel in your RV, maintenance is essential. That includes a good RV roof cleaning a few times a year. Here’s what you need to keep in mind to make sure you’re cleaning the roof properly.

RV Roof Parts

First, it’s important to know what your RV roof is made of so that you’re using the proper cleaners and cleaning methods. The most common materials include:

Rubber. Likely the most popular material for an RV roof, a rubber roof comes in two types: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) or TPO (Thermal Poly Olefin) RV roof. RV rubber roof cleaning is different for each of the types of rubber RV roofs, so it’s important to know exactly what type of rubber your roof is made of.

Fiberglass. A fiberglass RV roof is somewhat rare, because they add weight and cost to the rig, however, they are low maintenance, which makes many RVers prefer them.

Aluminum. It’s likely rare that you’ll encounter an aluminum RV roof, although there are some that still use aluminum for the roof. Similar to fiberglass, this type of roof is pretty low maintenance.

If you’re not sure which of these materials your motorhome is made of, consult your owner’s manual. It should have all the information about the material and dos and don’ts for cleaning that specific material. Knowing how to clean RV roof is important, and depending on the type of material, can be different. In general, you should be cleaning RV roof 3-4 times a year, more depending on where you park it. It can be helpful to utilize an RV roof cover or be cautious when you park your RV – avoiding parking under trees or other places where the roof may be damaged.

RV Roof Cleaning

Next, what you’re using for cleaning is just as important as completing the task itself! You’ll want to make sure you’re never using a RV roof cleaner that contains citrus ingredients or petroleum solvents on a rubber or vinyl roof, as they can cause permanent damage to the surface, which can lead to water leaks or mold growth.

Before you purchase a RV rubber roof cleaner or whip out that good ole’ soap you have hanging in the garage and think might work, you should do a little research. A quick internet search or glance at the RV roof cleaner packaging should let you know whether it’s safe to use on your roof’s specific type of material. If you’re shopping at a camping or RV store, a sales associate may be able to recommend RV roof cleaner that is ideal for your rig’s type of roof.

In a pinch, a gentle soap should work just fine. Just make sure you’re not using harsh chemicals that may harm the roof’s finish. In general, an RV rubber roof cleaner should work fine on a fiberglass or aluminum RV roof, but a quick read of the packaging should let you know if it’s safe.

Not sure how to clean RV rubber roof? Here’s some steps that you can follow, no matter what type of material your RV roof is.

First, climb on top of the roof with your RV roof cleaner, a bucket of water and a hose, being as careful as possible! While you’re up on the roof, give it a good inspection to make sure that everything looks great and there are no trouble spots. Next, sweep or rinse as much of the loose dirt, debris and grime as you can.

Once you’ve removed as much loose dirt as you can, working in a small area, begin cleaning RV roof by applying the cleaner. To activate the cleaner and get it really working, use a sponge mop or soft bristle brush and move in a circular motion. Then, rinse your mop or brush in the clean water, and repeat in other small sections of the roof until the entire roof has cleaner on it.

Finally, use the hose to rinse away the RV rubber roof cleaner (or other type of cleaner) and any remaining dirt. You’re done! RV roof cleaning is an easier task than you may think. Before you climb down, now is a great time to give the roof another quick inspection to make sure your sealant is looking great and there are no spots or mold anywhere on the roof.


Cleaning RV roof is a simple task that doesn’t take too long, and it can go a long way to helping your roof stay in great shape! Set a few reminders in your calendar to make sure you are cleaning it 3-4 times a year, make sure you’re purchasing the right RV roof cleaning products and you won’t regret it.

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