Simple methods to keep your camping investment safe
RV’s are absolutely delightful.
There’s something addictive about nomadic living, whether for a few weeks on vacation or a full-time lifestyle.
There are a few things you’ll need to know about, but one important thing is how to keep snow off an RV roof.
While it seems innocuous, snowfall can build up on your roof, and then the trouble beings.
If the temperature fluctuates enough, it can melt and re-freeze, and then you’re dealing with ice!
Thankfully, there are ways to keep your roof fairly snow-free to protect your Recreational Vehicle roof, so read on, and we’ll tell you all about them and how to keep snow off your rv.
It starts with knowing how much is TOO much when it comes to snow and ice!
Signs that the snow on the roof of your rv is becoming dangerous
Snow makes everything look beautiful, so aside from snowballs hurled by kids, we think of it as harmless.
The problem is that this is not the case, and we’re going to use a little math to give you an idea of why you’ll want to keep that snow off your roof as much as possible.
Now, your average RV has a roof that’s about 200 square feet in size.
It’s designed to withstand nearly 280 pounds (or 127 kilos) of weight, so to determine how much snow is dangerous, we need to know the weight of the snow.
One inch of snow, covering 1 square foot, weighs just .3 pounds/.136 kilos.
According to the math, it takes 4.5 inches/11.4 cm of snow to produce enough weight to break your roof.
This is bad enough on its own, but if you see signs of ice present, that’s another grave danger to your roof.
Both snowfall and ice need to be dealt with quickly by brushing off the former and calcium chloride – never salt, which can damage your roof – for the latter.
Use a roof rake – not a shovel
While your initial instinct might be to simple shovel that snow off, this is not the way to go about things.
It’s unsafe, as most standard RVs only hold 280 pounds, to begin with, and it will be you, the shovel, and the snow that’s already there – a potential recipe for disaster.
Keep things safe by investing in a roof rake.
Roof rakes are explicitly designed to remove snow gently so that you aren’t risking your life on the roof or accidentally scraping and damaging it.
Instead, the roof rake usually employs a stretched bit of water-resistant fabric or simply a broad, plastic rectangular head, which is mounted at the end of a long pole.
This allows you to reach the roof, where you can gently push or pull the snow to get it off the roof.
They are inexpensive, won’t damage the roof, and if you use your roof rake to manage snowfall as needed, it can help prevent ‘ice dams’ from forming or roof damage simply from the accumulated weight.
Install an inclined plane for easy snow removal
If you have a bit of tinkering experience, you can install a slanted surface onto your RV roof that will make snow removal a piece of cake.
With an inclined plane, it’s just a simple matter of applying a little pull or push with your roof rake, and you can let gravity finish the job.
The easiest way will be with mounting brackets so that when it warms up later, you can easily remove your makeshift snow-roof solution and store it away until you need it again next winter.
While installing a roof addition may seem excessive, it saves you a lot of time.
While a snow rake on a standard flat roof works, it can be a bit time-consuming, while an inclined plane on the roof only takes a little nudging, and you can do the job in minutes.
This solution is for handypersons only, though – if you haven’t installed anything similar, you’ll want to hire a pro or skip this solution.
The last thing you need is holes in your roof with the winter soon to arrive!
Consider a RV Cover or Carport
Even if you are using your roof rake to keep the worst of the heavy snow at bay, you still need to consider the paint job on your roof and what might happen.
Heavy snows and deicing agents will eventually hasten your pristine roof, so a cover of some sort to seal it is a MUST.
You’ve got a lot of different options when it comes to this.
Tarps, for instance, are the least expensive, and you can put them on before winter and remove them when it’s warmer later.
This gives you an extra layer between the weather and your roof, though you’ll still need to keep the snow off as much as possible to avoid a buildup of weight and ice.
Metal roofs are also an excellent option if you live in an area where you get a lot of snowfall.
Barring this, if your RV is just used for vacations or the occasional outing, you might consider simply renting or even paying for installing a prefab carport.
If you get one installed, it’s considerably cheaper than adding a garage to your static home and can protect your investment excellently for the foreseeable future.
Some closing comments on keeping the snow at bay
As you can see, those snowflakes can add up, so you’ll want to keep them off of your RV roof, or you’re risking dents or even a collapse.
Now that you know what to look for, you can maintain it with a roof rake, get any ice with calcium chloride (not salt!!), or even install an easy-to-clean incline.
Be sure to get a cover to help protect your paint job or consider investing in or renting a carport.
With some luck, you’ll be enjoying a pristine RV experience for a long time!