Can Snow Damage RV Roofs?
Most people love the sight of falling snow, but it can spell doom for RV owners. Snow is deceptively heavy, and once it covers a flat surface like an RV roof, it can cause leaks and structural damage. If possible, it’s best to reduce the amount of snow on the roof or avoid it altogether.
To help you out, we’ve compiled 6 ways to keep snow off your RV roof (or at least minimize the amount of buildup). Some tactics will be more effective than others depending on where you live and the amount of snowfall you’ll be dealing with.
Yes, You Need to Keep Snow Off RV Roofs
Read on to choose the method(s) that will be most helpful for your situation.
Park near windbreaks
The first thing you can try is to park your RV near physical windbreaks. Large buildings, walls, and treelines can provide some shelter against wind and snow. Park on the side that is protected against the main direction of the wind. This way, most of the snowdrifts will build up on the opposite side and your RV will receive some level of protection.
This method isn’t foolproof because some snow can still fall straight down, or the wind might blow from another direction. However, providing your RV with physical protection on at least one side usually helps a bit.
Use a carport
One of the best ways to keep snow off your RV roof is to use a carport or another form of covered storage. Putting a roof over your RV will inevitably catch the vast majority of snow, although a little bit could still blow inward if it’s an open carport.
Of course, snow can still build up on the roof of the carport, so that will need to be dealt with. These lack the structural integrity of a building, but many of them come with peaked roofs that will prevent too much buildup from forming.
They can still crack or collapse if too much weight settles, so keep an eye on the snow level and sweep it off from time to time. It’s better to have snow on your carport roof compared to your RV roof!
Store RV with a cover
To add a layer of separation between the snow and the roof, always store your RV with a cover! These provide protection against wind, dirt, snow, water, and UV damage. If snow settles on the RV cover, it will be easier to shake it off. Snow and ice won’t be able to freeze directly on the surface of the vehicle, so it will be easier to remove.
If you’re looking for a good cover for storage, the KING BIRD Upgraded Travel Trailer RV Cover is a fantastic option. This is a breathable cover that comes with built-in UV protection. Tire covers are included as well, so your RV can enjoy total protection.
Covers won’t keep the snow’s weight off the RV roof, but it does provide a layer of protection from the elements. It’s always a good idea to use one of these because it protects your RV from all sorts of damage and keeps it in good shape for the future.
Install a slanted surface on your RV roof
The problem with most RV roofs is that they are flat. This makes it easy for snow to build up and the surface doesn’t give it anywhere to go. There’s no built-in slope that can let gravity do the work for you. To make snow removal easier, you can try to install a slanted surface on top of the RV.
Make sure your RV is fully ready for winter and protected by a good cover. Then you can prop a lightweight piece of plastic or plywood on top of the roof. You don’t want to place too much weight on the roof, so use lightweight frames for your slope. With luck, this addition will help deflect snow and keep the RV roof fairly clear.
Physically remove the snow
Sometimes it just isn’t possible to fully prevent snow from landing on the roof of your RV. After a while it will start to accumulate and you’ll need to take matters into your own hands to clear it off. Physical snow removal isn’t too difficult if you’re dealing with lightweight powdery snow. You can simply sweep this off with a long brush.
It gets tricky when you nee to remove thick masses of wet, heavy snow. You usually need to get up on the roof to clear this away, so be very careful when you choose your footing. Have someone spot you and use a good ladder to climb up.
Icy buildup can also be a problem because using too much force can damage the RV surface. Never use hot water or blunt force to remove snow and ice from an RV roof! These can cause cracks and water damage.
Use plastic tools to remove the snow because metal can cause damage. Plastic snow shovels are a good item to use to remove the thickest layers. Once you’ve gotten through the main layer, try to shake the RV cover to break up the remaining snow and ice.
Hire professional help
Usually, professional help won’t be necessary because RVs are short enough to be accessible to most people. But if all else fails, you can call in professional help to remove snow. If your home needs to have some snow cleared off the roof, see if the workers can service your RV as well. They may have separate rates for this type of job, but it never hurts to check!
We hope these tips were helpful for you. RVs and snow don’t mix very well, but there are lots of ways to prevent snow from making contact. If nothing else, you can try the methods above to make the job of snow removal easier.
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.
- 8 Reasons To Avoid Storing An RV Outside In The Winter
- A Complete RV Winterizing Checklist
- Keep Your RV Roof From Leaking This Season