Recreational Vehicles (RVs), and Travel Trailers have become increasingly more popular over the years because of the convenience they offer. RV’s are an all-in-one mini-house on wheels, and travel trailers can be hitched on to the back of a truck that you already own.
In the long run, they can save you money on hotels and campsites, and make traveling easier and more comfortable. But, the up-front cost can be a lot, so it’s important to know exactly what you are getting in to, how long RVs and Travel Trailers last, and what you can expect long-term.
Average Life of a Travel Trailer
On average, travel trailer’s last around 10 years, and the same is true for RVs. If you use your trailer consistently, ten years is about the amount of time it would take for you to get your money’s worth.
However, most people keep them and use them for much longer than that. With proper care and maintenance, travel trailers and RVs last up to 25 years, making them an excellent investment. The RV or travel trailer life really all depends on how well you take care of it. Bear in mind that if you’re buying a trailer used, it will already have wear and tear, so be sure to get all of the details on the camper before buying.
How long do RV and Travel Trailer Roofs Last?
A key factor when determining how long your RV or trailer will last is the roof. Keeping the roof in good condition will extend the life of your camper. Typically, the roof will last around ten years before you need to do any repairs, and then, the most likely issue you will encounter is leaking.
Being proactive about protection is a great way to get a longer life out of your roof, and finding and addressing issues right away can help you avoid even bigger problems.
It’s a good idea when you are first purchasing a trailer to climb on to the roof and see what it looks like. Knowing what it looks like, to begin with, will help you to identify damage. Exercise safety when you’re on the roof and distribute your weight evenly to avoid falling through.
What causes Travel Trailer and RV roof damage?
On RVs and travel trailers, the roof takes the most beating. The roof will have to stand up to rain, hail, snow, and fallen tree branches — and those are just the natural things that could compromise your roof’s integrity.
Other times, inexperienced (and even experienced) drivers may scrape the roof on low overhangs, walls or buildings, and I’ve even seen campers damaged by getting too close to signposts. Something like a stop sign is just tall enough to damage the seam between the roof and the siding. If that seam is damaged, it will leave you vulnerable to water leaks.
How to prevent damage and protect the trailer roof
There are certain things that are just unavoidable when you own a trailer, like bad weather, and there are also avoidable things you’ll want to keep in mind. Here are some ways to get the most out of a roof, and increase how long travel trailers and RV’s last.
Be Proactive about Protection
If you can, keep your RV protected, in some way, from the elements when it’s not in use. Weather will affect how long a travel trailer will last. Avoid excess wear and tear while your camper is not being used.
If you have a storage shed or a barn that is large enough, it might be a good idea to park your trailer or RV inside. You can also construct an inexpensive car-port style overhang. Even something as simple as a tarp or RV cover can be super effective.
To avoid bigger, more expensive repairs, it’s a good idea to check the roof every six months, and at the very least, once a year. Regular inspections may help you catch potential issues. Check to make sure there are no punctures in the top caused by debris, and check that the seals don’t need to be replaced and are in good shape.
Identify Issues and Make Repairs Immediately
The white coating on the roof protects against UV rays, and the clear glossy seal you see is what protects the roof from water and other elements.
If you see that there are places where either of these things looks dull, are worn down, or worn all the way off, it may a sign that it’s time to take action. For this, try a roll-on liquid sealant with UV protection to cover a large area quickly.
Punctures will require something different, so if you see any, opt for a caulking-style gun that dispenses a self-leveling sealant. This will allow you to actually fill in and seal up the hole to give the roof stronger repair. Then, add some roll-on sealant on top of that. Click here for more specific instructions on how to repair a damaged RV or travel trailer roof.
Be Cautious and Vigilant
Always remember that you are driving a very large vehicle or towing a huge trailer. Things like turns and backing up will require extra caution and attention. While you’re out on the road, avoid parking garages and other tight spaces.
If it’s possible, before going under smaller bridges or overpasses, get out and check to see how much clearance space you have to avoid inadvertently clipping the top.
Make wide turns, and try your best to anticipate sketchy situations before you get yourself into them. Lastly, don’t be afraid to have your co-pilot get out and guide you. Giving a little extra attention to these kinds of things, especially at the beginning, can help you avoid costly repairs, stressful scenarios, and even embarrassing mistakes.
Trailers and RV’s are a great option for people that are on the road a lot. With all of the mod-cons we love in homes, campers can make traveling more comfortable and more can even make it more fun.
Be sure to read your manual or check with your RV dealer for materials that are compatible with your specific trailer when making repairs, and pay close attention to the roof to ensure you have a camper that will last for many years to come.
Ultimately, how long a travel trailer and RV will last will be directly related to how well they are maintained.
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