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The condition of your RV roof can be compromised by having too much weight on top for an extended amount of time. This includes the weight of snow build up in the winter, and depending on the type of snow, the roof’s weight rating can be exceeded quickly.
An RV roof can generally support around 2 feet of snow pile-up. Depending on the model, an RV roof can withstand 250-300 lbs. However, this is not a set limit. The amount of weight your RV roof can handle depends on multiple factors such as the thickness, material, age, and condition of your roof.
It is common for snow to pile up and accumulate rather quickly if you are not careful. Massive amounts of snow on your RV roof can cause severe damages and long-term problems. To avoid any unwanted snow damage, you should regularly clear your RV roof once you notice two feet of snow (or more) has accumulated.
The Different Weight Ratings For RV Roofs
Modern RVs are designed in a way that allows their roof weight limit to support at least one person that has an average body weight. In general, the weight limit for your RV or trailer roof can range anywhere between 250-300 pounds.
Below is a list of real-life examples of certain RV roof weight limits:
- Jayco Lightweight TTX23B – 220 Pounds (or more)
- Keystone RV Outback 292BH – 250 Pounds
- Forest River 2012 Cherokee 28BH – 225 Pounds (or more)
- Tradewinds 300 Caterpillar – 250 Pounds
If your RV isn’t on the list above, there are three different methods you can try to find out the weight limit for your RV.
Exceeding the weight limits of a motorhome or trailer roof can cause water leaks requiring expensive repairs to your RV. For less than the price of a single visit to your local RV maintenance facility, the Fix It Yourself RV maintenance video course shows you how to fix all the common issues and save 1000’s of dollars in repair bills.
Check The Roof Ladder For Your RVs Weight Limit
Many people believe that the weight limit for your RV roof can be found on the actual roof itself. However, this is not true. The weight limit for your RV roof will most likely be embossed or printed on the roof ladder for your RV.
If your RV does not have a roof ladder, then the roof is not strong enough to support the weight of a person. This would mean that even 1 foot of snow could potentially damage your roof.
There are many different uses for an RV ladder, Here are some of the reason why RV’s ave ladders that you probably never thought of.
Search For The Weight Limit In The Owner’s Manual
If your RV is quite old, the ladder is faded, or you are unable to find the weight rating there, it might be listed in one of the pages of your owner’s manual. However, if your RV or trailer is so old that the ladder is faded, it is possible you may have lost your manual somehow. In that case, an owner’s manual should be available online from the manufacturer.
Contact The Manufacturer Of Your RV
If you cannot find the weight limit via the roof ladder or the owner’s manual, it may be time to try and get in touch with the manufacturer of your RV. You can do this via email, phone call, or if it is more convenient for you, stop by your local dealership in person. The dealership should have the manufacturer specifications and weight limit information readily available.
RV Roof Materials: The Different Weight Capacity
There are three main types of materials used in the construction of motorhome and camping trailer roofs. You can get rubber, fiberglass, or aluminum. Each of these materials will have a different weight capacity.
Rubber RV Roof
Rubber is the primary material that is used in the majority of RV roofs. Rubber roofs have a typical lifespan of around 10-12 years. This type of roof also requires regular maintenance.
Check out our complete guide to cleaning your rubber RV roof
Fiberglass RV Roof
Fiberglass roofs are less common as they reduce gas mileage by adding extra material and weight to the RV. Fiberglass is stronger than rubber roofs, and because of its more rigid structure, it requires less maintenance.
Aluminum RV Roof
Aluminum is the rarest type of RV roof at the moment. The leading brand for aluminum RV roofs is Airstream. However, aluminum is becoming more popular as it is a more robust material while also being lightweight, so it improves fuel economy.
|RV Roof Material||RV Roof Weight Capacity (In Pounds)|
|Rubber||Max. 250 lbs|
|Aluminum||Max. 250 lbs|
The Weight Of A Square Foot Of Snow
Dry or fluffy snow will weigh around 4 pounds per square foot. Snow that is ‘normal’ is about 6 pounds per square foot. Wet snow would be closer to 13 pounds per square foot.
Cold weather will produce lighter fluffy snow. However, when the temperature is closer to freezing, the snow will become wetter, heavier, and more dangerous.
Ways To Keep Snow Off The Roof Of Your RV
If you aren’t going to be using your RV during winter, there are three different ways in which you can protect your RV by keeping snow from accumulating on your roof.
Rent A Garage For Your RV – If you sincerely love your RV, then this may be the best option. Not only will a garage protect your RV from snow piling up, but it will also offer shelter from cold temperatures as well as harsh winds.
Many farms and properties with barns rent out indoor space for RV, trailer and boat storage in the winter and throughout the year.
Put A Cover Over Your RV – For some people, renting an entire garage for your RV may be a bit much. This is where an RV cover comes in handy. It is super convenient as well as budget-friendly!
A few RV Cover tips:
- Have someone help you put the cover on
- Always clean and dry your RV before covering it
- Make sure to flatten any antennas
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Create A Faux Roof – Creating a temporary A-frame roof with a tarp covering is a popular way to prevent the snow from accumulating on your RV roof. Just be sure the weight of the wooden structure is properly supported from inside the RV using support posts
Maintain Your RV Roof Yourself – If none of the above are suitable options for you, then you will need to go outside and manually scrape off any excessive snow build-up on your RV roof. It is the cheapest option; however, it requires close monitoring.
Here’s my complete guide to winterizing a motorhome or trailer to make sure it’s ready for storage and hitting the road again in spring time.
Bracing Your Roof For Snow Load
If you are expecting a winter of heavy snow accumulation there are ways to brace your RV roof and help it support the extra weight.
One popular way is to add support posts, extendable aluminum posts are easy to place inside your motorhome or trailer and help carry the load down to the floor of the vehicle. Another option is to cut wood 2×4’s to use as supports.
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Best Practices For Clearing Your RV Roof
A lot of snow on top of your RV could cause extensive damage due to the increasing pressure on your roof. You need to be able to remove any excessive snow build-up safely and efficiently. Below are some tips for clearing your RV roof.
Do Not Use A Metal Shovel – Metal shovels of any kind can cause significant damage by scraping the delicate lining off your roof. Instead, try using a plastic shovel or even a broom for the best results.
Avoid Using Ice Melt and Scraping Ice – While it’s true that melting and refreezing ice is a pain that can lead to leaks in your RV, trying to break up the ice could potentially damage the part of the roof that the ice is fastened to. Using ice melt could cause unwanted chemicals to leak into your RV, which is not safe for humans.
Stay Cautious Of Vents And Other Vulnerable Areas – There are many delicate and essential things on top of the roof of your RV which could be damaged by shoveling snow. It would help if you always exercised caution and maneuvered around vents or antennas.
An RV roof can usually withstand around 250-300 lbs, depending on the model and materials used for the roof. This amounts to approximately 2 feet of snow. If you see an excessive amount of snow building up on the top of your RV, it is best to shovel it off in order to prevent any unwanted damages. Just remember to use a plastic shovel and avoid using ice melt.