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Tech Talk => Info Articles => Tech Talk => Topic started by: Oz on February 27, 2010, 10:25 AM

Title: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: Oz on February 27, 2010, 10:25 AM
Sent: 1/15/2006 

For everyone whose rig feels it just simply must take a leak,  a cheap, effective way to keep it dry until you can seal it is this:

Get 3 or 4 of the least expensive jack stands you can get, screw them into  10" x 12" x 1" pieces of wood (or any size that will keep the stands from tipping over),  wrap an old wash cloth or rag over the top of the metal whatever you call it that moves up and down in the jack stand, and duck tape it in place to keep from wearing through your tarp.  Set them on the front, middle and rear of your roof (spaced according to the length of your rig). 

Raise the one that's closest to the middle up high, and the other one(s) lower.  Drape your tarp over and affix with bungees so it is taut.  Serve slightly chilled with a side order of mango slices... Ooops, that's a recipe.  This will create a tent effect that works very well and is cheap and easy to do.  It rained heavily all night long here last night and there wasn't a pool anywhere on the roof, not even back by the luggage rail and, of course, no pool where the bed should be!
Title: Re: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: MSN Member on February 27, 2010, 10:26 AM
From: UluzYarx
Sent: 2/17/2006

What happens when the wind blows over your aerofoil profile?
Title: Re: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: Oz on February 27, 2010, 10:28 AM
Sent: 2/18/2006

I've been using this method for 3 years now.  I use 3 jack stands, the tops wrapped with old socks and taped.  For extra durability, I used 2 silver tarps (the medium duty, reflective type) which I got on sale fro Harbor Freight for $13 each (one will do fine though), laid one on the other, got 2 sets of tent grommet replacement kits (from WalMart) and used them to fasten the tarps together.  This also gave me more points to put the bungees.  The tarps were 24' x 12', so they hang about 8" over the front and back ends and about a foot over each side.
This set-up has survived months of winter and through heavy rain and high winds without ever tearing, wearing through, or coming un-done.  The key is to use as many bungees as possible for good, even tension (bungees available cheap through Harbor Freight... do an on-line search under that name and order a free catalog... you'll get at least one to two a month, every month, full of stuff at really cheap prices!).  Several medium-size branches and numerous small branches have fallen on the tarp and simply bounced or slid-off... no damage.  Also, it keeps leaves, pine needles, and such from building up on the roof and under the fridge vent and around the AC.
This set-up cost less than $75.  Yeah, it's a bit of a pain to put on and take off, but it works!  If you're a seasonal camper like me, you can leave it on all winter and not worry about it.  This saved my rig from further leaks and water damage before I could seal it and will extend the life of the sealant I did last year.  I didn't have to add new coats of sealant this year and likely not next year either and it will prolong the need to do a total recoating for many, many years.
Title: Re: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: RV Mech Tech on February 27, 2010, 10:11 PM
Mark - do you use new socks or old socks??  LOL!
Title: Re: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: Beachcomber on October 08, 2010, 04:45 PM
Excellent idea Pharaoh, and closely mimics one I use myself. I bought 4 smaller tarps of a suitable width (so I could still access the RV easily), and my ever capable wife sewed them together to make one large tarp. As you noted, lots of extra attachment points as a result. I similarly raised the center of the tarp (a strategically placed plastic tube laid on top of the air-conditioner, running front to back direction), creating a low profile, yet effective slope. I securely attach the front and back of the mega-tarp using both bungees and ropes, but secure the sides using bungees and suspended plastic milk jugs half filled with water. The jugs allow the tarp some movement to assist shedding of water, and allow the venting of the roof surface underneath. Have used this for two years now, no collected water, leaks or damage of any kind, at minimal cost. Here on the West Coast, heavy rain is the main challenge, no significant snow or freezing temperatures, and this definitely works for me too!
Title: Re: A simple, cheap way to keep roof water at bay
Post by: GONMAD on July 08, 2013, 08:52 AM
Excellent, This idea isn't only good for shedding rain but here in Southwest Florida we have very radiant sunlight beating down drying up what sealant we have on top. We use the white tarps to deflect sunlight from direct contact with the roof. These tarps are raised up on the sides to allow air to pass through dropping the temp by 10 degrees & easing up on the power consumption used by the air conditioners. Overall cooling is greatly increased & uses far less power than trying to overcome the intense heat beating down constantly on the roof. The AC units like this as the power bill reflects the results every month by roughly 30%. You have to leave  air channels to allow the hot air from the AC's to escape from under the tarp. (I usually use the rear unit as it's easier to leave the back open but using two tarps you can allow a gap in the middle to vent the front unit. A different twist but very effective   GOOD CALL & pretty ingenious for shedding rain. Thanks GONMAD