Protecting the RV from rain

Living in an RV I hate the rain. I don’t know if this is the case with all RVs, but our RV has a rubber roof, which creates a hard skin like a drum. Now imagine the inside of the drum when it rains. Luckily, it only rains two weeks a year, meaning lucky for us; This is not so fortunate for California agriculture.

Another problem is that our roof is old. It should probably be changed. However, this will cost several thousand dollars. It is a heavy price when we are standing in a place with such low rainfall. Still, I don’t want to repeat the routine of years of plastering the ceiling with a tube of decor sealant at every opportunity. So, I am looking for other solutions.

  1. Obviously the first solution would be to send the RV in for a roof replacement. Duration, several days during which we would have to check into a motel. Cost, several thousand. I suspect this will be the popular choice.
  2. DIY Now, I don’t think I’m qualified to repair a roof, meaning if I had all the time in the world I could probably get it done. Still, this would require construction space (like a warehouse) and a few weeks. Not an option.
  3. Buying a huge canopy garage to cover the RV. We’re talking about covering something that’s 8’x34. It will cost $2000-2500 and will be a semi-permanent installation.
  4. A tarp umbrella like a car. It will cost $500 or more. My concern would be that it would need to be huge. We would have trouble anchoring the RV to the concrete patio.
  5. A typical tarp ($150) is tied together with bungee cords and sandbags.

Which one did I pick?

None of the above. I bought a rejected billboard ad on eBay. This is a tarp-like material that is three times thicker than heavy duty tarps and is waterproof and light dew resistant, 10’x36′. It cost me $30 plus $40 in shipping. Then I got a grommet kit and extra grommets for about $15. I found some tarp bungee cords for $8 or so. And I found nylon and diamond braided rope, 200′ total, $20.

I spent the afternoon hammering the grommets. Then I rolled up the tarp and with a little help from DW I dragged it up to the roof where I unrolled it. It was relatively painless but took a few hours in total. However, now that I know how to do it, next time I’ll probably be able to do it myself in less than an hour—now that I’m getting better at tying the bowline. .

So now our RV is covered by a big orange retro billboard advertising AT&T Advance TV. or something like that.  It should be visible from space, so I hope to see it in satellite view on Google Maps at some point. 😀


So it should take care of our water problems and hopefully also prevent the “casual” raindrops from hammering our roof. Oh yeah, to respect the new FCC rules on blogger compensation, I’m not getting paid by AT&T for mentioning this.


I’m just glad I’m not promoting Kleenex or laxatives or anything like that.
Update: An all-day rain storm is moving over us right now and it’s doing great. Instead of overwhelming the microscopic gutters, the water is flowing through the tarp about 6″ above the walls. The sound of the raindrops is a bit muffled but not as quiet as I expected. Being at lower levels, it is not as disturbing as the rain usually is.
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