This post contains affiliate links (I get a commission at no extra cost to you for purchases made through links in this post).
Eternabond tape is popular with RVers because it can seal RV roofs semi-permanently for years. Although Eternabond tape is one of the super sticky tapes on the market, it’s not eternal; you can remove it if necessary, albeit with some elbow grease. So, how do you remove Eternabond tape from the RV roof?
You can remove Eternabond tape from the RV roof using heat from a hair dryer or heat gun and the sticky side of duct tape. You can also remove it using heat and solvents like turpentine, WD40, mineral spirits, and MEK. Removing Eternabond tape using any of these methods requires patience and time.
Although you can remove Eternabond from your RV roof, it’s not a walk in the park because of the nature of the tape. The top side is laminated, while the bottom has a sticky, sturdy backing material. If you’d like to remove Eternabond tape from an RV roof, it’s good to do it correctly, and this article will discuss that in detail.
While removing the Eternabond tape, you will realize why RV experts only recommend it in emergencies and for certain places like slide-outs. Consider other sealants such as Dicor lap sealant or SikaFlex for the future; read more about those in this other article about what sealants RV manufacturers use.
1. Use Heat and Duct Tape To Remove Eternabond Tape
Suppose you want to remove Eternabond tape from your RV’s roof for whatever reason. In that case, you can use some things you already have, such as heat and the sticky side of regular duct tape. You can use heat from appliances you have in your RV, such as:
- A heat gun
- A blow dryer
How Heat Helps To Remove Eternabond Tape
A heat gun or hair dryer emits hot air at different temperatures depending on the settings. When you heat the Eternabond tape with the heat gun or hair dryer, the heat softens the tape and destabilizes the bond between the tape and the RV’s roof.
You can remove the top layer when the heat softens the tape and destabilizes the bond between it and the RV’s roof. You can also remove the bulk of the sticky residue underneath the top layer of the tape.
How Regular Duct Tape Helps To Remove Eternabond Tape
You see, you can use an adhesive to remove another adhesive. So, after removing the top layer of Eternabond tape and the bulk of the sticky residue underneath, you can use regular duct tape to remove any remaining residue. You simply use the sticky side of the duct tape to pull off the remaining residue.
Below are the steps for removing Eternabond tape from your RV roof using heat and regular duct tape:
- Make a cut on the part of the Eternabond tape you want to remove using a utility knife. Avoid pressing the blade too hard on the Eternabond, as doing so could leave some scratch marks on the RV’s roof.
- Use the hairdryer or heat gun to heat the section you’ve cut – heating the tape softens the adhesive making it easier to tear back the tape’s out coating. It’s best to avoid overheating as it could make the Eternabond even messier to remove.
- Once the tape is soft, get hold of the edge you’ve cut and pull on it. The top layer of the Eternabond starts to come off.
- As you peel out the top layer of the tape, fold it under itself to enable you to hold onto it up to the end.
- As the top layer of the tape comes off, use a utility knife to cut away the sticky, residue material on the underside; cut out as much as possible.
- If you feel like the tape is difficult to peel, reheat it and continue with the above process until all the top layer and the bulk of the residue material comes off.
- Reheat the remaining sticky residue material and remove as much as possible using a plastic scraper.
- Cut a piece of your regular duct tape to help you remove any remaining residue material.
- Reheat the residue material and press the duct tape’s sticky side on the residual.
- Lift the duct tape; the residual material will come out and stick to the duct tape.
- Continue removing the residual material with the duct tape – you can use a new piece of duct tape until all the residue material comes off.
- Roll up the Eternabond tape and the used pieces of duct tape and put them in the trash.
Removing Eternabond using this method requires time, patience, and elbow grease. However, it leaves your RV’s roof clean, and there is no need to wipe it.
2. Remove Eternabond Tape Using Solvents and Heat
As mentioned earlier, heat is an excellent resource for removing super sticky tapes like Eternabond. In addition to heat, there are solvents you can buy to help remove Eternabond residue from your RV roof. A solvent is a substance that allows another substance (solute) to dissolve in it, thus forming a solution.
So, when you apply such solvents to the Eternabond tape sticky residue, the residue loses its adhesion and precipitates. The solvent thus helps all the residue of the Eternabond tape to come off your RV roof.
Below are ways you can remove Eternabond tape using solvents and heat:
Use Turpentine and Heat To Remove Eternabond Tape
Turpentine is a solvent that is good at eliminating Eternabond tape residue. When you apply turpentine to the Eternabond tape residue, it precipitates as it loses its adhesion, making it easier to clean off. In addition, turpentine is a non-petroleum product and is, therefore, safe to use on RV roofs.
Below is how to use turpentine and heat to remove Eternabond tape from your RV roof:
- Use a utility knife to cut the section of the Eternabond tape you wish to remove.
- Heat the Eternabond tape using the heat gun or hairdryer.
- Hold the edge of the tape you’ve cut and pull on it so that the top layer starts peeling off.
- As the top layer of the tape peels out, get a good grip on it by folding it under itself – this helps you hold on to the Eternabond till it all comes off.
- As the top layer peels off, cut away the sticky residue material on the underside of the tape using a utility knife – cut away as much as possible.
- If the tape becomes challenging to peel off, reheat it and continue the above process until it all comes off.
- Once the top layer of the tape and most of the sticky residue has come off, reheat any remaining sticky residue material.
- Remove as much residue as possible using a plastic scraper.
- Dampen a cleaning rag with turpentine and use it to clean off the remaining residue.
- Always reheat the residue if it becomes hard, and continue cleaning it with turpentine until it all comes off.
Im sure you can find turpentine in many different stores near you, like Home Depot, paint stores, or hardware stores, or you maybe already have some in your garage.
It’s good to note that using turpentine to remove Eternabond residue requires extra effort. However, turpentine does the job efficiently, as seen in the following youtube video with RV with Tito.
Use WD40 and Heat To Remove Eternabond Tape From RV Roof
Wd40 is another excellent solvent you can use to help you remove Eternabond tape from your RV roof. Wd40 is so strong that it can loosen the hold of any adhesive, including a super powerful one like Eternabond tape. Combining heat and Wd40 makes removing Eternabond tape more manageable.
You can find Wd40 in many hardware stores, gas stations, or maybe in your garage already, but if you are gonna make another purchase from amazon soon, here is a link to the product.
Below is how to use Wd40 and heat to remove Eternabond tape from your RV roof:
- Cut the section of the Eternabond tape you want to remove using a utility knife.
- Heat the Eternabond tape using a hairdryer or heat gun so that the tape can soften.
- Hold the edge of the tape at the section you have cut and pull out the outer coating.
- As you remove the outer coating, cut away as much stringy, sticky material as possible using a utility knife.
- Reheat the Eternabond tape whenever it gets stuck, and then continue removing it.
- Once the top layer of the tape is off, plus most of the residue material, reheat any remaining residue material.
- Scrape off the warm, residue material using a plastic putty knife.
- Spray WD40 on any residue material of the Eternabond tape.
- Allow the WD40 solvent to penetrate the residue adhesive – give it about 5 minutes.
- Clean the residue adhesive off using rags with some texture, such as terry cloths.
- Wash off any remnants of WD40 from the RV roof using soapy water.
Use Mineral Spirits and Heat To Remove Eternabond Tape
You could also use mineral spirits to remove the residue adhesive from Eternabond. Mineral spirits are an excellent solvent, and it works efficiently when you combine them with heat to remove Eternabond tape. This solvent is powerful, and you should use it carefully; if it pours on the RV’s roof, it could loosen other adhesives.
Here’s how to remove Eternabond tape from the RV roof using mineral spirits and heat:
- Use a knife to make a cut on the part of the Eternabond tape you want to get rid of.
- Use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat the Eternabond tape.
- Get hold of the edge of the part of Eternabond tape you’ve cut and pull it so that the outer layer of the tape starts to come off.
- Use a putty knife to cut away the stringy, sticky material underneath – cut out as much as possible.
- Reheat the tape whenever it gets stuck and continue removing the top layer and cutting away the adhesive material underneath.
- When the top layer of the tape is off and the bulk of the residual material underneath it, reheat any remaining adhesive material.
- Use a plastic putty knife to scrape off any residue adhesive.
- Apply mineral spirits on a cleaning rag and scrub the sticky areas until all the sticky residue comes off.
- When all the sticky stuff is out, clean the area with warm soapy water to remove the slightly oily feeling left behind by mineral spirits.
Use MEK and Heat To Remove Eternabond Tape From the RV Roof
Methyl Ethyl Ketone (MEK) is one of the leading liquid solvents because of its versatility. For instance, it’s efficient at breaking down the adhesive of powerful sealants such as Eternabond tape. Combining heat and MEK helps you achieve the best results when removing Eternabond tape from the RV roof.
Here’s how to remove Eternabond tape from the RV roof using MEK and heat:
- Identify the part of the Eternabond tape you want to remove.
- Use a knife to make a cut on the Eternabond tape.
- Pick a hair dryer or heat gun and heat the Eternabond tape section you want to remove.
- Hold the edge of the Eternabond tape you’ve cut and pull to remove the top layer.
- As the top layer comes off, cut off the underlying sticky and stringy residue using a utility knife – cut off as much of the underlying layer as possible.
- Reheat the tape whenever it gets stuck and continue with the above process until the top layer plus the bulk of the underlying sticky residue comes off.
- Reheat any sticky tape residue.
- Use a plastic putty knife to remove the remaining adhesive residue.
- Apply MEK on any remaining sticky areas using a cleaning rag.
- Allow the MEK to settle on the sticky area for about 5 minutes. Allowing the MEK to settle helps to break down the adhesive residue.
- Use a cleaning rug to wipe away the sticky residue. Wipe until everything comes off.
- Clean the surface with warm, soapy water in readiness for resealing.
Note: When removing Eternabond tape from the RV roof using any of the above solvents, it’s best to wear latex gloves. Such gloves protect your hands from any harmful effects of the chemicals in the solvents.
Also, take care of your RV’s roof as you remove the Eternabond tape using any of the methods above to protect the roof from damage.
Removing Eternabond tape from your RV roof is no mean feat, but it’s doable. You can carry out the task using things you already have in your RV. You can also buy products to make the work easier.
Below are some things you could do to remove Eternabond tape:
- Use heat from a hairdryer or heat gun to soften the tape.
- Use various tools such as utility knives, plastic putty knives, and plastic scrapers to remove the tape.
- Use appropriate solvents to remove any residue material.