This post contains affiliate links (I get a commission at no extra cost to you for purchases made through links in this post).
The EternaBond tape provides a seamless and cost-effective way to deal with holes in your RV roof. While using EternaBond tape can be tricky, it’s an effective way to seal an RV roof if you know how to use it properly.
To put EternaBond tape on your RV roof, clean the affected area thoroughly to remove grime, particles, and contaminants. Next, apply EternaPrime up to an inch (2.54 cm) around the affected area. Finally, cover the surface with a strip of EternaBond tape and smoothen out any creases or bumps.
In this article, I’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to put EternaBond tape on your RV roof to make it leak-proof. I’ll also tell you how long you can expect EternaBond tape to last and how to remove it with as little effort as possible if necessary.
Remember that EternaBond or similar sealant tapes should only be used in emergencies, over slide-outs, or to patch up small areas and not to seal a whole RV roof, learn more about other more appropriate products for that kind of job here where I talk about what type of sealants RV manufacturers use.
1. Gather the Necessary Tools and Materials
To use EternaBond tape on your roof, you need the following.
- EternaBond tape: Of course, this is the material you can’t do without. Note that this tape comes in four-inch (10 cm) and six-inch (15 cm) widths. So, you want to ensure the size you choose is appropriate for the area you need to fix. Make sure you keep the tape in a warm and dry place to preserve its stickiness. If the tape is too narrow for you, remember that you can overlap it; learn more about overlapping EternaBond here in my other article.
- Brush: It’s best to use a medium-bristle cleaning brush like this Medium Car Wash Brush (available on Amazon.com). It’s pretty comfortable to use, and you can use it for other applications like cleaning bathroom tiles, kitchen countertops, etc.
- Dry cloth rag: Once you’re done cleaning with your brush, a rag will help you wipe off any excess residue. You don’t have to purchase this one online: Any old, absorbent piece of cloth lying around the house will do. However, you may want to wash it first, as you don’t want any dirt on the cloth to adhere to your roof as well.
- Cleaning solution: Choose a cleaning solution suitable for your roof type. Simple Green is a product that is safe to use on all RV roofs, as you can read about here. However, there are better-specialized products out there. Avoid using petroleum-based cleaners like mineral spirits on rubber roofs: Otherwise, the roof’s material will distort, and the protective seals will chip off. Normal dish soap like Dawn is also petroleum-based and should not be used on most RV roofs, which you can read about in this article of mine.
- Cleaning gloves: You can use Mr. Clean Large Reusable Latex Gloves (available on Amazon.com) to protect your hands while working on the roof. They can prevent strong chemical smells from sticking to your hands, keep away any potential allergens, and serve as a buffer against sharp debris and the like.
- Kneepads: Since you’ll be kneeling on your RV roof for a while, your knees are bound to feel the pressure. Wearing kneepads ensures you can do a good job without getting distracted by pain and discomfort.
Also, if you want most of the essentials in one place, I suggest grabbing the EternaBond Roof Repair Kit (available on Amazon). This kit includes two rolls of the 4-inch by 50-foot (10 x 1524 cm) EternaBond tape, a can of the EternaPrime primer, and a can of the EternaClean roof cleaner. All you need to do is buy the brush, gloves, and kneepads unless you already have them at home.
2. Assess the Roof
Before you start sealing the roof with EternaBond Tape, you’ll want to inspect it first. This step is crucial because it will help you pinpoint the areas on your rooftop you need to seal and avoid wasting EternaBond tape. As you’ll see later, that’s the last thing you want to happen.
Check for leaks, cracks, holes, and other things that seem off about your roof. Make sure you take note of them. You can also take photos using your phone and label them accordingly for later reference.
Remember that EternaBond Tape is not your best option for resealing a whole roof but rather in emergencies, over slide-outs, or if there is a hole you want to patch up. A lap sealant could be a better option, and in many cases, you can apply new lap sealant on top of the old one, read about it here.
3. Clean Affected Areas
If you haven’t already cleaned your RV roof, this is a good time to do so.
Use the medium bristle brush and the appropriate cleaning solution for your roof type to make your roof spiffy. When you’re scrubbing your roof, make sure you apply just enough force to remove any unwanted debris. Otherwise, you may end up damaging your roof.
Once you’re done, wipe the surface dry with your cloth rag. Make sure the area is completely free of moisture. Otherwise, the succeeding steps won’t work properly.
Also, it’s important that you brush first before you wipe. If you skip straight to wiping, you’ll spread the dirt and contaminants instead of removing them completely. EternaBond won’t stick properly to your roof if its surface is full of debris.
4. Prime the Surface
If you’re unable to clean the roof thoroughly in Step 3, you can apply a good primer to the affected area. I recommend using the EternaPrime primer (available on Amazon). It has an excellent formula that covers the layer of dirt while bonding effectively and permanently with the EternaBond.
I should note that this primer is no substitute for a decent cleaner. You’ll only need it in cases where particularly stubborn bits of dirt can’t be removed, no matter how much scrubbing you do. Also, don’t use EternaPrime on your roof if it’s made of PVC because it might damage your roof.
Find out what type of RV roof you have and the difference between them in his article.
To use EternaPrime:
- Shake the can vigorously.
- Spray on the surface up to an inch (2.54 cm) outside the affected area. You don’t need to apply an excessively thick coating of primer — just enough to cover the surface.
- Allow at least 30 minutes for the primer to dry.
If you don’t allow the primer to dry properly, unwanted contaminants will remain on the surface, making your sealing project much harder than it needs to be. So, make sure the roof is completely clean before you proceed to the next steps.
If you want to dive deep into how to prepare the RV roof and more about the EternaPrime and cleaners, check this out.
5. Remove the Liner From the Tape
If you look at your roll of EternaBond tape, you’ll notice it has a liner that covers the adhesive part. The liner is meant to protect the tape from UV rays, so it doesn’t deteriorate and lose its adhesiveness.
You need to remove this liner as follows:
- Cut the tape down to size.
- Take the outer edges of the tape between your forefinger and thumb.
- Gradually push the tape until it bunches in the middle.
- Snap the tape back and forth seven to 10 times until you see the liner pop out.
- Peel back the liner to expose the sticky part of the tape.
The reason you need to take all these steps is to ensure that your tape stays as clean and as smooth as possible before you use it. Otherwise, you’ll end up with tape all over your fingers — and, as I’ll explain later in the article, it will be quite the pain to remove.
6. Lay the EternaBond Tape
At this point, you can start placing the EternaBond tape on the area to be fixed. You aim to cover that area with smooth and evenly applied tape completely.
To do this:
- Start with 12 to 20-inch (30-51 cm) tape strips. If you use it any longer than that at a time, it may be difficult to keep the tape smooth as you lay it down.
- Apply pressure all over the tape strips, including the corners and edges where the tape touches. EternaBond tape works best when it has 100% contact with a surface. Avoid stretching the tape or pulling it taut. Otherwise, the tape won’t adhere properly, and the crack or hole won’t be adequately covered.
- If you see any air bubbles in the tape, pierce or cut the bubble to let the air out. Then, cover the cut with another small strip of tape. If the pockets of air are in the corner, cut the tape so it lays flat on each side, then use a strip to cover the opening in the corner.
Since EternaBond tape is extremely sticky, removing it can exercise patience and perseverance. So ensure that you get the placement right the first time. Assuming you’ve done all the previous steps correctly, this shouldn’t be too difficult to do.
7. Smoothen the Tape
When you put EternaBond tape on your roof, the formation of creases is inevitable. You’ll need to smoothen them to activate the sealant beads and improve adhesion.
To smoothen the EternaBond tape over a flat surface, run a steel roller over the tape until all or most of the creases are gone. You can use the EternaBond Steel Roller (available on Amazon.com) for this purpose.
For corners and edges, use a V-roller. The Everhard Nylon “V” Roller (available on Amazon.com) works really well for this since it won’t cut into the somewhat delicate material of the tape. However, for a job that is mainly on a flat surface and without too hard edges, the normal roller will do great.
If you laid the tape on a screw head or hard-to-reach areas, use your fingers to smoothen the creases and eliminate tenting on screw and bolt heads.
Finally, secure the ends of the EternaBond tape once it’s laid down. You want to ensure the elements won’t strip the tape away and render all your hard work useless. You can do this with Dicor 501LSW-1 Self-Leveling Lap Sealant (available on Amazon.com). It works with any RV roofing material, and it comes in four packs, so you won’t have to worry about refilling for a while.
How Long Does EternaBond Tape Last?
EternaBond tape can last for 18 to 35 years. However, during harsh conditions and a lot of sunshine, this time can be reduced severely, so you still need to inspect it. Contrary to what its name may suggest, it is not meant to adhere to any surface permanently. It does require effort to remove, though.
For that reason, if you’re planning to use EternaBond tape, make sure you use it properly — i.e., use it only in the places where it’s necessary, ensure that it’s smooth when it’s laid down, etc.
How To Remove EternaBond Tape
In most cases, you may not have to remove the EternaBond tape. If you do, it can be a tedious process. Also, removing EternaBond tape from metal or fiberglass roofs is easier than from rubber roofs.
To remove a strip of EternaBond tape from your roof, carefully heat the strip to soften the adhesive and make it a bit easier to tear the tape off. Even so, you may need to exert a bit of force afterward, as the tape sticks extremely well.
You can also chip at the tape with a plastic scraper. Afterward, clean the surface with a rag dipped in turpentine to remove any leftovers.
If you want to lay another strip of the EternaBond tape, you don’t need to remove the leftover adhesive on the target area. Just apply another piece of tape on the site, and you’re ready.
If you are in need of removing the EternaBond, I have made a more comprehensive guide on how to do so using various different methods here in this other motorhomeking article.
The EternaBond tape is a popular micro sealant used to repair structural damages like leaks on RV roofs.
Before you apply EternaBond tape on your roof, assess the repairs that need to be done first. Next, clean the target area and prime it if the cleaning process doesn’t remove the dirt completely. Finally, lay the tape over the place, ensuring that there are no creases and bubbles.