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Old 12-27-2013, 11:00 PM   #1
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Talking 2 inches of ice on roof

Hello fellow Rvers

Ontario was just hit with another ice storm and I have 2-3 inches of ice on top of the roof of the motorhome. Any suggestions on how I can get it off without recking anything? I do not have any access to indoor facilities.

Thanks for your advice.

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dennis
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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I'd leave it until it melts on it's own. If you try to break it up, you might damage the roof. If you are living in the RV, heat will eventually cause it to loosen up and slide off. If you are on the road, you might have to try to get it off so it doesn't break loose and damage your toad or other following vehicles, but it's a pretty dangerous job to get on the roof. Perhaps turn up the heat and crack it into pieces from a ladder.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:23 PM   #3
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Unless there is some reason to mess with it, leave alone to go away on its own. Any action may damage the coach or yourself.
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Old 12-27-2013, 11:36 PM   #4
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Turn on the heat. There is not much insulation in the ceiling, so the snow should soften and slide off fairly quickly.

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Old 12-27-2013, 11:38 PM   #5
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What about throwing some salt on the roof and letting it eat through some of the ice...DW went through the ice storms in Quebec in the late 80's and related that it was the weight of the ice that cause the destruction to the infrastructure....So if you are concerned about the weight...I would think that salt might help loosen it up. what's the forecast for the next while?
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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My roof is aluminum, salt is really hard on it. I'd be cautious using much salt unless you know what it will do to your rv.

MI is going to be in the 40's today with some sun, hopefully this is headed your way. Turn on the heat, if you've got levelers jack one side or end up, and let the water start running off.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:36 AM   #7
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I agree with those who say "never use salt" to melt ice on any RV. And indeed, turn the heat up high and the ice will leave. Other than the weight that might put one over the GVWR I don't think much damage will be caused but vents might be covered or will not open.

I assume you can open the door to get in or are not trapped inside. This can and does happen if caught in an Ice Storm.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:06 AM   #8
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I agree with turning the heat on if you can, but I would not try any manual means of removal, I'm sure you will damage something. Be careful!!!...:(
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred1609
What about throwing some salt on the roof and letting it eat through some of the ice...DW went through the ice storms in Quebec in the late 80's and related that it was the weight of the ice that cause the destruction to the infrastructure....So if you are concerned about the weight...I would think that salt might help loosen it up. what's the forecast for the next while?
This is what ice did to my storage site down here in Dallas a few weeks ago. Fortunately we were not there at the time.
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The manager claimed 8" of ice but I did not see that much accumulation anywhere else. I don't think the Gross Weight is the concern - but the strength of the roof beams and sidewalls could be. That said, I have seen considerably more snow accumulation on RV roofs with no issues. Like others said heat er up if you're concerned. If sun and some warmth are headed your way, that should take care of it pretty quickly.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:28 AM   #10
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Moving water can break up ice. If the weather gets above freezing a hose with jet nozzle could help you cut the ice up so that it slides off with heat from inside the coach. Not very conservation friendly but it can work.
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:51 AM   #11
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I agree n letting the MH run with heat on high. I have been doing odds and ends on my MH since it started to snow. It has been -10 to +10 and with the furnace and a space heater I work in there for 5-6 hours and when ready to go in the S&B I am in a tshirt and the water is just running down the windshield. I am sure you can find a few things to do in the MH. Start her up for awhile turn up furnace and start puttsing.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:11 AM   #12
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Ice weighs about 60 lb. per cu. ft., so 2" of ice weighs about 10 lb. per sq. ft. (3" = about 15#/sq. ft.).

IF You weigh 200# and are standing on your roof in an area of 1 sq. ft. (200 lbs. per sq. ft.) and don't go through, your roof will certainly support a load of only 10 lb.per sq. ft.

Personally, I'd just let it melt.

FYI, if your RV is 8 ft. wide and 34 ft. long, there are 2,720 lbs of ice up there. Still should not be a problem.

Unless you are planning to drive, let it melt.

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Old 12-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rssnape View Post
Moving water can break up ice. If the weather gets above freezing a hose with jet nozzle could help you cut the ice up so that it slides off with heat from inside the coach. Not very conservation friendly but it can work.
rssnape
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Water from a garden hose may be the best/safest way to melt/remove the ice from a RV roof.

If the RV is not going to be moved, I would, (like BFlinn181 said), "leave it until it melts on it's own".

2" thick ice weighs less than 10# per sq.ft.

I don't know how much weight RV roofs are designed to carry, but here in northern Wisconsin, building codes require that a residential roof must be able to safely carry a minimum of 40# per square foot.....(it would take over 8" of ice to overload a roof designed for a 40# per sq. ft. load).

However, a 2" layer of ice on the roof of my 35' RV would add another 2,800# to the total weight of my coach.
I would be far more concerned about possible suspension damage than roof failure.

My 2 cents!

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Old 12-28-2013, 01:07 PM   #14
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I got caught in the 98 ice storm while in my S&B with about 5 in of freezing rain. No commercial electricity for 8 days for us. My gen ran 99% of the time I had a 500gal tank of diesel and 1000gal of propane. But many others were not so well off. I only shut the gen down to check the oil. My RV was in the garage but one of my vehicles was outdoors. It had several inches of ice on it and I could not even get in it. Temp was sub zero for the 8 days. The same thing would have happened to my RV had it been outside and I would not have been able to even get in or out of it. There was nothing I could do to get that vehicle mobile until we had a thaw. (Had other vehicles in my garage I could use once the storm passed.)

Had several people move in with us because they could not stay in thier houses. One family stayed in our RV in the garage. The garage was heated and the electric heaters in RV were on as required and they could use all electric appliances. (Always shut RV propane off while in Garage.) Glad I was able to help. We were late going south that year. The storm was early Jan as I recall.

I would not run water on my RV or vehicle in freezing or near freezing temps, especially with the frozen ground. This is asking for trouble IMHO.

Best to apply as much heat from inside or get the vehicle into a warmer area.
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