When you spot a water leak in your RV, it might be tempting to call off your travel plans and head straight for the shop. Thankfully, that is not always necessary since you can often find and fix minor water leaks on the fly. You just need to follow these steps to track down the problem and seal up the leaking area. With that, you can continue on your travel adventures and prevent costly RV water damage all at the same time.
Track Down the Source
To find the leak before it can cause RV water damage, you will need to work from the top down, looking for the source of the problem.
The most common spots for a water leak in your RV to develop are:
- Holes in the roof
- Weak seams
- Loose siding
- Unsealed vents
- Damaged window seals
You can start tracking down the source of the leak by looking for obvious signs of damage along the roof line, siding, and other key areas.
After that, have a helper stand inside of the RV while you spray down the outside with a hose. Work slowly and methodically in spraying small sections of the roof as your helper watches for water coming inside. Then, move on to spraying the siding and around closed windows. If that does not reveal the problem, then gently let water run around the edges of the vents without letting it go inside.
Select an Effective Sealer
Once you find where the water is coming into your RV, you can start the repairs. To achieve the best results, you will need to select the ideal sealing product for the area in question. Plus, follow the directions on the package exactly as written to make sure your efforts create a lasting seal.
The sealing products you may use include:
Micro-sealing tape is just one of those tools you always want on hand during your RV travels. This tape quickly patches small holes in nearly all RV surfaces. It is both quick and easy to use since you just clean the area, cut the tape to size, and stick it in place.
Unfortunately, even when applied property, the tape is quite unsightly. For that reason, RVers use it most often on inconspicuous areas, like the top of the roof.
If you notice water leaking around a small crevice or crack in the RV’s exterior, then you will likely need liquid sealer. You can apply this sealer with a brush along the affected area or even use it to restore the coating on the whole roof.
If you plan to apply the liquid to large areas, you will need to apply a primer first to properly prepare the surface. When used for the entire roof, liquid sealer not only effectively waterproofs the surface, but also protects it from UV damage.
Caulk should always serve as your go-to sealer upon finding water leaking around vents and windows. You can buy this product in several different colours to match the exterior surfaces of your vehicle and create a cohesive appearance.
When you apply this product according to the manufacturer’s directions, it creates a small waterproof bead around the leaking area. Beyond making the vents and windows watertight, this sealer protects against UV damage and mildew growth.
No matter what sealant product you use, always abide by the suggested curing times on the label. Most products need to stay dry for 24 to 72 hours before they provide full protection from leaks and RV water damage. After letting it cure, you can test the seal by gently spraying the area with a water hose. Have your helper verify that the vehicle stays watertight before calling it a job well done.
Know When to Call It and Bring in an Expert
If your efforts do not pan out, or you simply cannot find where the water is coming into your RV, it is best to call in an expert. This is also true if you spot RV water damage since it can result in mold and mildew growth if not repaired right away. Unlike basic maintenance tasks, you cannot easily DIY water damage repairs and fully resolve the issue.
When you call in an expert, they will perform a full inspection and let you know just what needs to be done to repair the problem. You can then rest assured that your travel plans can go off without a hitch and you will stay dry throughout your trip.