How Much Water Weight Can You Hold During Your Period RV Water Leaks

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RV Water Leaks

If there is a way to get into your RV, water will find it. Water leaks on an RV can cause extensive damage and can be extremely expensive to repair. When I worked at an RV dealership, I saw the damaging effects that water can have on an RV time and time again. I learned my lesson the hard way. I evaluated a unit that was traded in and did not identify the extensive water damage that resulted in thousands of dollars worth of repairs. Hindsight is 20/20 and I quickly learned to inspect for and identify potential water damage to RVs. My recommendation is that you inspect for potential water leaks at least twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring.

Every seam on your RV and anywhere the manufacturer cuts a hole in your RV has the potential to allow water in. To protect your investment and your wallet, take the time to REALLY inspect all of those seams and sealants. Water damage to an RV is similar to progressive damage to a tire. The outside of the tire looks fine, but the internal damage over time causes the tire to fail without any warning. The outside of your RV looks fine, but the internal damage caused by water over a long period of time can result in the entire roof, floor or wall rotting away without you even knowing it. Here are a few things to look for during your inspections.

Always keep safety in mind when working on the roof of your RV. You can be seriously injured if you fall! One of my readers suggested that you use 2 pieces of 1/2″

plywood, 2 feet by 4 feet, to move around on and spread your weight across

roof truss.

* To stop a leak before it starts, carefully inspect all roof and body seams. Consult your RV dealer for sealants compatible with different types of roofing materials.

* Look for discoloration and feel for soft spots on the ceiling around roof vents, air conditioners, TV aerials, plumbing valves and other openings cut into the roof.

* Look for any discoloration or wrinkles in the wallpaper and feel for any soft spots on the walls around any windows, doors, vents, sliding doors or other openings cut into the side walls.

* Identify the location of items such as the water heater, stove, outdoor shower, potable water fill, and city water intake on the outside of the RV, then access those areas from the inside of the RV and look for any signs of water damage around those openings.

* Open all upper cabinets and look at the top corner where the walls meet the ceiling for any discoloration or soft spot feel. This would indicate a leak at the seam where the sidewall and roof attach.

* Check all exterior storage compartments for signs of water leaks or water damage.

* Check for soft spots on the roof itself, especially around the roof seams at the front and rear of the camper. Thoroughly inspect all roof sealants around each opening.

* Some Class C motorhomes are notorious for leaks in the cab above the bed. Look for signs of discoloration and feel for soft spots. Reach under the mattress and feel for water.

* Look and feel the outside of the RV for signs of delamination. Delamination is caused by water getting between the exterior fiberglass and the sidewall. When this happens, the exterior fiberglass separates from the side wall of the RV. You can stand at the front or back of the RV and look down the side for any noticeable ripples or what looks like a bubble. You can also press the side walls. If you feel the outer fiberglass moving, it is delaminating. Delamination often starts around where an opening was made in the sidewall.

You shouldn’t just inspect your RV for water damage; REALLY inspect your RV for water damage. If you do this regularly, you can locate and repair the source of any water damage before it has a chance to do much damage. I think I will start checking our RV more than twice a year.

Good camping,

Feel

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

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