One of the most common issues with RV’s as they age is leaks. Water is quite crafty and almost always finds its way in if you give it enough time. Whether you have discovered a leak or are purchasing a used RV, its important to understand the principles of what water can do to a RV. It also doesn’t hurt to get a feel for what it takes to repair RV water damage.
RV water damage is most commonly found under windows, inside cabinets and compartments, and any spot that has been pierced on the exterior of the RV. RV water damage is a silent killer of sorts. You have to keep a sharp eye out for it. Look for stains, delamination of fiberglass, dark colored wood, and bumps/bubbles in the paneling. If is just a small area then it can typically be contained and repaired without too much trouble. If the water has affected the wall or floor structure of the RV then it gets a lot more messy financially and from a labor standpoint.
The rule of thumb generally says that minor water damage can be fixed and large scale water damage is more likely to cost more than the RV in some cases. For small repairs there are new products coming along all the time to assist with repairing water damaged wood which is the main cause of failure from water damage. For example there is Elmer’s Damaged Wood Repair which is designed to refurbish water damaged wood without the need to do an expensive replacement.
There is a great video below that I encourage you to watch. We came across it while assisting a reader with a RV water damage repair. Not only does it do a great job of showing you the damage that water can do to an RV, the creator also shows how to repair the damage step by step. Now this repair was done in 2011 to a Fleetwood Prowler 275N Fifth-wheel travel trailer, but the principles still apply even if you have a motorhome or fiberglass exterior.
RV Water Damage Tutorial Video
We hope you never have to experience the sinking feeling of discovering water damage in your RV, but if you do this video will come in handy regardless of if you decide to do the work yourself or have it done professionally. You should get a great idea of how labor intensive the process is from the video above. To be sure you never have to, you may want to read the Gypsy Journals take on protecting yourself from RV Leaks.
If you have any stories or pictures of RV water damage that you have personally dealt with please share them in the comments below or by using our new idea submission system.