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What Is The Average RV Delamination Repair Cost?

Delamination of an RV exterior wall - what is the average rv delamination repair cost?
Photo courtesy of iRV2 Forums.

What Is The Average RV Delamination Repair Cost?

Your RV has a real tough job to do when you’re on the road. Not only does it have to transport you long distances, but it also has to protect you from the wind, sun, and rain. Talk about pulling double duty!

Unfortunately, all this hard work can take a toll on your RV. And one of the worst possible outcomes is the dreaded RV delamination, which can become a massive (and costly!) headache for RV owners. The RV delamination repair cost can easily soar into the thousands-of-dollars range!

But just what is RV delamination exactly? And how can you keep it from happening, or repair it when it does happen? 

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What is RV delamination?

Before we get into RV delamination (and RV delamination repair costs), we should first talk about how exactly the walls of your RV are constructed. If you look at the inside wall and then the outside wall of your RV, you’ll probably notice they’re different. That’s because the walls of your RV are built like a “sandwich” of different materials. 

The “top” of the sandwich is the outer (usually fiberglass) wall, and the “bottom” is the interior wall of your RV. The “inside” of the sandwich will usually have a layer of wood and some insulation. All these layers are then bonded together.

That brings us to the big question: just what is delamination on an RV? Simply put: RV delamination occurs when this bond between the layers of your sidewall fails. This is often due to water entering and damaging the bonding agent, which is usually caused by the failure of one or more exterior seals. 

When this bond fails, the fiberglass layer detaches from the inner layer that creates an air pocket inside. These air pockets lead to raised “bubbles” appearing in the sidewall of your RV that grow larger over time. Besides being unsightly, delamination of an RV sidewall can also cause other problems. 

Moisture that gets inside the wall can cause wood rot and mold growth, which is dangerous for the RV and its inhabitants. Damaged wood can threaten the structural integrity of your RV. Mold growth can cause a variety of health issues. Because of this, it’s essential to repair RV delamination ASAP.

How much does RV delamination repair cost?

If you’ve discovered delamination on your RV, your options depend on your situation. Professional RV delamination repair costs can climb quite high. If the damage is minor, however, it may be possible to fix it yourself at a reduced cost. 

RV delamination repair kits

RV delamination repair epoxy kits can be found online for between $100 to $300. These kits contain epoxies, syringes, and tubing to repair the bond between the fiberglass and the inner layer. Keep in mind that these kits are only designed for minor repairs. Plus, RV delamination glues and epoxies won’t work if there’s already a lot of water damage to the inner layer.

Be aware that even with a kit, RV delamination repair can be a big undertaking. The process can take several days to complete and can require you to remove and then reinstall windows, doors, and trim, among other difficult tasks. And even after being fixed, the outer walls of the RV may still look uneven. 

The repair will also require several days of good weather so the epoxies can cure. And, you’ll need some kind of system to brace the wall of the RV in place while that curing happens. You’ll probably have to build that bracing system yourself, most likely out of scrap wood. 

DIY RV delamination repair cost: $200 + several days of work

Hire a professional

If the damage is extensive, RV delamination repair may not be worth the trouble. And even in less severe cases, the hard work needed for repair may be beyond the abilities of many RV owners. Because of this, it might be a better idea to seek the help of a professional for RV delamination repair.

The costs will vary greatly depending on your rig and situation. If there is water damage in addition to delamination, repairs may cost thousands of dollars. If you experience delamination and want a specific quote on RV delamination repair costs, you should speak with a professional.

Professional RV delamination repair cost: $1000s

How do you prevent RV delamination?

Repairing RV delamination is complicated and RV delamination repair costs can be extreme. Because of this, prevention is a much better solution. Have you ever heard the proverb: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? It applies here.

Regular maintenance of your RV can save you lots of physical and financial headaches trying to repair RV delamination. 

The key to preventing RV delamination is inspecting, repairing, and replacing the external seals and seams of your RV. (Keep water out!) It’s recommended that you inspect the outside of your RV on a yearly basis and do spot repairs on any damages you find. This requires you to scrape away the old sealant, clean the seam, and apply a fresh coat. 

If you want to take extra precautions, you should completely reseal every seam on your RV at least once every 5 years. In more humid areas, you may want to do so as often as every two years. Keeping the seals on your RV well-maintained will keep water out, and keep you from having to deal with high RV delamination repair costs.

RV delamination solutions

RV delamination repair costs can be quite high. Repairs can quickly soar to become multiple-thousand-dollar ordeals. And in a worst-case scenario, you may have to retire the RV entirely. Thankfully, DIY repair is an option in some cases, although it will take a fair amount of elbow grease. 

Because it’s such a tough fix, proper maintenance and prevention are essential if you want to avoid RV delamination. That means regularly checking all the seals on the outside of your RV and repairing them if they get damaged. If you’re really serious about RV delamination, you should probably replace all the seals on your RV every few years. 

The average RV delamination repair cost can start in the low $100s and quickly multiple into multiple thousands of dollars! Catch it and act quickly to save yourself time and money.

Track your RV maintenance and repairs

Make sure you keep track of all your RV maintenance and repairs with an online tool such as RV LIFE Maintenance. Not only can you keep all of your documents in one place, but you’ll also receive timely reminders when maintenance is due to help you avoid costly repairs and potentially serious accidents.

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