Oh, those April showers are here! While waiting around for the wonderful warm weather to arrive, now is a good time to check out how your RV has fared throughout the winter. Between cleaning and de-winterizing, there is a lot to do, but you’ll definitely want to make sure that your RV hasn’t suffered any water damage. This unfortunate plight can happen at any time of the year, but water damage may be more likely to occur after a long winter, melting snow, and spring rain showers. Here are some helpful tips from your favorite Muskegon RV dealer on how to check your RV for water damage so that you can spot it early and make repairs before bad damage gets in the way of this season’s RV fun!
Check Thoroughly and Often
When checking your RV for water damage, it’s important to be thorough in your inspection, even if it feels excessive or silly. Seams may look ok from a quick glance, but you’ll want to test seals by pressing gently around them to make sure there aren’t any cracks or holes present. Inspect inside and out with a critical eye; just because an exterior seal looks fine doesn’t necessarily mean that the interior can’t become victim to water damage!
Also, make sure that you’re performing a total RV check at least twice a year. The beginning and the end of your camping season call for total inspections, but if you’re concerned about water damage occurring, you may want to check more frequently, especially if you have an older rig.
What To Look For When Checking For Water Damage
Discoloration—look for brown or gray spots, rings, or holes, especially around vents, doors, A/C vents, antenna, plumbing vents, or any other openings
Dripping water or dampness—the most obvious sign of damage
Soft spots—check walls, doors, in the slide outs, and around vents
Flaws or warping—look to see if interior wallpaper is wrinkled or bubbling, and do the same for the exterior fiberglass
Cracks in seams—when checking the exterior, look for cracks or holes in the seams. Gently push down around the seams to ensure they don’t separate, as it may be deceiving by simply looking.
Checking the Exterior
When checking the exterior of your RV for water damage, it’s important to have a very critical eye! As mentioned before, seams and seals can be deceiving. Get close and check seams thoroughly, even if it means getting down on your hands and knees for a better look! Also, keep an eye out for any pooling or puddling as this can cause a leakage problem, and check for soft spots and discoloration around any openings in the roof, such as vents, around the A/C unit, etc.
Water can leak just about anywhere, so check all the exterior spots with features that use water, such as an outside shower if you have one, tank valves, city water inlet, water heater, and the furnace to ensure that water leakage isn’t a problem. Check for spots and softness, and make sure none of these components are dripping. Don’t forget to check inside any storage compartments too while you’re at it!
It is also quite important to check your sidewalls to make sure that water hasn’t made its way inside the walls. Walk to the end of your RV, and look down the length of your RV. Look for rippling or bubbling in the fiberglass. This is called delaminating, and this indicates that water is between the walls. This causes the sidewalls and fiberglass to separate and is an incredibly unfortunate and costly problem.
Checking the Interior
Just because you don’t find anything on the exterior of your RV doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check the interior for water damage. Be sure to check all nooks and crannies, even ones that may not be immediately obvious. Check around vents, fans, A/C units and vents, or anywhere that has a component that leads outside, as these are the most likely places for water to get in.
Also check the walls for any soft spots, or wrinkling or discoloration in the wallpaper. Even if you notice dried wrinkling on the walls, take action, as it’s not a problem that will go away on its own! Another place to check that can easily be overlooked is inside your cabinets. Look for spots or dampness around the corners where the walls meet the ceiling.
Things To Remember
Use Proper Sealant
If cracks in seams need to be mended, make sure to get the correct sealant that will work with the material of the seam. For instance, silicone sealants won’t work on rubber roofs. If you’re unsure about what material your seals and roof are made of, give us a call!
Keep Extra Components On Hand
It’s always better to be safe than sorry! If you’re concerned that your RV will spring a leak on your next trip, pack some sealant with you, and bring items such as an extra A/C gasket so that you’ll have everything on hand to make a quick repair!
Know the Type Of Roof You Have
Many newer RVs feature fully walkable roofs, but not all of them do! If you have a soft roof, lay down some plywood or other hard surface for a more stable surface, and avoid walking between rafters.
We really hope that your RV has made it through the winter unscathed! But don’t take the sturdiness of your RV’s construction for granted. Make sure that you check your RV for water damage so that you won’t have an unfortunate situation down the road that will cut your travels short!
Want to know the best way to deal with a leaky RV? Get a new RV! Lakeshore RV is your #1 RV dealer in Michigan, and we’re proud to offer incredible deals on the nation’s best RV brands! Not only will you get to take advantage of our shockingly low wholesale prices, but we also offer easy financing options that won’t break the bank! Even if you’re hanging onto your current RV a little longer, our fantastic service department is always here to help with repairs and help you through RV maintenance!
What other tips do you have for checking your RV for water damage? Leave us a comment with your suggestions!