Our RV’s are made of lightweight materials that need to stay dry, meaning, we need to reseal your RV often. The floors and walls in our RVs are often times made of plywood, pressed wood, or MDF. These materials absorb water fairly well causing that board to lose its rigid quality. No body wants their RV floor, walls or ceiling to start sagging or turn into a sponge.
When water enters the inside of your ceiling or walls, mold and bacteria begins to grow. That would not be a healthy atmosphere to be living in and also there will be a fowl odor filling the RV.
It is recommended to reseal your RV every year before the rainy season starts. The seals of our RVs sit in the hot sun all year subject to extreme temperatures. The weather will drastically affect the performance of our RV’s sealant quickly. There will be areas where the sealant pulls away from the junction of two panels allowing water to enter.
Everywhere there is a junction of two or more different parts coming together to make a joint or seam needs to be sealed in one way or another. The roof where it meets the front and tail cap and walls are very important.
The slide outs have seams that often times get missed because of their locations. Here is an example of the top of the slide out inside the RV. When the slide out is slid out, the wiper seal sits against this track to make a water tight seal. It too needs to be sealed and resealed every year.
Sky lights and vents need to be sealed to the roof or walls of your RV. The slide out at all edges and corners also have a bead of sealant along them and could allow water to flow into your slide out.
I found a small crack in a thick bead of sealant that goes around our ceiling vent. After digging into that sealant with my metal putty knife, I found more dirty cracks where water has entered. When a corner of the skylight was pressed on, water would squeeze out. I also uncovered a rusty screw, evidence of water under the seal. All of that seal was removed to be replaced.
Anything that is mounted to the side of your RV like the mounting hardware for awnings or ladders need to be sealed at the point of contact and around the edges. It is vital to use sealant at all screw holes when mounting anything to your RV.
15.5 FT Telescoping Ladder with Stabilizer Bar
Mineral Spirits (Paint Thinner)
The seals are often times fairly dirty and could look like they are damaged. I recommend using a white rag with a small area soaked in acetone to clean the dirt and grime away from the sealant. That way, you can see any damage. If you use a rag with any color, the acetone will dissolve the color and then stain your RV.
Wear exam gloves to protect your skin. Use two or three gloves on your working hand because the gloves will dry and tear easily when working with acetone. I have used thick rubber gloves but they tear easily also when working with acetone and then you’ll have an expensive pair of worthless rubber gloves.
Use a ladder to follow seals up to the roof. A telescoping extension ladder will work great and will easily fit in your RV storage area. You can pick how long the ladder will be by choosing a rung below the top rung to start pulling the ladder up from. Wrap the top rung in a towel and masking tape to not leave marks on your RV.
Our RV sealant is subject to high temperatures and low temperatures throughout the year. This will cause expansion and shrinking of the sealant and the materials around it causing the sealant to pull away opening the seam. That bad sealant needs to be removed before new sealant is applied.
Use a nonmarring plastic scraper to scrape bad sealant off of plastic or any painted surfaces. I use a flexible metal putty knife to carefully slice through the bond of sealant and roofing material. Be very careful not to dig into any RV material when using the metal scraper.
Sealant that is difficult to remove can stay on the RV. The fresh sealant will adhere to good sealant left behind.
Clean the area well with a white rag soaked in acetone. The acetone will easily remove small loose pieces of sealant and any residue and oils on the RV material surfaces. This step is crucial before applying new sealant.
Once the surface has been cleaned well with acetone, a new bead of sealant can be applied to the seams of your RV. Use Pro Flex RV sealant with a normal caulking gun.
Cut the tip off of the sealant’s application tube very close to the tip so you can lay a thin bead of sealant. You can always cut more away if you need a thicker bead of sealant. Use the thin rod that is on your caulking gun to puncture the caulking tube’s seal by sliding it down the application tube.
Hold the caulking gun so the application tube is perpendicular to the seam to be sealed. The application tube of the caulk should be directed 90 degrees to the seam. This allows the sealant to be pushed down and in front of the caulk application tube filling any gaps with sealant.
Squeeze the trigger to push sealant out of the caulking tube to fill the application tube and then exit the tip. While holding the tube in place against the seam, squeeze the trigger of the caulking gun pushing sealant out of the tip down into the seam while slowly sliding the caulk application tube along the seam.
Use folded paper towels soaked in mineral spirits (paint thinner) wrapped around your finger, creating a rounded surface, to slowly slide along the bead of sealant to smooth the sealant into the seam. Make sure to wear multiple layers of exam gloves to protect your skin.
Go slowly and carefully not pushing down on the seam too hard allowing for a good bead to remain on the seam. Using mineral spirits can smooth sealant even after it has been left to dry for 15 minutes or so.
Clean any sealant wished to be removed from any surface with paper towels soaked in mineral spirits quickly.
From what I have read, ProFlexRV sealant is the very best sealant for seams in RVs. I have used this product to patch leaks in seams I have dried and cleaned with acetone between rain showers and have had great luck. This sealant is incredibly messy and steps to keep your work area clean are highly recommended.
I have noticed the outside of the bead applied dries quickly but the inside remains soft for about a week. The sealant remains a little tacky allowing dirt, leaves and such to stick to it as well.
I used a few different types of bathroom sealant in our RV tub resulting in failed seals. ProFlexRV sealant between the tub and walls of our shower has out performed all other sealants and still remains solid.
I highly recommend ProFlexRV sealant for all seams in your RV.
I have not used this sealant but it comes highly recommended. This sealant can be used in place of ProFlexRV sealant for seams and around vents or anything that goes through the roof of your RV. this is self leveling and I would imagine it would run if applied to a vertical surface.
This sealant tape is amazing! I have used EternaBond RV sealant tape for the seams between the nose and tail caps’ junction with the main body of the RV. I recommend applying a bead of ProFlexRV sealant along the seam first. Allow that to dry for a week before applying the sealant tape.
The sticky side of the tape is covered with plastic that needs to be peeled away. You should remove only the plastic covering of a long run of tape that will allow you to work without getting the tape stuck to other surfaces. I peel away about 12 inch lengths at a time leaving the tape intact for the whole seam to be covered.
Push with your fingertips along the tape that is in contact with the RV removing any air bubbles as you apply the tape. Pull the tape tight with your other hand to keep out any wrinkles. Peel another 12 inch length of plastic from the sticky side, smooth out as you go and repeat until the run is complete.
Apply a bead of ProFlexRV sealant along the edges of the tape for extra security keeping the edges protected from peeling up.
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We agree with the experts who say that an RV roof should be cleaned and inspected at least annually. Cleaning the roof makes it easier to inspect and make minor repairs before they become leaks. While major leaks or repairs should be made by a professional RV shop, many smaller ones can be fixed by the owner. We have an older RV with a rubber roof that was starting to leak in some damaged areas. Replaced some caulk around the AC and vents and recoated it myself two years ago with products I found online and it has been good since. Still have some product left. It’s RV roof magic.