Newer RVs have a one piece rubber roof. Before you put it away, make sure to clean it. RV roof cleaner (with Vancouver RV carries) or a little hot water and some Dawn soap with a long handle brush and some light scrubbing should do the trick, be careful not to scrub too hard as it could damage the rubber.
As far as seams, look at the front and back seam where the material attaches to the rubber, which has screws and sealant, look for gaps in the sealant, where it has lifted up or any holes may have developed. Roof vents are sealed in the same way. Be sure to check any tv antennas, racks, ladders or anything else that attaches to the outside. The places where they screw into the RV will be sealed so the sealant should be inspected before putting it away for the winter.
If you choose to reseal the roof yourself you can buy a calking product called Dicor that you can put into a calking gun to patch the affected area. That is what the experts at Vancouver RV would use if you brought your broken seals into their shop. Dicor is a self-leveling sealant, so you don’t have to remove anything, you just put Dicor over the top and it will level out and fill in all the gaps. It just needs a clean dry service to apply. Most RV supply stores including Vancouver RV carry it. If you have the experts apply the product, they will know exactly what to look for to ensure your roof seals again. The dealer takes responsibility for the leaks if they persist, so you can take it back in if problems occur for no charge. The end result is also sure to look more professional since Dicor needs to be liberally applied which can make it look unsightly if you’re applying it for the first time. Depending on the amount of prior maintenance that has been done and the square footage, a roof reseal could cost anywhere between $200 and $800.
Windows and Doors
A lot of people will take a tube of silicone and put it all around their window when they notice a leak. You only actually need to “cap” the window by putting sealant across its top. To reseal the window correctly the whole window needs to be removed, the old sealant scraped off, and new sealant applied. A line of silicone across the top seal of the window will prevent rain water from coming in during the off season without requiring a full removal of the window.
Don’t forget your doors because they can loosen up and leak. Look at the seal, check the rubber for cracks. The same method of windows applies for doors, with a bead of silicone across the top being enough to keep water out for a season. If the door has a window in it, that window will also have a seal that is worth checking to make sure it is not damaged. Just remember anywhere an opening has been cut to install a component, that seal also needs to be checked, from outside speakers to water inlets, to baggage doors. If your aluminum baggage doors have received damage and are warped they may not shut all the way. Make sure to bend them back into position with a hammer and piece of wood so they seal properly.
If you do these things now you won’t have to do as much come spring.The best maintenance is to keep the coach covered, Vancouver RV sells breathable covers which range from $375 up to $1000. Please bring Tom your questions! This article is part of an on-going series, so tune in next month for more tips and tricks for caring for your RV. Tom can be reached at:
10455 NE 53rd Street
Vancouver, WA 98662