Do All RVs Leak? All You Need to Know

If you have an RV, you probably know that water leaks can cause excessive damage inside the RV, and a lot of headaches. But if you’re still looking for one to buy, it’s worth asking do all RVs leak?

RV roof leaks are very common given they are flat, although certain brands are more prone to leaks than others. The key to preventing RV roof leaks are routine inspections, annual resealing of the roof, and replacing the roof in ten years.

But that’s not all there is to know about leaky RVs.

So in this article, we’ll take a look at which brands are the worst for roof leaks, whether an RV cover is a good idea when it’s not in use, and whether you can fix a roof leak by yourself.

Just keep reading!

do all rvs leak lg

Which travel trailers do not leak?

The best brands of travel trailers that are less likely to leak include Airstream, Winnebago, Starcraft, Lance, and Shasta. However, every travel trailer has the potential to leak.

But if it has a roof, it can spring a leak.

So in a way, this is good news! This means you don’t have to look for the most expensive travel trailer or even a new one. There is no specific brand that won’t leak. Preventive maintenance is what keeps roofs from leaking.

When thinking about leaks, think about how they start before they start.

Older travel trailers are more likely to leak. Let’s face it, every roof has a lifespan. Also, consider climate and water accumulation. Roofs can last more or less time, depending on the weather conditions and storage.

You also don’t want to let too much water accumulate on top of the trailer. Routine inspections and maintenance will catch leaky or broken pipes before any major damage happens.

To read more about how to purchase an RV for full-time living, check out this recent article.

If you are considering purchasing an RV for full-time living, understand that not all campers are cut out for the job. If you plan to be on the road a lot, a Class A is the best option. If you are planning on long stays at a campground, a fifth-wheel may be the better option.

I got into what brands are best and worst, things you should plan for and expect, and some of the unexpected hassles and irritations that we don’t always think about before we jump into the world of full-time RVing.

Just click the link to read more on my site.

How do I stop my RV from leaking?

Stop an RV from leaking by inspecting the roof every 3 months or after knowingly hitting any low-hanging tree branches. But plan to reseal an RV roof annually and replace the roof every 10 years.

Prevention is the first step to stopping leaks in an RV.

You want to get to them before they happen. Leaks can ruin floors and furniture and lead to mold and mildew problems.

Start by doing a periodic review to ensure there is no damage to your roof and that it is draining properly. The roof should be kept clean, and minor damage should be repaired quickly.

Check the caulking around vents, skylights, and any other components that meet the roof. Over time, caulking dries out and will begin to pull away from the RV. These areas should be inspected routinely and re-caulked at least once a year.

While you’re inspecting the caulking, inspect the ladder mounts and roof racks. Check around the mount points, screws, and caulking.

RVs don’t just leak from the roof. Anything with a seal or gasket has the potential to leak. When doing your inspection, be sure to look for gaps between the siding and window flanges. Also, look for any cracked, brittle, or off-color seals around windows, doors, and joints.

If you have an awning, it’s okay to leave it out during light rain, but be sure to bring it in during heavy wind or thunderstorms.

Vinyl awnings are waterproof, but acrylic awnings are not. Either way, they are still water-resistant. But how water-resistant are they? Check out this recent article to find out. Whether or not it is waterproof, heavy winds can bend the frame, and tree branches can cause the fabric to tear.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Does RV insurance cover roof leaks?

RV insurance will generally cover roof leaks due to damage from storms, accidents, or vandalism. However, they will not typically cover leaks due to normal wear and tear.

That is if you have comprehensive RV insurance.

So, if your RV is vandalized, something falls on it, or if it has been impacted by storm damage, your insurance may replace or repair your roof. Here is a pretty good overview of what is typically covered by RV insurance.

But if it just leaks from normal wear and tear, it may not be covered. You should review your policy and/or contact your insurance agent for the most accurate information regarding coverage.

Your RV warranty, on the other hand, will cover the cost of repairing your leaky roof. If you purchase a used RV, be sure to see if it comes with an extended warranty.

Manufacturer RV warranties do not transfer when the unit is sold to a new owner. However, in most cases, extended warranties do transfer to a new owner, oftentimes for a fee.

To explore the different types of warranties, and whey they cover, just read this recent article. What really surprised me was which companies charge a fee to transfer the warranty.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

How often should I reseal my RV roof?

Plan to reseal an RV roof annually. But also inspect it quarterly or after hitting any low-hanging tree branches. Plan to replace an RV roof every 10 years.

You should check for leaks and sealant deterioration at least two times per year.

If the seal starts to break down, your RV will be more subject to leaks and eventually expensive repairs. Even the smallest holes can lead to extensive damage, especially if left unchecked.

Inspect the seams for any areas that appear to be separated from the trailer. 

If all appears well, test the seal for elasticity. You can do this with a small tool, like a screwdriver. Gently poke the sealant. If it gives under pressure but returns to its original state, the seal is still in good condition.

If it cracks or doesn’t bounce back, it should be resealed.

Sealing the roof is offered by most professional shops. It can be done relatively quickly, and if it’s not done properly, you should have them redo it.

But it’s fairly simple to do it yourself, and it will save you a significant amount of money. It doesn’t require any special tools or skills, and you can get this great RV roof sealant on Amazon.

It comes with a lifetime warranty, is eco-friendly and non-toxic, and will work on almost all motorhomes, trailers, and campers. Just roll it on with a paint roller and use a brush to get into smaller areas.

And the best part is with their lifetime warranty, you shouldn’t have to do this more than once OR ever have to replace your roof!

Hundreds of reviews and almost all are 5-star!

CLICK HERE to see it on Amazon!

Can I replace my RV roof myself?

Replacing an RV roof is not a home DIY job and should be handled by a professional. However, annual resealing or minor repairs are often handled by RV owners themselves.

Replacing your RV roof is a big job.

If you are relatively handy, you can probably do it yourself. But if you aren’t comfortable doing it yourself, you should have a professional do it for you.

But if you get that great RV roof sealant on Amazon I mentioned above you can just roll it on yourself and with it’s lifetime warranty, you shouldn’t ever have to replace your roof.

But in order to replace your RV roof, you need to remove the awning first and anything else that is secured to the roof. Then, the existing membrane will need to be removed and any damaged plywood replaced. Place the new membrane and seal the edges.

Then, replace the items from the roof and reattach the awning. Seal all the seams, and you’re good to go. Now that you’ve done all that work to replace your roof, protect it with a good quality RV cover.

To read more about RV covers and which ones to avoid, check out this recent article.

RV covers can extend the life of your RV by protecting it from snow, wind, ice, and harmful UV rays. All of these elements can damage your seals and allow leaks to form around your RV.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Final Thoughts

Without proper maintenance, you can expect your RV roof to leak. RV inspection for leaks is a good spring and fall maintenance task, especially if your rig is stored indoors during the winter.

It should be done more frequently if your RV is usually outdoors and in the elements. Sunlight, extreme temperatures, and precipitation will all take their toll.

Consider using a cover to extend the life of your roof.

Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay and Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

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