April showers bring May flowers which means now is a great time to inspect your seals. We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world in large part due to the rain. I know I said it: the RAIN. The rain helps nourish all the flora and fauna and help keep the Evergreen State green. It does unfortunately finds its way into your RV and can wreak havoc.
Cover your RV when it is not in use. RV covers range from $200 to $800 depending on features and size. The nice part about using RV cover vs a “blue tarp” is that the RV cover is breathable and will not trap moisture under it while still shedding water from the outside. It also allows access to the RV through zipper panels to be able to load and unload or find that favorite pair of socks you left inside. When installing a cover it a good idea to put the cover on the RV once it has been cleaned and is dry. Watch for any sharp corners or items on the roof that may catch or snag while laying out the cover on your roof to drape over the sides. It will have adjustable straps/buckles to help cinch it up for those windy days. It always strikes me as odd that people will put their $100 bicycle in the shed yet leave their RV neglected outside year round. When it rains you wear a raincoat. When it’s hot and sunny you wear sunscreen. Your RV is no different. In a nutshell an RV cover is a very cheap “insurance plan” to protect your investment while it sits waiting for its next adventure.
Once the RV is out from under its cover from the winter and you are loading up and prepping for you maiden voyage it is a great time to inspect the seals on your RV. We recommend that you start from the top on your roof and inspect all of the sealant. This will include the front and rear termination moldings where the roof meets the front and back of the RV as well as all of the vents, plumbing vents, skylight, TV antenna, refrigerator vent, radio antenna, satellite, side moldings and any other item mounted on the roof. Depending on the condition of the sealant will determine the proper course of action. Often small affected areas can be “spot” sealed while larger more severely affected areas need to scraped off and resealed. It is important to use the correct sealant and to not mix sealants. The wrong sealant may appear to be making a good seal when actually it is not. Things to look for while inspecting sealant: bubbles, cracking, voids, peeling/lifting and basically anything that looks different from the rest. In addition, it is a good idea to inspect the membrane itself for any tears or punctures. Once it is determined that the membrane as well as the sealant are in good condition it is a good idea to find out if your roof requires UV protection. TPO roofing does not and EPDM does. This can be a little challenging to determine and should be inspected by an RV service tech. One of the most costly repairs are roof replacements which can range from $5000 to $12000 and can often be avoided with a little preventative maintenance. Feel free to call to schedule a free inspection.
If you see anything out of the ordinary DO NOT WAIT. Damage caused by falling trees, hitting the overhang on your house, damage from a low hanging branch or even a rogue amber from a campfire are often covered by insurance. We hope the info above will help keep your RV clean and dry for many seasons to come.
Credit Ryan Witter, 25 Year RV Professional, Ryan’s RV Inc.