Essential RV Maintenance: A Guide to Exterior Seals and Sealants

Essential RV Maintenance: A Guide to Exterior Seals and Sealants


When it comes to maintaining your beloved RV or motorhome, there are several crucial aspects to consider, and one of the most vital is caring for its exterior seals and sealants. These seemingly small components play a significant role in keeping your RV safe, comfortable, and leak-free during your adventures on the road. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the basics of RV maintenance for exterior seals and sealants, empowering you to preserve your vehicle’s longevity and ensure a worry-free journey.

  1. Understanding the Importance of Exterior Seals and Sealants:

The exterior seals and sealants on your RV serve as the first line of defense against moisture, water, and debris infiltration. Over time, these elements can lead to costly damage if not appropriately addressed. Regular inspection and maintenance of your RV’s seals are essential to prevent leaks, protect the interior from water damage, and extend the life of your motorhome.

  1. Inspection and Cleaning:

Performing routine inspections is critical to identify any signs of wear, tear, or potential issues with your RV’s seals and sealants. It’s recommended to inspect the exterior seals at least twice a year, or more frequently if you encounter extreme weather conditions or significant temperature variations.

During the inspection, look for cracks, gaps, or visible damage in the seals. Check all windows, doors, compartments, and roof areas meticulously. If you spot any problems, address them promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Cleaning the seals regularly is equally important. Gently wash the seals using a mild soap or designated rubber seal cleaner. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could degrade the material. After cleaning, apply a silicone-based protectant to keep the seals supple and resistant to environmental factors.

  1. Replacing Worn-out Seals:

No matter how well you maintain your RV’s seals, they will eventually wear out over time. When you notice severe damage, such as deep cracks or crumbling edges, it’s time to replace the affected seals. Trying to prolong the life of damaged seals can lead to leaks and further damage, costing you more in the long run.

Replacing seals is often a straightforward process, and you can find suitable replacement seals from RV dealerships or specialized stores. If you’re unsure how to proceed, consult with a professional to ensure the correct installation and proper sealing.

  1. Sealants and Their Application:

Sealants play a vital role in reinforcing the integrity of your RV’s seals and preventing leaks. However, applying sealants requires precision and the right technique for effective results. Before applying any sealant, thoroughly clean the area to remove dirt, old sealant residue, and other contaminants.

Choose a high-quality sealant specifically designed for RV exteriors. There are different types of sealants, such as silicone-based or polyurethane-based, each with its advantages. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and drying times. If you’re uncertain about the process, consider seeking professional assistance.

  1. Additional Tips for Exterior Seal Maintenance:

  • Inspect your RV’s roof regularly for any signs of damage, and address any issues promptly. A well-maintained roof prevents water from seeping into your RV through vents or AC units.

  • Be mindful of any potential rodent or insect infestations that could harm your seals. Seal any openings or gaps where pests could enter and cause damage.


Caring for the exterior seals and sealants of your RV is a crucial part of its maintenance routine. By inspecting, cleaning, and replacing damaged seals when necessary, you can protect your RV from leaks and costly water damage. Regularly applying sealants will further fortify the integrity of your seals, ensuring you have a safe and enjoyable journey on the open road. With proper care, your RV will be ready to accompany you on many unforgettable adventures for years to come.

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