How to Deal with a Leaking Window on Your RV
Whether you’re on the road or in your home, no one wants to deal with a leaky window. If your windows are allowing water to seep into the interior your RV, your entire trip can take a negative turn. Waking up with damp bedsheets or stepping in a puddle can put a serious downer on your vacation even before you have to worry about ruined possessions or water damage. If you catch a leak in your RV, it’s important to investigate and fix the issue as quickly as possible. Fortunately, with a little care and effort—and some advice to help you along the way—you have a good chance of fixing the problem yourself. Read on to learn more about how to deal with a leaking window on your RV.
Finding the Cause
There are many issues that can cause a leaky window. Some are quick fixes, while others might require some time and energy. One of the most important steps to fixing your RV’s leaky window is to find the correct source of the problem. Don’t run straight to the store to pick up a caulking gun. Instead, address any water damage and prevent further issues from occurring. Dry any water that entered your RV. You can use duct tape and a garbage bag to temporarily seal the inside of a window and keep the interior of your RV dry. Once the initial danger has passed and the window stops leaking, take a moment to carefully inspect the area. Make sure the window itself is still in good shape. Sliding panes, mullions, operator knobs, and other hardware can bend or deteriorate over time, preventing the window from fully closing. If this is the issue, fixing or replacing the damaged pieces can fix the leak.
Check the Window’s Weep Holes
Many RV windows come with weep holes to let the water drain safely from the tracks along the window frame. These are small horizontal slots that sit on the bottom of the window’s exterior frame. Unfortunately, these weep holes can accumulate dirt, grime, and other debris over time. If this happens, the clog will prevent water from escaping and cause it to leak into your RV’s interior. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy fix. Simply remove the cover, if there is one, and remove any visible debris. You can use a stiff wire or thin blade to carefully break up and remove any remaining debris. You can also use compressed air to clean out the area. If this was the source of your problem, you should see water and grime start to flow from the weep holes once you remove the clog.
Inspect Your Window Seals
If the window itself is in good shape and there’s no blockage in the weep holes, your leak might be coming from a fault in the window seal. The caulking and adhesive around the window can break down over time and create gaps that allow water to enter your RV. Carefully inspect the seal around your RV windows—both inside and out. If you can’t find the problem and it’s not currently raining, use a trickle of hose water to locate the leak. You can also use tape to seal off different parts of the window and isolate the problem area. Once you know where the water is coming from, you can get to work repairing the leak.
How to Deal with a Leaking Window on Your RV
If your window leak is coming from a problem in the seal, the most common way to deal with it is by caulking the window. This is a fix that takes more effort than the problems above, but you can still do it on your own if you’re careful. You’ll need a caulking gun, a sponge and cleaner, masking tape, and a razor blade or something similar to help pry up the old seal around the window. Once you have your supplies ready, set your ladder up so you can reach the window and get to work.
Remove the Old Caulk
The first step of re-caulking your RV windows is to remove the old caulk. Use your razor blade to carefully cut the damaged caulk loose and peel it from the window. Take your time with this step. Make sure you don’t accidentally scratch your window or your RV’s siding in the process, causing even more damage to the area. While there may be parts of the damaged seal you can simply caulk over, it’s best to thoroughly remove as much of the old seal as possible. This will give you a better surface to caulk over later. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to remove the entire window seal. Focus your efforts on the worn down or damaged parts that are causing the leak.
Prep the Area around the Window
After you remove the old seal, pick your favorite RV-safe cleaner and use it to remove any lingering debris and adhesive around the window. You want a clean, smooth surface before begin applying the new caulk. This will help your new seal stick better and stay longer without any more issues. After you’ve cleaned the area, make sure it’s completely dry. You can then use masking tape or painter’s tape to cover any areas you don’t want to accidentally caulk. Take extra care to tape around the edges of the window so you don’t damage them or make a mess.
Apply the Caulk
Once the area around the window is ready to go, prep your caulking gun and fix that seal. Remember to only apply a small amount around the part of the window that is leaking. Keep steady pressure on the caulking gun to create an even seal. Once your caulk is in place, allow it to dry for at least 24 hours. Once that time passes, you can carefully remove the tape and reveal your newly sealed window.
Hopefully, our guide helped you learn the basics of how to deal with a leaking window on your RV. Maintenance is a regular part of being an RV owner. Unfortunately, leaky windows aren’t the only problems you’re going to come across in your life as an RVer. Keep an eye out for these and other issues by regularly checking your tires, taking care of your RV’s battery, and outfitting your RV gate valve, pipes, and holding tanks with heating pads. By monitoring these areas regularly, you can identify and tackle problems early and keep your RV in excellent shape for years to come.