How to Reseal an RV Exterior
Sealing RV seams is important because water damage often happens at the corners where RV walls are joined together. Although RV walls leave the factory with sealant already applied to the seams, over time UV light and weather breaks the sealant down. This creates gaps in the corners which allow moisture to get inside.
IMPORTANT: Never use silicone on the exterior of your RV for these reasons:
- It does not stick to itself, so when it needs to be repaired, you need to remove all the silicone.
- It’s extremely difficult to remove!
- It doesn’t have good adhesion on smooth surfaces and is prone to peeling.
- Over time it drys to a hard finish and cracks.
Look for any seams that are cracked or have gaps.
If the sealant is very cracked, use a heat gun, heat the old sealant till it’s soft and scrape it out with a plastic pick or regular screwdriver. If you use a screwdriver, be careful not to scratch your paint. You want to remove the majority of the old sealant if it’s very weathered before adding new.
If your sealant has minor cracks, you can just apply a bead of sealant over the existing.
Clean the area with acetone to make sure all residue and debris are removed.
Tape off both sides of the seam that you’ll be resealing. This allows for a clean edge.
Apply a bead of 3M Marine 4000UV Sealant with a caulk gun. Be sure to smooth the bead with your finger or caulk tool.
NOTE: The sealant is very sticky, so you’ll want rags handy or wear gloves. In my experience, the 3M sealant holds up best over time with the elements and UV rays.
Remove the painters tape as soon as you finish applying/smoothing the bead of sealant. Let the sealant cure for 24hours.