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Home > Q&A Main Page > Miscellaneous Q&A Index > RV Water Damage

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[Miscellaneous Q&A Index]

Subject: RV Water Damage

Date: Friday, May 14, 2021

Was curious if you could point me in the right direction if you have time. I recently discovered some water damage in the corner of our 5th wheel and not exactly sure where to start. I’m planning to remove the back corner seal and top seal to try to identify where water was coming in. After that I’m not sure if I need to remove a section of wall. How are RV walls fastened to the sides? Are there screws on the inside going out, or just glue? Attached are a couple pictures. If your products can help win this job I’m about to tackle I’m open to input.


RV Side Wall Horizontal View RV Side Wall Vertical View RV Side Wall Close Up

Manufacturing methods vary. But for the type of rv pictured, the outer and inner panels are typically just glued on. Stapling and screwing are used, but not normally for the design type that you have.

For your type of construction, it is usually a fiberglass panel bonded to luan plywood, which is bonded to the aluminum framing. The repair process would be to get a bonding material, like epoxy glue into the delaminated areas, and press things back in place. While this seems simple, the devil is in the details, as they say.

If the luan has rotted, gluing the fiberglass outer panel back on will not help. The S-1 Sealer can be used to restrengthen the luan, but you have to be careful. Often, styrofoam insulation is used between the inner and outer panel, and the S-1 Sealer can melt styrofoam.

In your case, I would start with examining the luan, assuming that this is what was used, to see if the layers of luan have delaminated from each other, and whether the luan layers seem rotted. If you can let me know the condition of the luan, I can better advise you how to proceed.


Very much appreciate the reply. As I get deeper into the repair I will try to determine the best course. Hate to bother you with this but if your products can help I am open to it or willing to try.

If it’s not unsightly on the outside, is it possible to fix the leaking area above, seal up the sides and leave it as-is? Without trying a delamination kit or sealer. If no additional water is getting in I shouldn’t have mold problems correct, or am I fooling myself?

Thanks again!

Don’t worry about bothering us. We love helping people with these kinds of repairs.

If I were looking to do the repair, I would want to get as much moisture out while things were open. Less moisture means less chance of mold/rot.

It is important, of course, to fix the leak. But also to get enough moisture out of the luan plywood to prevent problems when you seal things back up.

Depending on how bad things are, and how much work you want to do, I do have some ideas about doing a more extensive repair, if the luan is beyond saving. It would involve removing any top and bottom trim, and peeling back the fiberglass skin so that you could replace most of the damaged luan. Hopefully it isn’t that damaged, and can be readily saved.

Start with finding the source of the leak, and assessing the extent of the luan plywood (if that is what was used) damage. Let me know, and we can proceed accordingly.


[Miscellaneous Q&A Index]

Have questions?

Contact us by phone 206-364-2155 or e-mail (send us your pictures) at and we will gladly answer questions about our products or how to apply them. With 20+ years of experience and many more in the boating and construction industries, not much surprises us. We are here to help our customers solve their issues. Let us help you to not have any surprises in your repair project.