Wednesday, July 6, 2022

MENU

Ask Dave: Why is the carpet in my RV’s step well getting wet?

Dear Dave,
In the step well (first step into the RV) the carpet keeps getting wet on the right-hand side. The carpet is not wet anywhere else, except a bit damp above because wet “travels.” It is not wet toward the front of the left side of the well. —Lisa, 2003 Winnebago F-450 C class

Dear Lisa,
Back in 2003, Winnebago offered a Class C called the Minnie, which was their standard or basic model, and the Minnie Winnie, a more upscale model. Both were offered on the F-450 on larger floorplans. Both would have similar construction for the chassis and undercarriage. According to the 3D drawings, it looks as though the house battery or batteries are located under the step well platform with a latch on the front face.

You can see the steel box and the opening for the battery or batteries at the top. This is an entirely welded steel compartment but it also must be vented as your lead-acid batteries will “gas” as they are being recharged. Typically the venting is at the top and a rubber gasket seals the carpet from getting exposed to road moisture.

First, check the gasket

This is a photo of a Class A Winnebago, but yours should be similar to this. Notice the rubber gasket all around the perimeter and the latch on the front. The first thing I would look at is the gasket itself. It has a groove that allows the gasket to slide over the flange of the perimeter steel and has metal strands incorporated into the rubber, which gets pinched to the steel flange so it stays in place. Over time, this can weaken and the rubber can slide out of place. Inspect the rubber gasket and make sure it is in place and not pinched or torn.

Then, check the seams

Next, look at the seam of the metal box. This is a full metal component that is welded at the seams and should be weatherproof. However, there could be a small crack in the weld at the seam that is allowing moisture to seep in. If it’s only on the right side, it’s probably getting “thrown” up by the front tire on the front of the box. Take a look at the drawing of the chassis that was in the 2003 Minnie Winnie brochure.

I would suggest recoating the entire steel box from the underneath side with a good undercoating spray or even Flex Seal.

One other possible water source that could cause the carpet in RV’s step well to get wet

One other possible source of moisture that I have seen over the years is water leaking from the window just above and traveling down the sidewall and coming out in the step well. Water leaks can be very hard to find as they often do not come out anywhere near where they came in from.

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club.

Read more from Dave here

HAVE A QUESTION FOR DAVE?

We have started a new forum link for Ask Dave. Please be as brief as possible. Attach a photo or two if it might help Dave with his response. Click to visit Dave’s forum. Or send your inquiries to him using the form below.

Click or drag a file to this area to upload.

##RVDT1882

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Pete
21 days ago

If you have carpet in your rv you need a MAJOR UPGRADE !!!!

Rolling Coal
21 days ago

Had the very same mystery water leak soaking only the right side of the first step in my mom & dad’s Fleetwood Class C. Driving or just being parked in the rain, the step would get wet. It turned out to be the lower right corner of the door frame not being sealed properly. We removed the door frame, cleaned the leak area and applied a new butyle seal around the door frame, the leak was stopped.

Rolling Coal
21 days ago

Had the very same mystery water leak soaking only the right side of the first step in my mom & dad’s Fleetwood Class C. Driving or just being parked in the rain, the step would get wet. It turned out to be the lower right corner of the door frame not being sealed properly. We removed the inner door frame, cleaned the leak area and applied a new butyle seal around the door frame, the leak was stopped.

Sign up for our newsletter

Every Saturday and Sunday morning. Serving RVers for more than 20 years.