Answers to questions about RV Repair and Maintenance from RV expert Dave Solberg, author of the “RV Handbook” and the managing editor of the RV Repair Club. This column appears Monday through Saturday in the RV Travel and RV Daily Tips newsletters. (Sign up for an email reminder for each new issue if you do not already receive one.) Today Dave discusses locating RV leaks causing a wet carpet.
Recently we traveled to the East Coast and back. While in Delaware, we hit a couple rainstorms. Our friend insisted we stay in their house while the RV sat in the driveway. The next morning I went into the RV to check things out. What I found was a fresh beach towel I had left on the floor in the bedroom was soaking wet. I said what…?! I checked the entire surrounding area for water including the floors, window tracks, ceiling, roof, storage bays, etc. To my surprise, I found zippo/nothing. Have you had experience with this type of moisture migrating to a towel or some other cotton? Thank you! —Tom
If you have a towel on the floor that is now soaked with water, then you have a leak somewhere in the rig. And the frustrating part is there are so many hollow tubes and raceways for water to flow that it can be very difficult to find the source of an RV leak.
Where to start looking for the leak
I would start at the spot of the towel and feel the carpet in all directions. If there is nothing wet, then pull back the carpet and pad to see if there are signs of water coming from some direction. If you have a leak in any of the roof to sidewall, or roof to front cap seams, the water can come in through that area. It can travel along the hollow tube used for the roof to sidewall frame, then find its way down the vertical sidewall tube and maybe even flow along the frame of the floor.
Another RV leak potential could be the roof air conditioner leaking into the roof due to the gasket not being tightened correctly. The water can pool and seep inside the roof and again travel along hollow framework. Or it could drip from the AC unit inside and maybe the towel was underneath. Check out what was directly above the area the towel was in and see if there is something on the roof there.
The RV leak could have been water pressure that was too high
Since you indicated this was in the bedroom, was it next to the base of the bed in the front or side? And were you connected to a faucet at your friend’s house for city water? If so, their water pressure could have been slightly higher than your water fittings could handle and may have developed a slight leak at an elbow or other connection. My parents connected their Class A rig up at my brother’s house in AR, and later in the day they came out to wet carpeting. Come to find out the water pressure on the faucet they hooked up to was over 60 psi and their connections could not handle it. You might have water lines and connections close to where the towel was placed.
A towel or other cotton product will not absorb moisture unless there is a direct source of moisture coming in contact with it. If the inside of the unit is humid, it can feel slightly moist but not soaked.
Read more from Dave here.
Dave Solberg worked at Winnebago for 15 years developing the dealer training program, as marketing manager, and conducting shows. As the owner of Passport Media Creations, Dave has developed several RV dealer training programs, the RV Safety Training program for The Recreation Vehicle Safety and Education Foundation, and the accredited RV Driving Safety program being conducted at rallies and shows around the country. Dave 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.
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