Do not assume you have no water leak just because you can’t see it

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Here’s a question from a reader of RVtravel.com about RVing. 

Hi Bob,
I’ve read several frightening accounts of RVers discovering leaks in their RVs that went undetected until severe problems, such as mold and rot in hidden places, were detected. What can I do to catch or prevent these incidents before major damage occurs? —Ben

Hi Ben,
We all enjoy the ability to change the location of our home-on-wheels by simply driving down the road and parking somewhere else.  But that benefit also can lead to potential problems that you wouldn’t have to worry about with your stick house – and that is the tremendous pressure placed on your RV’s joints, plumbing and holes where equipment such as air conditioners, furnaces and refrigerators are installed.

The rigidity of your RV bouncing down the road applies considerable tension on every fitting in your RV: all the screws, nails, bolts, shelf mounts and plumbing joints. If a shelf mount fails, the shelf falls down or at least begins to loosen and you notice it and fix it before it dumps your TV on the floor.


But when a plumbing joint begins to fail, it could be with just an intermittent drop of water. And if that leak is somewhere hard to see – which most of them are – then that drop turns into many drops that if not noticed over months or years could rot out much of the wood floor and some of the frame of your home-on-wheels.

The same could happen in your walls or ceiling if joints are not properly sealed or if regular maintenance – and resealing – of these vulnerable places is not followed.

The result is not pleasant, and it could cost a bundle to rebuild a rotted out floor. So make it a point periodically – every four or six months – to look into those dark holes under the cabinets and behind drawers, at your city water connection, and around your shower, sink and water pump fittings.

Use a bright flashlight, and feel around as well. If you see or feel dampness, locate the source of the water and have the leak taken care of immediately, and have an expert check for rot.

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) gmail.com .

 

 

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Marmot
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Marmot

All RVrs need a moisture detector, available on Amazon, Home Depot & Lowe’s for about $30.00. Insert the two sharp pins into the wall under the windows, below the ceiling, in the corners, below the doors, into the floor around the toilet, the floor of the storage compartments, etc. You get the idea. It will tell you, very clearly, if you have a leak. You will detect leaks much sooner than with a visual test.

Brad Teubner
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Brad Teubner

If you leave your water pump on, it will “rattle” during the night to bring pressure up if you have a leak. However, you will also sometimes get a “rattle” from the piping cooling down and the water shrinking.