Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Has your RV ever developed a water leak that caused serious damage?

It’s the nightmare of every RVer — a water leak that works its way into the innards of an RV. Catch it quickly and a repair can be minor with little expense. But if the leak is not detected, or the water intrusion allowed to continue, the results can be devastating, causing tens of thousands of dollars to repair.

So here’s this week’s question, “Has your RV ever developed a water leak that caused serious damage?” Please leave a comment.

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Deena Jones
1 month ago

My husband and I are considering buying a used motorhome. After reading all of these comments, I WILL make sure that it is thoroughly inspected by a specialist before buying it.

Steven Peterson
9 months ago

Yes – rear wall leaked on our 5th wheel and caused damage to the back wall. Also had a water tank fitting break (crack) so water was blown around the rear wall. Both caused damage to the wall and the rear wall seals

Ed Rapin
1 year ago

Just found a leak,(city water connection, I think). The back wall is delaminating.

Stanley Sokolow
1 year ago

A 29′ RV trailer I used to own had a toilet with a hand-pulled flush handle. Once, while I was away, a guest in the trailer who wasn’t familiar with RV toilets pulled the handle to its maximum position, where it became stuck. He didn’t know that RV flushing is supposed to shut off when you release the handle, unlike home toilets that flush and stop automatically. Since the trailer was connected to shore water, the flushing continued after the guest left the trailer, even after the black tank was full. The trailer floor was flooded throughout, with water flowing down into the floor registers of the heating system and filling the under-floor space. When I returned, I saw water gushing out from the bottom of the trailer. The wood flooring swelled and buckled. I shut off the water, discovered the cause, and proceeded to drain the water. I installed a fan in the subfloor space with vents to the outside, disinfected the floor. Eventually all was fixed.

Rich K.
1 year ago

I’ve owned two popups, both Rockwood (1978 RW0806, and 2002 Freedom 1940). The 1978 had a rotten roof that had leaked so badly that the dinette table top needed replacement, and I rebuilt the entire roof. 2002 has a leak in the driver side front roof corner that caused the OSB in the side panel to swell and rot for about 8-9 inches back from the corner and caused the T-nuts that anchor the hook for the corner hold-down latch to pull through the wood. Thankfully, the rot had not reached the roof support! I injected some PC Products rot stopping epoxy into the wood and then clamped it to force the delaminated layers of OSB back together. Takes 3-7 days to fully set as it soaks into the rotten wood, so we’ll see how well it works then…

Last edited 1 year ago by Rich K.
Baby cakes
2 years ago

I have camp from time I was 8 years old, in a big old tent, wolfs and bears a bound the camp site in northern wi. I am 83years old and still fish hunt and camp, with two campers, and quests what. Camping sucks now!

2 years ago

We check regularly. I had one small leak on the rear corner and fixed it with Dicor. My DW can tell by the smell.

3 years ago

Bought an expensive heartland march 2019 and it had so many issues im not gonna mention. So taking a loss we bought a 2020 montana and the front window leaked the first week after purchase. Fixed at dealer. The next rain we found the bedroom slide floor is wet under the bed. Removed the vent inserts that retain heat to find the vent caps leak also. Covered beautifully in tarps ready for more service. I chose this type living for travel work, it proves there is no way id purchase for recreational use. Your stress is constant not fun and money gone! Unless, you think its acceptable to renovate all these flaws and seems most enjoy or accept the challenge, save your money. This is for the buyer looking at real rv life.

Lee Kissell
4 years ago

By some water leak detectors, money you will be glad you parted with. Amazon has them. I used them in our house and now in our motor home. They saved major damage more than once. Place one under each sink, behind the toilet and anywhere else you could have a pipe or appliance leak. They won’t help much for a roof or wall leak but are still worth the money. Also, turn you water off at the spigot when you leave for a while.

4 years ago

We purchased our first RV, a 2012 Thor Crossroads Cruiser 34 ft 5th wheel in 2014 from Camping World. Took it out for a couple of weekend trips. First “big” 7 week trip to Florida the winter of 2017, we noticed an interior wall appeared warped. Upon further inspection it also felt mushy. As the trip went on, we noticed several suspicious areas. We looked over the entire rig for what appeared to be leaking but could find none. Being “newbies”, we asked other seasoned RVers opinions. All suspected leaks, but could find no entry. So no leaking was ever visible to the interior. We called a local dealership at home, explained issue and made arrangements to bring the rig in for an evaluation and repair when we got home. By the time we arrived home the walls were starting to split open. Still thinking we were going to “just “ replace walls, we took rig to dealership for repair. Turns out, the rig had leaked so badly, the front slide floor had swelled enough to nearly make it impossible to open and nearly all walls were destroyed. Our 5 year old rig was totaled out. We had owned it 3 years. The technicians could not find where the rig had leaked either. I’m sure they quit looking when so much damage had been done. This is a rig that was covered 90 percent of the time as we had yet to have any significant use out of it until this trip. The worst part was that we lost our retirement dream. We would still love to travel by RV but are so afraid to purchase another.

4 years ago
Reply to  Maryalice

I also forgot to mention the 3600. extended warranty covered 0. Apparently extended warranties exclude any kind of water damage.

4 years ago

We’ve had a few water leaks but caught them before serious damage could take hold.

Patrick Granahan
4 years ago
Reply to  LindaH

Considering that this poll shows a 37%
Water leak occurrence rate it would appear that the industry has serious quality control issues in this area.

4 years ago

We had 2 leaks in our 2007 RV we caught early enough to be repaired under warranty in AL. Front passenger sidewall was getting “popcorn” look. That was caused by outside awning attachment not being sealed at factory. Had entire wall replaced and any openings sealed. The other isssue was deep well in back closet would get wet. Turns out outside compartment on driver’s side by rear wheels was not sealed and water would get splashed in while driving during rain.

Ted Raymond
4 years ago

We owned a Thor fifth wheel, actually lived in it for a year with three kids and a dog in Yellowstone NP while I worked there. Returned home to Missouri and stored it in the back of the house for the winter.
The unit had hard sides but had a seam about 8″ up joining the two hard side walls. During the winter this seam opened up (too high up to see it) and water entered the unit all winter. When I went in in Spring the entire walls and floor were covered in black mold.
We had no choice but to scrap it for parts and in so doing did lose monies still owed. Once again, Buyer be ware.
Oh, I have noticed since Thor does not have this seam any longer opting for a solid side wall. I wonder why?

4 years ago

We have a 94 Mallard TT. We have had some leaks, but thankfully we were always in the TT when the leaks occurred. We were able to sop up the water and dry everything. One leak was around the gray tank roof vent pipe. Fixed that quickly.

Z Everett
4 years ago

The pipes under the kitchen sink leaked and could have damaged the floor. We were lucky the pans stored under the sink caught the water.

Mike H.
4 years ago

A number of years ago, we purchased a previously owned “experienced” rv. It developed a water leak, very small water leak. The previous owner replaced the water heater anode rod with a” HOT ROD” electric heating element thus removing the tank protection from electrolysis. Yup, the tank failed with a pin hole leak. Note to self , never replace anode rod with heating element if the water heater was NOT designed for it. It’s only a matter of time but it will shorten the tanks life….

4 years ago

Just thought I would add that living in the South…TN…humidity is a problem. I have found that buying lots of charcoal dehumidifier containers at the Dollar Tree has been a life saver for our 2017 Prime Time. It still smells new! About once per month if we are out and about or parked I go change out the containers all through the camper. I have about two in each room. It amazes me every time I change them that they are full of water!

The long trip home
4 years ago

Going down the road I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed the kingpin on the fifth wheel and the front cap were not moving in synch. Seemed like a lot of flex there. Later that night I noticed both night stands had pulled away from the walls. Next day noticed the side wall on the overhang was buckled. Drove the 1,200 miles home expecting to find just the king pin attached when I got there! Pulled the panel off the bottom of the overhang to find it all rotten as well as the side panels. Nothing much holding the shell of the fiver to the frame. The factory never caulked the rubber roof area where it met the front cap allowing water to infiltrate down the sides. Repairing it was not a job I would do again.

4 years ago

We purchased a used 2017 Thor Palazzo with 5,300 miles on it. From Camping World (sigh). According to Camping World the rig passed a water pressure test. Got the rig home and noticed a small, dripping under the rig after filling the water holding tank and doing our own walk thru/testing fixtures. We finally found the problem – the factory didn’t use plumbing glue when installing the water tank so the rig had been leaking at the valves/multiple points since the first time the tank was filled. The entire floor under the pump and holding tank (hidden beneath the vinyl cover) was rotted and the rot went up half of the wall between compartments. Thankfully, hubby is a handy guy and he completely tore out the flooring and wall , replaced, and fixed the plumbing. It took him about 12 hours of not fun labor (especially sealing the undercarriage). We also found no caulking around the shower enclosure or glass shower door, none around the under-counter kitchen sink, and about a 1/2 inch of caulking around the bathroom sink that doesn’t fit correctly. Every time we use the rig we have found one quality issue or another. We’ve replaced nearly all the plumbing throughout and found a lot of issues (loose hoses, patched hoses, different size hoses connected together to various faucets). The frustration level is off the charts but we know we’ll get it all squared away eventually.

Patrick Granahan
4 years ago
Reply to  Debra

No shortage of RV horror stories.
Moral of the story…” Never trust the
folks at Camping World”.

John Springer
4 years ago

I’ve had 2 messes. My toilet failed to shut off completely after a flush and slowly filled up until it overflowed and ran out into the “hall”. Happened a couple of times before I replaced the toilet.
One day I noticed some water stains on the outside near the water heater. Thought maybe the pressure vent was dripping, so didn’t pay much attention, but it did seem to be continuing. Then one day stepped into the bedroom and carpet was soaked. Turns out the water connector on the hot water heater had corroded and was leaking. It was 12 years old, which apparently around the design lifetime. I don’t know if my floor is damaged as I didn’t rip up the carpet. (It was in AZ in the summer, so dried pretty quick.)

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