Monday, August 8, 2022


Maintaining your rig: Conduct an RV exterior evaluation

By Dustin Simpson, California RV Specialists
For most people, an RV will be the second largest purchase of their lifetime, after a house. For many of our customers here at California RV Specialists, their RV is their home. Whether you have a million-dollar unit or an entry-level rig, our message to you will be the same: It needs to be maintained. Today, we are doing an exterior evaluation on this 2018 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS. Our Exterior Evaluation series was created to help guide you when inspecting your own unit for routine maintenance. So let’s take a look in the video below.

Grand Design RV exterior evaluation

Inspecting insert moldings

Insert moldings have a tendency to shrink and crack over time. This allows dirt and water to get behind them and can cause unseen water damage over time. Depending on use and where your unit is stored, we recommend insert moldings be removed and replaced every 3–5 years. Insert moldings are offered in multiple colors; however, the most popular are white and black. More on maintaining and replacing insert molding here.

Inspecting RV exterior body sealants

Exterior body sealants should routinely be inspected for any cracks or voids. Whether it was missed by the factory or simply needs to be touched up due to weather and time, keeping up with the body sealants prevents water damage throughout the body of the unit. There are several brands and colors available. Our seasoned technicians favor BOSS 378 in the “color” clear. Applying body sealants can be a work of art, and clear is forgiving!

The mega-protector!

303 Aerospace Protectant has been on the market for years, and for good reason! Putting this product on anything plastic or vinyl is like putting sunscreen on you and me. It prevents items from shrinking, cracking and fading in color. This product is perfect to extend the life of your awning, fender skirts, decals, vents, vent covers … the list is endless!

Inspecting your RV’s roof

Your RV is only as good as its roof. Roof sealants should be inspected, cleaned and touched up often. Self-Leveling Lap Sealant by Dicor should be used on any flat surface, while Non-sag is used on corners and side seams.

Attic vent

The attic vent shown in the video above is a popular version used on Grand Design units.  These are an easy fix when broken and are offered in white and black.

Whether your unit is 20 years old or brand-new, we hope you take the time to conduct an RV exterior evaluation to inspect and protect your investment! Subscribe to our channel to see what else is going on in the shop!




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21 days ago

So with a straight face, author says: “we recommend insert moldings be removed and replaced every 3–5 years”. That’s ridiculous. If they are that problematic they should not be in the build design. Especially given that it’s not exactly easy for thousands of RV owners to get repair shop time for non-urgent fixes.

21 days ago
Reply to  wanderer

It baffles me too. In pointing these thing out, it makes me think this was a poorly built DIY project. My dad’s first trailer in the 1950s evidently was built better than this. It came from the car and landed on its side and only the door handle was damaged. How can an industry move backwards so fast?

larry s.
14 days ago
Reply to  KellyR


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