Are there any travel trailers that don’t leak?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are there any travel trailers that don’t leak? We will discuss the main reasons why travel trailers have leaks and how to fix them, step-by-step. 

Are there any travel trailers that don’t leak?

Yes, there are travel trailers that don’t leak. There is no brand name or model that we can guarantee is perfect and that will have no issues because the promise that an X brand won’t leak is just this – a promise.  Owners that do not have water leaks problems aren’t lucky, they just know how to prevent any future issues. 

It is important to know why the water is leaking on the roof so you can prevent and repair them in time. In general, leaks are born by:

  • Water accumulation on the travel trailer roof (fibreglass roofs can hold up to 550 lbs water accumulation);
  • The age of the trailer (all materials have an estimated lifetime) 
  • Climatic conditions (depending on the weather conditions, the roofs can last more or less time.) 
  • Lack of maintenance (they deteriorate in an accelerated way so it is essential to do regular repairs)
  • Low-quality materials (it is important to invest in the best materials) 
  • Broken pipes and leaks (regular maintenance will prevent this). 

As you can see, there is no luck, just proper maintenance and care for your travel trailer. 

How to prevent water leaks in my travel trailer?

We know how annoying leaks can be, ruining floors, furniture and causing annoying noise throughout our camper. That is why we bring you some tips to avoid these horrible leaks.

Make regular checks. It is important to do a periodic review from time to time to ensure that there is no type of damage to this material. This periodicity should increase in rainy seasons since this is when our roofs tend to receive the most damage. Remember that minor damage is always easier to repair.

Constant maintenance. It is very important to make sure that our sheet roof is clean, so we recommend cleaning the area so that the water continues to flow out of your camper. It is also important to repair any detail that we notice before it becomes a big problem.

Review the drainage process. Sheet ceilings are placed in an angular position so that the water can go down and does not get stuck on the ceiling. We must check that this drain works correctly to prevent water from stagnating damaging our roof.

Check the corners of the walls. The corners created between the ceiling and the walls are the main ones in showing us damage to our ceiling. It is essential to check that there are no cracks in this area that could become a leak. In case of finding deterioration, we must cover the crack with cement or a sealer.

Cover the leaks. If we find holes in our fibreglass roof through which water can pass, we must place a layer of cement in this area, this will block the passage of water, protecting our home from the rains.

Replace excessively damaged blades. In case of finding many leaks, or one with a large size, the ideal is to change the sheet that protects our camper.

How do I find the leak source in my travel trailer?

To find a leak in your camper you will have to do some detective work and search for clues in order to identify the source of the issue. Thus, you will have to search for cracks, worn and damaged spots, thinning or any other type of damage in the following places:

  • On the roof and the skylight of your caravan;
  • Near the windows, doors and vents;
  • Check the water heater and the AC;
  • The portable water tank and the city water tank.

To know if there is water infiltration without having a hygrometer, you will have to check the four corners of the interior walls of the RV as well as the corners of the extension from the floor to the ceiling including the cabinets. 

How to repair the leaking roof of a travel trailer 

Travel trailer roofs are the main source of leaks in the camper. Here are three common issues with travel trailer roofs and the solutions:

The ProblemThe Solution
PorosityCleaning, defoamingWaterproofing 
Cracking, hole, micro-holeCleaning, defoamingTreatment of cracks with polyurethane sealant 410Waterproofing resin with fabric fibre
Defective sealDisassemblyCleaningApplication of polyurethane sealant 410

Repair travel trailer leaking roof step-by-step

The solution to repairing a travel trailer roof that leaks is liquid waterproofing it. The choice of this resin comes down to asking the question: is there or not water stagnation when it rains? Is my roof flat or has a slight slope?

After choosing the right waterproofing resin, prepare and clean the roof of your travel trailer:

  1.  Surface preparation. The roof should be:
  • Healthy, have good cohesion: all non-adherent parts will be removed by brushing, scraping or washing. In the case of ferrous metals, neutralization of the rust is essential beforehand.
  • Disinfected: in the case of materials covered with microorganisms (moss, algae, mould, etc.), remove as much as possible by brushing and scraping. Then apply a layer of Defoamer on all the parts to be sanitized. Wait for 24 to 48 hours before continuing the treatment.
  • Perfectly dry (humidity level less than 8%, measure it using a hygrometer).
  • Clean: free from all traces of dirt.
  1.  Crack treatment. The discontinuities of the support (connections, heterogeneous supports, cracks, defective seals) lead to the rupture of the sealing plane. It is important to treat them before starting to apply the sealing resin. 

Indeed, heterogeneous supports are likely to deform in different ways with temperature variations and create gaps where water can flow. Here is the method to be followed for the treatment of these singular points, and for the application of the chosen sealing resin:

  • Apply the PU sealant around the joint with polyurethane sealant 410, depending on the sealing resin chosen. 
  • Primer: dilute the waterproofing resin with water to maximize adhesion and allow it to dry.
  • 24 hours later, application of a pure layer of waterproofing resin. In the fresh resin: application, glueing and smoothing of the non-woven polyester reinforcement.
  • 24 hours later, application of a final layer of waterproofing resin.
  1. Redo a defective bay window seal: In some cases, it is necessary to completely dismantle the bay window which poses the problem with the greatest care. The bay is attached to the bracket with only two things: the original sealant, and screws that will need to be removed first. If the original sealant resists, you should gently run a plaster knife between the support and the bay.
  • Clean well until the support is exposed.
  • Apply a new CC caravan silicone sealant (as originally).
  • Present the bay window which will be carefully screwed back to its original location. The new putty will be crushed and thus recreated the seal.

Conclusions

If you don’t manage to find the leak source in your travel trailer, you could take the vehicle to a service or motorhome specialist. They would be able to find the source of the leak and repair it.

In some (very) rare cases, the source of the leak can be behind the tank which is a place hard to access. Sometimes the whole thing needs to be taken apart in order to find the source of the leak and fix it.  

In the long term, water can cause significant damage: detachment, buckling, blistering. Mould can also form. That’s why it’s better to prevent water leaks by regularly maintaining and cleaning your caravan. 

If you have any comments or questions on the content, please let us know.

FAQ about Are there any travel trailers that don’t leak?

Do hybrid trailers leak?

Yes, hybrid trailers can leak between the canvas and you may have to deal with the costs of water damage repairs if you do not carefully seal your trailer. 

Do pop up campers leak when it rains?

Yes, pop-up campers may leak when it rains. Why? First, because they are not waterproof. Second, because your camper canvas is probably torn or seriously damaged. You must always check your camper before every trip for holes in the canvas or the roof, as they are mainly responsible for water leaks. 

Do fibreglass campers leak?

Yes, fibreglass campers leak, just like any other camper. We know this is not what you wanted to hear, but let’s see what are the common causes of campers leaks and discuss how to repair and prevent them. 

How do you know if you have a water leak?

Some of the signs that there may be a leak are:

  • A hot spot on the ground.
  • A water heater that does not turn off.
  • Sound of running water when accessories, such as the toilet, are not being used.
  • Water from a point under the wall.
  • Hot water from a cold water tap.

How to detect a water leak in the wall?

Some of the signs that there is water leaking the wall are: feeling a hot area on the floor, listening to the sound of water passing through the bathroom or kitchen accessories, seeing areas of water on the floor, noticing large damp stains on the wall, notice that water comes out of the cold water tap. 

How to minimize the risk of camper leaks?

Regular inspection of the seals, at least twice a year, will allow you to minimize the risk of water infiltration and leaks in a camper. If you find that the gaskets are crumbling or peeling, it is time to replace them.

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