Can You Repair RV Delamination?

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An rv with delamination

RV delamination has more than four letters, but it’s still a bad word that no RVer wants to hear.

However, it’s not uncommon for RVs to experience delamination. Unfortunately, once you finally notice the damage, you can have a serious issue on your hands.

So what is RV delamination, and can you repair it yourself? Let’s look closely and see if it’s as bad as everyone says.

Let’s dive in!

What Is RV Delamination?

RV delamination occurs in fiberglass RVs when the layers of fiberglass or gel coating separate from the backing materials. The backing is typically plywood or luan.

The materials separate from one another due to moisture getting between the various layers in the RV’s structure.

You may notice small cracks or bumps on the exterior surface of your RV. These situations do not fix themselves and tend to accelerate with time. The longer you put off addressing the issue, the more extensive the repair will likely be.

An rv with delamination

What Causes RV Delamination?

RV delamination is typically the result of moisture between the various layers of an RV’s structure. This often results from a sealing failing to protect the RV from water intrusion.

If you want to protect your rig from RV delamination, keep up with maintaining your seals. Many RV warranties require owners to inspect their seals regularly and may even deny warranty claims if there’s evidence that you haven’t kept up maintenance on the rig.

How to Identify Delamination on Your RV 

There are typically several signs of delamination in an RV.

First, you’re likely to notice bubbles or small cracks on the exterior walls of your RV. These tiny bubbles will grow and expand as the gel coating and fiberglass layers separate from the wood or luan backing materials.

Additionally, you may notice that walls in your RV start to expand or bulge as the cracks and spots grow. You must take action immediately if you see any of these signs in your RV.

What Happens If You Don’t Fix RV Delamination?

You’re making a significant mistake if you don’t immediately jump on fixing delamination in your RV.

Unless you do something about it, the problem will only worsen. What could be a simple fix might grow into a costly repair. 

How Much Does It Cost to Repair RV Delamination?

If you spring into action before the situation gets out of hand, there’s a chance a DIY repair kit will do the job. These kits typically cost $100 to $300 but are excellent options for more minor delamination repairs.

On the other hand, if you put off addressing the issue until you have no choice but to address it, repairs can easily cost $1000 or more. These repairs can be costly and broad.

You may end up replacing an entire wall of your rig. RV insurance and warranty coverages often deny claims, leaving you footing the bill for these repairs.

Can You Repair RV Delamination?

The key to repairing RV delamination is to take action as quickly as possible. This issue is repairable, but the more extensive the damage, the more challenging the repair.

Some repairs may be too much for even the most experienced professionals. In these cases, it may require tremendous work on your rig to get it back into shape. 

Keep in Mind: What Does an RVIA Certification Sticker on Your RV Mean? Click the link to find out!

An rv with delamination

What to Do If You Find Delamination on Your RV

If you find delamination on your RV, there are a few things you must do immediately. Delaying will only make the situation worse and likely cost you more money.

Inspect All of Your Seals

The first thing you must do is inspect all your seals. You’ll want to locate how and where the moisture causing the problem is getting into your RV.

You’ll want to check the seals around all edges of your RV, including the roof, windows, and any other spots where the manufacturer cut holes into the fiberglass of your RV.

The sealant on your RV will deteriorate with time, especially if your rig spends a significant period in the sun. If there’s a gap in your sealant or a seal fails, water will eventually creep into your RV and cause delamination. 

Purchase DIY Kit

If you’re dealing with a minor fiberglass issue, a DIY RV delamination kit might be worth considering.

However, you don’t want to take on a project you can’t handle. You could make the situation worse by trying to save a few bucks.

These kits can cost $100 to $300, but you can easily double the cost of repairs if you don’t know what you’re doing. Fixing this issue isn’t easy, and it takes skills and experience to do it right.

Trust a Professional

If you need to take your rig to a professional, expect to pay $1,000+ for the repair. However, knowing they complete your repair correctly is worth the premium price tag.

Don’t make the mistake of being too proud to trust a professional with the job.

If you try to do the task yourself, you could make the situation substantially worse and then ultimately have to explain to the professional how you made a wrong choice. 

Keep in Mind: Somethings you’ll want to leave to the professionals, but there are 5 Annual RV Maintenance Tasks Every RVer Can Do!

An rv with delamination about to be fixed

Don’t Ignore RV Delamination on Your RV

You should never ignore RV delamination on your RV, no matter the age of your RV.

If you don’t immediately address the issue, you could have an RV with a one-way trip to the junkyard. In the most severe cases, an RV could be a total loss.

However, if you quickly address and repair the issue correctly, you can fix most minor issues. Trust us; you don’t want to ignore or wait to take action regarding RV delamination.

Have you checked your RV for delamination lately?

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