Is Your RV Shower Leaking? It May Be by Design

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An RV shower head

The last thing any RV owner wants is a leaking shower in their home on wheels. However, we’ve seen quite a few people discovering that some leaks are there by design. 

Unfortunately, you’ll likely regret it if you don’t investigate any odd water you find. Trust us; this is one mistake you want to avoid.

If your RV shower leaks, we may have some good news. Let’s take a closer look at the situation.

RVers Are Experiencing Leaky Showers

Across the RV community, we’ve seen increased complaints regarding leaking showers. As mentioned, these issues anywhere in an RV are serious business and not something you should ignore. However, most of these owners have experienced the same problem in the exact location.

They typically notice the leak shortly after using the shower. A few minutes after finishing up, they’ll hear a steady drip. This can continue for 5 to 10 minutes. Those who use their shower space for storage can end up with their stuff getting wet.

Before you go off and get frustrated, what if we told you that this was by design and that many of these individuals aren’t experiencing any issues whatsoever? If you’re trying to get to the bottom of your situation, this might be the answer you’ve been looking for.

Why Do These Showers Leak?

Some shower faucets come with an anti-siphon device. Uncoincidentally, many complaints come from RVers with these types of faucets. However, these devices are there for a couple of reasons, but not to cause frustration.

These parts release any built-up pressure in the water line. With weeks between trips, you want to avoid water remaining in the hose. It doesn’t take long before the water becomes stagnant as it sits. This can cause bacteria to grow and affect the quality of the water.

Additionally, many RVs use handheld shower wands to make it easy to rinse off. However, because RV bathrooms are small, you could drop the showerhead into the toilet. This could allow contaminated water to flow back into the clean water supply. This could create a potentially dangerous situation.

These steady drips help clean out the hose to prevent these types of issues.

An RV bathroom

Signs You Have an Unwanted Water Leak in Your RV

While the shower leak may be there for a reason, that’s not always the situation. Let’s look at a few signs of an unwanted water leak in your RV.

Visible Water

One of the most obvious indications of a leak is finding water where it shouldn’t be. It doesn’t matter how big or small the puddle is; it could signify a significant issue.

Some common locations include under the kitchen or bathroom cabinets and the floor. Stay alert to discover these issues as soon as possible. 

Musty Odors

When water sits, it doesn’t take long for mold and other bacteria to grow. This typically results in an unpleasant musty odor. While smells from the bathroom are a part of life, we’re talking about a different smell.

The musty smell has a very earthy and damp odor to it. Some believe it smells like wet or rotting leaves. The longer you ignore it, the smell will likely grow. It often occurs when water deteriorates materials or sits in water lines too long.

Water Pump Cycles Randomly

An RV water pump activates anytime you open a faucet or flush the toilet. This is because it releases the built-up pressure in the water lines. It will continue to pump water until it can pressurize the system.

However, if your water pump is cycling randomly when you haven’t used water, it can indicate a leak. The drip in the system causes the pressure in the lines to drop, and the water pump continues doing its job. 

This typically occurs in intervals because the leak will continually release pressure. The frequency will depend on the severity of the leak.

Reduced Water Pressure

You could have a leak if you experience issues with reduced water pressure. One easy way to check this is to see how much pressure you get at the primary water source. If the water coming out of your potable water hose is sufficient, you’ve got a problem with your RV.

The water pressure may release somewhere else. Unfortunately, it’s likely getting released in your camper’s plumbing system. On the other hand, if you get low pressure at the water source, you likely have nothing to worry about.

Stained or Bubbling Surfaces

If you see stains or bubbling on surfaces, you must act immediately. Water that sits on wood or other materials that absorb moisture will start to deteriorate. Stains and bubbles are some of the first indications of these situations.

The sooner you address the issue, the more you can minimize the potential damage. Procrastinating or ignoring the problem isn’t going to do you any favors. It doesn’t take long before you have a significant situation on your hands. You could end up with an RV that’s unsafe to use.

What to Do If You Discover a Water Leak

You need to spring into action if you discover a water leak. How you respond can reduce damage and the cost of repairs. So don’t delay addressing a water leak in your RV.

Shut Off Water

The first thing that you need to do is shut off the water at the source. Whether using your water pump or a spigot, letting more water in will only increase the issue. Depending on the severity of the situation, you may not get to use water in your rig until you remedy the leak.

You’ll need to use alternate bathrooms for showering and the toilet during this time. This may be fine if parked in a campground. On the other hand, if you’re boondocking, it could be a significant problem and nearly impossible to ignore.

Assess Damage

With the water shut off, you now need to assess the damage. Look closer at the leak and determine what might have caused it. Unfortunately, parts can wear down and break over time. Even brand-new RVs straight from the manufacturer aren’t immune to issues.

You also want to avoid assuming that there’s only one leak. If you discover one, you may have more. Look for any other potential issues. This can help you address the current one and prevent future incidents.

Keep in Mind: Should You Turn Your Water Off When You Leave the RV? Let’s take a look!

Dry the Area

The size of the leak will determine what you’ll need to clean it up. For more significant ones, you may need several towels. On the other hand, a minor leak may only require a paper towel or napkin. 

Take your time and clean up all the water you can. If it gets on wood or carpet, use dehumidifiers and open the space up to help it dry faster.

If you want to avoid having an even bigger situation on your hands, don’t use your good bath towels or those fancy decorative towels. 

An RV shower

Locate and Repair the Leak

Now comes the point where you need to take your time. You don’t want to “fix” one situation only to create a different one. Locate the leak and come up with a plan to repair it. Thankfully, YouTube exists.

If you’re experiencing an issue, there’s a good chance you’re not the first. You can likely find someone who has created a video that walks you through the repair. Whether replacing a broken faucet or fixing water line connections, you can find videos to help you.

Before starting the repair, make sure you gather all of the parts and tools you’ll need. The project will take longer if you make several trips to the local hardware store.

Watch for Future Issues

Once you fix the leak, you want to watch for future issues to develop. Use your eyes, ears, and nose to stay aware of the potential for another leak. Again, you must catch these as early as possible to avoid extensive damage.

Watch your entire plumbing system, not just where you repaired it. A separate issue could develop while you’re distracted by the original leak. So be vigilant in your fight against preventing water leaks in your RV.

Keep in Mind: Do you have a leaking RV toilet? See how to troubleshoot your toilet!

Call a Professional When Necessary

Unfortunately, there may come a time when you find yourself in over your head. In these instances, throwing in the towel and calling in a professional is best. 

There’s no shame in doing so. It’s better to pay someone to do the job right than to do it yourself and do it wrong.

Do plenty of research when selecting a professional. Ideally, you want an RV mobile technician to come directly to you and your camper. Many of these individuals know how RV systems function. Someone with only residential experience may be working outside of their expertise.

A person repairing their leaky shower in their RV

RV Shower Leaks May Be Nothing to Worry About

Hopefully, you fall into the camp where the RV shower leak is nothing to worry about. However, we know that’s not going to be the case for all of you. If the anti-siphon device isn’t your problem, don’t give up. 

Most RV plumbing issues are relatively easy to fix if you have the right tools. Whatever you do, don’t delay getting to the bottom of your leaky situation.

Does your shower drip after use?

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