How Much Does RV Water Damage Repair Cost?
Buying an RV can mean freedom, but it also comes with high repair costs for any water damage. RV water damage repair costs between $20 and $2,800, depending on the source and extent of the damage.
- The typical cost range to repair RV water damage is between $20 and $2,800.
- The exact cost of RV water damage repair will depend on the source and extent of the damage, the type of repair needed, labor costs, and how much (if any) of the repair is covered by RV insurance.
- Some of the most common signs that an RV has water damage include bubbling on the walls, roof, or floor; flaking paint or aluminum; squeaky walls or floors; mold or mildew spots; water stains or rust; puddles inside the RV; and unpleasant smells.
- Minor water repairs, such as resealing windows or replacing a leaky toilet, may be doable by a handy RV owner; however, more extensive damage needs to be tackled by a professional RV repair shop.
Buying an RV and hitting the road can be an exciting prospect. But the initial RV cost isn’t the only expense for owners to budget for; RV ownership also comes with costs for maintenance and repairs for issues such as water damage. Water damage repair costs for RVs can range from $20 to $2,800, depending on the source of the leak and the extent of the damage. Fixing leaks quickly can help mitigate any water damage to the interior of the RV, but in the event that water damage occurs, it’s important for the owner to get estimates and take care of it quickly whether they’re looking at RV flooring, RV wall, or RV slide-out water damage repair cost.
Factors in Calculating RV Water Damage Repair Costs
Finding a leak in an RV will likely leave the owner worried about repair costs. The cost of RV repairs depends on the damage source and the extent of the damage, including how long it’s gone unnoticed, the repair type, labor costs, and how much (if anything) RV insurance will cover.
Damage Source and Extent
RV water damage repair costs depend on the damage source and the extent of the damage. A leaking window, for instance, can cost as little as $20 to repair, while subfloor repair can cost close to $2,800. If the water leak has caused mold in camper walls or damage to the flooring, the costs to repair the damage may keep adding up.
Easy repairs such as resealing windows or tightening AC gaskets won’t cost very much, but more complicated repairs, like those to an RV refrigerator or RV water damage wall repair, can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Calling in a professional to complete the repairs can mean additional charges for labor.
Labor for RV repairs typically falls between $100 and $150 per hour, which can add a substantial amount to the cost depending on how extensive the repairs are. But the RV owner will also benefit from the knowledge and experience of RV repair professionals, which may save time in the long run. Deciding whether or not to do RV repairs themselves or hire a professional will come down to the owner’s knowledge and level of experience as well as the type of repair that needs to be done.
There are several types of RV insurance that can help protect owners financially in a variety of scenarios. Liability insurance (which helps pay for expenses to others if the RV driver causes an accident) is required by law, but additional coverages such as collision and comprehensive can protect the RV itself. In the event of a leak or a flood, an RV owner may wonder, “Does RV insurance cover water damage?” The answer will depend on the policy and the cause of the water damage, but generally speaking, comprehensive RV insurance will cover water damage only under certain circumstances. This means that something like mold in camper walls as a result of poor maintenance or not running a dehumidifier is unlikely to be covered by insurance. Water damage caused by a branch falling on the RV roof during a windstorm, on the other hand, is more likely to be covered. In general, RV owners will find the cost of RV insurance to be well worth it.
If an RV does sustain water damage from a covered peril, the owner can fill out an RV damage repair estimator with their insurance company and then make sure to follow the process for an RV insurance claim for water damage. The best RV insurance companies will ensure that policyholders have a full understanding of what RV insurance covers, what it does not, and how to make a claim.
Types of RV Water Damage Repair
RV water damage is likely the result of a leak somewhere in the RV. If a leak is the culprit, the owner will need to repair the damage and the leak to avoid problems in the future. Leaks, when caught early, can be repaired fairly quickly and typically without costing too much money. Window leaks, in particular, are pretty easy to fix and won’t cost much. Roof or appliance leaks, on the other hand, can be expensive. RV repair labor rates can get pricey, so if it’s possible for the RV owner to fix the damage themselves, they may be able to save money on the repairs.
|Repair Type||Average Cost|
|Appliance leaks||$200 to $1,600|
|Delamination||$100 to $1,000 and up|
|Floor damage||$12 to $3,000|
|Window leaks||$20 to $100|
RV appliances are typically more expensive than standard appliances, and the same goes for their repairs. If the refrigerator is leaking, it can cost up to $1,000 to have the leak fixed. A new RV refrigerator can cost as little as $200 or as much as $1,000 or more for high-end versions.
If the AC is leaking into the RV, the cause could be loose gaskets or a plugged drain hole. The fix for these problems may not require any money, just a little elbow grease to tighten the gaskets and clean the drain hole. If the AC needs to be replaced, a new unit can cost $1,600 including the labor to install it.
If the leak is coming from the toilet, it’s actually one of the less expensive fixes. A new toilet costs around $130 for a basic model, and the RV owner may be able to replace it themselves fairly easily.
Delamination is essentially when bonded layers separate. When it comes to delamination in RVs, it occurs in the walls where different materials are bonded together. RV walls are constructed with layers of wood and insulation between the inner and outer walls all bonded together with adhesive. When water gets into the wall, it compromises and weakens the adhesive and causes delamination, giving the wall a wavy, bubbled, or warped look.
For minor RV delamination repair, owners can purchase an RV delamination repair kit for between $100 and $300, but this is only intended for minor repairs. If larger areas are affected by delamination, a professional may charge an hourly labor rate plus the cost of materials and parts to repair delamination. In some cases, where the walls of the RV are warped or have grown mold or mildew, delamination repair may not be possible—and if it is, the costs can run into the thousands.
Flooding is every homeowner’s and RV owner’s nightmare. If flooding occurs, getting the RV as dry as possible as quickly as possible is the main goal. Once the water recedes, getting everything dried out will require fans and dehumidifiers. It’s likely that the flooring and even portions of the wall will need to be removed and replaced. It’s possible some instances of flooding could be covered by RV insurance policy, so if the water damage was caused by a flood, the owner may only have to pay the deductible while insurance covers most of the cost.
If a leak goes unnoticed for a long period of time, the flooring and subflooring can become weak and damaged. Soft spots in the floor can indicate a rotting subfloor, and mold and mildew can grow on the actual flooring and may be the first sign that there’s a problem. Regarding camper floor replacement, it can cost $15 per sheet for laminate and $12 per sheet for vinyl. It can cost upwards of $3,000 to hire a professional to take care of subfloor replacement, but RV owners can likely do the repairs themselves with the right tools.
Fixing pipe leaks in an RV can be tricky because the pipes are typically in tight spaces and can be difficult to access. Pipes can be found under the RV and in the wall, so the first step to fixing a pipe leak is to identify the leaking pipe. The cost for RV leak repairs caused by pipes will depend on the extent of the leak and the amount of damage the RV sustained.
Fixing an RV roof is one of the more expensive RV projects, with some roof repairs costing nearly $2,800 to complete. Making sure the roof is properly sealed and maintained can help RV owners avoid the high costs of RV roof repair. The earlier a leak is caught and fixed, the less likely the owner will have to fix water damage, so inspecting the roof regularly and keeping an eye out for any water coming in through the roof is essential to keeping the RV water-free.
A minor window leak can turn into a major issue if it isn’t fixed. If a window is leaking, water can seep in through the seams and run down into the walls, eventually causing delamination. Fixing a window leak can be as simple as buying a silicone sealant and applying it to the window seams or removing the window and adding new sealant tape before reinstalling it. This process can cost about $20 for sealant or around $100 to replace the sealant tape.
Do I need RV water damage repair?
Owning an RV means being vigilant and always on the lookout for leaks that can lead to water damage. The cost of RV ownership will likely include repairs, but the sooner the leaks or issues are spotted, the easier and less expensive they’ll be to fix. Keeping an eye out for bubbling walls, flaking paint, puddles, stains, and mold are just a few of the things that can alert RV owners that there is water damage that requires immediate attention.
Bubbling Walls, Roof, or Floor
As with any structure, RVs come with the possibility that there’s a leak letting water into the walls, roof, or floor, but the actual leak may not be visible. If the walls, roof, or floor look like they’re bubbled or warped, it’s time for the owner to do some investigating to see if there’s damage that needs to be fixed. Bubbling happens when water gets between the outside and inside walls and is likely a result of delamination of the interior of the wall.
Flaking Paint or Aluminum
The clear coat that covers the paint on an RV is a protective layer that will keep water from damaging the exterior of the RV. If the clear coat is flaking off, leaving bare paint or aluminum, it will need to be recoated to protect the RV from water damage. If the walls of the RV are warped or bubbled, it could also cause the paint to flake and could alert the owner to a larger issue.
Squeaky Walls and Floors
If the wall or floors have become wet, they may warp or become soft, both of which can lead to a squeaky wall or floor. If an RV owner notices a squeaky spot in the walls or the floors, more investigation may need to happen to find out if there’s a larger problem.
Mold and Mildew
Mold and mildew are a result of sustained moisture that allows mold spores to thrive and grow. Mold is typically green, red, or black and has a fuzzy appearance. Mildew appears to be flat, and it turns brown after initially appearing white or gray. Mold can grow on many different surfaces, including ceilings and walls, while mildew is more often seen on shower walls. Both give off a musty, stale smell. Seeing mold or mildew is an indication that the RV may have sustained water damage, but RV owners will want to be aware of any smell that may indicate its presence.
Water Stains or Rust
If there’s a leak, the actual water may escape notice, but once the water dries, it can leave behind a telltale brown ring, typically with darker edges. Water stains are often found on the ceiling if the roof is leaking, but they can be found on the walls and the floor as well. If screws become rusted, that could also be an indication that there’s a water leak that needs to be fixed.
Puddles on the floor of the RV are not only an indicator of a big problem, but the damage that they cause will also need to be fixed. After the leak is fixed, the area where the puddle was will need to be thoroughly dried out using fans and a dehumidifier, and the owners will need to be on the lookout for signs of water damage even after it’s dry. Things like a soft spot where the puddle was or mold growth can indicate water damage that needs to be addressed.
Tracking down an unpleasant smell is never fun, but if the RV is clean and free of trash and there’s still an unpleasant smell, it may be the result of untreated water damage. Finding the source of the smell may reveal water-damaged areas that need to be repaired.
RV Water Damage Repair: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
One thing that RVers are known for is their ability to tackle projects and make repairs while on the road. They’re often moving from place to place and don’t have time to wait on repairs, but depending on the damage, water damage repair may be worth the wait. Some water damage repair can be tackled by the owner—things like resealing windows and replacing the toilet can be done with a few tools and a little know-how. But other projects, like sealing the roof or tracking down a leaky pipe, are often better left to the professionals who have experience with RV repairs and have likely seen issues like it before.
Another consideration is the extent of the water damage. While the RV owner may be able to fix the leak themselves, if there’s extensive water damage, they may not have the skills or time to fix it. Replacing RV floors and walls or repairing the roof can be a big project. If water damage is extensive, it may be worth parking the rig for a few days or weeks to allow time for everything to be fixed properly.
How to Save Money on RV Water Damage Repair Costs
RV water damage repair costs can add up quickly, but there are a few ways to save money that may also save some time and allow RVers to get back on the road.
- Instead of taking the RV directly to the RV repair shop, you may be able to hire another repair professional. For instance, if the cabinets need to be repaired, a carpenter may be able to do it. If the floor needs to be redone, a professional flooring expert may be the way to go.
- Regularly inspect the RV for leaks and fix them immediately.
- Keep a tool box handy for any repairs that need to be done on the fly to prevent them from turning into larger issues.
- Use quality parts when doing upgrades or repairs to prevent the parts from failing down the road.
Questions to Ask About RV Water Damage Repair
If the leak or the water damage requires professional repairs, RV owners will want to ask questions that will give them all the information they need about how much it will cost and how long it will take. This is especially important if they are on the road and need to keep to an itinerary or adjust it to account for repair time.
- How long will repairs take?
- Can I stay in the RV while they’re being completed or do I need to find different lodging?
- How much will it cost?
- Do you offer written estimates?
- How accurate do the estimates tend to be?
- Is there anything I can do to prepare the RV for repairs?
RV ownership can be an incredible adventure, but it also comes with a lot of maintenance and the possibility of water damage if the RV springs a leak. Understanding the answers to some frequently asked questions can help better prepare RV owners so they know how to tackle water damage repair.
Q. Is water damage fixable in a RV?
Water damage in an RV will likely be fixable, but the extent of the water damage will determine how long it will take and how much it will cost. Extensive water damage, like a damaged subfloor, or leaks in refrigerators can cost more than $1,000, but other leaks, such as a leaking window, can be fixed relatively quickly and cheaply.
Q. How do you repair a tear in an RV roof?
Repairing a tear in an RV roof depends on how severe the tear is. For small tears, you can use caulk to seal them up. But for larger tears or holes, you’ll need to use a patch consisting of rubber roof and leak repair tape and then coat it with sealant to ensure a tight seal.
Q. How do you fix a hole in an RV interior wall?
Before fixing a hole in an RV interior wall, determine what caused the hole. If it’s a puncture from something hitting the wall or an old screw hole, then you can use putty or caulk to fill the hole. If it’s a larger hole or a result of water damage, you may need to remove and replace the wall panel and add more insulation or replace damaged framing.