What Would Cause A Bulge On The Side Wall Of Our RV?
by Leroy Leonhardt
We purchased a 1998 brave winnebego.We noticed a bulge in the left side.I don't see any sign of a leak inside the motorhome.
ANSWER Greetings Leroy thanks for submitting your question on our free Ask An RV Question Page.
Unfortunately it sounds like the side wall of your RV is delaminating. In the majority of cases delamination occurs when moisture gets into the wall and compromises the adhesive holding the RV laminated walls together. The fiberglass layer starts to separate from the rest of the layers of the wall.
This delamination will only get worse until the source of the moisture is discovered and repaired. Even though you may not see signs of leakage, the moisture is getting in-between the wall layers from somewhere.
Since you do not say exactly where on the RV the delamination is occurring, I will give you some suggestions on what to look for based on the location of the delamination.
If you notice the delamination is in close proximity to a window on the RV. Then in all likelihood that window has to be removed and resealed. The removal and resealing of an RV window is not as complicated as it sounds.
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If the delamination is showing close to the roof of the RV then the roof needs to be inspected for any leaks that would allow water to get between the layers of the wall.
If delamination is occurring below the interior floor line of the RV, you need to start checking for any water pipes running under the cabinets etc.
Leaks can also occur in areas located near any RV Accessory that is screwed into or mounted on the exterior RV walls. Examples would be Mirrors, Ladders, awnings, electrical sockets, lights, any exterior mounting brackets, etc. If this is the case, the RV accessory needs to be removed and reinstalled using new gaskets and insuring that all screws and fasteners are put back into place using the proper sealant on the threads, etc.
If you still cannot find the leak using the procedures above, there is one more possible cause you can look for. In some very rare cases, excessive heat has
caused the walls of certain RVs to delaminate. If you find that the delamination is in close proximity to a heat source such as a heater or water heater exhaust duct, etc. this might be the source of your problem. The heat can affect the adhesive.
In some even rarer instances dark colored decals on RVs that are exposed to desert like temperatures for a great length of time have caused some delamination to the walls under the decals.
Until the cause of the problem is found delamination will continue. If the delamination continues it can affect the structural integrity of the RV. So this is something that must be addressed immediately.
Delaminated RV walls can be repaired. That is the good news, the bad news is that it is not a do-it-yourself job and it can, depending on the severity of the delamination, be a very expensive repair. If you want to get it repaired, you should contact one of your local RV dealers and ask if they can recommend a company to do the repair. Most normal body shops cannot do these repairs. A quality RV body shop can do the repairs and will do the best they can at matching the gel coat color etc.
I am very sorry that this is happening to you. You do not say whether you bought this RV from a private seller or an RV dealer, either way when it comes to buying a used RV, they are usually sold AS-IS. That is why I recommend that anyone buying a used RV should perform a Used RV Inspection
I hope that you are able to get this problem resolved quickly, so you can get out there and start your RVing adventures.
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