The most basic tool in your toolbox is the one that can save you a lot of time and money. With a simple leak detector, you can find leaks before they become major problems.
When you have to replace a hatch cover, it’s usually because it’s leaking. The first thing to do when replacing a hatch cover is to test it for leaks.
A simple way to testing for leaking hatch cover is with soap suds. Fill the tub with water and add some soap suds. If there are any leaks, bubbles will form around them as the water passes through the hole or crack in the vinyl.
If you don’t want to use soap suds, simply fill your tub with water and look for bubbles on top of your liner as well as anywhere where there may be a leak such as corners or cracks in vinyl.
If you have a leaking hatch cover, this method will help you determine the extent of the damage. You just need to pour water over the area where there’s a leak and see whether it starts seeping through or not. If there’s no leakage but there is a small amount of moisture on top, then it’s likely that there’s some kind of condensation issue going on and not a leaky hatch cover situation. If however, there’s no moisture on top but there’s evidence of seepage underneath, then you know that there really is something wrong with your hatch cover.
Before you decide that the problem is with your hatch cover, check the seal between the cover and the hull. This seal should be tight, but if it isn’t, water will seep through this area. To check this seal, lift up on one corner of the hatch cover and look underneath at where it sits against the hull. If there are gaps between these two surfaces, then you need to reseal them before proceeding.
First, you need to determine where the leak is coming from. Most of the time, it will be where the cover meets the roof of your camper. If you have a hard top, the seal may be around the sides or front of your camper.
Start by checking the weatherstripping around your door or window to make sure it hasn’t worn out over time. If it has, replace it with new weatherstripping that matches your original material and fit as closely as possible. If you don’t know what kind of weatherstripping goes on your camper, check with a local parts store or look online for instructions on replacing it yourself before attempting any repairs yourself.
Once you’ve replaced any damaged weatherstripping if necessary, use a screwdriver or awl to pry off any caulking around your door or window opening so that you can see what’s underneath it when the weatherstripping is removed from around the perimeter of your door or window opening on your RV.