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Leaky RV Slide-Out? How To Find & Fix Leaks In RV Slide-Outs

How To Seal An RV Slide Out To Keep Water Out

It has been a rainy spring in Idaho. We have had several weeks of rain pouring down.

I was sitting working at my desk with my feet on the carpet when I suddenly felt that my feet were wet.

Related Product: Dicor Butyl RV Seal Tape (click to view on Amazon)

At first, I thought my wife had spilled something. When I took a closer look, I felt the water all along the side of my slide out. The carpet was soaked!

It was still raining cats and dogs, but I had to go out and check how the water was getting in, and I quickly found the issue.

See Also: 6 Best Exterior RV Caulks For Camper Window, Molding & Trim

The seal where the slide-out wall meets the floor had cracks in it.

The sealant hadn’t been replaced and reapplied since the trailer was manufactured back in 2013.

This is where the water got in:

Cracks in a leaky RV slide out
Water often runs down the side of an RV slide out and gets into the floor through cracks in the sealant.


Cracks in the caulk of an RV slide out that is letting water inside.
The caulk along the sides of RV slide outs often wears out quickly and needs to be replaced.

With cracks in the sealant, water could get in behind the strip and into the screw holes.

Of course, we should have looked at this and noticed the big crack and realized that it would cause issues, but at least we have learned our lesson!

We’re hoping that by posting this, others will check their slides and prevent leaks before they happen.

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Resealing the slide-out strip

What we did to fix the leak was to remove the strip. It was about six screws that had to come out. Then we cleaned the strip, the wall and let them both dry off.

Putting it back on is as easy as taking it off, and we did so after putting non-leveling lap sealant (click to view on Amazon) throughout the whole back of the strip and screwing it back on.

We finished it off with a sealant on both the top and the bottom of the strip to create a completely watertight seal.

Maintaining a Watertight Seal

Now, to maintain the watertight seal, you need to check this seal every month to make sure the sealant hasn’t cracked or fallen off.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to go over your whole trailer and check every seal there is.

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There are a lot of places on your RV where sealant keeps the water out of your RV, and each of these places needs to be maintained and resealed if damaged.

travel trailer rv with a leaky slide out that's been fixed quickly
The RV slide out on our Travel Trailer hasn’t leaked since we fixed it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the common causes of leaks in RV slide-outs?

Common causes of leaks in RV slide-outs are worn-out seals and gaskets, damaged parts, improper installation, unlevel camper.

The most likely culprit is going to be worn out or damaged sealant like what our RV had.

Sometimes if your RV is unlevel enough the slid-out might leak because it’s leaning towards the camper too much.

How can I check if my RV slide-out is leaking?

You can see if your RV slide-out is leaking by looking for water stains, mold, or musty odors in or around the slide-out.

Look for visible gaps or cracks in the seals and gaskets when the slide-out is extended or retracted. Big holes or damage in sealant means water is definitely getting in.

Are there things I can do to avoid leaks in my RV slide-out?

Preventative measures you can take to help stop leaks in RV slide-outs include regularly inspecting and maintaining seals and gaskets, ensuring proper installation and alignment of the slide-out mechanism, keeping the slide-out area clean and free of debris, and storing the RV with the slide-out in during periods of non-use.

What if my RV slide-out has been leaking for a long time?

Ignoring a leaking RV slide-out can lead to extensive water damage, including rotting of the floor and subflooring, mold growth, and structural deterioration.

If it seems like there’s been a leak for a while make sure you check the subflooring and walls around the leak.

If anything is moldy or damaged you will need to replace or patch it.

Can I fix a leak in my RV slide-out myself, or do I need professional assistance?

Whether you can fix a leak in your RV slide-out yourself depends on the extent of the damage and your level of expertise.

Minor leaks may be repairable with sealant or replacement gaskets, but more significant issues may require professional assistance.

How often should I inspect my RV slide-out for potential leaks?

It’s a good idea to check your RV slide-out for potential leaks regularly, ideally before and after each trip.

I usually walk around my RV and do a quick visual inspection of the caulking. It only takes a few minutes and I’ve been able to catch and patch some small problem areas quickly.

What’s the fastest way to fix a water leak in an RV?

EternaBond (click to view on Amazon) is an RV sealant tape you can put over any holes or cracked sealant on the outside of a camper. It’s fantastic because it’s easier to store than an opened tube of sealant.

It’s very clean, easy to use, and it works longer and better than most sealants. I recommend having a roll of this stuff in your RV storage compartment at all times. If you find leaks when camping you can fix them right away.

See Also: RV Rubber Roof Repair: When to Repair, Reseal or Replace

If you have found water leaks in your RV, or have something to add to this post, please leave a comment down below.

by Jesse
Jesse has always had an interest in camping, technology, and the outdoors. Who knew that growing up in a small town in Sweden with endless forests and lakes would do that to you?

4 thoughts on “Leaky RV Slide-Out? How To Find & Fix Leaks In RV Slide-Outs”

  1. I found a puddle of water on my window ledge in the slide out. Then i noticed the carpet really wet under the couch below the window. Not sure what to do?

    • Hi Marilyn,

      It sounds like there may be water coming in through either the window seal or the slide out roof.

      First, check the caulk around the outside of the window you found water on. If it has gaps and chips in it you should remove it and recaulk it.

      If the window caulk job seemed watertight the problem is probably on the roof or sides of the slide out. You will need to inspect around the areas where there’s caulk to see where the water is getting in and then repair it.

      Hopefully, you find the source of the leak. Water inside an RV is never fun and it can take a few tries before finding the exact spot that’s leaking.

  2. The outside of my rv slide out wall is rotted at the bottom. I am sure the aluminum panel needs replacing which means taking out the window- where do I find the cut out wall rv aluminum replacement for my autumn ridge slide out ?
    I wish I could attach a picture ..

    • Hi Marlene,

      You could contact Starcraft directly to see if they can send you the panel.

      The odds of finding a direct replacement are pretty low though. I would try and save the panel if possible.

      Taking the time to carefully remove it so you can put it back after fixing the slide out might be less work than trying to find the replacement part.


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