RV Roof Leak & Water Damage, Plus LevelMatePRO Winners Announced!

TheRVgeeks Maintenance 17 Comments

We’re sharing the dire consequences of an undetected water leak in an RV roof. Plus we have TWO lucky winners to announce in our LevelMatePRO Giveaway! Were you one of them?

Water penetrating into an RV is an insidious threat, with the potential to cause extensive damage before it’s ever detected. Routine checks and touch-up of your Dicor self-leveling lap sealant are the best precaution… very cheap insurance against what can potentially be a very expensive threat.

The RV featured in this video was purchased used by good friends of ours, and it didn’t take long for it to become apparent that water had been leaking, undetected, through some unprotected seam for some time.

Because the leak occurred slowly over a long period, the damage to the roof was able to spread gradually without becoming evident, since there were no obvious signs of water in the RV’s interior. No wet walls or ceiling and no staining. The thing that tipped our friends off was an increasingly “soft” feeling and a “crunchy” sound when they walked on one particular section of the roof. Those signs hadn’t yet become apparent when they first took ownership. But once the roof was opened up, it was obvious that the damage had been slowly spreading since well before they bought their rig… possibly a result of its location at the time: Oregon.

When we saw the damage, we were pretty shocked that it could get that bad without being evident inside the rig. Watch the video and you’ll see that when it comes to leaks, an ounce of inspection is worth a ton of cure!

Now about that Giveaway…

The LevelMatePRO Wireless Bluetooth leveling device is one of our favorite pieces of RV tech, and it’s been one of the most popular RV products we’ve ever featured. So it’s no surprise that we received a whopping 2,836 entries in our giveaway! Hearty congratulations go out to John J. (entry #867) who will be putting his LevelMatePRO to good use on his Keystone Hideout, and Frank K. (entry #1,563) who will be installing his prize into his Forest River Grey Wolf.

Ironically, both of our winners own travel trailers, even though we’ve only demonstrated the unit on motorhomes so far (both with and without jack systems). Since the LevelMatePRO was originally designed for towables, we’ll be shooting a video on a travel trailer later this year, where we can demonstrate its additional functionality for towables:  Recall Hitch Position, which helps you return your hitch to the exact height that it was when you disconnected. We can’t wait to see that in action!

Thanks to everyone who entered. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to subscribe so you’ll hear about our next RVgeeks Giveaway, along with all of our other RVing videos and resources.

If you’d like to own a LevelMatePRO for your RV,
you can purchase one right here on Amazon:

Buy Your LevelMatePRO on Amazon

When you see the string of 5-star reviews the LevelMatePRO has gotten on Amazon, you’ll know we’re not the only ones who love and appreciate this kind of clever RV-improving tech.

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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

We sometimes receive products for evaluation at no cost, and The RVgeeks are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. But our opinions are our own, you won’t pay an extra penny, and we only link to products we personally use, love and can recommend to friends with complete confidence.

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Comments 17

  1. I have a 2017 Newmar Baystar Sport and it has a rubber roof by Brite Tek which is installed with termination bar and many small hex head fasteners. It appears sealant was used under the termination bars and is still intact and undisturbed. However, I’m concerned that each of the exposed small fasteners will be potential roof leak point in the long term and that it is hard to determine if a leak is started. Do you think installing Dicor at every one of these fasteners now is a good idea?

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      Hi John! Without seeing it, we can’t say for sure, but your roof is brand new and unlikely to have a built-in design issues that would already require action above and beyond the factory installation… unless and until you can at some point down the line see signs of separation in the termination bars or around the hex head screws. The odds of a brand new rig leaking are slim, so we’d consider taking a wait and see attitude, and doing your usual periodic roof inspections. If you cover up the screws now, you’ll be inspecting/touching up that Dicor for the rest of the time you own the rig, when it might be unnecessary. That said, you could also go the other way and take full-bore anti-leak measures, such as covering the entire perimeter with Eternabond. We’d suggest that before you do anything, you consider perusing the Newmar owners forum iRV2.com to see what other owners have experienced. If Brite Tek roofs have been problematic for other owners, we’d tend toward more proactive steps. If not, maybe just keep an eye on it to see how it looks during the first year or two of routine inspections.

      1. Thank you. I participated in your tip jar to show my appreciation. I value your suggestions.

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          Thank you so much, John! We really do appreciate it. It’s generous support like yours that enables us to take time away from our day job to create RV videos. We have lots more planned, and hope we’ll continue to produce content that our fellow RVers find helpful. Thank you again for supporting that.

    2. Hey John, Funny how most folks buy Champagne for their wedding night..the RV geeks buy Dicor to sit on the table to view by candle light. Really now…….that Newmar has the best roof in the business and you need not worry for many years. After the 2 year warranty is up then do as the geek squad offered. Eterna bond tape on a clean roof and you will be fine for years to come.
      So do not save a buck (or 9) and buy the 99 cent caulk at Home Depot. 10 bucks per tube hurts but cheap stuff is a recipe for failure and major damage.

  2. That is why we spend our winters in the desert so hopefully that
    Does not happen but always have it checked.

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      Hi Fred. We agree that there are certain circumstances where all of the old sealant should be removed, such as when it’s separating from the roof itself, or if the cracking is extreme, with the sealant basically falling apart. But we have never had separation from the roof, or extreme cracking (because we check and touch up regularly). So we would undertake the substantial amount of extra work involved in complete removal only if required, not as standard practice.

      1. In your situation where you have regular maintenance; agreed.
        In my situation, I am happy I was suspicious enough to dig it up. Based on what I saw inside and the multiple layers, I only had small cracks, RV age and fear got the best of me. Now I can monitor my redo.
        Took about a day for the front and a day for the back. I used adhesive silicone under the Eterna Bond. I think that will give any future Dicor a better base should the Eterna Bond ever fail.
        Hoping not.

    2. My thought is that the Newmar is big buckaroos. Do it right. My 2007 Pacific Coach works trailer is rolling tupperware. A big plastic $hitbox. So I add Dicor in the cracks. If I had a coach like Newman the Newmar I may want to remove and replace. But….the geek squad is pure maintain. They care for that rig like no other so one little crack could be filled.

  3. I have a 2014 Newmar that is developing some small cracks around the skylight caulk. Do you use the Sb-140 the same way as you would the Dicor process cleaning and filling the cracks or do you need to remove all and start over?

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      Surebond says “Interface and surfaces must be clean, dry and free of dust, dirt, oil and water-proofing and release agents” so we’ve always used the exact same technique we use for Dicor. Removing the old sealant seems like a lot extra work for no reason. Our rig will be 12 years old next month and we haven’t had a problem.

    2. Looky at other RV geek repair video…….. take the time and remove every scrap!!!!! Use from a new tube SB 140 as well as Eterna bond tape. Let your affected area warm in the sunshine, the hotter the better, to help remove old product. The heat helps the new product self level.

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  4. Yikes! What a visual.

    The old saying about a picture is worth a thousand words certainly is true about this video.

    If we assume that a new roof, even without any maintenance or checks, should not leak for at least several years I’m wondering how long it would take water seeping in to damage wood like that. Three years? Ten years? Twenty?

    I note that the RV was bought in Oregon, a climate familiar to west coast dwellers as not super hot and dry. Can you tell us how old that RV is and if it spent most of its life in wet climates?

    Your video may point out one of the best reasons for getting to the desert every winter: nice & dry plus a great time to do a roof check. Dicor loves a warm February morning sun to self-level itself.

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      That rig is an ’05 and we recall that it spent the majority of its life in the rainy PacNW. It must have taken a while for all that damage to occur all right. And we heartily second your call to the Desert SW in Feb!

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