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RVs often have many small or obscure parts that you won’t find on the average Home Depot or Auto Parts store shelves, or even in stock at an RV dealer. This situation sometimes leads to creative solutions for the Do-It-Yourselfer, especially when RVing in remote areas.
We recently found that the likely cause of a burned-out security light bulb was a lens gasket that had fallen apart after 7 years of sun, weather and miles, allowing the elements to get to the…element. Upon inspection, we found that the security light on the other side of the RV had the same issue.
Although these particular gaskets may very well have been available from a local RV dealer’s parts inventory, we decided that rather than hunt around for the specific size we needed, or ordering them from Newmar, we’d make our own. To do this, we used “Gasket Material Sheets” commonly known as Gasket Paper, typically available at auto parts stores or online.
Usually made from fiber, rubber, cork or other pliable material, gasket paper is a great way to avoid having to find a specific replacement part. It can easily be cut to fit any size or shape, as long as the sheet is at least as large as the original.
Simply tracing and cutting out a new gasket is all that’s needed to replace an odd-size or obscure part number. Available in various sizes and thicknesses, gasket paper is a worthwhile addition to any DIY RVer’s toolbox.
If you’re planning to use gasket paper for more demanding automotive applications, such as where it will come into contact with gasoline or chemicals or be exposed to extreme pressure or temperature, be sure to research the type of gasket material that’s appropriate for your intended use, and buy the correct product.
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Even though we're handy RVers, we're not professional technicians. So although we're happy with the techniques and products we use, you should be sure to confirm that all methods and materials 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.