How Do You Fix Delaminated RV Siding Using A Repair Kit?

30 November 2022
 Categories: , Blog


If your RV's siding looks bubbled and wavy, it means that the fiberglass exterior is delaminating. RV siding is created by gluing fiberglass panels onto plywood and squeezing them tightly together in a machine called a laminator.

If water leaks through the seals in your siding, then it can break down the glue that holds the fiberglass and the plywood together. When the glue breaks down, your RV siding will delaminate. The fiberglass will peel away from the plywood, making your RV's siding look wavy. Thankfully, it's possible to fix RV siding that has delaminated by using a repair kit. These contain marine epoxy and injectors that allow you to glue the fiberglass back onto its plywood backing. To find out how to use one to repair your RV's delaminated siding, read on.

1. Park Your RV in a Shaded Area Next to a Wall

Since you're gluing the fiberglass back onto the plywood, you'll need to find a method to hold the fiberglass in place while the epoxy cures. The easiest way to do this is to park your RV next to a sturdy wall that you can use as a brace for spreader clamps.

You'll also need to park your RV in an area that has a stable temperature. Fiberglass will undergo thermal expansion and contraction as its temperature changes, so it's important to avoid large variations in temperature. If it expands and contracts while the epoxy is curing, it may still look wavy after it has been repaired. Parking your RV in a garage is the best option, but you can also park your RV in a shaded area outside to shield the fiberglass from direct sunlight.

2. Use Epoxy to Glue the Fiberglass to the Plywood

Once you've parked your RV in the perfect spot, drill a hole through the delaminated fiberglass. Drill slowly in order to avoid accidentally drilling through the plywood layer underneath. Connect the epoxy injector in the repair kit to the long, flexible tubing that it comes with. Insert the tubing into the hole and start injecting epoxy behind the fiberglass, rotating the tube so that epoxy fills all of the delaminated area.

Once the gap has been filled with epoxy, push down on the delaminated fiberglass until it's level with the rest of your RV siding. Wipe away any excess epoxy that oozes out of the hole you drilled in order to keep it off your siding.

3. Use Spreader Clamps to Hold the Siding in Place

Brace a spreader clamp against the wall next to your RV and extend it until it's pressing against the delaminated fiberglass. The spreader clamp will exert pressure on the fiberglass, holding it in place while the epoxy cures.

Once the epoxy has fully hardened and the fiberglass is attached to the plywood again, you can cover up the repair using epoxy marine paint. Sand down the surface of the epoxy that's coming out of the hole you drilled and paint over it using a color that matches the rest of your RV's siding. Once the epoxy has been painted, your RV's siding will be back to normal.

4. Seal Your RV Siding to Stop Water Intrusion

Once you've successfully repaired your RV's delaminated siding, you'll need to prevent it from delaminating again. Use alcohol to soften the caulk that keeps your RV siding sealed from water intrusion, then remove it using a putty knife. Replace it with new caulk using either your hands or a caulk gun in order to keep your RV siding watertight. Preventing water from getting behind the fiberglass again will ensure that it doesn't start dissolving the epoxy that you used in the repairs.

If you have numerous delaminated areas or if you're not able to find a parking place where you can use spreader clamps to hold the fiberglass in place, take your vehicle to an RV repair shop. They'll be able to glue your delaminated siding back to the plywood and seal your RV's siding to make it watertight, preventing your siding from delaminating again.

For more information about RV repair, contact a local professional.