If you’re an RV owner, then you’ll know how serious water damage is. Most new RV owners don’t really know the severity of water damage to their RV’s. However, if you’re a long time RV user such as myself, you’ll want to prevent water from entering even the smallest parts of the RV because you’ll know that it can lead to some pretty serious issues in the long run. This is why it’s really important to RV owners to think ahead and get the best RV caulk that they can find.
Buying a high quality RV caulk can prevent molds from growing inside. With a good caulk, you can also seal cracks and slits from time to time so that you don’t need to undergo some serious maintenance work. Caulking from time to time prevents excessive damage and also saves you a bundle on future repairs.
The question is, which RV caulk is the best caulk for RV exterior? Well, I’ve tried out a lot of RV caulks over the years and I have 9 that I think are the best. Let me share them with you so you can check them out for yourself.
Table of Contents
- 9 Best RV Caulk Reviews 2018
- 1. Dicor 501LSW-1 Lap Sealant
- 2. ToughGrade Self-Leveling RV Lap Sealant
- 3. Geocel 28100V Pro Flex Crystal Clear RV Flexible Sealant
- 4. EternaBond RSW-4-50 RoofSeal Sealant Tape
- 5. 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant
- 6. Gray Tremco Vulkem 116 Polyurethane Sealant
- 7. Sashco 13010 Sashco Sealants Clear Lexel Adhesive Caulk
- 8. Pro Flex Super Flexible Elastomeric Sealant
- 9. Sashco 10016 Big Stretch Caulk
- What to Look for When Buying an RV Caulk
- Other Important Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
9 Best RV Caulk Reviews 2018
1. Dicor 501LSW-1 Lap Sealant
Since Dicor it’s quite well known by RV campers, you won’t really have to worry about where to buy dicor sealant. Now, let’s talk about this variant. As it’s a Dicor brand, you’re definitely assured of quality.
First off, it’s watertight which means that it can prevent leaks and can stay sturdy even when rain pours down on it. It also has very strong adhesion which makes it very sticky and able to hold still on pretty much any material. It can hold its own on aluminum, fiberglass, wood, vinyl, and even concrete. Aside from adhesion, it’s also really flexible and able to seal cracks and holes.
As it is compatible with various RV materials, it can also be used on various part of your RV. Obviously, it’s really good for sealing the roof, especially on the edges. Aside from that, I find that this one is also really good for cracks and holes in air vents, pipes, screws, RV edges, and many other parts that need sealing. It’s also a really good windows dicor rv caulk.
Also, it doesn’t have any discoloration over time. I notice that a lot of sealants have this weird shade of yellow over time. This one seems to be able to blend with the color of the material it’s on. That said, it’ll be easier to sell your RV in the future because this sealant can help make it look brand new at the very least.
You’ll also be glad to know that this sealant is UV resistant. That’s another reason why it doesn’t deteriorate no matter how much you use your RV.
2. ToughGrade Self-Leveling RV Lap Sealant
As the name implies, ToughGrade is really a tough-grade product. If you’re looking for a sealant for aluminum roofs and tough materials like metal, then I would really suggest using this one. One thing that I really love about this product is that it’s very easy to use. I’ve tried using a lot of caulks that have a hard time getting out of the gun. Despite it being “tough”, it surprisingly slides out really smoothly.
Of course, it then gets its tough form when it comes out of the gun. It is actually a self-leveling sealant that can spread itself out. Due to its tough nature, it doesn’t really level itself that well, but it’s not so bad anyway. You just have to help spread it a bit. However, it can level itself overnight.
As for its characteristics, it is both UV and water-resistant, which is what we should really look for in a sealant anyway. It can withstand strong UV rays and heat without distorting. It also won’t let water get inside of it no matter how strong the weather is. With that, you won’t have to worry about discoloration as well.
What I didn’t really like about this is that it doesn’t work well on rubber roofs, despite the packaging stating that it’s good for rubber roofs. I’ve tried it on rubber roofs but with not so satisfactory results.
3. Geocel 28100V Pro Flex Crystal Clear RV Flexible Sealant
I would definitely give this Proflex RV caulk a thumbs up if you’re after a nice looking finish. Geocel is known for caulks that can deliver great looking sealing that isn’t obvious. I would definitely recommend that you try out this sealant if you’re thinking about reselling your RV pretty soon.
When I tried using this on my RV’s aluminum roof, it didn’t look much when it was freshly applied. However, it looked great when I checked back the next morning. It did such a great job leveling itself that I didn’t even need to spread it even a little anymore. In fact, it may even look like professional work once it levels.
Aside from roofs, it’s also great for sealing air compressors and air conditioner parts. I’ve tried that on my RV’s air conditioner and I haven’t seen any excess leaks since then.
Of course, things like these do come at a price. It’s a bit pricey than the usual caulk. However, I’d definitely say that it is worth the money for a high quality product.
Aside from the cost, it does have a few limitations set to it. First of all, you can’t use it on rubber or acrylic skylights. This is directly instructed on its website. It also doesn’t work well on certain polystyrene materials. Now, this can be a bit disadvantageous because a lot of RVs have rubber roofs, so it may be a bit disappointing to know that you can’t use it on your rubber roof.
4. EternaBond RSW-4-50 RoofSeal Sealant Tape
Sure, this may not be a caulk, but it is a great alternative to one. It is a sealant tape which is easier to use than the usual caulk gun. That said, using a sealant tape is actually more practical and easier to do. In fact, even a beginner can use this.
So anyway, what do I love about this product? First of all, it is very sticky. In fact, its stickiness can match even that of a caulk. When I tried this, I was happy to see no presence of leaks or tearing. I’ve even tried putting on a crack found somewhere near the edge of the roof around three months ago. Up until today, I don’t have any problems with it.
The second thing I love about it is that it’s so easy to apply. With caulk, you first have to put the caulk into the gun and spread the caulk all over the crack just like you would with a glue gun. After that, you have to spread it around, assuming the caulk isn’t self-leveling. After you do that, you have to wait for the caulk to level and dry. It’s only then that it will look good. So the entire process actually takes quite a while. With a sealant tape though, all you have to do is cut up the tape, paste it on the affected spot, and press on it to make sure it really sticks.
So what are the cons of this product? Well, I’ve noticed that it doesn’t fare that well during storms. It melts away if the rain is too strong. Also, the tape is pretty visible so it actually looks like it’s covering an affected spot.
5. 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant
Adhesive sealants are usually the preferred type by most RV campers as these are very strong, sticky, and flexible. This one, being a known adhesive sealant brand, definitely does not disappoint at all.
As the name tells us, it’s a 3M Marine adhesive sealant which means that it is marine-grade. This shows that it is really strong and tough. When you apply it on a crack, you can expect it to have a permanent bonding.
Another cool thing about this product is that it doesn’t take long before it sticks together. For most sealants, it would take a few days before it really sticks and solidifies. This one takes 2 days at most to do so. After it solidifies, it really bonds the material.
Even during storms, earthquakes, and other weather conditions, this sealant can still remain strong and hold the bond tight. The bond also lasts for years, making it one of the best maintenance tools to have at your arsenal.
Another thing I absolutely love about the product is that even though it swells or shrinks (yes, sealants do that based on the outside conditions), it still retains the strong bond. Most sealants don’t have that kind of standing power that this one does. And it’s really to be expected because 3M products have been industry benchmarks for many years.
However, I don’t really think it can be used on holes. While it is a REALLY good adhesive glue, it isn’t really a good sealant. So if you have holes, I don’t suggest you use it.
6. Gray Tremco Vulkem 116 Polyurethane Sealant
Tremco is a brand that is often used by professionals who do interior renovations and construction. That can tell you right away that it’s a pretty good brand. What I love about this product is that it can be used for a series of things and not just fixing RV roofs.
It can be used also for the interior such as sealing walls, ceilings, and even some corners that have cracks and some small holes. It can also be used for windows and masonry with minimal difficulty. Because of its versatility, it’s a great caulk to carry around just in case you need it for a certain job.
It’s also really durable and can withstand heat and rain. It’s pretty effective in the rain as it is watertight and can prevent leaks from going in. You should have no problem with any leaks if you’re going to use this product.
One thing that I would say is a disadvantage about this product is that it can’t really work with a manual caulk gun because it is really sticky. If you decide to use this caulk, I would recommend that you use it with an automatic air pressure caulk gun so that the sealant can come out easily. Also, it does smell quite a bit, so you may want to use a mask when applying it.
7. Sashco 13010 Sashco Sealants Clear Lexel Adhesive Caulk
This Lexel caulk for RV is also a really tough one that a lot of homeowners use. It is one of the most tear-resistant sealants that you’ll be able to find on the market. Not only is it tear-resistant but crack resistant as well.
When I went camping, I tried it on the edge of my roof because it had this small crack. So far, I had absolutely no problem with it even though it rained. Unfortunately, my RV’s roof got really dirty so I wanted to give it a good scrub. To my surprise, the sealant wasn’t affected no matter how much I scrubbed. Because of that, I wanted to add this RV roof sealant to my list as one of the toughest as it really can create a permanent sealing.
It’s also waterproof and mold-proof. You’ll discover that if you use this sealant, no molds or mildew will grow on it. It’s because the caulk is made of components that reject the growth of these unwanted substances. It’s both useful and healthy for you and your family when you guys go camping.
Now, if there’s one thing that makes me apprehensive of using this is that it contains some materials that are toxic when inhaled. As much as possible, I would recommend that you don’t use this indoors. If you really do need to use it for indoor purposes, then I recommend that you make sure no one is inside the RV when you use it. Also, make sure to air out the smell by opening all the windows and doors. That way, the smell won’t linger.
8. Pro Flex Super Flexible Elastomeric Sealant
This is a pretty good acrylic sealant that has lasting power. It actually claims to have a 50-year life, and I do think it’s true. It is also really flexible and can level itself very well. In fact, it’s very ideal for a metal roof because it has a very tough texture despite it being flexible.
Also, it doesn’t look messy when it’s done leveling. After you leave it to level, it’ll look like brand new. You can even paint over it and it won’t make any difference at all. You may have to let it cure for around one to two months, but the final finish is definitely worth it.
You may have to watch out for its smell though. If there’s one thing I absolutely don’t like about this product, it’s that it has a really weird smell to it. The smell is really strong and can be quite unbearable at times. If you happen to use it to seal your RV parts, put on a face mask so you won’t have to smell it. Also, I suggest you don’t use it indoors because the smell might linger.
9. Sashco 10016 Big Stretch Caulk
Sascho is pretty known for high quality caulks, so you can expect this one to be pretty good. Let’s go over some of its characteristics.
This product is known for its stretchy characteristics. That’s actually why I like it. It has the ability to stretch far while leveling, making it easier for me to apply. It’s also pretty durable and long lasting, which means that it won’t give in easily to factors such as harsh weather and the like.
What I really like about it is that it dries up really fast – sometimes a little bit too fast. However, this is an advantage for me because it allows me to apply this on the same day as when my RV gets a crack or a hole. Since I’m a person who’s on the go most of the time, especially when camping, I don’t like waiting too long for caulks to dry. This allows me to drive right away after application.
While it’s fast drying and durable, it’s pretty messy after application. It’s not like other caulks that have a clean finish after you let it dry off. You may have to clean off the excess caulks as it looks a bit tacky if you don’t.
What to Look for When Buying an RV Caulk
How do you choose which caulk to buy for your RV? Sure, I’ve given you 9 of my favorite and most trusted brands, but all of them have their own differences, and you’ll still have to choose out of the 9. Hence, you’ll need to know which one you’ll want to buy. Here’s my personal buying guide to help you out:
Reason for sealing
The first thing to think about when buying a caulk would be the reason for sealing. Your reason could be a leak or could be for overall maintenance. If it’s a simple crack, then you can buy the simple usual acrylic ones. If it’s a rather big job, you may need the very sticky and heavy duty ones probably like adhesive or something stickier.
Material you’ll seal
The next thing to do is take into consideration the material that you’ll be sealing. Most RVs are made of rubber which is quite flexible. For that, you need to buy a sealant that is very rigid. There are also other materials such as fiberglass or aluminum. These ones would need something like tube sealant instead of the usual acrylic.
When you look for caulks, there are two characteristics that you have to look for. These are UV resistance and water resistance. The reason why you want one that is UV resistant is because you’ll be under the hot sun a lot. Too much heat may actually make your caulk weaker, making it tear apart easily. Getting a UV-resistant caulk can prevent that.
Of course, you’ll also want to get a waterproof caulk so that the water from rain won’t turn the caulk soggy. That way, it can really prevent leaking in the event of bad weather.
You have to make sure that your caulk is resistant to tearing. This characteristic will determine how long your caulk will last without tearing apart. Look for one that has a strong tear resistance so that it has raw strength that can resist no matter how much force comes upon it.
Elasticity is also really important to take note of. Elasticity refers to the caulk’s flexibility or its ability to turn without breaking. The more elastic, the better it is. It’s also good if you can find one that has high elasticity as well as tear resistance.
Lastly, you have to think about the price of the caulk. Not all caulks are priced the same, so you must already set a budget as to how much you’re willing to spend to buy one. All of the caulks that I’ve mentioned in my review are all reasonably priced, so you shouldn’t have any issue there.
Other Important Factors to Consider
What is an RV caulk?
For me, those are the 9 best RV caulk products that you can buy. If you have just bought your very first RV and have yet to even hear of a caulk, then let me explain what it is and what it’s used for.
Basically, a caulk is a type of silicone sealant that’s used for sealing cracks in walls, ceilings, and other closed exteriors. Now, an RV caulk has the same function but has features that are more suited toward guarding an RV. Since an RV camper is always outdoors, the sealant is geared toward helping seal the parts of an RV from the outside environment. It’s also pretty interesting to note that there are different kinds of RV caulks for different RVs. For instance, if your RV is made of fiberglass, you have to get the best caulk for fiberglass RV and so on.
Some of the main characteristics of RV caulks are that they are UV-stabilized, able to block off harsh UV rays that may damage the seal, watertight to prevent leakage, and flexible which allows it to stretch and become tight. With all of these characteristics, it is definitely great for sealing the cracks of RVs.
What are types of RV caulks?
There many different types of caulks that you can use for your RV. All you have to do is choose the best one that suits your needs the most. Here are a few of the common RV caulk types that you’ll see in the market:
- Acrylic caulk
Acrylic caulk is probably the most common type that you’ll find, and it also is the cheapest. This one is more widely used for smaller jobs like small cracks or slits in walls or ceilings. They work well on wood and drywall material.
- Silicone caulk
Another common type that is often used is silicone caulk. For me, it isn’t the best caulk for RV exterior, although it does have its own advantages. The great thing about silicone caulks is that they are mold and mildew proof, which only means that no matter how wet they get, they won’t attract molds.
- Adhesives caulk
Adhesives are naturally sticky, so you can expect adhesive caulks to stick very well to any material. If you want to glue off a part that fell off and created a crack, then adhesive caulks are the best. They can both seal off a crack and stick pieces back together again with much efficiency.
- Vinyl caulk
Vinyl caulk is actually very similar to the usual acrylic type, except that it can last longer and is better for outdoor use. If you use your RV very often, this one may be a better choice than acrylic. The only issue is that vinyl caulk is not so flexible.
- Fireproof caulk
This red colored caulk is made to be fireproof. Although I personally don’t think you need a fireproof caulk, it does pay to be extra safe. In the event of a forest fire, at least the flames won’t go in through the cracked places with a seal on it because the fireproof caulk is blocking them.
So how do you choose what type of caulk to use on camper? That’ll really be dependent on your needs. We’ll discuss how to choose the best rv caulk for your needs in the next sections.
What are benefits of an RV caulk?
So what exactly are the benefits of using an RV caulk for your RV anyway? Let’s go over a few of them that may interest you:
- Blocks off leaking
The first benefit, which I have been emphasizing a lot is that it blocks off leaking. When it rains, water will fall through the cracks of your RV, causing a lot of leaks inside. If you want to prevent leaking, then you must make sure that all the cracks are sealed properly so that the water won’t go through. Cracks in your RV are actually quite dangerous as a big crack can let a lot of water flow through and make the inside of your RV slightly flooded.
- Prevents mold growth
Of course, when water enters an enclosed and warm space, molds and mildew can thrive. This is one of the things that you’d never want inside your RV because breathing in molds can be very deadly. To prevent that, you have to make sure that you seal off any cracks so that not even a drop of water will be able to go in. You’ll also want to take note that molds grow very easily in forests and hiking trails, so you’ll definitely not want anything to trigger their growth.
- Prevents bugs from entering
When you’re in the woods, you’re going to be exposed to all kinds of bugs. Some of them will even go inside your RV. Of course, mosquitoes are also really common in woods or even hiking trails, so it’s pretty normal to see them around. If you don’t want them to enter your RV camper, then you better make sure that there are no cracks or holes.
- Prevents debris from falling in
Just like water, there is also debris that may fall inside the RV if there are cracks. Debris may come from the air, from the trees, or from pretty much anywhere around the area. Of course, debris that falls into your camper will really dirty your camper, forcing you to do a lot of extra cleaning. Dirt, leaves, or even twigs may get inside if your cracks are pretty big. If you want to prevent all of that, then you better make sure to seal your RV camper regularly.
- Increases your RV’s value
If you decide to sell your RV camper in the future so that you can buy a new one, you have to remember that a badly maintained RV camper will have its value massively decreased. To still fetch a good price on your RV camper, you need to make sure to maintain it properly. An RV camper that has a lot of cracks or holes definitely won’t sell well. If you seal these cracks with a very strong caulk or sealant though, you can grab a better market price from the buyers.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons as to why you should buy an RV caulk. Now let’s move on to how to choose the best caulk for your RV.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will the silicone caulk work good?
While you may be tempted to just use the regular silicone caulk that you would use for your bathtub or other home appliances, I would actually advise against it. While it can be used, it’s very hard or brittle, doesn’t stick easily, and not very flexible. You’ll need a sealant that’s very flexible so that it can stretch on to cover the whole crack. Instead of using your regular silicone caulk, just use the caulks that I have mentioned in the reviews above.
Do RV caulks work on every material?
An RV caulk can actually work for other materials, but I don’t think you’ll find the results that good if you use RV caulk on things other than RVs. With that said, not all of the RV caulks can work on all materials. You see, RV caulks are made of various materials that are specially designed to work for RVs. That’s why I wouldn’t advise using RV caulks for the other materials in your RV such as the bathtub and other things.
How long does an RV caulk last?
This will actually depend on how many times you go out using your RV. Obviously, the more you use your RV, the shorter the RV caulk will last. I often find myself sealing the cracks or recaulking my RV twice a year. This is also because I make sure to buy the best brands that the market offers. That way, the caulks can last long, and I don’t need to recaulk too often.
How to caulk an RV roof?
Caulking your RV roof is fairly simple to do. Just follow these RV caulking tips. First, make sure that there is no rain or snow when you’re caulking. After that, clean your RV with water and soap. Dry off the water thoroughly. Look for the cracks and holes on the roof and then pull out your caulking gun. Put the RV roof caulk into the gun and cut the tip off the tube of the caulk. Apply the caulk on the crack then smoothen it. After that, wait for it to try.
As a seasoned camper, I would say that RV caulks are essential to have during any trip. However, you have to make sure you buy a high quality one if you want it to work well. Sure, there are quite a number of things to consider whenever you choose an RV caulk. But it’s definitely worth it if you buy a really good one. It can save you a lot of time, effort, and even money on future repairs and maintenance.
So before you make your choice, always remember to go through all the factors carefully so that you can choose the best RV caulk for your needs.
We would like to thank you for reading this article. Find out more about how to choose the best RV wash and wax and best RV wax with our reviews and ratings. Furthermore, please take a look at the best RV roof coatings and sealants, best RV roof cleaners and best RV awning cleaners to choose the right one for your RV cleaning, storage and maintenance.