Best RV Caulk: Prevent Your Roof From Leaking
Stay dry in your RV with these high-quality caulking products.
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BY Noelle Talmon / LAST UPDATED ON October 20, 2021
It's critical to maintain the roof and other areas on your RV, as leaks can cause major, and potentially expensive, problems. That's where a good-quality RV caulk comes in, working to prevent leaks by patching seams, holes, and problem areas where moisture, rain, and debris can enter your RV’s confines. It also keeps mold and mildew from forming, which is not only unsightly but also unhealthy. The right caulk forms a solid and watertight seal to keep all moisture out. Our buying guide below features some of the best RV caulks available as well as some features to look for in order to find the best product for your needs.
This white RV caulk is non-toxic and meets both indoor and outdoor needs. It's compatible with a variety of surfaces and is waterproof, breathable, and flexible.
- Wet or dry application
- Blocks dirt, dust, and moisture
- Easy to use
- Lifetime warranty
- A little pricey
- May not self-level well in cool temps
- May be runny
Gorilla's caulk can be used for a variety of applications on RVs, at home, for marine use, and more. It is a silicone caulk that dries translucent.
- Mold- and mildew-resistant
- Cures quickly
- Easy to apply
- Emits a chemical odor
- Resembles a thick glue when dry
This white caulk from Dicor is one piece of a three-part roofing system. It can be used on a variety of surfaces, including EPDM and TPO sheeting.
- Cures quickly
- Long shelf life
- Can take a while to self-level in hot temps
- May be difficult to use for those new to caulking
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best RV Caulk Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected the Best RV Caulk
We took many factors into consideration when choosing the best RV caulks and after examining numerous products, we made sure to choose only those that are made from well-known manufacturers within the industry. Most of the caulks on our list are designed specifically for RV use, while a couple are good enough that you can use them in a variety of different applications including RV roofs, making them versatile options. We also looked at the curing time, weather resistance, and other features to ensure that these caulks meet the needs of most RVers. We also made sure to choose products that fit most budgets.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Buying Guide/What to Look For
There are several things to take into consideration when choosing the best caulk for your RV, motorhome, or camper. First, there are several types available, so you need one that fits your particular needs. You also need to make sure the product adheres to the surface material that you are repairing and is waterproof if it's exposed to moisture. Check out some other important criteria below.
What to Consider When Buying RV Caulk
RV caulks are not a one-size-fits-all solution. First, determine what you need to repair. For example, do you need to fix the shower, a hole on the roof, or a seam near the vent? Smaller jobs will require simple caulks, while bigger jobs (and large holes and cracks) will need an option that's more heavy-duty.
Different types of caulks work with different types of materials. Some work well on rubber roofs, while others are compatible with fiberglass surfaces. Check the product's specs to determine if it will work with the material you plan on repairing. The wrong caulk can peel off, and the leak will not be corrected.
Waterproof and Temperature-Resistant
Any area on your RV that is exposed to water and moisture, such as the roof or windows, will require a waterproof caulk. Some brands can be used when surface areas are wet, making application a lot easier. There are also caulks that are designed to withstand wilder temperature fluctuations, including super high highs and low lows, which is helpful if you spend a lot of time camping throughout the summer and winter.
If you plan on sealing the shower or your roof in your RV, silicone is the best option. It is durable, mold- and mildew-resistant, and good for non-porous surfaces. You can use it around vents, windows, and other areas on your RV. It also has a long lifespan and is strong and flexible.
Acrylic latex caulk is affordable and widely available, making it a popular option. It's also known as painter's caulk because painters use it on small cracks and holes before applying a layer of paint on top of it. Acrylic latex does a good job of sticking to a variety of materials, and it takes just 60 minutes to dry, so you can apply a layer of paint on top fairly quickly. To clean an area treated with a painter's caulk, simply use soap and water.
We like vinyl latex as it's easy to apply and clean, and you can use it indoors and outdoors. Just make sure you choose a brand that is durable if you plan on using it on an RV roof. One downside with this type of caulk is that it's not as long-lasting as acrylic latex. Also, it's not particularly flexible, so it's not a good option for areas that are known for contracting and expanding.
Tips and Tricks
As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and RV caulks. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.
- Look for products that are easy to use. They should not be difficult to clean up if you make a mistake, for example. You should also be able to rinse it off with soap and water.
- Some caulk brands dry quickly, which is convenient. However, they may not last as long as options that take a couple of hours to cure.
- Look for a self-leveling caulk. It should adhere firmly to the surface and shouldn't require a putty knife to smooth itself out.
Q: How do you repair cracked RV caulking?
Once the caulk cracks, it's too old to repair. Instead, you should scrape it off and replace it with a new layer of caulk.
Q: How do you seal seams on an RV?
First, make sure the caulk is compatible with the RV's material. Scrape off the old caulk, and clean the surface area. Then apply the new caulk and let it dry as recommended by the manufacturer.
Q: How often do I need to caulk my RV roof?
It's a good idea to inspect the roof several times a year. Then repair any cracks, holes, or tears in the roof membrane. Preventative maintenance can save you money and headaches.
Our pick for the best RV caulk is the Ziollo RV Flex Repair Caulking Lap Sealant. This non-toxic caulk is compatible with a variety of different surfaces. It's waterproof, flexible, and breathable. It can also be painted over within 24 hours and is easy to apply, making it a great choice overall.