Best RV Caulks: Seal and Close Gaps Permanently
Prevent leaks and water from entering your RV with these top-rated RV caulks
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If there are gaps or holes that you need to fill in your RV, you want to use the strongest sealant. Properly closing up any spaces around air conditioners, vents, and windows is a great way to keep the air inside the RV and keep unwanted air out. This can also prevent water damage and block bugs from crawling their way into the camper. Check out these high-quality RV caulks if you need to seal gaps in your motorhome.
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Benefits of RV Caulk
- Creates a watertight seal. Caulking around certain joints creates a watertight seal that prevents water from outside from seeping into the cracks and crevices of your RV. If water gets in, it can cause a lot of damage that can be costly to repair. Caulking around fixtures also prevents water from damaging the floor, walls, and cabinets. Caulking can also maintain your RV’s roof, air vents, and venting system.
- Lower energy costs. Applying caulk can prevent hot or cold air from moving outside. If you don’t caulk the borders around doors, windows, and walls, cool or hot air will escape. As a result, your RV’s heating and cooling usage will increase to make up for the loss, causing energy costs to go up. The drafts will also make it very uncomfortable for you and your family to stay near walls and windows.
- Protection from outdoor elements. Caulking around trim and windows ensures that no outside elements get inside through the window frame or other gaps. When there is no caulk to prevent blockage, dirt and dust enter the RV more freely. If moisture from rain or snow gets into the RV, it can damage the structure or cause dangerous mold and mildew. Water and mildew stains can appear in the carpet and on the walls.
Types of RV Caulks
Acrylic Latex (Painter’s Caulk)
This is one of the most common acrylic caulks available. It's also one of the most affordable. Like its name suggests, painters use it to cover small cracks and holes and then apply paint on top. This caulk excellently adheres to drywall, wood, mortar, and other absorbent building materials. It dries in approximately one hour and can be painted right away. You can easily clean this caulk with soap and water. Some people also call it "The Painter's Best Friend."
One of the best features of this caulk is it’s designed to be easily applied and cleaned. However, it doesn’t last as long as acrylic latex. The caulk is suitable for use indoors and outdoors, but you have to be careful when using it outdoors. Be sure to choose vinyl latex caulk with a long lifespan, which works best outdoors. However, this caulk is not flexible, so do not use it in areas where contraction and expansion can be a problem.
This is the best caulk for sealing your RV shower area for good. It is resistant to mold and mildew, boasts a long lifespan, and works superbly on non-porous surfaces. After application, it can last for decades. However, it does not stick well to porous materials like drywall and wood. Pure silicone caulk is very flexible and strong but can be difficult to clean up. You will need heavy-duty solvents to remove it. It also has a bad smell.
If you want to attach two materials together for good, use an adhesive caulk. Adhesive caulks stick to just about anything. Some of the caulks are resistant to mold and mildew and are suitable for wet places. Most can be cleaned with water. However, we recommend having a solvent close by because it will come in handy when you're trying to remove caulk from your shoes and clothes.
GE Sealants and Adhesives
This company has a long history of advanced, innovative silicone sealant technology. It was established in the 1950s and is based in Huntersville, North Carolina. Its silicone sealants are completely waterproof and help seal cracks and gaps to prevent water damage. The sealants and adhesives allow you to carry out projects quickly and swiftly. We love the top-rated GE Silicone Door and Window Caulk.
For more than two decades, Gorilla Tough has been selling glue, caulk, sealants, and adhesives. It began as a glue manufacturer and later started producing products like super glue, construction adhesive, tape, and other premium products. The company makes high-quality products that undergo rigorous testing before they are released to the market. Its headquarters are in Cincinnati, Ohio. Be sure to get the Gorilla Silicone Sealant Caulk before you hit the road in your RV.
This company dates back to 1865 when Elmer Wiggim and Robert H. Dicks started making sealing wax for food canning. Canning was a widespread practice in those days before commercially prepared foods and refrigeration were introduced. The company is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, and manufacturers silicone sealants, latex caulks, adhesives, patch and repair products, and insulating foams. One of its best bathroom caulks is the DAP Bathroom Silicone Rubber Caulk.
RV Caulk Pricing
- $5-$10: If you have a small budget, you can get RV caulk in this category. However, most of the caulks here come in small tubes, so it’s important to search carefully.
- $10-$30: The caulks here are made by popular brands like General Electric, DAP, and Gorilla Tough. They typically come in bigger sizes or in a set.
Type of Caulk
The most common reason for caulking is to prevent water penetration which may seriously damage your RV. If you want caulk you can apply on your RVs exterior and trim, choose polyurethane or hybrid caulk. Polyurethane caulks are usually tougher than other caulks and ideal for areas that take a beating. Hybrid caulks merge polyurethane and silicone for top-notch flexibility, adhesion, and durability. They are also easier to apply than polyurethane caulks.
Caulk in bathrooms and kitchens is usually visible, so it's important to choose a product that is easy to apply and looks neat. The caulk also needs to be waterproof and resistant to mold and mildew. Acrylic latex caulks are specially designed for wet areas. They are the easiest to apply and smooth out. They are also the only sealants that can be cleaned with water. Look for a product labeled "plus silicone" or "siliconized" because silicone greatly improves the flexibility and adhesion of caulk.
Silicone caulk, which also goes by the name rubberized silicone caulk, is a very flexible caulk that remains flexible for most of its lifetime. It does not peel, crack, or distort over the years. It also maintains a waterproof barrier against moisture a lot longer than acrylic caulk. Choose a caulk that is easy to smoothen and offers great elasticity and amazing adhesion. Synthetic rubber is a new type of caulk that's the most flexible yet. It cures clear and can be applied in unfavorable weather conditions.
- Color. Latex caulk and some silicone caulk absorb paint. If you don't want the caulk you get to absorb the paint, use white caulk, and paint it to match the surface you’re applying it on. If you’re getting silicone caulk which cannot be painted, pick a color that closely matches the surface. You can also choose a clear caulk for a neat look.
- Finishing Tool. A finishing tool helps you to create a uniform bead. If you don't have a finishing tool, you can use a wet finger to tool the bead of caulk to create a smooth, clean line and to press the caulk firmly into the joint.
Best RV Caulk Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- You should wear gloves when handling caulk. The solution is sticky and can be quite messy.
- Consider purchasing a tool to spread the caulk before it dries to help make the process easier. These tools are typically a thin sheet of plastic or rubber that repels the substance so it does not stick to it.
- Once the caulk is dry, you can paint it to match the material it is set against to make the repair less conspicuous.
Q: How long will it take for RV caulk to dry?
A: This will depend on the brand of caulk you choose. It’s tough to gauge in general, but it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a full day to set up and hold.
Q: Do I have to use the entire bottle of caulk in one sitting?
A: While you do not have to use the whole bottle to seal one gap, you may want to find a reason to use it all. Once open, the compound can freeze up within a few days and make it more difficult to squeeze out.
Q: How do I use RV caulk?
A: You simply squeeze the tube to get the adhesive out, but that may require a bit of muscle. The easiest way to apply it is by using a caulk gun. It is specifically designed to squeeze out caulk from the tube. By loading the canister into the gun, you can use the trigger to force the compound out much more simply.
To properly and permanently seal gaps and holes in your RV, consider the 3M Marine Adhesive Sealant.
You can also check out the Geocel Pro Flex RV Sealant to get a tight seal that blocks out rain and keeps the air inside your RV.