Because of the consistently good ratings and comments left by customers, Bailey Motorhomes have established themselves as one of the most well-liked brands of leisure vehicles made in the United Kingdom. You can expect a high level of convenience and comfort in every model, but you’ll also find a range of additional features that are designed to make you feel at home no matter where you are. However, just like anything else in the world, nothing’s perfect. Some motorhome owners have voiced their worries about leaks and dumps, just like owners of other motorhome brands. This raises the question, do Bailey RVs leak?
Bailey is one of the most well-known names in the motorhome industry across Europe and has a manufacturing history spanning six decades. They provide motorhomes with an appealing layout as well as one-of-a-kind designs, which, in addition to the product’s quality and longevity, is typically the deciding factor. Despite this, a few months after purchasing a brand new Bailey RV, some people have reported having problems with leakage. They’re initially delighted with their motorhome, but their happiness is short-lived when they are subjected to the annoyance of having leaks.
While this doesn’t happen to all Bailey Motorhome owners, leaks on Baileys usually start on the roof straps. Certain designs of Bailey Motorhomes don’t permit the roof straps to fit perfectly, which can lead to leaks in the future. However, if you own a Bailey Motorhome that was released after 2009, then it’s less likely that you will have leaks because of the new “Alu-Tec” material introduced by the company.
Now that we know Bailey Motorhomes can still have roof leaks, let’s talk about how to address this problem and other frequently asked questions.
How to Prevent Leaks in your Bailey Motorhome?
One of the challenges in taking care of and maintaining motorhomes is preventing and repairing water leaks. Leak prevention starts with the roof. Motorhomes have several different types of roofs, and the care and maintenance basics are the same on all of them, but the methods change depending on the roof type.
- Regularly Clean the Roof
Maintaining the cleanliness of the roof should be a top priority, as well as regularly checking the condition of the roof’s seams and sealants. In order to stop water from leaking through any gaps, separations, or cracks in the sealants, it’s vital to check them regularly and reapply them as required.
- Seam Maintenance
Aside from cleaning the roof and making sure that all sealants are in check, seam maintenance is also important. The seams are often located at the front and back terminations of the roof, down the sides along the rain gutter (if you have one), or whatever other termination is there, and around every appurtenance on the roof, such as antennae, roof vents, plumbing vents, and more. Regular cleaning and inspection of the seams must be done at least four times a year or whenever there’s a problem on the roof.
- Regular Checking for Leak Roofs
A simple routine inspection can go a long way toward preventing costly and irreparable damage to the roof of your motorhome. Perform a thorough check at the start of each season, as well as another comprehensive check at the close of each season. It’s also a good idea to check for leaks before going on vacation.
- Interior Examination. Checking for roof leaks should start inside the motorhome. It’s easier to check for leaks inside, where signs would be visible. Examine the top of the ceiling in your RV to get things started. Water stains, whether they are old or new, are usually the most obvious indicator that there is a leak somewhere.
- External Examination. An exterior inspection should ideally take place on the roof. If you want to inspect the roof, you should make use of a ladder or a scaffold. When you are on the outside, you should search for depressions in the roof as well as other evidence of visual cracking. Pay more attention to the areas surrounding the vents and any rooftop HVAC systems that may be present. Because the sealants that go around these spots are likely to dry up over time, these areas have a higher propensity to create leaks.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before climbing the roof of your motorhome, see the instructions. Some roofs cannot bear a lot of weight.
- Keep Supplies on Hand
Having the appropriate tools and materials on hand to repair any damage to your roof or prospective leaks can go a long way toward preventing leaks. Maintain a supply of caulking and patching tape on hand so that you may perform any essential repairs on your own if they arise.
The majority of people who own motorhomes find that the more they take care of basic maintenance concerns, the less money they’ll have to spend on more significant repairs in the future.
How to Fix Leaks in Your Bailey Motorhome?
- Locating the Leak
The first thing you need to do in order to correctly fix any leaks in your motorhome is to locate the point where water is leaking in. Windows that leak are fairly easy to see, but roofs that leak have a tendency to catch people off guard. The roof of a motorhome is not always perfectly horizontal, either because of the way the motorhome was constructed or because it was not placed on level ground. As a result of this, the first sign of a leaking motorhome roof is frequently a small trickle of water that’s located quite a distance from the area where the leak actually started. The cause of the problem can be as simple as an open screw hole. Additionally, if your motorhome has been sitting around for some time to air out, finding a hole as little as this one might be quite a challenge.
- Typical Leak Areas
The first place you should look for leaks is any spot where there is a possibility that seals are deteriorating. Look for any signs of thinning, worn areas, cracks, and more. This involves inspecting any sealants and/or caulk that are present on the roof, as well as those that are located around windows, moldings, vents, doors, skylights, and roof seams.
Consider all of the possibilities, as not all of your water leaks will originate outside. Determine the locations of your water heater, furnace, outside shower, potable water fill, and city water inlet on the exterior of the RV. After you have located these areas, inspect them from the interior of the motorhome to determine whether or not there are any signs of water damage around the openings.
- Locate Hard to Find Leak
Water is clever and will find its way into your motorhome through practically any crack or crevice it can find in order to give you trouble. This makes it more challenging to locate certain water leaks than others. Even when the water damage appears to be coming from a particular area on your vehicle, this does not necessarily indicate that this is where the leak originated. If you have previously patched a leak, but it has now reopened, then most probably you were not able to locate and seal the source leak.
A pressurized leak detection system is an option you can use for locating leaks that are difficult to find. With this method, you’ll be able to raise the air pressure inside the rig while simultaneously swabbing the exterior with a liquid that bubbles at the location where the leak is occurring. This test will help to determine whether water is entering the RV through a running light, roof vent, lap seam, window, or any other opening that the manufacturer cut out.
- Choosing the Right Sealant
Using the appropriate sealant for the task is one of the most important factors in ensuring that any leaks in your motorhome are properly patched. Consider the effectiveness of the sealing job and how long it will last when choosing the correct sealant. Of course, your budget will also play a major role in deciding what sealant you’ll be using.
When it comes to repairing leaks, butyl mastic sealants, also known as caulking compounds, have been used effectively for a long time. These sealants are basic, affordable, and paintable. They work well for temporary applications. The topmost layer of the sealant, when exposed to air, will solidify and become a barrier against water and dust in the area where it’s applied. However, caulking compounds can dry out and break with time, allowing water to once again penetrate the area that they once sealed.
Polyurethane sealants are the most recent development in the long line of motorhome sealants, and they provide the highest possible level of protection and durability. These sealants have gained popularity recently because they work so well with fiberglass panels and aluminum, which are usually used in Bailey motorhomes. In comparison to silicone sealants, polyurethane sealants are UV resistant and can be painted or sanded after application.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Never use silicone sealant to repair any motorhome roof. It fails after a short time when exposed to UV light.
How Does Pressure Testing Work?
The method of using pressure to locate water leaks in a motorhome (RV) or travel trailer involves generating a higher air pressure inside the RV compared to the air pressure outside the RV. The goal is to pump air into the RV in such a way that it escapes via any cracks or crevices it may have. The exterior of the RV is sprayed with soapy water, and wherever air is escaping through the RV’s exterior, soap bubbles will develop. By properly using this method, leaks can be detected on the roof of the RV or anywhere else on the vehicle.
Whenever there’s a penetration made through a roof or a side wall, water can seep through and cause leaks. In a lot of motorhomes, you’ll also find them around the joints of the side wall panels and along the corners. The good news is that an air pressure test can detect each of these leaks.
While pressure testing for leaks is often done by RV repair shops, you can try to save a little money by performing the test yourself. If you’re going to install it yourself, you’ill need to figure out a way to establish a good seal around the doors or windows of the RV, as this is where the air will enter the vehicle. In addition, to achieve the desired level of air pressure within the RV, you will most likely require two or three fans, and in some cases, even a leaf blower.
Does My Warranty Cover My Roof?
Although Bailey Motorhomes come with a manufacturer’s warranty that lasts for six years, the warranty only covers problems with the rubber roof material. In most cases, it doesn’t include coverage for sealants. Any damage that occurs as a result of portions of the roof not being adequately sealed will be the owner’s responsibility to fix.
Because of this, it’s essential to do routine checks on a regular basis in order to keep your motorhome in good shape. During the manufacturing process, a watertight sealer is placed on all of the seams and openings on the rooftop. This caulk-like material is sensitive to the weather and dries up in a very short period of time. In order to keep a proper waterproof seal, it will need to be updated on a regular basis.
How Much Does it Cost to Reseal Your RV Roof?
The expenses may vary depending on the kind of roofing you have and how extensive the resealing that’s required. The difference between doing it yourself and hiring a professional to do it will, of course, also play a role in determining the total cost. Additionally, the cost of simply resealing versus completely recoating a roof varies as well.
If the roof of your RV has to be resealed, doing it yourself with the appropriate caulking and sealants can cost between $200 and $300. If you get it done by a professional, you’re looking at a minimum cost of between $600 and $800. Considering the significant price difference, doing it yourself is mostly preferable.
Recoating the entire roof is a far more involved project to take on. If you believe you are capable of completing the challenge, you should budget approximately $500. The cost of having a professional coating done is likely going to be well above $1,000.