Recaulking Your RV – A Tale of Sealing Our Camper

Posted in RV & Camper Maintenance on November 12, 2013 Last Updated on August 12, 2017

Laurie wanted to re-seal our camper from the day we bought it. After noticing a small damp area next to our slide, she finally had all the reason she needed to purchase all of the tools and begin the process. Unfortunately, in her first few seams, she followed the advice found in some places on the internet, and that of the dealership, and used DAP silicon caulk.

Don’t Use DAP or Silicone Calk

This is our first piece of advice. The reasons include:
It will peel away from fiberglass and aluminum very quickly.

It is the hardest thing to remove… ever! Hours of scraping solvents and cursing will be required and it still may not be completely gone.

No other sealant, including silicone will stick to silicone, ever. Every last molecule of silicone must be removed before any other sealant will adhere to the surface you intend to seal.

Beware RV dealers will tell you to seal with silicone. Your buddies on Facebook will tell you to seal with silicone. Don’t do it. You will be resealing every six months or even sooner and the job will be almost impossible.


What Did We Use

After delving into the fine details of caulking a camper, we learned there were two main sealants we should use. For our roof, we used Dicor Self Leveling Lap Sealant. On all of the non roof seams, we used GeoCel Proflex. This is our quick Proflex tutorial.

Geocell Proflex has a special RV sealant; however, after a ton of research, we learned the standard Geocel Pro Flex
, used for roofing, is apparently the same- if not better quality- than the at times higher priced and harder to find RV sealant. Proflex is meant to bend and flex as the camper, fifth wheel, or class A, rolls down the road. Proflex is also easy to clean and paintable.

It’s Not as Hard as You Think

Laurie thought it was going to be very difficult doing the sealing job but, once she got started, she actually had a lot of fun. She picked up clear Proflex, to hide any issues she may have in her seams, and just went to town.

Most of the seams on our Travel Trailer were sealed with the factory butyl tape putty stuff. The seal were dry and cracking. Laurie went over every seam on our camper and only needed 3 tubes of Proflex. At 7.99 a piece at Ace Hardware, this job was incredibly inexpensive. It took her 3 hours a day over the course of about 4 days.

She started by cleaning all of the areas to be done with rubbing alcohol to prep the surface and remove any obvious loose dirt. She kept a cup of soapy water handy to smooth the bead of proflex as well. The process is not complicated. Run a bead of Proflex down a section of seam. She went in approximately 3 foot sections. Immediately dip a finger in the soapy water and use that finger to smooth down the bead. If you laid your bead too thick and have alot of excess proflex it is fine to just squish it into the seam in a spot you haven’t proflexed yet. It will set just fine and you won’t end up wasting any. Laurie chose the clear version which looked great even though she had never used a caulk gun before this project. She found the whole project to be a fun experience and really ended up proud of herself in the end.

15 comments on “Recaulking Your RV – A Tale of Sealing Our Camper”

  1. Greg Sureseal says:

    This tale of sealing RV camper is brilliant, and I am glad it is shared here. I will recaulk my RV in the same manner as you now. You’ve inspired me, and I want to thank you for doing that.

  2. Dalton Bourne says:

    As a seasoned camper, I would say that RV caulks are essential to have during any trip. You should use this Dicor 501LSW-1 Lap Sealant. It can prevent leaks and 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. Dicor is much better than silicone, which will crack, leak, peel, and doesn’t self-level. Also, it doesn’t have any discoloration over time. 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.

  3. Nancy M says:

    I need to re-caulk the wet bath on my little class B camper van. The old caulk looks like a puddy almost. I want to remove that and replace it with a good proper caulk, but cannot find any information on what type to use. I know it should be flexible, but I cannot find anything stating if I should use the same type for roofs? Any suggestions?

    1. Alan Cook says:

      Hi Nancy,

      When we sealed up an area of our tub, we used Geocel/Proflex, similar to this on Amazon –
      Dicor, as used on roofs, is designed to self level and would run down the wall; Geocel will not.

      Hope that helps!

  4. Rowena Sharp says:

    Hi there! Thanks for the post. I found it while doing a google search for advice on sealing my aluminum camper. Was wondering how the ProFlex seal has held up now that time has passed?

    1. Alan Cook says:

      Hi Rowena, thanks for checking out our blog and commenting, we hope we’ve helped!

      Proflex is still one of our go-to sealants, although we also use GeoCell 2300, which stays cleaner looking than standard Proflex. The standard Proflex can after time get a dirty look to it that doesn’t really wash off (funny, we haven’t tried the Proflex RV yet and can’t speak for it). Both hold up great, and last much longer than the silicone many places seem to want to use.

  5. Al Rodecap says:

    I have to do this (again) this winter. I started the project on our 2011 5th wheel as I had sealant cracking along the doors, window, hatches, and along the front of the RV. I replaced it with sealer I purchased at Camping World in Orlando (I know, Camping World isn’t the best place for advice)

    What I’ve noticed is that this new sealer has dried and cracked just like the original.

    My question is, “How has yours held up under road flex and bumps?”. I need to pull some side hatches and reseal them (water seeping) so GeoCel Proflex RV Clear looks to be a good solution.

    I will get some silicone remover from the NAPA paint store before I start. I’ve had silicone issues with automotive paint and furniture refinishing.


  6. Steve B says:

    In my experience there is one difference between Proflex and Proflex RV. When Proflex dries it stays a bit tacky and will collect dirt which is difficult to wash off. Proflex RV dries non-tacky and does not attract dirt and is much easier to clean.

  7. Michael says:

    Hi Laurie,

    Because of your article we THANKFULLY didn’t use silicone to reseal our RV. We have documented our RV reseal on YouTube as part of our RV renovation journey. Here are the two videos showing how we removed the old silicone and how we decided to replace it.

    Removing old silicone:
    Resealing the exterior of our RV:

    Due to cost and accessibility, we decided to go with another NON-SILICONE, SOLVENT BASED sealant called OSI Quad. We have had it on the RV for nearly a year and it has been nothing short of amazing! Each tube is roughly $6 at most home improvement stores. We thought we would share so your readers would have another option if the Geocel Pro Flex isn’t available in their area

    If you are interested in seeing our entire RV renovation process, follow our journey HERE:

    Thank you for writing this article and showing people just how bad silicone is for the exterior of an RV.

    -Michael and Jenny Justus

  8. Linda says:

    Very helpful, thanks for the info.

  9. Rob says:

    I used Dyco 20/20 white RV caulk last year, using my finger to apply it as they show all over the web and on YouTube. Bottom line: it turned out HORRIBLY, with a large white caulk strip covering our pretty RV graphics. It was a complete pain removing it. Once removed I applied clear DAP acrylic/silicone caulking. It dried but was still sticky, so I had to remove it as well.

    The only way to do a professional caulk job on your RV (not the roof, but the sides) is to:
    A) use masking tape to mask 1/4″ from the caulk joints
    B) apply white Geoflex or Dyco 20/20 caulking
    C) use a wet finger to spread the caulk (spray your finger with a 50:1 water/dish soap mix)
    D) while the caulk is still wet, remove the masking tape
    Doing this will leave a clean, thin bead of caulk and results in a professional looking caulking job. If you need to remove old caulk, or whiten old caulk, turpentine works best and doesn’t damage the paint or vinyl RV graphics

  10. Addison says:

    Great writeup, thanks.

    About to have to remove silicone sealant and reseal, very, very, very helpful.

  11. Tracy says:


    So I have read all but just need some clarification. We have a trailer that the seems need to be re done do I need to remove all old caulking or can I just put the new Proflex right over after wiping down with rubbing alcohol?

    If I need to remove old caulking how do I do that?

    1. I am in no way a professional but here is how I did it.
      More than likely the old caulking is silicone. You can check with whoever made your rv and ask what they used on your model. NOTHING will stick to silicone not even silicone itself. If it is silicone depending on how old it is you may be able to peel it off. If not, silicone is semi difficult to remove. I ended up using a bevy of plastic paint scrapers, mineral spirits, and in places goo gone. There will most likely be a type of putty called butyl tape under the silicone which it is best to leave alone in my opinion.
      So remove the silicone then wipe away any mineral spirits ect with rubbing alcohol and then run your proflex. I ended up doing mine too thick and messy because I had never caulked before but it is holding up really nicely.
      A tip on using proflex. keep a cup of soapy water handy. If you need to smooth out your bead with a finger the soapy water keeps your finger from just sticking to the wet proflex. I have also heard that an ice cube works well for this but have not tried that method.

    2. kevin says:

      remove all the old silicone and clean to remove all grease and debris.apply dicor self leveling sealant it is the best on the market

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