How to Avoid Flooding Problems in RVs

Updated on January 25, 2018
TIMETRAVELER2 profile image

I am an avid RV enthusiast who understands that my life and my safety depend on the condition of the equipment in my coach.

If you want to avoid flooding problems in your RV, the first thing you need to do is find out what causes them.

It is common for flooding to occur in recreational vehicles.

  • Sometimes this happens due to accidents.
  • Other times it can occur due to malfunctions in equipment.
  • Flooding can also occur because of simple forgetfulness.

However, no matter the cause, when water gets on to carpet and upholstery or goes far enough to damage cabinets, havoc can follow!

How to avoid flooding problems in recreational vehicles.
How to avoid flooding problems in recreational vehicles. | Source

Accidents

I clearly remember the day when the hot water tank in our older Beaver Motor Home broke.

I was seated on the raised platform where the passenger seat was located and, fortunately, was not wearing shoes.

When my husband and I stopped for lunch, I stepped down off the platform into ankle deep water!

It ran all the way across our thick carpet from the front of the cab almost into the bedroom!

This is the type of accident I’m referring to. It’s one that happens out of the blue to an appliance that breaks and always seems to happen when you least expect it to do so!

A big flood like this makes for a very messy cleanup and can cause real damage if you don’t work to repair the damage right away.

This issue could have totally been avoided had we taken the time to inspect all of our major appliances to make sure they were working properly, were not damaged and were not too old.

Equipment Malfunctions

This type of flooding is the result of something going wrong with the basic functioning of equipment.

The one I remember most is when I used the toilet, flushed and did not realize that the flush pedal did not return to its original position after I pressed on it with my foot.

Water kept filling until it overflowed into our hallway and kitchen.

Had we gone out for the day, this could have turned into a real disaster.

We learned from this experience to take the time to make sure equipment is working before walking away from it if we want to prevent problems of this type!

Forgetfulness

There are so many things to do in an RV that it is very easy to forget the simplest things, such as turning a water faucet off completely.

This is an insidious type of flooding because a continual flow of water, even when small, can and will overflow sinks and end up sliding down cabinets and onto floors.

To keep this problem from happening you should either double check faucets each time you leave the coach or turn off the water at the spigot. Water can’t flood if it is not moving!

It is common for RV travelers to forget to turn off water faucets all the way.
It is common for RV travelers to forget to turn off water faucets all the way. | Source

Other Flooding Causes

There are other things that cause RV flooding as well such as

  • leaving windows open on rainy days,
  • extremely high water pressure that bursts interior hoses,
  • filling a water tank too full and
  • backwashing a sewer tank is in the closed position.

No matter the cause, flooding always creates a mess and often will create damage as well.

For this reason, it’s important to take steps to protect your coach.

One of the best ways to do this is to do as my husband and I have always done which is to use a good water pressure regulator so that your interior hoses won't suddenly burst and cause your unit to flood.

There are several brands that work well for this purpose, but we prefer the water regulator manufactured by MicTuning because it is lead free, adjustable and also has an easily readable gauge, which gives you much better control over the flow of water entering your coach.

Slide Rooms

Slide Rooms are famous for causing flooding as well as other types of water damage.

If you look at the wall structure of an RV that has slides, you can see that a large, U shaped area has been cut out to allow room for the slide.

That opening is covered with heavy gaskets. If not properly maintained and regularly checked, gaskets can loosen and eventually leave openings through which water can enter a coach. They also can dry out and develop cracks through which water can seep.

  • If rain is heavy enough, these things can actually flood small portions of the coach.
  • If a travel unit has numerous slides, then the problem duplicates itself.

The secret to avoiding this type of problem is to keep careful watch on those gaskets and make sure they are lubricated and free of cracks.

If they are old, you should consider replacing them.

To do otherwise is to invite problems.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

You can avoid many flooding issues simply by doing these and similar things:

  • use a water regulator to control hose pressure,
  • only fill holding tanks half way,
  • replace appliances that are overly old,
  • close windows when going away,
  • repair cracks in plumbing and around lights, windows and doors,
  • make sure to open tanks when dumping,
  • always check to make sure that you have not left any water running in sinks, showers or toilets, and
  • make sure holding tanks are open when showering or doing laundry..

It also helps to try to drive on smoother roads so that fittings on plumbing don’t come loose due to road vibration.

Along those lines, remember that it is important to keep your tires properly inflated because doing so can make driving smoother.

We always use a water pressure regulator when visiting RV parks because doing so protects our hoses and prevents flooding. There are several brands and types, but we chose the MicTuning regulator because it is lead free, has a gauge on it and is very easy to use.

Spending a few dollars for a piece of equipment like this is a smart idea because it can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars for repairs from flooding damage.

MICTUNING Adjustable Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Inlet Filter C46500 Lead-Free Brass for RV 3/4" & NH Thread
MICTUNING Adjustable Water Pressure Regulator with Gauge and Inlet Filter C46500 Lead-Free Brass for RV 3/4" & NH Thread

This brand of RV water pressure regulator is more expensive than some, but for the price is a good deal because it's well made, durable and has extras other brands and types don't offer.

 

What to Do If Your Unit Does Flood

How to Protect Your RV from Water Damage has a detailed section that explains exactly what to do in the event of various types of flooding.

This is because some flooding can be minor, while others, such as the one I described at the beginning of this article, can be quite serious.

Thus there are different remedies for each.

This article also shows you how to deal with other types of RV water damage as well, so it is worth reading.

Prevention Is Important

Since water is the worst enemy of recreational vehicles, it is best for owners to practice preventive maintenance by doing the things mentioned above.

If you know what causes flooding in RVs, you’ve taken the first step towards avoiding problems and keeping your unit dry and comfortable.

As a result, you’ll be able to protect your travel unit so that you’ll be able to enjoy it for many years.

Always bear in mind that untreated water damage can lead to much more serious issues such as mildew, mold and wood rot, things no RV owner ever wants to see in his coach!

Do you think that using the tips shown here will help you to protect your RV from flooding?

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© 2018 Sondra Rochelle

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