Does RV insurance cover delamination repairs?

RV insurance typically won’t cover delamination because proper maintenance can prevent it. Often, when you notice the damage to your motorhome or travel trailer, it may be beyond repair. You can prevent delamination by consistently inspecting your RV and resealing the seams.

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What is delamination?

Delamination typically begins as small cracks in an RV's lamination, which is the outer covering that helps protect against weathering and damage. These cracks spread outward, resulting in the outer layer of fiberglass or gel coat separating from the substrate inner layer of lauan or plywood and Styrofoam underneath. It’s a common issue faced by owners of aging RVs that have damaged or bad seals and generally won’t be covered by RV insurance.

What does RV delamination look like?

Delamination of your motorhome or travel trailer may appear as a bulge or bubble where the gel coating separates from the wood sheet. You may notice cracks or separation between the layers of your RV’s walls, floor, or roof.

What causes RV delamination?

Here are some common reasons for why delamination occurs:

  • Water: If moisture gets into the space between the outer layer and the substrate, it breaks down the bonds that hold the layers together
  • Manufacturer defects: Low-quality or poorly applied bonding agents can result in bubbles or bulges on the RV’s surface
  • Normal wear and tear: The flexing of the RV structure can cause small stress cracks to appear in the body. If repaired quickly, these cracks don't typically pose a problem. However, any moisture penetrating the cracks can compromise the integrity of the RV's structure
  • Neglect: Just as you would regularly check the oil levels or tire pressure on your vehicle, pay consistent attention to the integrity of the RV's structure

Tips for preventing RV delamination

Every six months, you should inspect all sealants— especially if you live in your RV full-time. Check the roof and all four sides of the RV, including moldings, doors, vents, and exterior attachments. If you reside in a particularly damp environment like the Pacific Northwest, do it more frequently. Remember that household sealants won't do the trick as they aren't conducive to the fiberglass exteriors of RVs. Use a reliable sealant designed for your RV.

You should also examine your travel trailer or motorhome every few months for these common signs of delamination:

  • Cracks
  • Tears
  • Sponginess
  • Water damage
  • Bubbles
  • Ripples
  • Creases
  • Hollow sounds

Will RV insurance pay for delamination repairs?

Owning an RV comes with an expectation of maintenance, and RV insurance typically won’t cover repairs due to delamination. Find out how RV insurance works, what RV insurance covers and how your motorhome or travel trailer policy may pay for damage to your RV’s awning or roof.

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