The recent extreme weather will have been a test for any RV. Driving rain can find the smallest break in your van's sealants, and lay the ground work for a very big issue down the track. Once water has penetrated the exterior sealants it can wreak havoc with various parts of your van.
The structural framing can get wet, which leaks to rot and fungal growth. However, this kind of damage is not always visible, as its happening inside the walls. Eventually, the dampness gets to the point where it will show through the internal ply linings and you will see visible water damage inside the van. Leaving it to this point, means a big repair job – normally involving removing exterior and interior sheeting.
Quite often, the water will track inside the walls and make a visible appearance inside the van somewhere else, quite far from the actual point of leak. This can happen as water runs along internal conduit, cables or pipes. Tracking down the source of this leak can be a tedious process.
Once the leak is located, and damaged areas dried out and/or replaced, fixing the source of the leak is the most critical job. On aluminium vans, many standard silicons can cause corrosive damage leading to longer term problems. Ensuring the surface is prepared, being free of dirt and grease is essential. Using white spirits is one of the most effective ways to clean an area ready for re-sealing.