RV Water Leak Prevention
Visual Inspection and Repairs
Part I - Dealing with rusty screws

How we do it and the parts and tools we use....
I do a visual inspection of the outside of our 5th Wheel at least a couple of times each year. I'm looking for screws that show rust and also caulk that is missing or in need of repair. I heard someone say there are a thousand screws holding the outside of a trailer together and I am leaning toward believing it - there are a lot of screws!

replacing rusty RV screws
Water seepage causes RV screws to
slowly rust which only becomes worse with time.

If the manufacturers used stainless steel screws we might not have the rust problem - but they don't so we replace them with the SS variety.

We have two screw types on our exterior. Both are "square drive" but one type is a "bugle head" that recesses into the molding. The second type is a "pan head" style and fits flat to the surface.
RV screw replacement
Remove and replace rusty RV screws
before they become a "headless" challenge
When I find a rusty screw head I try to back the screw out carefully with my Black & Decker cordless. Most RV screws are the square drive and require the special square screwdriver head to remove them. I soon find out just how badly rusted the screw has become. If the head snaps off leaving the rest of the screw behind about the only solution is to put the new stainless steel screw in beside it. Sometimes it will not go in easily so I drill a short starter hole to the side of the remaining rusty screw. This works fine without any damage to the trailer siding or molding.

The screws I have found to work best for me are the Square Head1-1/4" Bugle Heads for the counter-sunk screws and I use the Square Drive 1-1/4" Pan Heads for replacing the screws that fit flat with my siding. You'll see which kind you have as you remove them.

Before I seat the screws completely I place a small chunk of Putty Tape around the screw which will plug the hole around the head of the screw and prevent further leakage.
For all of the items we use regularly visit  our
     Gadgets, Gizmos & other Useful Products   
Our Snowbird Water Leak Prevention Kit

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