RV Underwear

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Steve CDN

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When an RV is bought in northern parts of the continent, many dealers want to sell undercoating to protect against salt if the RV is moved in winter.

Is this the best way to protect an RV or are there other ways one can protect the under carriage from premature wear and deterioration?  How can rust be stopped from corroding the frame and electrical connections?

 

Ron

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Best advice is to stay out of any state or Providence that insists on using salt on the roads during the winter months.  It is not necessary to use salt on highways in the winter. Montana and Wyoming don't use salt.

 

blueblood

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Ron said:
Best advice is to stay out of any state or Providence that insists on using salt on the roads during the winter months.? It is not necessary to use salt on highways in the winter. Montana and Wyoming don't use salt.

Neither does CO. In fact, my son used to say that the Rockies was only place in state that one could go to the beach. It arguably saved a woman's wife this week. My son and his wife along with several other couples were motorcycling near Breckenrige when one of the women failed to make a turn. She went straight off the road toward a 45 ft. ravine. However, she got thrown and went head over head into the sand and never got a scratch. The bike was towed to Denver for scrapping or repair.
 

Steve CDN

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Like it or not, salt is used in the Northeast and a substantial number of snowbirds travel in winter.  I have seen coaches that had been exposed to several winter rides through these conditions and they required multi thousand dollar repairs to replace the under belly as well as various mechanical and electrical components.

In addition coaches which reside in seaside areas are exposed to the same hazards.

So what measures can we take to protect our "investment"?
 

1996terry

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I would say to protect the frame, all you need to do it make sure it is painted good. Maybe paint it every year to make sure. As for electrical connections make sure the insulation of the wires is/are in good shape. Also, where there is a connection, try some heat shrinking material to protect the connection - sometimes electricial tape will loosen and come off.

And maybe just get the under coating done?? Or do it yourself. There are various companies with products for under coating.
As for rust that has already started, the best way to removed it is to sand it off, or to cut out the bad spot (obvisouly don't do this to the frame). Also, products like POR-15 can be used to paint over rust and it suppose to stop it from spreading.

Remember, always use a rust inhibiting paint, because it will keep rust back better then regular paint.

You might also must to look into under coating that you can by in a spray bomb or rattle can. I've used products like that before, and on target areas it works well. Just shoot the stuff on. It is a tar substance that explands when it is applied. Like I said it is good for spot applications.

But to be sure, I'd say you should get the whole under carriage undercoated. I've seen what can happen to vehicles here (we use salt up here) and even newer vehicles have rust problems underneath already - I'd expect the same thing would happen to an RV.

- Jeff L.
 

Steve CDN

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Hi Jeff!

Thanks for the info.  Any suggestions on a good rust inhibiting paint.  I have not seen good results with Rustoleum.

Heat shrink tubing is a good suggestion.  Where's the best place to get some in various sizes.  What do boaters use on electrical connections that are exposed to salt water conditions.  I bet whatever they use would do the trick on any RV!
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Steve said:
Hi Jeff!

Thanks for the info.  Any suggestions on a good rust inhibiting paint.  I have not seen good results with Rustoleum.

Heat shrink tubing is a good suggestion.  Where's the best place to get some in various sizes.  What do boaters use on electrical connections that are exposed to salt water conditions.  I bet whatever they use would do the trick on any RV!

You can get heat shrink tubing in assorted sizes at electronic supply houses such as RS Electronics here in Detroit,  Radio shack carries a VERY LIMITED selection.. I think I've seen it at some truck stops too but again a very limited selection

Avoid making connections where they are exposed, trust me on this, avoid it (I know sometimes you don't have a choice)

As for paint.. Rust-O-Leum used to be a fish-oil based rust inhibitor, this caused problems if you wished to re-paint with another brand... Some other paints used zink as the rust inhibitor or some other sacrificial chemical, IE: Acme (Division of Sherman Williams, Sherman-Williams is the #1 maker of automotive (and thus RV) paints)
 

1996terry

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If rustoleum didn't work to good for you, I have also used Tremclad which is another rust inhibitat paint available in rattle can and cans to brush on to I believe. Maybe that would work better for you??
Not to make this sound like I work for a apint company or anything, but be sure to use a rust inhibitat premier first, then apply the paint. The paint *may* stick better.

I personally haven't used this product, but I know some people on some car forums that have had great sucess with por-15. Check out http://www.por15.com maybe that is another option for you???
 

Karl

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John,

Don't ever let DuPont hear you say Sherwin-Williams is the #1 Automotive paint maker ;D They'll send Jeff Gordon to paint your house khaki!

Heat shrink tubing is NOT moisture proof and will give you a false sense of security. You best bet is clean connections painted with undiluted Plasti-Dip; the dip for tool handles and the like. Corona dope would also work but is brittle an wouldn't stand much flexing. If you want to do a really good job get a spray can or two of conformal coating used to protect printed circuit boards. I can give you the name of my supplier if you'd like. 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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They sell a shrink wrap for use with underground and underwater splices - we have use them here in the campground on the connections for the sewer pumps, so you know they work pretty well!  An electrical supply house should be able to provide them.
 

Karl

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Gary,

You're right. Shrink wrap would work fine, but I still like the Plasti-Dip or conformal spray especially when you can't easily wrap the connections. Incidently, Plasti-Dip can be thinned with Toulene (Toluol) if necessary. Out of the can it's pretty thick.
 

Tom

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The guy I buy batteries from uses a shrink wrap with an anti-moisture barrier inside that melts when heated and forms a conformal coating. He uses these on battery cables he makes.
 

Steve CDN

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Tom,

Is the product for sealing battery connections easily available for users like ourselves or is it strictly a commercial product.  What's it like to remove it when you have to maintain the battery connections?
 

Tom

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Steve

I've never used it or tried to obtain it, although the guy made me a bunch of cables that way when I installed the 10 golf cart batteries.

The material does not cover the lugs, it merely covers a small part of the lug, any exposed wire, and an inch or so of the insulation. So there's nothing in the way when i remove the connections.

I'll ask what it is and where he gets it next time I'm passing, but we won't be home until sometime in September.
 

Carl L

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west Los Angeles
Steve said:
Hi Jeff!

Thanks for the info.? Any suggestions on a good rust inhibiting paint.? I have not seen good results with Rustoleum.

Heat shrink tubing is a good suggestion.? Where's the best place to get some in various sizes.? ?What do boaters use on electrical connections that are exposed to salt water conditions.? I bet whatever they use would do the trick on any RV!

Boaters use marine grade shrink tubing.? It containes a heat activated adhesive/sealer inside the tubing to give it a seal against the intrusion of water.? ?It can be purchased at most any marine chandlery like West Marine.?? See the stuff by clicking on the URL: http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product/10001/-1/10001/849/10001/184/124/9

A second precaution is to?never use solderless connectors on wiring exposed to water, especially salt water.? ?Solder the connections and seal the join with the marine grade shrink tubing.
 
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