Replacing old or worn out seals may seem intimidating, but wait until you see how simple this process really is. While the article (and our corresponding video) focuses on RV door weatherstripping, the tools and process for replacing all other seals is similar. The only thing that will change will be the project and the rubber it requires.
Replacing your RV door seals is a simple and straight forward job. Not only will it improve the appearance of your door, it will take care of any rattles and noise you may have. The best part is that it will keep the AC in and keep the elements out! Let's get started!
There are 4 steps to quick project completion:
- Identifying the new seals
- Removing the old seals
- Cleaning and prepping the work area
- Installing and trimming new seals
Step 1: Identifying the new seals
Take a look at what is already there. Get an idea of the dimensions of your project and the profile of the seal you are looking for. If you're not sure what seal you have, you can download our RV catalog to help you find a perfect match.
Step 2 and 3: Removing the old seals and preparing the work area
Some of the seals used on RVs are made of open cell sponge which does not seal well and rots and deteriorates quickly. For these steps you will need your adhesive cleaner, scraper tool, an old rag, and some gloves.
You should be able to start working your way under the rubber seals with the scraper tool. These types of seals should come off fairly easy. After you have removed all that you can of the seal, apply some adhesive cleaner to your rag. The adhesive cleaner will soften the glue. After applying the adhesive cleaner, you can take your scraper tool and scrape away the remaining glue and rubber. Take your time with this step. You will need to remove all glue before moving on.
Once you have a clean and smooth surface, go over the area with an alcohol wipe. The alcohol wipe will ensure that there are no oils from our hands or anything else that would cause the new rubber not to stick.
Step 4: Installing and trimming new seals
For this article and the corresponding video, we are demonstrating this process with peel-n-stick. To get started with the installation you will need to peel a section of the adhesive tape and place the seal on the beginning of the track area. Leave a little extra at the bottom. This will ensure that you have complete coverage of your entire work area. You can always come back and trim this later.
Focus on roughly a foot of rubber at a time to maximize your efficiency. A foot at a time should not be too overwhelming. This part of the process should go fairly quickly, but be sure to take your time. If you have to peel the rubber off of the work area and re-apply it you are going to lose adhesive every time which affects the longevity and durability of the seal.
When you get to the end of your project work area cut off the access (leaving just a little left over). Go back to your left over areas and finely trim the excess. By doing this you are creating coverage of the entire area.
If the seal you have does not have a peel-n-stick backing, check out our video on How to Glue Weatherstrip the Right Way.
For all your RV weatherstripping needs, Steele Rubber Products provides high quality products made from EPDM rubber. You can find a complete list of all of our door seals, window seals, slide out seals, hatches and insert trim and universal parts on our website rv.steelerubber.com. Additionally, you can download a free RV Parts catalog online or give us a call to request a mail catalog 800-230-6752.
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