Many parts of the US are prone to hail storms throughout the year. And, in the state of Texas, we experience some of the worst hail storms in the country. This means that your beloved RV may be hit with a dreaded hail storm anywhere from driving down the motorway to safely parked in your yard. Unless you plan on leaving your RV in your garage all year round, Texan RV owners are likely to experience hail damage at some point.
Tips To Avoid Hail Damage
While we understand the nature of RV-ing often does not lend itself to these preventive measures, we have put together three helpful tips to try if you find yourself in the midst of a hailstorm, or if one is approaching your city or town.
1. Check The Weather Forecast
A rather obvious, but important tip! One of the easiest things you can do is check the weather for hail storms in your current area or where you are driving to. If there is a chance of hail, maybe postpone your trip. If you are close to or at home make sure you park your RV in your garage or underneath your carport.
2. If You’re Driving Find a Covered Area ASAP
If you find yourself caught in a hail storm while driving or parked at an RV park, try to find shelter as soon as possible. We suggest you pull over at a parking garage, gas station, or even underneath some full trees. If none of these are available, park your RV as close to a building as possible, as this will provide some shelter.
3. Use an RV Cover if You Can’t Get to Shelter
If you live in a hail-prone area it might be worthwhile investing in a cover for your RV. While this may not stop every hail-induced dent or ding, covers could potentially help reduce damage. Plus, covers are also great in helping protect your RV from other weather conditions such as heavy rain, harsh sunshine, and strong winds.
What to do When Your RV Gets Hit by Hail
Depending on the severity and size of the actual hail pieces, the damage to your RV could range from minor cracks and scratches to major golf-ball-sized dents. On the surface, car hail damage can look pretty similar to that of an RV. Most cars can be fixed through a process known as paintless dent repair, however, hail dent removal works differently when it comes to RVs. This is mostly because RVs are made mostly of fiberglass, aluminum, and wood sheathing. Because of this, fixing hail damage to your RV can be more costly and time-consuming than a regular vehicle.
On top of causing damage to your RV’s windows, windshields, and body hailstones can also damage the following:
- Roof-top air conditioners
- Rubber-coated wood roofs
- Solar panels
How Do I Know When I Need Hail Damage Repair?
Apart from obvious dents in your RV’s bodywork or cracked windows, below are a few smaller telltale signs that your RV needs repair work after a hail storm:
- There’s damage to AC units and vent lids: Hail can cause damage to your AC units or vent lids, and if not fixed properly, this could lead to additional moisture making its way into your RV, which can cause even more damage down the line.
- You notice small spots or bubbles in the rubber membrane: Small pots and bubbles after a hail storm can indicate that the membrane is no longer glued to the underlayment in certain areas. Again, if not fixed sooner rather than later, this leaves your RV vulnerable to even more significant damage.
- There are mild to significant spider cracks or bruising to the gel coat: Your RV’s fiberglass can also sustain spider web cracks or bruises, which will let moisture penetrate your RV. Once water gets under the surface, this can eventually lead to sagging roofs and delamination.
Some of these repairs such as a vent repair might seem easy enough to fix on your own, however, they can be surprisingly complicated. For example, air vents have electrical components and if not sealed properly, you could experience water damage later. That’s why it’s always best to leave any hail damage to the professionals.
What Are the Costs of Hail Damage to my RV?
As noted in one of our previous blogs, the cost to replace sheet metal on an RV is around $9.50 to $13.50 per square foot. Because of this expense, it is common for many RV owners to leave minor hail damage, especially if the damage is only cosmetic. While some RV damage might seem minor, it’s better to get it repaired straight away.
Small cosmetic damages not only reduce your RV resale value, they can also lead to more costly damage in the long run. Did you know most RVs resold after minor hail damage are sold for 25 – 40% of their original value in Texas? Alongside this, if you sustain more damage from future hailstorms, your insurance company may refuse to cover the repairs, as they can deny your claim based on prior damage.
Repair Your RV Hail Damage Today
If you have experienced RV hail damage, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. We’ll get your RV looking like new and back on the road in no time at all. At Coach Specialists we are all too familiar with hail damage prevalent in this area, so we can provide the best up-to-date methods and affordable pricing.
Have some hail damage to your RV? Click here to schedule a repair appointment. As industry leaders, Coach Specialists are here to help with all your RV repair needs. Give us a call today or fill out our contact form here.