If you’re considering purchasing a hybrid camper, you’re likely beginning to wonder how long these RVs last before they start leaking.
In our article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about hybrid campers and water leaks, including if this camper type experiences more leaks than others and how long it usually lasts before leaks occur.
Armed with this information, you will better understand if this caper type is ideally suited to you. Let’s dive in!
Here’s Why Hybrid Campers Leak:
Since hybrid campers are specially designed to feature both traditional hard sides, slide-outs, and fabric or mesh pop-outs, they do experience their fair share of leaks. How often and where they leak depends on numerous factors, including who manufactures them and their construction materials.
1. When Do Hybrid Campers Typically Start Leaking?
Unfortunately, it’s challenging to determine when a hybrid camper will leak. This is because numerous factors can influence when a person’s hybrid camper leaks, and it differs from person to person.
For example, a hybrid camper is more likely to experience leaks within a few years of use if an RVer does not maintain their camper by repairing any tears in the mesh or fabric.
Suppose the hybrid camper isn’t cleaned after every camping session, and the canvas isn’t treated with UV protectants. In that case, it’s more likely to leak sooner than someone who maintains their camper.
According to many different RVers, there is a broad timeframe for how long a hybrid camper lasts before it starts leaking. Typically because of the unique construction of a hybrid camper, leaks start occurring within the first five years of ownership.
However, often the leaks are minor and, depending on the location, somewhat easy to fix.
2. Do Hybrid Campers Leak More Than Other Types Of Campers?
Although a hybrid camper’s unique construction can be convenient and efficient, these campers tend to leak more than certain other campers.
This is because these motorhomes feature fabric and mesh sides like a tent that pop out each time a camper is set up.
This combination of fabric and aluminum is not as strong as other camper types constructed wholly out of aluminum and insulation. Since they are not as strong, they are more prone to leaks than a standard camper without pop-out sections.
Check out our article on the four most common problems with hybrid campers while you’re at it!
3. Where Do Hybrid Campers Typically Leak?
There are a few places where hybrid campers typically leak.
To help you determine where you should look first if your hybrid camper leaks, we have briefly listed the places these campers typically experience leaks:
- Between the canvas and the hard sides.
- At the bunk ends.
- By the front bed.
- At the front bunk doors.
- By the front storage compartment.
- In the wheel wells.
- By the windows.
- At the seals (including roof, slide out, and door seals).
- At the canvas seams.
4. How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Leak On Hybrid Campers?
On average, RV repair labor is a minimum of $129 an hour, but it can be upwards of $200 to $300 per hour.
To replace the fabric of your pop-out if it has an irreparable tear causing a leak, you should expect to pay between $900 and $1,500. If you don’t need to repair the entire canvas but only a small portion, you could pay less than $900.
So, if we put this sum together to determine the cost of fixing an irreparable canvas tear on one side of your pop-out on your hybrid camper, you would need to pay an estimated minimum of about $1,029 for one hour of labor and replacement fabric.
Additionally, when considering how much it would cost to fix a hybrid camper, you need to factor in the cost of labor and materials. If you are a DIY enthusiast and know how to fix leaks, you might not need to pay for labor, but you will likely still need to pay for materials.
5. How Hard Is It To Actually Fix A Leaking ROOF On Hybrid Models?
Although hybrid campers have a different structure from traditional campers, their roofs are almost identical structurally and material-wise.
This means how hard it is to fix a leaking roof on a hybrid camper will depend on how severe the leak is and what caused it. It will also depend on your knowledge surrounding fixing roof leaks.
For example, if you have never repaired a leak before on your roof or have no knowledge of the materials and tools you need to fix the roof of your hybrid camper, you will find the process incredibly difficult. Yet, should you know your way around a roof kit and how to fix a motorhome leak, you might find it incredibly easy to fix your hybrid campers’ roof leak if it is a minor repair job.
Ultimately you should be able to fix a minor roof leak if it is a crack or small hole easily with a repair kit by following the instructions. Suppose there is significant damage to your roof.
In that case, you might need to consider hiring a professional, especially if you’re going to need to replace your roof, as you won’t be able to easily do that on your own, and it could cost you more.
Check out these 5 Great Electric RVs You Need To See (With Pictures)!
6. How Hard Is It To Fix A Leaking WINDOW On Hybrid Models?
Fixing a leaking window on a hybrid model shouldn’t be too difficult if you have the necessary materials and tools and some repair skills.
However, how hard it is to fix will also depend on if you have to complete a simple fabric patch job or sealant repair or if you need to replace an entire fabric panel or glass window.
The process is relatively simple if you only need to replace deteriorated caulking with new sealant to repair a window leak. Simply replace the old caulking without damaging your window after you have taken off the old caulking.
Then you need to clean up the area and slowly apply new sealant. Yet you will need to be careful to do a tidy job so that you don’t put too much or too little.
Should you need to replace a window section of your pop-out windows canvas, it might be more challenging because you could have to replace the entire section, which can be difficult if you have never done it before.
Moreover, if you have to replace a window, you could struggle since replacing RV windows is harder than replacing normal residential windows.
7. How Do You Inspect A Water Leak On These Models?
Inspecting your hybrid camper for water leaks isn’t as difficult as you might believe.
Below are a few ways to look for a water leak on these models.
It’s important to remember that inspecting your motorhome for water leaks will help you prevent damage to your hybrid camper, so it’s important to check your entire camper routinely.
Here are some areas to check:
- Look between the hard sides slides and your pop-out canvas compartments for tears, mold, mildew, and holes.
- Check the pop-out canvas on all sides to see if there are any tears or rips where water can come into your camper.
- Look under your bunk beds and other beds for mildew, mold, and water damage where your pop-outs are located.
- Check the seams of your canvas for any water seeping into your motorhome.
- Look inside your storage compartments for puddles and water damage.
- Check your RV exterior body walls for warping or bubbling.
- Look for discoloration and bubbling on your interior walls.
- Check inside all overhead cabinets.
- Look for soft spots on the floors and walls.