How to replace RV entry door seals

Importance of Maintaining RV Entry Door Seals

As an RV enthusiast and the owner of an RV and fleet vehicle repair company in Orange County, California, I can’t stress enough the importance of properly maintaining your RV’s entry door seals. These unassuming rubber gaskets play a crucial role in keeping the elements out and preserving the integrity of your RV’s interior. Whether you’re a seasoned RV veteran or a newbie to the lifestyle, learning how to replace RV entry door seals is an essential skill that can save you time, money, and a whole lot of headaches down the road.

You see, those entry door seals are like the gatekeepers of your RV, keeping the wind, rain, and critters at bay. And let me tell you, when those seals start to deteriorate, it’s like a free pass for Mother Nature to come waltzing right in. Suddenly, you’ve got water leaks, drafts, and maybe even some uninvited furry friends making themselves at home. Trust me, you don’t want to be that person at the campground, frantically trying to patch up a gaping hole in your RV’s entryway.

That’s why I’m here to guide you through the process of replacing those all-important entry door seals. Over the years, I’ve seen it all – from RVers who thought they could just slap on some duct tape (spoiler alert: that’s a recipe for disaster) to those who were completely stumped, wondering how in the world they were supposed to tackle this seemingly daunting task. But fear not, my friends, because I’m about to let you in on all the secrets to getting those seals replaced like a pro.

Understanding RV Entry Door Seals

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of the replacement process, let’s take a moment to understand exactly what these door seals are and why they’re so darn important.

The entry door seals on your RV are typically made of a flexible rubber or synthetic material, designed to create a tight seal around the perimeter of the door. This seal serves a few key purposes:

  1. Weatherproofing: Those seals help keep the elements – wind, rain, snow, and even the scorching sun – from infiltrating your RV’s interior. Imagine trying to camp in your RV during a downpour with a gaping hole around the entry door. Not exactly the cozy, dry experience you were hoping for, am I right?

  2. Insulation: In addition to keeping the weather out, the seals also play a crucial role in maintaining the temperature inside your RV. They help to retain the cool air from your air conditioner or the warm air from your heater, ensuring your rig stays at a comfortable, energy-efficient level.

  3. Noise Reduction: Those rubber gaskets act as a barrier, dampening the external sounds of the great outdoors. So, you can enjoy the peaceful tranquility of your campsite without the constant roar of the wind or the pitter-patter of rain interrupting your R&R.

Believe it or not, these unassuming seals can have a significant impact on the overall lifespan and condition of your RV. When they start to degrade, crack, or become brittle, it can lead to a whole host of problems, from leaks and drafts to insect infestations and even structural damage over time.

When to Replace RV Entry Door Seals

Now that you understand the importance of those entry door seals, the next logical question is: when should you replace them? After all, you don’t want to be replacing them too often, but waiting too long can spell disaster. It’s all about finding that sweet spot.

As a general rule of thumb, most RV manufacturers recommend replacing the entry door seals every 2-3 years, or whenever they start to show signs of wear and tear. But, of course, the actual lifespan of your seals can vary depending on a few key factors:

  1. Environmental Exposure: RVs that spend a lot of time in harsh environments, like intense sunlight, extreme temperatures, or salty coastal air, will likely need more frequent seal replacements compared to RVs that are primarily used in more temperate, sheltered areas.

  2. Usage Frequency: If you’re an avid RVer who’s constantly on the road, opening and closing that entry door multiple times a day, your seals will naturally wear out faster than those of a more casual RV user.

  3. Maintenance and Care: How well you maintain your RV’s entry door seals can also play a big role in their longevity. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and inspections can help extend the life of your seals and prevent premature deterioration.

So, how can you tell when it’s time to replace those trusty entry door seals? Here are a few telltale signs to look out for:

If you notice any of these issues, it’s time to start planning for a replacement. Trust me, it’s better to be proactive and take care of it before it turns into a bigger problem.

Preparing to Replace RV Entry Door Seals

Alright, now that we’ve covered the importance of those entry door seals and when to replace them, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of the replacement process. But before we get our hands dirty, there are a few essential steps we need to take to ensure a smooth and successful operation.

First and foremost, you’ll need to gather all the necessary tools and materials. This typically includes:

Next, you’ll want to take some time to thoroughly inspect your RV’s entry door and the surrounding area. Look for any cracks, warping, or other damage that could be contributing to the seal’s deterioration. If you find any significant issues, it’s best to address those before moving forward with the seal replacement.

Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, it’s time to start the actual prep work. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the door frame and the area where the old seal was installed. Use a mild soap and water solution or a specialized RV sealant cleaner to remove any dirt, debris, or residue that could interfere with the new seal’s adhesion.

Finally, it’s a good idea to measure the door frame and compare it to the dimensions of the replacement seal. This will help ensure you get the perfect fit and avoid any gaps or overlaps that could compromise the seal’s effectiveness.

Removing the Old RV Entry Door Seal

Alright, now that we’ve got the preparation work out of the way, it’s time to tackle the main event: removing the old entry door seal. This is where the real fun begins!

First and foremost, safety should be your top priority. Make sure to wear those rubber gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges or potential skin irritants. And remember to take your time – rushing through this step could lead to accidentally damaging the door frame or the new seal you’re about to install.

Using a putty knife or other flat tool, gently work your way around the perimeter of the door, carefully prying up the old seal. It’s important to go slowly and avoid pulling too hard, as you don’t want to risk tearing the seal or leaving behind any adhesive residue.

As you’re removing the old seal, take a close look at the condition of the door frame. If you notice any cracks, warping, or other damage, make a mental note of it. You may need to address those issues before moving forward with the new seal installation.

Once the old seal is completely removed, give the door frame another thorough cleaning to ensure a smooth, clean surface for the new seal. This is where that soapy water or silicone lubricant can come in handy – a little bit of lubrication can make the installation process a whole lot easier.

Remember, the key to successful seal removal is patience and a light touch. Rushing through this step could lead to costly mistakes, so take your time and do it right. Trust me, your future self will thank you.

Installing the New RV Entry Door Seal

Alright, now that the old seal is history, it’s time to bring in the new kid on the block. Installing the replacement RV entry door seal is where the real magic happens, so let’s dive in!

First and foremost, make sure you’ve got the right size and type of seal for your RV’s door frame. Nothing ruins a perfectly good seal replacement like discovering it’s the wrong fit. Double-check those measurements and compare them to the new seal to ensure a perfect match.

Once you’ve confirmed the fit, it’s time to start the installation process. Begin by carefully peeling back the protective backing on the new seal, exposing the adhesive surface. Now, here’s where a little bit of soapy water or silicone lubricant can really come in handy. Gently apply a thin layer to the door frame, which will help the new seal slide into place more easily.

With the adhesive exposed and the door frame lubricated, it’s time to start positioning the new seal. Carefully align the top edge of the seal with the top of the door frame, making sure it’s centered and evenly spaced around the perimeter. Once you’ve got it lined up just right, begin pressing the seal firmly into place, working your way around the entire frame.

As you’re pressing the seal into the door, take a moment to inspect the fit. Make sure there are no gaps, lumps, or overlaps that could compromise the seal’s effectiveness. If you notice any issues, don’t be afraid to peel it back and try again. After all, you want to get this right the first time.

Once the new seal is in place, you can use a bit of masking tape or painter’s tape to help hold it in position while the adhesive sets. This is especially helpful if you’re working in a particularly hot or humid environment, where the seal might be a bit more prone to shifting.

Finally, let the new seal cure for at least 24 hours before putting your RV back into service. This will give the adhesive plenty of time to bond and create that all-important weatherproof barrier. Trust me, it’s worth the wait – that new seal will be as good as new, keeping the elements at bay for years to come.

Maintaining Your RV Entry Door Seals

Alright, you’ve successfully replaced those old, worn-out entry door seals, and you’re feeling pretty darn proud of yourself. But the work doesn’t stop there, my friends. Maintaining those new seals is just as important as the installation process itself.

Think of it like this: you’ve just invested in a brand-new set of tires for your RV, but if you don’t rotate and balance them, they’re not going to last nearly as long as they should. The same principle applies to those entry door seals. If you want to get the most out of your investment, you’ve got to stay on top of the maintenance.

So, what does that maintenance entail, you ask? Well, it’s actually pretty straightforward:

  1. Regular Cleaning: At least once a month, give those seals a good cleaning with a mild soap and water solution or a specialized RV sealant cleaner. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or residue that could cause the seals to deteriorate prematurely.

  2. Lubrication: After cleaning, apply a thin layer of silicone-based lubricant to the seals. This will help keep them flexible and prevent cracking or brittleness over time.

  3. Inspection: Take a few minutes during your regular RV maintenance routine to give the entry door seals a thorough inspection. Look for any signs of wear, like cracks, splits, or hardening, and address any issues before they become bigger problems.

  4. Replacement: Remember, those seals have a lifespan of their own, and even with the best care, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. Keep an eye on their condition and don’t hesitate to swap them out when the time comes.

By staying on top of these simple maintenance tasks, you’ll be able to maximize the lifespan of your RV’s entry door seals and keep your rig in tip-top shape for years to come. Trust me, a little bit of elbow grease now will save you a whole lot of hassle (and cash) down the road.


Well, there you have it, folks – everything you need to know about replacing those all-important RV entry door seals. From understanding their importance to mastering the replacement process, we’ve covered it all.

Remember, those unassuming rubber gaskets play a vital role in keeping the elements at bay and preserving the integrity of your RV’s interior. Neglecting them can lead to a whole host of issues, from leaks and drafts to insect infestations and even structural damage.

So, don’t wait until it’s too late. Keep a close eye on the condition of your RV’s entry door seals, and be proactive about replacing them when the time comes. Trust me, your future self (and your wallet) will thank you.

If you’re ever in the Orange County, California area and need a little help with your RV or fleet vehicle maintenance, be sure to give us a call at We’d be more than happy to lend a hand and make sure your rig is running smoothly, no matter the season or the weather.

Until next time, happy camping, my friends!