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Old 05-24-2023, 03:51 PM   #1
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Question Vapor Barrier ?

We have just discovered catastrophic mold and water damage in our 2016 Springdale. A company called AvantaCare specializes in getting rid of mold.
They pulled up all the carpet and discovered damaged paneling. After pulling paneling off, it was discovered that there is absolutely NO vapor barrier between the outside metal skin and the insulation material. Sweating of thin metal is to be expected during changes in humidity and temperature changes.

My question is - Is this standard practice or was this manufacturing step missed during construction?

Whatcha think?
Fred and Judy Wilson
2018 36' Keystone Springdale
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Old 05-25-2023, 12:46 AM   #2
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There may be some brands and models of RV with vapor barriers, but I've never run into them.
In most rigs it's a wonder they have insulation at all.
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Old 05-25-2023, 06:38 AM   #3
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RV's are NOT manufactured anything even close to the construction of a house. There is no such thing as a vapor barrier.

You have the outer skin, studs (wood or aluminum) and the voids filled with either Styrofoam board or fiberglass rolled insulation. On the inside, you have some type of paneling and that's it.

That's why is so very, very important to ensure there are absolutely no leaks in the roof, why so much attention is given to ensuring correct calking is used and maintained on the roof of the camper. Any minor water intrusion will come from the roof. If the roof is properly sealed and maintained, then water cannot get inside the walls, drip down, across and under the flooring tile and carpet and rot everything out. Protect the roof and the rest of the camper is solid, regardless of how the walls are assembled or what material they are made of.

Again, to answer your question: "No." Vapor barriers are used in houses, not RV's.

Go to and put a search in for RV manufacturing tours, and watch hundreds of videos put out "there" by different RV manufacturers and you'll see what's going on and how these expensive beasts are put together. You'll understand a lot this way.
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Old 05-25-2023, 02:16 PM   #4
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No vapor barriers. These things need to breathe.
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Old 05-25-2023, 05:07 PM   #5
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Maybe you need to do some more investigation before closing up the walls. As NH Bulldog suggested, the problem might me a moisture leak. It would be a shame to have to open the wall again because the diagnosis was wrong.
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Old 05-27-2023, 01:42 PM   #6
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I have had the roof looked at. One spot up front was a problem. The repair place fixed that section of the roof and completely cleaned, resealed all vents and stuff and then recoated the entire roof. They also recommended having a "roof inspection" (free of charge) at least once per year (which I will have done).

Thanks all for your explanations. (NO Vapor Barrier should be installed)

Fred and Judy Wilson
2018 36' Keystone Springdale
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