September 26, 2019

TT #114 Replacing Exterior Rubber Strips

By: Rob Lowe

I receive many inquiries from older motorhome owners or those that have an orphaned coach in which parts are not available from the original RV manufacturer. These RVers are looking for a parts source for exterior rubber seals used on cargo bins, doors and slideouts. Often the ones on their coach are damaged, missing or have deteriorated over the years. Usually the caller relates the fact that they have contacted the RV maker (i.e. Fleetwood) if they are still in business or the new company, (REV Group), which makes the same RV brand as theirs, only to learn that the parts department does not have the original rubber moldings. What can they do? This question is even more important when the original RV maker is no longer in business.


Many of these replacement rubber strips and moldings are ‘off the shelf’ ones supplied by a maker of just such parts as these. The RV makers do not make the rubber parts, they buy the ones needed in wholesale quantities and then use them in production, while also selling the individual pieces as needed.


Later in this article will be some sources, besides your local RV dealer where you may be able to find these rubber parts. It is good to know that manufacturers make changes in the rubber moldings used and while the exact style used when the RV coach or trailer was produced is no longer available, a newer version will fit and work as well or even better. A recommendation from the molding maker is often better than trying to find the exact one used when the coach was built. Often these moldings are sold in cut to length sizes while others are in larger quantities so small lengths may require purchasing more than needed for the task at hand.  


The suppliers have excellent websites with the shapes and profiles of the rubber parts shown and then more detail with exact measurements so that you can match up what you have to the ones available. Some have a downloadable catalog and online chat. Often the seals are available in different "rubber” materials, so that may also feed into the selection you take.


In addition, there are various areas on RVs where rubber protection grommets are used to protect wiring or other critical components from damage as the part goes through a frame member, wall or other structure. Careful review of these catalogs and websites can provide a source for these components as well.  


Manufacturer Web Sites and Contact Information:


Clean Seal Inc,





Steele Rubber RV





Trim-Lock Trims and Seals





Hopefully, these sources will allow you to find the rubber seals and grommets needed to renew those on your RV.


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