Whether it's a dent or puncture on the main body panel or damage to the body trim, no type of RV body damage should be ignored. Not only are damages unattractive, but they can also impact the value of your RV and lead to a plethora of other issues. Even small damages should be repaired promptly.
1. Mold and Mildew
A damaged body panel can provide access for mold and mildew spores to get behind the panel. Once present, they can reproduce quickly and spread throughout the body of the RV. Mold is difficult to remove once it is under a body panel, in part because it can't be accessed without stripping down the walls completely. Repairing quickly prevents mold and mildew from ever gaining access.
Most RV's have a polymer outer panel that is laminated onto a wood base material. When the panel is damaged, the outer panel separates from the wood, and moisture seeps behind it. The outer panel will then separate further in response, a process called delamination, and you will get bubbles or wrinkles in the body panel. Extensive delamination will cause the outer panel to peel away completely, and it is difficult to repair. Instead, make body repair damages early before delamination begins.
3. Wood Rot
That same moisture that leads to mold and delamination will also eventually compromise the integrity of the wood base panels. As the wood absorbs moisture, it swells. This swelling breaks apart the wood fibers and weakens them. Eventually, the swollen and wet fibers begin to rot and break down. Extensive rot cannot be repaired, so the only wise decision is to repair body damages before rot becomes a problem.
Some parts of an RV body, particularly parts of the frame, are made of metal. This metal isn't meant to be exposed to the elements, but body damage can give access to the two things that lead to rust — moisture and oxygen. Ensuring the panels are in good repair so that they form a moisture-proof envelope around the RV is a must.
5. Pest Issues
No one wants pests in their RV, but small rodents and insects will take any opportunity to enter a snug and warm RV. Inside, they may be able to find shelter and food, and once they take up residence, pests are difficult to remove. Repairing holes and punctures in the body gets rid of the easy access points that pests may use to gain entry.
Contact an RV body repair shop if your RV has suffered some body damages.