how to attach things to outside of rv

Attaching things to the outside of an RV can be useful for expanding storage or enhancing your outdoor living space. However, it’s important to do this safely and securely to avoid damage to your RV or accidents while driving. Here are some general guidelines on how to attach things to the outside of an RV:

Materials and Tools Needed:

  • Mounting brackets or rails
  • Appropriate fasteners (screws, bolts, nuts, etc.)
  • Sealant (appropriate for RV use)
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Drill and bits
  • Screwdriver or socket wrench
  • Safety goggles


  1. Choose the Attachment Location: Decide where on your RV you want to attach the item. Consider the type of item and its weight when selecting a location. Avoid areas where attachments could interfere with slide-outs, awnings, or other RV functions.
  2. Measure and Mark: Use a measuring tape and a pencil to mark the exact location and placement of the item on the RV. Ensure it’s level and positioned correctly.
  3. Select the Mounting Brackets or Rails: Depending on the item you’re attaching, you may need mounting brackets or rails. Choose hardware that is designed for outdoor and RV use. The type of hardware will depend on the item and the attachment method.
  4. Drill Pilot Holes: Using a drill and appropriate drill bit, create pilot holes in the RV’s exterior at the marked locations. The size of the holes should match the size of the fasteners you plan to use.
  5. Attach Mounting Brackets or Rails: Secure the mounting brackets or rails to the RV using the appropriate fasteners. Ensure they are tightly and securely attached. If using screws or bolts, you may want to apply sealant to the holes before inserting the fasteners to prevent water intrusion.
  6. Attach the Item: Depending on the item you’re attaching, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for securing it to the mounting brackets or rails. This may involve using additional screws, nuts, or bolts.
  7. Check for Secure Attachment: After attaching the item, double-check that it is securely fastened and does not wobble or move. Ensure all fasteners are tightened properly.
  8. Seal the Attachment Points: To prevent water from entering the RV through the attachment points, apply an appropriate RV sealant around the edges of the mounting brackets or rails and over the fasteners. This helps create a watertight seal.
  9. Test for Leaks: After sealing, check for any leaks during a rain shower or by using a hose to simulate rain. This ensures that your attachment points are watertight.
  10. Maintenance and Inspections: Regularly inspect the attached item and the mounting hardware for signs of wear, damage, or loosening. Tighten any hardware that may have come loose, and make any necessary repairs promptly.

Always ensure that the items you attach to the outside of your RV are within the weight limits specified by your RV manufacturer. Overloading your RV can affect its safety and performance. Additionally, consult your RV’s owner’s manual for specific guidelines and recommendations regarding attachments and modifications.

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