Soundproofing Your RV: The Guide You Need


Having an RV is really amazing. You can roam around wherever you want in your home-like van. With all the fun facts, you might get really bothered about all the noise that comes in the RV. So, here it is! If you are looking for some easy ways to soundproof your RV, you’ve come to the right place! We will tell you everything you need to know about soundproofing your RV so that you can enjoy the luxurious ride with all ease and zero noise!

So let’s get started!

RV parked

First off, which parts of the RV produce the most noise?

Soundproofing the whole RV may produce the best results, but it can really expensive at times. If you are looking for some cheaper soundproofing options, you can look for only those areas that produce the most noise.

For this, you need to know everything about the parts of an RV, and how they produce noise within it.

  • Floor and Doors of the RV: Floors and the doors of an RV make the most noise. As the floor is close to the road, it resonates with the sound given to it.
  • RV’s Engine: We all know this! Engine sounds are one of the biggest sources of noise and they can disturb you a lot! If you have the engine on the front of an RV, you must soundproof it to reduce noise.
  • The ceiling of the RV: RV vents can be another source of a lot of noise coming from the outside so you should consider soundproofing options for this as well.
  • A Water Pump: A water pump can produce a lot of noise, due to the pipes surrounding it. Therefore, you need to fix this to enjoy your RV ride.
  • RV Generator: If you own an RV, you must have a power generator which gives a lot of unwanted noise. Soundproofing your RV Generator can help you a lot with noise reduction.
  • RV Tires: If you’re driving your RV on a rough road, the tires can produce a lot of unwanted noise. Soundproofing the wheel wells can help you reduce most of the unwanted noise, especially during a long and rough journey.

How can you soundproof your RV? A Step-By-Step Guide.

Now that you have the basic knowledge about the parts of the RV that produce most of the noise, here is a step-wise guide on how you can soundproof each of these parts with some very easy steps. Just use the right soundproofing materials and follow some simple tips and techniques, and you can easily soundproof your RV in no time.

So let’s get started!

Soundproofing your RV using sound dampeners

soundproofing floor of rv
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RV is made up of metal, which is known for its resonance ability. This means that the noise is amplified inside the metal body of the RV. There are various sound-dampening options available in the market that can help to fix this problem so let’s have a look at the sound dampeners and how they help in noise reduction in the RV.

Sound Dampeners (or the sound deadening mats):

These soundproofing materials work really well for reducing noise in the RVs.  The sound deadening mats are affordable in price and are really easy to install. Let’s tell you about some of the best sound dampeners available in the market.

FatMat comes with a shiny protective top with a waxed paper release bottom. It reduces all sorts of road-noise, soundproof your vehicle, and improves the sound within the RV.

Dynamat usually comes with a DynaLiner. It is a thick mat that insulates the RV completely from the outside noise. If you are using it just as a sound deadening mat, I would advise you to get an additional closed cell-foam mat for even better results.

Noico is a green closed-cell foam mat that comes at an affordable rate. It has a comparatively good thickness to soundproof the RV from all sorts of outside noise.

Kilmat is a butyl Sound Deadener Mat is almost just like the Noico.  The only difference between the two is that Kilmat is lighter in weight and there is a difference in the size of its sheets.

Vibro is closed-Cell Foam Insulator is known for sound and thermal insulation. It has a denser type of foam which is very effective at dampening all sorts of noise from the outside. Also, it is 100% waterproof and fire retardant.

Trim-Lok is a PVC Plastic Trim with a Rubber Bulb Seal that can be used for the doors of the RV. If you don’t properly seal the RV door, it can let in a lot of noise from the outside. Trim-Lok is a great option to seal those gaps completely so that you can enjoy a noise-free environment inside your RV.

These are just the basic details regarding some of the best sound deadening mats. For more details, we would recommend you to visit here.

How sound dampeners help in reducing noise in the RV?

Sound Dampeners, for example, FatMat, Noico, and Dynamat are basically the peel and stick mats, made up of high viscoelasticity materials. Viscoelasticity means that the material takes a long time to come back to its position after being stretched. Due to the viscoelastic property, the sound dampeners are a good option to avoid noise within an RV and can be used for soundproofing your vehicle. Additionally, these mats are highly heat resistant, which means that they can endure high temperatures.

How to install a sound dampener in your RV?

sound dampener
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These mats are very easy to install at a very reasonable price. The sound dampeners attach directly to the metal surface of an RV, resulting in the soundproofing of the area. Just follow these simple steps and you are good to go!

1. Clean your vehicle: It is important to thoroughly clean the metal surface before applying the sound dampener. Make sure there is no dirt or grease on the body, and completely dry off the area before the installation. Moisture or wet surface can inhibit the complete bonding of the dampener to the surface, so make sure you keep these things in mind!

2. Measure the surface area and cut the dampener accordingly: You can measure the surface area accurately with the help of a measuring tape or a cardboard template. If the surface is oddly shaped, you can cut several strips of 5-6 inches and piece them together so that they properly cover the metal.

It is important to note that you do not need to cover the entire RV for soundproofing. For instance, if you cover 25% of the entire area (the major parts mentioned above), you can enjoy some really good results at a very affordable cost.

3. Peel off the adhesive backing and stick on the surface: This is as easy as it sounds. Just peel off the sticker and stick it to the metal surface. Try not to touch the sticky side with your fingers so that it can easily get pasted on the surface. Also, you can even heat the dampener with a hair-dryer for better bonding with the metal, and use a roller to stick it on properly.

An important thing to consider:

Here, it is important to mention that you must not go for other cheap soundproofing options (except FatMat, Noico, and Dynamat). This is because these mats may be cheaper, but do not offer the same viscoelasticity as the renowned ones. Also, even if they are soundproof, they may not be able to endure the heat for a prolonged period, resulting in melting and detachment from the surface after some time.

Soundproofing the floor of your RV

soundproof floor
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As mentioned earlier, the floor of the RV is in very close proximity to the road. Therefore, it resonates with the entire sound, more like a large diaphragm. So here’s the question: How can you soundproof the floor of your RV? For this, we have got a few options for you. Just remember that whatever option you choose, do not compromise on the quality of the material even if it’s slightly expensive.

So, for this, the first option is to use some fluffy and thick carpets to cover the surface. Although this is not very effective, you may feel a slight difference with this. Adding up layers on the surface can help in blocking the sounds, and also make your RV more comfortable for long rides.

Although it is a good option at a very reasonable price, it has a big drawback. You cannot put the carpet on the front surface of the car, like on the gearbox, which usually produces the most noise. So you cannot completely soundproof your RV with the help of carpets.

The second option is to layering two materials. The first layer has to be a closed-cell foam that can help with the insulation of the RV floor. A good example of this is a Dodo Super Liner Pack, as 6 square meters of this layer can cover the whole RV floor. The second layer has to be a dense sound barrier. It will reduce the noise due to the tires, road, or exhaust.  With the help of these two layers, you can easily soundproof the floor of your RV and even that can make a huge difference.

If you want to learn more about this, here is a good article on soundproofing your RV floor.

Soundproofing the door of your RV

soundproof door
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For soundproofing the doors, you can simply apply the sound dampeners on the door. It is suggested to simply open up the door panel, stick the mats inside and get it back together. You must take care of any gaps and spaces between the door and walls. Usually, there is a rubber seal inside the door that prevents air and noise from coming inside. If the seal does not have enough thickness, it is recommended to replace it so that no noise enters the RV. Especially if your RV is old or the gasket is cracked, fix it with a thick door seal so that you can prevent noise from entering inside the RV.

You can learn more about this from this YouTube video.

 Soundproofing the ceiling of your RV

ceiling of rv
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 This is similar to soundproofing like the rest of the parts. Simply cut the sound deadening mat of the right dimension and install it on the surface.

It is important to consider the vent on the ceiling that can bring a lot of noise in the RV. For the RV Vent, you can use an insulator to soundproof it. We would recommend you to buy the Camco RV Vent Insulator from Amazon, which works best for the RVs.

Covering the windows of your RV

soundproof window of rv
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Several RV window covers are available in the market, which is usually designed to protect against heat and sunlight, but they are thick enough to soundproof the RV. Camco SunShield Reflective Door Window Cover is a good option in this regard. It is easily available on Amazon, and you can purchase one for your RV.

For better soundproofing results, you can combine the RV window cover with a sound deadening mat. For this, you simply need to cut the mat according to the size of the cover and attach it to one side of the cover. This would be the easiest way to soundproof your RV and would make an enormous difference.

Another good option is to use some good quality noise-blocking curtains or moving blankets. Hang them with the curtain hooks and you will insulate the RV from a lot of outside noise. Although this is a good option, it has a disadvantage that it may consume quite a lot of space.

Soundproofing the Engine Compartment of the RV

engine of rv
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We all know how much noise engines produce. If the engine of your RV is in the front, you may have to soundproof it sooner or later. For this, you can contact the manufacturing company of your RV to provide you with the insulation pads if available. If you do not find these pads, you can simply cover the hood of your engine with the sound deadening mats. These mats contain an aluminum layer, therefore they can resist the high temperature and heat of the engine.

Covering the water pump of the RV

water pump of rv
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Water pumps are mostly required in the RV for plumping. Unfortunately, these pumps make a lot of noise, due to the surrounding pipes attached to them. You can silence your water pump with the help of a pipe foam.

For this, you simply need to get a half-inch pipe foam. Measure accurately the length of the pipes you want to cover. Cut the foam according to the length of the pipe, and cover it completely by securing it with a tape.

This simple technique can help you overcome around 80% of the pump noise. Isn’t this just great?

Silencing your air conditioning unit

ac of rv
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The air conditioning unit may produce some sort of noise like blowing fans or clicking the compressor, which is totally normal. If you hear some cranky sounds in the AC, there can be some maintenance issue that needs to be fixed. For this, you can hire a professional to check the AC so that you can fully enjoy the soundproofing experience.

Covering the wheel wells with the soundproofing mats

soundproof wheel wells
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Tires can produce a lot of unwanted noise. Wheel wells are designed to soundproof this noise, but if they are thin, the noise can resonate through the metal creating a lot of disturbance for the passengers.

So, in this case, you can use the soundproof mats to reduce the extra noise. For this, first, remove the wheels and then stick on the mat to the wheel wells.

You can use pure Mass Loaded Vinyl for the wheel wells because of its durability and good quality. Applying more than one layer of MLV can produce even better results. As the MLV is non-adhesive (i.e. it cannot stick by itself), you will have to use an adhesive or a sticking glue to stick it on the wells. For this step, you might need the help of a professional as the process is slightly complex. You will have the remove the wheels first and then apply the material. If you feel like it’s too hard, you can even skip this if you are not planning to drive on a rough road.

Silencing the RV’s Generator

rv generator
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In some RVs, the generator is completely enclosed in the metal compartment, whereas, in others, it can be open to the road below. These generators usually produce a lot of noise, which can be due to various reasons:

Fan noise: Cooling fans and radiators are important components of a water-cooled generator. These fans produce a lot of noise that propagates through the openings of the generator. If there is not enough soundproofing system, this noise can be very disturbing.

Exhaust Noise: If the generator does not have enough exhaust mufflers, it will emit noise at a very high frequency. The exhaust pipes are usually connected to the muffler present under the RV. If it is not extended beyond the living compartment, you will get a lot of noise in your RV.

Engine Noise: The ringing and pinging sound of the engine due to the operational combustion can produce a high-frequency noise. This noise radiates everywhere. If you structure the bottom of the engine with a relatively thin sheet, it may even radiate into the passenger’s compartment creating a lot of disturbance.

Mount Noise: The periodic vibrations of the generator are supposed to be damped by the generator vibration isolation mounts. However, when the RV is moving, the vibrations from the generator can be passed into the structure of the RV, creating noise even in the living compartment.

Cable Grounding Noise: A generator is usually designed with the exhausts and electrical cables so that they can isolate the vibrations of the engine. However, if the vibration mounts become misaligned, you can hear the noise from these electrical cables and exhaust pipes even inside the passenger compartment.

How can you soundproof your RV Generator?

Usually, an RV Generator is designed to have metal sheet walls on all its sides, with an outer cover for ventilation. It is then installed in its compartment. The compartment walls act as a soundbox and amplify the sound. With the help of some tips and tricks, you can greatly reduce the noise produced by the generator.

Lets’s have a look at these simple techniques:

  1. You can use the sound dampening mats to reduce the noise. Simply stick the mat in the generator compartment. Make sure the aluminum side of the mat faces the generator so that it can absorb heat, otherwise the mat can even melt.
  2. Additionally, check the exhaust pipes of the generator and make sure they are in the right place and not grounded in the structure of the RV.
  3. If you find any misaligned mounts, hire some professionals so they could fix them.
  4. Extend the exhaust pipes of the generator far beyond the living compartment, so that you can hear no noise coming from the terminals of these pipes.

If you want to learn more about this, here is an article that I wrote about soundproofing a generator.

Enjoy the great sound experience

Soundproof Panels
Photo credit: eHow Tech/ YouTube

After you finish with the basic soundproofing techniques, you can simply use a soundproofing foam to enjoy a better sound experience inside your RV. This foam will cut down all sorts of sound reflection so that you can enjoy a peaceful environment within your RV.

Amazon has got some great options for you. Here’s the link for Foamily 12 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges (1″ X 12″ X 12″). Simply purchase one for your RV, and enjoy the most amazing experience.

The Final Words

We all know that RVs are larger than the normal vehicles, which is why they can be incredibly noisy. Also due to their metal body, they vibrate a lot and resonate with the noise even further. If you want to read a full 3000-word article with precise instructions on how to soundproof your car that took me over a week to write, then click on the link.

I have provided you with all the details of how can fix this problem very easily. It is your choice to either soundproof parts of your RV or the whole complete vehicle. Just remember that the more you cover your RV with the soundproof materials, the better the results would be.

So what are you waiting for? Just soundproof your RV using these simple tips and tricks, and enjoy your ride! Cheers!

 

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