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Old 02-07-2019, 12:40 PM   #1
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I guess it is a roof leak - now what

Several months ago I noticed that my wife's BedBuddy was damp when I pulled it out of the top shelf of the "closet" on her side of the bed. I checked around to see if there was water elsewhere in the closet but everything was dry and there were no stains indicating a leak. I figured that maybe the BedBudy was put away hot and the dampness was just condensation. Over the next few months I kept checking and it never was damp again.

Today I was out in the trailer and looking for something and I opened up the closet door and went to move some sweatshirts on that top shelf. They were both pretty wet so I pulled them out and started investigating. Just a note - we've had over 4" of rain in the last week and the TT sits in the driveway in a slight nose down orientation) There was no pooled water but there were a couple drops of water on the curved part of the ceiling near the back of the closet (forward relative to TT). Next I got out the ladder and climbed up to have a look at the roof. Pictures below show the seams as they are today - ugly but they look like they are intact.

I plan on buying a roll of EternaBond and sealing the joint between the TT front skin and the roof. I will also likely seal the side to roof joint at the same time just to be preemptive against future leaks.

So here's a couple questions - do I need to peel back the interior wall to check/dry out what may be there as well? We live in the San Diego area and soon the temps will rise and the humidity will drop - would that dry things out satisfactorily without removing the wall & ceiling panels in that area? Last but not least, the current sealing goop looks OK - not cracked or gapped - do you think this is where the water got in or is there more to investigate?

TT is almost a year out of warranty so this is all on us to fix.
Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:31 PM   #2
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on the first photo I would take a razor blade and shave off the tops of those clumps of sealant to make it as level as possible, then use maybe two strips of 3" Eternabond, enough to have about 1 inch plastered flat on each side with an overlap of maybe 1/2 inch where the two strips join. It is hard to judge the width you need, maybe just a 4 inch wide Eternabond... you have to be the judge...

Be sure to clean the area well... I used paint thinner, (which really cut the gunk on the roof) then quickly followed by 90% isopropol alcohol (IPA) to remove all traces of the thinner... when dry then apply the Eternabond in 3 foot sections, overlapping the edges, and rolling it down with a wallpaper edge roller.

I describe in detail here...
Roof preventive maintenance

I would certainly aim a fan into the inside area to dry as quickly and throughly as possible.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:34 PM   #3
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roofs seldom leak. It is the junctions and attachments that leak.

That pile of caulk on the roof concerns me. I doubt it came from the factory that way.

The pile of more stuff on stuff is not a good plan.

Roofs are either rubber or plastic. Nothing really bonds to rubber very well. Not forever. Plastic uses glue that does often sort of melt the plastics together.
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Old 02-07-2019, 01:41 PM   #4
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Check your front clearance and marker lights as well.

Bob
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:27 PM   #5
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I had a similar situation with a previous TT, actually woke up one day with water dripping on my forehead!

After I found the leak, like you have, and re-caulked, I also had the same concerns...mainly mold or mildew going forward.

My investigations, with the manufacturer made me feel fairly confident that the wall boards, insulation, etc. would not soak up or maintain a lot of moisture.

To be sure, I ran a dehumidifier for a couple months and let it drain directly into the grey water sink drain.

I never did have any problem with peeling, or bubbles in the interior paneling.

I'm sure you're just looking to find a comfort level, so that's my story.

Good luck
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Old 02-07-2019, 02:29 PM   #6
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Thanks all, I appreciate the suggestions.

rsdata - I put the fan in there earlier this morning and will let it blow for a few days. So do you think peeling back the interior skin is unnecessary in my case? 4" tape will give me the 1" overlap - and thanks for the suggestion on shaving the lumps off.

Tom - we bought it new from a dealer in Riverside CA and that's exactly how it looked when we got it. There were/are plenty of build quality issues with this trailer so no surprise the sealing looks bad.

Bob - I hadn't thought about that but I'll pull the clearance light nearest the wet cabinet and see what it looks like
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:20 AM   #7
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When I did mine, I was able to get a fair amount of the caulking off by peeling it carefully using a plastic scrapper. I had globs of sealant that would extend up to 2" from the seam. Then I used a knife to trim it down.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:41 AM   #8
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That is a pretty sloppy sealant job, I'd almost be certain that is where your water is coming in. Trim down as others have suggested and put some tape on yourself being mindful of where you are directing water with it. If you're handy, nobody will do the job as carefully as you will when its your own stuff. I second the suggestion of checking marker lights, we have a friend who developed a leak at the light and it went unnoticed until the interior panels started warping.

I wouldn't worry too much about the moisture in the walls if you caught early and there are no signs of damage to the wall boards. Once you stop the water intrusion, it dry out especially if you have a fan or dehumidifier in there to recirculate air around.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:11 PM   #9
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+2 Eternabond tape

Sticky stuff, once you peel it off the roll you get one chance to put it into position. If it sticks to itself, i.e. both sticky sides then throw that section away.
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:53 PM   #10
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Looks like they were piling caulk on top of the hold down screws. Uniform spacing.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:43 PM   #11
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room leak testing

Some RV dealers have the ability to test for leaks. A fan unit is attached to the RV, often on one of the roof vents, and the RV
is sealed up to create a slight positive pressure inside. You then go around the suspect seams and windows with a bottle of soapy water looking for leaks. Worked well on my last TT.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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I see several spots which may leak in your supplied pictures. It also looks like caulking used is not the self-leveling type. Another poster replied using 2x 3" strips of eternabond. IMO, you will be better off using a 8" or 12" roll. You can get 50' rolls in widths from 2" up to 48" from https://www.eternabond.com/RoofSeal-p/cr-rs.htm.


https://www.eternabond.com/
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:41 PM   #13
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At least 6"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrapper View Post
I see several spots which may leak in your supplied pictures. It also looks like caulking used is not the self-leveling type. Another poster replied using 2x 3" strips of eternabond. IMO, you will be better off using a 8" or 12" roll. You can get 50' rolls in widths from 2" up to 48" from https://www.eternabond.com/RoofSeal-p/cr-rs.htm.


https://www.eternabond.com/
I was going to suggest using at least 6", which is readily available at Amazon, eBay, Camping World, and Bill Plemmons.

Be sure to roll it out with plenty of pressure after applying it. Eternabond sells an expensive roller but I use either a wallpaper seam roller (for small spots) or a timing belt tensioner to which I added a handle (for bigger areas or wider tape).

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Old 02-08-2019, 07:59 PM   #14
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I second the suggestion of carefully rolling down the tape. I really like the metal roller from eternabond.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:39 PM   #15
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Thanks all for the suggestions. It looks like the 4" tape will give me 1" each side of the existing joint so I think that's what I'm going with. I have a 2" neoprene roller from installing sound deadening material so I think that will work.

I'll order the material tomorrow and once I get the installation going I'll take a few picks and update the thread.

One thing for the folks who have talked about the clearance lights leaking. When we brought our new TT home 18 months ago I found that half of the clearance/marker lights were installed upside down! There is a small depression molded into one side of the base that is intended to let water drain from the lens area. Upside down means it sucks in water = thanks FR!
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:11 PM   #16
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Yes, as mentioned in a few earlier post, not enough sealant was used and a poor job was done. Also, it looks like it either wasn't self leveling lap sealant or it was done on a cold day. The self leveling lap sealant should "flow" and spread and flatten out. The edges of the trim that was screwed to the roof should have been covered & overlapped. Your pics show more of a "bead" of sealant on the roof & cap with no overlap up & over the aluminum trim pieces.
If you can shave or peel some of the sealant flatter and re-apply self leveling lap sealant (probably 2-3 tubes) over the entire length of both trim pieces with heavy overlap, you might solve the issue & it will be cheaper than 20' of eternabond.

X2 on the marker light though. But, I would still do a re-seal job to prevent an impending early failure of the roof/cap joint.
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:14 PM   #17
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Getting close

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry2c View Post
Thanks all for the suggestions. It looks like the 4" tape will give me 1" each side of the existing joint so I think that's what I'm going with. I have a 2" neoprene roller from installing sound deadening material so I think that will work.
My thinking is the wider the seal, the better the seal. Based on the picture, there's quite a bit of elevation and you may not be able to get the Eternabond to seal directly at the base (it may bridge a bit). I'd be concerned that there wouldn't be enough tape in contact at both edges.

It looked like that structure was more than an inch high. Covering it consumes some tape width.

Why don't you take a 4" and 6" pieces of cardboard and see how they form over the structure before deciding which tape width to order?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larry2c View Post
One thing for the folks who have talked about the clearance lights leaking. When we brought our new TT home 18 months ago I found that half of the clearance/marker lights were installed upside down! There is a small depression molded into one side of the base that is intended to let water drain from the lens area. Upside down means it sucks in water = thanks FR!
This is nothing new. I replaced marker lights on a 2002 Nash trailer in 2016. About a third of them were mounted upside-down. I seriously question the literacy of the assemblers.

Larry
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Old 02-08-2019, 10:32 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
My thinking is the wider the seal, the better the seal. Based on the picture, there's quite a bit of elevation and you may not be able to get the Eternabond to seal directly at the base (it may bridge a bit). I'd be concerned that there wouldn't be enough tape in contact at both edges.

It looked like that structure was more than an inch high. Covering it consumes some tape width.

Why don't you take a 4" and 6" pieces of cardboard and see how they form over the structure before deciding which tape width to order?


This is nothing new. I replaced marker lights on a 2002 Nash trailer in 2016. About a third of them were mounted upside-down. I seriously question the literacy of the assemblers.

Larry
Good Advice....l agree.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:58 AM   #19
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Before applying Eternabond I used a heat gun and scraper to remove the old caulk. Every bit of it came off. It worked out a lot better than trying to go over old caulk.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:27 AM   #20
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Thanks other Larry, I'll try that before I order so I'm sure on the width.

I'll also shave down as much of the globbed on sealer as possible before cleaning the surfaces and applying the tape.
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