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Old 10-30-2019, 03:10 PM   #1
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King Jack antenna leaking

Hi, I have a King Jack amplified manual rotating antenna on my trailer. From what I can tell, this is a replacement for a WineGard antenna. I found a manual for the Winegard, and there are holes in the interior ceiling that don't match anything. Not that this matters, but FYI.

Anyway, over labor day we noticed water coming through the ceiling mounted rotation knob/LED signal strength panel. Not a lot of water but it would leave a puddle on the floor. I went up and took a look. While it looks like a monkey applied the sealant, and it has a bunch of pine needles/junk stuck in it, it looks solid. If you look carefully you can see some cleaner grey sealant under the dirty top coat of sealant. I'm guessing that this cleaner sealant is the from the original antenna. I added the bright white sealant along the antenna/roof seam thinking this was a problem area.

The weather has been dry since then, but recent rains and the water is coming in again. About the same amount as before so my sealant did nothing.

I'd almost consider removing everything and starting over, or even leaving the antenna off. But I understand that trying to remove all the sealant without damaging the roof is hard/impossible. Removing it completely then I have a 2.5" hole to deal with. So for now lets leave it.

I don't see anything obvious, do you? I'm wondering if the antenna itself is leaking (has anyone had this problem?). Looking at how the metal bars are mounted at the top of the antenna that seems like a huge water inlet. But they all look like that so there must be some kinda seal in there.

More rain in expected over night. I was thinking of wrapping the antenna in plastic of some sort to see if that does anything. Once dry I was going to try and use a putty knife/blade to scrap off some of the dirty top layer of sealant then get a can of black liquid Flex Seal, start about 1" past the current sealant and paint a few layers on all the way up the plastic base to the seam where it rotates.

The two roof pictures are my setup. The picture of the interior box is stock photo. The water usally drips out the little button to the left, or the corner by the LED's

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:35 PM   #2
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All I can say is WOW! Somebody sure went way overboard. I put that same antenna on mine and I think my sealant looks like the white you put down.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:53 PM   #3
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The OP appears to have a used unit, that a former owner merely added new caulking to old caulking.
I'd remove all of it and recaulk it.
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Old 10-30-2019, 03:55 PM   #4
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Holy boat load of crappy sealant, Batman! Of course your water leak COULD be from someplace totally unrelated to the King Jack antenna and its traveling to the ceiling controls and dripping out. But, I would try to remove most of that old sealant, clean & inspect the roof for cuts etc. and reapply a much neater "bead" of self leveling lap sealant. If that doesn't solve it, check all other areas such as skylights etc. & A/C mounting gaskets.
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:56 PM   #5
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Heat gun

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmarako View Post
I'd almost consider removing everything and starting over, or even leaving the antenna off. But I understand that trying to remove all the sealant without damaging the roof is hard/impossible. Removing it completely then I have a 2.5" hole to deal with. So for now lets leave it.
...
More rain in expected over night. I was thinking of wrapping the antenna in plastic of some sort to see if that does anything. Once dry I was going to try and use a putty knife/blade to scrap off some of the dirty top layer of sealant then get a can of black liquid Flex Seal, start about 1" past the current sealant and paint a few layers on all the way up the plastic base to the seam where it rotates.

Thanks
Jim M.
Use a heat gun to soften the old caulk and it will come up nicely for you. Use a dull putty knife/scraper that does not have sharp corners and work carefully. The EPDM roof membrane is tough. You won't easily go through it.

If you are obsessive (as I am), you can scrub the membrane with a rag dampened (not soaked) with mineral spirits, followed by an alcohol rinse, before you put on the new caulk. Dicor self-leveling lap sealant is recommended. Never use silicone.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:03 PM   #6
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I bought the trailer used and it came this way. Digging through the manuals I found hidden under the Murphy bed I found instructions for a WineGard Rayzar Z1. The picture below shows that this mounts to the roof with a 9"x9" plastic plate. Its hard to see, but in the original pictures you can see 3 of the 4 corners of this original plastic plate (the cleaner, light gray sealant) sticking out.

I'm guessing who ever installed the King Jack decided it was safer/easier to mount the new antenna onto the WineGard plate instead of peeling it off the roof. Not necessarily a bad thought. Hence the large amounts of sealant to cover the original plate since the new antenna probably did not sit completely flush to this plate.

I covered the antenna in plastic and its still leaking. The front air vent on the trailer is ~8' away. The AC is about 12-15 inches behind it. The coax and other wires do run in a channel from the AC to the antenna hole, and some continue on. I pulled the AC ceiling filters and took a look. I see no signs of water/wetness around the AC. So it has to be the mounting.

Knowing that this antenna is sitting on top of a plate, and staring real hard I can kinda convince myself that the back edge of the plate (towards the AC) is sitting off the roof and is not perfectly sealed. I'm amazed at what might be a couple of tiny cracks in the sealant could actually let any water in.

Hopefully is dry out Friday so i can get up there and add even more sealant to the mess. Doing a proper cleanup will have to wait until warmer spring weather. It suppose to be covered up for the winter soon.

Thanks
Jim M.
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Old 10-31-2019, 04:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
Use a heat gun to soften the old caulk and it will come up nicely for you. Use a dull putty knife/scraper that does not have sharp corners and work carefully. The EPDM roof membrane is tough. You won't easily go through it.
Thanks for the thought on the heat gun. Its something to think about. Though I know myself and my tendency to always over heat stuff. When I redid my plumbing I used copper bond epoxy when I was connecting to valves. I've ruined 1 or 2 in the past while soldering.

My roof is TPO. I thought many (or most?) trailers built in the last decade or so switched to TPO because its easier to clean/maintain and possible better.

Thanks
Jim M.
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