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Old 09-21-2020, 04:58 PM   #1
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Isata 4 Slideout Gasket Leaking and Damaged

Finally figured something was wrong about 2 weeks ago when I went to move the coach and got showered in the driver's seat with water off the top of the slideout (obviously slide was in). That had happened twice before when leaving camp; put slide in, drove away, got showered. Thought it was rain blowing in under the slide topper and laying on top of the slide box, and not being "scraped" off when closing the slide. Ironically, the 2nd time it happened was leaving Camp Dynamax in July - thought their sprinklers watered under the topper, but also possible that water got on top of the slide when they washed the coach the previous afternoon.

I had the coach plugged in w/ A/C on and slide out for most of July w/ no problems, then moved it and parked w/ slide in. We have had a lot of heavy rain here in central FL all summer - highly humid. I have opened the slide, run the gen and A/C about every 2 weeks since parking it. A couple of weeks ago I went to move it and got showered, which was unexpected because the silde was IN. This time I got up in the overcab bunk and looked down the slide, seeing lots of water there. Couldn't see much more there, it's only about 5" high you are looking down, and a flashlight didn't help to see much w/ reflections. Running the slide in and about several times did not scape the water off. Since the water seems to be in the middle of the slide it doesn't shower down when running the slide in and out. I finally left the slide out to evaporate and ran the gen and A/C to dry things up inside, trying to figure out how to see the problem, which certainly seemed to be the slide gasket.

Fast forward several weeks where I checked every couple of days and did not see water (or at least enough to be visible) on top of the slide. Yesterday we got over 3" of heavy rain, and I went to move the coach to mow today and got some water off the slide. Dropped flashlights over the top edge of the slide when it was in, to try to see and take photos. Very hard to get a focused photo in this small space, but I can see the gasket appears to be folded over or damaged near the middle of the slide. Also noting that the slide topper does not extend all the way over the outside seal, apparently rain lands on that outside seal and runs along it and inside onto the top of full wall slideout. (My coach is pretty level where it is parked, but I think heavy rain could flow down.)

Any ideas on how this would be repaired? The inside gasket/seal is pretty much inaccessible when the slide is in, and I don't know what could be done under the slide topper when it is out. I'm thinking this is a trip to Elkhart to repair.

Sorry about the excessively long post, but wanted to get the full story in.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:16 AM   #2
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To repair that seal, the slide topper would have to come loose.

Maybe if it is just turned the wrong way, you might be able to get a long stick in there to get it back out...then when sitting that way for a long enough time it gets its memory back. What could have happened is that some debris got wedged in there or maybe it just got bound up and once it sat long enough "bunched up/folded" it retained the memory and is not wanting to smooth back out.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:09 AM   #3
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"Bunched up/folded" is a good description of what I think I can see - better than the photos. Don't see how debris could be involved, as it is mostly in the middle of the slide - I'm going to guess 6 ft is the closest part to the front end of the slide.

I think it has been sitting this way since the beginning, as the 1st time I got showered w/ water was about a year and a half ago (maybe 5 months after delivery). Memory on the gasket/seal seems evident, as nothing seems to change as I run the slide in and out.

I thought about the "long stick" option, and might still try that from the inside front, by starting under the edge where it is not bunched up. I think this seal is attached from the inside, so how would removing the slide topper help other than providing outside access to the "stick"? If the gasket remains folded, how would it be repaired?
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:00 AM   #4
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The slide topper would be peeled up and then that would give you easier access to the slide seal.

If need be, there is enough of a gap to replace the seal...but it does not look damaged...just not folding properly.
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Old 09-22-2020, 05:13 PM   #5
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I spent several hours fooling with this today, using all kinds of improvised "sticks" to reach the seal from the inside. I was able to go down about 10 ft from the front bunk - where you can actually see what you are doing. Got the flat side of the seal uncurled to that point. Further down toward the back for the next ~4 ft, it seemed that the seal was permanently curled up.

Couldn't really reach any farther with the 12' adjustable painter's pole or 1/4" fiberglass tent poles that seemed to work well in the beginning. Switched to a 5' lg x 2" wide aluminum drywall straightedge, and tried to go in thru the 3" gap over the top of the slide toward the back past the closet. Wasn't easy to see or maneuver the tool, but I finally got the seal mostly straightened out. Still a spot at the closet that seemed curled up - hard to see w/ your head smashed up on the ceiling.

Left it that way for a while, then had my wife run the slide in and out while I watched from front bunk. As slide went out, seal immediately curled under and out near the middle of the slide. Back in, did not straighten out. The little bit of water still left on top of the slide was not swept off.

Ran it in and out about 5 times, part of the seal uncurled each time coming back in to a different extent (not better each time, just different). Left it when the seal was mostly uncurled better than I started with. Could see a little water along the bottom edge along much of the length as it ran in/out, not just where the remaining "puddles" were.

I don't want to have to check this seal every time I park w/ slide in. Getting showered off the top of the slide is not fun, and it takes time to dry things up. Even if this inside seal does not curl up, the question is: why does the slide topper not extend past the end of the slide to prevent water from running along the outside slide seal, and then running in? Here's a pic of the inside seal at the front.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:46 AM   #6
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Slide toppers are not really meant to keep water off as much as they are to keep debris off. Many travel trailers, some 5th wheels and even some motorhomes (Jayco being one I know off hand) do not even install slide toppers.

In some cases, where they mount might not make it feasible to extend all the way past. The slide seals are there to scrape the water off...it looks like something just happened to deform that slide seal. It certainly can be replaced.

Another thing we do sometimes....we put grip tape on the slide roof where the seals might be having issues. The grip tape grabs the slide seal and will make sure it properly flaps IN and then OUT instead of getting stuck in one position.

Also, if a dealer adjusted the slide rollers...it could have raised the slide room and make that seal does not have enough room to properly flip. Might just need cut down slightly. (the seal not the room)
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:47 AM   #7
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Guess I was focused on water getting past the inside seal, as it was/is bunched up. That grip tape idea sounds like it would help.

I agree not all mfg use toppers, and that they are for debris. I did not consider that there is also an outside seal. My focus was on water running along the top of that outside seal (where it is not under the topper) and getting through the bunched up inside seal onto the top of the slide. What I should have considered is that when the slide is closed, nothing should get past the outside seal - period.

Although I can see that the vertical ends of the slide compress their seals - front much tighter than back - I suspect there is a gap in the middle of the top.

I have always had a large gap in the middle of the slide at the bottom. Understand that Dynamax considers this to be not unusual. However, my gap was enough that your fingers would not touch the bottom seal - like maybe 3/4" gap to the uncompressed seal.

Greg addressed this bottom gap when we were there for service in July. He added a second seal on the slide side of the gap, so that it butts up against the original seal on the coach wall. Now you can't push you fingers in there.

Almost certainly there is a gap at the top - hidden by the topper - where water is coming in when the slide is closed. Maybe a 2nd seal there is needed. Would the grip tape help the inside seal sweep water off that has accumulated when the slide is open?
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Old 09-23-2020, 11:57 AM   #8
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PS - No dealer has adjusted the slide rollers. My original sales dealer in IA e-mailed about the middle gap in the slide at the bottom, was told it was OK, and went no further. I'm sure the dealer in Orlando who had the coach on the lengthy tank replacement repair did nothing to the slide.

I think Greg reset the slideout stops to no improvement, then just added another bulb seal and did nothing else to adjust the slide.

I recognize that slide rollers probably have little to do with the gap or seals, but just mentioning what has been done to the slideout.
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Old 09-25-2020, 07:13 AM   #9
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I have the same exact issue with our 40 Berkshire DP ...dead in middle of slide of passenger side except it does not come leak when slide is in. Rubber i curled under leaving gap which can be seen standing on tall ladder with flashlight. Showed up by water dripping through light in slide section. Getting tired of all these pesky issues with this coach. Hard to enjoy when constantly have to have things repaired on a 2015 coach.
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