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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Front Cabover window leak

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speaste7

VA

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Posted: 04/15/10 01:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So the RV is back from it's repair! DW is excited because we didn't even get to use it once before we found the leak and had to go get it fixed. Good news is that I must have caught it early because the repair guy said the damage was fairly minor.

I actually had TWO leaks he says. The first was right where I thought it was. Water was leaking in from the front window but not from the frame to RV body seal but instead it was leaking in at the glass to frame seal. This seems to have been a pretty minor leak.

Second leak was water he says was being sucked UP from the bottom of the cabover. He showed us the curved cardboard he took out and you could see water stains that appeared to be moving up both corners of the cardboard. I guess this was coming in from the trim strip which joins the curved front part to the bottom of the cabover?

Anyhow, he replaced the ruined cardboard with sheet metal he fabricated with a metal break. Says that way if it leaks, it will be metal like the rest of the framing in the cabover.

Anyhow, sealed it up and we're almost ready to take her camping. I'm putting way to many miles on this RV for never having gotten to actually use it!!!

nagel

Missouri

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Posted: 04/06/10 02:40pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just got done (again) working on the cabover. Took the front window out, framed in the hole and placed a sheet of metal over. Checked in several storms and no leaks. On the sides, I noticed leaks again. This time I pulled off the alum trim and applied 2" eternabond around the edges. Put the alum trim back on, trimmed up the eternabond and applied caulk around trim. I'm pretty sure I have stopped the leaks (knock on wood).

Snagel


Steven R. Nagel

speaste7

VA

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Posted: 04/06/10 01:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ok, so an update on MY situation is probably in order....


I decided to let someone else (a professional) repair my cabover. You can read about the specifics earlier in this thread but bottom line is I have a leak (either the window or elsewhere) which is causing water to collect in the bottom front of my cabover.

I am waiting to get the details of where specifically it was coming in which the shop should know once the rip it apart but based on his initial inspection it COULD be the window (which ED360 is VERY easy to take out and reseal and put in (I did that before discovering the damage was greater than first thought).

What was interesting to me is the employee immediately climbed on the roof and started looking at it. Spent little time on the window. And found a hole was not caulked where the previous owner had installed a TV antenna. Specifically the hole through which the coax passed into the roof was uncaulked!

He say he OFTEN sees RV parked on a slope with a leak in the high side roof and the water running down the inside of the roof and damaging the RV elsewhere!

Moral of the story appears to be inspect your roof at least 2x yearly and caulk anything suspicious before it gets worse. Even now I am trying to decide if I should pull out ALL the windows and re-eternabond them BEFORE they start to leak.

Anybody do that as a PM item? If so, at what interval?

ClassicRVr

VA

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Posted: 04/06/10 02:01pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pnichols wrote:

Speaking of clearance lights - is this a DOT requirement or a state by state requirement?


DOT required on vehicles over a certain Width, which a RV would exceed. They don't put them on larger vehicles for decoration.

I have a 37-year old Dodge Class-C without any rot that I'm fixing up. The owners kept it covered. Once I get it up and going I'm getting a small metal car port for it. I have a 33yo Travel trailer that had to be gutted.


On an older unit the leaks will most likely come from the roof, along the cap seam most likely. On newer models I've seen the front side-seams leak from improper installation at the factory. Windows are some of the best sealed fixtures, espicially on fiberglass models, and rarely leak.


I'd check your roof over once a year (at least). Some leaks are obvious, others you'll never catch them. Seal-tek machines are 99% effective and are great use, but a lot of the service shops do not seem to have them.

pnichols

Santa Cruz Mountains

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Posted: 04/05/10 07:45pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Speaking of clearance lights - is this a DOT requirement or a state by state requirement?

What if you remove them from your motorhome ticket-wise? Has any RV owner actually ever got ticketed for NO LONGER having them on their rig?

I'd sure like to just take mine off and cover over each hole with a piece of round aluminum plate that is painted white and then glued to the surface with this "World's Finest Glue - IMHO":

http://www.mcmaster.com/#3m-vhb-tape/=6ja3wv

P.S. I'd like to remove the cabover forward facing window and plug it with a piece of properly shaped and painted aluminum sheet too - maybe held in place permanently with the VHB adhesive.


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EMD360

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Posted: 04/05/10 08:14pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I spent some time figuring out how to eternabond the light fixtures this weekend. I have several more to do but took some pictures of what I got done and will post them. I love looking at these photos. It really helps to understand how to do some of the stuff people advise--like check the caulking etc. How do you know it is bad? I'd like to see the photos when someone does find a leak--shows me what to look for!


We're hooked!
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vic3094

Seattle

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Posted: 03/29/10 01:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Looks like misery loves company! Just discovered the same or similar problem in our 2002 Gulfstream Ultra. It's damp across the entire front of my cabover floor. I noticed the lower wall covering was damp and the piece of wood seperating the stowage area from the matttress has some mold on it. Not nticeable before because the stains didn't come up higher than the mattress and the mattress has not been noticeably wet.

Seeing all the responses to the previous posts, I haven't found where the water is coming in yet and not sure if it's the window. I don't have any water tracks on the interior sides or front. This was noticed after driving into 25-30 mph wind driven rain for 1 1/2 hrs- is it possible that the corner joints are the problem? Is this common in class C's? Any thoughts on where to start looking would be appreciated before i start tearing it apart.

fisher60

Plant City, Florida

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Posted: 03/29/10 04:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

vic3094 wrote:

Looks like misery loves company! Just discovered the same or similar problem in our 2002 Gulfstream Ultra. It's damp across the entire front of my cabover floor. I noticed the lower wall covering was damp and the piece of wood seperating the stowage area from the matttress has some mold on it. Not nticeable before because the stains didn't come up higher than the mattress and the mattress has not been noticeably wet.

Seeing all the responses to the previous posts, I haven't found where the water is coming in yet and not sure if it's the window. I don't have any water tracks on the interior sides or front. This was noticed after driving into 25-30 mph wind driven rain for 1 1/2 hrs- is it possible that the corner joints are the problem? Is this common in class C's? Any thoughts on where to start looking would be appreciated before i start tearing it apart.

Yes, it can be a common problem. Before assuming the cormer joints/edges are failing, take your clearance lights off and seal around where the wires penetrate the fiberglass, then apply some butyl tape where the light frame will meet the fiberglass, and finally, shoot a little silicone into the screw holes before screwing the frame back down. You might be suprised to find that this is where your leaks is.


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EMD360

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Posted: 03/29/10 08:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

There must be some Class C's out there without rotting walls! John H says it right, we may disagree on details but most of us would rather have a solid vehicle than let it deteriorate. Yet I am not prepared to tear apart stuff that might last a good 10 more years if I am able to stop current disintegration.

I really appreciate tips on what to look for and suggestions for fixes like the one from fisher60--step by step is very helpful. I can't tell where the leak was on our back wall but I suspect the clearance and brake lights. Maybe the tire mount. The cab over looks ok right now, but I'm going to seal the seams and replace the screws with stainless. If they come out rusty, I'll know that trouble is again under the surface! I am wondering about removing the windows and re-sealing too. But one step at a time. I can't find photos of that process so if someone has a link, please share it!

I read that epoxy may have some effect on stopping continued wood rot. I used wood hardener on the edge of the exposed wood in our repair. Some of it is still crumbly but it is mostly solid above the area that we are replacing.

I could have taken it to a repair shop and had them take the whole panel off and replace it with factory. Or I have read that some just reglue even the most crumbly wood and then sell out fast. I'm shooting for the middle ground I guess. Repair what is the worst damage and try to keep more from occurring and keep having a great time on the road...

freestyle_don

Hotel California

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Posted: 04/05/10 05:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I`ll join in here. I`ve also posted having a similar problem and to this point NO success. I`ve re-tightened the A/C resealed the seams. After the last storms........still leaks! Really frustrating!

I`ve just today noticed some water around the TV (entertainment cabinet)which is located beneath the center clearance light. I`ve looked at the clearance lights and can`t figure out how to access them for resealing as previously suggested. The lights are recessed with a chrome bezel. Mine is an`05 Dutchman Dorado.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Best to contact me @ freestyle_don@stidotnet.

TIA
Don

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