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Open Roads Forum  >  Class C Motorhomes

 > Cabover Repairs...Out Of The Box Thinking

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rehoppe

Denver & Nathrop Colo or somewhere else

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Joined: 01/30/2009

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Posted: 03/21/12 07:19pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replant wrote:

rehoppe wrote:

Mike
Don't know if you can get enough 'flow', but a while back someone was saying to turn you cab vent on High, with all the doors and windows closed. Go up on the roof and spray soapy water on the caulking lines and seams. They said if it were leaking it'd bubble up. Making sure that it's NOT on recirculate,,, of course.

I haven't tried it yet myself, but intend to.

After closing all of my vents (don't forget the one in the bathroom) I opened my FanTastic vent and set the fan to intake at high speed. It drew in outside air and with a garden sprayer I sprayed soapy water all over the MH, (except the roof ) and did find a couple of small leaks.
Next time I'll use a leaf blower which will build up more pressure and make sure I spray the roof. This should have been done before putting on the Red Max Pro 3. Two of my roof vents are brand new and all of them are sealed with Eternabond tape but I'm concerned about the A/C although I feel that the gasket is good because I don't get a reading on my moisture meter and the wood in the ceiling is clean.


Thx Replant, I've got 2 of MaxAir's that I hadn't thought about. Oughta make a good volume with all three sources going.


Hoppe
2011 Dodge 1500 C'boy Caddy
2000 Jayco C 28' Ford chassis w V-10 E450
Doghouse 36' or so Trophy Classic TT

CloudDriver

New Jersey Shore

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Posted: 03/21/12 08:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike,

A couple of thoughts based on looking at your pictures:

1. Your last picture shows what is probably an antenna to the rear of the cab window. Have you removed and resealed that?

2. The next to last picture shows the floor area under the window. The vinyl floor covering is wrinkled next to the wall, an indication that the luan underneath is swollen due to moisture. If this is wet, perhaps the leak is further to the rear and is flowing forward. The comment with your first picture indicates that the leak flows to the front and then to the right. Perhaps you can dry the area and then get out there when it first starts raining to see where the wetness first starts.

3. In the same picture it appears that you have removed the inner frame of the window and have some paper towel inserted in the space at the bottom. Since you didn't mention that the towel got wet, the window is probably not the leak source.

4. The comment for your first picture indicates that you covered the cabover with a tarp. Was the tarp on during the recent rain and you still have a leak? Did you tape the edges of the tarp to keep water from getting underneath? Is the tarp water tight? Did the tarp go all the way down the driver's side wall to keep the rain away from the window and all of the seams on that side? Did you block off the rain gutter to keep water from flowing to the front and running down the side wall under the tarp?

5. Take a look at this Service Tip from Winnebago. If the sealant is leaking at some point along the long roof to sidewall joint, water that gets into the track below the seal will run downhill. On our Minnie, there are two square holes that are probably meant as drains. If the drains are blocked, the water will come inside. If you haven't already done so, check the sealant by pressing on roof skin just above the seal all along the length.

I did a DIY leak test a few years ago with my electric leaf blower. I used the U-tube manometer that I had originally made to test the propane regulator to see what pressure the leaf blower created. I found that with the leaf blower running and the dash fan on full I got about 1 inch of water pressure inside the MH. Not much pressure, but enough to make soap bubbles at leak points.

Leaf blower with outlet through plywood board on roof vent


View from inside



2003 Winnebago Minnie 24F - Ford E-450


Maddawgs

central MA

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Posted: 03/22/12 05:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

Maddawgs wrote:

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

Although I thought my cabover leak was fixed, I'm still dealing with it. In the past several days we've had enormous rains in East Texas. Being new to Class C ownership, learning has been challenging and exciting. As to water leakage, I've learned that it's not will they leak: but when! I've seen a strong consensus of opinion that cabovers are poorly constructed.

Here are photos of the Winnie cabover.

The first step for me is to seal the leak so water intrusion is stopped: then to replace the flooring that has been removed. Why couldn't one build the flooring strength with epoxy rosin instead of luan and set some type of foam inset that could easily be removed if repair is again necessary? Since this front cab area is where the water moves to, doesn't it make sense?

OUT OF THE BOX THINKING? Have you or do you know of anyone who has repaired or replaced a cabover as a result of water intrusion? With the cost of cabover rebuilds, why not replace with a fiberglass shell with no windows, solar powered running lights, shorter and more aerodynamic? And if the shell is not available, have one made. Any other ideas?

This forum has been a source of incredible information and I certainly look forward to everyone's responses. THANKS!!!

Hi Mike,
I know that I and others have suggested the pressure test in your other cabover posts. I think some have said the cost is in the 100 dollar range. I think for you it would be worth it just to end the headache of unfound leak sources. I commend your remarkable amount of patience but you should give yourself a break, have the test done, and seal what needs to be sealed. That way you can just enjoy your rv.
Todd


Todd...thanks for your comments. I am in favor of a pressure test...wrote two companies in Texas who are listed to do the SealTest pressure test...no response. Wrote to the company in Canada asking for a recommendation that was not on their website...no response. So, at this point my best choice is what I'm doing. I've had communication with people off the website and I feel comfortable at the point I'm at. I have control, I've learned something, and I haven't spent a ton of money. If there was someone close by who was a professional in their handling of business...I'd be there tomorrow...until that person comes along...I'll move along...

Hi Mike,
On a quick search I found the Camping World in Houston (actually Katy) 888-526-6790 does the leak checks. It's a bit of a drive from Sour Lake (100 miles?). I know that the Camping Worlds do offer the Sealtest service but you have to call to find out which ones. Also I think one of the larger Texas RV lots like PPL , Motorhomes of Texas, or MHSRV might also do this test.
Todd


Todd, Shirley, and the "Maddawgs" min-pins Precious and Buster Brown
2011 Itasca Cambria 30C
2011 Demco KarKaddy 460SS
TST 507 RV TPMS
"if there is anything left when we are gone, then we miscalculated"


oldtrucker63

Harlan Kentucky

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Posted: 03/22/12 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not much on the newer models but I can say for sure the 1979 Dodge Class C's was built really poor, I would say the new RV's are in some places in the structure built poor, Although all can be repaired and rebuilt to withstand all rain and heavy down pours at HWY speeds, I found a lot of things that was just unacceptable when it comes to building.


Without Trucks,....America Stop's

Replant

Someplace

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Posted: 03/22/12 11:04am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

rehoppe wrote:

Now if we could just glue on the clearance lights and wire them to/thru the side wall, it'd just about be leak proof.


I mentioned the clearance lights in my post...solar powered is the answer.

Mike,
Maybe I'm missing something but how is solar powered clearance lights going to work? The sun doesn't shine at night





mikeleblanc413

Texas

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Posted: 03/22/12 11:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Replant wrote:

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

rehoppe wrote:

Now if we could just glue on the clearance lights and wire them to/thru the side wall, it'd just about be leak proof.


I mentioned the clearance lights in my post...solar powered is the answer.

Mike,
Maybe I'm missing something but how is solar powered clearance lights going to work? The sun doesn't shine at night


You're right...my understanding is that when exposed to the sun during the day they would charge...governed by a sensor, they would light up in darkness. If I'm wrong...somebody correct me.


Mike LeBlanc
Retired Photographer, Art Educator
Travel with "Baby Girl" (Catahoula Mix)
Texas


Replant

Someplace

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Posted: 03/22/12 12:39pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

Replant wrote:

mikeleblanc413 wrote:

rehoppe wrote:

Now if we could just glue on the clearance lights and wire them to/thru the side wall, it'd just about be leak proof.


I mentioned the clearance lights in my post...solar powered is the answer.

Mike,
Maybe I'm missing something but how is solar powered clearance lights going to work? The sun doesn't shine at night

You're right...my understanding is that when exposed to the sun during the day they would charge...governed by a sensor, they would light up in darkness. If I'm wrong...somebody correct me.

Correct but they have to be hooked up to battery power which is recharged by the solar cell. Anyway that's how my landscape lights work but your lights also have to be controlled by a switch unless you want them on while the rig is parked in your driveway.

mikeleblanc413

Texas

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Posted: 03/22/12 07:35pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CloudDriver...thanks so much...I'm going to attempt to answer all of your points.
You said: A couple of thoughts based on looking at your pictures:

1. Your last picture shows what is probably an antenna to the rear of the cab window. Have you removed and resealed that?
ANS: Yes, I have.

2. The next to last picture shows the floor area under the window. The vinyl floor covering is wrinkled next to the wall, an indication that the luan underneath is swollen due to moisture. If this is wet, perhaps the leak is further to the rear and is flowing forward. The comment with your first picture indicates that the leak flows to the front and then to the right. Perhaps you can dry the area and then get out there when it first starts raining to see where the wetness first starts.
ANS. It was wrinkled when I bought Winnie. Checking it today, the board is wet, not soggy and not soft. I've removed the floor covering and dried. I created a rain scenario to wet that outside area and I think I've located the leak. This is my rain set up today.

3. In the same picture it appears that you have removed the inner frame of the window and have some paper towel inserted in the space at the bottom. Since you didn't mention that the towel got wet, the window is probably not the leak source.
ANS: The paper towels were damp. Not soggy and not a leak source.

4. The comment for your first picture indicates that you covered the cabover with a tarp. Was the tarp on during the recent rain and you still have a leak? Did you tape the edges of the tarp to keep water from getting underneath? Is the tarp water tight? Did the tarp go all the way down the driver's side wall to keep the rain away from the window and all of the seams on that side? Did you block off the rain gutter to keep water from flowing to the front and running down the side wall under the tarp?
ANS: The tarp was not on during most of the rain. I thought more rain was on the way and I hastily threw the tarp on. Did not block the rain gutter. The tarp may have kept some water out.

5. Take a look at this Service Tip from Winnebago. If the sealant is leaking at some point along the long roof to sidewall joint, water that gets into the track below the seal will run downhill. On our Minnie, there are two square holes that are probably meant as drains. If the drains are blocked, the water will come inside. If you haven't already done so, check the sealant by pressing on roof skin just above the seal all along the length.
ANS: THANKS for this tip. I copied, printed and put in my library of notes. I'd like to see more of those. Most valuable!

Yesterday I created a rain fan from a hand held hose on the top of the cabover and over the running lights. No water intrusion. This morning I created the rain set up and let run for about 30 minutes. The water began to come in and created the flow as it had done in the past. That may not be the only leak, but it is the one that is most prominent. Earlier, in rechecking I found that I could push the filon in and a slight separation occured. After the area dried, I resealed that trim area this afternoon.

THANK YOU so much for your time and effort. Have a GREAT WEEKEND!!!

CloudDriver

New Jersey Shore

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Posted: 03/22/12 10:07pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mike,

Here is the link to the Manuals and Diagrams page at the Winnebago web site. The Service Tips are a link at the bottom. There are also links to electrical and plumbing diagrams, etc. Lots of good info for your MH.

No need to print everything, it will be there if you need it.

Hope you have finally found the leak!!

NewsW

US

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Joined: 02/06/2012

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Posted: 03/22/12 11:57am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CloudDriver wrote:


Leaf blower with outlet through plywood board on roof vent




Did you measure the difference in pressure between inside and outside?

Thanks

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