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Old 08-11-2009, 08:24 AM   #1
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roof leak or condensation???

Hi all,

I own a 1999 Jayco Eagle, 26'. Its a recent purchase and in excellent condition all around. A couple of weeks ago I had the roof cleaned by a local dealer, RV Superstore Mocksville, NC. It checked out fine, with no problems noted. I mention this as you will see below that it might be pertinent information.

So yesterday I spent several hours in the bathroom area installing a Progressive Industries Electrical Management System. The outside temperature here in Winston Salem NC was around 93 degrees, so I had the AC unit running in the Jayco. In order to keep from having to work long in the heat, I started my installation at the point where I was mounting the EMS and I worked backwards towards where I was going to have to disconnect the electricity to the TT so I could make my final connections. I had decided I was going to make the final connections today, so I was cleaning up my mess of tools and getting ready to call it a day. I noticed the ceiling light just above the bathroom sink looked like it had water in it, so I took a closer look and found that water had collected inside the two lens' that slide off. Water had dripped into the sink. I thought oh, no, water is leaking from the AC unit on top of the roof and getting into the light. I got on the roof and found where the AC drips the water, and it was running towards the front of the TT and into the gutter on the right side.....a good distance from the rear bathroom. I went back into the bathroom and removed the eight screws that hold the light fixture to the ceiling. I pulled it down a little bit and found that there was indeed a little more water in the top of the light fixture, and not just in the lenses. I ran my dry finger around inside the hole where the wiring comes from for the light. It was all dry. The insulation was dry and the wiring was dry. It appears as if it was just the light fixture that had water in it. I did notice that the round AC duct was located about 12 inches away from this light fixture. I wondered if maybe the light being on and the AC duct being so close and it being so humid and hot outside, and me spending all that time in the little bathroom, that maybe my body heat and all the other stuff caused condensation. Maybe I really didn't have a leak after all. If it was just condensation, how can this be prevented? It doesn't seem like a good idea to have water in the light fixture. Does anyone have any thoughts on this. I'm sorry for the long read here....I just wanted to explain everything. Thanks in advance for any thoughts and/or comments.

Alex
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:33 AM   #2
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Probably just condensation. But why take the chance. When it cools down a bit more, why not perform a leak test? There was a post a while back where a fella used a leaf blower to do the job. He claimed it worked like a charm.
As I recall, he made a plate out of plywood with a hole in it for the leaf blower and mounted this in a window. Turned on the leaf blower and proceeded to spray soapy water all over the place and marked everywhere there was bubbles. Sounds pretty simply, but it does take lots of time. Remember water does not necessarily come straight down. It will always seek the path of down word travel.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:18 PM   #3
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Locate a RV service center that uses a http://www.rvleaks.com/
Seal Tech 430R leak detector. This is a high volume, low pressure fan that works like the leaf blower described, I doubt a leak blower has the volume capacity, unless your slides are sealed really tightly. The RV tech attaches the Seal Tech, starts it, then goes outside to use a garden sprayer filled with soapy water to spray every possible opening or crack on the RV. Since RV's are not designed to be pressurized, this machine may reach 2-3 psi. This means the technicians must look closely to spot any bubbles where air is leaking out. Once a leak is detected the spot is marked for later sealing, and they continue until the entire coach is inspected for bubbles. Back in 05 the cost was ~$100+ supplies, and I considered it well worth the money.
I had taken our new RV in for a water leak I found, they found 3 more leaks as well. The leak I found_ the entry source was over 14' from where I found water inside.
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:12 PM   #4
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You don't mention what model Jayco you have but it sounds like it could possibly be a 266 FBS. I know on mine, the bathroom A/C register in the ceiling is, like yours, also within a foot of the light fixture. If the cold air was blowing directly on the light fixture, I could see where it could become cold enough to have condensation form; especially on the metal frame inside. I've never had this moisture build up inside my light fixture but, judging from your posting, it appears you were having some extreme heat/humidity conditions down there.

The next time your A/C is on, check to see if it's blowing directly on the light fixture.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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It seems to me that if the AC were on, no condensate should form due to the ACs ability to dry the air. Could it be steam from the use of the shower?
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Old 08-12-2009, 06:12 PM   #6
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You're right, Paul. However, in this case, the condensation is occurring on the inside of the light fixture. The A/C's dry, cold air can't reach this area because it's blocked by the lens cover. The same effect happens when you have an A/C register in your car blowing against a window on a hot, humid night. It will eventually cool the window to the point where condensation will form on the outside of the window.
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:00 PM   #7
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Thanks to all who replied with their thoughts. I think that Frank hit the nail on the head. The ac duct is round with a round deflector, so it blows in all directions. Because the deflector is there, the airflow actually blows directly back along the ceiling and directly over to the light fixture. Frank, I do have the Jayco Eagle 266 FBS. Your example of why my car window will condense up a bit sometimes is I believe exactly what happened here. Plus, I had been working in that little bathroom space for a couple of hours running romex and installing an Electrical Management System on the wall next the closet. My own body heat and breath could have added to the problem. I was sweating a little after a bit of time. It has not rained for several weeks and like I mentioned, I detected no water or moisture in the ceiling or around the hole where the wiring came in.

Paul, I think Frank is correct in his assesment. Plus, I was not using the shower. Just working inside the little bathroom for an extended period.

Ray, thanks for the tip on the Seal Tech 430r leak detector. I will pursue that in the near future.

Thanks again to all who replied. This forum is wonderful. I hope to learn much from you guys and maybe someday I will be able to assist others with their problems and questions.

Alex
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Old 08-13-2009, 05:59 PM   #8
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ANiforos welcome to irv2.
It could be you do not have a leak just the person that cleaned your roof was to much into spraying water where it shouldn't have been sprayed. Water you will find will travel some distance from entrance point.
If it happens again you have some good answers to follow up.
Enjoy the forums and do post often.
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Old 09-03-2009, 07:32 PM   #9
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Sorry for the delay in responding, and thanks for the welcome.

Well, I have decided that it is/was indeed condensation. I found just a little bit of water in the lens and there had not been any rain for weeks. Temps outside were a humid 92 degrees. Then, when we did have some rain the other day, like three and a half inches in a couple of hours, I checked inside the Jayco, and could not find a drop of water or condensation anywhere. So I feel much better now. Again, thanks to everyone for their thoughts.

Alex
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