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Old 12-30-2007, 10:15 AM   #1
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My wife's RV has been plagued by leaks. Unfortunately it may also be plagued by a disreputable dealer and service department.

I'm not very much of a do-it-yourselfer but need to get enough education to be able to talk turkey with the next place we try to get these leaks fixed.

Thanks

Liv
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:15 AM   #2
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My wife's RV has been plagued by leaks. Unfortunately it may also be plagued by a disreputable dealer and service department.

I'm not very much of a do-it-yourselfer but need to get enough education to be able to talk turkey with the next place we try to get these leaks fixed.

Thanks

Liv
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Old 12-30-2007, 10:27 AM   #3
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If you are in or near South Carolina go see the folks at Carolina RV. They have just gotten in a new machine that pressurizes your RV and shows up all the leaks. They have a full services show, and they are right next to a mall with a Wal-mart, and movie theater.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum. Where are you located, and what type of roof does the RV have?

If it's rubber, it's likely EDPM made by Dicor. They have some information on sealers, care, and installation on their webpage, dicor.com.

Products that contain petrolium can damage EDPM, so it is important that you use sealant designed for EDPM roofs (or just use the Dicor lap sealant). You can touch up the sealant sometimes, but eventually there's no substitute for removing and redoing all the sealant.
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Old 12-31-2007, 03:24 PM   #5
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Liv,

I agree with cb5300 about pressure testing for leaks. The Sealtech process, developed in Canada, has become a very populare and expedient method of identifying and sealing leaks.

In an RV the spot or spots that indicate a leak in your coach do not necessarily identify the source. Water travels inside the ceiling and walls.

I would recommend that you seek out an RV service center that can perform this test.

This winter I am working at my local RV dealer, building his website among other things. The other day I published a page that illustrates the Sealtech process. Here's the link: Water Leak Teasting
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:50 AM   #6
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Thanks all

I'm just a couple miles south of Seattle. I wouldn't know what type of roof her RV has. It's a 1999 Fleetwood 22' class C. (I'd give you more but its at the dealer getting yet another leaks diagnosed).

I'll have to look around for a dealer (that we trust) that can pressure test. The one where we bought the RV does have the equipment but our experience there has left us very dissatisfied.

A couple specific "leaks 101" questions:

I hear its a do-it-yourself task (obviously unless there has been structural damage). Her RV manufacturer recommends resealing annually.

An RV dealer we went to as an alternative to the one where we bought the vehicle also said that it was important to remove all previous "stuff".

What we would actually like to find is a nice RV enthusiast "handy man". You know, some retired man or woman who have lots of practical experience with RVs and likes to make a few bucks on the side providing basic mobile services (sealing, equipment installs, etc.) P.S. I imagine this would be a good mainstream business too. Look at the number of handyman franchise businesses that are springing up.

Thanks again

Liv
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:16 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Digital Boy:

This winter I am working at my local RV dealer, building his website among other things. The other day I published a page that illustrates the Sealtech process. Here's the link: Water Leak Teasting </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Very helpful for those of us who need a visual. The cost seems reasonable. Would you recommend this be done every couple years, before you buy an RV, etc.?
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Old 01-06-2008, 03:03 PM   #8
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Livingston,

First, I want to state that my response to your question is from me, the fulltime RVer, not the temporary RV dealer employee.

Now then, If I had one or more known water leaks in my coach especially if they were hard to diagnose, I would most definately schedule a Sealtech rain water leak test.

At this time I have no leaks that have made themselves known to me: no ceiling stains; no wet walls or floors. So, I could easily be penny wise and pound foolish. Hey, no leaks. Do nothing.

However, A new leak during or after a downpour would be a nasty surprise. Therefore, I am inclined to have the test performed at least every 2 years or thereabouts.

What did our parents tach us? "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?"

Anyway, that's my opinion. I have not consulted any of my dealership's technicians, service manager or owner about this.
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:02 PM   #9
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Thanks,

It turns out that her RV is getting a pressure test (the dealer is shown on the vendors web site as having one). Two years between test sounds reasonable and for the price....

(If it's well sealed does that mean that it will blow up?) ;-) Actually, I'm interested in how the pressure test will actually work. If I recall when we had to get a cat out from under the bed (which meant taking up the plywood the mattress was on) that there are pretty wide openings to the undercarriage). This thing must put out some pressure to get to the point where small leaks will bubble.

Now to the repairs. Is it true that re-sealing is pretty much an easy task? Note that I'm not including structural or problems like a window or door gasket that's failing.

Liv
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Old 01-06-2008, 05:29 PM   #10
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Liv,

My understanding is that it does not take much of a pressure increase to show the leaks. First the technician must make sure that all vents are sealed and windows and doors closed. My further guess is that all slide-outs would be closed and sealed.

With regard to the sub-floor structure I would imagine that the flooring over the plywood would pretty much take care of floor leaks. Anyway, gravity dictates that water runs downhill. So, I don't think there is much danger of rain water (short of a flood) leaking upwards through the chassis and flooring.

Although it betrays my age, your joke about blowing up the coach made me visualize the "Scenes We Like To See" cartoons from Mad Magazine. Tech sets up machine in coach. Tech tapes all vents and slides. Tech plugs in machine. Coach promptly explodes. Tech reasons: "I guess there were no leaks!"
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:24 PM   #11
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Would have been a very good Mad Mag image!

My comment on the holes below the bed were simply a curiousity about how the pressure test works. Any large holes will have to be blocked (or as you point out closed) for the test to work.

Enough on the pressure test. The other question I'm asking is about how difficult it is to do the sealing. My wife's RV recommends inspecting every 3 months resealing every year (although I think that may be a bit much).

Thoughts?

Liv
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Old 01-07-2008, 04:25 AM   #12
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Liv,

I bought my present coach when it was 5 years old with 53,000 miles on the engine (diesel). The caulking around the roof and sides appeared to be original from the factory.

On the day we took delivery it was raining hard like it often does in Florida. The coach was sitting in front of the dealership. Upon entering I was witness to a virtual waterfall flowing down the inside of the windshield.

In the rain, the technician climbed up onto the roof and smeared all those little lights on at the top of the front cap with sealer. That stopped the leak. A week later I brought the coach back and the lights were removed, reseated and recaulked.

If the previous owner had checked all seams and/or recaulked as needed, this leak would not have happened.

About a year later I had the entire coach recaulked. All the old caulk was removed and new caulk administered. That is not to say that you can't patch here and there as needed.
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