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Old 06-19-2015, 03:16 AM   #1
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water leak?

Today when the sun was shining and coming through the shower dome/skylight, I discovered a bulge in the shower wall. The bulge is right up against the ceiling and comes down a few inches. (This evening, I realize it isn't noticeable when it is dark out. Which makes me wonder if this isn't new.) When I pressed on it, it was soft. My heart sank.

On the roof I found a small stream of water coming from the a/c. The water ran to the side of the coach and into a trough. Some water was dripping to the ground (I think there may have been a hole in the trough at that spot) and water was also exiting the trough at the back of the coach. I didn't notice any damage on the outside but I'm far from an expert and was on the roof rather than a ladder so the angle wasn't great.

Have had my 2001 Bounder about five months and I've been living in it in a very dusty west Texas. Since I've been here we've had terrible freezing temperatures, several really big rain storms and some hail.

When I bought the RV, I thought I needed to change the air filters but didn't know where or what to buy. The filters in the a/c hardly seemed dense enough to qualify as an air filter so I a HEPA filter and cut it up and put it in the AC vents. That was probably dumb. The a/c unit that has water draining on the roof has had the filter in it the longest. Also, in the bedroom, about a month ago, I noticed black stuff on the bedspread in the morning. There is a vent/air outlet above this spot. I finally decided the black stuff was an old filter falling apart. Filters were on my list of things to tackle this week. Not a bulge in the wall!

What should I do?
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:49 AM   #2
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Find and seal the leak as soon as possible. Depending on how large the rotted area is you can decide to repair it or not. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:14 AM   #3
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The water that condenses onto the a/c fins simply runs out across the roof in many RVs (only a few have condensate drain hoses) and that itself is not an issue. But if you have a leaky roof or sidewall seam, the a/c run off is one constant source of water that can get inside. However, I would not get too focused on the a/c - you need to find the place where water gets through the roof and fix it, regardless of the water source.

I doubt if your filters have any negative effect except maybe to reduce air flow through the system. It's designed for just a basic dust filter, and your HEPA repalcements probably let less air move through. That could result in reduced cooling or even an occasional "freeze up" where moisture in the air freezes on the exchanger.

You RV a/c unit does not bring in external air, so it is merely recirculating the air inside the RV. That reduces the need for continuous filtering, but dusty environments can require frequent filter cleaning or replacement,.
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Old 06-21-2015, 10:34 AM   #4
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It looks like the sealant as eroded between two pieces of metal near the roof line. Pictures below.

I visited two different RV shops. The person who seemed the most knowledgeable said that metal strip is what secures the edges of the rubber roof against the side of the coach. He said what has eroded is a strip of sticky-tape-stuff (can't remember the name of it). He said it goes on the coach and the metal strip goes on top and the screws go in from the outside. Because the tape is a sealant, the screws don't need to be covered or sealed. He said I could use some sealant in the crack for the very short term. So, his fix would involve removing the metal and doing it right. The other person said all I needed to do is clean up the edges and use the sealant all along the top of the metal. This second person said I'd also want to seal over every screw. So I can see how this second "solution" would result in a big problem if I ever wanted to fix it correctly. Fixing it correctly is what I'd like to do. Since I'm living in it and was offered a promotion on Thursday, I expect I'll be full timing for two to three years and then will have the coach to just enjoy. This is the perfect RV for me, so I have no desire to sell or trade -- just to fix this problem properly.

The first guy talked about shooting some glue under the wall paper and hitting it hard and quick with a flat board to force the glue through the "wood" that is coming apart. The aesthetics of the problem are fine with me as long as it doesn't get worse. Last night I also noticed that the outside top of the medicine cabinet has also been effected. This is within inch of the original damage I noticed.

I was going to put the sealant on last night but realized I didn't have a caulking gun and am leaving to return to my sticks-n-bricks today so can make this repair tomorrow.

Neither of these two people seemed concerned about the water or dampness that could still be inside. I thought it I didn't cover the hole it could dry out more. Thoughts on how to deal with possibly sealing in the moisture?

I also bought the necessary stuff to wash the roof and seal it. Planning to do this once I'm home. There is some cracking in the sealant around various items on roof. Want to get that removed this summer and resealed. The more knowledgeable fellow I spoke to said he charges $100 an hour and said the roof would take about 3 hours, plus materials. The siding metal stripping would take about 3 hours per side. So, $1,000 plus caulk and tape. If I have him do the work, I'll probably help remove the sealant on the roof to save time and have the chance to see how he does it so I'm more comfortable doing it myself in two years.

Both suggested the same sealant -- self-leveling for the roof and the other stuff for the side crack.

The three pictures show the metal piece in relation to the roof and a close up with and without a piece of flashing I discovered as I was cleaning the gutter-groove. The black line above the metal strip, according to the guy I spoke to, is the residue from the original tape that runs under the metal. Last night I found that with a rag, it wiped away rather easily. It looks like there was a sealant over the screws, but I don't know if the original owner did this or if that was factory.

Feedback or thoughts appreciated.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:10 AM   #5
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Fix it right and you will be good to go. A second rate repair will only cause you heartache.
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