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Old 08-02-2011, 08:43 AM   #1
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Where is the leak coming from?

I'm doing a major interior remodel on my 1988 Terry Resort travel trailer. During a major rain storm I've noticed water coming in on the outer edge of a 4 foot long wall cabinet. I was parked on a slight slant last night so it was running down almost the entire length and dripping on the dinette. I do not see any obvious damage on the roof. This is a strange leak, I've been in rain before and sometimes it leaks, other times not. There was also water inside the pictured ceiling light. The interior ceiling looks perfect but there is some warping inside the cabinet. What is the best way to find the leak or should I just coat the entire fiberglass roof with something?
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:11 AM   #2
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The surest way to find a leak is to take it to an RV service center and have it pressure tested- $200 or $300, I believe.

Or you can climb up on top of the roof again. Most leaks are at places where 2 different materials join. Look carefully at:

around vents, opening and protuberances. Look for cracks, holes, lifting edges, uncovered screws or missing screws. Check antenna boots and vent boots, if you have them.

Sides, edges and front and back caps. Again, cracks, holes, screws. Also look just over the edge of the roof.

seams on flat spaces.

The air conditioner (this may be hardest). There is a 14x14 1" foam gasket that seals the AC to its 14x14 hole in the roof. If that gasket gets old and too compressed, it doesn't seal anymore. You can see if this is so by removing the plastic shroud (4 or 6 screws) on the air conditioner and trying to lift or rock the AC back and forth ( its heavy!). Any movement indicates its loose on the gasket.

Good luck! Roof leaks are usually fixable by the RV owner with a little care and patience (plus money).
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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you never want to trap water in, so sealing it without getting the water out is a bad idea..I would go up and inspect every inch of roof. look at the direction it was coming in from
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Old 08-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #4
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Save time and anguish by spending the money for a proper smoke/pressure test to identify the real source. Otherwise, you're probably just going to be guessing and hoping that your repair(s) took care of the problem.

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Old 08-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the info. For financial reasons I'm willing to ignore my fear of heights and look for the things you mentioned but one question. Is there any chance that I will come through the roof and land inside? This is an older unit, will it safely hold a need to lose 20 pounds 50 year old woman ? The AC is right in line with the leaky area so that is a possibility. My coworker was up there to powerwash the camper and she said it felt squishy all over to her, is that just the norm for a fiberglass trailer? Is a smoke test something I can do myself? Sorry for all the questions, Im very handy with tools and willing to take on most projects but lacking knowledge on this topic
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:07 PM   #6
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The roof should support you with no problems (unless there is SUBSTANTIAL roof damage) but you can use a 2' by2' square (or squares) of plywood to distribute your weight for safety.

Go on up and see what you see. Your leak source may be glaringly obvious.

Let me reiterate that the source of the leak may be nowhere near where the leak comes out on the inside; in fact, it would be surprising if it were, so don't restrict your search to the area near where you *think* the leak will be..
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Old 08-03-2011, 05:36 AM   #7
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There is a hole in the plastic cover over the AC unit. Could that have something to do with the leak?
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Old 08-03-2011, 06:38 AM   #8
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Yes and no, depending on where the hole is.

The AC makes moisture all the time when its running (condensing water out of the air because its cold) and its designed to get rid of that water through through drain tubes or holes straight onto the roof next to the AC unit. If those drainage tubes are blocked with leaves, dirt and debris, that condensate can run down inside the AC unit into the interior.

I'm pretty sure, unlike other leaks, this leak WILL look like its the AC is leaking.

The UV light damages plastics (like the AC cowling and vents) so eventually they get brittle and must be replaced. When you put new plastic parts up consider putting a coat of paint on them first; the paint, any paint protects the plastic from UV damage
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Old 08-03-2011, 08:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Senior Chief View Post

Let me reiterate that the source of the leak may be nowhere near where the leak comes out on the inside; in fact, it would be surprising if it were, so don't restrict your search to the area near where you *think* the leak will be..

Very good advice right there! I can vouch for that advice from personal experience!
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Old 08-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #10
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Update on the roof leak. Just returned from a four day trip and lots of rain and no leak . The only difference was that the awning was set up. Could the leak be coming from the side?
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