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Old 05-08-2011, 08:38 PM   #1
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Bad roof leak on our Class A and need advice...

We recently bought a 2004 Gulf Stream Atrium Class A. Yesterday there was a heavy downpour for hours and we found that a lot of water was coming in above the drivers side window and dripping from the ceiling above the dash.

I discovered a significant break in the trim piece molding and caulking where the roof meets the side wall above the drive side in the front of the unit. Clearly that is where the water from the roof was pouring down and into the opening where the trim piece had pulled away from the wall of the unit.

The inletting of water was bad.... we've found that quite a bit of water found its way into the foam backing of the vinyl headliner. We pulled the TV out, removed the center trim piece that runs from the TV back toward the first AC unit and found that we could easily squeeze water out from the headliner foam down the center line where the trim piece was.

We are so disheartened. We bought the unit from a small RV lot where it was on consignment "AS-Is" no warranty.

We squeezed as much excess water as we could out of the headliner by pushing along the headliner toward the edge at the trim piece where the water comes dripping out from pressure on the headliner. And we put an electric heater along with the furnace in the unit to heat it up as much as possible to help dry the roof liner out. And I did a temporary caulking repair of the trim pieces on the outside of the coach to keep more water from coming in.

We know this is bad. But can anyone tell us the prognosis as to just how bad this is? Can the roof headliner and plywood possibly be dried out and saved or is it toast at this point? The headliner is vinyl with foam backing glued to a plywood panel. We are praying that the repairs and expense won't be devastating... what are our chances?
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:05 PM   #2
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Welcome DHart to irv2.
Sorry to hear of your problems. Sounds like you got on top of the current problem but how lone its been in this situation may be another matter.
Can you post some pictures of the interior ceiling area may help us help you as to what may have to be done.
I have seen some pretty bad water problems that Vintage forum people have solved and the results have been good.
Keep drying out area as your doing and if head liner foam is really wet remove it, it can be replaced with new, you do not need moisture getting down into walls.
You may have to pull off head liner to see what damage is to plywood backing or the water has already separated from plywood backing.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:25 PM   #3
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It depends. If it has been wet in that area for awhile the plywood can begin to warp and delaminate and you can develop a mold or mildew problem. If this has not occurred and the water leak in this area is more recent you may be able to get it dried out with alot of heat and continuing to squeegee the water out of the headliner. I recently dealt with a similar problem. The caulking around the plastic roof plate covering the hole where the TV and power cables come into the coach from the satellite dome was apparently leaking and water was coming in to the cabinet above the driver's area and the foam in the headliner collected the water. I put a hair drier into a funnel connected to a rubber hose and got heat into the cavity above the cabinet through the hole the wires came through, and also squeegeed water out of the headliner in the top of the cabinet. It took two weeks to get it completely dry. It appears that the method has worked with no damage. Kept a tarp over the MH until weather permitted removal and recaulking of that roof plate.
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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See my post on the other forum
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Old 05-08-2011, 09:58 PM   #5
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Some images of the situation







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Old 05-08-2011, 10:16 PM   #6
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If you are in an area of that country that has humidity higher than the desert then you would help your situation by getting at least one dehumidifier inside the coach. Also, run fans to keep the air circulating.
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Old 05-08-2011, 10:23 PM   #7
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That roof seam really opened up on you. The interior ceiling shows no water stains and wood cabinets show no stains so maybe this has not happened before and you can get the ceiling board replaced which is taken the worst of water damage.
The vinyl liner you can maybe save to put on new backer boards or just replace it also but may not match the rest of ceiling areas.
You may have metal studding and screw on seam trim will screw into the stud.
The leak area can be sealed with Eterabond Tape.
Should check wiring in ceiling for any exposed wiring that may have got wet.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:17 AM   #8
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i second the eternabond tape repair suggestion. it is permanent.

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Old 05-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #9
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Hi Dan L... we're in Vancouver, WA also.

Thanks everyone for your replies... we are just praying that this won't be a devastating financial loss for us. We think the leak had been going on for perhaps two or three weeks.

I had the furnace, a portable electric heater, and a fan going in the rig overnight last night. I removed some of the screws holding the trim pieces on the outside of the rig, then tried to screw it back on better but found that the screw that is sticking out farthest had broken off at mid length and I couldn't get another screw to go in. I put the rest of the screws in and sealed with an RV sealant as a temporary water block.

I can still squeegee a few drops out of the head liner, so there is still wetness in there, but the bulk of it is out.

The area where you can see that I pulled the headliner down to help the water get out could be pulled more, but the foam backing was glued to the plywood and the foam gets torn in placed where it sticks to the plywood.

Do you think I should try to tear off more of the headliner? Or leave it as is with some more squeeging until I can't get any more drops out of there?

I'm keeping the furnace, electric heater, and fan going, so its pretty warm in there with air circulating.

Does the eternabond tape go on after the exterior trim pieces are pulled off and then the trim pieces put back on?
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:09 PM   #10
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I think you are going to be okay as long as you keep drying it aggressively. Sounds like so far you've made good progress. You just want to get the residual dfampness out so it doesn't mold up.

Then seal it six ways to Sunday and you'll be good. No panic

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Old 05-09-2011, 08:21 PM   #11
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The seam looks like its been hit...the plastic piece has been torn off and the screw pulled out. I would carefully undo a couple more screws and try to get sealant behind that cover, then get the screws back in....then seal the edges of the cover....same for the one that goes down and forward. Eternabond over top of the upper portion will finish it off. The problem with Eternabond is it is white and will be very visible if you extend it over the side where your damage is.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #12
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A big thank you to all who have replied. It sounds like we may have dodged a bullet, but won't know for sure until a pro can get a good look at it... which should happen Wednesday. In the meantime, heaters and fan going all out to keep it very warm and dry in there. The visible/accessible edge of the headliner foam (down the center seam of the coach interior) is no longer squeezing out drops.

Will the inner, unexposed areas of foam backing on the vinyl headliner that is glued to the plywood be able to dry out completely even though it is intact against the plywood?
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:57 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HMXDave View Post
Eternabond over top of the upper portion will finish it off. The problem with Eternabond is it is white and will be very visible if you extend it over the side where your damage is.
Is Dhart's RV gray? If so, I think Eternabond does come in that color.

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Old 05-09-2011, 09:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goreds2 View Post
Is Dhart's RV gray? If so, I think Eternabond does come in that color.

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You are correct.... EternaBond RoofSeal
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