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Old 09-05-2023, 08:00 PM   #1
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Location: Grove City, Ohio
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Thor Challenger - No Rain Gutter from Factory

It appears Thor does not (or did not) install "Rain Gutters" along the roof line (at the transition to the side walls) on my 40' Thor Challenger 37FH. The lack of rain gutters is producing water marks/stains on the side wall paint because both rain and air conditioning condensation runs off the roof, over te molding, then right down the side.

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To make matters worse, when I retract the main slide, water pours like Niagara Falls INSIDE the coach (front and rear) because water accumulates on the slide out roof. Water pours in even when it has not rained, because the air conditioner produces a ton of water.


I purchased RV Rain Gutters off Amazon.

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The FIRST time I tried sticking these 1" by 40' stickers on myself. I rented Scaffolding, and everything. The next morning, to my surprise, they came undone and were on the ground, leaving sticky residue 1/2 on the coach and 1/2 left over on the gutter J channel.

I called General RV and asked what to do, and they said to use stainless steel screws.

So I purchased the "RecPro" version and took those to Lazy Days in Wilmington Ohio (brand new store) to have them install them for me. I do not feel comfortable drilling holes in my coach AND being one of their first customers, I could get special attention.

CONFUSED: The Service Manager at Lazy Days is saying they never saw this RecPro Type of Rain Gutter and is advising against screws, and from what I suspect, against the rubber version all together.

The manager said he would research what to do and get back to me. I get the feeling another $1000 bill is headed my way... Why can't the cheaper rubber/two-sided sticky tape version work? Is it a bad idea to use stainless steel screws up there? I thought RV Butyl Tape would work, but Lazy Days said probably not.

I am calling Thor tomorrow. to get an official answer, as maybe they have something better.

I get the feeling I am either being totally ignorant to think screwing into the roof area is a good idea OR Lazy Days is trying to sell me something, like the aluminum version.

Has anyone else tried doing what I am trying to do?
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Old 09-05-2023, 09:04 PM   #2
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Did you clean the area for the channel with alcohol as directed? I used those same rubber channels and they are not coming off. Even if I wanted them to.
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Old 09-05-2023, 09:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mnoel View Post
Did you clean the area for the channel with alcohol as directed? I used those same rubber channels and they are not coming off. Even if I wanted them to.
I used a "Paint Prep" productI bought from AutoZone. I was told alcohol would damage the paint. Could that have been my mistake?
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Old 09-06-2023, 07:23 AM   #4
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We got our rain gutters at:

I have used these on two different motorhomes.

Easy to install with a screwdriver, and they work perfectly.
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Old 09-12-2023, 04:15 PM   #5
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Our Challenger has no rain gutters either. But we don't have the water problem on the slide that you do. I think you have something different wrong there.
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Old 09-18-2023, 07:26 AM   #6
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Yup, another huge bill. Lazy Days charged almost $900 to install the rain guard which turns out they didn't follow my directions. They installed it only from front to awning. Water still rolls down the side. They tried to put a bead of silicon on the roof to create a dam.

Not happy with resolution.
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:23 AM   #7
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My coach came with the stick-on J-channel "rubber" gutter already installed, but the plastic gutter extensions had torn off. As near as I could tell the gutter used the 3M VHB (Very High Bond) automotive trim tape.

The gutter worked well to deliver roof runoff to the front and rear corners, although the installer didn't pitch it correctly, so some puddling occurred about mid-coach.

I replaced the extensions using that tape and stainless screws, plus a little sealant to prevent water from getting to the trim tape.

I never had to strip off the gutter, as the original stuff stayed stuck during the seven years I owned the coach.

Surface prep is important, for sure. I don't remember what the tape folks recommend for surface prep. I've never had alcohol damage cured paint, but that doesn't mean it couldn't happen to you. I vaguely remember seeing that some alcohols may leave a residue.

It's my impression that some of the products sold through Amazon are not as durable as others that look the same. That's why I tended to buy trims and seals from established RV vendors, such as Uni-Grip. I did buy some replacement gutter (with "the red tape" already applied) through Amazon, but never installed it.

As a rule, I wouldn't put new holes in my coach. I had enough anxiety drilling all the holes to repair the joint under that plastic cap that runs from front to back, up there along the sidewall-roof joint! For your project, I would have gone with the tape-based gutter, or nothing.
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Old 09-18-2023, 04:59 PM   #8
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Hope this doesn't ruin your enjoyment of your fh, I also had the same problem with my fh so I used the same rubber J channel gutter but I installed it up on the roof ,I ran it along the white part of the roof where it meets the paint and curves over to the wall. After a couple of days I ran a bead of self leveling caulk down the inside edge of the gutter. I always raise the front of motorhome just a little and the gutter guides the water to the rear and the plastic gutter extensions. We full-time in our 2019 challenger 37fh now in year 6.
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