My camper roof leaks!ous

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Scattycat, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    When we got home from our winter trip I discovered that we had a slight leak in the roof.
    So I sealed every concieveable joint on the roof, handrail brackets, roof vent joints, joint between the cab and the habitation area, everything.
    I did various tests, wetting one section, verifying that that wasn't the problem area and then section by section worked my way to the back of the van and still there was a slight leak showing by the fact that water was coming in via the area where the satilite cable came through.
    There is so much sealant on the roof you,wouldn't believe it.
    I have even replaced 2 of the roof vents that were possible causes of the problem.
    So, where do I go from here?
    Is there a sealant that I can paint on the roof to try and solve the problem?
     
  2. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    There is, but I think you need to really find the exact location of the leak to be honest.
     
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  3. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    With respect.
    Read the above!
    I've spent weeks and a load of cash looking for the leak. If I could have found it I would have fixed it by now!
    So, given your seply, what is the product?
     
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  4. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  5. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    With equal respect he is right.

    Water can travel long distances, you could end up painting the whole roof and still miss the entry point.
     
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  6. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I did read it, and I feel your pain, I had a similar problem with our van, and I was considering your course of action. But after over a year of searching, the source of the leak was found, a bloody big hole in the roof hidden by the air conditioner.

    Now, onto the product, I will say I have not used this so I cannot endorse it, I just happened upon a video one evening whilst I was tearing my hair out about the leak in our roof. It is called liquid roof, details here: http://www.motorhomeroofrepair.co.uk/home

    [Edit]
    I personally wouldn't do this, it may or may not solve the issue, but I suspect it will look very amateur and seriously devalue the van.
     
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  7. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    Well, if all else fails, that is what I'm looking to do.
    I just need to know what product to use
     
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  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    You say "wetted". Does this mean drenching with a hose pipe ?

    An outside chance but an aerial cable is a small pipe, any way such a cable could feed water in >
     
  9. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Do you have the skill and knowledge to know that you have correctly sealed all possible entry points. If you have it wouldn't be leaking now. On the other hand have you actually sealed in water which moves when your Motorhome is in use and comes through the cable entry point.

    How about seeking help from a good dealer workshop who may have knowledge of your particular Motorhome, just because you cannot find the leak it doesn't mean a professional couldn't.

    Gods luck with what must be a very frustrating issue
     
  10. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    Things to check:
    How are the satellite cables fed in from the roof? By this, I mean are they correctly routed through a gland that is sealed, or has some cowboy simply drilled a hole in the roof and filled it with sealant?
    You need to check points on the roof that are higher than the entry point inside, this will usually be to the rear, since motorhomes are generally nose down.
    Is there anything that could be hiding a hole, rubbers around a skylight are a good culprit, are there any sub standard roof repairs that have become porous.
    The list is endless, you seem to have come to the point I did, were all options were exhausted. I had to go to a professional to fix the problem. I'd urge you to do the same.
     
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  11. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I totally agree with this, having experienced it. I had water coming in from one of the roof windows. Turned out to be the holes where the solar panels where mounted. This was at the opposite end of the roof on the other side. I tried drenching the roof with a hose pipe after each effort at resealing and no water came in until a few days or a week later. What was happening was the water was pooling and only moved to it's escape point when I was driving and it took a while to find it's way out.... It was seriously frustrating.

    I had checked roof vents, skylights, cable entries etc etc . I didn't think to check the screw holes where the solar panels were mounted to the roof. 3 of the holes didn't have any Sika on them at all and I couldn't see this until I remove the panel entirely as a last gasp effort.

    Painting the roof with a sealant probably wouldn't have fixed my leak, and it is possible it may not fix yours.
     
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  12. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    @Scattycat It might help members trying to help you if you updated us on your problem from May 19th.

    This is pasted from your post No 23

    "The present problem is that on the roof at the rear of the van about 3 or 4" from the edge and in line with the bike rack, the gel coat is breaking up in 2 large areas.
    Apparently, it happens because the outer roof fabric is not attched to the internal wooden roof, it just floats on top of it. So, for example, when a solar panel is fitted it is just attatched to the outer plastic and under certain conditions will bounce up and down and cause the gel coating to crack.

    Also, even though we have re-sealed around all the roof fittings and joints, we are getting a small amount of water ingress, so my thought is, although I have been assured otherwise, the damage is deeper than the gel coat."

    Has the broken up Gelcoat all been repaired? are the solar panels etc still bouncing around and what else is fastened to the roof skin that does not appear to be fastened down, any crack in the Gelcoat is a potential water ingress point so if you have enough cracks the roof is essentially porous so I can understand your desire to seal the whole roof.

    Martin
     
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  13. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    If two large areas of gelcoat have cracks (Which probably go deeper than the top gelcoat) sealing other joints will make little difference at all, I suspect the OP's answer is in his original question which I had not seem previously, the gelcoat cracks need addressing surely.
     
  14. buttons

    buttons Funster

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    It is not a Swift by any chance is it. I found an umbrella to be the best way to stay dry inside the van. Fixing it behind the drivers seat keeps the worst off.:)
     
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  15. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    The problem with the loose skin coat is that a leak in one place can come through in a completely different place. After sealing everything obvious there can still be trapped water. I suggest you park it on a STEEP slope facing uphill and hopefully any trapped water will work its way to the rear and down the outside of back panel
     
  16. Autowbars

    Autowbars Funster

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    I used white stone chip paint around all fittings on my roof, after 6 months it has blended in nicely, ie, is mucky. I painted the base of vents, ac, rails, cable entries.
    I only did it as a precation after a previous mh leaked from every fitting.
     
  17. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    Yep, I've done all that Andy.
    The water is showing itself where the satelite arial comes into the tv cupboard.
    It's really irritating 'cause, as you say, the water gets sandwiched between the 2 layers and when you think it's all gone you drive down the road and it works its way around the roof.
    I've sealed every conceivable joint and screw fixing and replaced 2 suspect roof vents and double sealed those, but I still have a problem, albeit more of a seepage rather than an out and out leak.
    The only thing left to do is to take off the solar panel and check that all is well under there.
    By my original post you can guess that my last thought is that there is a minute crack in the roof fabric itself, that is why I thought there might be a clear sealant I could paint on to it.
    I'll get there in the end no doubt but it's blooming frustrating in the meantime.
     
  18. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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  19. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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  20. Bacchus

    Bacchus Funster

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    Probably not your problem but I sometimes get a few drips through the skylight if it is raining and the van is parked perfectly level - it ponds on the roof and overtops the frame. If it is on even the slightest incline that doesn't happen.

    Also a yachty friend of mine used a "creeping" sealant to good effect when he couldn't find a leak from his windows, I will try and find which brand he used but it is something like this:-

    http://www.captaintolley.com/

    [edit]just seen that that is the same product as @Neckender recommended, apologies[/edit]
     
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