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Water Leaks-Roof

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Kingskerswell View Drop Down
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    Posted: 04 Oct 2018 at 12:33am
Just sharing a water leak issue, R-Pod 177, 2013:
Problem-During an extended rainfall, water dripping from coax cable wire connecting to TV/DVD, more water dripping down over top of window from somewhere inside the roof where the TV/DVD is mounted. Water ended up wetting a large area of the mattress.
Trying to identify the cause of a water leak can be difficult so I first built dams around each roof penetration, A/C unit, bathroom vent, TV antenna etc and tested each one individually by filling the dammed area with water.  None of these penetrations exhibited any leaks.
I finally took a close look at the rear spoiler (the black moulding that extends from side to side at the rear and houses three roof marker lights) and found cracks in the sealant between the ABS vacuum moulding and the fibreglass roof.  I removed all the silicone sealant and thoroughly cleaned the surfaces and re-applied a heavy bead of single component SIKA black polyurethane sealant.  I followed up after 24 hrs with a second bead.  So far, everything looks good after two days of very heavy rain while camping on the west coast.
I think the root cause is the differential rates of expansion between the spoiler and the fibreglass roof panel that accentuates lifting of the moulded spoiler surface between the screw fasteners.  I am hoping the new sealant is stronger and flexible enough to be effective.  If not I will remove the spoiler and sheet over the cavity.

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mcarter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mcarter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2018 at 9:00am

Many have used Eternabond around the spoiler with good results.  I will be doing mine this winter before next season.

Mike Carter
2015 178
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Kingskerswell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingskerswell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Oct 2018 at 12:02pm
Thanks, not familiar with Eternabond or what its constituents are but they do have a wide array of products and seem well respected.  Their website says their caulking sealant is a Thermoplastic which may indicate a similarity.  I just went with a product that I have used in a past life in vehicle body panel design/manufacture of bonded sandwich panels.  Polyurethane sealant/adhesive is in the same family of products as what is used for car and truck windshield retention. Additionally, I took the time to lightly abrade the accessible sealant contact surface of the spoiler before application.  I feel the underlying issue is the 3:1 difference in thermal expansion coefficient between the ABS and Fibreglass roof.  I found 80% of all the contact areas between the fasteners had lifted along the top and bottom edges and the silicone had separated from the ABS allowing water entry.  Not an easy area to work on, had to build a scaffold.
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