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Old 08-26-2014, 01:36 PM   #1
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Potential leak points

I've been chasing a leak in my Zinger for over a year. The water would come in the front, door side bedroom closet during heavy rains. I thought it was the marker light directly in front of the leak so I pulled it off and put new butyl tape and caulk around it.



It still leaked. I put new Dicor lap sealant on the front cap seal. No help. I recaulked the corner molding, still leaked.

Finally I had enough and built a pressure tester using a high velocity ventilator from Harbor Freight.




It basically pumps high volumes of air into the coach.



You then take soapy water or kids bubble solution and spray all around the exterior. Where you see bubbles is a potential leak point.






What I found was the plastic gutter extensions on the end of the drip rails leaked air profusely. The water would overwhelm the gutter and flow back behind the gutter, behind the aluminum skin, finally dripping into the closet.



My thoughts are using an RV cover during the winter pulled the extensions down breaking the original seal.

After seeing this, I tested the other three extensions. No surprise they also leaked a lot of air. From what I've read these gutter extensions are a common place for leaks to originate.

Another place where I had a leak was the top bulb seal on the slide out room. I spotted this when I noticed the staples in the wall board that the slide out seals up when open were starting to rust. The bulb seal looked like it was sealed by the factory with silicone sealant. The silicone had pulled away and was allowing water to enter past the bulb/sweeper seal and into the camper. The wallboard would wick the moisture up and rust the staples. I cut away as much silicone as I could and laid down a fresh bread of Dicor lap sealant to close it up.

After sealing these areas up, Iíve been leak free. I still pressure test the trailer once a year. Along the way I have become proficient with a caulk gun and can recommend the following sealants:

Roof - Dicor self-leveling lap sealant or Eternabond tape. The only thing about the tape is it is 100% permanent. If you place it around a vent or antenna and need to later remove the vent/antenna, youíll have a heck of a time trying to remove the tape. It also requires a clean prepped surface. If there is a spot that wasnít prepped correctly you could have a leak under the tape.

Sides - ProFlex or OSI Quad. I recently started to use OSI Quad after my local dealer ran out of ProFlex. The advantage is you can find OSI at Lowes or Home Depot, it cost about 50% less, and is easier to work with.

Hopefully my experiences can help someone else looking for a leak or potentially stop future leaks.
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Old 08-26-2014, 02:52 PM   #2
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WOW!!
What a process you have been thru! That is quite the pressure system you configured. Good job, and thank you for sharing all of that.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:09 PM   #3
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Awesome read. Thank You.
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Old 08-27-2014, 04:29 AM   #4
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Crossroads advises against the use of RV covers.
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Old 08-27-2014, 05:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markandkim View Post
Crossroads advises against the use of RV covers.
Is that something that is published somewhere? I have to wonder if its because of the gutter problems?
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Old 08-27-2014, 07:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markandkim View Post
Crossroads advises against the use of RV covers.
Most manufacturers don't recommend them. Latest trailer life magazine had an article on them and highly recommend them, but keep in mind Good Sam/CW sells them.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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What an awesome setup. Gotta have that now. Our trailer had a leak around the marker lights up front that they missed at the factory.

Long story short, I had to take it to Crossroads service center they had to replace the entire front cap.

Your truly are displaying the proverbial ounce of prevention here
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:45 AM   #8
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I am paranoid of leaks. I've seen too many campers where leaks go unnoticed and turn into big problems. These things are not built to go 60+ mph down bumpy roads without something failing, especially sealants slapped on as fast as possible at the factory.

Thanks for all the kudos!
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
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Somewhere on the CR website, maybe in the FAQs it says not to use covers as the roof material needs to breathe.

Awesome write-up although I'm sorry for your troubles. Thanks mate!
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:06 AM   #10
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Great pictures and info. Thanks!
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Old 08-28-2014, 11:58 AM   #11
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From Crossroads FAQ's

Quote:
Should I cover my RV with a tarpaulin or canvas when it is not in use?

It is not recommended that your RV be wrapped with any type of cover. The rubber roof material needs to breathe and be allowed to dry thoroughly to prevent mold and mildew. According to the roof material supplier, the chalky look of the rubber is normal. Parking under an overhang or in a large garage is acceptable.
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Old 08-29-2014, 12:47 PM   #12
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Thanks, Daystrom, interesting post with lots of good info. You hear of so much water damage in RVs, and it can get really expensive to repair. I think we all need to be vigilant and check the caulking regularly and touch up where needed. Your method may not be available for everyone, but I think a visual inspection should find most areas for potential leaks.
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:23 AM   #13
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Visual inspections are important but in my case no visual inspection could have ever found my leak point. Even if you can't build a system like mine, find a dealer that has Sealtech machine. Most charge around $100 to do a leak test and mark leak points.

http://www.sealtechusa.com/#!where-to-find/ceps

Pressurized leak tests are the only sure way to find 100% of leaks.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
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Thanks!
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Old 09-01-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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Wow. Great info!

Glad you (finally) got it, too!
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Old 01-02-2015, 03:03 PM   #16
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Thanks for sharing your homemade pressure tester. I know the Sealtech system attaches to the roof vent which requires some work to secure it. How long does it take for the pressure to build up enough to check for leaks in your system? I have a used furnace fan that I'm going to do the same with. I want to put a pressure gauge on it so I can shut it off if it builds up too much pressure. That may not be an issue but don't want to create a worse situation.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:23 PM   #17
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Wow daystrom, what a great post. I am a new owner of a Cruiser Aire. We have not even taken it out yet (Texas icicles hanging all over it and its red Christmas bow at the moment). I know that it will be rare if we do not encounter a few leaks and this is an awesome rig to find them with. Thanks for taking time to share info and pics.
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Old 01-03-2015, 07:51 AM   #18
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I don't have the pressure a sealtech system has. I attached a manometer onto my system and it hardly moves. I think the sealtech system is supposed to provide 4" of WC when running. Mine maybe .25".

Fwiw I am still chasing a leak in the same closet area. I've taped the front cap seal with eternabond tape, pulled all the screws out of the drip edge and caulked the holes and even covered the screw holes with butyl tape before putting the screws back in. Still have a leak.

Have no idea where else to look. Trailer sits in my drive. The driveway has a grade to drain water off to the side. The trailer sits on this grade and my leak point is uphill of the grade so I know the leakpoint is somewhere on the higher side. Water doesn't flow up hill.

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Old 01-03-2015, 01:23 PM   #19
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Hi Tod,

Thanks for your reply and the update. The Sealtech specs say that normal operating pressure is 0.3-0.6 water column. They state that if initial pressure with impeller at max rpm is less than 0.4 inch, additional preliminary sealing of rv should be undertaken. They go on to say that to set your rpm to produce a differential pressure of .03-.05 inch water column. A note in the documents state
" larger leaks require lower pressure than small leaks. Pinholes may require up to 0.6" water column; big holes as low as 00.15"....1."
They have two different models that are 430 watts and 630 . Not sure of the larger one. They are very expensive.Looks like they use a expensive manometer.
I really like the system you put together, leaks are tough to locate sometimes. Let me know if you find the source. I noticed in our trailer that if I didn't keep the bedroom cabinet open at the top condensation would appear.
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Old 01-04-2015, 10:11 PM   #20
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Great job on your own seal test mod. I have a 2011 32Qb zinger. It was back to the dealer 4 times, and 2 times back to Crossroads for the same leak in the first 4 years of us buying it. The whole front end has been off 3 times. Pictures are in the photo section here. I will definitely make up that blower setup and test mine for leaks. Again, great work there and pics do show a lot.
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