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Old 04-30-2009, 09:57 AM   #1
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Found water in storage compartment, what caulk to use?

I was organizing the outside storage getting ready for our first trip last night, and while removing everything from the rear storage I smelled mold. Well after removing the walls to the shore power cord storage area I could see minor water damage, just discoloration at this point. Then I pulled up the linoleum up the sub-floor was saturated and moldy. It’s only a small area, about 6”, the very back exterior corner.

So where is the water coming from? I check from the roof down and the only area of question is there are hairline cracks all the way down vertical seem where the siding meets the corner trim. The gutter empties right at that corner and dumps down exactly where the hairline cracks are. So my conclusion is the water is migrating through the cracks, down the corner and stopping at the floor?

Two questions:

1) Anybody else experience this problem?
2) I want to caulk/re-caulk the seam, but I am not sure what product to use?
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:58 AM   #2
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Very good chance it's the city water hookup. Check to see if the connection is tight. If you have the box to the electric cord compartment apart, you should be able to get to it pretty easy.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:47 AM   #3
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Joe

I do not know your model exactly and which outside storage area you are referring tone in the front of rear. However you said shore line cord and that is usually towards the rear of the camper. And then you said gutter and corner strip cracks.

See if this helps any as while mine has not done it, it could in the area under the original down gutter spouts. Water piles out of the gutter spout up top. If the TT is tipped slightly to that side the water runs right down the side of the TT. There are clearance lights that are held on with 2 screws into the siding. There is a foam type gasket to make a seal to the siding. If that seal is folded it may be a path to the inside walls of the TT. If you take that clearance light off you can see the insulation inside.

Some of the high up lights Sunline put a bead of caulk on the top edge to combat the leak in from the top. But the side clearance lights on my 2 TT never had it on just them.

It’s a place to look at least.

The hair line cracks in the corner putty. They do come in time and if they get too big enough I’m sure they can be a path of a leak. That putty tape creates a pretty tortuous path to the inside. So it may or may not be your problem.

Now regardless if it is or not what to put over the cracks. I can’t remember who, but here on SOC but they swear by a 3M Marine product caulk used for boats. I have not tried it yet but once I get to the Marine store I will be looking for it as they have similar issue sealing up hull joints and it has to live with water…

PS I combated the heavy water running down the side of the camper and the black streaks that come with it by adding down spouts from the roof area all the way to the bottom go the TT. No more heavy black streaks and no more heavy water out of the gutter at least. There are posts here on line from my 2 campers if you want let me know I search them up

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:49 PM   #4
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I did check the city water connection first, no leaks. I also have a black tank rinse right there too, checked it and not coming from there either. Checked to see if water was getting in through the exterior power cord door and thats not it either.

I did see the marker light, but did not check it? John I did read your posts on the downspouts and love that solution, I will need to go re-read again.

The design of where all the connections are on the 264 puts everything directly under that back corner downspout so I think getting roof water directed away from there is critical. 264SRinPA, have you ever had leaking through any of the hook-ups or the compartment door there?
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Old 04-30-2009, 12:51 PM   #5
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Since the leak is in the compartment where the shore line is stored, double check the shoreline door. You could close it up, and spray some water on it and then check for water inside the compartment. That door assembly uses the same putty tape as the vertical corner trim.

If that is your leak, remove the screws holding the door to the TT. get out your wife's hair dryer or a heat gun, and gently warm the putty all around the perimeter. Then with a putty knife between the door frame and the putty, slowly and gently work the door frame away from the TT. Do whatever you feel you must to prevent scratching the paint on the skin of the TT.

The leak may be in the shore line door itself; craked plastic or whatever. If that's case, that door is a standard item at any RV dealer and is easily replaced.

You can also spray the vertical corner trim while a partner checks in the compartment for water. Start low and work your way up.

If you determine that the leak is the corner trim, that can easily be pulled loose. First, remove the plastic strip that covers the center of the corner trim. If it is too firm or brittle, use your heat source to genlty warm it. It should then squeeze together and pull out easily. The aluminum corner trim is held to the TT with a series of screws. Pull them out at least a foot or two higher than the leak. (If you want, you could go all the way up to the roof, but if you remove the corner trim completely, you'll need a tube of the Dicor lap sealant to seal up the top end when you're done. Technique is same as above, warm the putty and gently work it loose, starting at the bottom.

The putty tape is cheap, and any RV dealer can supply it.

I would advise against surface caulking the joint between the siding and the aluminum corner strip on top of the putty tape. No matter how well you think you've cleaned it, caulk will still not adhere well to that joint. Better to open it up and replace the putty tape. The putty tape is best for that joint as it never dries out, and flexes with the trailer without developing leaks.

One last thought... Sometimes the movement of the TT when travelling plus hot/cold cycles can work the putty tape joints loose over a period of a few years. You can just looosen the screws, reposition the putty and then tighten them up again. if you do that, test your work with the hose.

If you need to pull screws on any of these items, you'll likely need a #2 square head driver. The bits are readily available at most any hardware store or home improvement center if you already have a driver system that uses interchangeable bits.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:10 PM   #6
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When we first got back into camping we bought a popup. One spring we went to get her ready and the whole front left side of the storage compartment was swollen with water damage. Upon close inspection there were some hairline cracks in the compartment. Now, you could hardly see these cracks, and we couldn't even tell that they went all the way through. But over the winter, with snow melt, the water had found its way in. Fleetwood determined that those hardly visible cracks were indeed the problem and rebuilt the entire front end of our popup for us. So, while it may not seem possible that you could have such damage from little tiny cracks, it is possible.
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Old 04-30-2009, 04:50 PM   #7
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No leaks from any of the compartment or utility doors. But I had a leak from the back of the city water supply. Took me a few months to find it, because it wouldn't leak all the time. My first thought was rain water dripping from the gutter. I finally figured out it was wet in the electric cord compartment and it hadn't rained, and it was dry before we left. I had the pump on and happened to reach in and wiggle the pipe and it sprayed a little water on my hand. Did you actually try to tighten the nut, or just look to see if it was leaking?
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:35 PM   #8
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Thanks all, I really appreciate the help!

I am changing my conclusion and going in a slightly different direction.....I ripped everything out tonight, even a small area of the wall paneling where it was wet to try and follow the water staining on the wood. It looks to start from the city water connection. See pics. Mike I think you hit the nail on the head, athough I was unable to recreate a leak while I was watching, the nut inside was pretty loose. Plus the plastic shroud was cracked a bit, and the whole connection looked as though it was bent down be by the previous owners.

It rained here all afternoon and eveing and no water from where I origionally thought it was coming from. I'm going to replace the city connection and keep on eye on things for a while before I put it all back together.

Again, thanks all and I'll post how I make out once I am certain I got it solved.





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Old 04-30-2009, 10:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsms264

I did see the marker light, but did not check it? John I did read your posts on the downspouts and love that solution, I will need to go re-read again.
Hi Joe

Heads up

In case you get to the down spouts there are a few DOT clearance lighting laws to make sure you do not block the light in the wrong direction. On my rear ones I had to extend the marker out to the edge of the down spout so you can see the marker from the rear of the TT straight on and up to I think it is was 45 degrees from the side.

If you get to that point, let me know I dig again to find the lighting law.

It was not complex to meet, just you need to know what to meet.

Good luck on your leak. Yup your have a lot of stuff directly under that gutter outlet. And they do burry that city water nut up in there. WOW. Some of the new all metal city water hook ups have a likie a 3" long brass extention into the TT.

PS there is a PEX rubber washer under that nut. Some times they get curshed. May not be the problem this time, but something to keep in the TT spares kit is more rubber gromets. I had an issue under the sink with one smashed on an anlge. Must of been put in wrong from day 1. Lowes sells them. Home Depot now too or Manardes

John
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