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Old 10-01-2015, 06:17 AM   #1
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Need advice on 2499 water leakage

I have dampness in the carpet just inside the entry door (to the left side, towards the rear of the camper) in our 2007 2499.
Here's what I've done;
Went over all the roof seals, caulked the large back window and the top and sides of the side window above the damp area, removed the inner retaining ring for that window and found no signs of water intrusion, removed the wall mounted light switch to find dry insulation in the wall, sealed around the upper awning support and removed and re-sealed the lower awning support.

I am using a moisture meter (Johnb's recommendation) and finding about 40-50% moisture in that carpet area (only very close to the wall), in the vinyl flooring just inside the door threshold, and about the same in the under cover beneath the places mentioned above.

Obviously, water is getting in (we had almost Biblical rainfall the past two days here in Maryland) and I'm running out of ideas for the possible entry points. One more I plan on checking next week (camping this weekend) is to remove the plastic panel on the exterior just under the entry door to get an idea of what might be going on there.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Maybe the 2499 has some peculiarities I should know about?
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 10-01-2015, 02:48 PM   #2
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Rich, if your 2007 2499 is like my 2003 2499 and if your talking about the rear door in the bedroom, the wall right there has water pipes going thro it. You can see them under the bathroom sink. You may have a loose or broken fitting in there. Chuck
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:02 PM   #3
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Thanks Chuck, no, this is the rear entry door in the sofa/dinette area.
Incidentally, this morning, I removed the aluminum plate that goes up to the threshold and drilled a 1/2" hole under where it covers, through the vinyl flooring, subfloor and into the insulation. A stiff paper inserted into the hole down into the insulation came out dry, same with the sawdust from drilling. I can smell the moisture from the hole I drilled, can't understand why the moisture meter reads high as soon as I move it into this area. Evidently though, there is, (or was) moisture intrusion into this area at some time. Maybe I sealed it, but why the damp carpet?
Rich
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Old 10-01-2015, 07:48 PM   #4
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Could it be the rubber door seal between the door and door frame? .. or even the door frame itself?

Maybe you could put down a long line of paper towels on the carpet along that wall and then hit the outside with a hose. (or wait for the next monsoon ) The paper towels would show an entry point quickly. Hopefully
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Old 10-02-2015, 05:30 AM   #5
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Gene, it could be the door or the frame, I don't know for sure, but I can say one thing. When the trailer is sitting on a level surface, the screen door catches at the upper latch corner. I checked the squareness and found that the screen door frame seems to be square, but at least the lower threshold to latch side of the door frame is not. I did this at night, so I need to do a better check during the day to find what is needed. I may want to pull the entire frame and reset it.

I did place a dry sheet of newspaper over the area that was damp and we got more rain yesterday (though not the monsoon we got the day before) and the newspaper was dry last night.

Thanks,
Rich
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:32 PM   #6
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Just when you want it to show up it doesn't.

Here is a thread John B started when he squared up his door frame. In John's usual style, it has lots of excellent pictures. Entry Door Out of Square - (Lots of pics)
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Old 10-04-2015, 10:23 AM   #7
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Thanks Gene, even if the door isnt leaking, I think it's a candidate for trueing up by doing an R&R like John did.
Thanks for the link.
Rich
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Old 10-08-2015, 08:12 PM   #8
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Hi Rich,

Catching up on being behind on my SOC habit...

Did you find your water intrusion spot yet? If not I have a "possible" maybe explanation.

Your prior owner if I recall right had your new camper on a seasonal site. It lived outside most all of it's life. When we had our T2499 I ended up getting drowned a few times coming out the rear entry door when camping in the rain. Water would blow out of the standard gutter spout and with the wind blowing at the back of the camper, would about drown ya trying to get in and out of the camper.

This generated the, I gotta do something about that. Thus my add on down spouts where born to divert the water away from the camper. And I carried this concept to the T310SR, as it too has a rear living area with the same rear entry door setup. Just I had different mounting options.

Point in this, the door seal on the latch striker side. If that seal had issues, water may be getting in from storms blowing at the back of the camper and water flying off the roof working it's way in the camper through the door seal.

Was the location of the camper on the seasonal spot in an area wind would easily hit the back of the camper? (not sheltered by trees, an open view of a lake etc wind blowing right at the back)

In case you want to go down the down spout route, see here:

T2499 Gutter Down Spouts - One Approach

A Sunline Camper From A Different Perspective

T310SR Gutter Down Spouts

Also, did you pull the red rear clearance light on the back right? If water beat against that it may have found it's way into the wall. If there is dry insulation inside, then OK rule that out.

Was there any towing in the rain after you got the camper off the seasonal site? Reason is the wheel well is in the line of fire of the bottom of the entry door. If there is any crack or opening in the wheel well or the black Darco membrane, water can beat in when towing in the rain. I have the water beating issue against the bottom of the camper and my steps on the T310 and mud flaps came from that. Never had water get in yet, but I could see it happening if there is any hole in any of that membrane. Mine was mud covered from road splatter so the issue can exist.

If you get to the mud flap mod, this might help with some ideas.
Mud Flaps on a Slide Camper (lots of pics)

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

John
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:15 AM   #9
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Hi John,
Thanks for the suggestions. Glad to see you've found some time to get posting again!

I didn't remove that clearance light to check behind it, but when I had the siding off the lower back, it all looked good above about 6" or so.

I don't know anything about how the camper was situated when parked for those years at the seasonal site, except to say that it may have gotten more sun on the door side than the opposite side. I don't know where wind may have hit it.

The thing that has me baffled is that I'm getting a variety of readings from about a low of 5% to a high of about 25% when I move the moisture meter across the vinyl floor near the entry door. I'll start for instance at the carpet and move to the right about 2" from the threshold and it goes up and down as I noted above. As I move more toward the center of the camper, the readings go down and become more even. When I go to the carpet, the reading is 0%. I notice that rainy weather increases readings as moisture in the air permeates everything. I also know that any metal (brackets, screws etc.) behind a surface will raise the readings on the moisture meter, so I'm wondering if I'm encountering something under the flooring. It seems odd that when moving the meter a short distance across the floor the readings will go up and then down and then up again. I would think a wet sub-floor would be more consistent as moisture tends to spread out evenly.

I towed the camper the first time out, last weekend in the rain but that was after I had installed my own mud flap. It's mounted at the rear flange of the plastic wheel well, screwed (with butyl putty tape) to the wheel well flange where the factory attached it with staples. I did this for two reasons. One, to keep the step and the stabilizer jack free of dirt and mud slung off the tire and two, to keep the Darco dry. It works great and as soon as I have time to make the other one, I'll mount it to the other side of the camper.

Rich
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Old 10-09-2015, 06:44 AM   #10
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Good morning Rich,

H'mm.... Good deal on the mud flap. Yes the steps are in big trouble from the wheel well slinging. Mine use to get plastered too on the T310. Now not as bad after the flap.

I re-read all you postings on this thread. Good info we can follow along.

This one statement you made about taking the plastic door benzel off and having a look, did you make it to this? I did not see a reply.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
One more I plan on checking next week (camping this weekend) is to remove the plastic panel on the exterior just under the entry door to get an idea of what might be going on there.

Rich
The more puzzling is the test hole you drilled under the door aluminum sill plate, you reported a paper probed came up dry and the wood chips too but you could smell moisture... One would think that should of came up smelling like dry wood chips. That one is is a mystery right now. You said moisture and not mildew and there is a difference in those scents. Hoping it is not mildew/rot as this gives a time line. Just moisture means this is fairly new. Mildew/rot points to many months to a year or more.

The carpet is stapled down. I did lift mine in the T2499 to move the angled carpet over a little so I had more stepping space walking in the door vinyl flooring. Ours was a 2004 and yours may be little different if Sunline changed in the 2 model years in-between. You may end up at the outside wall under the window, lift the carpet. If the carpet is damp coming from the bottom up, the OSB floor would almost have to be wet there. This "might" help sort out if the water is top down onto the carpet or bottom up from the floor system.

There is a zillion staples I'm sure but this probing could help point you to do you have an issue in the floor system? And you can put it back down and do a clean repair that it would look like is has not been done. Only the edges on ours was tacked down. The center area was just carpet lying on the floor.

A question is, is the non contact moisture meter getting tricked by something in the floor system? But yet you have wet carpet so the water is coming from somewhere...

Keep us posted.

John
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:54 AM   #11
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Hi John,
The carpet has been dry since I first posted about this and the moisture meter reads zero on the carpet. It gives the erratic readings on the vinyl flooring and that is what I'm finding puzzling.
You are right, I used the wrong word, I should have said a mildew odor. I did have this area open when I did the repair at the back, I pulled the plastic panel under the door and pulled the Darco away enough to pull out wet insulation which I replaced with foamboard.
I still want to remove that plastic trim to get back into the area under the floor just to see if I find that water is getting into hay area.
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Old 10-12-2015, 07:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
You are right, I used the wrong word, I should have said a mildew odor. I did have this area open when I did the repair at the back, I pulled the plastic panel under the door and pulled the Darco away enough to pull out wet insulation which I replaced with foamboard.
I still want to remove that plastic trim to get back into the area under the floor just to see if I find that water is getting into hay area.

Hi Rich,

ohhhh boy. Once you have smelled the scent of mildew in wood, that scent will never be forgotten... no matter how hard you try. It just sticks with you...

An unknown now is, is this scent a left over from the wet you had when you found and fixed the back area, or something still in there?

With the non contact moisture meter, I have not yet tried it scanning up from the bottom agasint the Darco, have you and would it help? I know I have been able to find moisture 1/2" to 3/4" away through a double sided, air in the center, 1/8" luan wall.

If you find you are out of easy options, there is a last resort. Find the floor joists and then slit the Darco. (studs then make it easier to press against when resealing. Learned that from 4446Jim) Use Flex Mend to reseal the Darco and the hot air gently heat the Flex Mend to create a permanent bond. Clean the Darco real good before applying.

I did this on my slide floor repair and some other small tears in the Darco behind the wheel wells and I was amazed the added heat made it bond permanently. Just do not get too hot or it will melt. The heat trick came with my roll of Flex Mend.







Good luck and let us know how it goes

John
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:39 PM   #13
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Just checked around underneath with the moisture meter. I'm getting a high (about 35%) reading in one spot where I can feel a wood floor beam (joist?) and a corresponding reading above it on the flooring and another almost as high reading toward the rear edge of the door (with a corresponding high reading above it on the flooring). It's not a large area, maybe 5" or 6" wide and long, but when I checked directly under the outer perimeter beam at the Darco above the pull out step, it reads zero.
I think that until I have the time to remove the trim under the step and pull the Darco away, this is going to remain a mystery.
I also think that if the outer edge I just mentioned is reading zero, it may not be moisture, but maybe some metal in there that is causing the reading to be high.
As far as the mildew I smelled from the hole I drilled-maybe it's an old water stain that I managed to seal up?
Thanks,
Rich
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Old 10-14-2015, 09:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by vcrt View Post
As far as the mildew I smelled from the hole I drilled-maybe it's an old water stain that I managed to seal up?
Thanks,
Rich
Well...if you smell that bad wood mildew, odds exists it is still "alive" just maybe in it's infancy stages. If you decide to leave that area, pour something in the drilled hole to kill the bacteria. If it is alive still and has any kind of moisture, it will grow. Nature finds a way...

I would think the water stain if it is dried out, does not smell like mildew, more wood then mildew.

Hope the meter is being tricked by some metal or something in the floor. The good news is, you are after it now while it can be addressed before it gets real bad in time.

Good luck, always learn something on these search and destroy missions.
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