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Old 07-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #1
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SUN #890
mrileyw
Discouraged owner 2005 Solaris 267SR

Found this club trying to research leaking problems with our Sunline. We bought it in 2006 as a left over. Had leak problems from the start and dealer never believed us because they swore "Sunlines done leak". Before going out of business they did say they had a bad batch of trunk doors and sent us new ones - after we had Seal Tech test done and spend $800+ to reseal all seams (by another dealer). The new doors worked and no leak. two years later we find the front left corner is leaking and paneling is rippled (of course it is pouring rain for two weeks here in New England.) The leak appears from about where the front window is, and now the trunk sides are also soaked. We love the layout and room and what we felt was high quality but these leaks are very discouraging since we try to keep this like new - covering up every winter, have dealer winterize to be sure done right, wash it before and after every trip etc. Would appreciate any info anyone can pass on.

Also if anyone knows where we might be able to get matching paneling.
Thanks
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:13 AM   #2
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henryj
First of all, welcome to the Sunline Owners Club. Many members are likely camping this weekend so it may be a couple of days before others respond.

Unfortunately there's no such thing as a camper that doesn't leak without scrupulous maintenance. They certainly shouldn't leak new from the factory--and I'm glad to hear the dealer fixed that--but, because of early model turnover yours could be 5 years old already. The Dicor lap sealant that seals the roof edges and goes around all openings, like the vents, is put on in big gobs because it is meant to flow around and really seal things up. But, like any other caulking, it is not permanent and when it comes off it can come off in big gobs too. Towing down the highway is like hours of 60 mph wind buffeting a house--they'll leak too.

I'm reading a little in between the lines here that maybe you don't do some of the maintenance yourself. You really can't pay people to inspect your roof, you have to do it yourself. I have the best 8' stepladder money can buy--I'm a big guy and this is not the place to skimp. I can't remember how the grades work--it's grade 1 or professional grade I believe. My roof is about 9' off the ground, your SR roof might be a bit more, but an 8' stepladder is still plenty of height to give a safe comfortable view of the roof.

Even on a brand new camper, the roof seams should be inspected maybe half a dozen times a year--definitely in fall before storage and in spring during cleanup and certainly after any longer road trip. It sounds like you wash the trailer regularly. Add a roof inspection to your routine. It takes 5-10 min more to get out the ladder and inspect the roof. Start at one of the front corners and move the ladder all the way around, maybe 5' at a time. Climb high enough that you've got a good face on view of each section of seam at the roof edge and check that it is intact, not peeling or brittle. Pay special attention to the corners. Climb one step higher and get a good look at the seams around the roof vents and stacks etc. It is not necessary to get on the roof to do the inspection and you'll soon learn what good sealant looks like. Don't get on the roof--it's not walk-on, but come back when you need to know how to support your weight if you do need to get on.

If my experience is at all typical, the front corners is where the Dicor lap sealant is most likely to break away. I've never had a leak, but I've also redone one of the corners twice. The first time the camper was less than 2 yr. old. Look for the leading edge of the bead to be loose or even lifted off. In your case it may even have broken away. Dicor flows out in a smooth bead. If there is any kind of rough or irregular edge to the bead, it likely has broken off and you might even be able to see the source of the leak. In any case it doesn't take much for water to find a leak, especially driving down the hwy. If you need to redo any part of any bead, break away any loose pieces with your fingers. Do not use tools or try to peel off the bead to start over--Dicor lap sealant is not at all like household caulk--it simply flows overtop of everything.

This is the product for the roof:
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...p-sealant/5737

Don't get this one--it's not free flowing:
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/p...=6748&src=THNX

You can buy Dicor at any RV dealer. Don't be afraid of using this stuff. It does not go on neatly. The big gobs you see around the roof vents is not sloppy workmanship--that's just the way this stuff is. You just squeeze it on and let it flow. Don't use your finger or any tool to try and smooth it in any way. Nobody is going to see the roof except you. Just don't use so much that it runs down the siding.

Here's a link to the latest thread on roof leaks:
http://www.sunlineclub.com/forums/ph...pic.php?t=3124

I don't know about replacing the paneling inside. Hopefully somebody else will chime in with that. I believe most rvs use the same stuff so you may be able to order some from any dealer.

I know you said the leak appears at the window, but it's hard to tell where water finds an entry. Front windows are leak prone also. Post a photo and someone can be more specific in their reply.

Henry
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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mrileyw, I just finished mowing the lawn and around the trailer and was thinking some more about whether the window leaks.

I would still check the roof first as that is easy to do and time if you haven't done it yet this year.

I assume by trunk, you mean the pass through storage area. Is it wet at the corner or in the middle under the window, or both?

The front window cover is not at all water tight. Especially on the road, water will blow up under the cover and sit in the corners. I assume that is why the factory did this caulking. Check that yours is in fact done and is intact.


The window frame is sealed against the siding with putty tape.
http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/lowtech...tape-time.html

It is somewhat more problematic getting a good seal against the ribs and overlap of Al siding if you have that instead of fiberglass. Taking the window out and starting over would be my last step. I'd start by working on the old putty that is squeezed out from under the frame. Use a plastic putty knife, or better yet, a putty tape tool.


The pt tool is about half inch wide, is thick with a good taper at the tip and rounded edges. I got mine off the shelf at an rv dealer. It will be much better at getting into the siding overlaps than a plastic putty knife, although you could cut and grind away on one with a Dremel tool and change its shape too. Don't pull any putty tape out from under the frame, but squeeze as much back in as possible and cut the xs off. Then run a nice small bead of caulk around the window. I'd use polyurethane, recommended by other members here, from a building supply store or at least an RV caulk from your local dealer.
http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...e-sealant/3245

General purpose household caulking, including silicone, is not a good product here, because it is not as sticky and able to withstand the pounding of the road.

The worst part of fixing leaks is finding them and then waiting to see if you really fixed them. Read all labels and give the caulk an appropriate time to dry. You can then check the fix--or look for the leak in the first place--using a watering can. This is a good simulation of a gentle rain and gives pretty precise application of water.

One last place--or first too--to check is that there is an intact bead of caulk across the top of each clearance light. I believe the factory used silicone here so that won't last forever and could be replaced with polyurethane as well.

Hope this helps give you a weekend worth of work

Henry
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:07 PM   #4
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20 years older, so I don't know if it the same, but sometimes if it raining hard and we are traveling, I have found some leaks. After further looking, I have found water coming it the seep (sweating holes) at the bottom of the windows. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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mrileyw
Thank you for your illustrated help. We were thinking the roof needed to be resealed. I does check it each time he washes it but maybe he is not seeing the right things. But it might be the window since the leak is below the window area and not above. It has rained something fierce here in New England. Last week we were on vacation in Western Maine and it rained so much we had to move our site because it was flooded. There was no beach on the lake. My husband is home for the summer as he is a teacher so I'll have him follow your directions.

Thank you and we are thankful for such knowlegable people since we do not have the manufacturer to go to and actually, the dealer was not helpful at all. They did not put on the doors. They did not think it was the doors. They only ran water over the whole camper. Since the first leak was only at the door openings, I finally decided to test it myself and ran water directly over the doors for awhile and found they leaked. I had to pay another dealer to put in the doors. Thanks again and I'll let you know how we make out.
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