I have just made a worrying discovery with our new purchase. I appear to have a leak from somewhere. The water is finding its way between the top bunk floor and the panel just above the cab. As a temporary measure I have drilled a small hole in the panel above the cab to let the water out. If the weathwer holds this weekend I am going to try to take some of the bunk floor up in an effort to see where the water is coming from. Also I'm going to have a go at sealing all joints and window frames up. I just wondered if there were any common problem aresa I should be looking at??

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If it is "New" in the sense it is TOTALLY new, take it back to the dealer. If it is just new to you, and not under warranty you'll be looking for a long time. If it's in your budget take it to an RV place and let them pressurize it/test it. That'll show you where all the leaks are. In older RV's you can have a leak in the front and drips and water damage in the rear from where the water runs along a beam or wiring or something inside. What kind (model and year) RV is it?

Blacking out your windows and turning on strong floodlights inside the RV at night, then standing outside to see if you can see any light works sometimes - for larger leaks...but the pressurized thing is the best. Sorry, no idea what it costs.

I had the same problem with a cab-over and "solved" it by cleaning and resealing the entire roof - first with clear silicone in all the joints, then with a rubber roof sealer. I had it for another two years and never had another leak. I only paid $1,000 for the RV, so that worked for me. You may want to invest more time and money if it is a newer model etc. Good luck finding the leak.
No it's "new" to us, its a 1974 Dodge Sportsman with a Continental body. I have started taking the floor boards out on the top bunk and its very wet. I have found what looks like a hole around the front window and at least one of the top marker/running lights was loose, actually not screwed on at all, and was very wet/mouldy underneath, right where the large hole for the wiring goes into the body !!!

I have put a small heater and a dehumidifier in there at the moment in an attempt to dry it out.
Ah....that's where one of my big leaks was - near the window. That area flexes A LOT. I had a 73 El Dorado - and loved it. Wish I still had it. Yep. Dry it totally out - under cover/roof if possible. There's some wonderful wood treatment I used (seemed to work great for me!) at The Rot Doctor: http://www.rotdoctor.com/

Try these links while your RV is drying:

http://rvbasics.com/techtips/rv-dry-rot.html
http://www.rvdoctor.com/
I would pull the window and install new putty tape under the flange. That will also give you a chance to inspect the framing around the window. Also, the edge trim and roof cap seam are very bad for leaking. If you can take the edge trim loose and replace the putty tape, it will help a lot. Depending on construction of your rig, you may need new putty at the roof cap seam as well. Roof vents are another place that putty dries out and allows water in.

I never recommend silicone because it fails in a couple of years. Nothing will stick to it, even more silicone, so it can't be redone. Instead of silicone, there is a product called Dicor self leveling lap sealant. It flows into nooks and crannies and is very good on roofs. After re-puttying, Dicor is very good around each roof protrusion. It does not work on vertical surfaces because it runs down...

Hope this helps. Air pressure test is great-look for leaks with soap bubbles. VK
Got up to roof level at the weekend and found one of the top market lights was loose ( screws had broken ) and it was sitting proud of the bodywork, not a good idea when there's an inch diameter hole underneath for the wires!!!
Took light right off and resealed it to panel along with all others, plus found what could have been a gap in the window seal, haven't gone to the extent of removing window yet. Will see how my repairs hold out.
Ah! I wish I had known about that then!! Everyone I asked said silicone. I will add Dicor to my list for any future repairs!! Thank you!

I'm getting ready to put a Fantastic Fan in my van. Do you have any recommendations on putty for that installation? Will the Dicor work as a preventive thing too? Any tips on putty brand/name/type much appreciated.

Thanks!
Well thought I'd cured it, but checked this morning ( daily ritual!!! ) after a day of hard rain and there is still water coming in, its not dripping off the inner window frame screws now, so must have stopped some.

Hopefully my new waterproof cover will be here in a couple of days so at least I can cover the van over and get it dry then tackle the leaks when the weather drys up a bit.

Bit worrying when I keep seeing similar motorhomes on UK Ebay that someone's bought then found a leak, stripped back to nothing, then abandoned the project. Don't want to get to a
Fantastic actually supplies a foam gasket with their fans-I've use them a couple of times with Dicor over the screw heads and flange. It seems if the company gives you a gasket-it should work...otherwise, regular putty tape will be fine between the flange and roof metal.

Also, having a pressure test done (or devising a way to do it yourself) will allow you to find leaks. It is a squirrel cage fan usually blowing down thru the roof vent and pressurizing the rig. Then one takes soap and sprays it here and there. Bubbles form at air leaks, which means water can get in. I'm trying to figure a way to do my vintage trailers without a roof vent. VK
If you already have the squirrel cage fan you might try cutting a piece of 1/4" plywood that will block one of the openings in the side of the trailer. Cut the wood so you can seal the edges with duct tape enough to hold it in place and support the fan once you've mounted the fan over a hole cut big enough to allow the fan to do it's job. You might have to use a couple of layers of tape to get it to seal well enough to do the pressure test. If you have more than one opening, cut the wood to fit the largest one. Then after you've found and sealed any leaks, you can cut the wood smaller to fit one of the other (sealed) openings. You can now check the first opening for leaks. On trailers with only one opening (the door) you'll have to cut a piece of plywood that will cover that large opening and also might need to bump the thickness up to 1/2" to get a good seal.
This site is so great because it lets people help each other solve problems that might seem so overwhelming yet when a few people put their thinking caps on, they share their combined knowledge and experience to reach a solution. Thank you VK for the squirrel cage info. It makes so much sense that I'm already planning to try it on my 63 Chevy Camper. Let us know how it works for you if you try it. Gary
Drat Dean, you didn't need this problem but since your have it you can join the "club of leaking overheads". About 50% of the classic class Cs im lookin at have the same issue.
I'd use the VK pressurizing fan test with soap and water to find the leak(s)... probably front roof area, front window and either side on the front, using soap and water to look for bubbles. Although sometimes water can "migrate" from other roof areas. All the putty tape and roof seams are probably old and dried out and probably not maintained. So, it's probably time to properly reseal the front seams, roof seams, window and where the siding comes together... especially on the front of the rig... lots of movement there.
Search our RV Repair forum and you'll find links to videos on repairing roof seams, how to install putty tape and properly sealing any screws. I think VK's site, Larry's Canned Hams and Repairing yesterdays trailers also talks about materials to us, how to photos and products. I got the most out of watching the videos... even a dunderhead like me could understand them.
Don't get discouraged. You can still use the camper and then set aside a weekend or three and give the front, window and roof a good sealing job. You'll be set for at least 5 years once you do this and you'll have the confidence of knowing your sealed up tight so no worries mate! Also, braggin rights to you since you "did it yourself!" pat
The RV's under cover at the moment awaiting some better weather. A friend of mine has volunteered his services and we are going to remove all the inner panelling in the top bunk area, make sure all the leaks are cured and then repanel and repaint it all.
THis will be a fun project. And, once done, it's done for many, many years.

Whatever you do, don't use anything from home depot and lowes or the white roof patch. About 10 months later it will be regretted.
(I'm mister cheap, but the stuff for household repairs just won't cut if for rv use)

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