Belly Band Leaks? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-22-2015, 09:27 AM   #1
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Belly Band Leaks?

Another day...more leaks! In this case three additional leaks!

It's raining here in OKC this morning, so I thought I'd check to see if any additional leaks could be found in my 1978 Scamp 13. Yesterday, while the sun was shining, my wife and I did a good check with a garden hose to see if I could locate all the leaks.

We did find two sources of water leaks. One side window and the electrical cord entry.

Today, it appears that the belly band is leaking at both sides of the rear of the trailer. When I washed the trailer at a car wash a few days ago, I thought that water had entered thru the belly band.

In addition, there is water dripping from the roof vent...when closed! And...there is a wet spot next to the door and closet wall.

My question is this...is leaking around the belly band something that happens often? And how does one go about fixing the leak?

I know how to fix the leak on the top vent...provided I can reach the vent. I doubt if the roof would support my 200 pounds!

Any suggestions....other than burn the dang trailer...if it ever drys out??

Bill
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:25 AM   #2
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Could it possibly be leaking thru the taillights ? A much more likely place and much easier to fix.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:52 AM   #3
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Belly band leaks are not common but they do happen. You need to apply water below the belly band and work your way along the area where it might be leaking. That way you can determine if it is something like the lights that are below the belly band. No leaks then work up higher.

Work along the belly band but make sure you don't apply water to the windows. that way you isolate the leaking to the belly band. No leaking still. Check the window left side then right.

Last but not least apply water to the rivets for the curtain rods. Left and then right.

What you are doing is applying water to a small area, half of a section at a time. If you find a leak in 1/2 then you dry everything and divide that are in half. Eventually you find the small area that leaks.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:58 AM   #4
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Belly band leaks are more common in Trilliums.
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
Could it possibly be leaking thru the taillights ? A much more likely place and much easier to fix.
Jack, it is possible that some of the leak is coming thru the taillights...God knows it seems to be leaking everywhere!

However, the water was dripping off of the plywood flange on both sides of the trailer.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:25 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
Belly band leaks are not common but they do happen. You need to apply water below the belly band and work your way along the area where it might be leaking. That way you can determine if it is something like the lights that are below the belly band. No leaks then work up higher.

Work along the belly band but make sure you don't apply water to the windows. that way you isolate the leaking to the belly band. No leaking still. Check the window left side then right.

Last but not least apply water to the rivets for the curtain rods. Left and then right.

What you are doing is applying water to a small area, half of a section at a time. If you find a leak in 1/2 then you dry everything and divide that are in half. Eventually you find the small area that leaks.
Thanks RogerDat!

Tomorrow if the rain has stopped, or whenever it does, I will test as you have suggested.

Strange thing is that on several previous hard rains, I didn't see the leakage that I'm now seeing. Maybe I'm looking harder, or the trailer is parked on a more level surface.

Bill
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Belly band leaks are more common in Trilliums.
How are the leaks stopped?

Do the rivets have to be removed and putty tape applied, or what?

Of course, my shade-tree past experance is telling me to just shovel on a ton of white Rubber Silicone!

Bill
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:35 AM   #8
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Bill I mentioned that as a consolation to you. The solution for a Scamp would likely be very different then it is for a Trillium:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread
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Old 04-22-2015, 11:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Bill I mentioned that as a consolation to you. The solution for a Scamp would likely be very different then it is for a Trillium:
My First Belly Band Thread
My Second Belly Band Thread
OK, now I understand! I've got to break myself of thinking that all of these "Egg" shaped fiberglass trailers are constructed the same!

Thanks for the links. That is/was quite a project!

Bill
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Old 04-22-2015, 12:04 PM   #10
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On a Scamp, the bellyband should not be able to leak due to the fact that the two halves of the shell are fiberglassed together as part of construction.
the bellyband is then added as a cosmetic means to hide the seam. That eliminates the need to match the gelcoat and blend the outside of the shell.
The band is then siliconed along the top to prevent blackstreaking the bottom half caused by the aluminum.
In the unlikely possibility of a crack or flaw in the fiberglass at the bellyband, the silicone should prevent infiltration anyway.
A more likely source for a leak would be the windows and/or the roof vent with water flowing under the elephant hide and finding its way to the places where you have discovered it.
I must admit that I was a bit incredulous upon reading your post. Did you really expect any travel trailer to be water tight when accosted by a carwash?
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Old 04-22-2015, 02:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
On a Scamp, the bellyband should not be able to leak due to the fact that the two halves of the shell are fiberglassed together as part of construction.
the bellyband is then added as a cosmetic means to hide the seam. That eliminates the need to match the gelcoat and blend the outside of the shell.
The band is then siliconed along the top to prevent blackstreaking the bottom half caused by the aluminum.
In the unlikely possibility of a crack or flaw in the fiberglass at the bellyband, the silicone should prevent infiltration anyway.
A more likely source for a leak would be the windows and/or the roof vent with water flowing under the elephant hide and finding its way to the places where you have discovered it.
I must admit that I was a bit incredulous upon reading your post. Did you really expect any travel trailer to be water tight when accosted by a carwash?
Thank you Floyd for your comments about the construction of a Scamp Trailer.

Your comments raised some questions in my mind, and it is possible that the leaks are coming from the windows. Originally I had rulled out the window on one side because it passed the water hose test only yesterday.

I fully expected my Scamp to have water inside after it's visit to the car wash. But, only because of comments made on this site warning people not to use a car wash to clean a fiberglass trailer. I have owned two motorhomes, and several tin-ham trailers, plus a couple of pickup slide-in campers. None have leaked like my Scamp!

I fully understand that owners of Scamps and other fiberglass trailers are very proud of their RV's, and I share their feelings in many aspects. However, I am not blinded to the defects that do exist in the trailers.

But, what 30 plus year old trailer doesn't have problems? I'm happy with my purchase, but...do wish it didn't leak so badly!

Bill
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Old 04-23-2015, 07:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Bill Nolen View Post
Thank you Floyd for your comments about the construction of a Scamp Trailer.

Your comments raised some questions in my mind, and it is possible that the leaks are coming from the windows. Originally I had rulled out the window on one side because it passed the water hose test only yesterday.

I fully expected my Scamp to have water inside after it's visit to the car wash. But, only because of comments made on this site warning people not to use a car wash to clean a fiberglass trailer. I have owned two motorhomes, and several tin-ham trailers, plus a couple of pickup slide-in campers. None have leaked like my Scamp!

I fully understand that owners of Scamps and other fiberglass trailers are very proud of their RV's, and I share their feelings in many aspects. However, I am not blinded to the defects that do exist in the trailers.

But, what 30 plus year old trailer doesn't have problems? I'm happy with my purchase, but...do wish it didn't leak so badly!

Bill
Hang on to your hope, I have owned several 30 YO Scamps without leaks,....Find 'em and fix 'em!
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