Front leak (Scamp): a note of a serious nature - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-12-2017, 08:43 AM   #1
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Front leak (Scamp): a note of a serious nature

I did some remodel work on the Scamper 13f now a 10f when I got into the nose I found some water leakage! Soooo looking on the outside where the gravel shild mounts someone put silicone on the screws but I am thinking take the brakets loose and silicone that there is not caulking under those brackets at all!

But I am worried about taking those screws out they have been in there for a long time. I don't know if they are bolted under the ratfur or what? Confused but still happy!!

Anyone looked at those or fixed them?

thanks

bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:14 AM   #2
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Scamp attaches the gravel guard hardware using rivets, not screws. While they could be leaking, they are not the most likely source of a leak at the front of the trailer. The Scamp dabs silicone on them at the factory, so it's not necessarily an indication of a leak.

If you have verified that the gravel guard attachment is really the problem, the fix is to drill out the old rivets and replace them from the outside. The shank of the old rivet will remain behind the rat fur. There is no need to dig it out.

However...

The front window gasket is probably the most common leak point in that area of the trailer. The rubber gradually becomes brittle and shrinks a little over time. I think it's safe to say all of them, given enough time, will eventually leak. Leaks usually run behind the rat fur and come out at the floor, so it can be hard to determine exactly where it's coming from.

I would take a good, hard look at the window gasket before I did anything to the gravel guard hardware.
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:49 AM   #3
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a post of a serious nature

jon it is hard to figure out due to the ratfur I hope you understand my problem. Soooo anything I do to it is a guess job I have to sort of look and guess because I have no idea where the water is coming from.

How about this what about water pressure driving through the rain. What then? we are talkin all sorts of guesses!!!

sort of weird!

bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 09:51 AM   #4
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a question of a serious nature

jon there are no rivits in the front by the way! all screws!!

bob

something for you to think about!
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by k0wtz View Post
jon there are no rivits in the front by the way! all screws!!

bob

something for you to think about!
No need to think... It just means yours is not OEM. It's unfortunate in this case. Pop rivets are better where the inside is not accessible behind the rat fur. If you do end up resealing the gravel guard hardware, I would go back to rivets.

But before I redid anything, I would try to isolate the leak by applying water with a hose to each potential leak point separately, working from the bottom up. Let the water run a while onto each fitting, wait a while, and see if any moisture appears at the bottom inside the trailer. Rule out the lower gravel guard latches first, then work on the window gasket (starting from the lower center where the ends meet, then try the upper gravel guard hooks. It will take some patience.

You are right- it could be happening when driving into the rain. If so, until you find and correct the source, all you have to do is dry it out after driving in the rain and you won't get damage to the floor. If it gets wet while parked in the rain, it's somewhat more urgent. And if it's the window gasket, it could also rot out the bunk attachment ledge under the window.
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Moderator's note: Hoping to improve visibility and responses, this was moved from General Chat forum, with added description to subject/title line.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
<sniped>
The front window gasket is probably the most common leak point in that area of the trailer. The rubber gradually becomes brittle and shrinks a little over time. I think it's safe to say all of them, given enough time, will eventually leak. Leaks usually run behind the rat fur and come out at the floor, so it can be hard to determine exactly where it's coming from.

I would take a good, hard look at the window gasket before I did anything to the gravel guard hardware.
Here is my 2:

This is very good diagnostic advise. Our 5th wheel had a major leak at the window under the gravel shield that would only leak when it rained, and not when I would wash the camper. I traced the source to the window gasket shrinking and creating a much larger gap where the ends came together. My solution was to clean out the gap, I used the pick tools found a most hardware stores. Using the tools very carefully you will find that there is an open area there where water will enter and flow to the lowest point. I then took a squeeze tube of a clear sealant and worked it DEEP into the gap and smoothed it out over the edges of the gasket. This was two years ago and so far all is good and dry.

HTH
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:22 AM   #8
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thanks

thanks for the info I went out and looked the gasket looks good but there is no silicone there. Since this has to face lots of water pressure I will look this over very carefully!

bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:24 AM   #9
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Every leak I have ever tracked down has been a process just as described. Start at bottom and apply water to just one side of bottom. Wait. Then Other side. Wait. Then move up a little further and do one side. Wait. Repeat. Tough part is waiting until you can be sure the water would have make it out from behind wall covering (rat fur, elephant hide)


Sometimes you can speed it up by dividing the area to be tested in half. Leak is On the left or right. Once side is determined then do bottom and top. Then divide the area where it leaks in half and repeat test of 1/2. Eventually you end up with a very small 1/2 and there is your leak.


I also use a watering can with a sprinkler head. I find it easier to control exactly where I apply water.


Don't forget inside a tiny tilt to the left or right can cause water to appear on floor a good distance toward the low side from the leak. I have at times used baby powder to spot the first trace of moisture. You can see the powder get darker with moisture before you can actually see the moisture. Good for oil leaks in clean engines too.
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:25 AM   #10
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jon the leak is not that bad the wood was all dry. maybe in the past it leaked and somehow it stopped. is that possible?


I am going to clean around the window gsket and silicone caulk it maybe get the good black windshield stuff there is a difference in that stuff!


good advice


thanks


bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 11:40 AM   #11
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roger here is the deal I don't understand the reasoning behind this. the previous owner installed huge cabinents in the front no seating then. I cut all that down and dropped the top down to make seat!


In doing that I found water rot but no water or dampness it would have been right under the front window. of course I was interested we drove through rain Monday but I see no water and the ratfur is dry!


This may be a prolonged battle with me checking that area for dampness the gasket looks real good those brackets holding the gravel shield are rusty and no sealant behind them. I am afraid to remove the screws no telling what can happen.


this is plain weird!


bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 01:38 PM   #12
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ok fans

I went out took off the gravel shild this time the seam is at the bottom not the smartest way but it is sealed.

I think I am borrowing trouble I might clear silicone seal around the trim work as someone has done in the back fighting the same problem I guess.

life is sure interesting owning a Scamper

bob
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Old 10-12-2017, 10:47 PM   #13
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I would use closed end marine rivets they will not leak.
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Old 10-13-2017, 02:33 AM   #14
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Why be afraid of removing a screw? You will quickly discover if the problem is that the threads of the screw have over time enlarged the hole in the fiberglass. That can happen to the thin fiberglass shells.

If the screws are in an area where they are hidden such as inside of a cabinet you can then slit the wall covering and install a backer material against the inside of the shell for the screws to bite into as they are tightened. I do that behind all of my electrical and water inlet and outlet ports as well as behind my tail lights as those items are secured with screws into my trailer; I don't have one of the riveted types. I had to add backing plates out of necessity on my fiberglass Sunrader as most of the holes the screws went into had become enlarged over the years. Where I could not do that I had to use the next size larger screw so it could grip and pull the fitting against the shell.

Or you could install blind Rivnuts through the shell for machine type screws to thread into. Or as others have suggest just use pullrivets that have a solid pin that seals the opening.

I don't put silicone caulk on my fiberglass RVs. It is way too much trouble to get it cleaned off the surface if it ever needs to have the caulking replaced. "Lifetime caulking" is a silly concept when it comes to use on RVs. That is because the item you are caulking around might not last a lifetime and could need replacing sooner or later. Things fail.
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