how ever do you find a leak? - Fiberglass RV

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Trailer: 73 Boler 13 ft
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how ever do you find a leak?

So, water on the floor of the Boler 17, after a big downpour. It is wet where the clothes closet meets the floor, and inside the door of the storage closet on the floor that would be right under your head, toward back of Boler. Also the insulation on the ceiling is very saggy around the aft ceiling light, and I wonder if it is all related. But the question is, how to locate the leak. Sure is nothing obvious, and we hate to goop up everything. And I just remember reading to avoid using anything with silicone? Thanks!

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Old 08-07-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Name: Jared
Trailer: 1984 19' scamp
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Dry it out, then sit in it during the next rain, or have somebody get the hose out while you're in it. When water appears, start tearing the trailer apart until you've found the origin. You can also start smearing butyl tape around the outside of things, and see when it quits. I did this because I thought I had leaking windows in my turns out it was just condensation, glad I didn't go any further. 3 people plus heater washing the inside, plus raining outside.

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Old 08-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
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Trailer: 73 Boler 13 ft
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re leaks

Thanks. I haven't found any more water, but there has been no rain! But I would hate to deliberately bring on a leak. I did clean the silicone from around the back window, and caulk with Butyl rubber caulk. I have read here never to use any caulk with Silicone. But our local RV dealer was very reluctant to sell me the butyl caulk. Funny, he said no one uses it anymore, and so he gave me 10% off! But I decided to listen to folks on this forum, rather than him! Still nervous about the next rain, though...
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:44 PM   #4
Name: RogerDat
Trailer: 77 Scamp 13
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Two words - Binary Search. Or split in half to search one half at a time.

Apply water to the outside to one half of the area that could be leaking. No water inside than dry off a little with a towel and apply water to the other half of the area that could be leaking.

When you find which half is leaking, dry off (inside and out) then divide the leaking area in half and repeat process in that area.

Continue until area where application of water leaks to the inside is a small enough half to be isolated to one item or location.

I like a watering can or shower type head on the hose with pretty low pressure. Need to control the area that is getting water applied.

Bear in mind water can flow sideways along an edge or seam before continuing on to the floor. I have used light dusting of baby powder to make leak show up. Any moisture on baby powder turns it dark. Sprinkled along edge of floor and wall it helps show where water first shows up at floor even if its just a little seep right down at the edge.

First step to finding a needle in a haystack is divide the haystack in half. :-)
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Old 08-21-2013, 03:59 AM   #5
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Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
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I would add, once you locate the source of the leak, don't apply any kind of caulk. Caulking the outside edge is a temporary measure at best. Remove the fixture, window, vent, etc. and re-bed with butyl tape which you can get at an RV parts store. After trimming the butyl tape some folks will apply caulk to keep the butyl clean. Good hunting , Raz
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