Leak in 5th Wheel Scamp - Help needed - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-14-2008, 01:59 PM   #1
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Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Iowa
Posts: 61
I have a leak in my 5th wheel Scamp that I am having difficulties figuring out where it is coming from.

Friday of Labor Day weekend I filled the water tank and took off on a ~150 mile trip. When I got to the campsite and was setting everything up I discovered the floor in front of the dinette was wet. I then looked underneath the sink and everything that was sitting on the floor under the sink and in the bottom of the closet was wet. Took the dinette table down and everything that was underneath and yeap it was wet too. It was mostly wet clear at the back of the trailer under the back window. The wall undenearth the window was not wet. I check the dinette seat that the water tank is under and it was damp also.

I cleaned and dried everything out from under the sink and closet and dinette seat. I turned on a fan and wet/dry vacuumed the carpet underneath the table all weekend until it was dry. I also marked the level of water in the water tank so I could see if the water was leaking from it. Water level only changed when I used some. I had everything dried out by the end of the weekend. Before I drove home I drained the water tank and toilet.

Today when I went out to fill the tank and check for leaking I discovered as I was moving stuff out of the way that the floor underneath the table is once again damp but the wall above it is not. (Friday and Saturday it rained all day) The compartment with the water tank is dry and the tank is empty. I check the under the sink and the closet and they are also dry. The front of the dinette area is also dry. The ceiling and around the vent/fantastic fan are also dry.

What I believe I have eliminated are:

1. Leaking window (wall is dry)
2. Leaking vent/fantastic fan (ceiling is dry)
3. Leaking water heater (sink compartment is dry)
4. Leaking water tank and fittings (since the floor is once again damp and there was no water in the tank)

It is possible to be leaking in around the back edge of the camper? (where the black strip rivots around the edge). Anyone have any ideas on how to figure this out and how to repair?

Any suggestions are welcome. I really need to get his figured out before my last camping trips and before I store the camper for the winter.

Thanks.

Gail
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Old 09-14-2008, 02:24 PM   #2
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Have someone put the hose on it while you look around inside. Pay attention to the stop tail and running lights and where the wires come thru the body.
I had waterfalls coming thru mine. If they leak some butyl rubber tape will seal them right up.



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Old 09-14-2008, 02:25 PM   #3
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Trailer: 98 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Gail;

Your window could still be leaking and run down between the fiberglass and the foil insulation. The rat fur would not be wet. The belly band could be leaking. Rivets could be leaking. These are leaks I have read about here.

Good Luck
keep us posted
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:23 PM   #4
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Name: Peter
Trailer: 2005 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
Oregon
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Quote:
I have a leak in my 5th wheel Scamp that I am having difficulties figuring out where it is coming from.
Given the volume of water you mention, the culprit is probably your fresh water tank or plumbing, somewhere between the water outlet on your fresh water tank and the pump. (If you don't have a pump any fitting or connection below the level of the top of the water line in your tank is suspect.) The weakest link in the system are the points where two or more pipes or hoses meet at a fitting, secured and made water-tight using a hose clamp and the fitting that connects to your fresh water tank to the rest of your plumbing. Another possibility is there's a crack in your fresh water tank or a leak in your pump housing.

Here's how to troubleshoot the system: Empty your fresh water tank and clear out the areas under the dinette bench seating area and under-counter cabinets and get everything dry. Once everything is dry, locate all the fittings where pipes connect to one another or the fresh water tank and put a dry paper towel underneath. Use a rubber band to secure paper towels to the pipe fittings that connect your fresh water inlet and tank. Fill the tank and check the paper towels for dampness every few minutes.

If you find a damp paper towel at a single location where pipes come together, try tightening the hose clamps at that location, dry things up, and try again.

Pipe clamps can and should be made really tight. When you use them to secure radiator hoses in cars the material of the hose bulges through the little slots in the band of the pipe clamp.

If you get two damp paper towels, there may be a leak in the hose between them. Replace the hose with clear vinyl 1/2" hose with an embedded reenforcement mesh in it. (From Lowes by the foot or at Home Depot in 10' reels).

If the leak appears at the water tank and tightening the hose clamps doesn't work, you may have a crack at the fitting where the hose connects or in the tank. There are a couple of ways to fix this, but the best solution is to buy and install a new tank with the fittings already installed. (I found the fittings I installed in the 20 gallon tank I bought without fittings leaked, and had to invent a way to retrofit fittings into my new fresh water tank. I'm still in the wait-and-see stage of things to see if my solution works or I have to buy a new tank.)

If the leak appears at the water pump and tightening the clamps doesn't work, drain eerything and try unscrewing the nut-like fittings that connect the hoses to the pump (you'll have to undo the pipe clamps, too) and wrap the threads with plumber's teflon tape -- two wraps only without covering the hole where the water goes! -- and put everything back together, nice-and-tight, again. If that doesn't solve the problem you may have to buy a repair kit with new gaskets and diaphragms and re-build the pump housing or replace the pump.
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Old 09-15-2008, 07:16 PM   #5
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Trailer: 2002 19 ft Scamp 19 ft 5th Wheel
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Make sure the weep drain holes in the window frames are open.
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Old 09-16-2008, 07:35 AM   #6
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Hi:Gail...Remember that where the water enters the shell and where the puddle forms can be two very different places!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:18 PM   #7
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Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Iowa
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Thanks everyone for your great advice. I have finally isolated the leak to when I fill the camper and when the camper is in motion and there is still some water in the water hoses running to the bathroom. I got the water tank filled about 1/2 way and discovered water at the of the Scamp in the corner where the water hoses exit the dinette (door side of the Scamp). Everything else was dry.

Couple of questions. Along the very back of the Scamp, underneath the window, along the floor are two clear hoses (one for cold and one for hot) and then underneath that it looks like some copper tubing. The copper tubing is throwing me for a loop. I can't figure out what is it for. The only thing I can come up with is it is really not copper tubing but rather a copper band that holds the upper shell to the floor of the Scamp. Can anyone confirm this for me?

Now my problem is trying to figure out which hose is leaking. Has anyone removed one of the dinette seats? In looking at it I see screws running along the back of it and the side under the back window. Can these be taken out and the bench pried away enough to really get at the hoses? Any suggestions are greatly welcome.


If I do figure out which hose is leaking, do I have to replace the hose? All of it or just a section? Or there a sealer that can be put over the hole?

Thanks all.

Gail
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:44 PM   #8
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That is the propane gas line for the water heater. Do not molest this line.

B 4 you pull the water lines out - have the new ones ready and attach them to the old one so when you pull the old one out you will B pulling the new one in at the same time.

I think you should B able to do that working through the seat hatch provided the lines are not attached to the floor.
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Old 09-22-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Iowa
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Quote:
That is the propane gas line for the water heater. Do not molest this line.

B 4 you pull the water lines out - have the new ones ready and attach them to the old one so when you pull the old one out you will B pulling the new one in at the same time.

I think you should B able to do that working through the seat hatch provided the lines are not attached to the floor.

Darwin,
Propane line. That completely slipped my mind! Not a good thing. I will stay far away from that line. That is the last think I need to accidently hit.

Tomorrow, the plan is to put some more water in the tank and pressurize the lines. I hoping this will make the hole stand out so I can just cut and splice it. Here's crossing my finger this will work.

Gail
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Old 09-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #10
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Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Iowa
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Locating the leak I talked about in a previous post has definitely been an adventure. Thank you to everyone who helped me track down the leak. The suggestion that the leak may be actually in a different place then were the water is actually seen was right on. I thought either the hot or cold high pressure water tubing running around the back of the Scamp to the bathroom was the problem but it wasn't.

I finally had to tear out the fiberglass dinette seat over the water tank and found the water coming from underneath fill tube at the bottom of the rat fur and then following the water tubes to the carpet underneath the dinette set.

I just finished taking the hose clamp off the fill hose where it joins to the outside water intake and found it is a very poor constructed joint. The fill tube basically just rests against the outside water intake, the joint is covered with white silicone and binding the fill tube, rat fur and barely the plastic intake and then a hose clap it put on the outside of the rat fur (inside the dinette bench). From what I can tell, there is very little overlap between the actual tube and the water inintake and so over time as this has flexed the silcone has pulled away and has allowed most of the water to run into the water take but some to run down the inside of the fiberglass (between the insulation and fiberglass) resulting in the leak.

My problem is I am not sure how to correct this. I think I need to extend the water intake so the water tube will actually slip over it further so I can great a better seal. Any ideas?

Thanks.

Gail
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:37 AM   #11
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Your description of the hookup sounds so hokey that I suspect it's someone's kludge job to compensate for a broken inlet fitting. Take a look at a good RV parts site (Dyers, perhaps?) and look at new water inlets; that should help you figure out what it's supposed to look like.

http://www.dyersonline.com/Departments/RV-...ccessories.aspx
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Old 09-28-2008, 09:19 PM   #12
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Name: Gail
Trailer: 2004 19 ft Scamp 19 5th Wheel (Standard Layout)
Iowa
Posts: 61
Good News. The leak is now fixed.

Steve in the previous post was correct. The tapered end of the water inlet had broken off so every time I filled with water some would run down the inside of the fiberglass and pool at the bottom. Then as I drove to my camping location the trailer motion would slosh the water around and wet the carpet underneath the dinette. The time I overfilled the tank resulted in enough extra water pooling that it cover the floor of the dinette seat, the cabinet underneath the sink and the bottom of the closet.

I had managed to take the bench out myself and with the assistance of my father was able to get the new water inlet pop riveted and siliconed in and the water system hooked up. I replaced the bench this morning (all done at the campground) and will now silicone the bench tomorrow so it will be set for my next camping trip.

Thanks everyone for your help is figuring out where the leak was occurring. Also thanks to everyone with riveting suggestions. I feel very lucky to have such a wealth of information available.

Will see you down the road,

Gail
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