Leak trace - food colouring - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-01-2012, 12:30 PM   #1
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Question Leak trace - food colouring

I still have a leak in the back left corner of the Trillium 1300. Water accumulates under cushions, on the top of the fiberglass bench.
All windows were recently caulked [a job well done] all 'round and the top of the belly band was also sealed.
Has anyone ever tried coloured water [green food colouring??] or other coloured liquid as a tracing element?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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My Dad use to do that, but that was 30/40 years ago. Not sure if there is a better way to do it now days. Only issue I can see is that it might stain your interior wall. But guess once you see then you can trace the leak and start cleaning........... Good luck!
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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I think that others have had luck with masking part of window and hose testing.

I know, it is extremely frustrating.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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How does the roof vent look on the outside? You may want to clean the old stuff off and reseal with lap sealer one brand is Dicor lap sealer. Buy it at a RV center.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:39 PM   #5
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I was thinking along the same lines a Chuck that if you are really sure the window is properly installed with butyal tape etc then the water may be coming from the roof either as suggested a vent or a rivet if there are any. Water will take the path of least resistance so it could be working its way down under the wall covering taking a very indirect path.

You could just spray the top of the roof with a hose where you have vents or other items and not spray the window area and watch for the water.

I am with Robin re the concern with food colouring causing stains on your interior wall. Would have to clean it up pretty fast. Not to mention if its traveling at all between the wall covering and the fiberglass it may not be possible to clean it all up and might show through the wall covering if it gets trapped and dries.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:48 PM   #6
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If you use beer, I'll come over and check for the leaks
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb & Chuck View Post
How does the roof vent look on the outside?
The rain is leaking out at the bench level, back left [driver side] corner from under the rubberized insulation. And it leaks when the trailer is cranked up as high or as low as the tongue jack will allow. It is a long way from the roof vent and there is absolutely no indication of any moisture near the vent. I suspect the belly band.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:02 PM   #8
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Use the process of elimination,
Try hosing below the belly band, watch and wait 30 min, check for water
then above it
then over the rear window
then over the side window
then at the vent.

Or take your T molding off,
stuff the cracks with paper towels and have someone hose the trailer down
The start of the leak will show up in the paper towels.

I'd be tempted to suspect the wood around one of the windows is holding water.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:29 PM   #9
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On my belly band I used a watering can so I could control the flow of water. Only applied water to 1/2 and then check for leaking. Once I found which half was leaking, I divided that area in half and repeated. By process of elimination I was able to zero in on the area.

Have done the same thing on a window, working it bottom half vs top half, left quarter vs right quarter.

Taped plastic garbage bag over areas I did not want to apply water to in order to be sure I was testing a specific area intended.
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:43 AM   #10
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Thanks for all the good advice. I had figured on putting a 5-gallon bucket on a high ladder and syphoning the water [coloured or not] through a small diameter plastic tube. This may give me some pressure. I will isolate specific areas. I like the T-molding and paper towel suggestion.
I'm on the road now and it will have to wait until I get home later this month but I hope to have the problem solved before I head south again.
I will keep you posted.
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Old 09-03-2012, 09:04 AM   #11
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This would be a little messy (but non-staining) to find the source of motorcycle oil leaks we would wipe area dry then sprinkle with baby powder. Have also used it on coolant leaks in cars. The leaking fluid will show up on the baby powder in the smallest amount.
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Old 09-03-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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That would make the trailer smell nice.
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