Rain/leak - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2016, 01:23 PM   #1
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Rain/leak

I left our new to us PlayPac out in the rain to see if it leaked anywhere and it did. We had 2" of rain in 24 hrs. The trailer was tilted slightly to the rear. It leaked about 1/2 a cup right in the center back, in the center of the isle about 2' from the rear wall. Overhead was a double light fixture. I looked on the rooftop and there was nothing, no openings what so ever. I think it must have came in around the dome skylite and run between the roof and the elephant skin to the light fixture and then down. Has anybody else ever experienced this?

I'm thinking about removing the elephant skin and replacing it with something else and am looking for suggestions.

Thanks
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:59 PM   #2
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I would not remove the elephant hide covering. That's a big job, not inexpensive to replace, and it won't stop the leak. The water had to come from somewhere, and the good news is that with a fiberglass trailer, there are only so many places it can come from. Vents, windows, etc., can be removed and resealed MUCH more easily than changing the wall covering. And with a trailer of that age, they're probably long overdue anyway. That's where I would invest my time and energy. I'm not sure how the skylight on a PlayPac is attached and sealed, but that sounds like the right place to start. Your assessment of how it got to the back is very possible.
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Old 02-04-2016, 08:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
I would not remove the elephant hide covering. That's a big job, not inexpensive to replace, and it won't stop the leak. The water had to come from somewhere, and the good news is that with a fiberglass trailer, there are only so many places it can come from. Vents, windows, etc., can be removed and resealed MUCH more easily than changing the wall covering. And with a trailer of that age, they're probably long overdue anyway. That's where I would invest my time and energy. I'm not sure how the skylight on a PlayPac is attached and sealed, but that sounds like the right place to start. Your assessment of how it got to the back is very possible.
I think I'll be forced to remove the elephant skin in the porta potti closet as its in very bad shape there. Every where else its ok but not great. The closet will be a good place to experiment anyway.
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Old 02-05-2016, 07:52 AM   #4
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Don't do it!
If the surface is OK and not torn then scrubbing with bleach and prime with Zizzer Bullseye 123 with fungicide.
The paint to suit.
If leaking fix the leak.
I had a leak by the door where the two halves come together.
I forced Gorilla Glue in the pop rivet holes and almost stopped it completely.
Next I am going to carefully peel back the hide over the joint inside and epoxy any opening visible.


Sent from my SCH-I605 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:16 AM   #5
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To add... gouges and seam gaps can be filled with latex caulk and textured prior to painting. Loose spots can be re-glued. I've seen some excellent results from pretty sorry beginnings.

Another option... just throwing out ideas... is to clean up the Ensolite thoroughly, re-glue any loose sections, and then add a layer of marine headliner (the so-called "rat fur" that Scamp uses now). That'd give you a brand-new interior surface that is stain and mildew resistant and soft to the touch, but it'd save you a lot of work and retain the insulating value of the existing foam.

But it's no good working on the walls until you find and stop the leak(s).
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
To add... gouges and seam gaps can be filled with latex caulk and textured prior to painting. Loose spots can be re-glued. I've seen some excellent results from pretty sorry beginnings.

Another option... just throwing out ideas... is to clean up the Ensolite thoroughly, re-glue any loose sections, and then add a layer of marine headliner (the so-called "rat fur" that Scamp uses now). That'd give you a brand-new interior surface that is stain and mildew resistant and soft to the touch, but it'd save you a lot of work and retain the insulating value of the existing foam.
I'm going to try and take pic's and post today to give everybody a better idea as to what I see.

Thanks
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:59 AM   #7
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I am with the others pulling the wall covering off is the very last thing you want to do if it is at all salvageable/fixable...... we have had many new to fibreglass trailer owners do it and very much regret it after the fact. More than one fibreglass trailer minus its wall coverings has gone on the market shortly after.

Windows and vents are what you need to look at as your most probable source of water leaks. The water may be getting in at one spot and traveling behind the wall covering and comes out a long ways from the actual leak spot.

Some might suggest that your best course of action with a new to you trailer that is leaking is to remove all vents and windows clean them up and reinstall them using Butyl tape. May sound like a big job but its no where near as big or as expensive as removing the wall covering.
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Old 02-05-2016, 11:28 AM   #8
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Pictures

Here are a couple of pictures showing our problem. Also look at all the staples and fasteners that are rusted and look bad.Click image for larger version

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Thanks
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:04 PM   #9
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That doesn't look like the "elephant hide" (Ensolite) I am used to seeing. Can you describe it a bit more? Is it glued directly to the fiberglass or is it attached to strips of wood? Is the flowered stuff (printed vinyl?) bonded to foam underneath? Can you (carefully) pull some back in the port-potty closet to see what's behind it?

The original cabinetry (what little I can see) looks nice. Together with the floral wall covering, it's kind of cool, in a retro sort of way. I'm assuming the staples and upholstery tacks(?) on the ceiling go into wood. If that's still solid, you could pull and replace the rusted fasteners.

I'm curious to see what the rest of the inside looks like. Have you already posted some pictures elsewhere?
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
That doesn't look like the "elephant hide" (Ensolite) I am used to seeing. Can you describe it a bit more? Is it glued directly to the fiberglass or is it attached to strips of wood? Is the flowered stuff (printed vinyl?) bonded to foam underneath? Can you (carefully) pull some back in the port-potty closet to see what's behind it?

The original cabinetry (what little I can see) looks nice. Together with the floral wall covering, it's kind of cool, in a retro sort of way. I'm assuming the staples and upholstery tacks(?) on the ceiling go into wood. If that's still solid, you could pull and replace the rusted fasteners.

I'm curious to see what the rest of the inside looks like. Have you already posted some pictures elsewhere?
I'll post a few more pictures.
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I probably misspoke calling the vinyl "elephant hide" but it's sort of thick and very stiff. I thought somebody else, in another post, referred to it as elephant hide.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:23 PM   #11
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I'll post a few more pictures.
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I probably misspoke calling the vinyl "elephant hide" but it's sort of thick and very stiff. I thought somebody else, in another post, referred to it as elephant hide.It appears to be glued directly to the fiberglass.
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Old 02-05-2016, 02:25 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by R.T. View Post
and the last 2Click image for larger version

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Old 02-05-2016, 03:09 PM   #13
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Thanks for the pictures, RT. It's a nice-looking trailer for the age. Your description of the wall covering sure sounds like closed cell foam with a vinyl layer bonded on top. That's what Ensolite is; I've just never see it with a printed design. Yours looks pretty good, most of it. Those strips that are covering the seams can be replaced. In the porta potty closet, I would gently peel back the areas that are loose, clean them thoroughly, and glue them back in place. Trim the seams, and you're in business.

I'd tackle the leak(s) first, though. But I already said that, didn't I?
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Old 05-27-2016, 12:23 PM   #14
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When our play pack leaked in the same spot that yours is we found out that it was actually the dome leaking and we popped it off and resealed it and that solves that problem. I agree with the others saying not to take down your vinyl wallcovering and I can tell you that yours is in much better condition than mine there is a spray glue that you can use to reseal it for now I just used spring-loaded café rods in my bathroom to hold the ceiling up from falling down
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