Water on floor from refrigerator vent - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-31-2019, 01:26 PM   #1
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Name: Ken
Trailer: Scamp 16
Anchorage
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Water on floor from refrigerator vent

Our 3 year old Scamp 16 has had water on the floor after traveling in heavy rain. This has occurred several times over our 3 years of ownership; it hasn't leaked while stationary. Last fall we took it to the factory and they confirmed my suspicion that the refrigerator roof vent is the source of the water. Showering the trailer from above with a hose didn't result in water getting inside; flooding the roof with a heavy stream from the front with a hose quickly resulted in water entering the vent, splashing on the top of the refrigerator, and flooding the floor. The Scamp technician said he's never seen this, and tried to reduce the vent opening with some stick-on weatherstripping. We still got water inside when we washed the trailer, so a better solution is necessary. Has anyone had a similar problem? A better solution than not traveling in the rain? Thanks.
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Old 12-31-2019, 04:43 PM   #2
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Name: Kenneth
Trailer: Scamp
Wisconsin
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Registry
Leaks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Morton View Post
Our 3 year old Scamp 16 has had water on the floor after traveling in heavy rain. .
Is your vent a two-part vent? Mine has a base that is about 2 inches tall and sealed to the roof, and then a top cover.
I have been in a couple of really bad storms on the road in my 2017 16 and noticed no leaks.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
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Name: Gordon
Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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No doubt it is the type that Ken has shown. And note that it is designed for a flat roof. But the Scamp roof is not flat, so Eveland's utilizes some creativity to mount the base to the roof and (IMHO) this is a possible point of failure.

Another possibility I would consider is deterioration of the vent, especially the base which is largely hidden. A crack in that would allow water in. But that should not be after only three years.

Assuming it is as Ken pictured, you can remove the four screws and then the top. Then inspect the vent base and the sealing at the roof. Its quite possible that the flat base separated from the curved roof. (The screws might be in bad shape since water sits in the holes - I even tried sticking some butyl in the holes to protect the screws).

I would think that most any vent would leak under some conditions. A pressure washer for example could force water into the openings in the vent with enough force to go up and into the base, then into the camper. The vent is designed more to stop rain from above.

Any of the rivets in the area could be a problem. They carry more weight than most and in my Scamp at least, Evelands saw fit to use a few bolts.

Lastly, even if you do stop all leaks from the roof, water will likely get in through the side (intake) vent at times. If the wind and rain (or hose spray) hits it the right way I doubt there is any way to prevent a leak. If its just once in a great while, then mop it up and get it dried out and it should be OK.

And I assume they did not do anything to restrict air flow when they added the weather stripping. That could reduce the effectiveness of the fridge of course.
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Old 12-31-2019, 05:54 PM   #4
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Trailer: Scamp 16
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That looks just like my vent. Water flowing across the top of the trailer (from either a hose or from driving through heavy rain) hits the vertical rim under the cap and splashes over the rim and into the trailer. The Scamp technician created a lip at the top of the rim (from stick-on weatherstripping) to deflect the water. We haven't been through a monsoon since, but despite being careful, we did get water inside while washing the trailer. I'm thinking the front of the vent needs to be completely closed.
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Old 01-01-2020, 09:20 PM   #5
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
Missouri
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Similar problem...

My 2005 Scamp 16 suffered a similar problem. The vent base had deteriorated and pulled away via cracks, allowing water to enter.
Unfortunately, the CAMCO replacement base is not the same fastener pattern.
I could not see any way to pull the base onto the curved roof cross section without introducing undue stress to the base probably leading to similar failure.
My solution was to line the scamp shell with 1/8 by 3/4 aluminum bar directly beneath the base fastener pattern. I then drilled through the base and bar stock pilot holes for #8 stainless sheet metal screws.
after those were complete I placed another set of bar stock under the base and drilled holes two sizes up so that the sheet metal screws would not bite. This piece was to be used on top of the vent base mounting flange so that the screw pressure could be spread across the bar.
I used two sided tape on the bar beneath the Scamp shell to hold it in place while I set the initial screws. Butyl sealant between went between the vent base and the shell and also between the upper Aluminum bar the the top of the vent base flange.
I pre-bent the aluminum bars that run parallel to the axle fore and aft so that I could gradually pull the base into the shape of the shell.
The whole operation was 3-4 hours once I figured out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it.
We have driven through rains of Biblical proportion and have not experienced leakage in the reefer compartment or on the floor.
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:54 AM   #6
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Scamp 16' Deluxe side bath
Minnesota
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Do you have any photo's of your vent modification?
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:00 PM   #7
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Name: Ken
Trailer: Scamp 16
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The issue with our vent appears to be neither from installation nor age-related deterioration. As Gordon2 noted, the vent is designed to keep out water falling from above. It works fine sitting in a campground in a heavy rain. But when a large amount of water travels along the roof, as in driving at highway speeds in a heavy rainstorm or washing with a hose (not a pressure washer), water splashes up and over the rim under the cap and down to the floor. Considering that the floor of the trailer is wood, I'm not content to just mop up the water when I see it - it's the water we may not see that will eventually rot the floor. I want to find or modify a vent that opens to the rear instead of all around.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Danfoss will fix your problem.
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Old 01-03-2020, 12:20 PM   #9
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Trailer: 2015 Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
Danfoss will fix your problem.
Now who the heck is Dan Foss you might be asking .

Not a who.. a what. Now owned by Secop, the Danfoss is a type of compressor that is efficient on 12 volts DC.

So one option for you is to replace the absorption fridge with an electric one. It is feasible to run one off grid with a fair amount of battery and solar equipment.

Or you could avoid traveling in rain. Not much help I know but I don't how how much luck you will have stopping all water intrusion from the various vents on a camper driving through a rain storm. I have even had a pretty nice flood from water coming in the furnace vent when driving though a monsoon type storm for a few hours. I don't think my fridge roof vent has been much of a problem although I do suspect the lower intake fridge vent of being an occasional entry point for water.

But I would like to see a better vent so I'll watch this thread and see if anyone else has a solution.
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Old 01-03-2020, 01:04 PM   #10
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Name: Ken
Trailer: Scamp 16
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Gordon2,

Interesting note about 12 volt refrigerators. That might explain why the Airstream Basecamp has an electric refrig. Not sure I want to go there, but food for thought.

I initially thought the water was entering the side vent, but the hose test at the Scamp Service Department revealed massive potential for water intrusion from the roof vent. It seems to me that a vent opening to the rear would have better resistance to water intrusion. Or a vent that could closed while underway.

I'm also somewhat puzzled by the size of the refrig roof vent. It's about as large as the vent for our home furnace.

Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:15 PM   #11
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Scamp 16' Deluxe side bath
Minnesota
Posts: 57
Roof vent

I agree a new vent design opening from the rear would work best if traveling during heavy rains. I'm working on blocking the front side of vent by installing a plastic wall inside the front So far it has helped but have yet to travel during a very heavy down pour to test it's reliability. Venting is necessary if running frig during travel but there is no need for the 360' air design common on these units.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:25 PM   #12
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Name: Dave
Trailer: Scamp
Missouri
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Vent Install Photos requested

It took a few days for the Holiday events to dial down and the weather to cooperate so I could uncover the Scamp and shoot some photos of the installation I posted earlier. I was unaware of the upload size limitations, so I've posted the images that are compliant. If you want additional images, I'll go back and resize them to fit.
Here they are, if you have additional questions, feel free to post.
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IMG_20200106_121012.jpg  
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