Leaky Tail lights. Anybody else? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-27-2014, 03:49 PM   #1
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Leaky Tail lights. Anybody else?

I have a 2012 scamp 13. Washed trailer Sunday, has been no rain otherwise. Noticed inside of red plastic rectangular lens had water inside. Dripping from bulb.

No cracked plastic anywhere. Anybody else have this problem? Called Scamp, they didnt think it was normal but suggested drilling tiny hole. in bottom of lens.

Water in trailer under bench seat , passenger side. Not sure if this us cause, but i have sealed up hole where wiring harness enters trailer with butyl.

Ugh.



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Old 08-27-2014, 05:56 PM   #2
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Drilling a hole to let the water out is not a good idea. I would take the lens off the assembly and check for a misplaced or missing gasket. Also check to see if the light assembly is sealed to the fiberglass. Is the "wet" tail light on the same side as the water underneath the seat ?
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:12 PM   #3
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When I installed electrical junction boxes,Bell boxes ,light fixtures, meter sockets , breaker panels ,LBs etc that were subject to rain or snow or water,we were required to provide a method for the water to drain IE : An elongated hole drilled in the low point of the enclosure or housing. Sometimes gaskets are better at keeping water "IN" than keeping water "OUT"
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:12 PM   #4
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There is no gasket at all, on either tail light. I have a 2012. Is there supposed to be?




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Old 08-27-2014, 06:14 PM   #5
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Yes, water on same side as leaky tail light. Sorry.


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Old 08-27-2014, 07:56 PM   #6
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Leaking tail lights is a pretty common issue across all brands. To seal the lense to the housing of the bucket, I'd suggest butyl. It stays soft so would make it easy to remove the lense if you need to change the bulb.
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Old 08-27-2014, 08:00 PM   #7
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Good ID. I was thinking that too and was just waiting to hear it from you!

Now the hole drilling seems to be a matter of different opinion, but I see nothing wrong with it provided I dont crack the derned lens insodoing!

Wendy


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Old 08-27-2014, 08:05 PM   #8
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Wait one sec, Donna. May I clarify please? I was thinking butyl on the outside of the lens, along top and sides. Are you saying to put along inside rim and then snap lens in place?

Just wanna make sure I do it right. If I put it on inside, would it make too tight a fit and possibly bow out lens or be tough to get lens off?

Thank you, as always Donna.

Wendy


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Old 08-27-2014, 08:58 PM   #9
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If your sure its leaking between the lens and the light housing and not between the trailer and the main light housing & getting into the lens via the hole the wire enters the light then I would put a very *thin* line of butyl on the edge of the lens or in the areas you know its not a tight fit and then try and pop it back in place. Or you could roll a very thin line of it and try and stuff it in between the lens and the housing - probable not as good as the first option though. As suggested the Butyl isn't going to get hard so it would be just as easier to get the lens off in the future than it would be if you used some sort of caulking - but you wouldn't have the mess to deal with. I would also take off the main light housing and put some butyl around the back side of it as well if there is none now - I know Scamp didn't put any behind mine - it was something I added when I change the rear lights out to LED.

A small hole on the bottom of the lens to let the water out isn't going to hurt it.
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:02 PM   #10
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I believe the lense fits over the housing, rather than inside. Is that correct?

If I'm right, take a chunk of butyl and run it between your fingers to create a small "sausage." Lay that on the housing, right on the rim. When you push the lense on, it will trim the butyl.
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Old 08-28-2014, 06:47 AM   #11
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Yes, Donna, the lens does fit right over the housing. I will definitely do that as well.

Carol, it ran through my mind briefly to take the black housing off the trailer and put butyl over the wiring harness hole on the FG itself, but of course, I didn't follow through. All I did was put butyl on the outside, with the housing on the trailer, making a nice patch over the hole where the wires enter. Now...behind the housing! That makes sense. Is this what you mean, just putting it over the hole behind the housing, or putting butyl all around the rim/edge of the housing?

Did my PEX test last night and inconclusive. Don't think I dried the water up enough in certain spots to feel 100% about it, as the water was behind the bench seat as well. Pink stained and oily, as it has picked up the pink glue behind the marine fabric. HOWEVER, after pressurizing the system and running a couple gallons through the pump, the spot that was definitely wet to my eyeballs stayed dry. So I'm hoping I just didn't do a good job of getting dampness out with paper towel and blow dryer before the PEX test (many thanks to Norm for his help!).

I've used the water pump all summer, but not the water heater. SO...the pex could have been leaking all summer without me observing any of this. Lesson learned; have a look see at stuff "as you go" just to be on guard for problems.

I washed the trailer last Sunday...who knows how long lights have been leaking. The differential diagnosis should get better as I get more particular about my testing methods. Ran wire through the weep holes to make sure they weren't blocked in the windows, put a glass of water up against the window glass and water still isn't "running out" unless you compress the rubber window gasket. But I don't see how those could be blocked anymore as I've ran that wire about a half billion times. My hyperbole!
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #12
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Just went out there this morning and Im still dabbing up spots of pink water, little bits but nonetheless there. Im lost. Could be residual water from pump test last night sitting in pex line, or water still dripping in from behind tail light. Still dry in my good spot, but as you run your hand (I mean shove) behind table area, more pink water spots on towel.

What to do next? I would think pex is more likely to leak at joints. Fresh water side is dry everywhere.

Double ugh!


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Old 08-28-2014, 07:48 AM   #13
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Pex test.

The area of the PEX to be tested does need to be dried before any test.

If the PEX is leaking and the pump is in the on state, the pump will eventually come on to replace the pressure loss via the leak. If we leave our pump on over night, the pump does not switch on because the pressure is maintained, i.e. no leaks.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:55 AM   #14
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I would remove the bulbs, clean the receptacle with contact cleaner and the bulb contacts, apply a liberal amount of dielectric grease to the bulb receptacles and the bulb contacts and reinstall the bulb. I would also completely seal the assembly as mentioned in posts above and then see what happens. If it continues to get water inside then I would drill the drain hole.

The dielectric grease will keep the electrical parts from corroding.
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:59 AM   #15
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Norm,

Trying to understand your last post. You know how youve been writing me steps as a test? Could you write this as a test for me?

No corrision or anything like that on bulbs or contacts. Clean as a whistle.


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Old 08-28-2014, 07:59 AM   #16
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Window weep test

The rear window effectively has three weep holes. One small one in the rubber and two larger ones in the metal.

I slid my rear window open and slid the screen open. I checked my window by pouring water into the rear window track. Nothing came out the weep hole.

I dried it out with a paper towel. I took a flat bladed screw driver and moved all the accumulated dirt to one end and cleaned it out with, a soon black, paper towel. I repeated this process until the track was clean. The weep hole still did not work.

The reason it did not work is the track has a plastic insert on top of the metal track. This piece of plastic in my trailer effectively seals the weep hole.

I pried the plastic up a little with a flat bladed screw driver so I could see light thru the weep hole, poured in water and it shot out the weep hole.

The plastic's purpose is to make a plastic/metal rather than metal/metal contact area to improve window sliding. My intention, since the weep hole is near the end, is to cut a little of the plastic track off.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:11 AM   #17
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System Pressure test.

Leak Test.

If your water system has a leak and you leave the water pump in the on state, the pump will activate when the system has leaked fluid because the pressure will drop.

To perform this test takes time.

1. Turn on the sink faucet with the pump on.

2. Close the faucet and the pump will stop.

3. Shut off the pump.

4. Come back in 4-8 hours. Turn the pump's switch on.

5. If the pump does not start that means the system did not leak.

My system easily goes overnight without the pump turning on indicating no leakage.

This is a test you can run without drying under the dinette.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:15 AM   #18
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I guess the pressure is on for me because fall is upon us and i cannot winterize till i accurately diagnose cause. Very little time and my life has multiple sources of stress and time drainers, school unending work being only one, but a big one!


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Old 08-28-2014, 08:22 AM   #19
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Drying under dinette.

The two dinettes seats are easy to remove. There are two sets of screws to remove. The first set of four are along the top edge. Remove the cushions and remove these screws. Use a good fitting screw driver.

There are also two (?) screws along the front base. These are a little harder to access. With these screws are out the dinette should lift out providing access for drying and inspection.
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Old 08-28-2014, 08:39 AM   #20
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Temporary solution

Wendy,

If you believe that this is a leaky water system and don't have time there's an alternative solution to allow you to postpone action until you have more time.

1. Drain as much water as possible out of your water system by turning on the hot water and cold water faucets.

2. Pour some pink RV antifreeze into your system using your water tank.

3. Pump the antifreeze through your system starting with the hot water side. (This assumes you did not drain your hot water tank and do not have a hot water tank by pass.)

4. Repeat this for the cold water side.

5. After everything's pumped pink, run the pump and drain as much of the pink fluid as possible. The water left behind will contain anti freeze and protect you from winter's woe.

6. I would when done drain the gray tank into a bucket or two.

If anyone thinks this is wrong, please say so. Wendy does seem free time pressured.
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