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    Water ingress

    When we were driving our 2007 Surf home from Todds all the way to Skye we drove through driving rain on the M74, and had some water ingress. (When I braked on leaving the motorway for the services water fell on me through the cab courtesy light.) Todds are trying to be being helpful, but since I really don't want to drive all the way back to Preston I am trying to get it fixed locally, even debating a bit of DIY. The Surf has a year's motorhome warranty but this doesn't cover water ingress because the Surf is too old.

    My nearest motorhome repairers are 2 hours drive away. I've tried four. Three don't want to touch it because they say water ingress is a nightmare to trace and they would not be able to guarantee a repair unless a complete reseal was carried out. The fourth will look at it, but can't fit me in until mid October because they have a technician off sick. Todds have told me that the most likely place the water is getting in is through the seal between the cab and the GRP roof, or else through the front high marker lights. There is no sign of damp in the luton area, or in the overcab shelf. I don't know how to get behind the courtesy light to look.

    So, should I try applying some sealant to these areas? I think the existing sealant is quite old, and its quite dirty with black spots in it. I'm attaching a couple of photos.

    I've seen some adverts for caravan/motorhome resealing by repair shop, also 'oversealing'. Can anyone explain the difference, and give an opinion on whether I should try the DIY approach first, or try to get it resealed?

    Cheers,

    Gill T
    sealant1.jpgsealant2.jpg

    #2
    Hi Gill, me again!

    We had a similar problem with our Surf two years ago when we were on the way to Scotland. We were in some services on the M6 in pouring rain when, suddenly, there was a huge gush of water came down through the reading light nearest to the sink. On thinking where it could have come from, we realised that the TV antenna was directly above on the roof so wondered if it could be the sealant gone on that. We had to wait for the rain to abate before we could carry on but managed to get to Alyth, nr Blairgowrie, where we had a site booked for the night. Thinking that we would have to wait until we got to Inverness to find a caravan repair place, we were amazed when next morning we found one in the centre of Alyth and they were open on a Saturday morning! The chap there was really helpful and it did prove to be the TV antenna seal that had cracked. He replaced it whilst we had a wander round the village and we have had no further problem since.

    Now remembering this made me wonder what would be above the courtesy light.in the cab and I thought of the radio aerial. I have just been outside to look and it is directly above on top of the luton. Having said that, hubby feels that if it was the sealant on that which was causing the ingress, there would be evidence of water in either the luton cupboard or on the cab shelf, and you have already said there is nothing to see in either of those places.

    I know you are a fair way from Alyth, but I would highly recommend that place. We turned up unannounced on a Saturday morning when he had other jobs on, but he managed to fit us in and, if I remember correctly,I think he only charged us £30. Having just Googled it, it appears to be called Alyth Caravan Store tel 01828 634210.

    Hope you are soon able to get it sorted.

    ​​​​​​​Joy

    Comment


      #3
      Good idea about the radio aerial, Joy. If I do end up using some sealant I'll certainly include that area. Yep, the luton and shelf are dry, but then who knows what path water might take on its way down!
      Gill T.

      Comment


        #4
        Hi GTERR Just looking at your photo - it would appear someone has already reapplied sealant along the cab roof to Luton join - it does not look very neat and I would guess it is probably a cheap silicone.
        If it were me I would go and invest in some good quality PU type sealant (more expensive than silicone! But unlike silicone, never dries out, does not shrink, and sticks like s**t to a blanket - you can actually stick panels on with it). Then I would remove and reseal the front marker lights - scrape off the old silicone first. Then (this requires bravery) go along the Luton to cab join removing the old silicone with a piece of stiff wire like an old coathanger Then reseal with a PU based sealant - Tiger Seal, Geocell Works PU - Geocell will even take on wet surfaces Get at least 2 tubes and an applicator gun.
        Jo0n

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks, kernowjon.

          Comment


            #6
            How can I tell if the reapplied sealant is silicone or something else like Sikaflex? I am assuming that is it's silicone I can't just overseal with Sikaflex but would need to remove all the silicone? Not sure if that's a DIY job for me.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by gterr View Post
              How can I tell if the reapplied sealant is silicone or something else like Sikaflex? I am assuming that is it's silicone I can't just overseal with Sikaflex but would need to remove all the silicone? Not sure if that's a DIY job for me.
              First identify only by feel - texture Sikaflex, Tiger Seal etc is slightly more rubbery.
              As for doing the job - I think it appears to be more difficult than it actually is - if you have a sealant applicator get a tube of cheap sicone and experiment on a piece of wood first.
              I would do it like this - after digging out all the old silicone I could reach I would make the first run with about 1/8th inch 3mm cut off the nozzle, so you get a bead about 3mm diameter Point the nozle into the join as tight as possible and still able to move the applicator - Unless you are super tall or have a scaffold - work from the centre of the van to the outside - then the same from the other side ( you should ba able to do that standing on a step stool). Then cut about another 1/4 inch 10mm off the nozzle this bead will be thicker run it in against the last one stagger the start point by about 2 inches - you don't want a neat gap in the sealant for water to get in.
              As soon as you finish, with a wet finger you can tidy the seal - If you have used white sealant it should be barely noticeable.
              Looking at where you live you should be able to source your sealant from a boat chandlers (better quality than the builders merchants or motor factor)
              Jon

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks, kernowjon, that's given me some confidence. So, whether or not the current sealant is silicone or polyurethane I'd still be looking at removing all the old sealant first - or as much of it as I could get to?

                Cheers
                Gill T

                Comment


                  #9
                  Definitely remove the old sealant first. I tried to overseal on a caravan I had many years ago. It didn't work!
                  I eventually took it to a repair shop for them to reseal.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by gterr View Post
                    Thanks, kernowjon, that's given me some confidence. So, whether or not the current sealant is silicone or polyurethane I'd still be looking at removing all the old sealant first - or as much of it as I could get to?

                    Cheers
                    Gill T
                    Gill that is a yes - it is not really difficult - the more you do the easier it will be. I would pop out the running lights and reseal them first - then you will be cracking on to do the whole job - I am assuming Gill is female (if not apologies) applying the sealant is easier than icing a cake.
                    Jon

                    Comment


                      #11
                      kernowjon Yes, I'm female, and you haven't seen my cakes! Nevertheless I will give it a go!

                      Cheers
                      Gill T.

                      Comment

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