First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

Talbot 88, roof leak

 
 
 
 
 
 
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First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #1
Hi Guys,

Myself and my partner just bought a camper van, our first. We hit the road right away and after our second night, woke up this morning to drips coming down from one of the cupboards.

Initial reaction: We've been screwed, the world is coming to an end, a few grand down the drain, etc etc etc

I was on cloud nine yesterday evening, had herself and our one year old son in the van, beautiful scenery and had a great day out before we parked up for the night. Was heartbroken this morning when she spotted the leak.

Anyways, after 6 and half nervous breakdowns today, i've finally calmed myself a bit and decided to get advice .

I've literally never repaired a campervan or car etc before, more or less. I would appreciate any advice on where to get started and what products, tools etc i will need to tackle this .

It's a lovely little camper, fresh CVRT, runs lovely, plenty of recent repairs , timing belt etc.

It's just this bloody leak!!

I've seen a few other similar posts about leaks here and what i can gather is basically that i need re seal all the roof fittings , re seal the joints etc and maybe use a rubberised paint for the entire roof?

Any advice or word of hope would be greatly appreciated. I was hoping to get at least another 5 years out of her, 70,000 on the clock more or less. I've only had her 4 days at this point!

Thanks,
Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #2
First off, don't panic!

Secondly, where do you think it is getting in? do you think it is a new leak?


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #3
Don’t be disheartened, first good thing is you’ve spotted it, second best thing is you’ve come here and asked for advice.
It can be repaired and you’ll all go on to enjoy it.
Get advice from someone who understands how to repair it .... but in the interim try and trace the source of the leak and find out the entry point. There is many ways a water ingress can occur, likewise there is different ways they can be repaired.... but it requires doing correctly, properly and not bodged ...
More suggestions will be along here soon on repairing the issue and rest assured that you are not the first person that this has happened to and you sure as hell won’t be the last.
Chin up, get it sorted and get off to making more memories.
Keep us posted.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #4
It's really heard to tell where it's getting in.

I felt the shelf above and I oculd feel the water line to a point, then it just dissapeared near the ceiling.

So I checked outside, there's no roof fittings near it, only thing i could guess initally was the seal at the side and roof just above.

Poored gallons of water over the seal, and no water came through ??? So I dont know where it's coming in from.

The van was parked slightly sloped, so i'm now thinking maybe the entrance point for the leak is actually on the other side of the roof, and it travelled to the other side where it was seen because of the slope.

But like i said, no idea exactly where the leak is.

The wood feels a bit soft in spots too, it's around the sink. On the outside when i press the panels, i can notice its softer, also at the top where i suspected the leak was entering.

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #5
When we started investiagting, we noticed one of the roof outlet pipes had no cowl on it either, so basically water can get right in there. Behind the gas heater under that outlet pipe we spotted a bit of dry, old damage. Maybe that's the entry point and it was travelling along the roof because it was on a slight slope?

Thanks for your replies guys,

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #6
As youv'e said it can be getting in anywhere and travelling along the frames. Get on the roof or at least look at it and inspect all the seals around the skylights and everything else. If you suspect something you are probabaly right.

Get yourself a dehumidifier and get that going inside.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #7
Thanks again for the replies.

I've found the leak!!! There's a small break in the seal along the roof in the angle where the roof dips by design. The aluminium panel has lifted a in a small area and has one or two minute holes in it.

Also, there's damp getting in from the fridge vent, it's slow but i'll have to fix it.

Thanks feeling happy and hopeful again!


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #8
This mastic sealing strip is great for quick repairs if you can find where the leak is getting in or even suspect. It can always be removed if you want to do a more permanent resealing job at a late stage. I resealed all of my roof seams with Sikaflex and then put this mastic over that when it was well dried. I have even used it to fix a leak in the waste pipe under the van.

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0…1727703472


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #9
Just as I posted I see you have found the leak. The mastic stuff will seal that nicely and quickly. Try to cover it with something to keep the rain off it if possible until the mastic arrives in the post.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #10
Yeah, I might put on the sealant, mastic tape and some rubberised paint in the area.

When i went out to look at the roof this evening, there was literally a hand sized puddle of water in that are where the leak is. It's parked on level ground but the suspension is proabably a bit of on one side or something.

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #11
If possible take a few photos of your suspect areas and post them here.
It would give a better understanding of the layout of your roof and you will get better advice from folks.
There is a fair bit of rain forcasted for the next couple of days.
My advice is to raise the front of your camper as high as possible. Drive it up onto leveling ramps, if you have them, or onto timber boards, even parking the front wheels on a kerb.
By raising the front, any rain that falls on the roof, will flow towards the back quickly and fall off, and reduce the amount leaking inside.
As pointed out before, get a dehumidifier running inside of the camper for a couple of days. Don't be tempted to use heaters to dry it out.
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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #12
Thanks malcolm,

I'll get some photos' tomorrow and upload them.

Yeah I have her parked now on a slope, leaning back and to the opposite direction of the leak.

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 13.06.2019  ·  #13
Welcome to Motorhome ownership. There's always something to be done. Last year, I realised we had a pretty bad leak in the seal around one of our roof lights on a Thursday evening and we were sailing to France that Saturday.

No problem I though, I had replaced another roof light earlier in the year that had a broken mechanism from before we bought the van, if anything I was going to be quicker this time, no problem getting it done after work the following day. Boy was I wrong.

I think I posted some expletives here when I actually set about removing and resealing the roof light. There were at least 3 different colours of mastic, one of which was set hard (supposed to use non setting to allow for movement). The cleanup of that old mastic was an absolute bitch, but hey ho, I got it cleaned up and resealed. We made the ferry and had a great holiday, the seal got tested with some serious thunderstorms a couple of days in and held up no problems.

As long as you're prepared to get stuck in as necessary, you'll get through the jobs that need doing, most coachwork is pretty straightforward as long as you take your time. Even when you have setbacks, it's most likely just a case of more time and effort rather than anything catastrophic.


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First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #14
Dominic. This is something we always advise. take a small step back and start over. in order to get good and accurate help and advise. post the following.
What is the Camper, Type /Make /Model Year, where you are ( nearest large town )?
Describe what is mounted on the roof everything that may have a hole going through the roof or the top edge of each side and rear and Photo of the whole roof and close up of where you might think you have a problem.
Photo of the inside where you have the leak.
Reason. you may get someone who has/had one the same and can say if something specific caused a leak. or be able to say depending on your skills, don't touch it get a professional to do it ( sometimes that is the best advice)

Then let's get the problem sorted out


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #15
Thanks everybody for your help, thanks sprinter too for the advice for clarity. Its a 1988 Talbot Express Merlin, 2.5 diesel. I'm based in Galway.

I got up and had a better look at the roof today here are some pics of the area inside and on the roof where i'm fairly sure the leak is coming in:

Outside:

 


 


 


That last one with my hand, the aluminum is lifted, and there is a few pin holes in it, it's just under the area where i suspect the leak is getting in on the offside.

The inside where the wall was wet and drips were coming of the shelf,

 


 


It was rolling along the wood and dripping where my finger is touching the wood.

Here's some more pics of the roof, and an area that is cracked and needs to be sealed on a vent :

 


And finally the roof pic:

 


Thanks, once again any advice on how to seal, sealant etc would be really appreicated as this will be a first .

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #16
 


FUll side view, you can see how the roof has designed curve.

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #17
I don’t want to alarm you Domjo, but I think there is some shrubbery growing just above your Zig unit 😬


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #18
Rambler, bloody hell thanks for pointing that out, the leak has obviosuly been there for a long time! At least it doubles up as a hydrponics unit! ! lol


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #19
To be honest, I am in shock.
I absolutely don't know what to say.
How could someone sell a camper with a problem?


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #20
I kid you not malcolm - I rang about one this evening and she said 'ah it's a 2005 There's always going to be spots of damp at that age'... That's after travelling to Carlow and kinvara to find two riddled with damp. People are unscrupulous....
Although perhaps you were being facetious when you asked... [color=##RRGG]@domjo[/color] feel for you! But it will be sorted soon!


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #21
Oh god, is it that bad? Is there any hope? It's a hard pill to swallow if so...


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #22
Sorry, don't take that the wrong way--it's not! One of them would've doubled as A fishing pond, but when I enquired before viewing I was told it was in immaculate condition etc. And drove a couple of hours to see it! We had a loose roof fitting in ours that had water dripping in through the roof... Sealed it and all good since! Yours will be solved, I just don't get people that will conceal these things! Our camper was riddled with rust when we bought it, work done and cvrt passed I'd never look back!


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #23
Behind the overcab would be a common spot where the water can pool and has time to do its thing, especially if the van is parked on a side ways slope so it sits on one side in particular.

The mastic I mentioned will block the leak straight away but really you need to remove as much of the old cracked sealant along the edges and bits and pieces on the roof and resell it with Sikaflex or the like and then mastic over it as a belt and braces job. I would not suggest removing any of the trim. Someone had done an awful job of trying to reseal all around mine before I bought it with blobs every cm or so rather than a smooth job. Over a number of weekends I removed it all carefully with a flat screwdriver taking care not to damage the skin of the van. Then Smoothed black Sikaflex around all the seams and roof lights etc and put the mastic over that. A small square of mastic tape over the suspected leak entry point will hold it off until you get it reseated properly. I’m not that handy with my hands but I was able to do it myself easily enough. It just takes time.

I kept mine raised up on 4 inch blocks and used my ramps to get it onto them so the water runs off as others have suggested. Now I have gone the whole hog and had a shelter built for the van so this wet weather and the crapping birds and black streaks can do their worst!


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #24
Domjo,
I have a 2010 transit mh since 2015.
I have put 2 replacement engines into it. At the time of purchasing, I was totally unaware that my engine was the worst one that Ford ever produced.
After the engine blew a second time a guy here, send me a link to a German mh site which explained that the Ecu was corrupt. We changed the ecu.
Thankfully ever since, my engine is good.
This forum has a few people knocking around all the time but most guys dip in and out every few days.
The solution is out there but give it a couple of days to present itself.
Malcolm


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 14.06.2019  ·  #25
Hi Dominic,
i would recommend initially getting somebody to take a look at your roof,even a fellow motorhome owner, who could give you some impartial advice. Pictures are helpful but sometimes it helps to actually see it with the naked eye.
From your pictures it seems like your roof has had repair work done before, across the height change it would appear a strip has been added(normally the roof covering is seamless)the full width of the roof and does not seem to be in the best condition.
Is that a layer of dirt on the roof or has somebody painted on a rubber covering? - which would again suggest an old problem.
Don't get disheartened but it is something that needs action ASAP


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #26
Just hijacking this topic for a few minutes. Reading the above and similar tales of woe a thought occurred to me, would it be a good idea to have a section where people can give details, including reg no of what they are proposing to buy ? Maybe previous owners could then give them accurate information on previous history and their reason for selling.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #27
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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #28
To be honest, I did not expect a roof on a coach build to look like that. It looks like a felt roof of a prefab cabin. I expected it to look like a fiberglass roof typical of a caravan. Is this typical of an 1980s coachbuilt?


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #29
Guys thanks so much for all the advice. I cant say enough how grateful i am. I'd be seriously lost and a lot more stressed without it.

I'm just at the point now were i'm in a state of disbelief, denial and slight dread.

But there's still a part of me that's hoping, re sealing and maybe giving the roof a lick of something will solve the problem for a few years and we can carry on with enoying the camper.

Either way i have no choice now but to go ahead and try to solve the problem.

How common are roof leaks in 30 year old campers? Is it more or less expected or are we particularly unlucky? Not sure if i want to hear the answer to that to be honest .

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #30
The roof has had a coating of rubber paint or tanking slurry or bitumen or something like that.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #31
Quote by domjo



How common are roof leaks in 30 year old campers?
Dominic


I would say pretty common Dominic. Dont beat yourself up over it though, lots of good advice from the guys here, YOU WILL fix the problem and enjoy many more years in the camper..


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #32
I've ordered the sika flex 221 and mastic sealing tape.

So i will tackle it ASAP.

When it comes to cleaning the area that i will seal , is it just a matter of scraping off old sealant with a putty knife or something similar and using spirits to clean and then placing new sealant on?

Also the cowel that has a crack in the joint, are they twisted of ? Dont want to break it removing it?

Has anyone ever used something like cromapol to seal a camper roof ?

Dominic


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #33
Quote by Flipperdipper

Just hijacking this topic for a few minutes. Reading the above and similar tales of woe a thought occurred to me, would it be a good idea to have a section where people can give details, including reg no of what they are proposing to buy ? Maybe previous owners could then give them accurate information on previous history and their reason for selling.


Good enough idea Liam but I think it possibly works in reverse !
I believe most folk have the van bought first and then surf the web and we’re one of the first to pop up and they join then.........
But in any case Dominic’s woes are fixable and he’s got advice on the repair.
To look at his pics it looks like someone has coated the roof in some sort of sealing coat and that needs a good cleaning back and all areas that have the potential to allow water entry needs a proper repair doing and when the whole area is properly cleaned I should think a good coat of specialist rubberized coating needs applied and when dried out properly painting it white to reflect heat and to protect it.
Can be deflating when you’ve spent money and then find problems but go get it repaired, move on and enjoy the van with the family.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #34
I have heard of vans a lot younger than 30 years having leaking rooves and a lot worse and some still under warranty. I have not seen that black roof coating before and it does not look easy to remove. The black sealant along the seams etc should hopefully be old enough and cracking that it should come off easier than some that was replaced more recently. Once I got mine started with a flat screwdriver (very carefully) I found I was able to pull it an lengths of it off at a time. Have a look on Youtube for some clips of how folk replaced theirs - likely a lot of RV clips from the States.

Put some plastic over the hole and weigh it with a block or something while parked up at home to stop rain falling directly onto that joint and as mentioned before keep it tilted so the rain can’t pool there.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #35
Thanks again guys for all the help.

I'm felling a lot better about it now. It's a lovely little starter camper, 30 years old it'll have it's issues. At least i know it will can be sorted out, a bit frustrating and time consuming etc but it's not the end of the world.

Thanks for all the tips and pointing me in the right direction for products etc

Dom


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 15.06.2019  ·  #36
All is well that ends well ,you can go on to enjoy the great things about motorhoming.
Do not get disheartened about these initial setbacks.


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 08.08.2019  ·  #37
Hi Domjo,

How did you get on resealing? Have things improved? I recently paid top dollar for a 01 van, our first too. Our first trip away we had a leak, I can empathize with that sinking feeling. Rang the guy I bought it from and he said he was not aware of any leak ever.

Anyway I hope you have resealed and thing have improved and you are enjoying the summer rains! I hope to tackle resealing the roof soon. I am unsure of the actual issue so figure if I reseal everything that should solve it.

All the best!


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Re: First Camper, 2 nights away, leaking roof!

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Posted: 05.09.2019  ·  #38
I'm on my third camper and all of them had a leak, the first one was very bad and being my first camper I didn't realise when I bought it. I ended up fixing it myself and it was very satisfying, didn't cost much just ac lot of elbow grease.
The upside is when I viewed my second camper I new exactly what to look for and managed to wrangle 3k off the asking price as there was some water damage to the rear wall.

Same with my current machine, had a little bit of damp that had to be fixed. I treat owning a motorhome (especially an older machine) like owning a house, there will always be maintenance and improvements to be made.

My advise on the leak, find the source as soon as possible and seal it, and then you can tackle the repairs to the wall during the winter.


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