Camping and RV Forums  General Forums  General  Bad roof leak... can anyone advise us on this?
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New Post 5/18/2011 3:19 PM
126 posts

Bad roof leak... can anyone advise us on this? 
We recently bought a 2004 Gulf Stream Atrium Class A. Yesterday there was a heavy downpour for hours and we found that a lot of water was coming in above the drivers side window and dripping from the ceiling above the dash.

I discovered a significant break in the trim piece molding and caulking where the roof meets the side wall above the drive side in the front of the unit. Clearly that is where the water from the roof was pouring down and into the opening where the trim piece had pulled away from the wall of the unit.

The inletting of water was bad.... we've found that quite a bit of water found its way into the foam backing of the vinyl headliner. We pulled the TV out, removed the center trim piece that runs from the TV back toward the first AC unit and found that we could easily squeeze water out from the headliner foam down the center line where the trim piece was.

We are so disheartened. We bought the unit from a small RV lot where it was on consignment "AS-Is" no warranty.

We squeezed as much excess water as we could out of the headliner by pushing along the headliner toward the edge at the trim piece where the water comes dripping out from pressure on the headliner. And we put an electric heater along with the furnace in the unit to heat it up as much as possible to help dry the roof liner out. And I did a temporary caulking repair of the trim pieces on the outside of the coach to keep more water from coming in.

We know this is bad. But can anyone tell us the prognosis as to just how bad this is? Can the roof headliner and plywood possibly be dried out and saved or is it toast at this point? The headliner is vinyl with foam backing glued to a plywood panel. We are praying that the repairs and expense won't be devastating... what are our chances?
New Post 5/18/2011 3:29 PM
133 posts

Re: Bad roof leak... can anyone advise us on this? 
Get it to an RV repair shop immediately and have them fix the leak. Then try to dry it out. Hair dryers will work. The alternative is to pack up and head out immediately to Palm Springs or Yuma. Then you don't have to fix leak till Yuma monsoon season. When you have it at the RV repair place have them check the whole roof. Even the best coaches sometimes develop leaks. Just get yours fixed as you still have six weeks of rainy season in your area.

Under the worst of circumstances it is expensive to replace rotted plywood. I have had it done before.
New Post 5/18/2011 3:35 PM
137 posts

Re: Bad roof leak... can anyone advise us on this? 
I would think this could be dried out, Maybe someone can tell you more than Myself, But take the caulking back off and get you a piece of Eternabond Tape and clean the area real good and put the Eternabond to the leak, This will stop any water from entering in the future. I hope everything works out for you guy's
New Post 5/18/2011 3:41 PM
45 posts

Re: Bad roof leak... can anyone advise us on this? 
Don't let this freak you out just yet. The real issue isn't the leak but, is there any real water damage. If you don't have any structural damage then you can fix this and get on with your RV-ing. If you can't fix the leak yourself go get a cheap, big, tarp and cover it up till you can get it fixed. My guess is that this can be fixed without major surgery.

Once you get things dried out real good check for soft places, especially from the inside. Generally speaking, if you found this before it was a chronic issue you can get things dried out, fix the leak, and be happy. If the leak has been there for a long time then water damage, structural damage, could be an issue. There is a difference in cosmetic and structural damage. Cosmetic damage is nothing to lose sleep over. Structural water damage can go from fairly simple to total loss.

My guess is, based on the little I gleaned from what you wrote, you probably don't have major structural damage. But, that's hard to say not actually looking at it.

Is your roof fiberglass, metal or rubber? The materials needed for each are different so, don't just go get a tube of silicone till you have researched it. Never use silicone on a rubber roof. It will work on fiberglass but, nothing is permanent. RV roof repairs will need to be redone from time to time. It's just the nature of things. Seams are something that you will always need to keep an eye on.
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