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Westy Leak - not skylight
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 4:19 pm    Post subject: Westy Leak - not skylight Reply with quote

So it seems that now that we actually got some rain in California, some part of the roof is leaking. I'm hoping someone has seen this before.

My Westy is parked in the driveway and it is slightly sloped so the nose is a bit higher than the back. Hi may have something to do with the place the water is coming out, but the leak is there nevertheless.

As you can see in the pictures, there is a small seam that is where the water comes out and drips right down next to the rear hatch.

Anyone have an idea how the water is getting in there? Plugging it up there with caulk or whatnot, would mean that the water would still be getting into the roof...

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Thanks!
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HoustonPhotog
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 of us vanagon guys all realized we had the same leak there a couple of weeks ago at a campout.

the early diagnosis was a crummy grommet right above that area where the wires go from the body to the hatch door.

we havent addressed it yet to see if that was the source but i think it just might be,
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HoustonPhotog
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 of us vanagon guys all realized we had the same leak there a couple of weeks ago at a campout.

the early diagnosis was a crummy grommet right above that area where the wires go from the body to the hatch door.

we havent addressed it yet to see if that was the source but i think it just might be,
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Home Team Van
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some silicone around that grommet where the wires go into the hatch solved the problem for me.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I brought home my Van, I had water leaking into the upper Right and wetting the mattress area.

My solution, shy of a doing it properly with a new Weatherseal, was to add a small ribbed weatherstrip to mate with the factory seal thus stopping the leak.
Similar to this.......
http://t.homedepot.com/p/Frost-King-E-O-1-2-in-x-5...100166568/

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Dave
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Home Team Van wrote:
Some silicone around that grommet where the wires go into the hatch solved the problem for me.


After experimenting with a water jug... That looks like the fix to me too. I'll reseal the two grommets and see if that does it. I would love to replace them, but I doubt that would be worth it.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MacDude wrote:
Home Team Van wrote:
Some silicone around that grommet where the wires go into the hatch solved the problem for me.


After experimenting with a water jug... That looks like the fix to me too. I'll reseal the two grommets and see if that does it. I would love to replace them, but I doubt that would be worth it.



Well I was wrong. I cloaked up that broken seal for the wiring and the recent rains totally soaked the rear. I am thinking it is something up front having to do with the drainage of the cargo area. So I'm going to remove that and see how the previous owner sealed it when he put in a small solar panel up there.

Luckily I had removed the pad above the engine already. The side panelling is not so happy. Sad
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

you may need to re-caulk/silicone all the roof bolts. i haven't tracked mine down yet, but i suspect the luggage rack area, which has the largest number of holes in it.

where the the pop-top meets the luggage rack seems a pretty easy water entry spot. is the front of your tent damp?
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar problem and was baffled. (Easy to do) A lot of water entered after heavy rains. Most of it ended up in the camper. It only happened at home.

My driveway is fairly slanted. When parked, my Westy is nose high. I plugged the back two drain holes on the luggage box thinking that water drained onto the roof and then flowed back past the awning.

The problem has gone away. Admittedly, this was not a deep exploration. Maybe I was lucky, but it makes sense to me.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In that same area there is a body seam. One on each side.
I've seen water leaking right thru these seams. Obviously hard to find but at this stage everyone should clean out the gutter above the rear hatch and seal this area just in case.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just an update. I've taken off the luggage carrier and I'm going to reseal the various entry points.

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I waxed it while I was under there. Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1vw4x4 wrote:
................at this stage everyone should clean out the gutter above the rear hatch and seal this area just in case.


Great!

More Seams to clean and seal!

Seams I never even thought of!

Thanks! ............ You're a real pal!.......... Wink

Dave
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should look at the three "snaps" for the rear hatch screen located along the top of the rear hatch opening. You can see one of them right next to the location of the leak in your picture...

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These "snaps" have a post that extends through the body, the top of which is right in the "rain channel" at the back of the van. If they are not sealed well, water flows right through the post hole and will exit where your drip is. (Sometimes the water will even flow through the "snap" post hole and drip off of the snap itself.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine leaked at several of the bolt entry points for the pop top lifting arm hardware - and for the locking mechanism. Go over each of those with some marine grade silicone on the outside.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arg! I dropped a gallon or so of water into the luggage rack..... Still got leaks. I don't think it is the snaps in the back as the water from the luggage rack drained around the sides and into the gutter. Seems that something still isn't fully sealed up front.

Looks like removing the head liner is next. (Along with a tarp over the whole thing for the rain tomorrow)

I guess I'll also zap the welds for the snaps inside the rear gutter as well. Rolling Eyes

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MacDude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1vw4x4 wrote:
In that same area there is a body seam. One on each side.
I've seen water leaking right thru these seams. Obviously hard to find but at this stage everyone should clean out the gutter above the rear hatch and seal this area just in case.


The body seam below the gutter doesn't get the water I'm testing with. I pour some water in the luggage rack and it mostly goes sideways to the gutters and down to the back of the cart (my driveway is slightly sloped).

I'll caulk the snaps, but again, the rear channel for the hatch isn't getting very wet with the testing I'm doing.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that I figured out what might be happening. My tests were not always using enough water...

If the rain is light or I slowly pour water into the luggage area, the water flows out the side of the luggage rack and into the gutter.

Thusly:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


However, if it is a heavy rain or i basically dump water into the luggage rack, it comes out the side *and* out the back of the luggage rack...
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


..right into the gasket around the poptop. where it flows all the way to the back, inside the poptop, but outside the tent.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


So, it looks like it is potentially going into the bolt holes for the poptop hinge, which i had adjusted when I put in the gas lifters.

So I can seal/caulk the hinges, but I'm thinking if I were to seal the back of the luggage rack the water would be forced out the sides and the problem would go away.

FWIW- Right now, in addition to getting back to the hinges, the water can get the tent wet, but it really depends on how meticulous I am when I drop the top and roll the tent. If I seal the back of the luggage rack it would not be able to get to the tent...

comments? advice?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting theory......

Westfalia chose to not seal that rear edge but rather raised the Fiberglas off of the roof with rubber spacers on each stud.

It would be easy enough to get a roll of camper shell seal, apply it to the rear of the luggage area and see what changes. It is easily removed and won't affect your paint.

Dave
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atomatom
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

great testing. thanks for posting that. i've suspected the front of my tent gets wet like that as well.
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MacDude
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another data point. I turned my westy around so the nose is now pointing slightly down...

Now when I dump water into the luggage rack the water still drains through the back/rear side. The seal along the front is good enough that is retains the water up there, which is probably good from a wind resistance standpoint, but traps the water. Slight upward pressure on the front releases it (the seal isn't *that* tight).

So when I put in the seal in the rear I need to make sure I leave space on the side for the water to escape. I don't want it up there forever. Wink

I won't be be able to work on it much today due to work and rain is coming...
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