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Old 06-24-2016, 09:17 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member

1996 30' Land Yacht
Benson , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 150
Leak near front awning mount

Pulled off the aluminum trim covering the cap-to-side-joint above the passenger seat. Dang. The sealant looks like it was installed by a blind man. Parts were sealed well, and others had bare wood showing at the seam. While I have seen some pics when the top cap fiberglass overlaps the siding (a good design) ... mine ain't like that. There is a full 1/2" gap between the cap and the siding near the top, tapering to maybe 1/4" above the window. The only thing keeping the wood dry is sealant and the aluminum trim.

Cleaned out the old sealant (did not take long), and started testing the wood with my screwdriver. Thankfully, most is still solid. Except for some soft stuff right where the top seam meets the side seam.

This is also the point where AS chose as a location to mount the awning. Which means I cannot get in behind the mount to clean/reseal without pulling the awning.

It seems structurally sound, in that when I shake and pull on the awning mount nothing moves; so I am guessing the 1/4" diameter screws go into a steel (or aluminum) frame member. But the top most screw holding the trim on does not engage solidly.

We have a X-Country trip coming up in about a month, and I already have too many projects to complete. Pulling the awning and rebuilding the interior wall in this area will have to wait till we return. I'm thinking to Sikaflex the existing wood, let it dry, then use butyl roll sealant under the trim (using a longer screw in the top hole), and then finish the trim edges with more Sikaflex. Then goop the heck out of the awning mount area. Again, it still seems solid, and it will be re-sealed sufficiently to not get any worse before I can get to it.

Anybody have any repair documentation in this area? I've found a couple good threads (one documenting the cap-to-side overlap), but none on repairing damage at the awning mount.

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Old 06-25-2016, 01:26 PM   #2
3 Rivet Member

1996 30' Land Yacht
Benson , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 150
40 views and not one comment? C'mon, somebody must have done this other than the 2 posts I found...

I'm still going to just seal it up for right now. The water damage appears to be about a 4" x 4" area. Good news is that I found the most likely causative factor.

After cleaning out the old goop, and test fitting the aluminum trim:

See that thin area that looks like a hole? Well...

It indeed is. Dang it.
The coach wall extends just to the edge of the aluminum. If it had gone out an inch further, then (maybe...) this water damage never would have happened. It only extends over to the first trim screw.
Criminy. I can't lower the trim to cover the gap, because that would let water hit the end of the trim directly.

Seems I can:

A) cut back the round slot so I can then lower the trim to cover the hole without water running out the end and hitting the trim, or

B) Something like this:

A piece of thin stainless a bit smaller than the paper would go into the thin gap behind the slot and cover the hole; the trim would then go on top of the stainless.

Someone should start a list of items designed to fail on these coaches. That would allow other owners to get ahead of the failure curve...

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Old 06-25-2016, 02:52 PM   #3
4 Rivet Member
Hans627's Avatar

2009 25' FB International
Hanover , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 430
I can't comment directly about having experience with this type of leak. Sorry! However, it seems to me that you are on the right track.

As we know water tends to find it's way in at the most likely place (and sometimes the last likely). My dear father (RIP) was a master at finding leaks. His key strategy was patience, trail and error, and then more patience, till he found the source. I actually think he enjoyed the chase!
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Old 06-27-2016, 01:53 PM   #4
3 Rivet Member

1996 30' Land Yacht
Benson , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 150
If anybody else sees this problem...

1. First inject penetrating epoxy into the buggered wood; I also used this to fix maybe 1/4 of the panel above the window. I used West Systems epoxy, with the ultra slow hardener. Stays workable long enough to inject several syringes full of epoxy, then put the trim back on temporarily to hild the fiberglass until the epoxy kicks off. Worked great.

2. Then make up a thin stainless steel cover plate in about the shape shown:

3. Then goop the heck out of it and insert to cover the gaping hole left by AS:

Including demo, dismantling, fabbing parts, and re-seal/re-install, took about 8 hours. This would have taken AS about 15 minutes when it was being built.

I was lucky enough to catch this before it went all the way through, so the penetrating epoxy worked well. Once the wood was fully compromised, it would have required replacing from the inside.
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