I don't normally post much here, but I do read. This forum is a FANTASTIC source of information. I wanted to give back a little by sharing my experience. If you can prevent the same problem I ran into then I feel I have contributed something useful.
Here's the breakdown: Summer in Alaska is very busy. Since this summer rolled around, my family and I have only stayed home over two weekends since mid May. Having a blast! Two weekends ago, my wife and son took off to visit family in Oregon, so we weren't going to go anywhere. Besides, it was really rainy out, so no big loss. I went out to the trailer to look for a rain coat that I left in the closet. When I noticed some of the items felt damp. I was perplexed, so I took everything out and turned on the lights. I was shocked to see this:
Water dripping from under the Aluminum sheet! This is the closet just forward the refrigerator on the road side.
Immediately, I jumped on the forums where I read about issues with refrigerator vents and other terrible leaks people have fought over the years. I climbed up my ladder and visually inspected, noticing nothing that would indicate the presence of a leak. The caulking was still supple and in-tact all the way around the vent.
I then parked the trailer with the curbside tipped up a little higher in case it just rained the right direction, just hard enough to cause the leak. It continued to leak. I covered it with a tarp so no more water could get into the fridge vent.
The rain stopped, I uncovered the vent and continued to search. The fridge compartment dried out and I was thinking about what I was going to do with that vent as the cover is riveted down and it looked like a huge amount of work to deal with.
Last night it rained HARD, I woke up to hearing it pound on my windows and roof, running down the rain gutters. First thing when I got up, I looked in the trailer and found the same drip in the closet. Well, F
I got a taller ladder and went back up to survey the not so fun task ahead of me. I was looking around wonder where else the leak could come from. Then I saw it!!!
The little fin that separates the AC unit from the fridge vent. What was holding it on I wondered. I reached out, wiggled the top and discovered what was really happening!
Three screws with some crappy ONE SIDED foam tape holds that fin in place. GIVE ME A BREAK! Why they choose to cheap out when it comes to penetrating the roof is beyond me. Wouldn't it save them hours of headaches and man hours fixing it before it leaves factory. Oh, that's right I am out of warranty so I could PAY them to fix it.....oops I am getting off the track.
I did what they should have. I removed the fin and cleaned everything with alcohol. I added some VHB tape to the bottom of the fin.
I screwed it back down. Then used an RV self-leveling sealant (Nu Flex 311 as I didn't have quick access to Sikaflex) to seal around the WHOLE base of the fin and on top of the screw heads. I used some tape to make decently looking lines, unlike the remainder of my roof from the factory.
I highly recommend that you add the fin to your list of your yearly inspections. Or, do some preventative maintenance now and seal around the fin before it becomes loose. All in all, the total time spent removing and replacing the fin with the tape and sealant was less than one hour once I had the supplies.
Thanks for looking!