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Old 07-29-2014, 06:45 AM   #15
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Just installed a MaxxAir fan a few weeks ago. It was a direct replacement for the FF, even most to the holes lined up. It came with stainless pan head screws.

Had another MaxxAir fan in our 2007 that never cracked or leaked.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:01 AM   #16
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I don't think the curved roof causes the cracks. If you look at the picture, there are cracks in the front (hinged) side of the flange. That area would be under compression due to the roof curve. Since the flanges crack on all four sides (at least mine did), I think it's expansion of the metal roof. The SOB trailers have wood/plastic roofs that expand at the same rate at the plastic flange, hence no cracking.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:30 AM   #17
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Just an observation. I do think plastic behaves differently under stress and sunlight and cracks in odd ways compares to the predictability of metal and glass, for example. I think Bruce has the right idea, if I understand his methodology correctly.

It'll be interesting to see how this pans out. One thing is for sure, IMO, some kind of stresses led to the cracking, and I'm sure the different expansion and contraction rates is part of it. I wonder if slotting the holes would help. I learned a long time ago, with plastic, less fastener torque is usually better....just enough to hold it in place.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:36 AM   #18
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Fantsatic pictures

Mine cracked on all 4 sides as well.


Showing the old and new.

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Old 07-29-2014, 01:59 PM   #19
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When you get these cracks, where does the water appear inside the trailer? I.E. does it drip directly straight down onto the floor, or does it get into the walls and only appear at floor level at the sides of the trailer where the walls meet the floor?

Reason I ask is that for some time we have had relatively minor water leaks in the front lounge of our 2005 Classic 30. I have checked the window caulking, seams in the outer skin, rub rails, awning brackets etc and recaulked wherever I felt there could be an issue.

But the leaks are still there! Floor is solid - albeit damp - but I really want to get to the root of this before I do develop serious floor problems,

We have a sofa bed across the front of the trailer that pretty much touches the wall on either side. The dampness appears on the carpet and the base of the sofa just where it touches the wall - on both ends of the sofa.

From reading this thread I am wondering if the fanastic fan in the front lounge could be the source of the leak - the edge of the fan lines up pretty closely with the edge of the sofa.

Our trailer is in storage but I plan to go out to it tomorrow with ladder, tools, and sealant to see if that might be my problem.

Anyone else with a similar model AS experience matching leaks on both sides like this?

Brian.

(While up on the roof I will also have a close look at the awning rails too. There is a skylight fairly close to the area as well, but it is a Maxim one I installed a couple of years ago to replace the OEM unit - I don't feel that is the problem - in any case, it is further away from the wet carpet / sofa base.)
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:10 PM   #20
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Brian, your wetness shows up at a break in the c-channel where the curve for the corner panels starts. There aren't other breaks between the wheel well and there...and there to the next break up by the batt box where the front panel joins the corner panel. So, anything that leaks into the c-channel in that 1/4 of the AS can show up there.

I had wetness only on the curbside in that spot and it was a combination of the wheeled awning latch and a mis-drilled rivet in the side window eyebrow.

My experience, on the wide bodies is that a leak on the center items (fans, skylights, and A/C) (and I've had 2 of the three, never a fan) is that they leak straight down, and maybe into the wall as well, but it is too flat there for all of the water to go to the c-channel, IMO.

I have also had Capt. Tolley's soak into the rivets where the side panel, the white roof panel and the end cap are all three layers, riveted together. Don't know if they leaked but they were suspect on routine rivet sealing. Also, like you said on streetside check awning mount rail and lower arm mount.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Brian, your wetness shows up at a break in the c-channel where the curve for the corner panels starts. There aren't other breaks between the wheel well and there...and there to the next break up by the batt box where the front panel joins the corner panel. So, anything that leaks into the c-channel in that 1/4 of the AS can show up there.

I had wetness only on the curbside in that spot and it was a combination of the wheeled awning latch and a mis-drilled rivet in the side window eyebrow.

My experience, on the wide bodies is that a leak on the center items (fans, skylights, and A/C) (and I've had 2 of the three, never a fan) is that they leak straight down, and maybe into the wall as well, but it is too flat there for all of the water to go to the c-channel, IMO.

I have also had Capt. Tolley's soak into the rivets where the side panel, the white roof panel and the end cap are all three layers, riveted together. Don't know if they leaked but they were suspect on routine rivet sealing. Also, like you said on streetside check awning mount rail and lower arm mount.

Thanks Rich,

Darn, I was thinking maybe the Fantastic fan was my problem!

I will check it closely anyway - seems to me it was well gobbed up with caulking by the previous owner. Sometimes that can be deceiving though and water can still get in. I may just remove it all and apply fresh caulk anyway, and that will allow me to see if the flange is cracked.

Presently, our trailer is parked in the storage area a little nose down (I forgot to level it before removing the batteries!) so if it did leak, possibly it still could be the source of my problem.

We had a fair amount of rain yesterday and when I checked the problem areas today (both bottom edges of the sides of the sofa/carpet at wall) they were quite damp to the touch. I opened the sofa bed a bit to check underneath and the front wall / carpet area didn't seem damp near the battery boxes, only the sides of the sofa and floor near the front edge of the seat as mentioned

When I go out to the trailer tomorrow, I will take all my caulking supplies and try to ensure every item in the vicinity is well caulked!

I have never tried Capt. Tolley's but a local store carries it, maybe I will pick some up and give it a try tomorrow.

I have not tried sealing any rivets. Is it possible to find leaking rivets with a visual inspection, or do you need a pressure test? I don't think I have any that are obviously loose.

Is it worth just putting a drop or two of the Capt. Tolley's on the edge of every rivet in the suspect area just for good measure?!

Sure would like to nail down this leak, it is frustrating!


Thanks again for your comments ............ Brian.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:58 PM   #22
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I hit all my roof rivets with Tolley's...just a tiny bit. If it puddles in a ring around the rivet, it's sealed. If it wicks in immediately and disappears, it's a leaker. I think I only found 2 or three in the entire roof.

I am now a fan of Eternabond for roof openings.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:07 PM   #23
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Hmmm..... Capt. Tolley's web site lists various materials it can be used on (rubber, plastic, ceramic, etc) but doesn't mention aluminum.
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Old 07-29-2014, 04:43 PM   #24
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This page specifically addresses aluminum under "Vehicles old and new" and states rivet holes

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:21 PM   #25
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@ ----> Wingeezer

When the Fantastic fans leaked, I first noticed water dripping from between the garnish and the inside aluminum skin. Later as they cracked on all 4 sides, they leaked down inside the skin too. When I removed the inside garnish, that allowed the leaks to drip prettymuch straight down. I didn't allow them to leak enough to cause any damage.

One thing I noticed was the replacement fan base wouldn't accept Vulkem at all. It just peeled off without sticking to the plastic at all. That's after I washed the new parts with acetone prior to applying the Vulkem. I removed the Vulkem (by pulling it off in one piece) and redid the job using Tyvek sealant. That stuff stuck like mad.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I hit all my roof rivets with Tolley's...just a tiny bit. If it puddles in a ring around the rivet, it's sealed. If it wicks in immediately and disappears, it's a leaker. I think I only found 2 or three in the entire roof.

I am now a fan of Eternabond for roof openings.
Just took a look at the Eternabond website, I wasn't aware of the product.

Is it their tape that you would use on the Fantastic fan? I see it can be had 4" wide and 6" wide.

One of those sizes would surely be wide enough to cover the vertical portion of the fan mount as well as the flange, and overlap onto the roof metal of the trailer.

May well be able to deal with any existing cracks I would think.

Not sure how easy it would be to install - I guess you'd have to use one piece per side on the fan base, then fudge the tape around the corners somehow.

Is that how you would go about it?

I assume no other additional caulking would be used, just the tape.

Or were you meaning some other Eternabond product rather than the tape - they seem to sell a variety of sealants.


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Old 07-29-2014, 09:01 PM   #27
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I do think the eternabond would work for cracks in the housing but last year I installed eternabond tape all around both my fantastic fans. This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking it all off .

Long story short,....What happened was I decided to add a patch over the refrigerator vent, this required removing a piece of eternabond tape on one side of the fan. I used 4 inch tape that ended up covering a seam I needed to re rivet. Water poured out when I removed that piece of tape. I think what happened was the tape had a hard time sealing over the screws, one tiny leak and the water made a channel all the way around the FF. Right where the flange meets the roof, because you are bridging the drop from the top of the flange to the roof. My seal on the underside was good ( no leaks) so that water just sat there and corroded the roof. Not only that I think the water was getting hot enough ( my roof is polished) that the FF plastic was degrading. There are strange white areas after I cleaned everything off. No real issue but the corrosion on the roof was surprising. Required the black rouge bar.

Tomorrow my fan will go back in with butyl tape and Sikaflex 221 which is what FF Recommended and Lewster here on the forums.

I think the tape is better left for flat areas ( you need roller pressure to make it bond and it's really hard when you have screws, rivets and areas that drop.)

Ps Eternabond says it will stick to any sealant except silicone. In my experience it does NOT stick to vulkem either.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:29 AM   #28
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I think the tape is better left for flat areas ( you need roller pressure to make it bond and it's really hard when you have screws, rivets and areas that drop.)
Great info - thanks!

I can understand what you say about gaps under the tape and vulnerable areas being created when taping over screws if they are higher than the rest of the surface. Seems to me I read about the fantastic fans being installed with countersunk screws though? If that were the case, it wouldn't be an issue.

I haven't removed all the gobs of caulk from my fantastic fan yet so I don't know what sort of screws are user there! Not even sure if the fan frame is cracked or not - but it wouldn't surprise me from what I have read here.

I watched a couple of installation videos about Eternabond tape. One thing they say is to lay the tape down loosely and not to stretch it when installing.

Doing that I suppose might help to allow you to use a roller to push the tape in tightly where the fan flange edge is, to avoid a gap caused by bridging down onto the AS roof.

Brian
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