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dougi

Beware of Leaking Windows in Downpour

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Geneva and I were coming home and stopped for the night at a rest stop in far NE Oklahoma. That night it came a gully washer, raining hard all night long. When we got up the next morning, September 9, 2010, the back bed, head and foot, was soaked near the windows. I looked at the windows and could see small streams of water running down the inside of the trailer walls from the windows onto the bed. Several quarts of water had already soaked the head and foot of the bed.

 

My best analysis is that the windows were receiving more water than they could discharge from the four small outside rectangular shaped weep holes at the bottom of each window casing. Much of the water that falls on the roof of the trailer goes down the side of the trailer some of which dumps into the windows causing them to overflow into the interior of the trailer.

 

The only way I think this problem could be prevented is if a gutter was placed over each window to divert the water from the roof off and to each side of the windows. If anyone else has encountered this problem you might want to weigh in on the matter. I checked the weep holes at the bottom of each window and they were not blocked. However, dirt and debris can get into the bottom of the window channels and could block these weep holes. I suggest you all take a look at your windows and your weep holes. If you find a good way to clean the dirt and debris out of the bottom of the windows, please let us all know.

 

If you can think of a simple and effective way to stop the water from the roof from dumping into the windows in a hard rain, please let us know.

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We've not noticed any leakage around our windows, but thanks for bringing this to everyone's attention. I went out and looked at the way the windows are actually mounted. The outside frame is virtually flush with the outside shell. It is neatly caulked all the way around. As you mentioned, there are four weep holes at the bottom of each of the smaller windows (there may be more on the larger window, I didn't look). Due to the slope of the upper body of the Oliver, the windows extend further out at the bottom than at the top. Even in a gentle rain this would easily allow water to accumulate in the channel at the bottom of the window. In a hard, blowing storm the amount of water that could end up in the channel would undoubtedly be considerable. Because of this slope, any water in the channel at the bottom of the window would actually flow toward the inside of the coach. Did you see exactly where the water was running from (and down the inside?) From your description, I gather the channel was overflowing (to the inside) from simply too much water and as such overwhelming the (upstream) weep holes. If that be the case, the only solution I can see is to stay out of the rain. Just kidding... although I did find this link to the Hehr service manuals, maybe there's something in there that will help


Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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The larger window also has only four drain holes at the bottom of the frame. They are spaced further apart than the holes on the two smaller rear windows. I had only an insignificant amount of leakage at the large forward window where I was sleeping, probably due to:

 

(1) the wind and rain was blowing stronger on the curb side windows

 

(2) the rubber awning grommet diverts and dumps a large amount of rain from the roof right into the rear curb side window, where the largest leakage occurred.

 

We have the twin bed configuration.

 

You are exactly correct in your assessment of the problem. It is a design flaw of the trailer. I think a gutter placed over each window to divert the water from the roof to each side of the windows would be the only fix. The bottom window channels are further outboard than the top window channels so when they fill up with water, the excess water that can't drain out the four drain holes dumps into the trailer and runs down the INSIDE trailer wall, right onto the foot and head of the bed.

 

This rain was heavy but not nearly as heavy as I have seen it rain. The wind was blowing at 20 plus miles per hour. It rained and the wind blew for at least five or six hours, hard and steady. I expect it rained at least six inches total, probably more, so a rain of this magnitude is uncommon and that is why others have not experienced the same problem, but I can assure you that if you are in a torrential downpour, you will. You will have to take all the bedding and cushions out of your trailers and let them air dry. We had at least three inches of water standing inside the rear plastic curb side under bed storage tub, where we store our owners manual and all our factory instruction manuals. Even the wooden board under the rear bed cushion was throughly water soaked, even though it is located under the center of the rear bed. No permanent damage occurred, but such an event could really put a damper on your fun if it happens early or mid trip. Fortunately, we were headed home and we could air dry all our stuff after we got home.

 

I encourage Oliver to develop small permanently mounted fiberglass gutters to go over the windows. It may be possible to mitigate the problem by drilling/cutting more drain holes in the outside bottom of the windows, but I don't think that would entirely solve the problem because the drain holes have to be small and could never dump all the water coming off the roof onto the rear curb side window.

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I say that I'm not entirely convinced it is a design flaw. I park our Oliver very close to the house and noticed that when the trailer took its own run off, plus that from the house, water to accumulate in the tracks, but not to the point of running out. Just out of caution, I do make sure I keep the trailer far enough away to not catch the run off from the house.

 

I have expriencenced a couple of window leaks near the bed, the both proved to be the conservative application of sealant around the outside of the window. I applied a bit of silicone and the leaks stopped. You might double check the window frame sealant. You can verify if this is the leak source by looking in the access areas under the window. If you see water running from between the inner and outer shells, it is likely running down the window from from outside.

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In 2008, 3 Olivers were camped in Ft Smith, Ark at the RVersII Rally when TS Ike came thru and inundated us with horrendous rain....campground mgr said 8" in 5 hours :o . We had no leaks in ours nor do I remember ScubaRx or Mountainborn having any leaks :lol: , window or otherwise. My guess is that the drain holes were clogged. There are several rubberized gutters available, one that I used on my Casitas.

Check out the http://www.marxrv.com website. Some great info, some outdated, but good stuff. :shock:

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Window leaks plagued the Wonder Egg for its first 18 months. Light rain, no problem . . . gully washer, get out the mop! (OK, perhaps not THAT bad but it was still yucky) I traced it down with Daniel's help to being an early model and they were not always using an external gasket between the outer window frame and the outer fiberglass.

 

Daniel sent me enough gasket material to do all the windows. I took it to my local RV guru and he fixed me up in no time. No problems since! The Wonder Egg sat outside as Tropical Storm Hermine slowly passed overhead giving us a real frog-choker. Totally dry inside.

 

Pete's theory: The outer and inner window frames are joined by long screws. The inner and outer shells may have slightly different movement as we go over any rough terrain. This movement "may" result in a tiny crack around the sealant which only manifests itself in a large down-pour. The gasket between the outer frame and the fiberglass mitigates this problem.

 

For my weep holes, I blow them out with a bottle of compressed air called "GASduster" purchased at the local OfficeMax.


Pete & "Bosker".    TV -  '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV  - "The Wonder Egg";   '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.


Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.com


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I, too, had window leaks for the first year or so. The rearmost window leak was particularly hard to find because the leak was actually coming from the third brake light and couldn't be seen. A little RTV silicone around the brake light solved that one.

 

The curbside window was exasperating. I removed and replaced the entire window and caulked the heck out of it. No luck. I went through the entire process again. Still no luck. I finally came to the same conclusion as others that the weep holes might be the problem and the water pouring over the rubber bumper strip at the awning bracket was overloading them. Some flexible bathroom corner molding from the Home Depot glued to the shell along with, like Pete, blowing out every orifice in the window track finally solved the problem. I've been through several gullywashers/toadfloaters since then and haven't had a leak since.

 

I used RTV silicone to glue the strip in place.

 

By the way, if you decide to remove a window be careful with the screws. They're aluminum and break easily.


Aubrey and the two wingmen, Woodstock & Rascal


Oliver #032, "El Huevito"


Ford F-150 4x4


El Juevito's Travels

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Oh how we've awoken in the middle of the night during a torrential downpour to having all our windows flooding in like this. Definitely not fun! We assumed it was clogged ports, our fault - and something to just keep on top of to prevent in the future.

 

I'm totally sending Chris to this tread to see if there's a better solution for us.. cuz waking up to flood in your bed doesn't make for a pleasant start to the day!

 

- Cherie

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We have been through some torrential downpours without issue, but as Cherie mentioned we woke up to all our windows flooding last spring in Texas.

 

The problem I discovered in the morning was that we had spent a month parked under trees with no rain, and the first major storm overwhelmed and clogged the weep holes with dirt and debris. The problem was made worse because we had the windows all cracked for a breeze, so even once we shut them, the channels were already full, and water was coming down too fast for the weep holes to catch up.

 

It was a wet mess of a night!

 

I spent a few hours in the morning blowing the tracks and weep holes out, running hot soapy water through, and cleaning them with a toothbrush. There was a lot of gunk that had accumulated.

 

Since then, our windows have been leak free.

 

Fingers crossed,

 

- Chris

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I think Junior bird Man has the right idea with his gutter over the rear half of the rear curb side window. The rubber awning strip can dump far more water into the window than the four drain holes can possibly discharge from the window sill, regardless of how free of debris and open they happen to be.

 

I am definitely going to copy his fix, and I will be cleaning my window channels regularly so the drain holes won't clog with dirt and debris.

 

Thanks for the ideas and the suggestions.

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