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Old 02-08-2020, 12:12 PM   #1
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2015 Suncruiser 38Q water trapped in Frame

I have a 2015 Itasca Suncruiser 38Q and yesterday found water trapped in the Frame above the Wet bay. I'm putting a seelevel tank gauge in and had to remove a panel (right side of bay with light, switches for pump, leveling and outside light) from the wet bay to mount the indicator, but when I removed a Screw from the top of the panel water began to run out of the screw hole. I removed a second screw and both holes had water running for about 5 minutes, I'd estimate a gallon or two came out, maybe more.


The panel I removed is screwed into the area above the wet bay with several self tapping screws put directly into a rectangular frame rail that runs above the bays for the length of the Motorhome, and the water was inside that frame part.


I checked everywhere that I could to be sure that it was not in the living quarters of the Motorhome, I looked under the 1/2 bath above the wet bay and removed the base of the cabinet over the bay and was able to see through the pipe chase into the area just behind where the water was leaking and it was dry. No trace of water on the overlying plywood floor, or in the styrofoam below the floor. I could reach my hand into the chase and feel the area all around the hole the water was coming from and there was no water anywhere in the area. It was inside of the supporting frame rail over the door to the wet bay, and had the screws holding the panel on not been removed it would still be there.


I'm near Gulf Shores Alabama for the winter and we've had a tremendous amount of rain the last several days so I kind of suspect how it got there, but not sure what to do to prevent it, or exactly how it got in. If I were headed home this water could freeze inside of that beam and cause damage to the aluminum beam. Has anyone found a similiar problem, or know maybe how I can get to more of this beam, or the ends to seal it off and prevent this from happening again.


I've called Winnebago but don't expect a response until next week and even though they're pretty helpful with requests for information, I expect them to say take it to someone to look at. That won't work because the water is gone now.



I've attached a couple of photo's with red arrows pointing to the areas I suspect are the problems, I'd appreciate any suggestions to solve this. I included a coutout from the Winnebago Chassis diagram with red arrows pointing to the rail that held the water, and photo's of the water running out too as well as the pipe chase leading from the 1/2 bath into the wet bay.


Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:03 PM   #2
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It could be condensation from diurnal pumping (pressure changes caused by daily temperature changes and barometric pressure changes/changes in elevation) . Sealing it up tight may be hard to do.


You might need to just drill some drain holes in it.
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Old 02-08-2020, 07:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLOweather View Post
It could be condensation from diurnal pumping (pressure changes caused by daily temperature changes and barometric pressure changes/changes in elevation) . Sealing it up tight may be hard to do.


You might need to just drill some drain holes in it.

Thanks, I thought about that but I had those screws out a year ago to put in a Drainmaster Electronic wast valve controller in the panel and there was no sign of water at that time.


We've had a tremendous amount of rain at this RV park in Alabama over the last several weeks, Mobile news was forecasting the potential rain in the 5 and 6 inch quantities for parts of the region. I think that somehow rain is making its way into this beam, either from the front or back of the RV, and that does not seem to be a good thing. The water flowing out was clear and had no odor or grit so I think it's pretty new. It's also possible that had I waited a day and unscrewed that panel it would have drained by itself too and I'd never know it had been there.


Maybe I'll be able to find an opening in an end that needs plugged.


The drain holes might be the right way to go if I can't figure out how the water got in there though. Thanks.
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:25 PM   #4
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Was your motorhome level or tipped slightly one way or another? Interesting that the spot where you removed the screws is near the center of that frame rail. Are there any similar screws that you can access and remove near the ends of the rail?
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:46 PM   #5
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That's a lot of water to be just condensate. I think you should leave those screws out, maybe a bunch of them all along that rail. Maybe check the other side too.

With as much rain you've been having, it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't come in somewhere unlikely...like under the end cap? Or the front cap?

If you're not seeing any evidence inside the house, that's good, but remember to check under the sinks and under the shower stall for a leak...in most RVs there's a removable grill so you can look under the shower. Under the sinks there's a removable floor and the drawers can be removed too. A PEX pipe could be leaking or a union or joint.

Good luck, hope you find where it came from right away...
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Old 02-09-2020, 04:00 PM   #6
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Here's a picture of where that top frame rail is in relation to the RV floor and the strip with the vinyl insert that the sidewall is screwed into the frame.

That said, I don't have any guesses on where the water might be entering.

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Old 02-09-2020, 07:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones2003 View Post
Was your motorhome level or tipped slightly one way or another? Interesting that the spot where you removed the screws is near the center of that frame rail. Are there any similar screws that you can access and remove near the ends of the rail?

Thanks, the wet bay on the Suncruiser is near the rear, just behind the rear wheels and before the electric bay (electricity and generator). I'm pretty level here but I need to find a way to check inside before I drive it to make sure there is no more water. I could leave a screw out without affecting the panel, but it would then drain into the wet bay and on several switches I've installed there (Drainmaster electric drain valves, see level gauges and a macerator). I have to figure a way to make determine how the water got in there.
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Old 02-09-2020, 07:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
That's a lot of water to be just condensate. I think you should leave those screws out, maybe a bunch of them all along that rail. Maybe check the other side too.

With as much rain you've been having, it wouldn't surprise me if it didn't come in somewhere unlikely...like under the end cap? Or the front cap?

If you're not seeing any evidence inside the house, that's good, but remember to check under the sinks and under the shower stall for a leak...in most RVs there's a removable grill so you can look under the shower. Under the sinks there's a removable floor and the drawers can be removed too. A PEX pipe could be leaking or a union or joint.

Good luck, hope you find where it came from right away...

Thanks for the ideas. I was able to check the half bath over the wet bay including under the shower and there is absolutely no sign of water inside the RV. I removed the base of the sink console immediately over the location where the water came in and was able to reach down through a pipe chase and actually put my fingers on the holes (that I removed the screws from) and the only water I found was as I moved my fingers over the hole.


Thankfully it's dry inside and the water is only inside this frame part. When it dries a little more here I'm going to try to get inside the rear cap and see if it's open and that could be the source of the water. If it is, then I'd be sufficiently convinced that it was just the volume of rain we had that cause the water even if I can't explain why it stayed there until I removed that screw and didn't drain out the end.


Hoping that Winnebago will respond with some ideas of where this beam could get water infiltration, but won't probably get that until Monday or Tuesday.
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Old 02-10-2020, 12:51 PM   #9
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Winnebago got back to me first thing this morning, pointed out three places to look at the sealant outside the rail (their word for the part). I looked closely and at first it looked fine, then I turned the light on the camera and took a real closeup and it's clear that it needs attention.


I asked how to remove the outside trim to clean the old stuff out before putting new sealant in and the responded just as quickly and said just pull it off, then caulk the screws underneath because they might be the path for the water inside.


I've attached pictures of my RV to show the areas they pointed out in case someone else wants to make sure their RV isn't doing the same thing.


Thanks everyone for your suggestions and than you Winnebago for your quick and helpful reply.
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Old 02-10-2020, 01:08 PM   #10
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Cool! I thinks ya got it...
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Old 02-21-2020, 11:58 AM   #11
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The Solution - I think

Finally removed the trim part, unfortunately it wasn't just a snap in piece. On each hinge below it (there are 10 at least) there is a screw into the trim piece from below. I nearly broke the trim piece trying to get it past the screw before I discovered it hidden below.


I've attached pictures of two screws which were immediately below the spot where the caulk over the trim appeared broken. These two screws are not 100 percent seated, and if you look close you can see debris (dirt from rain and road spray) around the screw heads. Also, look at the clip that holds the trim piece in, it's full of the same debris. It appears that this inside filled with water under the Heavy rains we've had in southern Alabama this year, and then around the screws into the rail.


It's tough to get that caulk off the RV, but I think this will solve my problem.
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