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Old 02-13-2020, 09:52 AM   #1
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Clearance light leak

Finally narrowed my right front ceiling leak to the round recessed clearance lights on my 2003 Itasca Sunflyer. Noticed that the PO had caulked the bases probably several times. Wanting to do the repair right, I'd like to clean off the old sealant and replace gaskets, but from what I can see, there are no gaskets. The lens is the bulb which pushes into a bracket. Has anyone come up with the proper repair for this?
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:38 AM   #2
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I have not used either of these yet, but I have them on hand for a planned project. I'd appreciate comments on how they would work for the OP's situation.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:50 AM   #3
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I find a lot of users don't think about how difficult it is to seal things that bounce down the road and get all the weather abuse an RV does, so they often use less than the best quality caulking. I like the Dico brand sealers as they are designed more for the RV than house user and they are a more sturdy type which resists weather even better than the "25 year" rated home caulking. After that I simply go for looking the seal over each year or so and being proactive in redoing the seal to avoid getting inside damage which makes it much harder to repair.
https://www.google.com/search?q=dico...hrome&ie=UTF-8
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:51 AM   #4
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Can you post a picture of the light in question?


If possible, I would remove it, clean everything well, and then seal it in place with a layer of butyl tape, including some around the screw threads.That's how I did the new ones I installed on our Sunstar.
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Old 02-13-2020, 04:56 PM   #5
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I jhave everything taped up now. Will get a picture when it is uncovered
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:13 PM   #6
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One of the things I learned when dealing with leaks on houses is that it can pay to " think like a raindrop"! It fits for RVs as well except we have to be aware that the wind when traveling means water doesn't just go down the roof but can swirl around in all kinds of weird directions and that changes what we might do on a regular home roof.
Since water can come from any direction on a round light, I have to make a cone of caulking that might force the water to run around instead of simply going in. Otherwise we can just make a dam on the top side to deflect the water away from the opening if we leave a gap on the bottom side. with the cone shape and hoping it deflects the water, I then also go for a second defense by running just a small bead all around the edges, hoping to first stop the rain from getting under, but if that fails the cone should let it move around the hole, rather than into it.
But every light and every surface can be a bit different, so each case may require something slightly different and all bare close watching for when the caulk does get knocked loose. I might guess that the biggest then we often miss is giving all the outside attachments a good look and asking if we should redo the sealing. Instead of waiting for a leak to show we really should look first!
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Old 02-14-2020, 07:07 AM   #7
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I experienced the same thing...Winnie drills a hole through the roof for the wires and just screws the light fixture with nothing in between...you need to remove the screws ..clean the area behind, then apply a good dab of silicone to the wires and the back of the light and the screw holes to form a gasket.
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Old 02-14-2020, 09:36 AM   #8
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I experienced the same thing...Winnie drills a hole through the roof for the wires and just screws the light fixture with nothing in between...you need to remove the screws ..clean the area behind, then apply a good dab of silicone to the wires and the back of the light and the screw holes to form a gasket.
This is where I also go for the second line of defense by adding a small line of good caulk around the outside edge at the point where it meets the roof. When checking, if I find the outside seal is loose, I then replace it without totally removing the light if it is still tightly attached. Since new caulk will rarely stick to old, I do this in two runs so that I get two sets of seal. I put the first on, press it down to spread it and add the screws, then come by a day or so later to add the second seal. The second will not stick to the first caulk but it does stick well to the roof and light but can be peeled off as a separate piece if I see it coming loose and that allows me to avoid a bigger job of removing and cleaning the first layer.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:16 PM   #9
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Those lights (138996-01-000) are held in by a metal bracket (138996-03-000) that is attached to the fiberglass by a urethane adhesive. Most of that era had a foam gasket behind the amber lamp to prevent water intrusion however after 17 years they have likely turned to dust and fallen away and the gaskets themselves are not listed in the parts book so you have to ask for them.

Many will just use two beads of a high quality UV Resistant Clear Automotive RTV Adhesive Sealant designed for exterior light and window seals to seal them in since that Adhesive Sealant will stand up better to sunlight and provide a more positive seal. Its usually a good idea to clean up the light sockets and replace the bulbs with new ones while your at it. What can make that difficult though is that the wiring harness may be glued to the foam insulation inside the top cap making it very difficult to impossible to get enough slack to work on them.

Also pay good attention to the tops of the side window frames and make certain that their seal is in good condition too since water that gets in there will flow to the top of the windshield frame and then drip down on the dash. If there are buttons on either side of the top cap you also should pop the plastic inserts so you can remove the screws and reseal the base and the screw to the cap otherwise water will also get in through those. You may need to use a slightly courser screw too and once those are secure do take the time to seal the seam along the underside of the top cap to the side wall above the front side windows.
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:44 PM   #10
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I gave up trying to figure out how to seal the light fixtures in back, finally decided to just slather the sockets with dielectric grease. I got a big can of it from eBay. Came with a nice brush. After trying to find the foam gasket that came with the now obsolete lens and frames, gave that up too and just left them off.

I figure that if enough water gets in there PAST all the dielectric grease I put on the light socket, and ruins the socket, that it's magic type water and I should leave it be to do it's thing.

Also cut out the old sockets and soldered in new ones so that should give me another 15 years life out of them. But I really like the grease idea. So far it's working great.
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Old 02-23-2020, 05:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
I gave up trying to figure out how to seal the light fixtures in back, finally decided to just slather the sockets with dielectric grease. I got a big can of it from eBay. Came with a nice brush. After trying to find the foam gasket that came with the now obsolete lens and frames, gave that up too and just left them off.

I figure that if enough water gets in there PAST all the dielectric grease I put on the light socket, and ruins the socket, that it's magic type water and I should leave it be to do it's thing.

Also cut out the old sockets and soldered in new ones so that should give me another 15 years life out of them. But I really like the grease idea. So far it's working great.

What does the dielectric grease do to prevent water intrusion into the cap and onto the windshield frame, dash, etc?
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Old 02-23-2020, 06:24 PM   #12
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What does the dielectric grease do to prevent water intrusion into the cap and onto the windshield frame, dash, etc?
Not much really, when reading the thread it seemed that the focus had shifted to running lights in general. Or so it seemed to me. On reflection, seems I could be wrong. Oh, well.
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:24 PM   #13
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There is so much old caulk around the lens that I cannot tell how to remove it. Is it just pressed into the bracket, or are there screws?
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:25 PM   #14
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Also, your clearance lights are surface mounted. Mine are recessed
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Old 03-05-2020, 12:59 PM   #15
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There is so much old caulk around the lens that I cannot tell how to remove it. Is it just pressed into the bracket, or are there screws?
On mine, there are 4 screws holding the lens in place but there are 8 holes. And the other 4 holes look like there's a screw at the bottom of each one, but that's the screws that hold the plate to the RV. The other four hold the lens on. I didn't have to contend with scraping out any silicone from around any lenses on my RV, thankfully. Assuming you're asking me.

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Also, your clearance lights are surface mounted. Mine are recessed
I think you're talking to me, but not sure. But if you are, my Brake and Turn Signal lights are recessed. Even the upper running lights on the rear and front of the bus are recessed. The only surface mounts are the small running lights that go down each side of the RV.



When I was talking about the light sockets I changed, I was talking about the big sockets for the 1156 & 1157 bulbs used for the brakes and turn signals, and here's the blog article I wrote about changing those out. Those are the sockets I put the dielectric grease on, but I'd have no qualms with putting the grease on the smaller running light sockets either.

Rear Indicator Lights...
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Old 03-05-2020, 02:42 PM   #16
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Thanks, but it is not the same application
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:26 PM   #17
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I had repaired a leak on my middle front clearance light on my 09 Journey about 6 yrs ago. It started leaking again this month. The lights are held in with 2 screws thru the light and the wiring goes thru a hole in the front cap.
Your best bet on repairing the leak is to remove the fixture and use duct seal - might be duxseal - available the electrical dept at Home Depot. It is a heavy dark grey flexible non- conductive compound - like plasticine - you pull a piece off the package and shape it to the fixture and opening to be sealed and then screw the fixture back on. It should last a real long time. Good luck
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Old 04-04-2020, 04:47 PM   #18
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I have spent the last 2 weeks attempting to fix the leak that I thought was coming from the middle clearance lamp. First I recaulked the perimeter of the fixture with duxseal. Thought that would do it. Next rain the mid center of the dash - directly below the lamp I had caulked, was soaked again - although not as much. Got on the roof after that and checked everything. The front cap seam on the roof was perfectly sealed. There appeared to be nothing on the cap that could leak.
As I was going back to the ladder to get down, I noticed that there was a slight gap in the front of the 10 inch square TV antenna roof frame. Since it was sloped towards the front and about 8 feet back from the windshield, I dismissed it and continued looking. Finally, thought I might as well reseal the front seam of the TV antenna as there were no other opening on the front half of the roof.
It rained that night and decided to check the next day. Guess what!!, that turned out to be the source of the leak. Since there was no sign of any moisture inside, I concluded that the moisture flowed along the top of the interior coach ceiling which was sloped to the front and ran down the middle of the ceiling and emptied onto the front dash. Have had heavy rain twice since and the dash is bone dry!
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