Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Rain, Rain Go Away

So the first thing I discovered with our new Uhaul was the leaks. Due to the way the windows are made and mounted, as the old parts wear out the tend to leak. Most Uhaul owners have to deal with this at some point. Try not to silicone if you can. It's a mess to get off later. That being said I have patched some areas with roofing sealant in small doses. I found out a couple of ways to deal with our leaks.

1) Limit the amount of water running over the window.

This is a no brainer. If the window's leaking then a percentage of the water running over it is coming in. So decreasing the amount of water running over it will decrease the amount coming in. This is not a final answer as during heavy down pours you're going to see a lot of that water still coming in. However as a first step to resolving my leaks, I decided on gutters. Now you can figure out how you want to do those, if you want to make your own or use window shields. I went with a vinyl product that's pretty simple to work with and uses heavy 3M bonding tape vs drilling holes in the side of the fiberglass.

 EZE Gutters

Uhaul Camper Passenger Side Window with EZE RV Gutter
Basically you can buy this by the foot and it comes in a long roll. Then measure out where you want and cut. I think I used a pruning shear to cut it and then finished the end with a box cutter. You want to make it curve down on the sides a bit. This is will help make sure the water channels correctly. From my experience this definitely helped.

I also had problems with the door leaking and used some extra I had inside the top of the door to make a channel. I'll have a separate post about that coming up.

2) Clean out the window traps.

On these windows there is felt in the tracks. (that you can replace if you want to take the window apart and drill out the rivets. There's a guide on FiberglassRV site to do this. Also a PDF of that thread exists here.) There is also some drain holes. Mud and yuck tends to build up in these tracks. and can block the drain holes. So before you go tearing your window apart to replace or grabbing a sealant, clean out the tracks. You'd be amazed at how much that can do. There was so much gunk and bugs in my rear window track that the water caught in the track would backup through the felt and bubble up the inside track.
Uhaul camper window track closeup
Here's how you should clean them. First pull up the seal. Go ahead and pull it all the way out. You'll want to clean it out/off. I thought about replacing it but haven't found replacement yet. Now get some tools and get in there and clean out that track where the seal sat. You may find dirt, grime, and all sorts of yuck. You may find a small flat head screw driver and an old toothbrush helpful here. Some silicone spray will help. Make sure the drain holes are clear too. Some folks have drilled them slightly larger to allow for the water to flow out faster.

3) Finally, you may want to replace the weatherstripping (it's gets old and cracked and dries out) that holds the windows in place. Most of the fiberglass campers have clamp ring style windows that I think seal better by clamping to the fiberglass. The Uhaul windows are different in that they sit inside a weather stripping seal that surrounds the hole in the fiberglass. I have not done this yet but I plan to and I will document what I do when I get around to it. My Uhaul came with one window busted out and a plexyglass piece in place. That's the worst leak I had to deal with was that window. I did get my hands on another Uhaul window (rare) and I'm planning to pull out the plexiglass and put in the new one. More to come on that when I get around to doing it....

For now I have no leaks. So I'm happy.