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Old 02-12-2018, 06:30 PM   #1
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Leak in the poptop: What's in the roof?

Vehicle is a 2006 Ford RB50 with SMB poptop: Late last summer I found my solar panels were not working, so I did some checking of the panels and wiring up on the poptop roof. I removed the little cover over where the wires go through the poptop, and replaced it again after doing the checking. I simply screwed it back on and didn't apply fresh silicone. Fast forward to this weekend when I raised the top for the first time in months, and I found rain water had been leaking into the poptop all winter... The wires go through the top in the front corner above the driver's seat and usually when the van is parked that is the low corner, so the rain water runs that direction.

Today is sunny so the top is up and a large oil radiator heater has been running in the van all day. Damage looks minimal so far. One curtain was soaking wet and has spots on it from where it was contacting metal. Poptop fabric is also soaked in one corner and only on the upper top half. The front driver's side corner (below where I think it leaked) of the inside roof paneling showed a slight discoloration and very slight mold growth.

My question: What is between the fiberglass poptop and the inside ceiling panels? Just air space?

I am going to replace the solar panels this summer, as I have no indoor work space and need to wait for warmer and dryer weather to do the project. I don't want more damage to be created between now and when I work on the panels by leaving the ceiling sealed up for a few months, but I'm not really in place where I can work on it now.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,

Brian
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:57 PM   #2
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So the only thing between the fiberglass top and the wood paneling(inside interior) is a layer of reflectix insulation. So no real issue with that, the wet wood inside the core of the fiberglass top is another issue all by itself.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:37 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info. Makes me less worried about what I'll find this summer when I get back to this project. I just turned off the heater tonight and the outside surface of everything and the fabric is all dry now, and I sealed where I think it was leaking yesterday, so I'm hoping there will be no more trouble until it stops raining this summer.
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Old 02-12-2018, 07:52 PM   #4
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The fiberglass top is built with inlaid strips of wood to provide structure (and ability to screw into). Depending where you hole and leak was, the top interior wood may be compromised/rotted. Not sure if there's anything you can really do about that... others may have better ideas.

I guess you could open up that hole again and look into it and see if it goes through an area that is just fiberglass, or through the section with the wood core, and check to see if anything looks amiss in the core (rot). Don't forget to seal it back up, though! ;-)
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