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Old 03-05-2014, 12:03 PM   #1
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Penthouse bottom leak

I haven't seen this here, but anyone have experience with the BOTTOM of the penthouse leaking?

Mine's spewing in two locations or more in the front, near the driver's corner, passenger corner, and over the side door. I saw the wood slats holding the fabric down were discolored, so probably this has occurred in the past but not enough to seep through the liner to be noticed inside.

Peter at SMB west suggests using Seam Grip (which I think is polyurethane; thought I could find a MSDS on their website to confirm but couldn't) at the fabric-rubber rand interface, and silicone on the rubber rand-van body interface. Seems like the way to go (that's what they do as a warranty repair anyway).

Anyone done this? I'm letting the thing dry well since I don't wanna seal any water inside, and of course NOW it's raining in CA. I'm thinking of also using silicone inside; they did that in places in the original construction. I don't wanna seal up the wood completely since if it does wet I want it to be able to dry. It seeped pretty heavy, though, in a place where the side grain was exposed and the water oozed out. In other locations it spread through the wood. I'm also wondering if I should drive a few more screws through; some are kinda corroded and loose.

Anyone done this? And, BTW, any suggestions for how to test waterproofness (I'm sure it will STOP raining as soon as the stuff has cured and I need to test). Some relatively high pressure with a hose? Seems to me that it's the longer term seepage that's a problem, but I don't see any way to replicate that.

Thanks,
Rob
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Old 03-06-2014, 02:38 PM   #2
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

Yes. Called Fresno but could not get a date together for them to check it out...yet. They'll fix mine for free, original purchaser.
Have not done any troubleshooting myself...yet....as the ink has hardly dried on that check I wrote them.
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Old 03-06-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

Let me know what they have to do to fix it. Want to do it myself so I don't have to go to Fresno, even though I'm under warranty as well.

Rob
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

Well, I put the top up today and found a leak also. Investigating I found the following, a hole in the rubber rand-van body and the seal between them. The front channel one looked warn, but holding. I poked a weep hole through so I could get the water to drain out of the channel.


I am still in letting it dry out stage, but I would be interested on what is used to fix also.


-greg
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

Dont' have pictures right now but I put on Seam Grip and silicone. I used marine grade silicone, but dunno if it matters.

The Seam Grip has less viscosity than the silicone, so when you put it on the rand-fabric junction it wants to seep down in the gaps. I pulled at the rand a bit, and let it go down in there. Sticks well to the penthouse fabric. The silicone I just slathered all over the bottom of the rand. Peter at SMB told me not to bother with the spot between the two rands themselves. Looks pretty bombproof; we'll see if I get more rain.

Seems like something one should do when they first get the van and it's newer and cleaner, although I get amazing adherence after using some acetone on a 13 year old van.

I also put some silicone inside along the inside edges of the wood, but did'nt cover it.

Rob
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Old 03-12-2014, 08:44 PM   #6
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

What's the purpose of the "rand" seal on the front and rear of the PH?.......never heard that term before. I am about to install my top and have been playing around with it for over 6 months and I still haven't figured out it's purpose.

I've purchased some rubber bulb seal from Mcmaster that is pretty much equivalent to the SMB stuff except that it's EPDM instead of plastic. I am planning on installing that in the exact same location that the stock stuff was fastened, although I have no idea what it's for. If it's to seal the roof stiffener channels across the front and back the bulb portion doesn't do much for that.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

I got the term from shoes. I guess technically it can be any layer between the sole and upper, usually to level out the shoe, but I'm familiar with it from climbing shoes where it's rubber and extends up the side to give friction and/or seal out water. I assumed that's the purpose of the rubber on our penthouses.

They use several things to seal 'em up. Butyl (which remains tacky for like FOREVER), the rubber (two layers in front and back, one all 'round), and silicone on spots on the inside. It's pressed down by wooden slats, which are screwed into the van body (in some places I've got like 20 in a foot).

If the penthouse fabric was just held under the slats, and then liberally sealed with silicone it might work the same as having the rubber. But I expect that it also helps even out the pressure from the slats and helps seal it. My van's 13 years old, and it's held till now, so it seems to work whatever the reason. It might also be that it's easier than laying beads of silicone and/or seam grip, and hence is a manufacturing compromise.

Rob
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:02 PM   #8
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

I looked up the definition last night after reading this thread.......shoes indeed.

1. (in shoemaking) a strip of leather set in a shoe at the heel before the lifts are attached.

2. British Dialect .
a.strip or long slice.
b.a border or margin.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:27 PM   #9
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Re: Penthouse bottom leak

Or Paul, or Ayn if you're in the States.
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