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Old 05-15-2019, 03:00 PM   #1
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Penthouse seal leaks at corners

I have sought the answer but have not found.
A recent road trip featuring driving rain and highway speeds resulted in water ingress at the corners of the pop top where the tent fabric is bedded down to the van roof.
I have the top up and the upholstery peeled back all the way around where screws hold a plywood strip down on top of the tent fabric, go through the butyl tape, and into the sheet metal.
At the corners, the seam in the tent fabric is turned up on top of the plywood strip. This is because the plywood would not go up over the seam.
A big wad of silicone was shot in there in hopes it would seal the corners.
It didn't.
I now have discolored plywood and mildew in the corners.
Has anyone dealt with this problem? Please advise.
I must say I was most dismayed with the workmanship I uncovered when I peeled back the upholstery.
Thanks GH
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Old 05-15-2019, 03:11 PM   #2
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Posting a picture of what you are talking about would be very helpful.
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Old 07-15-2019, 03:20 PM   #3
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What is the fabric that SMB used in '07 for the pop top tents?
Anyone have any suggestions for applying a patch?
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Old 07-15-2019, 08:17 PM   #4
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I have redone a few of these. It's iffy from the factory when new and time doesn't help. What I have done is remove and redo the butyl and replace rotten wood strips with ripped down 1/4 underlayment (plywood). It's not easy, it is messy and quite frankly if I were you I'd just pay SMB Indiana to do it for me.

Every one I've done had to be addressed afterwords where extra butyl/silicone/whatever was added to spots as has been done to yours.

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Old 07-16-2019, 05:53 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. Taking her back to SMB North just isn't in the cards. I have requests in at SMB North and West for some canvas or a source of it. SMB South just didn't pickup. If I could change their Netflix password they'd call back.
The way the fiberglass top squeezes down on a GMC roof doesn't account for the indentations in the roof sheet metal. I'll need to address that by filling in somehow.
I've got the butyl tape and some decent 3/8s" exterior ply. I'll have to get some real tech screws.
Yeah, this will probably be an ongoing project. Thanks GH.
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Old 07-16-2019, 06:07 AM   #6
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Penthouse seal leaks at corners

Coincidentally I have my interior trim apart at the exact same place and am redoing the silicone they shot in the corners. I had it apart for another reason (some headliner wiring) and the big gobs of silicone offended my sensibilities :-) I think they needed to gob it up, though, because the canvas corner seam sticks up a good bit and needs to be totally covered.

Much has been said about SMB workmanship, but generally I don’t get bothered by cosmetic things that are covered and never meant to be seen, as long as they are functional. In a production environment you focus on efficiency. I grew up working with my contractor dad, and there were things we spent time making look pretty and things that we just knocked out in an efficient way if they were never going to see the light of day. Doesn’t mean we didn’t do the job right and it wouldn’t hold up. My SMB is an (Indiana built) 1998, and to my knowledge the caulking has never been redone and never leaked. That works for me.

For small fabric repairs on my Pleasure-Way Traverse pop-top I’ve recently used “Tear Aid” tape (Pleasure-Way dealer recommended it). I had my doubts, but it’s held up well for a month or so now even in the summer heat. It looks like packing tape, but is stretchy and flexes with the fabric. Worth a try. https://www.tear-aid.com
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Old 07-16-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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I will look into that. Thanks! There are a few local retailers. And of course Amazon. Right now I'm using Gorilla Clear tape.
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Old 07-16-2019, 12:38 PM   #8
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SMB North is sending me some canvas. The silicone gob up in my corners did not do the job. They just hacked the job out, screws and staples shot in at random, badly laid butyl tape, no sealant between the layers of weather stripping, and crap plywood holding down the canvas. I don't expect it to be pretty under the upholstery but it should be neat and workmanlike.
I spent my working years backstage. I found that if the show looked like crap from the back it often looked like crap from the front.
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