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Old 01-11-2012, 02:22 PM   #21
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

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the water seems to come in around the sides and not through the top but I am not sure.
One way to be sure. Cut a piece of plastic sheeting large enough to cover the top of the van but trim it so it leaves the penthouse top edge gasket exposed. Use enough masking tape to hold it in place and wait for the next rain or take a hose to it. The plastic won't stay in put in high winds so don't drive the van this way.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #22
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

Thanks, I will give that a try when it quits raining.
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Old 01-11-2012, 03:45 PM   #23
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

When you say water comes in from around the 'sides', then that would be the butyl seal where the tent seals against the van's roof. The gasket on the rim of the penthouse top keeps most of the water from entering this area, but ultimately it is the tent/van connection that needs to be watertight.

If your leak is coming from the actual penthouse roof (ie, put the top up and is water coming in over head still when you stand up?) then my money is on one or more fastener in a location that sees pooling water.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:53 PM   #24
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

The water almost has to be coming through the PH top. If is was coming under the rubber perimeter seal, it would have to travel uphill to get to the flexible wall. And water that gets to the flexible just runs off, i.e. when the top is up and it is raining.

I would seal the top as mentioned to prove it, then seal all the individual bolt holes etc. and prove that it is leak free, then expose the bolt holes one at a time to find the culprit.

Or, you could buy a bunch of kid's clay, make a 1-2" dam around each hole, fill them with water and see which one (or more) goes down. Then fix what you find.

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Old 01-11-2012, 07:11 PM   #25
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

Here are photographs of my roof leak check for through holes. I let the water set in each plastic sleeve for about 2 hours with no indication of a leak. With all the water you appear to be getting in I would think two hours would be plenty of time for the test, but it could be left over night. I just happened to have a length of clear plastic tubing the right size laying around.

I called it the 4 beer test. After the test I really did not care if it really leaked or not.



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Old 01-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #26
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

Found two small cracks in the roof, one of them was coming off the rear brake light and the other was in a gully on the left side (where the majority of the water came in). Still trying to find one on the right side. Thank you all for your persistence in trying to identify my problem.
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #27
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

Please continue to post photos of the cracks and any other issues. I have a crack in my top, but no leak as yet. I did get leaks in the rain with the top up, and put silicone caulking at the joints in the butyl piping material between the canvas of the PH top and the van top. Worked for me.

P
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:53 PM   #28
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

After camping a few weeks ago I took my SMB to one of those do it yourself car washes. They have fairly high pressure coming thru their water hoses. After I finished I got home and raised the PH and there was about a pint of water on the roof (in the rain gutters) at both back corners. The van was parked on an incline, the point is that a lot of water got in under the PH gasket. I can't imagine that rain while parked could get in but I could see how driving at highway speeds in a hard rain that water could get under the PH, it did not however get into the van at all. The PH where it sits across the front does not even touch the van roof because of the "channels" in the roof so any water coing straight at the van will go under the PH. Now that water maybe what is leaking into the inside of your van thru where then tent attaches to the van roof.
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:50 PM   #29
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

I am curious about the "channels" in front. You would think that if the van were leaning backward or driving, that water would get "under" the top in each channel unless sealed well.
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Old 01-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #30
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Re: Penthouse roof leaking.

I am sure rain is driven under the channels when driving. The roof is not designed to keep it all out. I have not seen it as a leak issue. Not by plan but I have put the top down with some window storms unzipped along the top edge and have not gotten rain inside. I do try to remember to zip all storms completely shut.
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