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Old 04-06-2021, 03:37 PM   #1
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2015 Sprinter SMBW leaking penthouse

Yesterday when we washed the van to get ready to travel we noticed several fine hairline fractures, most around where the bolts go through the top (some of the washers were rusted too) Today I opened the top and the back of the van smelled musty and the bed was damp. The entire back corner is warped and the screws are rusted. Any ideas on what to do now? We haven't travelled for a year and were so excited to finally be able to go somewhere and now this. Super disheartening.
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Old 04-06-2021, 06:53 PM   #2
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Don't be super bummed yet! (I know hard not to be BUT) you're getting OUT!!! There will be lots of experts on here with ideas galore...most good too lol! You'll need LOTS more pics for an educated guess as how to handle it temoprarily/maybe permanently so YOU CAN ENJOY the trip...I mean its NOT the engine or transmission etc that would prevent you from even getting out of the driveway! I can't think of many things that would make it TOTALLY useless eh? So go ahead overpack (lol), get your food n beverages packed, dream until you pull out of the house! Have a great trip!!!!!!!!!!

And TRIP report WITH pics when you get back!
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Old 04-06-2021, 07:26 PM   #3
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Maybe the penthouse bolts. Hairline fractures in the gelcoat could be a part. Did you check the penthouse bolts butyl/seals closely?

A little rust on top of the bolts shouldn’t be a big deal.

Try testing with water/hose?
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctb View Post
Don't be super bummed yet! (I know hard not to be BUT) you're getting OUT!!! There will be lots of experts on here with ideas galore...most good too lol! You'll need LOTS more pics for an educated guess as how to handle it temoprarily/maybe permanently so YOU CAN ENJOY the trip...I mean its NOT the engine or transmission etc that would prevent you from even getting out of the driveway! I can't think of many things that would make it TOTALLY useless eh? So go ahead overpack (lol), get your food n beverages packed, dream until you pull out of the house! Have a great trip!!!!!!!!!!
I agree completely with ctb, this isn't something that should hold you back. Is it a nuisance, Yeh. Is it an issue to address, Yeh. BUT, As long as everything else works, there is no reason to sideline the Van or any plans you have.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:09 PM   #5
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Are you the original owner? I think my first call would be to Sportsmobile to see what they say.
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Old 04-06-2021, 08:41 PM   #6
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I had two roof leaks on my old SMB. Both were caused by workmanship issues.

The first was a pretty small leaks at first. And it is like any other water leak generally a pain in the ass. Where the water comes out many times is not where the water comes in. First I would check how level the top is where it was parked. If I was parked in my driveway (backed in) the leak would show towards the front of the van. Parked in front of the house the leak was in the back corner. It really depended on the angle the van was setting.

My Ford EB roof had ridges so this may not apply.



This was in the middle back of the van, the one bolt was for the J-Hook and the other to hold up the bed. At first glance it doesn't look like a problem . But if you look close, you can see the problem. The hole was not in the center, so the washer was not really laying flat in the trench.



The next one came much later, and was harder to find, I swore I kept getting water in through the the bolt holes. And by many indications that is where it would come out. But I found a small chip in the gel top, again didn't look like much but again parked in the driveway water just ran right to it.

I would say pull out the screws that are holding the roof panel and canvas up one at a time. Check the length, and put it back, and move on to the next. If you find one screw that is longer than the others make note to check out that location on the top. I had at least one longer screw used, same screw just a 1/4 in longer. Guess what, it caused a chip on the outside, and it was a pain to find.

-greg
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Old 04-22-2021, 10:32 PM   #7
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Yakima Tracks Leaked

During original manufacture, SMB West did a poor job sealing the Yakima tracks, allowing lots of water to soak up the composite materials in the pop top as well as other things below. They had put a really inadequate self-stick sealant strip under the track, allowing water to run right through the screw holes. After putting a fair amount of semi-soft automotive putty sealant under the full length of each track and cinching down, I've never had another leak.
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