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Old 07-18-2017, 11:38 PM   #1
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THOR #4488
Leaking Slide

Has anyone experienced a leaking slide with wind driven rain? We have camped several weeks since we purchased the RV over a year ago and have never had an issue until last night and again today. We spent the night last night in a Flying J, midway to our return home, so we did NOT have out the slides.

A severe storm came through and the wind rocked the RV to the point I woke up. When I walked to the front to look out the window, my feet got wet. We were at a slight tilt and the wind was hitting us on the side of the slide so I blamed it on that.

After getting home, it rained again this afternoon with moderate wind. I have it parked in my driveway so no more sideways tilt. I just checked and again, there was water on the floor beside the slide. I investigated further and found tree debris on top of the slide...small sticks and pine needles.

Could that be the cause of the leak? Can the debris get stuck enough under the slide rubber to break the seal and allow a small leak? Has any one else experienced this problem? This is my first RV with a slide. Should I blow off the top of the slide under the topper before bringing it back in?

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Old 07-18-2017, 11:52 PM   #2
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THOR #6831
wind & water

my experience with wind driven water during a storm, your gonna lose, and it could impossible to seal against it,

a good strong wind with heavy rain can be driven through the tightest of seals, the water could be pushed a solid window frame it the temp, wind and direction are correct,

if you can seal it to survive the your garden hose spray, that is good as its gonna get. with the slide out you have more of a chance for leakage.

if it happened once during a real bad storm may never happen again
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:54 PM   #3
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I once had a problem with a Class C slide leaking. When I parked it so that the coach was not quite level and the slide side was a little high, when it really rained, water would sometimes be driven by the wind under the slide and run down the floor. Since I did not always have a choice of RV tilt, my solution was to build a narrow, one inch high silicon dike on the floor under the slide, the whole length of the slide. That way if water got in there, the rain water would hit the silicone dike and instead of running inside the coach, would run to the end of the slide and out.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:55 PM   #4
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You might want to check the wipe seals outside to make sure they overlap and also check the interior bulb seals.

I had a small amount of rain penetrate the wipes when the rainfall could be measured in buckets per hour rather than inches per hour.

Also, after a rain when I retract the slides there may be a small amount of rain that gets in by just be on top of the slide.

As a note, when you extend the slides check the wipe seals outside to make sure they are positioned correctly. Sometimes. not often, one or two of mine may be rolled to the inside and I have to bring the seal out to make proper contact with the slide wall.
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Old 07-19-2017, 12:49 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
You might want to check the wipe seals outside to make sure they overlap and also check the interior bulb seals.

I had a small amount of rain penetrate the wipes when the rainfall could be measured in buckets per hour rather than inches per hour.

Also, after a rain when I retract the slides there may be a small amount of rain that gets in by just be on top of the slide.

As a note, when you extend the slides check the wipe seals outside to make sure they are positioned correctly. Sometimes. not often, one or two of mine may be rolled to the inside and I have to bring the seal out to make proper contact with the slide wall.
The funny thing is I've never had a problem when the slides are out. It was hard to track the leak because there is not much room above the slide when it is in to stick your head. I used an extremely bight light and looked from the end above the slide. I could see what looked like a small amount of water by the seal so I rolled up a paper towel and could just reach the area and ran the towel along the rubber seal to see if it got wet. The end of the paper towel was wet. The water ran over the side of the slide to the slide rail, ran the length of the rail and dropped down to the floor. Do you check the seals on the outside with the slide out?
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:05 AM   #6
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I have a new 2017 Challenger 37KT and have a leak but only when the slide behind the drivers chair is extracted and only during heavy rain. When we are camping with the slide out - no leak. I had to wait six weeks for an appointment but hope the dealer will fix it mid-August. Wish us both luck in getting this repaired!
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Old 07-19-2017, 10:18 AM   #7
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With the slide extended check the bulb seals that run around the exterior surface of the slide. On my coach they did not do a good job of cutting the angles on the seal and they were not making contact at the corners. Also, if the seal is too short the side (vertical) pieces will tend to slide down in the groove leaving a gap on the top. A little dab of silicone sealant in the track will keep the seals from dropping in the track. These are the seals to look at real close if your leak is happening when the slides are retracted.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
With the slide extended check the bulb seals that run around the exterior surface of the slide. On my coach they did not do a good job of cutting the angles on the seal and they were not making contact at the corners. Also, if the seal is too short the side (vertical) pieces will tend to slide down in the groove leaving a gap on the top. A little dab of silicone sealant in the track will keep the seals from dropping in the track. These are the seals to look at real close if your leak is happening when the slides are retracted.
This morning I checked the bulb seals and they look good. However, the flap seal that runs across the top was folded inward on half of the seal. The other slide, the one that doesn't leak, they are folded out (away from coach). I assume those should always be folding out and simply slide as the slide retracts. Due to the width of those I don't think they are ever supposed to flip inward. I do remember hearing a loud pop a few weeks ago when bringing in the slide. That is probably when the rubber flap flipped inward. Any thoughts? I have a call into the dealer to see if they have any knowledge on this and I'll post when I find out..
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Miramar Owner View Post
This morning I checked the bulb seals and they look good. However, the flap seal that runs across the top was folded inward on half of the seal. The other slide, the one that doesn't leak, they are folded out (away from coach). I assume those should always be folding out and simply slide as the slide retracts. Due to the width of those I don't think they are ever supposed to flip inward. I do remember hearing a loud pop a few weeks ago when bringing in the slide. That is probably when the rubber flap flipped inward. Any thoughts? I have a call into the dealer to see if they have any knowledge on this and I'll post when I find out..
Those are the ones that I refer to as the wipe seal. Often when I let the slide out part of the front seal on the kitchen slide will still be folded in and I have to take my hand and bring it back out. Those seals are the ones that will keep rain water out when your slides are extended. The bulb seals will keep rain out when the slides are retracted.

I believe it is normal for the wipes to fold in when retracting the slide and fold out as the slide is extended.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:17 PM   #10
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When the wiper seals are dry they don't slide very well. A good wipe down with seal conditioner or a spray of silicone will help a lot.
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Old 07-19-2017, 03:51 PM   #11
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Leaking Slide

I just talked to Jamie at Thor and she said also the wipe seals should fold in when slide is in and out when out. I told her my story and she said either the seal was twisted when coming in...some staying out and some in...or maybe a small gap at the corner where the flap seal attaches. I did find a small gap so I sealed it. I'll see what happens tonight. It's supposed to storm again. I'm not getting a lot of water in the coach...maybe 2 or 3 cups worth, but more than I want.

How would you lubricate the flap seal since you can't reach it under the slide awning?
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miramar Owner View Post
I just talked to Jamie at Thor and she said also the wipe seals should fold in when slide is in and out when out. I told her my story and she said either the seal was twisted when coming in...some staying out and some in...or maybe a small gap at the corner where the flap seal attaches. I did find a small gap so I sealed it. I'll see what happens tonight. It's supposed to storm again. I'm not getting a lot of water in the coach...maybe 2 or 3 cups worth, but more than I want.

How would you lubricate the flap seal since you can't reach it under the slide awning?
The way I do it is to saturate a rag with some silicone lube and then use an old broom handle for reach.
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Old 07-19-2017, 04:46 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by dstankov View Post
The way I do it is to saturate a rag with some silicone lube and then use an old broom handle for reach.
I will try that. I do believe the flap folding probably is the issue, making a small gap in the rubber.
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:34 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Miramar Owner View Post

.....cut..... I'm not getting a lot of water in the coach...maybe 2 or 3 cups worth, but more than I want.

......cut.....
That seems like a huge amount; and you are smart in addressing it quickly. My sister loss a very nice 5er that wasn't that old due to water leaks over time.

Slides sometimes leak and cause damage without owners even being aware of the leak. I'm very sensitive to smell of mold and mildew, and literally could not visit in my sister's trailer months before they discovered or identified the problem, and by then it was too late. My wife could not even tell there was a problem, yet I could barely breathe when I went inside.

When we visit PPL in Houston, it seems obvious to me that a large number of used RVs of all kinds that are more than a few years old have water damage. In Florida and along Gulf Coast where it rains a lot I'd expect problem is more common. Personally, I would aim for no water at all.
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Old 07-19-2017, 08:36 PM   #15
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Zero water is my goal too. I think I have solved it but won't know for sure until tomorrow. The only good thing is it's not the ceiling or walls leaking so it hasn't caused any damage. The hidden leaks over time cause the mold.
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Old 07-22-2017, 12:00 PM   #16
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Update on slide leak

I have treated all the seals with silicone and found a couple places where the calking didn't seem to be adequate. Now I am just waiting for rain to check it out. I may try a garden hose on it.

I called Thor and they said there first opening to bring it in to them was at the end of November. The dealer will do fix it but I know they will probably keep it all summer so that's why I'm trying to fix it myself. I'll post the final result.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:17 PM   #17
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Happens to my Hurricane 34J all the time.drive in the rain and then at campsite after you place slide out - floor is wet! Common.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:22 PM   #18
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My problem is the slide leaks when parked with the slide in.
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Old 07-22-2017, 01:53 PM   #19
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As does mine.

I go out to the RV after a hard rain and there is water running down from the slide side - usually behind drivers seat.
I have resealed the trim on the bottom of the slide wall which helped a little - but still happens.
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Old 07-22-2017, 04:41 PM   #20
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In numerous pictures I've seen while doing research, plus used RVs I've inspected, it appears that one of the longer-term problems is that water leaks under the floor of the slide (where owner can't get to it to dry) and sometimes soaks into subfloor, which can then stay wet for very long time because air can't get under flooring material.

I'd be concerned any visible water could be a sign of a larger hidden problem.
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