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flagmanruss

RV windows draining tracks

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I have trouble in heavy rains... the window tracks fill with water & overflow into the interior. I've mentioned this before, in passing, but I don't see that I addressed this specifically. Some I have answers to... others, I need all the help I can get!The first one I tackled because I had to. On the left at the head of our bed, the non-opening "escape hatch" window, filled the track with water, overflowing & attempting to float our bed. :( It is hinged at the top & pull the red handle the bottom pushes out. BUT the entire framed window is outside the window frame set into the RV skin. So the window sticks out. Rain off the roof cascades over it, gets into the hinge & the top groove, runs around to the bottom & thus fills the track. Yes, it has gaskets. No. I haven't been able to find replacement gaskets. The local RV place said it'd be cheaper to replace the whole window. As a quick fix, I took a 2 pronged approach. I used "black sticky" (electrical tape) to cover the hinge & top of the window panel. As long as it stays stuck, it deflects run off out & over the glass. Opening the window / hatch at the bottom easily pops the black sticky at the top so is safe. Since the bottom is on the outside, it sheds water like a shingle. The second thing I did was prop the window open & study the extrusion. I decided to drill a couple of drains from the outside, into the channel (inside gutter). I did this & tested by pouring water into the gutter & it ran out. Eventually, I plan to install a aluminum piece over the window to deflect water out.The big main windows have been a continueing problem. They are (2) overlaping sliders... about 60" total length. Again in heavy rains the roof run off / rain hits the moveable panel, runs into the track at the bottom... running inside the fixed panel, filling the track (gutter) up & overflowing, running down the wall, soaking everything. Each panel has 2 drain slots maybe 1.5" long. On the inside, there is a slight tab over these slots... does restrict the opening by maybe 50%, shows bright from the bottom of the window panel rubbing on it. I have used (utility) knife blades, thin pry bars to try to open these slots. I found & removed an old piece of (I think) foam rubber in each slot... plugged with dirt & pollen... I now removed. I thought that was a cure! NOPE!! What I learned is if you lift the tabs too far, the windows won't move. So these tabs are a very close fit on the window panels. The drain slots I can see without a ladder appear pretty open. I thought I had it fixed.I was out there working in the bathroom (project & pictures to follow) when a thunder storm rolled through. One window, filled the track... it was actually standing above the edge of the gutter, by tension, but of course that didn't last. I was, once again, bailing & deflecting into a container. I exhamined the window again today. The slots look clear. I can pass a ignition file (remember those??) through each slot. I tried opening the slots a bit more by filing from the outside. I think there might have been some slight amount of pollen & dirt but not obstructed by any means. When this happens while camping (as it has), yer pretty much in a spot with stuff you can't afford to get wet. I decided to drill more drain holes (3/16") in the extrusion at the same height as the slots. I moved over an inch & drilled... it seems that I hit the track for the glass fixed panel but below the glass... I stopped to study it & went back to drilling. On our last trip, I had ants... crawling in through the slots... I hated to but I had to ant spray the under carriage, the lower siding... and put ant bait away from the trailer. I hope that these new holes are not putting the any Welcome mat out. If so, I can A) cover with black sticky tape until needed (could be poked off with a small object) or B) use foam rubber in the track until needed. I guess the right fix may be to put another aluminum gutter over each but slider... to keep runoff / rain from hitting the window glass in the first place. I've worked on these sliders several times & I just don't have confidence that anything is "fixed". Heck... the problem may be the roof run off but how do you control that besides building a barn over it. (Don't get me started... the barn was built over a 56 foot mobile home... before I came along... it didn't work out {once shaded, everything got moldy in there}. It took me several years to reduce the mobil home to a deck, cut open the end of the barn, drag it out with the backhoe & get it hauled away.) This trailer is too high for this barn, anyway.

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Hi Again,With the recent monsoons... Sheila was in the camper during the rain. Water did again get into the gutter, but drained out without building up. Except that there seemed to be leakage at the seam in the gutter where the oval joined... she thought maybe around the screws as well.What the heck is going on?

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Mine leak inside if the little drains get clogged from dirt. The factory was supposed to put those in when the windows were made. Every window has to have them. Only instead of a drilled hole they are supposed to be approx. 1/8'' high by about 3/8'' to a 1/4 long, like a slot, so they allow the dust to drain too without clogging. What happens when they start to clog is algae grows in there and they clog completely from time to time.I have to check mine every fall and clean those slots. O' course I know other slots has cleaned me out as well......:whistle:

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I had posted this elsewhere: The camper is a 2001 28' Thor Transport with a salvage title... originally sold in California, now in Rhode Island by way of Montana. The drain slots have a cast in flange on the inside which the bottom of the sliding panel rubs against... I tried bending the flange up & when I did the slider would not move. I originally thought the drain slots were plugged with debris but when I tried to clear the slot with a razor knife & putty knife... I pushed in a sliver of open cell foam. I presume intended to keep bugs out but now plugged with pollen, so it stayed out. The problem can happen on both sides depending on wind direction. I've drilled additional holes next to the slots... which help but I am still getting the full track flooding over under severe rain conditions. There is a filler strip on the outside, perhaps intended to deflect some rain water, but possibly now worn. The only thought I have is to install gutters immediately above each window to deflect water running down the side of the trailer. I am unhappy with the caulk used on the camper... obiviously not original. I am dealing with other leaks also & all ought to be done with the correct caulk. Does anybody know what caulk is recommended?

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It's better to take the leaking part off the camper, clean everything real good and re bed it in the butyl rubber sticky tape. Butyl tape at the hardware store is kinda not as sticky as the good stuff from the heating and air conditioning parts suppliers. If you can get the industrial stuff. The outside caulking really should be just cosmetic or minimal added insurance against leaks. I'm doing tests with different brands and types here in rain country (80 inches). I have a couple places where I did not caulk the perimeter, just used the butyl tape on the mating surfaces. So far so good because the outside caulk takes a lot of work to clean off when it's time to re do it.I'm wondering.... can you bend those little slot tabs back and forth till they break off? You'll need to get those vent slots cleared of the foam screen stuff too. They need to drain good and the gutters aren't a total solution to the problem.I learned a lot fixing my camper had, lot's of leaks. It was crazy at times, it was so bad.

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I could have ground the cast in tabs off with my dremel but I think they actually function to help keep the moveable pane up so water can drain underneath. I pushed all that open cell foam in & disgarded, for better or for worse. I'm sure I need to rebed all the windows & hardware. I have looked up the butyal tape...or possibly use Marine grade 3M 5200 caulk. Silicone is NOT good stuff for this. In boats silicone was never used below the water line. I used it around my window frames at the house & it's now coming off in strings. My thought is rain gutters above the windows, attached to the siding might deflect the rain water running down, allowing the drains to keep up with what hits the glass. It's just a theory... until I try it.

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The gutters are good except when hauling the camper in stormy weather. Those little vents are supposed to have covers on them also to keep out dirt and blowing rain.. I would not re bed anything on sidewalls with 5200. That stuff is murder to get off. Just use the butyl tape. You will enjoy the ease of it. As it squishes out (need to put enough on to get a good seal) you can see it's sealing up everywhere and you use a plastic scraper to remove the excess. It works good.Sometimes it's not the caulking that fails it's the prep that counts. I use solvents that won't dissolve the paint till the rags come off clean. Clean the window mounting surfaces and don't touch, oil from your hand can mess up the good seal.

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