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View Full Version : Water in belly from driving in the rain?



kkamshop
05-28-2009, 10:24 PM
We have a recurring problem with water in the underbelly which soaks the insulation of our Landmark Augusta.

RV Capital service center is currently working on finding the leak.

So here's the latest on the leak - they cannot find anything leaking in the plumbing on either the pressure or drain side, including holding tanks, black tank flusher, water heater, drains, vents, you name it...

So now they think the water may be coming in off the wheels when it rains. The tech said there is a hole in the frame where the slideouts arms are - they are putting a rubber boot in the area to see if that helps.

My thinking is if that is the case, why is there not water in everyone's basement. :confused:

Those of you with LM Augustas ( or any LM or BH ) have you reached down into the basement through the furnace vent openings and found water?

mountainlovers76
05-29-2009, 06:35 AM
Even though the underbelly is covered, it is NOT sealed against water. There are many places where water can and WILL get into the underbelly. Holes in the frame where the slide cylinders are mounted, holes for electrical wiring and holes with nothing going through them. I could push up on the bottom of mine and hear the water sloshing around. I dropped the belly on mine and you could tell water had been standing on top of the foil insulation and corrugated bottom for quite a while. I added R-19 fiberglass insulation under mine, then a sheet of poly for a moisture barrier, added back the foil insulation and reattached the bottom. I then used cans of spray foam insulation and Storm Blaster caulking to SEAL every hole in the frame and every edge of the corrugated bottom along the frame and even along the top of the I-Beams where the floor sits on top of them. I added rubber boots to every slide cylinder letting them extend through the frame holes and sealed them on the outside with foam insulation. As a precaution, I added small weep holes to the bottom at the lowest points in case water still gets in. I did several other things but to much to go into now. So far all seems to be nice and dry now underneath. :)

jpmorgan37
05-29-2009, 10:22 AM
It's not a sealed unit. You will get water in the underbelly if you drive in the rain. A lot of it kicks up from your tow vehicle. I have several drain holes in my underbelly to allow the water to drain. It's been that way for over three years and 30,000+ miles and hasn't caused me any grief so far.

John

kkamshop
05-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Wet insulation has zero R value and I have an allergy to mold, so I need to be assured that we can keep that insulation dry.

Ricky, how did you attach the poly membrane?

The first time we did the work ourselves , removed all the insulation from the desk area to the entry steps - it was dripping wet, not just damp.

We replaced it with encapsulated batts because they were easier to work with.

The shop had to remove 7 of the 8 batts that were wet again. We had driven in rain on 2 outings (about 200 miles total). Seems like an awful lot of water to me...

mountainlovers76
06-01-2009, 02:32 PM
hey kkamshop, I took some pics when I added the extra insulation and poly and sealed everything. I will try and get them posted on here in a day or two so you can see what I did.

kkamshop
06-01-2009, 03:59 PM
Thanks Ricky, my DH is bringing her home as I type. In the rain, of course!!! :(

I pray it will not be wet when he gets home...

Macattack
06-01-2009, 11:47 PM
We have had our Augusta for 3 months now. It has set in the back yard with the slides out and has been rained on numerous times and has not been connected to water hookups. When I hooked up and pulled out of the yard for our trip to the Escapee rally, water pourd out of the underbelly. Now that I am home again I am going to drop the bottom covering and check to see if the insulation is wet. The water had to get in there when it was raining with the slides out.I will post again after I get it all checked out.

RVerFulltime
06-02-2009, 08:20 AM
It has set in the back yard with the slides out and has been rained on numerous times and has not been connected to water hookups.

I have found the same thing happen. While setting at a location and it has rained, the underbelly will start to get a pool of water in it. It sounds like a good idea to drill a weep hole at the lowest point so water can drain out. I believe I will do that in the near future.

mountainlovers76, thanks for the suggestion. :)

mountainlovers76
06-02-2009, 12:06 PM
I hope the pics work right. Here are a few mods I made to our Bighorn after dropping the underbelly to take care of the rain water situation.

The first pic is simply securing all the hoses and wiring that are running everywhere with all the excess lengths. I used plastic pipe straps and wire ties to secure it all. I used almost a full pack of 100 wire ties throughout the underbelly tiding up the mess of wires and hoses. When I dropped the bottom they were literally dragging on the ground.

Next I used 1 1/2inch PVC and "T"s to extend the heating duct all the way back to behind the fresh water tank and direct the heat between each holding tank. I did not glue them together, just a tight dry fit with some duct tape to insure they did not come apart. Like to keep things where I can take apart later if I decide to change something around. Such as flexible 3 inch duct and duct fan (to be installed before this winter hopefully) to draw heated air from the inside and blow it underneath, that way you can use your small electric heaters in the coach to heat the interior and the bottom and never use the propane furnace. Although the bottom never got below 50 degrees when I spent a week in the mountains this past winter with the added insulation.

The third pic is the fresh water tank drain. Notice how low it hangs. It was resting on the bottom with only three inches from the "T" sticking through the bottom. Very easy to freeze. The fourth pic shows how I added over a foot to the length of the drain and brought the "T" up and secured it to the heat duct. Not going to freeze now as long as I have heat inside the coach. And if you are wondering, yes, i rerouted all the vent and fresh water lines from the tank. All the vent lines are now above the tank with no low points to trap water and prevent venting when being filled. The supply line, even though secured to the heat duct, is still just below the bottom of the tank to provide complete drainage.

The fifth pic is the low point drains. Again the "T"s were right on the bottom making them an easy freeze point. I added a foot to each and brought the "T"s up to the top of the frame. Notice where the splice is and where the new "T"s are now. I also added a freeze alert temperature probe centered between the freshwater tank and all the plumbing. The alarm monitor is located in the bedroom.

Pics six through nine show the added insulation. I dropped the entire bottom except for the very rear. I used that as my starting point. I added R-19, 16" poly wrapped fiberglass batts. Three and a half batts in width fit perfectly across between the frame's I-Beams. I had let the foil insulation that came in the coach dry for a couple of days prior to reinstalling. I cut six inch slits in the foil insulation about every foot to let any water that might happen to enter somehow drain on to the corrugated bottom. I then spread a continuous length of ten foot width of 6 mil poly over the foil insulation, from back to where the frame steps up in the front. I placed the insulation batts on top of the poly and wrapped the excess poly over the sides of the batts, about two feet on each side. If you tape the batts together forming one large batt it works great. Then I start securing the bottom back in place. Since the batts are about eight feet long I would secure about six feet and the add another set. This is the hardest part and the slowest. Take your time and make sure you get the bottom tight. The extra thickness of the insulation makes it hard to line up the screw bolts with the original holes in the frame but I was pleased in how mine turned out. I did buy extra self tapping screws and fender washers and added several along the frame and cross members for extra support. I also added three six foot lengths of one inch angle iron across the bottom and secured them to the I-Beams with the screws to help support the bottom. I repeated this process for the front section of the underbelly also. Then cut small weep holes at the lowest points of the bottom as an added measure. Take a spray bottle of water and spray the bottom and watch where the water runs down to and drips from. Those are your low points. Make sure the coach is level first. Do not cut deep enough to penetrate the poly. Just enough to get through the corrugated bottom. You will have to make a hole where the drains come through the bottom. I used spray foam insulation to seal those when finished along with any large opening I could find in the frame or edge of the corrugation. I used Storm Blaster caulking on the small areas along with the expensive so called weather proof tape. Info: the tape is not holding (so much for weather proof). I will be removing it and using the caulk, it has held up great and is still very flexible.

Think this is enough for now. Will save the pics of the rubber boots to seal the slide cylinder holes in the frame until later. Know this is long but maybe will help someone.

mountainlovers76
06-02-2009, 12:53 PM
I just noticed pic three did not post.

mrcomer
06-02-2009, 01:14 PM
Very nice mod. Thank you for sharing.

kkamshop
06-02-2009, 09:50 PM
Ok, I think we have a confirmation - drumroll please -

After driving home from Elkhart in the rain we have WATER IN THE BELLY AGAIN!!!

All the insulation that the guys at RVC replaced is soaking wet :(

We'll have the factory guys take a look next week.

kkamshop
06-03-2009, 10:16 AM
I want to make it clear that we do not blame RV Capital Service for the wet insulation.

They did a great job of checking the entire plumbing to rule out that as being a source for the leak. And we are very happy with all the other work that they did for us - installing a washer and dryer, and new slide toppers.

Now we know what we are dealing with, we just have to figure out a way to stop the road water from entering the underbelly - we plan to pick some brains and Randy at RVC plans to work with us and the factory until we solve the issue.

mrcomer
06-03-2009, 10:29 AM
Thanks Ken and Kathy for sharing that.

SmokeyBare
06-05-2009, 09:26 PM
Ken & Kathy,

Sure sorry your still faced with the water problems... I know it's been a difficult time dealing with finding the source... Seems you've narrowed it down to water from driving in the rain...

I agree with your remarks about the hard working crew at RV Capital... I have spent a few days with them... they are top shelf folks in my book !! They work hard to solve the problems that are brought to them.... their goal is to have the RV back in your hands... fixed correctly... and you out the door as quickly as they can.

Most who I spoke with at the shop have had years of experience working on RV's... they have been on the line so to speak building them. Hands on experience counts in my book... They don't waste time... learning as they work on a problem... many times they have seen it before and know the correct way to do the repair...

I hope you find a way to seal the belly of your beautiful Landmark... put this behind you and get many years of use out of your Augusta. Good Luck !!

See you at the Rally...