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Old 11-17-2020, 04:49 PM   #1
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WARNING - Slide Out Leaks And Floor Damage

It's almost as if it's a deep dark secrete the RV industry is not telling people about but I just discovered severe damage to my 2017 Jayco Precept slide out floors from a water leakage path that very few RV'ers are aware of as well as many dealership shops. Our blogs don't say much about it either.

My Precept stays in storage most of time with the slides closed. But the other day, after some rain, I opened one of the bedroom slides and saw water on the floor. I had seen water on the floor before but always thought it was from driving in the rain since I keep my roof sealed well.

So, in my search for the leak, I pulled out a drawer in the slide cabinet and found wetness on the floor next to the outer wall. Then I pulled back the carpet covering and found much to my dismay... the floor all along the slide's outer wall was almost rotted through. It's a wonder that the slide support rollers had not punched through because the wood was very soft.

Then I check my bedroom's other slide and my large front slide and saw similar wood damage, but fortunately not that bad.

I began to research the problem on the Internet and finally found a rare few stories of other RV'ers who had a similar problem and were able to determine the leakage entry point. Then I took my RV into my dealer and, again to my dismay, their technicians also were not aware of where the water was getting in. I had to show them.

Some of you RV owners might already know the answer, but for those of you who are now curious, the leakage comes in through the caulked joints in the slide outer walls where the wall flanges (trim) are attached. All it takes are tiny voids in these caulked joints and the water seeps down directly into the edges of the slides' plywood floors.

See the attached photo of my slide flanges. Here is also a link that shows how a do it yourselfer found the leak and repaired his floor.

https://bkamericanodyssey.com/2017/0...-floor-repair/

So the bottom line was that, to fix my slide that was badly damaged, it cost me over three thousand dollars to replace the floor.

Jayco's factory places protective plastic wrap around plywood but it does not stop seepage of water in around the screws that hold the flanges in place. It probably took years for it to happen but I never knew to reseal the calking of these joints because no technician ever told me. The dealer shops seem to be focused only on roof re-sealing.
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Old 11-17-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
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Great info. Thank you. I’d never have looked closely at those joints.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikerjohn7 View Post
It probably took years for it to happen but I never knew to reseal the calking of these joints because no technician ever told me. The dealer shops seem to be focused only on roof re-sealing.
It's right in the Owner's Manual...and been there as long as I can remember

Sealants perform a very important function and should be inspected closely and regularly
maintained. We incorporate many different types of sealants, including butyl/putty, black
Butyl-encapsulated foam, silicone (clear and colored), roof sealant and foam. In general,
sealants do not have “set” lifetimes.
You or your dealer must:
 Inspect all sealants a minimum of every six months. A quick walk around the
motorhome before leaving may help prevent potential problems during trips.
 Have the sealant replaced if you notice any cracks, voids, gaps, breaks, looseness
or any sign of physical deterioration.

 Always use the same type of sealant that was removed. Your dealer service or
parts manager can help you obtain the correct sealant(s).
The sealants may become damaged due to ultraviolet exposure, air pollution, freezing temperatures and exposure to other elements. Repair deteriorated sealants immediately to prevent damage. Cap seal all trim and openings at least once after the first year and thereafter
as cracks, peeling, lifting and shrinkage occur.
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Old 11-17-2020, 06:19 PM   #4
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I had an issue with the same area. Unit would have water drip out from under the slide during the rain. After much searching and sealing, pulled the corner flanges off. What I found was several holes drilled into the metal, only one of which was used to secure the cover, and almost no sealant.

After sealing this area up on both sides, no more leaking. Def check them periodically. I ended up sealing around the outer edges too to keep water from getting into the cavity at all.
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Old 11-18-2020, 12:45 PM   #5
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Mrs. Bill, excellent job of documenting. I hope I never have to do that project. On a newer coach you don't even think about that trim needing sealed. I'm sure going to watch it.

To others, if you haven't looked through her photo show, you should, could save you a lot of $$$.

And oh yeah, Bill, you did a good job too.
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Old 11-18-2020, 01:04 PM   #6
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There are multiple threads on JOF about the commonly called "Picture Frame" sealant needs to be checked as a source of leaking and slide floor rot. Another thread to bring attention to this issue is good because sometimes it is hard to find things when you try and use search, especially when you are not sure what term to search.


IMO this type of issue should be a "Sticky" if it isnt already
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the heads up and great job of detailing how you discovered and repaired your rig.
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Old 11-18-2020, 04:50 PM   #8
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Sealants - Owners Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
It's right in the Owner's Manual...and been there as long as I can remember

Sealants perform a very important function and should be inspected closely and regularly
maintained. We incorporate many different types of sealants, including butyl/putty, black
Butyl-encapsulated foam, silicone (clear and colored), roof sealant and foam. In general,
sealants do not have “set” lifetimes.
You or your dealer must:
 Inspect all sealants a minimum of every six months. A quick walk around the
motorhome before leaving may help prevent potential problems during trips.
 Have the sealant replaced if you notice any cracks, voids, gaps, breaks, looseness
or any sign of physical deterioration.

 Always use the same type of sealant that was removed. Your dealer service or
parts manager can help you obtain the correct sealant(s).
The sealants may become damaged due to ultraviolet exposure, air pollution, freezing temperatures and exposure to other elements. Repair deteriorated sealants immediately to prevent damage. Cap seal all trim and openings at least once after the first year and thereafter
as cracks, peeling, lifting and shrinkage occur.
I am not surprised there is some general statement in the manual saying to inspect and replace all damaged sealants. But I have not found anything in my Jayco manual that is helpful in pointing out where the critical joint seals are. And the dealer shops, as I said, tell you the importance of resealing roof seams. The various blogs also talk about the roofs. But, despite having read the manual and continuously reading the various RV blogs and having the shops reseal my Jayco, I some how missed any messages or clues as to the slide out flange sealing problem. But over three thousand dollars later, I know now. My concern is that I suspect most RV owners out there are not aware of the flange joints in the outer walls and could be unknowingly allowing their side floors to slowly be damaged.
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Old 11-18-2020, 05:05 PM   #9
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Slide Out Wall Leak Detection

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
It's right in the Owner's Manual...and been there as long as I can remember

Sealants perform a very important function and should be inspected closely and regularly
maintained. We incorporate many different types of sealants, including butyl/putty, black
Butyl-encapsulated foam, silicone (clear and colored), roof sealant and foam. In general,
sealants do not have “set” lifetimes.
You or your dealer must:
 Inspect all sealants a minimum of every six months. A quick walk around the
motorhome before leaving may help prevent potential problems during trips.
 Have the sealant replaced if you notice any cracks, voids, gaps, breaks, looseness
or any sign of physical deterioration.

 Always use the same type of sealant that was removed. Your dealer service or
parts manager can help you obtain the correct sealant(s).
The sealants may become damaged due to ultraviolet exposure, air pollution, freezing temperatures and exposure to other elements. Repair deteriorated sealants immediately to prevent damage. Cap seal all trim and openings at least once after the first year and thereafter
as cracks, peeling, lifting and shrinkage occur.
There are a couple more things I learned about slide out flange leaks and that is how to check for them for leakage.

By pulling drawers out of cabinets and sliding the bedroom mattress back and by looking behind the couch, etc. I was able to see where the slide floors attach to the walls. These are points where you can probably detect any moisture getting into the floors. I also purchased some Cobalt Chloride Test paper strips which I now keep on the floors in those locations. If any moisture at all seeps through, the test papers will change color. They are very sensitive.

Another way to detect slide floor deterioration is by opening the slides and checking the screws that hold the outer wall flanges to the underside of the slides. You can also check the screws that hold the slide gear tracks to the sides of the slide. By unloosening these screws, you can see if their is any rust on the threads. If there is, you have a wet floor. But make sure to re-seal the screws with sealant when you tighten them back up.
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Old 12-17-2023, 03:39 PM   #10
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Water Leaks - Thank you!!

We just bought a 2015 Precept. I went in yesterday during the heavy rain here in Florida and saw the water on the floor between the couch and helm seat. Yours was the first post I found. After reading it I investigated, saw the gaps in the caulk. I pulled out the couch and found some mold and water damage in the carpet. It appears the end cap is logged. Minor stuff compared to what you described. I am grateful to you for your post. You may have saved us from the same major rework.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-17-2023, 04:37 PM   #11
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Leaks Through Slide Outer Flanges

Quote:
Originally Posted by havaguppy View Post
We just bought a 2015 Precept. I went in yesterday during the heavy rain here in Florida and saw the water on the floor between the couch and helm seat. Yours was the first post I found. After reading it I investigated, saw the gaps in the caulk. I pulled out the couch and found some mold and water damage in the carpet. It appears the end cap is logged. Minor stuff compared to what you described. I am grateful to you for your post. You may have saved us from the same major rework.

Merry Christmas!
Glad I was able to help and glad you caught it sooner than I did. It cost me three grand to replace one slide out floor. The other two slide floors were discolored but still solid. I now inspect those joints regularly and pull out cabinet drawers and look behind the bed to make sure I see no more wetness.

And it should be noted that the problem is not limited to Jaycos. Virtually every RV manufacturer uses the same out flange designs on the slides.

I am looking for some kind of sensors I can position in those hard to inspect spots like behind the drawers on the slide floors which run on batteries and can send a Bluetooth signal to my phone that will tell me if there is moisture in those locations. Does anybody out there know of any sensors that would do that?
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Old 12-18-2023, 04:50 PM   #12
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Sensors

Well then, I work in the boat manufacturing industry. I will talk to our Electrical Design Engineers and see if they can offer up any suggestions.
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Old 12-18-2023, 07:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustynuts View Post
There are multiple threads on JOF about the commonly called "Picture Frame" sealant needs to be checked as a source of leaking and slide floor rot. Another thread to bring attention to this issue is good because sometimes it is hard to find things when you try and use search, especially when you are not sure what term to search.


IMO this type of issue should be a "Sticky" if it isnt already
This thread is now a "sticky" on the Class A Forum.
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Old 12-18-2023, 07:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hikerjohn7 View Post
I am looking for some kind of sensors I can position in those hard to inspect spots like behind the drawers on the slide floors which run on batteries and can send a Bluetooth signal to my phone that will tell me if there is moisture in those locations. Does anybody out there know of any sensors that would do that?
There are many moisture/water sensors out there but most also need wifi, one os Govee or RV Whisper. There is also Ruuvi tags which are very small and use a Bluetooth app, they have temp, air pressure and humidity and you can set an alarm if it get to your set point but not sure how well that would work as a water detector. I use them in my fridge and several compartments.
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Old 12-18-2023, 10:18 PM   #15
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Although the caulk that you are talking is not supposed to be the seal and only a water diverter, I strip and recaulk every spring. The real seal is supposed to be under the trim board, and supposed to stop water intrusion around the screws.
I also do along roof edge, over the door and all window frames, side mirrors, all cargo door frames, tail lights, water heater frame, furnace frame, refrigerator frames, and wheel well trim.
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