RVers can’t locate source of slideout leak

gary-736Dear Gary,
We have a 2009 Monaco and have had a leak in the bedroom slide from the very beginning.  It takes about an hour or so for the water to start dripping in on the floor and it will continue to drip three hours after it stops raining. I just keep putting down rolled up towels and it will soak them. We can see it dripping in but can’t find out where it is coming from.

If you have any ideas please let us know. We have enjoyed your seminars in Hershey – we go every year. I guess we should have asked you in person but didn’t want to take up your  time. Thank you in advance for any help that you may give us. —Gary and Linda B.

Dear Gary and Linda,
Sight unseen, this is a tough one! Slideouts remain inherently difficult to keep leak-proof forever. There has to be enough clearance for the room to slide in and out, yet gaskets and seals should be positioned to effectively wipe away moisture and keep water out whether the room is extended or retracted and at all points in between.

All slideouts are adjustable and it sounds like re-centering the room and adjusting the slide stops may be in order, as well as checking the integrity of the seals. Unfortunately, it will have to be looked at by a certified shop to be sure. It does not have to be a Monaco dealer, by the way; just a good technician with slideout experience.

Sorry I can’t offer much else without actually taking a look and taking a few measurements. Let me know in Hershey this year how it works out for you.

Read more from Gary Bunzer at the RVdoctor.com. See Gary’s videos about RV repair and maintenance.




6 Thoughts to “RVers can’t locate source of slideout leak”

  1. Bob Fuller Cadillac Mi.

    Thanks for this article, I have this problem and will checkout your suggestions .

  2. Judy Arroyo

    While a topper will help we have found that it helps to bring in the slide halfway, usually any water on top will drip away. Roll it out to open slide completely, then close.

  3. Mike Sherman

    Installed a topper on my 5th wheel bedroom. Problem solved. Quieter too when it rains.

  4. Arnold Larsen

    I had a similar problem on a new 5th wheel. It leaked on the lower edge when the wind was blowing rain against the front side of the slide. They had installed a metal edge at the bottom of the slide with the outside end higher than the inside end and water would run down the side of the slide and follow the metal inside past the seal.
    I reinstalled the metal lower on the outside lower and never had a leak again living full time in it for another 7 years.

  5. Traveling Man

    In addition, check that the main seals reach the top and sides of the Slide-Out. I’ve seen some that were either installed incorrectly or the slide was out of adjustment.

    Another likely source are your windows. Ensure that the butyl tape has not dried out. Pull the window frame out and install new butyl tape. Then caulk the top side and sides of the window.

    Also check your caulk joints around the slide outs. They can dry out as well. Trim pieces have butyl tape behind them and they are caulked afterwards. When the parts are screwed on, the screw penetrates the butyl tape but the manufacturers NEVER follow up will caulk around screws. If the screws are not screwed in snug (do not over-tighten), then this could also be a source of the leak.

    Finally, look under the bottom for water tracking. As the rain falls, the water may be tracking in a bad way.

    Oh…and one more finally, check the vent covers (i.e. microwave exhaust vent, refrigerator vents, dryer vents, etc). They need to be caulked in as well.

    Since you seem to indicate that this event takes time (both before and after a rain), I suspect windows. As water slowly leaks in, it can build up and track on different frame parts. The insulation can also “hold” water for a while. If you let this issue go on, your wood floor can rot and you could experience delamination of the side panels.

    Please post an results you find. It could help many others.

  6. Richard Strong

    My 2010 Windsport leaked in a similar manner. I was finally able to stop it by real sealing the top outside edge. I discovered less than fifty percent of the sealing tape applied by manufacturer had stuck to the metal strip that joined the roof of the slide out. Cleaned and applied Eternabond tape no more leak.

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