Help, type 3 ambulance roof leaks

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Taking a break from building an arc. I went to collect masks to wash from my rig, and found steady drips from 2-3 places. Of course they are coming from above the moulded plastic ceiling making it impossible to determine where they originated.

For now I’ve thrown a tarp over the roof… since it’s pouring, and pitch black out by 4:30 pm. The roof is made of a single sheet of aluminum that’s pop riveted to the roof along the edges where they meet the curved top corners.

There is one square “patch” that’s riveted on under the solar panel. Before I go searching, and trying to seal it up, does anyone have any recommendations on how best to seal it?

@Abitibi
@cjken
@iggi
@dtruzinski

From those who have gutted, any areas to watch for leaks?
 
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CaptainBuilt

Well-known member
If you want a temporary, but permanent fix, you're gonna laugh, but Flex Tape actually works. From the makers of flex seal lol...

Also self leveling RV roof sealant works well.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
If you want a temporary, but permanent fix, you're gonna laugh, but Flex Tape actually works. From the makers of flex seal lol...

Also self leveling RV roof sealant works well.
The for the tip on Flex Tape. It appears to be available in clear, and there are a seams at the corners that it would be excellent for.
 

Abitibi

Explorer
Where exactly is it dropping from? If the front area then you'll likely need to re-tighten all the bolts joining the front cab to the rear box (done from box side)

If it drips from the rear box, start by cleaning really well the area you suspect, dry it/heat it (heat gun) so its warm to the touch and apply some Etherna bond tape (i use the 4" wide).

David



Sent from my SM-G973W using Tapatalk
 

iggi

Ian
All my leaks were from antenna holes. Your ambo is a fair bit older so it is possible those roof seams are leaking. I'd go with Dave's advice. Dry them out and tape them. I used the 3M 4412N Extreme Sealing tape to seal up all the new butt joints on my roof raise and so far have only one small leak where I'm pretty sure I didn't overlap the tape. The stuff is expensive as far as tape goes but it's easy to apply and you can paint it.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
It’s dripping through every hole in the plastic ceiling in the back (box). I’m going to start by sealing every screw, patch, and wiring hole. It’s coming in to fast to be a weeping seem.

next, I’ll tape seems, or paint the whole roof with rubberized sealer. I’ll need to look into the tape, and learn more about it. I’ve used the roll on material previously.
 

Buddha.

Finally in expo white.
Clean first then put a dab of self leveling lap sealant on any suspect area.
be advised if you try to do too close to the edge of roof it will drip down side of rig
 

iggi

Ian
Sounds like a leaking antenna is the most likely culprit. If you drop a couple of the ceiling lights then you might be able to see the leak from inside.

It’s dripping through every hole in the plastic ceiling in the back (box). I’m going to start by sealing every screw, patch, and wiring hole. It’s coming in to fast to be a weeping seem.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
There’s no antennas on the back… but there is a hole that has an 8x8” patch over it. I’ve never removed it, so I don’t know what’s under it. That’s most likely where it’s leaking from.
 

PSbound

New member
Howdy, I have a 2009 type three crestline. I found it was leaking from the body seams that were covered by plates when the light bars were removed both front and back. It is a long process and definitely not the time of year to do it but what I did was create new metal patches (of sheet aluminum). I set the patches in place with long strand fiberglass on both sides. This bonds and to some extent seals the hole. It took three applications to build up the patch, sanding or grating down the high points in between applications. I finished it off with bondo filler.. again a couple of applications to get it smooth, then rattle can painted the whole patch. I have found the brands Long and Strong (long strand fiberglass) and White lightening (auto body filler) work really well. In the past I have had good success from the crappy tire motormaster products as well.
 

Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
It was too dark to get a picture last night, but I found the leak. At least on a ‘97, which was one of the early Crestline New Era, the continuous aluminum ‘roof’ overlaps the top of the radius of the curved corner. This seam is bonded and pop-riveted together. There’s a strip about 6” long where the bond has failed.

When I was washing the roof, I could see dirty water squishing in and out of this seam. Now that there’s no longer a layer of slime on the roof, I’m going to seal this seam all the way around the roof. I’m also going to add extra sealant around the mounting brackets for the solar panel, and the screws filling the holes from the first/defective panel I had mounted to the roof.

The 8x8” patch on the roof appears to be sealed. Also the electrical fittings where the panel’s wiring also appear to be well sealed. Neither of these areas would account for the downpour inside… even if they weren’t 100% water tight.

I’ve got two products for the repair. PL white sealant which goes on wet surfaces and is “shower ready “ in 30” minutes.

And a tub of Through the Roof. It’ll seal wet surfaces, it’s clear, and it’ll even work below freezing temperatures. Although it’s above freezing here, it’s not the 70* that some products I’ve looked into wanted.
Both products don’t care about surfaces being damp… I’ll be getting everything as dry as I reasonably can, but I don’t want to spend hours up there with my heat gun. Next summer I’m planning to coat the roof… but these should do for now (at least).

Once all cracks are sealed, vinyl Ambo rap is removed from affected areas, and it’s dry and warmer I’ll look into taping the seams also. For now, there’s no point of applying expensive tape over surfaces that will eventually come loose under it.
 
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Bikersmurf

Expedition Leader
Found the leak. Unfortunately it doesn’t show well in the photos that water squishes out of the seam when pressed on.
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It was a thick clear gel that stuck very well. It went on thick and self leveled. Should be no more leaks.
 
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