Front storage bin leak concerns

jamsomito

Member
Apr 11, 2021
26
Wife and I bought a pop-up for our family late last year, our first. It's a 2017 Viking 2108st. We will be taking our first trip in a few weeks. It was kept in a garage all winter.

Looking it over last fall, the front storage bin appears to have some early signs of water damage in the front storage bin, and it's starting to make me anxious. I am unsure how to deal with it or where it's coming from. 2 things I can think of:

1. Re-caulking all the seams around the front. Edge trim, body panels/frame, lights, doors, etc. Anybody have a good guide on re-caulking? Hopefully I don't have to take all the trim off, but I suppose if it needs to be done, it needs to be done.

2. Gasket around top lid (or the lid itself). The lid is just one big molded plastic piece and likely warped over time. The seal is questionable. The gasket seems okay, but maybe there's a thicker one out there that would allow more "waves" in the lid itself and still seal? Any other tips for this?

I did a search and this seems to be the best guide, but this is a way more involved project than I have time for at the current moment. https://www.popupportal.com/threads/cursed-camper-rotted-front-storage.129585/page-3#post-1418190

I just want some peace of mind so we can enjoy our first trip and I'm not staying up all night worrying about a light rain, driving through the rain, or even morning dew ruining the shoddy OSB construction of this thing. Thanks!
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,477
Northern Virginia
personally I would probably do all of the above you mentioned. I would also check very carefully around the hinges, perhaps the plastic is cracking. Unfortunately it doesn’t take much of a crack to start leaking. You can probably do a water hose test by checking small areas with the hose to see where the problem may be so you can concentrate your search there. My front trunk is completely different from yours so don’t know what else you can try.
 

Mark CASTELLANI

Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2019
497
New York State, Erie County
Wife and I bought a pop-up for our family late last year, our first. It's a 2017 Viking 2108st. We will be taking our first trip in a few weeks. It was kept in a garage all winter.

Looking it over last fall, the front storage bin appears to have some early signs of water damage in the front storage bin, and it's starting to make me anxious. I am unsure how to deal with it or where it's coming from...
@jamsomito ... first, I assume that when you looked at it in the fall, the bin was dry and you JUST noticed early signs of water damage.

If that's the case, remember that the previous owner may have thrown in wet stuff after a trip and, maybe, wasn't the best at cleaning up after themselves... hence, maybe, just maybe, you DON'T have a water leak, just the damage done by a "yahoo" in the past.

With that said, I'm with @jmkay1 ... do a formal "water test"... if you find a leak, that will lead you to what and how to repair.

Good Luck!... welcome to the club!

Happy Trails!
 

jamsomito

Member
Apr 11, 2021
26
Thanks for the preliminary help guys. Yes, last fall the floor was sagging just a bit, kind of soft, and the vinyl appeared to be wet in the past. But all dry when we took ownership and put it in storage.

I just got the trailer out of storage yesterday and it survived the winter well :) However, just from sitting outside overnight - no rain, but dew in the morning - the bottom of the front storage bin was wet this morning. Like condensation, not puddles.

The caulking could probably afford to be redone.

The top plastic hatch does not seal. When it's latched I can still press down on it and it moves a good bit before hitting the lip of the opening, so I know there's daylight and air getting in. This is my biggest concern. I think if I got some 1-2" tall really soft, thick foam or rubber weather stripping it would make a good seal all the way around and be able to flex a bit with the top hatch warpage. Has anyone tried this before?

I can post pics maybe this evening if anyone wants to see anything.
 

jamsomito

Member
Apr 11, 2021
26
Whelp, it rained, and as I suspected, standing water in the front storage bin. 💩

20220526_114237.jpg

20220526_114246.jpg
The whole left side floor is soft and along the front bottom edge. My best guess is its coming in at the seam between the top plastic and the diamond plate, or between the diamond plate and the bottom. It was all dry at the top.
 
Last edited:

TSQ

Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
221
Niagara Region, ON
Is this a patch? Is it holding?
20220526_114246~2.jpg

By left side I'm guessing you mean left when looking into the bin? (Which would really be the right side of the trailer).

If you get water only driving I'd suspect the lid seal, but not when parked (unless it is crazy heavy rain).

I've had to do a lot of sealing to my virtually identical storage bin over the last year, I'll post everything I've done when I get a chance later today.
 

TSQ

Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
221
Niagara Region, ON
IMG_20220526_201713293_HDR.jpg

So far I have:

(1) Fixed the cracks in the plastic. First time I did it with black polyurethane adhesive and it lasted about a season before starting to peel. This year I replaced it with black silicone. Drilled a small (1/16"~1/8") hole at the end of the crack to stop it propagating. I used a sharp utility knife to widen to the cracks (~1/16") so that the sealant could get in between/inside instead of just on top. I've had to fix a couple of cracks on each side now.

(2) Took the front clearance lights off and sealed behind them. Because of the checkerplate the gasket on the light fixtures was not sealing. I unscrewed the lights, liberally applied some clear silicone around the gasket area, and screwed the lights back on.

(3) Took the front storage bin latches off and sealed behind them. Same as (2).

(4) Took the propane regulator bracket off and sealed behind it. Same as (2).

(5) Sealed the joint where the plastic top meets the aluminium checkerplate. It had a little bit of silicone in from the factory but it was essentially inefective. My wife and I worked together with one person gently prying up the plastic top while the other person gooped in the silicone. IIRC this took a full tube of clear silicone.

(6) Sealed the joint where the aluminium checkerplate meets the plastic trim at the bottom. I gently pried the plastic trim gap open while gooping in some black silicone.

(7) Removed the side corner trim pieces and resealed them. I took off the corner trim, cleaned everything up, resinstalled them using butyl tape for bedding, siliconed the sides, and installed new vinyl trim inserts. This was by far the most involved thing I've done (to mitigate water intrusion concerns).

Normally I try and avoid silicone for this kind of exterior sealing but so far it is the only thing that has worked for me. When working with silicone I avoid wiping as much as possbile as I find it just smears it around - instead I dip my finger into some soapy water (dish soap) and kind of pat the silicone into the form/shape I want.
 

Dave Fro

Member
Sep 21, 2020
49
I’m camping this weekend but can’t wait to get in in this discussion. I have the same model and similar issues. Search for my posts, they are mostly all about this topic. I’ll get in touch when I’m back in town.
 

KBull

Member
Sep 11, 2019
18
Wife and I bought a pop-up for our family late last year, our first. It's a 2017 Viking 2108st. We will be taking our first trip in a few weeks. It was kept in a garage all winter.

Looking it over last fall, the front storage bin appears to have some early signs of water damage in the front storage bin, and it's starting to make me anxious. I am unsure how to deal with it or where it's coming from. 2 things I can think of:

1. Re-caulking all the seams around the front. Edge trim, body panels/frame, lights, doors, etc. Anybody have a good guide on re-caulking? Hopefully I don't have to take all the trim off, but I suppose if it needs to be done, it needs to be done.

2. Gasket around top lid (or the lid itself). The lid is just one big molded plastic piece and likely warped over time. The seal is questionable. The gasket seems okay, but maybe there's a thicker one out there that would allow more "waves" in the lid itself and still seal? Any other tips for this?

I did a search and this seems to be the best guide, but this is a way more involved project than I have time for at the current moment. https://www.popupportal.com/threads/cursed-camper-rotted-front-storage.129585/page-3#post-1418190

I just want some peace of mind so we can enjoy our first trip and I'm not staying up all night worrying about a light rain, driving through the rain, or even morning dew ruining the shoddy OSB construction of this thing. Thanks!
Hello, I had a '98 Coleman Fleetwood. When I bought it, the cargo box floor was partially rotted. I laid pressure treated plywood over the existing floor, securing it to the floor and using angle brackets, fastened it to the sides of the box with stainless steel hardware. Even with a new seal, it's not possible to 100% keep water out of the box. So, when parked/stored, I tarp over the gap back near the hinge. Anything that can't get wet, I put in labeled plastic totes, stackable and sized for the box. This also helps with organization and loading/unloading. I did not have issues driving in the rain, only when sitting, as water would leak in back near the hinge. Best wishes!
 

Glyn O'Keefe

Member
Aug 19, 2019
10
Vancouver Island BC
We had the same problem on our Forest River. It turned out to be the hinge on the lid. It was getting through the screw holes and some cracking along where the hinge joined on. Fixed it with Gorilla tape, sealed the whole section along the hinge and now only access the bin from the sides. Two years ago and no problems since.
 

recon9

Member
Feb 20, 2021
11
I have a 2016 1906ST and just this morning posted asking about how to fill the cracks in the plastic trim around the lid. I will be following this thread and others mentioned closely. I was going to try Quad Max sealant in the cracks since it is available in black and talks about being flexible.

I haven't noticed water in my storage bin yet. However the floor lining is not adhered to the wood floor and is wavy in some spots.
 

jamsomito

Member
Apr 11, 2021
26
Fantastic, thank you all for the advice! We are headed out on our first trip tomorrow for 2 nights. Weather is supposed to be perfect, no rain, so we figured it can dry off at the site the same as it can dry off at home. When we get back I cleared a spot in the garage to keep it dry until I can address the leak. I'll be digging into this in the next 2 weeks or so.

I bought some RV sealant - I've heard it's better than silicone caulk because it will expand and contract better and/or adhere better and last longer. After I got home I realized the stuff I got was self-leveling for RV roofs. Not sure I should use this all the way around or not. I'll probably go back and find some regular RV sealant.
 

Dave Fro

Member
Sep 21, 2020
49
I have used black quad max on cracks in the storage box top and it seems to be holding up well. Self levelling is only good for horizontal surfaces and won’t work on vertical ones as it will just run and won’t stay where you put it.
 

TSQ

Active Member
Mar 28, 2021
221
Niagara Region, ON
I have used black quad max on cracks in the storage box top and it seems to be holding up well. Self levelling is only good for horizontal surfaces and won’t work on vertical ones as it will just run and won’t stay where you put it.
I had to look it up, it is a silane modified polymer, similar to Sika 591 and 3M 4000UV.
 

Dave Fro

Member
Sep 21, 2020
49
So i have done all of the stuff that TSQ has done (nice picture by the way) except #7.
I don't have water in my box, but rather the front corners of the osb floor get wet when it rains.
As an experiment I have the trailer up right now, and know from history that the corners still get soggy when it rains, even though "most" of the front box is covered. Today it rained and i propped out the vinyl bed overhang to cover the entire side of the box, that side stayed dry, and the other got wet.
So it seem the water is likely getting in somehow via that side/corner metal trim with the plastic insert. I really don't want to take that whole thing apart, but sounds like that may be the only way to stop the floor rot.
Previously i took out the plastic insert and found all the screws were rusted in the wood, indicating water getting into them as it runs down that metal trim (the plastic insert does not keep the water out of the metal trim), so i put butyl tape around the threads and reinserted the screws with the butyl tape smooshing out at the screw head. My guess is that didn't help.
My plastic insert was screwed into the floor at the very bottom of the insert, pretty sure that channeled a lot of water to soak right into the floor, so undid the screw and let them hang loose so the rain just drops to the ground, but i think the "under insert" water still wraps around the bottom of the box and soaks into the wood floor.
In the past i have taped over the entire length of the metal trim, and water still got in, so while i think the metal trim is the issue, i'm not sure what can be done to seal it up if covering it with tape didn't help.
I have tired creating drip edges at the bottom of the metal trim, to prevent water from wicking back along the floor and front plastic trim but haven't had luck with that, so can only guess that the water that gets under the plastic insert, and makes its way along the inside of the metal trim, is somehow getting to the osb floor. Really i need to take the whole box apart to know for sure, but i don't see that happening any time soon.
I will eventually have to replace the wooden floor in the storage box as it is getting pretty soft. I don't look forward to that project.
 

jamsomito

Member
Apr 11, 2021
26
😮‍💨 ugh, the build quality of these trailers is truly astounding. Astoundingly bad. As a woodworker, I don't understand. But... thanks for sharing your trials. I'll let you know how mine goes when I can get to it.
 

coyotepixel

Member
Mar 29, 2022
16
Portland, Oregon
I'm looking at the second photo of Jamsomito and at the edge of the lid. My 2001 Viking 2107 has a bulb seal all the way around on the 1/16th inch lip edge in addition to the closed cell foam strip that seals on the lip of the box. I had to replace it recently with:

Edge Grip Seal: Top Bulb w/Vinyl Grip, EPDM, Fits 0.0625 in Edge, 0.5625 in Leg Lg​

I bought it from Grainger. The original seal was 5/8 inch in diameter and fit on the 1/16th lid edge. You can get edge grip seals of many sizes. Amazon has them
1654128996387.png
 




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