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Old 02-20-2019, 08:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy Leaks.. do I leave this bus behind?

Hi friends, I have a conflicted and heavy heart as I type this. I'm not sure what to do, so hopefully, some of you can offer insight.

Only the second week after bringing my bus home, I discovered a significant leak right above my steering wheel. I tried silicone on the outside of the bus which seemed to help at first but the leak came back soon after. I've been checking in whenever we have rain to try and find the culprit with no luck. I live on the coast, so we get storms often (which has made the conversion process very difficult.. rain for 4 days with 2 days in between )
I don't have a picture of this at the moment, but I'll post one below when it's light outside again.

Tonight I went down to check out the damage and found a ton of water inside. Because it's right above the steering wheel the bus won't start when it's this wet. I had plans to take the bus to my girlfriend's this week so we could start the floors but now it seems like it won't be moving. I decided to poke around some more and found water seeping in between the panels on the wall. I have no idea where this water could be coming in from unless there's a leak in the roof and the water's seeping down. Here's a picture of the panels I'm talking about (circled) I also found the ledge under those little windows to have water (arrow).



I'm guessing that when we pull out the walls & ceiling to insulate then we'll have a better idea of where the water is coming from. However, I'm worried that the extent of the water damage is going to cost more than it would to sell this bus and try to find something different. My girlfriend and I have no experience and are learning as we go. We need a place to live by August, and I'm worried that selling & buying something different will take up more time than we have. Plus the fact that buying something new doesn't ensure that there's no water damage in that one. I got this bus for a good deal, has low mileage, and is in great mechanical condition.

What should I do?
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:06 PM   #2
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Leaks.. do I leave this bus behind?

Tarp it up, move it to somewhere it rains less. You shouldíve able to track down the leak if your persistent.

Unless its rusts a lot I donít think itíll f$ck up the conversion much so Iíd keep it.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:09 PM   #3
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I'm not sure why the picture I have posted isn't showing up in the post.. trying it here.

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Old 02-20-2019, 09:09 PM   #4
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Btw I canít see any pictures
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Btw I canít see any pictures
I know, I've been trying to fix that problem but I'm not sure what the deal is.. uploaded them to imgur and linked them in, but it's still not working.

try this:
https://imgur.com/a/gdY30yT
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:22 PM   #6
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My bus leaked like crazy. I still have a leak above the windshield that only leaks when driving in rain (not parked).

If plan to insulate it well youíll find the leaks when you pull all the inner skins off everything.

If it isnít running, thatís something to worry about, but all these busses leak by the time they are 15 years old. Like the previous poster said, tarp it up and get to work.
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:27 PM   #7
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IMG_4228.jpg

This? I donít see how this would keep it from running?
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:31 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Rogue1bus View Post
Attachment 30102

This? I donít see how this would keep it from running?


+1. I donít see either
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Old 02-20-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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Attachment 30102

This? I donít see how this would keep it from running?
This is just one picture. I'll take another picture of the leak in the front of the bus & post tomorrow. This is just showing you where I found water in the back of the bus as well as the leak in the front.
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Old 02-21-2019, 04:28 AM   #10
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IF you have a roof hatch they're pretty much a guarantee to leak.
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Old 02-21-2019, 05:11 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
What should I do?
Fix it - correctly.

The entire notion of skoolies is about self-sufficiency which many do not realize includes a LOT of work. A problem such as this, at this point in your conversion, is incredibly small and should have been expected. All RV's will eventually leak without proper maintenance - a bus/coach is no different.

Silicone is absolutely NOT the right tool for the job. In fact, the number of places where silicone is the right tool is very small. Get rid of it.

Next, do some research on the products from Dicor such as this. Their lap sealant products are very good, come in a couple different colors, and styles (self leveling or not).

Next, research on how to install it correctly. Prep is important. You've used silicone so you have a real mess to clean up (get it ALL off). Every seam on your roof should be checked and sealed if necessary - repeat at least annually.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
I decided to poke around some more and found water seeping in between the panels on the wall. I have no idea where this water could be coming in from unless there's a leak in the roof and the water's seeping down. Here's a picture of the panels I'm talking about (circled) I also found the ledge under those little windows to have water (arrow).

What should I do?
I'm in the process of gutting my bus and found a similar situation on my bus.

What I found on mine, on the roof where the strobe light sits, it was not sealed very well and as a result water was getting in and rolling down the inside of the ceiling panels to and exiting down on the side by the rear windows.

I would start my going up on the roof, looking for "Screws" which might have wiggled themselves loose, and maybe rivets too that could be loose.

I would grab a hose and with the help of a friend, start up on the roof and try to track down where in the problem areas water is coming in from...then take steps to mitigate the loos metal/opening.

And oh yeah, stay away from silicone, use something much better.

good luck!
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
Only the second week after bringing my bus home, I discovered a significant leak right above my steering wheel. I tried silicone on the outside of the bus which seemed to help at first but the leak came back soon after. I've been checking in whenever we have rain to try and find the culprit with no luck. I live on the coast, so we get storms often (which has made the conversion process very difficult.. rain for 4 days with 2 days in between )
I don't have a picture of this at the moment, but I'll post one below when it's light outside again.

Tonight I went down to check out the damage and found a ton of water inside. Because it's right above the steering wheel the bus won't start when it's this wet. I had plans to take the bus to my girlfriend's this week so we could start the floors but now it seems like it won't be moving. I decided to poke around some more and found water seeping in between the panels on the wall. I have no idea where this water could be coming in from unless there's a leak in the roof and the water's seeping down. Here's a picture of the panels I'm talking about (circled) I also found the ledge under those little windows to have water (arrow).



I'm guessing that when we pull out the walls & ceiling to insulate then we'll have a better idea of where the water is coming from. However, I'm worried that the extent of the water damage is going to cost more than it would to sell this bus and try to find something different. My girlfriend and I have no experience and are learning as we go. We need a place to live by August, and I'm worried that selling & buying something different will take up more time than we have. Plus the fact that buying something new doesn't ensure that there's no water damage in that one. I got this bus for a good deal, has low mileage, and is in great mechanical condition.

What should I do?
Here are the pictures I mentioned before! https://imgur.com/a/23FAE8Y
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Old 02-21-2019, 06:20 PM   #14
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Here are the pictures I mentioned before! https://imgur.com/a/23FAE8Y
That rust does not look good. Sorry...

I'd keep digging to see if you have a real problem or just the appearance of a real problem. That said, I know some that would spot rust like that and run as fast as they could.
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Old 02-22-2019, 05:54 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by graceashlynn.arts View Post
Here are the pictures I mentioned before! https://imgur.com/a/23FAE8Y
Rust sometimes looks scary and sometimes it IS scary but at the end of the day most rust can be remediated with some very easy work. As long as the structural integrity of the area that is rusted is not totally compromised, you have easy options.

If the structural integrity IS compromised, you need to evaluate how bad and what needs to be done to repair the area.


Rust doesn't scare me because I do sandblasting !

That being said what I would recommend to you,

1) open up the area the best you can. Surface rust is a no worry situation because you can scrape, grind or sand blast away. remove what rust you can with your hands first. then sand away or use a wire wheel to clean the rest.

2) neutralize the rust !!! My favorite product is "OSPHO" Read here what Ospho is --> Ospho Rust Treatment - Since 1947

IT is quite easy to apply, brush it on very, very thinly and let dry. come back the next day and be surprised at the results. You can then paint over it with an EPOXY based primer. Do not use 2k automotive primer because that stuff will "Breathe" and allow moisture thru to the metal and it WILL rust again. You need to seal it with an epoxy based primer.

3) don't be afraid to cut out the rusted areas and weld in new metal. If your building a skoolie I would highly recommend buying a small low cost mig welder (harbor freight / craigslist) as you will find yourself needing one anyway as you go along with your build. YouTube is a great resource for learning how to do easy welds.

Looking at your pics it looks to me the area is the top of the windshield? I would suspect water coming in from the clearance lights....

If the rust is inside a "tubed" in area, say inside the space where you just can reach. I have used a cheap pump sprayer that is used for spraying your weeds or for pest control. Spray the Ospho inside the enclosed area. At the very least you will neutralize any rust in this cavity.

Without seeing it in person, I would disassemble the inside area best I can and try to remediate it that way first.
Second option would be to remove the windshield, cut out bad pieces and weld in new pieces of metal. Reseal the marker lights and you should be good to go.

If you got a good running bus, don't let a little rust scare you away. ALL buses WILL Rust, it is just a matter of when!

My bus has rust and what I will do is, sandblast, neutralize, repair and then seal. If it last me a couple of years, then I will be a happy camper!

Hope this info helps settle your worries....

Found these you tube videos for you to take a look at...





Just remember to remove rust, clean, NEUTRALIZE and then seal.



RUSTED METALS - OSPHO is a rust-inhibiting coating - NOT A PAINT You do not have to remove tight rust. Merely remove loose paint and rust scale, dirt, oil, grease and other accumulations with a wire brush - apply a coat of OSPHO as it comes in the container - let dry overnight, then apply whatever paint system you desire. When applied to rusted surfaces, OSPHO causes iron oxide (rust) to chemically change to iron phosphate - an inert, hard substance that turns the metal black. Where rust is exceedingly heavy, two coats of OSPHO may be necessary to thoroughly penetrate and blacken the surface to be painted. A dry, powdery, grayish-white surface usually develops; this is normal - brush off any loose powder before paint application.
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Old 02-23-2019, 03:32 AM   #16
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Ospho is WONDERFUL stuff. I buy it by the gallon at Ace Hardware and pout it into a little hand-held spray bottle for application.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:34 AM   #17
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Ospho is WONDERFUL stuff. I buy it by the gallon at Ace Hardware and pout it into a little hand-held spray bottle for application.
Yep, same here.
If the rust is REAL BAD, I use Rust Reformer. The gallon, not the can!
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:15 AM   #18
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Thank you so much for your responses! This has been super helpful, and I definitely feel better about tackling this project.
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:13 PM   #19
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Easy. Not such a big problem
Have someone in the bus Take a garden hose and start below the level of the leak. Work your way up. This can take 30 minutes . Do not blast it with water. Use a steady stream so you can direct the flow.
I have found many leaks on a flat roof this way. And leave the silicone in the bathroom not outside. Once you find the leak. Go buy a good polyurethane sealant / caulking and some rubbing alcohol. Clean the surface and use frog tape . Apply sealant to seam etc . Now take your finger and make little circles working the sealant into the area being repaired . Next wipe your finger off and put soapy water on you finger and smooth out the sealant. Remove tape Your good to go.
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:18 PM   #20
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Keep us posted, I hope that the suggestion works. You just have to be patient while trying to figure out the cause of leaking.
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