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Ray123

Buccaneer rooflight leaking?

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Can anyone on this forum please advise if they are having problems with the large Heki roof lights and if there is a fix to remedy the problem. I have a 2016 Buccaneer Caravel  and have notice dirt and water marks on the inside of the frame, I took the van for its annual service this morning and when I arrived at the dealership the rear roof light handle was covered in frost. The dealership have checked for cracks, and none were found. I was informed by the dealer that the roof lights are designed to breathe and let air in to avoid the build up of gas fumes, I can understand this in a motor home but not in a caravan, consequently water blows under the roof vent and is dropping onto the rear bed mattress. Any help would be appreciated.

 

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I am aware that these roof lights have permanent ventilation but I have not had water blowing in.

In the extremely low temperatures we have been experiencing the temperature inside a stored, unheated caravan will probably drop to below freezing so if you do not have any moisture traps water vapour could freeze on the roof light handles I suppose.

 

Bob

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The roof vents provide permanent ventilation which is part of the caravans heating and ventilating system on all modern caravans and motorhomes. These and the floor vents ensure that heating circulated to the fabric of the caravan, avoiding cold spots and the condensation which would occur without air circulation. They shouldn't leak though, so I would tell your dealer to sort it. Frost on the inside handle is probably quite possible if the air temperature is zero. if your tow to the dealers place was a few miles and there was wet air gushing in then that would cause frost on the inside. As Bob said above, you need water or vapour to get ice.

Edited by Ern

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Many thanks for the reply Bob, it is possible that water vapour had condensed on the roof light handle as i had empty the van 2 days previously and removed the moisture traps, although the frost was only on the rear roof light not the front. I would have expected the roof lights to be designed in such a way to stop any water blowing in but maintaining the ventilation, which makes me think that a seal may have failed.

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Thanks Ern. The dealer fob me off so I am looking to find some concrete evidence to prove them wrong and effect a repair.

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All British vans rooflights do allow for ventilation even in the closed position. This is not specific to motorhomes and is also required for caravans. It supposed to meet the requirements for adequate high level natural ventilation, the lower level ventilation being met by the drop vents found in certain parts of the outfit, i. e. under the bunks, cooker etc.   I believe that in continental caravans / motorhomes that a seal is fitted around the top part of the roof light frame or can be fitted - they treat their combustion air ventilation needs differently to us, many continental vans do not have ovens or 4 burner hobs.

Water can blow under the roof vent in cases of high wind and rain - 'try' spraying a hose across the roof at the vents and sometimes water can be forced up under the lip. I think that your problem was possibly caused by condensation fo rming in your outfit- the air/atmosphere  has had a high moisture content for a while and this moisture can condendse out out on cold surfaces overnight and as the roof light frame is not insulated, albeit made of plastic, moisture can form on it and the handles and if the air temperature drops low enough will ice up.    

Alan

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And sadly all the moisture traps in the world won't alter the air's moisture content in your van as it will always seek equilibrium with the external air. The answer is to live with it and allow the constant flow to do what it's designed to do and keep the air moving.

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Thanks for the comments, I have ruled out condensation with the exception of today as  this problem was first noted in late August and there are also traces of dirt blown off of the roof into the van. It is possible that some off this happened when towing the van home in the rain however water has also got under the roof light whilst in storage.

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Dirt and especially those little silver birch seeds will blow up under the vent I can assure you. We leave the mesh vent across the roof light as it mostly traps them and then you can carefully slide it back and with a small vacuum cleaner nozzle remove the dirt/seeds rather than it falling on your beds / furniture. The top of the acrylic roof vent does not sit tight against the raised lip of the frame.

Alan

Edited by AlanS

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59 minutes ago, Ray123 said:

Can anyone on this forum please advise if they are having problems with the large Heki roof lights and if there is a fix to remedy the problem. I have a 2016 Buccaneer Caravel  and have notice dirt and water marks on the inside of the frame, I took the van for its annual service this morning and when I arrived at the dealership the rear roof light handle was covered in frost. The dealership have checked for cracks, and none were found. I was informed by the dealer that the roof lights are designed to breathe and let air in to avoid the build up of gas fumes, I can understand this in a motor home but not in a caravan, consequently water blows under the roof vent and is dropping onto the rear bed mattress. Any help would be appreciated.

 

 

7 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

And sadly all the moisture traps in the world won't alter the air's moisture content in your van as it will always seek equilibrium with the external air. The answer is to live with it and allow the constant flow to do what it's designed to do and keep the air moving.

Not sure if this will be of any use, in a recent life I managed a very large portfolio of properties around the UK, part of that responsibility included air conditioning (AC), a very old and wise AC engineer (man who new where to tap with the hammer) advised me to purchase a Decandescent dehumidifier (note not a dehumidifier) but a decandescent dehumidifier to assist with the condensation in our very old stone house whilst we where away on holiday, it has worked perfectly for 8 years or more.  I used the same machine in our camping car and now in our caravan  to keep it dry, it works on a timer using cheep electricity through the night and at lunch time, we have (touch wood) never had problems with moisture or damp in any of the three locations.  

I purchased the machine from a company called eco-air

hope it helps

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The thing with putting dehumidifier salts in a caravan is that you'll never know if they actually had any effect. Sure they'll go damp because air always holds moisture but in 10 winters without them I've never had a problem either.

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Did your dealer damp test the area around the roof light. They should not leak as said above. I have never used any form of desiccant dehumidifier as the van is vented under the front draws and usually under the beds, as well as at each gas appliance.   As well as the fixed ventilation in the heki's, you will just be absorbing the moisture through these vents.

I always visit my van in the winter over the Christmas holidays, and there is no moisture evident, until the heating is put on, then condensation will occur until the van temp stabilises. Hekis, can crack if they have been incorrectly fitted, and I am sure other Elddis owners have reported this on here previously.

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33 minutes ago, ian16527 said:

Did your dealer damp test the area around the roof light. They should not leak as said above. I have never used any form of desiccant dehumidifier as the van is vented under the front draws and usually under the beds, as well as at each gas appliance.   As well as the fixed ventilation in the heki's, you will just be absorbing the moisture through these vents.

I always visit my van in the winter over the Christmas holidays, and there is no moisture evident, until the heating is put on, then condensation will occur until the van temp stabilises. Hekis, can crack if they have been incorrectly fitted, and I am sure other Elddis owners have reported this on here previously.

Yes Ian the dealer did a damp test which was clear, no issues. This problem as only really been noticed since August this year and whilst I appreciate the need for air flow the water dripping down is collecting and being adsorbed on the fixed bed mattress. The strange thing is that although the front roof light is showing small signs of leakage the rear roof light is far worse.

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After a lot of research on the internet I think that the solution is to fit 2 wind deflectors, these should not compromise the forced air flow aspect but should resolve the water ingress issue. Many thanks for those that commented to this post it was helpful, more than I can say for the dealership or Elddis.

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22 minutes ago, Ray123 said:

Yes Ian the dealer did a damp test which was clear, no issues. This problem as only really been noticed since August this year and whilst I appreciate the need for air flow the water dripping down is collecting and being adsorbed on the fixed bed mattress. The strange thing is that although the front roof light is showing small signs of leakage the rear roof light is far worse.

Is it possible the moisture dripping is condensation from the plastic heki surround? That would show no damp around the skylight but (particularly in this colder weather) could drip onto the bed below?

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The Heki 4 roof light is or should be fitted with a seal to its leading edge. This extends around the front corners only, leaving the rest open to provide the ventilation. Maybe check that seal is present, as you would otherwise have had a good blast of freezing air on the road?

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On 12/12/2017 at 13:25, chrisn7 said:

The Heki 4 roof light is or should be fitted with a seal to its leading edge. This extends around the front corners only, leaving the rest open to provide the ventilation. Maybe check that seal is present, as you would otherwise have had a good blast of freezing air on the road?

Many thanks Chrisn7, there are no seals on either of the roof lights front leading edge, I will take this up with Elddis who yet again have fobbed me off.

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Elddis will fob you off as the responsibility is the supplying dealer's and they need to sort it for you. Whether they submit a warranty claim to Elddis for it is not your concern.

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was it there after the tow or before,as i would think even with the ent system there is a very large lip for it to blow over. unless the seals are broke as you suggest. also the front is prob warmer first with sunlight than the rear so maybe all the condensation is to the rear of van?only a guess

 

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On 13 December 2017 at 22:17, smino0_1 said:

was it there after the tow or before,as i would think even with the ent system there is a very large lip for it to blow over. unless the seals are broke as you suggest. also the front is prob warmer first with sunlight than the rear so maybe all the condensation is to the rear of van?only a guess

 

Noticed the problem after we put the van away after we returned from a trip to Cornwall, I noticed the problem because the rain water had blown up over the large lip and left behind a trail of dirt on the frame and the quilt on the bed. I left the dirt so that the dealer could see what I was talking about at the service early last week. I was told it was condensation, but they could not explain the dirt? I am well aware that my contract is with the dealer but you would have thought that Eddlis would be pleased with the feed back so that they could improve the product, unfortunately neither Elddis or the dealer or Dometic really want to know. They have my money so they are not bothered, extremely poor customer service.

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On 12/12/2017 at 11:23, Ray123 said:

After a lot of research on the internet I think that the solution is to fit 2 wind deflectors, these should not compromise the forced air flow aspect but should resolve the water ingress issue. Many thanks for those that commented to this post it was helpful, more than I can say for the dealership or Elddis.

My new Elddis has wind deflectors fitted in front of each roof light. Perhaps they do listen after all.

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11 hours ago, thebriars said:

My new Elddis has wind deflectors fitted in front of each roof light. Perhaps they do listen after all.

If only Elddis would communicate and let me know that this is a solution to the problem, or at least advise my caravan  dealer

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length of plastic angled would be the answer,but not really for you to do. was it in very bad weather. as would have thought it would have to be a very strong wind to blow it up over the lip. mine has the deflector fitted incidently in front of all the roof vents.

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5 hours ago, smino0_1 said:

length of plastic angled would be the answer,but not really for you to do. was it in very bad weather. as would have thought it would have to be a very strong wind to blow it up over the lip. mine has the deflector fitted incidently in front of all the roof vents.

We had some heavy rain but it was not excessively windy and I tow at 60mph with a discovery. Strange that you mention the plastic angle as a small piece has been fitted to the smaller roof vent in the bathroom. I doubt very much if I am going to get either the dealer (Wandahome) or Elddis to supply and fit two deflectors, espically as the van is nearly 2 years old. Thanks for the input.

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When we bought our last motorhome, an Autorail Savannah in 2015, all the roof lights had a plastic quadrant angle about 50mm high fitted across the leading edge of them to stop rain driving under the rooflight lip. Our previous motorhome and caravans never had this feature. Is it something only certain manufacturers are fitting then ?

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