Van Build Water Leak Fix

Sooooo, first leak of the van build... First lesson in how doing a job 2/3 of the way we'll bite us in the bum.

Written By Freedom Strider

On March 14, 2020

We sealed our side trims a few months ago, but we didn't bother to do the front sections of the van...and of course, we now have a leak. But after sealing it up, that still didn't solve the leak, so we dug deeper and found something quite interesting...

1

Identify point of entry

We knew our leak was coming from the front of the van, around the driver’s seat area. We remembered we had not sealed all the side trim pieces on the front doors, so thought that might be the culprit. 💦

van conversion water leak

2

Seal the bits we forgot

We pulled off the front side trim that we hadn’t sealed with neutral cure sealant, and sealed all the plastic plugs up, and left to dry for a few days, to see if that would solve the leakage problem.

Newsflash, it did nothing. 🙃

van conversion water leak

3

Run more diagnostics

Diagnostic test 1: Remove plastic side piece which held the seat belt, look for wet patch.

Result: No water found.

Diagnostic test 2: Use hose to spray outside of van to find point of entry. 

Result: Inconclusive, no entry point found.

Diagnostic test 3: Unbolt more plastic from van. Remove the driver’s door step and flooring. Look for water.

Result: Water found!

4

Unplug the drain holes

After uncovering a mini lake under the footwell, we unclogged the drain holes and let the water flow out by poking a small flathead screwdriver into the holes. 

van conversion water leak

TOP TIP

It’s probably best to do this every 6 months or so, there are drain holes all over the van reachable from underneath. If you don’t water can sit in there and eventually rust it’s way through your van.

5

Final checks

Once all the water had drained and we cleaned the area up, it was clear that this water still might not have been the culprit since it was very low down from the floors actual height.

We checked the door seals, under the driver’s seat, the roof ribs, and could not find any conclusive evidence of water anywhere.

Our best guess is that the water in the footwell sloshed around and got high enough as we were driving to leak up into the living space.

van conversion water leak

Follow Up from the future

After several months we have not had any more problems with a leak here. It could have been from the puddle we found in the footwell, or perhaps a leaky door seal which fixed itself. Whilst it was good to clean out the drain holes and to know that water can collect there, we are not entirely sure whether we fixed the leak, or it fixed itself, or it was something residual.

quick look

Quick Steps Overview:

 

  1. Seal side trim remainder
  2. Remove plastic panels
  3. Unclog drain holes
  4. Somehow it stopped leaking

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