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Old 02-03-2016, 07:34 PM   #1
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Antenna Mounting Bolts

While camping this past week, I had a more than usual problem with condensation (yes, even with the extra insulation, the Maxx fan going, and open windows). In checking things out, I noted some water around the television antenna bolts that go through the roof and into the interior (see arrows where traces of water had collected). These are in the upper rear cabinet on the passenger side of the trailer. I store linens up there but did not notice any drips onto the linens. So I am thinking this is a condensation problem with the ice-cold metal bolts and not a leakage problem?? Any thoughts?
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:44 PM   #2
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You mention ice cold which would indicate to me that you touched them and if they were cold enough to impress you , I would bet it is condensation and not a leak. Metal window frames in our house where the humidity is a constant 46 % are always wet to the degree of pooling water. The cat stayed hydrated for days without touching her water bowl.
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Old 02-03-2016, 07:54 PM   #3
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Try leaving that cupboard open overnight and check it in the morning.
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Old 02-03-2016, 08:56 PM   #4
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Condensation seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. You might want to add an antenna mounting pad to the list of features that owners would like to see added in the mould revisions for 2017. The idea would be to provide a place to mount the antenna to an embedded block, leaving a smooth interior without bolts poking through.
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Condensation seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. You might want to add an antenna mounting pad to the list of features that owners would like to see added in the mould revisions for 2017. The idea would be to provide a place to mount the antenna to an embedded block, leaving a smooth interior without bolts poking through.
Good idea . I notice trailer is a 2013 . I wonder if our antenna comes through like that . It is also a 2013 . Need to check . Pat
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Old 02-03-2016, 11:15 PM   #6
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Thank you for your responses. This one gave me the best laugh:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
The cat stayed hydrated for days without touching her water bowl. Dave
I will monitor the situation and will do as gbaglo suggested during winter camping months. I, too, thought it a condensation problem but wanted some reassurance from fellow Escapees. I'm not sure why I had a bigger problem with condensation this time out having camped before in January and February, but I surely did. If I had to do it again (and that won't happen), I would still order the extra insulation and double-paned windows. They are not the panacea for all winter camping problems nor do I think they do much for noise abatement but it's better than nothing. I know I'm in the minority in that thinking but all I have to do is stick my hand down behind the cushions when it's in the 20s, 30s, and 40s outside to know there's not much between me and the outside world.

Edited: But I always do stay comfy and cozy with the furnace running.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:01 AM   #7
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Hi Karen,
Sorry about your bolt "weeps". Here is what I'd do .... wait til spring and temps warm enough to allow caulking to set. Then I would pull bolts and re-bed in your favorite caulking compound. I'd also take a washer sized hole saw and cut back the headliner so the bolt is "squeezing" between the antenna (outside) and the shell inside. Recommend fender washers. Then cut a pad of headliner to cover all and attach with solvent based contact cement. Now you will know that the bolts are not leaking.


In the mean time, I would fit a Tupperware type bowl tight to the headliner to catch leaks - drips .... to be held up with tape or a stack of you linens underneath. Then you will have some idea of quanity.. and keep warm moist inside air from contacting outside temp bolts.


Be sure and go camping as soon as possible to test!


Tom
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:28 AM   #8
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Through bolts developing condensation in single-hull trailers is pretty common in other brands too. IF this is inside a cabinet or some place else not seen... I would cover the bolts with reflectix and some sort of over cover that's not obscenely ugly to help insulate. Tack using something not permanent as you'd want to monitor for leaks. YMMV
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Condensation seems like a reasonable conclusion to me. You might want to add an antenna mounting pad to the list of features that owners would like to see added in the mould revisions for 2017. The idea would be to provide a place to mount the antenna to an embedded block, leaving a smooth interior without bolts poking through.
agreed again...engineer a solution... sounds a bit like a friend of mine..retired product designer but ideas keep popping up!

actually with the talk of the solar mounting and any other bolt-on options for the Escape ...possibly a significant amount of the top of the Escape might be layered about 1/2" thick using honeycomb fiberglass sandwich similar to high end truck caps...good for mounting at any point on the roof and some insulation with a small weight increase.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:56 AM   #10
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agreed again...engineer a solution... sounds a bit like a friend of mine..retired product designer but ideas keep popping up!

actually with the talk of the solar mounting and any other bolt-on options for the Escape ...possibly a significant amount of the top of the Escape might be layered about 1/2" thick using honeycomb fiberglass sandwich similar to high end truck caps...good for mounting at any point on the roof and some insulation with a small weight increase.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:26 PM   #11
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... actually with the talk of the solar mounting and any other bolt-on options for the Escape ...possibly a significant amount of the top of the Escape might be layered about 1/2" thick using honeycomb fiberglass sandwich similar to high end truck caps...good for mounting at any point on the roof and some insulation with a small weight increase.
The newer Escape models already have cored (sandwich) construction in much of the roof area to improve rigidity with the greater span required by the greater body width. This is good for shell integrity and insulation, but poses a challenge for solar panel and antenna mounting, because the core is not solid material that you can screw into, and it does not have high compressive strength so you don't want to bolt through and crush it (at least with the panels, although the antenna might be fine). Ideally, a cored composite panel would have solid inserts instead of lightweight core material where you want to screw into it or bolt through it.

It will be interesting to see if the 2017 model year tweaks include any additions or changes to the use of core material.
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Old 02-04-2016, 06:04 PM   #12
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We have had condensation on the same bolts in extremely cold weather. I found leaving the cabinet open helps.

Looking at the rust I would say they have been damp before.
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:05 PM   #13
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Not discounting condensation as the possible culprit, but have you also checked the caulking on the roof to be certain it's in good shape?
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Old 02-04-2016, 09:14 PM   #14
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I will check the caulking when I bring the trailer back out of storage. I had actually forgotten about the incident until I downloaded my pics from my camera onto my computer.

I will take everyone's advice...except StarvingHyena's. Although I can be handy at times, caulking is not in my skill set. I don't even own a caulking gun. Maybe when he comes down to pick up his trailer, I'll let him do it.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:17 PM   #15
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I will check the caulking when I bring the trailer back out of storage. I had actually forgotten about the incident until I downloaded my pics from my camera onto my computer.

I will take everyone's advice...except StarvingHyena's. Although I can be handy at times, caulking is not in my skill set. I don't even own a caulking gun. Maybe when he comes down to pick up his trailer, I'll let him do it.
Karen,
Go for it! Caulking is a lot like cake-decorating, but more permanent..... and, you don't lick your fingers afterwards.
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Old 02-05-2016, 09:23 PM   #16
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Good idea . I notice trailer is a 2013 . I wonder if our antenna comes through like that . It is also a 2013 . Need to check . Pat
Checked mine today and no rust at all . Yay ! Pat
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Old 02-05-2016, 10:18 PM   #17
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Looks like a classic example of cheep off shore hard ware . All North American industry is guilty of using to keep cost down. And the zinc coating may as well not be there at all.
A 300 series stainless Would have been a better choice but cost more . Sharing two temp zones both would condensate but only one would drip rust onto linens and such .
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Old 02-06-2016, 02:23 AM   #18
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I'd be glad to help with your bolts. I'll throw in my caulk gun in my car. Would like to see your trailer anyway.


Tom
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:07 PM   #19
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Rusting nut and washer

I discovered this bolt with its rusted washer and nut today while unwinterizing in the nice weather. This bolt is on a vertical wall and is the top of two bolts that hold the bottom bracket of the awning. It is in the front cabinet on our 15. It does not appear to be caused by leaking, but there is some dripping from the bolt that appears on the liner material.

I suspect condensation as this cabinet gets cold. Curious that the bolt, itself, appears to be ok, but it is the nut and washer that have rusted. I also don't know if metal types come into play as the awning bracket is some "other" kind of metal, but then the carriage bolt itself appears to be ok. It also may just be a bad galvanizing as the lower bolt materials are not so severely affected. This does make me wonder about the attachments I cannot see, such as the upper awning bolts. It is certainly not something I expected to see after less than 3 years. Perhaps material choices will also be addressed in the newer version or perhaps a way to create a thermal break or insulate the exposed materials that go to the outside to prevent condensation.

I am trying some pipe tape that has insulation and a foil cover and applying it to the bolts to keep cold, moist air from reaching them. Will report on the success of this approach.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:47 PM   #20
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Rusting nut and washer
...
... Curious that the bolt, itself, appears to be ok, but it is the nut and washer that have rusted. I also don't know if metal types come into play as the awning bracket is some "other" kind of metal, but then the carriage bolt itself appears to be ok. It also may just be a bad galvanizing as the lower bolt materials are not so severely affected.
I think a reasonable guess is that the bolt has one type of plating and the nut and washer are simply different. I suppose the good news is that you could remove the nut and washer, and replace them with hardware which would handle the moisture better.
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