As those of you who have been communicating with our Service Team know, we’ve been actively investigating the cause of the water intrusion some campers have been experiencing. Water is a tricky beast so we’ve treated it as such by looking into more than just the obvious scenarios that could result in water inside the tent (a thing that is definitely not supposed to happen, just so you know). We’ve found that there are two primary root causes of potential water intrusion when the tent is closed:
- Pooling of water in the folds of the tent
- Inadequate drainage of the roof beams that overwhelms the drainage when opened.
When we designed V2, we increased the gap between the upper and lower tent frame by 0.25". We did this to make closing the tent easier. That increased gap works great for its intended purpose but it also allows water to accumulate in the folds of the tent under certain conditions. That water then drains through the door and window openings of the fabric and into the tent interior (not good).
As of this week all campers going out the door have a perimeter bulb seal applied to the underside of the upper tent beam that prevents water from accumulating in the folds of the tent. For campers built prior to this update, we will soon have a Weatherizing Update Kit available for free that will include these seals.
Our roof design uses a floating honeycomb panel that is not fully sealed to the frame. Water is intentionally allowed to get past the roof panel where it’s trapped by a trough and then channeled away via drains to the outside of the camper. We do this because it holds up better to the impacts and vibrations of off-road use (we used the same concept on V1s as well). However, we’ve found that these beams can drain too slowly. What’s happening is that water accumulates on the roof, seeps into the beams as intended, but sometimes does so faster than it’s draining out. This results in a layer of water in the beam that rushes forward when the tent is opened (like an internal water slide). This water slams into the front corner with enough pressure that it overwhelms the drain and forces its way through the corner junction and dumps water right at the most vulnerable part of the tent (the corners).
Again, as of this week, all campers going out the door have additional drains added to the side beams. But we’ve made a few more changes just to add an additional level of protection. We’re now adding sealant to the small gaps at the corners of the roof. Those gaps are intentional as they’re required to give the outer cap enough clearance to come on and off and allow for flexing of the roof frame off-road. We weren’t initially concerned about them because we thought we had sufficient drainage in the beam. But there’s no good reason not to put some sealant on them so we’re now doing so. We’ve also begun sealing the corners of the tent with a revised fabric design and for earlier tents a synthetic rubber sealant.
For campers that have already been installed, the Weatherizing Update Kit mentioned earlier will also include sealant for the roof gaps, tent corners, and a drill fixture to make adding the extra drainage easy. Again, this is free of charge and if you can bring us your camper, our Service Team can do it for you.
If you have any issue of any kind with your camper, we ask that you submit a request via the Service Request Form and our Service Team will help you out. We’ll be contacting everyone who has reported this issue and will get them lined out with an update kit or a service appointment.