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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
On the Transit Facebook page, someone was sealing all these plastic plugs (see white plugs in pic) in the sidewalls with sealant prior to insulation.

They hold up the exterior body trim/molding.

He explained water enters via the holes if not addressed.

Anyone have any experience on this? Did you seal these holes?
 

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mines been leaking for 2 years, first i thought it was running down the walls from the roof, now i have 4 tubes of lap sealant covering every hole (the ones with the plastic plugs in them) and seam in the sheet metal on the roof, still leaking! or not, i never saw water running down the walls, i just assumed...

last year someone else posted a photo of water puddled up in the walls and mentioned the lower wall plugs but he did not know either.

my water leak could very well be coming from those lower wall plugs but i gave up trying to find the leak well over a year ago.

for me, water in the wall will not hurt anything because i have no insulation inside the wall, i have an inch and a half of foil backed polyiso with cedar planks covering all the walls.
living in the deep south the sun is hot even in the winter, and will quickly evaporate any water trapped inside the wall and be sucked out the roof vent, i leave my Fantastic Vent fan on year round. (a thermostat controls it and a rain sensor closes it.)
i know the water is not staying trapped inside the walls because i sometimes see condensation on the windshield on cold winter mornings when the roof vent is closed.
 

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Amazon sent me a roll of Dicor butyl tape that was completely smashed but they shipped anyway. I complained and they're sending me a replacement and they don't want the damaged roll returned. I'm considering using globs of this stuff like putty on the clips instead of an adhesive sealant (silicone, polyurethane) that might make future trim removal more difficult.

Those clips are very reluctant to release as it is. I just replaced the rocker molding - the clips refused to be pried out while attached to the molding. I had to tear the molding free of the clips, then slowly and forcefully persuade each one loose using plastic body clip tools to avoid scratching the paint. Maybe one of those long metal panel tools would have done a better job at getting them to pop free, but I think at expense of marring the paint and/or denting the thin metal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
^ Bump.

Curious to know if othes have done this and/or find it necessary. About to seal cover the walls in insulation and wondering if I should do this first. I guess it doesn't hurt.
 

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When looking inside vans at a dealer, I found several with inches of water in the side compartments.

The Sprinter site has discussed this and the consensus was to seal the plastic retaining pins with sealant. I used sealant on all mine prior to installing insulation.
 

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No drain holes at the wall/floor junction? Like there are at the bottom of doors? The factories know water gets in.

There's several retention pins that are partially hidden - don't forget those if you do this. They're difficult to access in order to seal. Don't forget the Ford oval and other badges attached with retention pins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. Sealin' them up.
 

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I didn't do mine but sort of wish I did. Most of mine are covered by cld tiles, no issues with water so far. My air filter is dry after almost 3 years too - maybe I got a good one?
 

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Hello, My status is not high enough to post links yet but a google search of "Leaking into Sprinter cabin space- a cautionary tale of terrible design" by RadVanAdventures has some sobering pictures related to this topic. I like the idea of butyl tape, has anyone tried that?
 
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Sure that sucks, but remember how the internet works. If you want an accurate picture start a thread titled 'how many people have left their plugs alone and don't have leaks'.

Having said that if my walls were easily accessible I would seal them lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sure that sucks, but remember how the internet works. If you want an accurate picture start a thread titled 'how many people have left their plugs alone and don't have leaks'.

Having said that if my walls were easily accessible I would seal them lol.
Yeah, you're right. To paraphrase the famous media bias quote: "If it 'leaks,' it leads."

That said, I'm choosing to exercise the precautionary principle when it comes to my van. Especially when it costs me only a tube of silicone ;)
 

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I found water coming in through one of the plastic plugs after finding a puddle of water in the wall behind sliding door. A quick hose to the outside (along plastic trim) showed me which plug that was allowing water to come in..and if course it was the hardest for me to reach due to my build (was the one nearest the right rear wheel well). Anyway, I did my best to put silicone on the inside but I don't feel that I solved the issue since it was so hard to reach...and I have since made it almost impossible to even check now with my water tank in the way. I at least now know about it and do not have anything down low in that wall cavity that would be hurt by a little water. I have thought about drilling a weep hole but have not looked into it enough to see if this is easily done from underneath the van.
 

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I sealed off bolts when doing build but since then
came up a with better fix -

Home depot sells some Window caulk that almost perfectly
matches the black on the lower plastic trim-

To keep water out of wall - Seal the Top of Trim -

Run a bead of caulk between trim and van metal
on top of trim - Much better and easier -
 

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I haven't looked closely at access to the clips - still waiting for warm weather to assure sealant performance. But from what I'm reading, this may be a job where, as my physiology professor said in his infamous gastroenterology lecture on foreign objects, the assistance of an intelligent child with small hands may be useful. >:D
 

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I sealed mine by injecting as much silicone as possible over, into, and around the pins from the inside of the van. I used GE silicone.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/GE-Silicone-II-10-1-oz-Clear-Silicone-Caulk/3084963

Some of the holes are hard to get to so I reached down with gloved hands and awkwardly got as much silicone as I could into those holes. I still have a couple holes I need to get to with some sort of extension tool because I have the auxiliary A/C in the back driver corner. Tough access on some of the holes. I'm contemplating running a thin bead of the silicone along the top of the bumper on the outside of the van. The silicone says all weather, does not yellow, so I would think that would help keep water from even reaching the fastener holes to begin with.
 

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I sealed off bolts when doing build but since then
came up a with better fix -

Home depot sells some Window caulk that almost perfectly
matches the black on the lower plastic trim-

To keep water out of wall - Seal the Top of Trim -

Run a bead of caulk between trim and van metal
on top of trim - Much better and easier -
This ^^^^. Simple, in addition to GENIUS.
 
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