My van journal reads: "Check all windows...actually, check the entire vehicle for water leaks! And never, under any circumstance, walk away from the van with a window cracked opened in the slightest!"
It rains quite a bit in Jacksonville, Florida.
Like monsoon status.
After dealing with the rust issue in my last Lesson Learned post, I had to violently scrub off a decent amount of spray-can primer sealer off of my windows because of lazy painters taping.
Apparently, the force required to scrub that paint off the windows was enough to loosen almost every seal around every window.
I didn't come to that realization until a few days later when I was running to my van in a torrential, I mean INSANELY heavy downpour while I was in the post office mailing stuff to LA.
I remembered that I had left the side, sliding glass window open from the night before for ventilation and, after waiting in line at the post office for what was probably 40 minutes, I didn't want to lose my place in line.
So, I just rationalized to myself that, the rain wouldn't get in. Somehow.
I soon panicked because the intensity of the downpour Just. Kept. Increasing. I put my stuff down and told the woman behind me that I would be RIGHT back and I darted out into the madness.
I shut the window and quickly glanced inside to see the damage - that window is directly above my solar electronics and I've had prior issues with water coming in there and straight up water-falling over my charge controller and batteries. UGH.
I glanced around and noticed water was coming in, kind of everywhere.
I ran back inside, quickly shipped my stuff then ran back to the van and spent the next hour shoving towels and napkins and T-shirts into the cracks of all of my doors and windows.
Bad seals and gaskets.
When I got home I tried to use an old tube of clear silicone I had bought for the last set of leaks. It had dried just a BIT. But just enough to disable me from making nice clean beads. But I was desperate because more rain was coming.
Long story short, my seal job just MOVED the path of the water to another entry point, on almost every window and door crack.
The next day, I called a Dodge Dealership. That's how serious it was. Told them what kind of van I had and they said hmmm weird, bring it in let's check her out.
Drove to the dealer and after they informed me that the OEM seals and gaskets (like all other parts for this vehicle) have been discontinued, their one window seal guy came out to check it out. He said, I'll definitely need new seals and gaskets and suggested an RV shop called Dick Gore's RV because they make their own seals and gaskets (they don't).
Dick Gore referred me to Lee & Cates glass. So I headed over to one and a super helpful dude who I could probably be really good friends with helped me out. He warned of using silicone on the outside paint because it's water-based and can cause rust. GREAT.
He asked if I cared to use my pop-out windows every again in the future, I said NO. I just don't want waterfalls coming into my living room. He said of course, and just took his calk gun with clear silicone glue and ran a super clean bead around all of my windows on the interior side of the van along the edges where the glass meets the seals.
Voila. No more leaks. Simple.
Thanks, Dodge. LULZ.
So, here again, CHECK FOR LEAKS!!! Thoroughly and often.