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Could this be condensation or is it a leak...


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I've attached a picture (I hope) of some water marks that have just appeared in the inside of the roof of our AS Symbol. There are similar but much less severe marks on the other side as well.


We came back on Friday from Wales and it was raining on the journey, there were no marks visible when we got back. I cleaned the van on the Saturday (inside only), again no marks. On Sunday morning I saw the marks as soon as I opened the door. We've had no rain since returning.


There are no joins on Symbol roof as it's a one piece GRP moulding, the only place for any water to get in would be round the Heiki. I've visually checked the seals and they look good but I know that isn't a good check.


Could this be caused by condensation or is it definitely a leak? Any other Symbol owners seen anything similar?


The van is a year and a half old and under warranty so I will contact the dealer (Simpsons) on Monday but would value other peoples opinions.









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michele - 2007-09-23 4:40 PM


If it was running from the Heki one would of thought it would have stained the roof also ? Second thought its got to be running along the insulation and running down IMHO I would say Huston we have a problem :-(


Mmm... that's my conclusion too....:o(

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trouble is if its like this now one can only assume it will get worse over time ? if its happening on this one don't want to state the obvious but please check the other . Good luck at the dealers lets hope that they are good and get it sorted for you quickly with no fuss.


You might like to get them stains out rather quick as well after you have taken it as if you come to sell well lets say it would put me off.

Good luck ;-) sorry also if you get the stains gone you can keep your eye out and see easier if it were to happen again plus you don't want to be looking at them.

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Hi Richard. If you'd like to look at a thread I submitted a few weeks ago called "One For TerryTraveller (And Others?)" you'll see I've had a similar experence.


The simple (but not helpful) answer to your question is - it could be either.


Certainly Heki roof lights do leak. One of the reasons for this is that they get very hot in sunlight, the frame expands, and if insufficient allowance has been made for this the seal cracks. This would not happen immediately and since you've had the 'van for about 18 months it just might be attributable to that hot weather we had in April. Of course you might also have taken the 'van to sunny parts abroad. If it was from the Heki, I would have expected the staining to be around the roof light, but that does depend upon the type of insulation material used in the construction of the 'van. Some types of insulation are used because they don't hold water and any leaks simply flow immediately through the material. Others do not and the water can track along the inner surface and appear elsewhere. Unfortunately I don't know which type of insulation is used on Auto Sleepers.


But there are other signs that this might not be a problem with the Heki and that is the shape and position of the stains. From your excellent picture it would appear that there are five oval patches. In each case it seems that these have been formed by moisture radiating out from a midpoint where the ceiling meets the wall. The moisture has therefore spread both down the wall and across the roof. The other point to note is that three of the patches are at a postion where the roof is sloping down to the left. So what does that tell us? Well IMHO the five patches suggests that there are five separate points at which water has entered or where condensation has formed. Furthermore if water had tracked across from the Heki then I would have expected to see a continuous stain as it "flowed" down the roof line rather forming the three separate patches in that area.


You also say that the stains did not appear until you had returned from an outing and it had been left overnight, and there are similar stains on the other side of the 'van. So if the water was from the Heki it would have had to run both ways. Would that be possible? How level is the 'van when parked up?


So my guess is that if it is ingress there are some entry points at the roof/wall joints. Now I note that the Symbol has a one piece roof but those are not infallible so don't rule the possibility out.


And yes it could be condensation. We are certainly experiencing high levels of relative humidity and condensation does tend to form in corners with external facing surfaces. Was Saturday night damp and cold where you live? As you'll see from my earlier thread I can now attribute my problem to condensation but its taken a long time to be certain - and I still need to find a practical solution.


Sorry I've gone on and on without offering a definative answer, but these things can be complicated and need a bit of an analytical approach.


Hopefully by now your dealer has found the solution and put your mind at rest - if that is the case please, please share that information with us






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Thanks for your detailed insights.


It was the several seperate patches of moisture that made me wonder whether it was condensation rather than than a leak as I agree with you in that I would have expected a single larger patch with a leak.


I've looked at the roof carefully and the gell coat looks perfect unless it is allowing water to leach through. There was a lot of condensation on the outside of the van on the morning I noticed the patches but it seems unlikely that the GRP could be leaching.


I'm arranging to get the van checked out by the dealer, I'll let the forum knows what happens.



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Hi - not sure where you live, but we had a probelm wiht water ingress from the top side window when we had a Symbol, and took the van straight to Autosleepers at Willersley, and they sorted it out immediatey......didn't bother with going trhough the dealers. A_S after Sales I always found excellent, and they found it was to do with the srweoles fixing the window.

If reasonably convenient to you, I'd give them a ring and go there.

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Hello Richard,

I had similar stains indicating water ingress on my Symbol back in the spring. I have never had a problem with condensation and not having 100% mobility as of old could not investigate the roof although I did not think it was the Heki. Living close to Simpsons I visited them that morning and after a few minutes they were resealing the Status aerial while I waited. The stains appeared some way from the aerial base and more towards the Heki.


Could be a different problem with you of course, but OH reminded me of an overhanging bush that had swept the roof some weeks before. If you are close to Simpsons, get them to take a look pronto.


Have not got around to cleaning the stain marks yet. Any ideas on the forum for an efficient remover for these type of stains?

Regards, Mike

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I must admit from examining the picture the stains look more like that water ingress of some sort, rather than condensation, if condensation I'd expect it to be more 'evenly' spread. Hopefully your dealer will get to the bottom of it pretty sharpish with the bad weather already on it's way!


Sax - cleaning - I'd suggest a couple of things, before you go anywhere near it yourself, have a word with a professional carpet cleaning company and see what they'd suggest if it was on a household carpet, they should know if anyone does.


Failing that, you could also have a chat to a dry cleaning/laundrette firm, again, they will be used to trying to remove stains from various types of material so may be able to help.


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Vernon B - 2007-09-30 3:15 PM


Hi Richard (gedger)


Have you made any progress with establishing the cause of these damp patches?




I live about 1:30 from Simpsons and haven't been able to get the van over to them due to work commitments so they are driving down on Wed 3rd to pick it up and leave a car for me. They are keeping it over the following weekend to ensure they find the leak and then dropping it back on Monday.


I'll give you an update next week.




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Simpsons came and picked up my van from work and left me a Skoda, same colour and model as the "lovely stuff" TV ad! 2 days later I received a phone call saying they had found a weep on the Heki which required removing and resealing. They checked the other rooflights and said these were OK. As a precaution they also added some sealant round the high side roof windows.


To remove the stains they said they "flooded" the material and left it wet to dry out. I think the idea is that the tide mark will be hidden at the edge of the trim where you can't see it. It worked well and the stain is all but invisible.


Van delivered back with a 20 litres of fuel added to compensate for the journey. Top marks for Simpsons.


I now need some rain to confirm it's OK!

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