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Gary and Kaye

Heike Hatches

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OK, here is some more info on these hatches. Firstly, I've discovered that they are not Heike hatches but rather Dometic Heki Skylights.

I mentioned previously our concerns that the hatch may have been leaking water but I wasn't 100% sure. Our second Kedron has just returned from its post-shakedown visit back to the factory to sort out a roof leak and to help identify how we collected a very large volume of water in the front lockers following a storm which just preceded this visit. Tom at Kedron was in absolutely no doubt that the water ingress was from the Heki surround explaining that they always leak mainly because of what Rod & Mavis have reported, that is, they are very difficult or impossible to seal given the flexing of the roof structure and the difficulty in sealing the hatch surround. You may recall that I specifically stipulated that Sikaflex and not silicone be used when fitting the hatch in our new van but Tom considers silicone to be a superior product and apparently removed the hatch, removed the Sikaflex and replaced the whole lot with silicone sealant. Also, Tom feels that the deluge that filled the front lockers also came from this source but I'm confused about his explanation as to how exactly this occurs.

Incidentally, the sliding screen in our hatch showed water staining and Tom replaced this without any fuss at all.

The other bit of advice from Tom was that I should remove the hatch on an annual basis in order to reseal it as he assures me that it will leak again! This will be a BIG JOB and not one I would look forward to at all.

Our hatches have been mounted in the front of the van on the down-sloping section of the roof. This may be an explanation of why water leaking wasn't noticed when parking the van slightly nose-up. On the other hand, I know there are folk out there who have never had leaking from the Heki hatch.

I am considering my options regarding a more permanent fix for this issue..................... Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers

Brian

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Hi Brian.

Water can track from remote areas of the roof to far away places.

One of our leaks was water coming from a badly sealed roof join in the middle of the van and we found it coming in the front window frame. The window was resealed twice by Kedron before the origin was discovered. It will track along frames and may not show up near the leak.

Regards.

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Hi Everyone, :confused1:

I have read with interest regarding the Heike Hatches and have decided to add a reply. Firstly the hatches are great and the only problem I've found is in the installation of the product. I've have found that the screws supplied for the installation are in fact too long(5mm). I would advise anyone who has a hatch at the front of their van and over their bed to:-

1. Stand on the bed

2. Open hatch

3. Check top surrond for any screws that may have been screwed to far with the installation of the inner

frame as we found.

The screws can actually just pearce the plactic surrond, then water will collect in the shallow area between the fins and water will then track down through the hole and follow the screw and leak through the hatch as ours did. I covered the holes with silicone and the problem was fixed. We've have been caught in some very heavy downfalls just recently, and it hasn't leaked since. I hope this may be another avenue for people to address to maybe fix their problem.

Regards

Kingy. :thumbsup:

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Thanks Kingy and Rhonda.

Confirms my suspicions with regard to the quality of installation and surface that they are installed on.

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Apologies, but I'm back on this topic!

I decided to defeat the issue of probable (possible) water ingress through the Heki hatch - I suspect through the joint of the hatch surround and the roof. Tom (Kedron) assured me that, if they're going to leak, this is where the problem will be because of the flexing roof etc.

So, I decided to stick a strip of foam rubber weather strip (Clark Rubber - "that's what the truckies use") to the roof under the lip of the Heki hatch. Sticky side down. So that when the hatch closes, it seals against the foam strip and, given the unevenness of the roof, there is no way water can now access the join between the hatch surround and the roof when the van is stationary. Recall that the hatch is situated on the downslope of the front of the roof and when static, there is accumulation or pooling of water behind the hatch which, I feel then runs forward and seeps through the joint. I could not find a pinch seal that would allow the hatch to close without applying a dangerous amount of force to the hinges, handle or locking clips.

Looks great with the lip of the hatch indenting the foam strip just the right amount, no untoward stress on the hinges on the other side of the hatch and despite experience some decent rains, there has been no leaking BUT after a few weeks of having no cause to open the hatch, I now find that I am unable to do so because it has become adhered to the foam! I'm having a devil of a time trying to release the acrylic hatch from the foam and, in fact, I don't believe I will be able to do so without destroying the foam altogether.

I know that some people have had difficulty with the acrylic windows adhering to the rubber seal around the windows. Is there an easy fix?

Or, will I simply remove the foam strip altogether and replace it but apply Vaseline or suchlike to the acrylic hatch to prevent this from happening again?

Cheers

Brian

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