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Leaking pop tops on 2023 California Oceans

I don't think there is an issue with the newer twin skin material. Water just seems to bead off it and I can't see any evidence of it soaking into the material. It doesn't feel damp after the rain has stopped so I am pretty sure it is not absorbing any water.

On that basis I didn't think it was necessary to spray the fabric when I applied Aquatex to the seams.

We had some pretty heavy rain at home yesterday and so I popped open the roof to check it again. The Aquatex is still working perfectly with no signs of any leaks after several hours of heavy rain being blown in the direction of the front panel.
 
I don't think there is an issue with the newer twin skin material. Water just seems to bead off it and I can't see any evidence of it soaking into the material. It doesn't feel damp after the rain has stopped so I am pretty sure it is not absorbing any water.

On that basis I didn't think it was necessary to spray the fabric when I applied Aquatex to the seams.

We had some pretty heavy rain at home yesterday and so I popped open the roof to check it again. The Aquatex is still working perfectly with no signs of any leaks after several hours of heavy rain being blown in the direction of the front panel.
Given that earlier twin skin fabric was holding water it does sound as if that aspect has been solved, from what you say. Presumably the fabric now has some for of Aquatex treatment at manufacture, so treating seams should complete the process.
 
I don't think there is an issue with the newer twin skin material. Water just seems to bead off it and I can't see any evidence of it soaking into the material. It doesn't feel damp after the rain has stopped so I am pretty sure it is not absorbing any water.

On that basis I didn't think it was necessary to spray the fabric when I applied Aquatex to the seams.

We had some pretty heavy rain at home yesterday and so I popped open the roof to check it again. The Aquatex is still working perfectly with no signs of any leaks after several hours of heavy rain being blown in the direction of the front panel.
Did you have a leak issue before you applied Aquatex so you knew you had a leak or applied anyway so unsure whether no leak is due to working bellows or application of Aquatex ? O4S or O5S?
 
New Cali collected in March 2024 with 2024 dated 04S bellows.

Bellows leaked every time after about 15 to 30 minutes when put up in the rain and when subjected to a light mist from a hosepipe.

Same areas as reported by others. Side seam and panel zip stitching.

Applied two coats of Aquatex to all the seams and stitching inside and out, allowing the 1st coat to dry fully before applying the 2nd.

No leaks since.

Had lengthy discussions with VWEO about a replacement when at the time only the 04S version was available, so concluded there was little point swapping like for like.

Agreed to close case, but with option to reopen if the bellows start leaking badly in the future.

So long as the Aquatex keeps working (even if I need to do a quick recoat at the start of each season) I won't bother getting them changed. I worry that the dealerships will cause more collateral damage changing them!!!
 
Having mine changed on the 22nd, but have the same concerns! Only picked ours up on 9 th April.
 
So I’ve got same O5S manufacture date as your label but got the A sticker in addition …you just wonder what significance that is?
Just on the A sticker point - when mine were switched from 03S to O4S the swing tag attached inside the bellows didn’t have the A Sticker attached, however the plastic protective wrapping that they arrived to the dealers with did have an A Sticker on it. So whatever it relates to maybe some employees stick it on the swing tag whereas others stick it to the label on the packaging, hard to know seeing as nobody locally at VW knows what it means either.

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New Cali collected in March 2024 with 2024 dated 04S bellows.

Bellows leaked every time after about 15 to 30 minutes when put up in the rain and when subjected to a light mist from a hosepipe.

Same areas as reported by others. Side seam and panel zip stitching.

Applied two coats of Aquatex to all the seams and stitching inside and out, allowing the 1st coat to dry fully before applying the 2nd.

No leaks since.

Had lengthy discussions with VWEO about a replacement when at the time only the 04S version was available, so concluded there was little point swapping like for like.

Agreed to close case, but with option to reopen if the bellows start leaking badly in the future.

So long as the Aquatex keeps working (even if I need to do a quick recoat at the start of each season) I won't bother getting them changed. I worry that the dealerships will cause more collateral damage changing them!!!
I totally understand being cautious about dealers changing things…if it’s factory fitted and now works as you want it to leave alone..the only time my Cali has ever been damaged is at a dealer!
 
Well we are back on the merry go round, the van went in on monday for a waterpump and awning leg replacement and for the bellows if the new belows turned up. Call from dealer last night the bellows has turned up and they have fitted it. Collecting to night as we have trip to west sussex this weekend, really at odds with the thoughts of wanting to confirm if its now ok or really do not want a rainy weekend as planning to watch my grandson in a cricket match for the first time. oh the dilemna !
 
Well we are back on the merry go round, the van went in on monday for a waterpump and awning leg replacement and for the bellows if the new belows turned up. Call from dealer last night the bellows has turned up and they have fitted it. Collecting to night as we have trip to west sussex this weekend, really at odds with the thoughts of wanting to confirm if its now ok or really do not want a rainy weekend as planning to watch my grandson in a cricket match for the first time. oh the dilemna !
Keep us all posted !
 
Surprise, the replacement bellows 04 leak! Has anyone had any problems with the 05 version?
We’ve had the VW California for three years now and it’s been a nightmare trying to sort this out
 
I’m hopefully going to do a ‘real rain’ test for the first time with my new Cali and O5SA bellows all afternoon tomorrow with the deluge forecast ..luckily going to use it as my office on the drive all afternoon..the versatility of the Cali …will let you know if I get a wet laptop.
 
Will be really interesting to hear how you get on
 
Could this be the answer and finally it’s all resolved?...Is Bellows Gate over as we know it??
Hello, our O5S bellows leak. We have been in touch with vw (Rhiannon
I had a conversation with Adrian before he left. This was on the 15th of May. He said the view from VW then was "people can use a waterproofing product but if it negatively affects the zips or the seams the warranty is invalid. If the sealant doesn't affect the bellows then the warranty is still covered". I also had a conversation with a good source in VW who said that unlike many warranty replacements the bellows are not being sent back to VW, they are being disposed of locally. So it seems that it's very much down to the local service manager and his view. My service manager has been extremely pragmatic and helpful. Other service managers are available…
morning just to add , we
So then all you O5S custodians … it hasn’t stopped raining here for 24 hrs… someone must have some feedback about whether the water ingress issue has eventually been resolved?
hi mine leaks. Vw aware. They have also confirmed (Rhiannon ) that I am not the only one with a leaking O5S.
 
Ok guys & Gals ..strap in & buckle up ..the rain has started at 1pm and forecast to be getting heavier all afternoon here in Oxford.

I have positioned the van into the gentle breeze so here we go..could this be as tense as last nights game !.?

I’ll update you laters..going to spend the afternoon using the van as an office working from home .

Initial 10 mins suggests material definitely water repellant due to beading on material ..let’s see once it becomes drenched and we can hopefully rely on the British weather ..

Note this is first time up in rain since collection from dealer last Monday and I HAVE NOT applied ANYTHING on bellows..this is as they come.

Keep you posted as afternoon progresses.

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Could this be the answer and finally its all resolved?...Is Bellows Gate over as we know it??
Sorry not quite. Ours leak too. It's the corner vertical seam. All other seams and the fabric seem water tight.
 
Bit of a slow start with drizzle and the odd shower but last hour it has been tipping it down with exterior of front bellows now wet.

So far , so good…still dry inside and no sign of water ingress …keeping eye on those corner seams!

I’ll continue to stay in van ..might even have my dinner in it!

Will provide further update later

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TESTING, TESTING, TESTING.
It's bucketing it down in Watford.
It's not rained properly since we took delivery of our new Cali, and I couldn't resist the temptation to find out if our bellows leak, thinking it's better to know while its parked at home, rather than on top of a mountain in the Highlands, so put the roof up.
Good idea or not ?

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Great idea..just what I’ve been doing this afternoon - see you got the A sticker too like me.
 
Soooo…update..been in van for last 3 hrs and for last two it’s been a constant deluge with a very light breeze allowing front of bellows to get wet and then saturate for a bit.

It’s nearly a perfect result but after an hour the drivers side ( offside)corner vertical seam only formed a small drip on inside just where it flares away at bottom. Throughout this steadily got larger over next hour but then stopped forming any more and did not drip off. Once the rain has stopped it wicked back into the material so didn’t fall.

All other 3 vertical corner seams are dry despite being very wet on outside.
No water on any of the inside canvas, zip stitching or horizontal seams

Bitter sweet really but one drip that didn’t fall I believe is a result if that’s as far as it goes and the journey everyone has been on.

Heavy rain again at 8pm going back out there for a a nightwatch! - now it will be interesting to see as it’s saturated now whether a second heavy consistent downpour will totally breach and I get more than one drip that retreated when rain stopped?



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Soooo…update..been in van for last 3 hrs and for last two it’s been a constant deluge with a very light breeze allowing front of bellows to get wet and then saturate for a bit.

It’s nearly a perfect result but after an hour the drivers side ( offside)corner vertical seam only formed a small drip on inside just where it flares away at bottom. Throughout this steadily got larger over next hour but then stopped forming any more and did not drip off. Once the rain has stopped it wicked back into the material so didn’t fall.

All other 3 vertical corner seams are dry despite being very wet on outside.
No water on any of the inside canvas, zip stitching or horizontal seams

Bitter sweet really but one drip that didn’t fall I believe is a result if that’s as far as it goes and the journey everyone has been on.

Heavy rain again at 8pm going back out there for a a nightwatch! - now it will be interesting to see as it’s saturated now whether a second heavy consistent downpour will totally breach and I get more than one drip that retreated when rain stopped?



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I would be happy with that result.
 
Thank you for keeping us all updated, very much appreciate hearing about these field tests.
 
The big one I has just started bang on 8 pm..6.6mm rain expected to fall in next hour!
I had better get togged up in my sou’wester !
Well perhaps I’ll have my dinner first .. left two pieces of kitchen towel at base of pop up roof.
Will report back later this evening… I’m not sure it’s going to handle this one but here goes!
 
Will be a good test for my rear tailgate seal as previous 72 plate used to leak there and as I type it’s pouring off that roof at the rear.

I quite like this urban camping from home!
 
The big one I has just started bang on 8 pm..6.6mm rain expected to fall in next hour!
I had better get togged up in my sou’wester !
Well perhaps I’ll have my dinner first .. left two pieces of kitchen towel at base of pop up roof.
Will report back later this evening… I’m not sure it’s going to handle this one but here goes!
Pretty positive news! If that had happened overnight/dark you would never have known about the rogue retreating drip.
 
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