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Old 08-09-2014, 07:06 PM   #1
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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'66 Tradewind Window Drip Rails

Everyone knows the Corning curve glass windows are leakers, especially at the upper hinge - glass bar. I think only the 1966 and 67 trailers did not have drip rails. I have seen 1968 trailers with them. I believe adding drip rails over the windows would reduce the leakage from this area.

Here is a photo of a fellow Forum members 65 Overlander. I swiped the photo from his thread to show you the drip rails over the windows.

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Below is my 66 Trade Wind with the new Corning curved glass, frameless windows. No drip rail. I think Airstream designers were going for the streamline look. Smooth and aerodynamic.

Has anyone added drip rails to their 66 or 67 Airstream to help solve leaky windows?

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Old 08-12-2014, 05:55 PM   #2
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1966 20' Globetrotter
1968 24' Tradewind
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Join Date: Aug 2009
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66-68 "Drip Rails"

Hi David,

My '66 Globetrotter and '68 Trade Wind both had small "leak points" at the hinge and the gasket areas. I cleaned off the old gasket glue with a soft wire wheel and installed new gaskets from Vintage Trailer Supply (Product Code: VTS-524 ) and that solved the leaks from the curved glass.

The key I found is to carefully "tweak" the surface of the frame the gasket mounts to with a Wiss 3” Hand Seamer to a point where the glass contacts the gasket firmly when closed. With the gasket removed and the glass in the closed position it's easy to see the variations in the gap from the frame to the glass and adjust it to better match the glass.
I've noted too that as the glass is pulled in at the bottom by the Sill Latches they may have a tendency to add some bow to the glass and open up the seal gap in the middle of the curve.

I also insert the new gasket up under the hinged area to the top of the frame and let it be crushed by the "glass rail" part of the hinge holding the glass. This helped keep the water from tracking in behind and dripping down.

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Note: The new gasket needs regular applications of silicone spray to prevent it from sticking to the glass.

As for your drip rail idea I'm not sure how effective it would be to add more holes to prevent leaks. Unless you use an adhesive to hold the rails on.

Michael Rice
Full timer WBCCI #1923
1966 Airstream 20' Globe Trotter (Twin)
1968 Airstream 24' Trade Wind (with Vista Views)
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Old 08-12-2014, 07:18 PM   #3
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1963 26' Overlander
Hollis , New Hampshire
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This looks like a great solution, the one thing I like about these years is the clean seamless look without the dripcap.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:43 AM   #4
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Thanks for your informative reply. I didn't think to visualize or measure the window frame to the curve glass when I got all the old gaskets and glue off of the frame. Having a consistant squeeze on the gasket with the windows closed is important.

I have installed the new window gaskets from VTS. But I may have done it wrong.
I see your gaskets are more toward the inside of the window frame where the glass contacts all of the gasket. I installed mine aligned with the outside edge of the window frame. When I closed the windows, I have about 1/4 of the gasket exposed to the elements and not in contact with the glass.

I did spend time removing goop from the very top of the window frame, and pushed my gaskets up there so they are under the glass bar. But I see yours actually loop around behind the glass bar.

Does your 68 Trade Wind have drip rails? I think that is the year Airstream added them back. I think all of the 69s and beyond to this day have drip rails.

We had a short, but heavy shower the other day. I checked my windows after the rain and did not see or feel any water on the inside around the glass bar / hinge. More testing needed.

Installing drip rails on my 66 would be risky. I would have to establish a new rivet line above the window frame, or remove rivets at the window frame. I don't know how Airstream did it on the 68 trailers.

I know the smooth look would be altered. But function over beauty. I'm not much of an artist. Who wants a pretty trailer with rotted floors?

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Old 08-26-2014, 09:25 PM   #5
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1967 24' Tradewind
Blairstown , New Jersey
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 122
I don't think the '68 models had drip rails. The '68 Sovereign I scrapped over the last few years did not come with drip rails. You can always check Vintage Airstream Photo Archives - Vintage Airstream to see several examples. I looked at all the Trade Wind models there and none of them had the rails.

This is a very helpful thread as the windows on my '67 Trade Wind do leak. I was considering attaching drip rails but will try the VTS gaskets applied up under the hinge. While I had installed new gaskets a few years back, I still had some leaks. My project is going slowly and I have been reluctant to take the next step--floor replacement--until I could get the leaks solved. I'm not ready to fill the hinge with silicone and work the window back and forth until the silicone cures, another solution on the VTS site that has worked for one friend of mine. Thanks Michael Rice!

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Old 08-26-2014, 11:19 PM   #6
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1986 32' Excella
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Top leak for Corning windows

From the inside look up into the upper corners with the screen removed. You may see daylight peeping through. Caulk there from the inside so that the caulk just starts to ooze outside, as seen in the photos.
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Out for coffee!
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Old 08-27-2014, 06:22 AM   #7
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1986 34' Limited
1975 27' Overlander
Conifer , Colorado
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Thanks Forest. I'll look for this hole, or miss match, and get it sealed up. And I'll do some more research on these unique leaky windows. I feel they contributed to my rotted bathroom floor.


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