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Old 08-13-2013, 04:36 PM   #1499
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I don't think sealing the perimeters of the clearance lights is a good idea. Yes, seal the hole the wires pass thru, and seal the fasteners but otherwise you are risking trapping the water against the skin.

Admittedly I have an older airstream with different marker lights but when I removed them for polishing there was one light that was completely sealed (poorly) all the way around the edges.

Under most of my clearance lights looked like this

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The one that was sealed around the edge looked like this

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As you can see, significantly more corrosion.... At the very least if you need to seal the top, I'd leave the bottom open.
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:21 PM   #1500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reinergirl View Post
I don't think sealing the perimeters of the clearance lights is a good idea. Yes, seal the hole the wires pass thru, and seal the fasteners but otherwise you are risking trapping the water against the skin.

Admittedly I have an older airstream with different marker lights but when I removed them for polishing there was one light that was completely sealed (poorly) all the way around the edges.

As you can see, significantly more corrosion.... At the very least if you need to seal the top, I'd leave the bottom open.
Appears the new "thicker" gaskets now in use by JC to solve the running light corrosion problem are not caulked in any way--per SSQUARED and IDROBA. So we may have traded Filiform cure for a possible internal water leak problem. I'm going to defer to Doug for final recommendation (I'm the new kid on the block) but with everyone's great reporting, here is what I think. One: go with Classic outer cast mounts if you can. Two: with either the classic, or the new rubber gaskets, either fully caulk all parts including the plastic lens or be sure the wiring hole in the side skin and the wiring entry to the plastic light is fully caulked. If you completely caulk everything, leave some part of the lower side open for drainage. I would put Corrosion X HD on the screw mounting holes also before remounting. If you use the caulk-the-wires only method, put lots of caulk (Acryl-r) on so as you reassemble to the trailer the excess squeezes out and around the hole and wires to insure a complete seal. As I see it we are going to have to be very pro active with our repairing dealer and Airstream on doing either fix right.
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Old 08-13-2013, 09:19 PM   #1501
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Howard, again you are on the mark with this problem, now the go-to guy. I second your above recommendations. I would also stress leaving room for drainage at the bottom of the frame-to-shell. (note reinergirl's discovery above). This is how Airstream service Center sealed my Classic frames, except for the three top aft fixtures, which they sealed all around. Note that that is also how your tail light frames are sealed.

Now another discovery. Looking at my newly-installed Classic fixtures I noticed moisture inside the lens of the center one. Airstream service Center sealed both lens and frame all-around, but as is the nature of Acryl-R a bubble formed and popped open about an 1/4" long on the lens seal. Water must have entered there.

So, after sealing these lens units check to ensure the sealant is complete after it sets up.

doug
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Old 08-14-2013, 07:10 AM   #1502
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
RE: photo in post #1492. My 2014 FC 20 has that same gasket and marker light assembly. Last week, when in an all day 2.5 inch rainstorm on the east side of Glacier National Park a serious leak developed with water coming down in the center of one of the pano windows, dripping on the curtains and mattress. I was able to guide it to a cup, and over the course of the storm probably had 3 full cups of water come in.

I don't know for sure, but I suspect the marker light which is above the segment joint, the bottom of which is where the leak appeared above the window. Nothing else is obvious, although the seal between the flat front window and the pano is not what I would call outstandingly well done.

I have an appointment next week for warrantee service on the sealing. It will be interesting to see what they do. I will post what they do.

BTW, the upper clearance lights on mine sit much higher off the metal (with the gasket) than the lower clearance lights. The curve of the metal is quiet different. There is no evidence of any sealant on the lights at all, top or bottom ones, or top or bottom of the lights themselves.

Not to hijack this thread but...

I feel your pain.


Near the end of our first real trip with our 2008 25 FBSE we had a monster rainstorm in Lake Louise which dumped a good few gallons of water onto my side of the bed. It was quite disappointing in a brand new trailer... It turns out the factory hadn't finished caulking a lap joint just above the starboard front window. (They must have had an important bathroom break to attend to as they messed this up at both ends of the same joint.)

Here is what it looked like at the back end:
(The front was the mirror image of this.)





That was actually a pretty easy fix. I do not have an Airstream Dealer near me so had to deal with these issues myself.

My front & back center windows never really stopped weeping, allowing water to leak into the window wells. My solution to that has worked so far but the fact that I have had to do this indicates one of the many design flaws that mar what is otherwise a wonderful escape pod for us.

See: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ls-107690.html


Good luck. Assume that the factory doesn't actually know what they were doing & that you will need to make up for a lot of their mistakes & design flaws yourself. In the end, you can have a very nice unit.

-evan
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Old 08-14-2013, 11:45 AM   #1503
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Notice all the depressions around the rivets on the window frame in Evan's photos?

One time when we were camping an airplane mechanic told my wife that was because they set the rivet gun at too high a pressure and it shouldn't be like that. Most of our rivets are like that too, all over the trailer, although the ones around the window frames aren't quite that bad. You can see how the frame bulges between rivets allowing water to enter. I suppose if you put enough sealant in there, it would seal for a while.

Gene
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:36 PM   #1504
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there was another thread a few weeks ago...something to the degree of "do they still water test airstreams?!"....

It would appear that for some no...

Im glad people are keeping folks informed about expectations...what to look for....etc...

I will be on the freakin HUNT for leaks when I get mine.....

When I pick up a the dealer and stay over night...can a due a sort of water test assuming it does not rain? Simply hose each area down persistently while your partnery scowers for signs of leakage....seems like a good idea to catch a conspicuous leak...
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:48 PM   #1505
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The water test at the factory may not last long enough or simulate driving in heavy rain at 60 mph to really test it. And, once you put it on the road, sealant can fail if not applied properly. Most will fail someday, but if not done right, can fail quickly.

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Old 08-14-2013, 02:15 PM   #1506
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They're doing a pretty good job of sealing them now compared to only a few years ago. Get yourself a gripe list ready and plan a trip back to the dealer in the coming months. We did but after several months there was nothing on the list, so didn't have to go back. Eventually we discovered the clearance light problems.

A moisture detection meter will allow you to probe around the perimeter of the floor for leaks into the plywood subfloor. That's where the damage occurs. Keep an eye on it regularly, maybe quarterly. Also look for cracks or openings in the exterior sealant. Treat for corrosion.

It's not difficult to do regular inspections, minor repairs, and preventive maintenance. That's how we kept Navy aircraft (in corrosive environments) flying well beyond their expected service life.

doug
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Old 08-14-2013, 02:46 PM   #1507
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkottum View Post

It's not difficult to do regular inspections, minor repairs, and preventive maintenance. That's how we kept Navy aircraft (in corrosive environments) flying well beyond their expected service life.

doug
And we guys who used them really appreciated you guys who watched over them! I should have remembered those Carrier Navy airplanes better, would have watched for and caught Filiform sooner.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:28 PM   #1508
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Using paint to touch up corrosion repair

I tried a paint touch up of the skin today and wanted to post the results. I touched up an area behind the stainless rock guard that had the clear coat rubbed off by the guard itself laying against the aluminum skin. I used the spray Rust-oleum Metallic "Brilliant Metal Finish" bar code number "7271 silver metallic". I sanded the Alcoa clear coat off and ended up with a bare Aluminum spot about 3/4 inch by 1 1/2 inch (photo 1). Sprayed the repair with the Rust-oleum (photo 2), lightly sanded the area and overspray with 1000 then 2000 grit paper. Then sprayed with clear coat Nyalic. Once dry, I sanded, with 2000 paper, the Nyalic coat again and then applied the second coat of Nyalic (photo 3). The job came out better than any of the test silver paints I have tried and disappears in most light conditions. However, in some light and reflection conditions it still shows somewhat (photo 4). I haven't decided yet if I'm going to use this method to cover the skin areas where I sanded the filiform away and re clear coated. This fix looks a lot better than the repaired areas that show gray, but it's not perfect and the spraying spreads the area out larger.

I still haven't heard form Alcoa as to what the process is when they clear coat that gives the skin the warm glow and if they think there is any to repair that will blend with that glow from all angles and lighting. Will start the phone tag game with them again.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:47 PM   #1509
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Did I miss the post where someone tried Nyalic directly over the aluminum without painting first? From what I am reading online, Nyalic is used as a clear coat over aluminum.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:45 PM   #1510
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Reference my post #1498, this thread.

I took my 2014 FC 20 to have warrantee work done last week, with my major issue the water leak mentioned in the above post.

They resealed a number of things, but like me, could find no obvious source of the leak. They did seal the top side (only) of the marker light that I suspect could be the entry source, but they did not seal any of the other lights. They water tested it with a hose, and could not find any water coming in, but I have no idea how well that test was done.

I have been in only one short rainstorm since the work was done, and no water came in. But the rain was not very long so I cannot say if it is leaking or not. I still think the source is the loosely applied gasket on the marker lights.

Thus, no real conclusions at this point. I will keep watching it, of course.
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Old 08-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #1511
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The Safari does not sit on bare concrete and has .......
I am about to pour a concrete slab to park my 2010 27FB on. Why is this listed like it might be a bad thing?

Thanks
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Old 08-27-2013, 06:06 PM   #1512
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Did I miss the post where someone tried Nyalic directly over the aluminum without painting first? From what I am reading online, Nyalic is used as a clear coat over aluminum.
Nyalic can be used over bare aluminum or over paint as an extra clear coat protection. An earlier post showed where I clear coated over the bare metal after sanding off filiform that had started at a sheet edge and worked up to, in some places, the size of a quarter. The result of that work was filiform gone and new clear coat applied, but the metal is much darker looking than Alcoa skin. This last work is an attempt to match the Alcoa skin color after doing a surface repair.
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