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Old 12-15-2009, 12:27 AM   #1
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2007 19' Bambi
Somewhere , Between the Tetons and the SF Bay
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leaks and dandruff

We had some rain a few days ago. Something made me look inside our Bambi, just to be sure none of the skylights leaked or something. No, no leaky skylight, BUT, drips of water were coming out of a horizontal seam of the interior aluminum panel above the range. The upper panel is lapped over the lower panel.

So, my theory is a roof leak, that is dripping in the wall cavity on the back side of the panel, running down and exiting at the seam. I looked up on the roof and there looked like a failure at the caulking at the top of the driver's side awning rail.

So, I got some of the Vulkem 116 gray today, and went ot work on it. I pulled out the old caulking, which came out surprising easily, in two or three long snakes. SO, the bonding didn't seem so great. There was moisture and gook under there.

I cleaned it all out good, with compressed air and some xylol on a stencil brush. Dried it with air and a heat gun from about 12". It cleaned up good. I applied the vulkem, which went on very well, and tooled pretty easily with a xylol-wet finger. Looks better than OEM.

Now, it looks to me like the original caulk was not Vulkem, but more like butyl, but not silicone. And many of the other caulk joints don't look so good either.

As for dandruff, tiny white specs wash down onto the driveway, I assume from the white roofing material. How long will that last before I have to fix that? ANd, how best to do that?

I continue to be rather disappointed with the quality of my airstream, as attention was not put into assembly details ( I have a long list of fixes). For the big $$$$ they charge, I hoped for better.

We do love using our Bambi, tho.

TT
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:46 AM   #2
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I wouldn't think the dandruff is from the roofing material. The roof is white aluminum and I haven't seen or heard of any flaking from it. Seems unlikely to me.
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Old 12-15-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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re: the dandruff:

It's definately ON the roof. Whether it's FROM the roof, sure seems like it. When it rains, there is a puddle of this white stuff at each of the four corners of the trailer where the roof gutters drain down. It's weird.

First time I saw it I thought it was ash, like from Mt St. Helens...or somebodys fireplace. But it only happens at the trailer.

TT
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:44 AM   #4
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If this is the "dandruff" of which you speak, then yes it does come from the roof. I have been up on the roof more than once and covered my jeans with with the white white stuff.

If it's white flakes on the ground....have no idea.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:18 AM   #5
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Here's the dandruff. Pic of the A/C on the roof and the bath fan-vent, both with dandruff splashed up on them. That's the same stuff that washes down to the ground.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:24 AM   #6
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Dandruff and Roof leak update

Looks like the dandruff is from the white sealant used by the factory on the roof -- everywhere there is a penetration. One wipe with a finger yields white powder.

I repaired the roof leak with gray Vulkem. Worked very well, and that Vulkem really adheres well. The OEM is crap compared. Most of the sealant around the tops of the windows. etc. is failing, and pulls off easy. When the suns comes back in the spring, I'll be repairing those.

Geez, I really think Airstream quality should be better than this.

TT
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Old 12-24-2009, 07:01 AM   #7
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Glad/sad you found the culprit, they must have changed what they been using. Ours had that medium grey vulcrumby stuff. Like you said real cr@p, up until recently that was what everyone recommended using. I could never figure that out, why would you use the same stuff that just started leaking after two Seasons

When I did this repair I just used a good quality polyurethane roofing sealant. Three WNY Winters, and it looks as good as new.

Stream Safe

Bob
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