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Old 02-08-2013, 08:30 PM   #939
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1982 28' Airstream 280
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Where's the leak...

Most of the rot was directly under the fresh water filler. A couple days ago, I sealed around the filler frame with Parabond. In doing my water leak test today (garden hose), I didn't see any water getting past the filler frame. However, the gasket on the filler door holds back no water at all. I set a cup under the filler tube on the inside thinking well just incase some water comes in there the cup will catch it. After spraying the side with water, I came back into the MH to see if I had a leak. My cup ran over and the floor was soaking wet. Well I think if I ever want to boondock for an extended period of time, I just need to be in a rainy area and my fresh water tank will be filled automatically rain water!

Well that would only be the leak if the water tank was cracked or the very short filler hose was cracked and I don't think that is the case for either. The plastic catch basin that is part of the filler door does have a crack in it and I believe this is where the water is getting in and leaking down to the floor. The thin aluminum sheet under the plywood floor is a two edged sword. I think its great for it protects the plywood from underneath but if the plywood gets wet, it doesn't allow the plywood to dry out.
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Old 02-08-2013, 08:34 PM   #940
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A photo of the crack left of the fill hole...
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:52 AM   #941
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Originally Posted by dadstoy View Post
Floor Rot...

Today, I tackled the floor rot under the couch. I removed the couch, the couch frame and the water tank. The couch frame leaves a lot to be desired...no real "Airstream" quality here!

There was much more floor rot then I expected to see I used the skill saw this time to cut the border between the good and bad plywood. My multi-tool also was used. Then the best tool was a crow bar and a hammer. As well as still having to unbolt the seat belts, I have some cleanup to do.
I'm interested, does your furnace duct run around the back of the water tank. My motohome has had the couch replaced before my time and I have no evidence of having the same furnace vent as yours under the sofa. In fact have no vent except for the twin beds and bathroom in the rear of the coach.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:33 AM   #942
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I'm interested, does your furnace duct run around the back of the water tank. My motohome has had the couch replaced before my time and I have no evidence of having the same furnace vent as yours under the sofa. In fact have no vent except for the twin beds and bathroom in the rear of the coach.
Hi Matt,

Yes, there are two ducts that run up over the top of the water heater which is located under the sink and then between the wall and the water tank under the couch. One duct feeds the round 4" register and the other feeds a more standard looking register at the front of the couch right down at the floor.

Its crazy how they stuffed the ducting up over the water heater. I'm replacing all the ducting with insulated 4" duct hose. There is no way I would be able to squeeze that over the water heater so I'm going to route the front ducting in front of the water heater. I will loose that area on the floor for storage, but I carry way too much junk under the cabinet anyway.

I replaced my NT30 furnace with an NT34. Since I use the MH a lot up here at the ranch property in the winter, I wanted just a little bit more heat. The installation instructions state that all four ducts out of the furnace must be used. I'm surprised that you don't have any ducting up front.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:05 PM   #943
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Hi Matt,

Yes, there are two ducts that run up over the top of the water heater which is located under the sink and then between the wall and the water tank under the couch. One duct feeds the round 4" register and the other feeds a more standard looking register at the front of the couch right down at the floor.

Its crazy how they stuffed the ducting up over the water heater. I'm replacing all the ducting with insulated 4" duct hose. There is no way I would be able to squeeze that over the water heater so I'm going to route the front ducting in front of the water heater. I will loose that area on the floor for storage, but I carry way too much junk under the cabinet anyway.

I replaced my NT30 furnace with an NT34. Since I use the MH a lot up here at the ranch property in the winter, I wanted just a little bit more heat. The installation instructions state that all four ducts out of the furnace must be used. I'm surprised that you don't have any ducting up front.
Hmmm, I just has a second look, my rig is a 1980 28' Excella and the furnace and HW Heater are in reverse location to yours. My furnace tight against the side of the kitchen cabinet closest to the couch with a small square opening at the back where water lines pass through to the sink and another down on the floor. It doesn't look like there was ever any duct hose passing through the cabinet and under the sofa, my furnace is the nt30 and only has two ducts going to the rear.

I did see in the AS 79-81 service manual floating around on-line that there was some sort of a tin plenum that ducted the air front and back rather than the 4" hose but my 1980 has no such thing.

I do however have a Catalytic heater located on the side of the fridge beside the entrance door. My thermostat for the furnace is located in the rear twin bed room and the cat heater has its thermostat in the kitchen area.

In any event I looks like I have rot similar to yours under the water tank so I will have to explore some more but maybe there is an owner out there with a early 80's 28' Excella that could chime in and explain their heating setup?

The cat heater is great if someone is sleeping up front on their own but when all the beds are used I would rather have the furnace heating the entire rig with one thermostat.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:16 PM   #944
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Awesome job.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:36 PM   #945
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Damn pink carpet, nothing but trouble.

Dean, I know how you feel. When I started to chase the rot in front of my passenger seat, I ended up replacing the entire upper deck, side to side. Then when I started chasing the rot behind the passenger seat, I ended up removing everything half way back to the entrance door. And then when I found rot at the very rear corners, I ended up removing everything up to the bathroom. In the name of historic preservation, the remaining several feet separating front and back are still original vintage particle board. Gotta love that stuff.

On the bright side, at least your floor appears to be made of plywood.

Charly
Hi Charly,

Sorry, I missed your post and just read it. I'm sure hoping my upper deck is not rotted! I do suspect there is rot in the rear right corn under the shower tub, but when I put the new bath sink in and fixed up the bathroom, I made the decision to not tear out the bathroom to find out...way too much work at the time.The left corner is fine, I've been back there a lot dealing with plumbing. All other areas except those shown here are fine. I've looked at it all between doing electrical and replacing all appliances. Yes, the floors in mine are plywood.

And your right, it all started with that darn pink carpet!
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #946
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I had a leak in the same place on my Argosy and it was coming from the seam where the center roof panel is riveted to the side panel. I checked the seam with a 10 thou feeler gauge and I could slide the feeler gauge between the seam in several places right above that area. I chased that leak for a month.

What I found after I removed the alum side panels is that the water runs down the outside wall and fills the channel inside the wall and then seeps out right in that corner. I haven't had a leak since I caulked that roof seam. I also found that water was seeping in where the bolts go through the door hinges I had to replace the bolts with stainless steel ones and re caulk.
Hi Shepherd57,

Sorry, I missed your post as well. I'm going to check out those seams again today!
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #947
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Awesome job.
Thanks!
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:26 AM   #948
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Good job Airstreams did not build boats or submarines eh Dean!

Found my pass side cockpit floor is worse than yours...

You are making progress tho!
Nice!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:24 PM   #949
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Good job Airstreams did not build boats or submarines eh Dean!

Found my pass side cockpit floor is worse than yours...

You are making progress tho!
Nice!
Thanks Steve. This thing would sink faster then a Los Angeles class fast attack submarine could do an emergency dive! I pulled some carpet up between the wall and the drivers seat. The wood looks like it was installed yesterday!
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:32 PM   #950
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I epoxied the crack I saw in the water filler and put a new gasket on the door and did another leak test. Water still gets past the door. I opened up the interior wall a bit more to gain access to the filler. It is cracked in many places and the plastic is very brittle. I barely bumped into the vent hose and it broke right off.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:37 PM   #951
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The exact replacement fresh water tank (same as original from original supplier) from Inca Plastics is $295 delivered. I was expecting a lot more. I'm seriously considering replacing that original 30 year old tank.
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:13 PM   #952
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Dean,
This makes me want to start checking my fresh water filler as well. Figuring after 24 years maybe it's time???
Thanks, Derek
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