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Old 12-12-2014, 05:09 PM   #1
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2005 28' International CCD
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Floor Rot & Leak Prevention

I recently purchased a 2005 28í International CCD from a guy in Miami who had used it as an office.It had not been maintained to be water tight and had some areas of floor rot & evidence of leaks.I purchased it cheap and took it to Out of Doors Mart in NC to have them repair the floor problems and completely re-seal all the penetrations.Even having them re-seal the back bumper joint.
My question is out of paranoia..Iím spending a good chunk of $$ on repairing the floor damage and I donít want it to happen again. I want to use this camper for years to come. How can you tell if you have a leak between the outer skin & the inner wall?It seems to me that if you have a leak there the water will just run down the inside of the wall and rot out the floor again.And you wouldnít see any evidence of water in the trailer until the floor becomes soft and itís too late.I plan to keep the camper in a covered garage when not in use but Iím just wondering how you pros prevent this, especially when full timing?
Any input would be appreciated.Thanks
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:25 PM   #2
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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Sorry, just saw you'll be keeping it in a garage!


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Old 12-12-2014, 06:29 PM   #4
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Get a simple Moisture Detection Meter, similar to what home inspectors use, and probe through the vinyl floor into the plywood subfloor around the perimeter of the trailer interior.

I use a Sonin brand meter from Amazon, about $30, on a regular basis along with a quarterly inspection of systems and outer shell for corrosion or damage.

Have found and sealed four minor leaks since the Airstream was new three years ago. It had no leaks when new but they can develop over time with the jostling of road travel. The subfloor cannot rot if it is dry.

It is not only leaks that can drain water into the subfloor via the wall voids but also condensation when using the Airstream in cool/cold weather. Be sure you have adequate ventilation and try to minimize high moisture inside the trailer when temps are down and humidity up.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:34 PM   #5
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The leak at the bumper through the lower trim has plagued many Airstreams. The gap behind the trim should be caulked thoroughly, as well as the top of the trim piece once it's re-attached. Many also seal the bottom of the trim piece where it contacts the bumper. As well, it's a good idea to remove/replace the staple-on reflective insulation under the rear of the trailer, since water can accumulate between the insulation and the under-side of the subfloor - there's no place for it to escape. Many have replaced the staple-on insulation with one inch foam board insulation which can sit loosely on the frame members.

Do make sure that your repair people apply multiple coats of appropriate waterproofing to the replaced floor area. You might suggest that they use marine-grade plywood or some of the fully waterproof materials such as coosa board for the replacement. Read some of the forum threads on these subjects.

The bumper-rubrail interface isn't the only possible location for rear leaks, insure that the tail lights, windows, running lights, license plate mount, and rear awning attachments are all caulked properly.

Many Airstreamers purchase a pin-punch moisture detector (Sonin is popular) to check their floors around the perimeter periodically. That way if subsequent leaks do occur, they can be located and corrected before serious damage to the floor occurs.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:37 AM   #6
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If you use the trailer often and store it in a shed and have a moisture meter you will probably never have any trouble. I don't have a moisture meter, but I have visually detected leaks and had them repaired before they could do any damage. Just knowing, looking, checking, being awake, alert, aware, tuned in, cognizant, conscientious, and paying attention goes a long way. I don't really even do specific inspections, I just see water from time to time in an area where it shouldn't be as I am camping, digging something out of a storage area. Maybe I'm a little OCD and can't help it, but it pays off from time to time.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:24 AM   #7
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Hopefully your repairs where done to impregnate the floor with an epoxy around the edges so if any future water infiltration around the shell will not soak into the subfloor.

Didn't Airstream coat the edges of the subfloor of all the models with a sealant to prevent water from soaking around the edges? I noticed my 2008 Classic 25fb has a black sealant around the edges under my dinette seats when I checked for water using a moisture meter. The sealant is applied 6 inches or more from the shell wall.

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Old 12-15-2014, 09:30 AM   #8
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I have never seen visible water leaks in our trailer but found four different areas of wet subfloor with a Moisture Detection Meter at different times during regular inspection cycle (quarterly). Found the source of water leaks and sealed each.

Don't depend on a visual inspection.
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Old 12-15-2014, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Hopefully your repairs where done to impregnate the floor with an epoxy around the edges so if any future water infiltration around the shell will not soak into the subfloor.

Didn't Airstream coat the edges of the subfloor of all the models with a sealant to prevent water from soaking around the edges? I noticed my 2008 Classic 25fb has a black sealant around the edges under my dinette seats when I checked for water using a moisture meter. The sealant is applied 6 inches or more from the shell wall.

Kelvin
Airstream applies a black anti-wicking product around the perimeter which may help with minor water intrusion of condensation running down the wall interior.

I suspect sealing edges with epoxy would have the effect of keeping subfloor moisture from drying out, rather than being very effective at keeping it from getting into the subfloor. The water can travel through capillary action between the vinyl and plywood far beyond the edges and then soak the wood. The best and virtually only drying point for this is the edges of the plywood.

The best protection is to assume water will enter the subfloor, either through leaks or condensation, and monitor it regularly by probing with a Moisture Meter. It wet, follow the path to the source and correct the leak or reason for excessive condensation.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:15 AM   #10
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I now found what may be another spot of a small leak...picked up with the sonin moisture meter the other day doing an inspection...the spot is the flooring inside of the storage compartment under the couch in my bunkhouse that you face as you walk in...the area that tripped the meter is adjacent to the sink, and also under where two windows are....I will create a separate post as I have no idea where it came from but am looking more into it now....but just wanted to emphasize:

I simply would never have found this moisture without use of the meter, and airstream will have to address it via warranty repairs along with the other area I picked up at in the subfloor of the front bedroom.

No one should own an airstream and not prod these sub-floors with a moisture meter periodically in search for leaks.

Mine goes in for warranty service at my dealer probably in mid to late January to address it, *hopefully* find any and all leaks, correct them, and I will continue to monitor.
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