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Old 10-25-2012, 08:36 AM   #225
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
The cabinets look good Steve. I wish I had real wood in my trailer. I think I will gradually replace the plastic coated plywood with real veneer plywood.

I have a persistent leak to the left of the door on mine that I can't seem to find. I have resealed around the window frames but I am running out of things to seal. I have thought about using the leaf blower or furnace blower trick to leak test my trailer. I think I am pretty close to getting all the leaks but there are always a few persistent ones.

Perry
Thanks Perry. I hope to get the interior in good shape in the next several months and next year, do a few things on the exterior. Eventually, I plan to strip the paint and plasticoat off of the shell and re-coat the shell with plastcoat (mild polishing to remove oxidation, not shiny).

I have a persistent leak ahead of, along and behind the entry door that I've not yet found the source of yet. I'm going to do some floor work there and reseal all that I can find. I did go to the HVAC contractor who installed a new furnace/AC system in my house about three years ago and he gave me a used squirrel cage blower for free. He had several lying around his shop from old units. I plan to make a plug for one of the side windows to adapt the blower and pressurize the cabin to check for leaks.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:42 AM   #226
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I had to remove the skins to the right of the door to find all my leaks. Rivets to the upper right of the door came loose and you can see the black material where the rivets are moving around. The window frame seal on mine was also leaking on the large fixed window to the right of the door. There is nothing like a long soaking SE rain to find leaks. If you have extenal storage compartments you might consider those as a place to mount a blower.

Good luck on the leaks

Perry
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:13 PM   #227
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Today, we removed the stove and the furnace and partially disassembled the curbside cabinet just aft of the entry door. This served a two-fold purpose. First, I can better work with refinishing the water damage on the end panel since it's now removed. Here you can see the rails that I made for the furnace about ten months back from a different perspective (reference http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...ml#post1093910).


Secondly, I've had the pleasant news that the rot and need for floor replacement doesn't go very far aft of the entry door, so we won't have to do so much patching along the right/curb side.
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:50 PM   #228
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The bolt pulled through the lower rail hole of the c channel. I suspect it happened when it was bottomed out. When I removed the belt, I also noted there is a stress crack visible in the c channel.

I'll attach a photo. It does not pass all the way through to the top rail. I'm thinking of making a template of the c channel on both sides and having a distribution plate made. I suspect I should also have a support plate that runs up and is attached to the inner skin as Perry did for front end separation. Physics wise though, I realize that the presence of intact subfloor is going to significantly reduce the stress to every attachment point. The top of the c channel is intact. What do you gentlemen recommend?

Sealing the new wood.... I'm a little concerned about using something that's approved for indoor use. My little ones will be sleeping back there.

What would be the effect of running a thick bead of trempro 635 into the c channel right before you slam the plywood home? Bad for the drain holes but their value is questionable. There is also a product called Redguard at home depot. Pricey but two layers of it supposedly waterproof flooring.
Christina,
I've read and re-read your post a number of times (post 220 in this thread) and now I'll try to give you some answers since I'm not so brain-dead as I was when you first asked these questions (somewhat impaired today, but not as brain-dead).

Stress Crack and Bolt Pulling Through U Channel
I think that you need to at least add some more rivets to the bottom edge of the shell that will go through the U Channel (use about one inch spacing) and have some sort of bracket or angle piece welded on the outboard sides of the frame. This way, you can add some more attachment bolts between the steel frame and the aluminum shell; thus spreading out the load where the two are attached. The frame to shell attachment is really too concentrated on the front and the rear of Airstream trailers. Airstream also uses a bunch of pop rivets in this high stress area that are not up to the task. If I only had pop rivets to work with, I would use 3/16" diameter pop rivets and install them "wet" using TremPro (Sikaflex or similar) and then force some sealant into the mandrel hole of the pop rivet after installation. Bucked rivets are better, but you may not want to go to that expense. I'm not very impressed with the sealing ability of "Olympic" rivets.

Thick bead of TremPro in C Channel
I think that the TremPro would not help the sealing of the edge of the plywood very much and would make future repairs (dread the thought) more difficult and may interfere with simply getting the plywood seated fully into the C Channel. I think that applying some type of waterproof finish to the top and bottom perimeter and outside edges of the plywood would be enough and may help. I'm not even sure if I'm going to do this or now. I plan to really seal the U Channel, add more drain holes and try to minimize the leaks as the main means of rot prevention. I'm thinking that when moisture inevitably gets into the plywood sub-floor, it (the moisture) needs to be able to wick away through the edges, top and bottom and not be sealed inside the wood. Watch this space to see what I end up doing.

Redguard
I don't know anything about this product, but I plan to investigate it.

Let me know if I've answered your questions.

All my best,

Steve
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:32 AM   #229
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Christina,
I do not believe that RedGard is designed to waterproof the plywood/OSB sub-floor in the way that it is needed on our Airstream travel trailers. It is meant as a sealing medium between a substrate (base material) and ceramic tile or something similar. It will bond to metal, plastic, wood, etc. and builds up on the surface. Take a look at this web page and watch the two videos: RedGard® Waterproofing and Crack Prevention Membrane | Custom Building Products.

Steve
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:05 PM   #230
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Speaking of sealing leaks. I have just finished replacing the back 52" of flooring in my 89 32' Excella. Now that it's done I need to re caulk the trailer. I have the leaks temporarily stopped with cheapo silicon caulk. So now I've received an order of Sikaflex-221 polyurethane sealer tubes. I bought one tube off the shelf at a RV place. Used it to replace some bad sealer inside the skin that had failed in the back wall around the window. It was a bit cold the day I used it. I have no idea how long it was on the shelf. The thing that worries me is how hard it was to get it to pump with my caulking gun. I had a pretty good sized hole in the tube tip. Is polyurethane sealer normally hard to use with a caulking gun. I've got a lot of bad seams to re seal.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:57 PM   #231
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Mark,
I generally poke about 5 to 10 holes in the sealing foil that are on a new tube of caulking. Then, I cut a diagonal angle on the plastic applicator of the tube of caulk with an opening of about 1/4", which is too big for many seams. I use the horse syringes (http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/Caulking_Syringe_p/vts-470.htm) that I have bought from Vintage Trailer Supply to apply small seams of sealant. The stuff is very viscous unless it is about 80 degrees F. I'd bring it inside the house and at least get it to room temperature.

Steve
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:54 PM   #232
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Tractor supply has syringes if you want a local place to get them.

Perry
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:39 PM   #233
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Thanks again Perry. There isn't a local tractor supply but there is a farm supply in Montrose Colorado that might have them.Steve,the syringe use tip looks like what I need. Not only should they be easier to control the size of the bead but I hope to be able to control their temp easier than a tube. This trailer is sure throwing a lot of problems at me but they are getting fixed. The proper caulking should help to make it a good solid Airstream. Now the Saburban heater has given up the ghost. Needs a new motor and vane switch. Have them ordered [I think]. Steve your description of using a 3/16 pop rivet with Sikaflex is interesting. I have a place where it might be a good answer.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:55 PM   #234
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Oh yeah ! Today while I was looking at the clear coat I noticed that it wasn't looking very good around many of the rivets. How much does an Airstream rivet rely on the clear coat to seal them. Is it normally a factor? The clear coat is not doing well in several spots all over the Airstream.
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Old 10-29-2012, 06:50 AM   #235
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The rivet is sealed by the compression of the metal but they can work loose over time. There is a white goo that use on the inside that helps as well. Loose rivets can appear black around all sides and usually you can get your fingernail under them when you push on the skin. Around the door frame area, awning mounts, and along the strip that holds the awning on the trailer.

Perry
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:35 PM   #236
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I haven't found any that are loose like that yet but I'll look harder. I did find one that's missing by the rear window.The strip that holds on the awning is also suspect. The cabinet under the stove is next to the door. Down where it touches the floor it looks like it has been wet. I've tapped the floor with my hammer in that area and everything seems solid. I found some 60cc vet syringes today at a farm supply store for 2.30 a piece. Will give them a try soon if it warms up. Tomorrow the washer/dryer goes in and then the interior is finished. The weather is supposed to warm up a little and I'll really focus on those seams and rivets.
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:29 AM   #237
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Mark and anyone else in the cold:

If it's cold, you may want to place your syringes in a warm water bath. Place them inside of a freezer bag and stick them in the warm water. Should help heat and maintain fluidity of the substrate. If you don't want to deal with water, a heating pad set on low with a towel between the syringes and the pad will also help! Will also warm your hands.

If you can, get a hold of a veterinary feeding syringe - they work better than the type of syringe that hooks to a needle. They come in a 60ml size. The tip is wider at base and narrows at the end.

If you're stuck using a syringe with a tip for needles. Pick up a few needles at the feed store. Throw the needles away. Take the covers and cut the last 5/8" off. Use the cut, closed end to seal and close off the syringe. Scissors work, but if you have a pair of dog nail trimmers they work the best. This is a neat trick that you may or or may not know. I'm just trying to give a little back to people I've learned so much from!

My floor fits. I just need to pick up some sealant. Very exciting. Have one place that's not flush to the wall but I'm going to just live with it. It's off by 1/8". Must of got a little planer happy. It is a new toy.

Thanks again to Steve and Perry!

Cristina
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Old 10-30-2012, 12:15 PM   #238
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Christina,
Take a few pictures along the way and post them to show us your progress. Congratulations on making it so far in a fairly short time!

All my best,

Steve
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