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Old 01-04-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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2007 25' International CCD FB
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Newbie - rear leak floor rot - repair in Houston area?

Hi everyone Ė Iíve been reading the forum for a few months but this is my first time posting. Iíve been impressed with the community spirit on the forum and the general helpfulness, which hopefully I will be able to reciprocate in time.

Unfortunately my first post relates to the dreaded rear bumper compartment / rear floor leak, which seems to have plagued many Airstream owners on this forum. Iíve posted a few pictures below of the damage.

Can anyone who has experienced similar damage give me an idea of approximately how much this will cost to have a dealership or RV repair center fix? I will need the rear trim around the bumper sealed to prevent future leaks, the floor either replaced or re-epoxied, and the linoleum replaced. Iím not sure if the linoleum can only be replaced where the damage is, or whether it has to be replaced throughout the trailer.

Also, does anyone have experience with Airstream repairs in the Houston area? There is a dealer about 35 miles away from where I live Ė Holiday World of Katy. Iíve seen a post about Bob Jones RV repair, but they are closed on Saturdays when I would need to take the trailer in. I work full time M-F so have to find a place with Saturday hours.









The trailer: Iíve wanted an Airstream for as long as I can remember. I found my 2007 International on Craigís List in September and in hindsight was not as diligent with my inspection as I should have been. I firmly believe that the previous owner went to great lengths to conceal the damage as partially evidenced by the epoxy repairs that were previously done. Why fix the floor but not the leak??? Complaining about the P.O. and/or their dishonestly wonít get me anywhere so I will leave it at that.

My family and I took the trailer camping for the first time in the rain, in November and discovered that the skylight leaked badly. After getting on the roof to inspect the leak the next I day, I realized that the entire trailer needed re-caulking and sealing. I took it into an RV repair center in north Houston over the holidays, and got the roof and window re-sealed at considerable expense. During the repair process, the floor damage and leak was bought to my attention. I think the RV repair center that worked on the roof, did a good job, but their labor rate is $140 an hour and they are not an Airstream specialist, so I do not want to return there for the floor repair.

Iím already heavily invested in the trailer in terms of the purchase price and repairs done to the roof. I have to repair the floor and rear compartment leak, because I think it would be ethically wrong (dig at P.O.) to try and pass a trailer with this kind of damage to another (naÔve as me) buyer. And cannot walk away due to the amount invested.

The other frustrating thing is that Iím quite handy and could probably fix this myself. The combination of a demanding job, young kids, and a neighborhood that doesnít allow trailer parking, means that I am pretty much stuck paying someone else to do the repairs. Plus, I am a little nervous about getting in over my head with a project like this.

I appreciate any thoughts on likely repair costs and/or reputable repair places in the Houston area.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:29 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum.

We are just South of you and have the same problem with subdivision covenants. We can usually have the AS in the driveway for about a week and a half before we get a nasty-gram letter. We will bring the AS back to storage for a few weeks and then back in the driveway. We have been able to do quite a bit of work while at the storage lot as well. Our next big project will be the holding tanks which will require the trailer to be at the house.

With reference to RV Services. We have heard good things about Russell RV in Conroe. We have used ASAP Trailer and Supply in Tomball for some things and very happy with their service. However I can not verify if they can do the flooring and sub-flooring.
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Old 01-04-2015, 06:53 PM   #3
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Hello and welcome to the forums!
There's Top's Vintage Trailer Works in Nolanville a little under three hours north of you. He's a member here under the name of Top. I realize that might be further than you wish to go but he's a great guy who knows Airstreams and is widely respected here. I'd trust him before going to any dealership.

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Top's Texas Vintage Camper Restorations | Harker Heights, TX 76548

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Old 01-04-2015, 08:45 PM   #4
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Bob Jones in South Houston has a great reputation. I would call and see if he will make an appointment for you on a Saturday, or later in the evening after work. Holiday World has been in the Airstream business for less than a year. I would want someone that has quite a bit experience for this kind of repair.


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Old 01-05-2015, 09:19 AM   #5
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Thank you all for the suggestions. I will start calling around and see where I can hopefully get this trailer repaired.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:56 PM   #6
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Airstream repair

I have had RV repairs done for years at Carey's RV Service Center is Houston, TX the phone # is 713-466-0131. He has restored many AS classics and does beautiful work. He is an RV certified Tech. He only charges $95.00 hr. I highly recommend him.
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Pat Cassity View Post
Bob Jones in South Houston has a great reputation. I would call and see if he will make an appointment for you on a Saturday, or later in the evening after work. Holiday World has been in the Airstream business for less than a year. I would want someone that has quite a bit experience for this kind of repair.


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Yes. I think we owned our Airstream for something like three days before someone mentioned the name Bob Jones to us.

Something to keep in mind for your planning purposes: A place like Bob Jones with a good Airstream reputation is going to be heavily booked. I called Bob Jones once in October 2014 and I believe they were scheduling appointments three to four weeks out (we decided to do the work ourselves so we never did actually go there). They were very nice about it, but that's just the workload that they have. First come, first served. They might be able to make arrangements for you to drop off on a Saturday even if they are not "open" per se.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:42 PM   #8
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A quick update to the thread I started last month - I took the Airstream into Carey's RV, as several Airstream owners provided me with positive recommendations, and Carey's is conveniently located for me.

I had to wait two weeks to get the Airstream in, and the repairs took about three weeks. I could not be happier with both the price and result. The subfloor from the rear windows all the way to the refrigerator was replaced. Unfortunately for me, the floor in my Airstream was no longer in production, so the entire vinyl floor had to be replaced so that it matched throughout.

All work was done to a high standard and Carey's went the extra mile to ensure all leaks and potential leaks were caulked. I want to pass this recommendation along in case anyone else needs repairs in the Houston area. I will be using Carey's for all my future repair and maintenance needs.

We got the Airstream back Friday afternoon and took it up to to Hill Country for the three day weekend to enjoy!
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:29 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesMesa View Post
A quick update to the thread I started last month - I took the Airstream into Carey's RV, as several Airstream owners provided me with positive recommendations, and Carey's is conveniently located for me.

I had to wait two weeks to get the Airstream in, and the repairs took about three weeks. I could not be happier with both the price and result. The subfloor from the rear windows all the way to the refrigerator was replaced. Unfortunately for me, the floor in my Airstream was no longer in production, so the entire vinyl floor had to be replaced so that it matched throughout.

All work was done to a high standard and Carey's went the extra mile to ensure all leaks and potential leaks were caulked. I want to pass this recommendation along in case anyone else needs repairs in the Houston area. I will be using Carey's for all my future repair and maintenance needs.

We got the Airstream back Friday afternoon and took it up to to Hill Country for the three day weekend to enjoy!
Oh LeMesa---so glad you got your trailer repaired. I feel your pain! I noticed the rear leak in my 2008 27FB last November after a hard rain. It must have been leaking for a while because when I pulled up the vinyl, my floor looked very similar to yours. I have taken my AS two places. One was an airstream dealership and another was a restoration place. I don't want to mention their names because they tried but could not find the leak or repair it. So after $700 I still have a leaky trailer. I have it undercover until it warms up and I will try to seal it myself. If I can't get to it soon ( with all this beautiful camping weather coming up) I will call the place you used. I can't thank you enough for sharing this information. May I ask you an approximate amount you spent total---with the new floor and repairs?

Thanks so much. You are welcome to PM me also. Enjoy your "fixed" trailer.

KDS
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:38 PM   #10
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LesMesa, post some photos of the interior of your AS.

It seems to me AS could've easily prevented this by coating the edges and about a foot from the edges of the subfloor with a sealant so if any water did leak in around the edges it wouldn't have soaked into the wood subfloor. My 2008 Classic seems to have a sealant. Under the rear dinettes the vinyl floor has peeled up from the near the shell. The exposed subfloor seems to be coated with something black for about a foot. When I was inspecting the trailer before I bought it I checked around the edges with a Sonin moisture meter and there was no moisture detected. The floor sounded firm when pounded on. I've left my AS in pouring rain and so far its still dry around the edges. Did they do something different on Classics vs Safaris back in those days? I haven't seen a post about any Classics having this issue.

I'm glad you are please with the work performed.

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Old 02-18-2015, 03:40 PM   #11
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KDS, did they perform a leak pressure test?

Kelvin
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:30 AM   #12
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No, Kelvin, they did not. I have a friend , Soldiermedic, who used to live in San Antonio ,who has the equipment, but is now in your state, near Springfield. Both places I took it just used a water hose to try and locate the leak. It's pooling in three areas under the dinette, under the rear window. I took off the switch plate covers and felt around. The insulation is dry. About a year ago I had new awnings added to the other side of my AS. At that time, the guy doing that install noticed some discoloration under the dinette and called and asked if he could remove the rear molding outside, seal where the bottom meets the base ( on top of the toolbox area) and replace. I said yes. I was unaware of any leak at that time. Then last November, I noticed a darker discoloration under the dinette and when I pushed on the area that was the darkest and I knew I was in trouble. The wood was spongy and full of water. I rented a covered area and moved the trailer to there to dry out----
After it was dry I took it to two places--no luck. Still gets wet in the same spot so after reading on the forum. I am going to try to seal with Acryl-R and parabond. At some point I will have to have the subfloor replaced and new vinyl but don't want to do that till I am sure it does not leak.
Also, my safari does have that black area you are talking about, around the edge of the plywood but it did not seem to stop it from getting soaked.

Thanks

Kelly
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:29 PM   #13
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It sounds like you need to remove the rub rail over the rear bumper and inspect. Possibly water is infiltrating and getting beyond the black area. Once a steady stream hits bare wood it must soak up the water and pull more from the leak area.

The large rear window corners are not welded like the new versions and they can leak as well.

The clearance lights above the rear window may not be sealed well.

There may be moisture under the dinette area in the belly pan.

What about under the dinette seats. Is there any damage in there or is the problem area more centered under the dinette table?

Get a Sonin moisture meter and you can probe around the dinette area to give you an idea how large the moisture has traveled.

Kelvin
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:40 PM   #14
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KDS Ė sorry to hear youíre having the same issue. Finding all of the leaks is not easy. My AS was leaking from the rear bumper area, the sky light above the dinette, around the box where the cable TV can be routed in the trailer, and from above the rear windows. Not all of these were big leaks, but some water was getting in nonetheless.
I was already aware of the major leaks. Some of the smaller ones were only discovered when the shop working on my AS had already taken all of the furniture out to replace the floor. They let it sit through a couple of days of heavy rain storms and periodically went into the trailer to note all of the leaks, and seal once it stopped raining. I think weíve got them all now but I will certainly be vigilant in looking out for any trace of water, and will continue to store the AS undercover.
Iíll post pictures of the new floor, but it might be a week or so as the AS is back in storage until the next camping trip.
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