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Old 11-23-2013, 09:42 PM   #1
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Soft spot on floor '06 Safari FB

So my Safari has a soft spot in the floor under the front magic fan near the entrance. I just thought it was inferior construction and that was just the way the floor was built. Then on my last trip out I was cleaning the trailer floor and heard a crunchy sound and floor felt soft under the folding table near the couch.
I've never since owning the trailer in 2010 seen water leaking into the trailer in any way. The trailer is stored under covered storage and no signs do water or wetness ever on the vinyl flooring that looks new. Far as I know there's no water tanks or plumbing under the dinette or near the area. I know water can travel down from the ceiling behind the ribs invisibly to the flooring but there are no signs of this. Any clues to this mystery would be helpful as I'm stooped on this one. A friend said the vinyl floor would have to be rolled up to be inspected. Sounds expensive. Any insight into this greatly appreciated and possible diagnostics and solutions.. Sounds like repair is one thing but the root cause is another.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:45 PM   #2
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Do you have a spare tire holder under the floor in that area? Perhaps the water is coming from below (when driving) rather than above?
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:52 PM   #3
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I just did a search and look here.....

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...se-112202.html
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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Suggest you also see, "Rotten floor due to water leak!"
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Old 11-23-2013, 10:52 PM   #5
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If you look at the suggested post mentioned above, airforums.com, that was mine. The first leak I found 6 to 8 months ago, was the fresh water tank plumbing that is under my couch (I do not have the eating area). When I had the trailer winterized last year, they put antifreeze/air through the intake of the pump and didn't tighten it up. When I found it, walla, I thought that was my problem. When I found it, I decided to put down new vinyl 12x12" squares instead of replacing with one piece ( I started but, decided that would be too much for me). Anyway, I got the old vinyl up and the floor was damp under the couch but, no detectable damage. I took the couch out to complete the work and, I hadn't marked the holes where the couch was bolted to the aluminum beams under the plywood and the new vinyl. When I dug down to find the mounting holes, did I get a surprise. There is about a 2' square, rotten area extending from the edge of the door, toward the middle and toward the front of the trailer (a square).

That is what I have found so far. It is beyond me, how the floor can look good one day and a couple weeks later have the rotten floor. I know I missed it, but believe me, I did look. Like you, I keep mine under a carport so the trailer is not in the snow/rain. I also purchased moisture detectors to place in various area throughout the trailer. This is going to work for any water on the surface, but underneath is the area I am still thinking about. Possibly someone will come up with a surefire way to monitor any water accumulating in the floor making the floor turn to sawdust.

For as long as this problem has existed within the Airstream community, I cannot understand why pressure/class action, or someone's ingenuity hasn't come with a fix for this problem. I am not suggesting anything go that far, but if a person can bring a law suite against McDonald's because of hot coffee, well.......I just wish someone would come up with a surefire remedy to solve all our leaking problems. As mentioned in my thread that I caulked every crack I could find under the trailer--wheel well especially (there was not any caulking on the seams underneath. Only time will tell. I hope this can help ya. I am checking the above post also. God bless.....
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Old 11-23-2013, 11:14 PM   #6
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Review the thread "Rotten Floor Due To Water Leak" that Sliver Gate posted.
There is a problem with 2006-2009 trailers with water leaks at the rear trim band. Airstream now puts a rubber gasket in this area.

Drop the belly pan at the rear and cut the insulation. If water drains out, then is time to pull of the vinyl and get to work. There is lots of help on the Forum. I also posted on the above thread. If you need more help send me an email.
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Old 11-24-2013, 12:40 AM   #7
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Thanks Captain, where on the band does it leak at? Does the water come in from water on the road during travel ? Wouldn't want to drop the belly pan if the trailer has been in storage and could be dry.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:56 AM   #8
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Thanks to you all for posting and directing me to the other posts. Perry Mason should have been on this case and locked up Airstream long ago. I got to page 3 on the rotten floor page in reading and then looked ahead to see there were another 20 pages of postings on the exact same problem. Bad thing is the postings I was reading about were in 2010 on 2-3 yr old trailers. It's now 2013 and my trailer is 7 yrs old. can't wait to see what's under the vinyl flooring.
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Old 11-24-2013, 01:02 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
Thanks to you all for posting and directing me to the other posts. Perry Mason should have been on this case and locked up Airstream long ago. I got to page 3 on the rotten floor page in reading and then looked ahead to see there were another 20 pages of postings on the exact same problem. Bad thing is the postings I was reading about were in 2010 on 2-3 yr old trailers. It's now 2013 and my trailer is 7 yrs old. can't wait to see what's under the vinyl flooring.
You're welcome... Looking forward to see what you see and decide to do...

Good Luck with this!

Bill
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Old 11-24-2013, 02:24 PM   #10
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Floor Rot and Water Leaks 27FB

My 2008 Safari 27FB had the water leak floor rot issue in 2012. We discovered it when the dinette table support leg punched through the vinyl floor and into the plywood during a trip to Florida.

We took ours to the factory in Jackson Center for repairs. The leaks were around the panoramic window, particularly at the corner. Also along the bumper at the trim band as Captain Hank describes. On of our marker lights was leaking as well. The factory removed the interior cabinets and walls, removed and replaced about 1/3 of the plywood subfloor from the rear to the middle of the kitchen, and replaced the vinyl flooring before reinstalling the cabinets, walls and fixtures. Yes it was expensive and took a full week to complete the repair and reconstruction. Yes we did negotiate with Airstream on a price before undertaking the work.

The belt line above the bumper, the marker lights, and the panoramic window are leak prone on FB Airstream built during this time period. Airstream now welds the corners of the panoramic windows and puts a rubber gasket along the edge of the plywood subfloor where the outer aluminum shell attaches to the plywood.

I know many Airstreamers, with this style of trailer, who have experienced floor rot. The key is to fix the problem and repair any leaking seams as they occur. Other places to be concerned about are the skylights (many people replace their cheap plastic leaky skylights with Maxims), around the Fantastic fans, and around the plumbing vents on the roof.

Water leaks are a unfortunate issue that plague the industry, not just Airstreams. Given the amount of stress and flex the trailers are exposed to going down the road, plus the cumulative effects of UV light, acid rain, wind, the drying out of aging sealants, and expansion/contraction due to weather it isn't surprising seams crack open and leak. Bad design, cheap materials, and poor sealing at the factory are certainly contributing factors. Routine inspection and resealing is a necessity for any RV owner who wants to avoid water intrusion.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #11
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For those of you who have dealt with this issue of floor rot, how much did it cost for diagnosis/repairs? Do you have to replace the vinyl flooring ? I guess it depends on how bad the damage is to how much plywood gets cut out. I take it that it is all removed from the top side and the whole dinette area gets removed to get to the flooring.
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Old 11-24-2013, 10:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
For those of you who have dealt with this issue of floor rot, how much did it cost for diagnosis/repairs? Do you have to replace the vinyl flooring ? I guess it depends on how bad the damage is to how much plywood gets cut out. I take it that it is all removed from the top side and the whole dinette area gets removed to get to the flooring.
Suggest that you sum up your problem and ask this question on the AirForums' thread, "Rotten floor due to water leak!" (now 22 pages long!)

You will probably get more responses.
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Old 11-25-2013, 09:35 AM   #13
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water leaks (who knows how many?)

My floor is still partially torn up and thus far the rotten area is in the front right quarter of the trailer--no other found as of yet. I also want to repair the rear as mentioned, if needed, and would like to know if the bumper, and anything else that has to come off to expose the problem area is something a wannabe AS repairer can accomplish without taking a drink again after 35 years. And, to answer the question of replacing the vinyl; I had no choice because I had to tear portions off the floor. I replaced with vinyl squares and it looks great. Will it last...who knows.


I have a carport where the work can be done, and I can make it an area out of the WX (weather, for non-communicators) if necessary. With this group, I know someone has a fix in mind. Thanks in advance....Tom
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