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Old 10-17-2019, 04:07 PM   #1
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2012 27' FB International
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Yet another water leak with a twist

After returning home from Alaska having survived biblical rain storms and yes snow in August I noticed soft spots in the rear of the trailer. Having read endless threads on water leaks I immediately suspected the all to common rear bumper leak issues. Off to Home Depot to purchase a moisture meter. As suspected, very high readings. Ok, now to the front of the trailer. Yup.

So out comes the furniture and up comes the vinyl floor. Yes sir, water stains and spongy plywood. What really jumped out was that where the elevator bolts secured the plywood to what passes for a frame ther were black spots. The plywood does not appear to be rotted so the plan is to dry it out while resealing everything on the exterior and then applying epoxy to floor as others have done to add rigidity to floor. So now off comes the belly pan to aid in the drying process. There it is, the reflectix "insulation" soaked with water. A razor cut produced a literal gusher of water. Off comes the reflectix.

Two weeks later into the drying process the trailer is nicely sealed, reflectix ripped out and belly pan restored. Now comes the big test. Rain. It is Oregon after all. Great, no sign of water running down the walls but there it is, the elevator bolt black spots are soaked. This in the front bedroom where the frame crossmember runs between side windows. The belly pan was not removed from the front of the trailer due to all the junk attached to the bottom on the front half of the trailer.

The big question is if water is some how running along the cross member and wicking up the elevator bolts? Where might the water be getting in? Banana wraps? Halloween goblins at play?

Has anyone chased this particular problem with the elevator bolts.

I need to get this solved so I can move on to the destroyed fresh water tank, bathroom mirror ripped off the wall, popped rivets and may more items destroyed by the Alaskan "highways". Oh, and the multiple cracks in the windshield of the new 3500 Silverado purchased just for this trip. Pictures of floor attached and Bear I found in Alaska for good measure.
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:41 PM   #2
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I expect that all the water was traveling along the cross members and since the water could not get out, it just wicked up those bolts. If you have the leak stopped you should be fine. I expect the entire lower surface was soaked with water and the bolts just helped it wick out. Where were your leaks?


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Old 10-17-2019, 04:49 PM   #3
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Cute bear photo. Can't help solve the water leakage problem but can suggest that beer goes better with such work than Dr Pepper.
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Old 10-17-2019, 05:38 PM   #4
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I think you will have to find a way to re.ove at least part of the front belly pan...
Make a "service hatch" leading candidate is the Prodex. Even if you cannot remove it, just creating low point drains would make a huge difference.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:10 PM   #5
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Cute bear photo. Can't help solve the water leakage problem but can suggest that beer goes better with such work than Dr Pepper.
Back home we always served beer warm and straight from the Horse
Ahhh Dr Pepper!
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again View Post
I think you will have to find a way to re.ove at least part of the front belly pan...
Make a "service hatch" leading candidate is the Prodex. Even if you cannot remove it, just creating low point drains would make a huge difference.
Thanks Foiled. I had thought about the low point drain idea but I don't know that it would really help much as the belly pan sits below the frame members leaving a good 3 inchs or so between the plywood floor and the belly pan metal.

The Prodex product looks like Reflectix on steroids. My concern with any non permeable membrane directly against the plywood is that it would hold water between the membrane and plywood. I left the plywood bare in the rear and hoping for the best. I don't think there is any way possible to really make an Airstream 4 seasons insulated. Camping in this unit for many years in all climates and seasons leads me to that conclusion.
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Old 10-17-2019, 06:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I expect that all the water was traveling along the cross members and since the water could not get out, it just wicked up those bolts. If you have the leak stopped you should be fine. I expect the entire lower surface was soaked with water and the bolts just helped it wick out. Where were your leaks?


Perry
Hi Perry. I think on the front end most of the water found its way in through the front hatch area. The Alaska trip was 9,000 miles mostly in substantial rain. Looking in the mirrors made me cringe. Even with serious mud flaps that hatch was a swirling hurricane.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:48 AM   #8
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Not sure if this is your culprit but I stopped a water issue up front by caulking where the tongue enters the body. Water was running from the tongue down the frame as far back as the mid kitchen area.
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Old 10-21-2019, 09:20 AM   #9
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That front hatch is a liability. When you are driving water is going to get rammed past that seal. It might be possible to make a gutter under the bottom edge of it and then run a drain tube under the floor. I have battery boxes up front on mine and they are sealed so water can't get past them but water can get into the battery boxes.



Perry





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Hi Perry. I think on the front end most of the water found its way in through the front hatch area. The Alaska trip was 9,000 miles mostly in substantial rain. Looking in the mirrors made me cringe. Even with serious mud flaps that hatch was a swirling hurricane.
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