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Old 08-25-2010, 09:31 PM   #1
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Crack Over Exterior Door--It's Growing...

I've got a crack developing at the 1 o'clock position, moving from the door toward the roof. It started at about 4", and I drilled a 1/8" hole in the end of it last year to stop it. Since then, it has continued another 1/2" above the hole.

I've sealed it with clear silicone to prevent any sort of leakage. Any tips on what might be done with this? Your ideas are appreciated!
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:18 AM   #2
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I have a similar crack at 1:00 above the door frame.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:51 AM   #3
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I'd call the factory and ask to speak to one of the service technicians. With two people posting the same issue, on similar models, I'd bet they've seen it before.

Or - hang around a bit and Inland Andy may have a thought or two for you.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:23 AM   #4
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above the door cracks.

Those cracks, are caused by stress and/or vibration.

Certainly, if the trailer did not move, those cracks would not happen.

Carefully examination of the present and past conditions, should provide a clue as to the absolute cause.

Unbalanced running gear, bad axles, excessive rated hitch bars, excessive rated tow vehicles, all or in part contribute to the cause of those cracks.

Stop drilling, is an old fix, that in this case, stops nothing, since the cause of the problem, still exists.

Cracks such as those, were some what common in the early 60's, when the entrance door jambs were weak, but not since then.

This type crack in the shell, is rare, eliminating any design fault.

Checking out the above suggestions, with an open mind, should establish the real cause.

The fix then, becomes a matter of personal choice.

By the way, sealing a crack such as this, with silicone sealer, is a bad fix. In spite of it's looks, use Vulkem sealer.

Andy
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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I just took a 1000 trip and the crack has not lengthened. I sealed it with some silver aluminum caulk. I have a much bigger crack coming from the side of one of my battery compartments in the front moving toward the center. That I think was caused by the weight of the lifeline battery. The plastic battery box is cracked and has been so for a while. I caulked it twice with aluminim caulk and it has not grown or separated.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:59 PM   #6
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The door is the weakest part of the trailer skin, after we got finished restoring our Argosy we went on a 2000 mile trip and the 6 rivets 3 on each side of the door at the top sheared and a bunch of little ones on the interior I replaced them and got a Air Safe hitch and haven't had any more trouble.

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Old 08-28-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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Picture of the developing crack...

Here's a picture of the crack.

I'm using the Reese Dual Cam hitch with 800# bars as Andy recommended. Towing with a 3/4 ton Chevy Silverado diesel, and have the head of the hitch tilted rearward as far as it will go (as the other Andy suggested in the Airstream magazine). The "fix", I suppose, would be to replace the entire curbside skin, which would be an outrageous expense and more than the whole AS is worth. Aluminum weld here is not an option, I would guess, since the heat would ignite the insulation between the shells.

Any other ideas? I'm ordering the Vulkem 635 Andy suggested to replace the clear poly on it now.

Thanks for your ideas and help!
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SSChanger View Post
Here's a picture of the crack.

I'm using the Reese Dual Cam hitch with 800# bars as Andy recommended. Towing with a 3/4 ton Chevy Silverado diesel, and have the head of the hitch tilted rearward as far as it will go (as the other Andy suggested in the Airstream magazine). The "fix", I suppose, would be to replace the entire curbside skin, which would be an outrageous expense and more than the whole AS is worth. Aluminum weld here is not an option, I would guess, since the heat would ignite the insulation between the shells.

Any other ideas? I'm ordering the Vulkem 635 Andy suggested to replace the clear poly on it now.

Thanks for your ideas and help!
It appears from your photo, the the main bow immediately forward of the door, is not complete.

That could be the cause of the problem.

Also. installing a plate over the entire door jamb, would hide the crack as well as beef up that area.

How about posting another photo, that would clearly show the complete forward part of the entrance door jamb?

Andy
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Old 08-28-2010, 11:21 PM   #9
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I just noticed I have the 1:00 o'clock crack propagation on a 76 Sovereign. Don't know if it was there when I got it or not because it can't been seen up close. I spotted it from 15 feet away while a guy was giving me an estimate to put Ilumar 20 on all the windows.

Will check on the Vulkem 635. I was thinking of Marinetex covered with aluminum tape.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:52 PM   #10
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Full Side View...

Here's another couple of photos at Andy's request. The developing crack is at the 1 O'Clock position. Your help, Andy, is always appreciated!
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
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Here's another couple of photos at Andy's request. The developing crack is at the 1 O'Clock position. Your help, Andy, is always appreciated!
I feel that there is not enough rivets above the belt line, and below the awning rail, in both the most forward and rearward main bows at the entrance door.

I would suggest adding rivets spaced out every two inches in both those main bows, between the belt line and awning rail would solve the cracking issue.

The more rivets, the greater any stresses would be relieved and redistributed.

Andy
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:27 AM   #12
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Thanks so much, Andy! Your ideas and expertise are always appreciated here!
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:52 PM   #13
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Final note: I took Andy's advice and checked out the rivets at the top of the door frame. Sure enough, three were sheared and hidden by the rain gutter. I drilled extra holes in the top of the frame and drilled out the sheared rivets, then re-riveted (with 3/8" aluminum rivets) the frame and gutter. The door even closes better!

Thanks again Andy, for your expertise and advise!
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Old 12-13-2011, 03:42 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dougsale View Post
I have a similar crack at 1:00 above the door frame.
Thank Goodness I came across this post after suffering a leak above my door. I too, have a 3" crack at this same location and yes, I too have rivets missing around the door bulkhead on each top side. Any suggestions as to how long and what diameter rivets I need to use? The missing rivet holes are all siliconed by the PO. I know at Lowes, that they had rivets of different lengths.
Thanks for any input.
I am a newbie and this is a wonderful site for any Airstream owner.
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