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Old 08-06-2012, 05:12 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2004 25' Safari
Hillsborough , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
2004 Safari rear bumper leak

I have removed my rear bedroom floor to replace the rotten floor and found the main source of the water leak (picture below 3" putty knife blade). How should this space be caulked? I was thinking the windshield pros at the local glass shop with polyurethane and a thin blade caulk gun. There has never been any sealant in this area and the water just flows straight through this space and soaks the plywood (bad on A/S). I welcome any opinions!
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Regards, Jim

WBCCI #3735
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:08 AM   #2
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2003 25' Safari
spokane , Washington
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I think the trim/rub strip has to be removed. then you can caulk the entire seam. It's a questionable design to be sure, my 03 has had several leaks in the same area. I drilled a bunch of holes in the top of the storage lid (right up as close to the rub strip as I could) so any water "ponding up" would have somewhere less expensive to go

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Old 08-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
1972 29' Ambassador
St. Paul , Minnesota
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You don't explain the scope of subfloor replacement you're attempting or how 'deep' you've mined into the structure so far to inspect it... Pictures really help get you the exact answers you need!

Which came first, the unsealed gap or the soft flooring?

This is a classic 'Chicken & the Egg' area... Over time when water softens the plywood and/or damages nuts, bolts & washers; the dreaded wood dry-rot allows the flooring to be compressed or outright broken away thereby allowing the frame to droop which opens the gap (wider?) that you're showing us now.

Be very careful you have the cause well repaired, window & window frame gaskets, tail lights, even roof details ie: vents, segment seams, or since the previous storage area may not have been level anything up hill from the water damage. Problems flow downhill!

Honestly I have not worked on such a new Airstream but the best sealing method on older models is to remove the trim band and start the weather proofing directly at the rivets and sheet seams which that trim covers. Once that is accomplished then reinstall the trim with it somewhat bedded in caulk and seal the top/bottom seams from the outside.

Which caulk to use? I am sure someone will have favorites, either singularly or in combination - Sika-flex, Tremco/vulkem, Parbond, Alcoa gutter seal....

Anyhow, that gap being enlarged usually flags deeper problems..

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Old 08-06-2012, 08:10 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
2004 25' Safari
Hillsborough , North Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 27
Water has been running under the rear molding since birth. There is no trace of caulk in that area. water leaks under and soaks the plywood from the bottom side. Attached is a pic of the partial floor replacement. I was hoping for a better answer, which would not include the molding removal.
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Regards, Jim

WBCCI #3735
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:31 PM   #5
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2005 30' Safari
Houston Texas , Texas
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Posts: 473
Safari Leaking rear bumper

Senor Swede,

I have a Safari 30 which essentially looks the same as yours on the rear from the exterior. Having seen many others with this issue I knew to seal mine right after I bought it new in 2006. I used a Sikaflex black polyurethane right at the bottom of the aluminum trim extrusion and applied a very consistant micro bead (probably 3/16") all the way across and down the sides where it meets the bumper.

I do keep my trailer indoors however i have not had any water go in there to my knowledge. On the Safari 30 I have a storage door on one side in the back and I constantly look under the flooring for water especially after a big rain when traveling. When I was at Jackson Center last fall I noticed on the new ones they are adding a fairly thick gasket all the way across this rear area. It is quite noticeable and it even protruded out each end.

I think most of these leaks issues while they are definately design problems can be overted by keeping an eye on them and doing some custom work to keep em from leaking.
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