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Old 08-23-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
2003 19' Bambi
anywhere , Colorado
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 9
belly seal

I towed my '03 Bambi 19' in the rain the other day and noted that the carpet near the floor and fridge enclosure became wet. I looked at the underside of the rig and found a few curious and concerning items.
1) under the front door, near where the step attaches, there is a very small strip of exposed plywood. This is the edge of the plywood floor. There seems to have been no attempt at the factory to shield this or to seal it off from the elements in any way. I don't like this situation and wonder if other Airstreams are the same and/or have been retrofitted with flashing here. If retrofitted, how?
2) snooping around a bit more, I see that the aluminum belly pan does not really appear to be one piece and it is merely riveted to the underside of the frame. Gaps naturally result, since there haven't been a lot of rivets used. There does not appear to be any true seal here, nor is there any obvious evidence of it having been sealed with caulk or other materials. Presumably, the lack of the seal is to let any moisture out, once it gets in. The problem is that the moisture DOES get in, with the result that the insulation in that area and under the floor becomes wet. This is a set up for mold and mildew.
Is this truly how the underside is constructed? How will I dry out the underside (insulation, &c.)? Is sealing these areas up a bad thing?
3) also, the back side of the fridge, where the vented access doors are seems to be a notorious area for water to enter. I can beef up the flashing and watersealing on the floor of the door access area, but shouldn't there be a hole in the bottom of this area to let water out? Where should the hole be?

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Old 08-23-2008, 06:33 PM   #2
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1963 26' Overlander
1958 22' Flying Cloud
1963 19' Globetrotter
Portola Hills , California
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You're on the right track...seal the exposed plywood, but let the belly pan breathe. You can use strips of aluminum flashing and Vulkem sealer.
Not much water should get into the insulation, if any. Spray water should collect in the bottom of the belly and then simply drain out through the seams.
Observe the water inside the fridge compartment, and seal it as bsest possible, again, with flashing and Vulkem. If draining is required, then maybe you should post some pictures, but it seems that the water should run off the bottom of the compartment to the outside. Maybe there is indeed a drain, have you looked closely? I seem to remeber there being one in the 04 CCD bambi I recently worked on.
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