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Old 03-27-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
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2002 22' International
Austin , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 220
Leak from Road Moisture?

We were cleaning up from our trip today when we noticed a little moisture on the carpet inside the front cabinet (right side) of our AS. This is the cabinet on right front curve of the trailer. I quickly checked other places such as under bed, outside storage compartment, etc, etc. No other leaks were found. We had driven the past two days through some rain and wet roads, so I assume water was forced up through the front flooring edges.

I checked underneath and found where there were fasteners - I assume to hold the flooring - that had some loose sealing material. I barely touched these "globs" and they came loose. I took some pics to show the fasteners, and the globs that came off. The last image shows one with the material still on the fastener.

Questions: Could these be the source of the leak? Should these be re-caulked and with what? Any other recommendation to seal this area from road water leak. Should I put a bead of caulk around the complete line where the flooring sits on the metal channel?

Suggestions appreciated.
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Old 03-27-2009, 10:41 PM   #2
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Hi TankerIP,

Are these pictures taken near the frame? Is that what we are looking at on the last picture? Im not familiar with your model but is there no aluminum "banana wrap" under the trailer? Or is this an exposed area where the wrap is not present?


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Old 03-27-2009, 11:21 PM   #3
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1955 22' Flying Cloud
Boulder Creek , California
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It would surprise me if water migrated up from below into the carpet. There must be a layer of insulation below the floor that would make it a difficult journey. I would start at the floor level and go up from there.

Good luck, Rich
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Old 03-27-2009, 11:23 PM   #4
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2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
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Diagnosing leaks is not exactly a science, though there are tools and tricks that can help. One such trick is the light test. At night, close all the blinds and turn on all the lights, even those in the storage areas. Sometimes light will appear though openings and you can find your culprit that way.

IIRC, the 22s of that year did not have belly pans, so you may find it far easier to find with a light test than we folks that have belly pans.

If you can't see any light, grab a very bright flashlight and try again from the inside targeting specifically in areas where you think it might be coming in.

If still no luck, try the opposite, get some halogen floods and shine them into the trailer from under and around the trailer from the outside at night, with all the interior lights off. There you may find areas letting light in, which may also let water in.

There are positive pressure units that can be attached and you spray soapy water on the trailer after it's turned on, these produce bubbles where the air is escaping. The tool is called sealtech I believe. Many RV repair places have these or something similar.

Also keep in mind that some leaks can travel, meaning that you may think it's coming from place "A", but later find that a vent pipe seal on the roof is bad, and the water is traveling to a place totally away from where you think. This is where the sealtech machine comes in handy.

Last idea is to let it dry, and simulate the issue with a hose. This is how I found that the factory did not put any caulk in one of my wheel wells. My trailer failed every light test I described above. It would rain like hell and no leak...minute I towed in rain, water in the trailer.

Just a few tips and tricks...hope it helps and good hunting.
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Old 03-28-2009, 07:53 PM   #5
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2002 22' International
Austin , Texas
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No Belly Pans

I forgot to mention that the 22' International did not have a cover underneath, leaving the flooring exposed. So what you see in the pictures is the bottom side of the flooring, although it's not bare wood. They have applied some kind of fabric coating to the bottom of the wood flooring as a sealant. My guess is this is a waterproof fiberglass cloth applique. Maybe someone knows better. This "covered" wood flooring sits on a shelf that runs around the frame. The first picture shows how there are some kind of fasteners used to secure the floor to the shelf. Apparently, the factory guys tried to "seal" these fasteners with some kind of caulk that is starting to come off.

It seems to me that ithe factory guys might have been concerned about water incursion when they tried to put caulk on the fasteners. But also I wonder why they did not want to also seal the edge around the shelf. I just don't know how these trailers are put together.

I wonder if anyone else has had issues with having to keep the floor well sealed from the elements. Since we drove through some heavy rain, I would assume that there can be some significant water pressure from splashes at 60 mph.
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:02 PM   #6
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If this is true about your floor, then there is no insulation at all under it. I find that hard to believe. Maybe there is a layer in between plywood layers?
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Old 03-28-2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
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To search for a leak, you should consider using the proper tool. I recommend one of these or, finding someone who has one..Here's the link to the site. Ultrasonic Leak Detectors
There's several models available..The least expensive one works just as well, in a field.
Several years ago, I conducted a test, using these units and, they do find the leak in the shortest time imaginable! (Under 15 minutes...) Place one unit inside the A/S and, put the headset on and...walk around till you find the signal.
EURKA`~! You have now found the leak..
Interestingly enough, our test also involved a A/S 22 ft model..

BTW, I don't think I'd be out driving in the hard rain for awhile..
Good Luck..

WBCCI 5292 AIR 807
NEU #64
New England Unit
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