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Old 09-23-2015, 04:19 PM   #15
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We're nearly complete with the year-long process of renovating our '79 Excella 500 and I swear, this darn leak I've been working to seal might just be the end of me! I thought I sealed it long ago, but seems to still be in full effect:

Attachment 248720

This is in the front of the AS, directly underneath the window immediately to the right of the door when you walk in. This is the engineered wood floor peeling up away from the cork padding underneath. The cork is damp to the touch.

Before we put in the floors, we knew there was a leak coming down the interior of the AS skin and settling on the newly installed subfloor, so I sealed every seam and missing rivet hole I could find on the front half of that side of the AS, including all the window seems. Every seem looks like this:

Attachment 248721

If it's not clear from the picture, there is clear caulk filling the seam along the top edge of this window.

I can not for the life of me figure out where this water is coming in, and I need some help.

Does anyone have a website or other resource that explains more "advanced" techniques for finding the source of leaks? Or even just some advice from others who have had to track down persistent leaks?

More possible places for your leak.

The entrance door handle, could be that leak, or the scare light.

Remove the scare light, and reseal it. Also, check out the gasket for the scare light clear lens, and the seal for it's wire.

Then, the awning rail could be the leak, or I should say the rivets that hold it in place.

Since water can travel, the front Zip Dee awning arm bracket could be that leak.

The gasket on the opening window may not be sealing correctly, as they often do. A better gasket than the original is a hollow "D" shaped gasket.

Then, the door entrance light mounting bracket could be the leak.

And Lastly, but more likely, the Vista View window. They often leak. Seal the complete exterior of that metal frame, AND seal the glass, by adding some Sikaflex that completely covers the gray gasket, from the glass to the metal frame.

I am sure you already checked each and every rivet in that area, for being loose and/or missing.

Andy
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:09 PM   #16
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Well, that was a let down...

I tried the pressurized method, sealed everything, had all 3 fantastic fans blowing air in on high, as well as roof mounted A/C fan on high, and two commercial leaf blowers on full blast and it seems I still couldn't get enough pressure to expose the leaks. How do I know this? Well, despite all the places I sealed up with plastic inflating (to show there was a pressure differential between inside and outside), I managed to find a missing rivet hope that I could feel air coming out of. I put soap and water over it, but no bubbles I guess the force of the air coming out wasn't enough to blow bubbles, and without bubbles I couldn't find the leaks.

Major bummer after all that work to seal everything. Maybe my soapy solution mixture was off?

At any rate, I'm going to resort to taking it to a local RV place to have them use their SealTech unit to pressurize, locate leaks, and fix them. I hate surrender!
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Old 09-23-2015, 08:43 PM   #17
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I had an 87 Exla 32 with purported serious leaks. As it turned out there were only four areas. 1st was the rub-rail floor line curb side rear, easily enough sealed with top premium caulk. If you pay less than $16/tube you are not there yet. 2nd was a factory oversight in failing to seal an 1/8 " opening running the length under the access door hinge street side near water heater (in a water test the water flowed down the side of trailer right into the belly pan where it accumulated to percolate into the particle board sub-floor (another factory error using PB). And another design flaw was the rear bumper hose storage which collected water which emptied into the belly pan as well. Lastly and most surprising to me was an open crack in the clear patio light. Now with the floor replaced in the BR (not a job I would want to repeat) she is nice and tight. Condensation can be a problem many people think is leaking and to which they over-react using way too much caulk inappropriately. I removed caulk from all windows and most seams and leakage was present in only one window corner. Please do not just smear a bunch of caulk all over the place without finding the origin of the problem first.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:09 PM   #18
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My bet is the soap wasn't quite right to bubble...
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:48 PM   #19
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On many Airstreams of that era there is a missing rivet where the awning rail ends at the front dome seam. You will find a hole there but no rivet just old calking that has dried up and creates a leak that runs down just inside beside the door. I found out by removing the inner skin to find a persistent leak. I have seen it on many trailers since. Just pry up the end of the awning rail and slip in a small piece of aluminum with calking on it and It fixed my leak.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:05 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by trekerboy View Post
Well, that was a let down...

I tried the pressurized method, sealed everything, had all 3 fantastic fans blowing air in on high, as well as roof mounted A/C fan on high, and two commercial leaf blowers on full blast and it seems I still couldn't get enough pressure to expose the leaks. How do I know this? Well, despite all the places I sealed up with plastic inflating (to show there was a pressure differential between inside and outside), I managed to find a missing rivet hope that I could feel air coming out of. I put soap and water over it, but no bubbles I guess the force of the air coming out wasn't enough to blow bubbles, and without bubbles I couldn't find the leaks.

Major bummer after all that work to seal everything. Maybe my soapy solution mixture was off?

At any rate, I'm going to resort to taking it to a local RV place to have them use their SealTech unit to pressurize, locate leaks, and fix them. I hate surrender!
Running the AC, will not pressurize anything.

Also, I don't think running the 3 ceiling fans will create an adequate amount of pressure either.

The soapy solution must be very thin in order to work properly.

Andy
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:07 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Inland RV Center, In View Post
Running the AC, will not pressurize anything.

Also, I don't think running the 3 ceiling fans will create an adequate amount of pressure either.

The soapy solution must be very thin in order to work properly.

Andy
I was just running the A/C units fan, which moves a lot of air (much more than the 3 Fantastic Fans I have), but agree that it may not have been enough to generate the amount of pressure I needed. It seemed like it would work because the areas that I had taped-up (vents, etc...) were obviously areas where are was trying to escape (the plastic covering them blew up like a balloon) but the proof is in the pudding as they say, and no bubbles for me.

At any rate, thank you for your advice Andy. I'm taking it to someone who uses the "SealTech" method.
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Old 09-25-2015, 12:46 PM   #22
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If you find an AC guy who can wire up a blower out of a residential "air handler" of at least 2 tons YOU WILL HAVE PLENTY OF AIR!

Also, with many leaks you need the "volume" AND pressure to show bubbles like Andy mentioned above.
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Old 10-12-2015, 08:55 PM   #23
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This will sound weird, but please bear with me. This morning, my wife and I were sitting and taking a break during my battle with a clogged A/C condensation drain tube. The A/C was running. Suddenly we noticed a couple of drops of water running down the outside of the window that is just to the right of the door as you come in. There has not been any rain for many days. I went outside to check, and found that the outer skin above the window was completely dry. The water was coming out of the top of the window frame and then running down the glass! The only possible explanation I can think of is that the condensation is running across the the inside of the skin and down that side until it is stopped by the window.

I suspect you may be having a similar problem, but in your case the water is making it all the way down to the floor. I may be totally off base, but you might want to look into it.

Mike
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Old 10-30-2015, 10:47 PM   #24
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It has been a month any news?
My vote or guess is an errant mounted awning bracket, then one in front of the door.

My trailer had three screw holes into the trailer, no bedding or sealant around the fasteners.
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Old 10-30-2015, 11:12 PM   #25
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I say the water is coming through the antenna mount.


Brevi tempore!
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Old 10-31-2015, 11:05 AM   #26
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Everyone's advice has been invaluable and I am happy to report that I have found the location of the leak(s)! It turns out the leaks were located... somewhere on the outside of the AS Hehe.

I haven't had a chance to take our AS to the local shoppe that does the SealTech method, so until I do that and they tell where the leaks are this is my current method of preventing further leaks:

Click image for larger version

Name:	ImageUploadedByAirstream Forums1446307302.437014.jpg
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Size:	93.6 KB
ID:	251416

Winter is on its way here in Michigan, so I'll probably end up picking this up again in the spring.

Oh, and I'm aware the tarp will scuff-up the exterior as it rubs against it when the wind blows. The exterior is going to be polished next spring as well, so not too worried about scuffs at this point.

I'll report back in the spring! Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-09-2016, 09:17 AM   #27
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Not such a bright idea

Quote:
Originally Posted by trekerboy View Post
Everyone's advice has been invaluable and I am happy to report that I have found the location of the leak(s)! It turns out the leaks were located... somewhere on the outside of the AS Hehe.

I haven't had a chance to take our AS to the local shoppe that does the SealTech method, so until I do that and they tell where the leaks are this is my current method of preventing further leaks:

Attachment 251416

Winter is on its way here in Michigan, so I'll probably end up picking this up again in the spring.

Oh, and I'm aware the tarp will scuff-up the exterior as it rubs against it when the wind blows. The exterior is going to be polished next spring as well, so not too worried about scuffs at this point.

I'll report back in the spring! Thanks everyone!
UPDATE: Turns out, putting a tarp over our AS doesn't prevent water from getting in... I didn't think about this at the time I put the tarp over the AS, but as the snow fell and got heavy on top of the AS it made certain areas of the tarp taught/tight, which would be fine except for there are some pokey things sticking up from the roof (namely the antenna mount and some random components of the zipdee awning). So, the combination of heavy snow/ice and taught/tight tarp meant that holes developed in the tarp. Then, when it got warm, some of the snow melted and created pools of water on the roof behind the awning. The pools of water found their way to the holes that had developed and water got underneath the tarp. Fortunately I'm pretty sure I caught this happening on the 1st day water got inside the AS, but now I have to find some place to store the AS indoors for the remainder of the winter. Ugh.

So, lesson learned... tarp over Airstream for the winter will rip from heavy snow/ice and let water into whatever you were trying to cover up.
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Old 02-17-2016, 01:26 PM   #28
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2 questions:

1.What is the best way to remove old caulk from an AS?
2.What kind of sealing material is best?

Thanks!
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