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Old 02-18-2016, 01:14 PM   #29
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Airstreams had one or two blue stripes painted along the sides.
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Old 03-16-2016, 06:17 PM   #30
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1979 31' Excella 500
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An update on my leak saga...

I took our AS to get leak tested today at a local shoppe that does the SealTech method (pressurize inside, coat outside with soapy water and look for bubbles indicating leaks).

The test was more successful than my home grown method with leaf blowers and fans, unfortunately it was not successful enough to locate the leaks It identified some vertical seems where air was escaping (potential leaks) but not really in the area where the leaks were occurring.

Now I'm back to square one... I think my next step is going to be to seal every exterior seem and area around exterior hardware. I really wish I would have taken off the interior skin and sealed everything from the inside before I did the interior renovation, but it's too late now. Best chance at stopping the leak now is to seal from the outside.

Anyone got a favorite silicon sealer they like to use on their airstream? Recommendations welcome.
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Old 03-16-2016, 09:10 PM   #31
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Do NOT use silicone....! Use this:

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-267.htm

and on rivets, use this:

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-099.htm

If it makes you feel better, I have a leak that only occurs while traveling in the rain. And boy does it leak! It's my front window & I've tried everything. I think I might put sealer inside the window when it's open & shut it, thereby making my own gasket. I may never get the window open again, but if it quits leaking, it'll be worth it. And yes, I sealed all the seams when I had the interior skins off!
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Old 03-17-2016, 09:39 AM   #32
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Becky B. View Post
Do NOT use silicone....! Use this:

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-267.htm

and on rivets, use this:

http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/...-p/vts-099.htm

If it makes you feel better, I have a leak that only occurs while traveling in the rain. And boy does it leak! It's my front window & I've tried everything. I think I might put sealer inside the window when it's open & shut it, thereby making my own gasket. I may never get the window open again, but if it quits leaking, it'll be worth it. And yes, I sealed all the seams when I had the interior skins off!
Thank you so much for the suggestions! Just ordered a bunch of supplies, including the two products you recommended, from VTS.

When applying the sealant I've been told it's really important to make sure the area is clean... any recommendations on what to use to clean the area? Some sort of alcohol solution? Mineral Spirits?
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:11 AM   #33
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No alcohol. I use acetone and or carb cleaner that has no alcohol derivative.
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Old 03-17-2016, 11:56 AM   #34
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No alcohol. I use acetone and or carb cleaner that has no alcohol derivative.
I am sure this has been addressed, but why no alcohol? I have Acetone, but I save it for tough jobs like removing Vulkem etc.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:11 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekerboy View Post
An update on my leak saga...

I took our AS to get leak tested today at a local shoppe that does the SealTech method (pressurize inside, coat outside with soapy water and look for bubbles indicating leaks).

The test was more successful than my home grown method with leaf blowers and fans, unfortunately it was not successful enough to locate the leaks It identified some vertical seems where air was escaping (potential leaks) but not really in the area where the leaks were occurring.

Now I'm back to square one... I think my next step is going to be to seal every exterior seem and area around exterior hardware. I really wish I would have taken off the interior skin and sealed everything from the inside before I did the interior renovation, but it's too late now. Best chance at stopping the leak now is to seal from the outside.

Anyone got a favorite silicon sealer they like to use on their airstream? Recommendations welcome.
I've never had the pressure leak test done, but I've found leaks that I suspect might not show up with that method. I wipe down the seam, rivet, etc with a soapy sponge (to "wet" the surface) and then use an eyedropper with water to see if it wicks it in. I've discovered water could wick in places where there was no visible gap. I generally do not find water damage inside from these leaks, unless they are beneath and in line with where water drains off an awning, door or window gutter. In those locations, a small bit of wicking can start to add up.

I re-read the beginning of the thread, and have one long-shot idea for the leak forward of the door.

You probably already caulked the awning brackets. Well, if you look at the bottom bracket of the main awning arm, there are three mounting screws, one is under where the awning arm pivots. You can only get to it by separating the two pieces of the arm, and removing the bottom pivoting portion (get someone to help hold the upper arm portion, it's under a great deal of spring tension and could do serious damage if it gets loose). On my rig, the two accessible mounting screws on either side had vulkem in the screw holes. The center one had nothing. Water runs right down to it from the awning mounting rail/gutter. It wicked in water real good under the screw head. You might want to check it out. Maybe I just had a one-off installer error, but you never know.
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Old 03-17-2016, 12:24 PM   #36
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Quote:
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! Just ordered a bunch of supplies, including the two products you recommended, from VTS.



When applying the sealant I've been told it's really important to make sure the area is clean... any recommendations on what to use to clean the area? Some sort of alcohol solution? Mineral Spirits?

I use mineral spirits to clean thing up before sealing. Blue painters tape on either side of the seam & press in the tremco with your finger & you'll have a nice seam.
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Old 03-17-2016, 07:42 PM   #37
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The directions on the polyurethane caulks like sikaflex say not to use cleaners with alcohol. It messes with the bonding of the sealant. I spot clean small areas with acetone and use the carb cleaner for bigger areas. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-18-2016, 06:41 PM   #38
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In my field of work (aircraft maintenance) we always use Acetone
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:55 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Tbeck11931 View Post
In my field of work (aircraft maintenance) we always use Acetone
Would MEK (methyl-ethyl-ketone) work as a substitute for acetone?
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Old 04-26-2016, 08:31 AM   #40
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Thank you so much for the suggestions! Just ordered a bunch of supplies, including the two products you recommended, from VTS.
So we sealed every exterior seam and the leaking has finally stopped! Turns out the major leak was from the rear ceiling fan... and guess who installed the rear ceiling fan... (me). DOH! Ugh. Live and learn.

We had a big rain last night and no leaks except one or two drips from the AC (condensation perhaps?) and a few drops around a window gasket; nothing I can't handle.

Thanks everyone for your help and advice! Case closed!
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