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Old 10-26-2007, 01:33 PM   #1
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1964 19' Globetrotter
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tracing water leak

Just reinstalling the battery in my 64 Globetrotter which is very new to me. Hasn't had water in the tank for years, so that's not the issue. It rained a bit last night. There is some water just inside the access panel above the rear bumper (and also inside the access panel that is part of the rear bumper). So it's coming from the rain, but the access panel is really solid and doesn't look like it could be the source... so I guess it's coming from higher up... maybe even all the way up where the previous owner installed a Fantastic Fan? Who knows... how the heck do you trace the source of water? Any tricks? Yes, the wet wood is soft so it's not a new problem and will require more investigation. Inside the trailer and other access doors is all bone dry.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:09 AM   #2
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..well here's two cents worth, I thot about your query and you know you might could get the areas dried out real real good, then enact a rainstorm with your water hose from top where the possible fan/leak is...then thru this simulation you would find the water coming out (if you are thinking it was coming from the outside...or thus if not, would be coming from something inside...I looked in my 'bumper' area where the battery is stored one day, and the tray where you would put your sewer hose etc. Had hints of water getting in there too...it would cool if someone would design a virtual model of all our trailers, motorhomes, etc. and you could see 'virtually' how the trailers look and are built without having to look at a flat table diagram which ain't easy to figure out! Good luck and enjoy the forums of Airstream!
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:09 AM   #3
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Whenever searching for water leaks into your Airstream it is always better to reverse the search method. You should pressurize the interior of your AS and spray the outside of your trailer with a soapy water mixture and look for bubbles coming "out" of your trailer. You will never find hidden leaks behind walls or cabinets buy soaking the outside and letting even more damaging water into your trailer. By using this meathos you may be surprised by the amount of possible leak locations.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:26 AM   #4
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try looking at www.vintageairstream.com and following the link to the Caravel restoration. He talks about a common situation in mid 60's trailers where water gets in between the rear bumper and the floor. I know I had the exact problem he describes. You might also. Good luck.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:49 AM   #5
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Pressurization a Great Idea!

Rick,

That is an excellent idea. How do you go about doing it? I mean, how much pressure do you need?

Is a box fan in the door enough? Or do you need to make a fake door with a small hole in it and pump a shop vac's output into it?

My trailer was leaking through the roof seams. I Kool Sealed them and that stopped it. But I didn't know which one was leaking, so I just went over all of them.

I like the pressure check idea.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:29 AM   #6
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Personally, my recommendation is..
to stay away from water test..
There's an Ultrasound unit on the market that uses a xmit / rcvr to search out for leaks..NO WATER..pin points the leaks every time..Definitively.
All it takes is two ppl and maybe 30 minutes to do the entire trailer.
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:03 PM   #7
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Well, it's water testing today again

Rain... I'm still searching for the source but it's definitely moist in there. Just near the outer skin and only in the area of the panel so I'm starting to get suspicious about that panel.
Regardless, it drew attention to some flat metal (looks like galvanized) must be the box around the sewer tank, which is rusted through and mostly gone up under the toilet and tub areas. Thankfully the frame has some surface rust but nothing looks serious, so I guess it's just a bunch of stuff bolted to the frame that will be replaced. Here I thought I had a 64 with hardly anything to get fixed on it
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:19 PM   #8
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GlobeTrottin,
Been there, done it..Let me give you a clue. Your assessment is right on...When you're getting ready to take that rusted box off?? You just signed up for one heckuva of job...The bolts are located between tight space of the frame and, short of removing everything in ur bathroom..nearly impossible to get at..I tried everything except a blow torch..(fear of fire)..
The next owner, GAWD Bless em, took the shell off the frame and, rebuilt it back to a outstanding like new unit unit~! Youth and Drive...
I'll be following ur prgress..
ciao
53FC
here's a link to his website..Enjoy~!
about - airstream renovation pics
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:41 PM   #9
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That really sounds like a lot of work...

I know some people jack up the data plate and replace everything attached to it, but really I don't plan that. At least not all at once. I want to go use this thing! I'm planning to save all winter just for the new axle, tires, brakes, etc. and updated LP tanks. I suppose I'll have a look under there but not certain about actually replacing everything. I've been accused of being an "urban engineer" in the past, and don't want to do any harm with shoddy repairs, but man I don't know about fixing it all right away! This trailer has been in nearly constant use all its life and has been well cared for. I just want to keep using it and caring for it... who knows what that might entail. I clearly won't be doing any of these repairs until the spring, at which time I will be on this forum 24/7 at the very least.
Thanks for your thoughts and encouragement, everyone!
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:11 PM   #10
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pressurized water test

Where can I get a pressurized water test for leaks done? Are there certain dealers that provide such tests?
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:36 PM   #11
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GlobeTrottin,
First thing I would do would be to seal around the fan. I had a leak in the rear of my '65 GT water would come in around the window and under the shower, the PO had used sillycone to seal the rear window so I think he had the same leak. I used a tube of aluminum seal and sealed my fan/vent all around it and the leak stopped. I think you were on the right track when you thought that might be the problem. And it is an easy place to start.
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Old 11-04-2007, 05:36 PM   #12
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You just have to call RV places & see if they do "SealTech" for finding leaks. I used this at a local RV dealer. They did find a couple of leaks, but not all of them. I ended up taking out the hose again & finding the rest by myself. I think different dealers have different experience with these machines (that's what some other members here have said). I, however, thought the $ was basically wasted & I could have found the leaks by myself, if I hadn't lost patience with the whole thing! My trailer is finally leak-free & enjoying itself for the fall/winter boondocking!
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:38 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickandsandi
Whenever searching for water leaks into your Airstream it is always better to reverse the search method. You should pressurize the interior of your AS and spray the outside of your trailer with a soapy water mixture and look for bubbles coming "out" of your trailer. You will never find hidden leaks behind walls or cabinets buy soaking the outside and letting even more damaging water into your trailer. By using this meathos you may be surprised by the amount of possible leak locations.
Rick, that, an interesting idea. How do you go about presurizing the inside? With what do you use?
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