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Old 06-24-2010, 09:56 PM   #1
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Wet carpet mystery

I'm stumped and would appreciate any suggestions. We just got back from our third trip with our Safari (2002 27 foot) and had a great time EXCEPT for one thing. During the first night the carpet in the hallway gradually got soaking wet, and it remained wet for the next four days, sometimes getting a little better, then getting worse again.

On one side of the hallway is the bathroom, and on the other side is the water pump (just below the closet). The wetness seemed to be concentrated pretty much in the center of the hallway and was not so noticeable next to either wall. We were connected to the campground's water supply and so were not using the water pump.

I checked every water line in the bathroom and in the water pump enclosure. I could not see or feel any dampness on or around any of these lines.

The next culprit I thought of was the air conditioner. This trip was the first time we had used it. It ran continuously during the four day trip. I suspected that condensation was running down one of the walls and seeping into the carpet. I do notice, however, that the outside drain tube seems to be dripping at a pretty healthy rate. Also, the interior A/C ceiling panel is located about five feet forward of where the dampness is appearing, and the carpet between those two points is dry.

Can anyone give me any guidance? Thanks.

Mike
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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I also have a 02 27 foot Safari. I would open the panel below the closet and check all the water connections. When winterizing you are supposed to remove one connection to burp the pump, maybe that connection is not tight. My pump exhaust hose started to weep a little and I had to add a hose clamp to it few years back. The area under the closet is carpeted and would wick the moisture out to the walk area. Opening the area under the closet is challenging as you have to bend the side panel to get it out. I had a hinge installed at the factory to make access to this area easer. If I can be of further assistance PM me.

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Bismarck ND
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:01 PM   #3
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On our Safari, the pump is accessed through a hinged panel which has a heat register in the middle of it under the closet. It can be difficult to get it open, but it will open. The hinge is on the left.

In there you will find pipes, heat duct, wires, all in a badly planned mess. The pump is set back so you can't easily check it out. There is a filter which is probably in the back and nearly impossible to remove and clean. Something is likely loose and leaking.

The carpet should be dried soon. Use as many fans as you can fit in the space and if you can pull it up, so much the better. The underside of the carpet won't easily dry unless it's exposed to air. You can get mold quickly if you don't dry it now.

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Old 06-25-2010, 06:26 AM   #4
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Is your shower leaking? Not sure where it's located in your Safari. But our 27' classic was leaking around the seams in the metal shower door frame and water would leak down behind the wood panel until it appeared on the floor. Took me a while to figure out where it was coming from. I sealed all the suspect seams inside the shower with clear silicone.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:19 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies! Yes, getting to the water pump is a pain, but I had done it once before when winterizing. It wasn't any easier this time. I hadn't thought of a hinge, - that would sure make things easier. Evidently Airstream didn't think of it either until after they built my trailer.

When I finally got the panel off, I couldn't find any dampness on the water lines or connections. There is a sheet of clear plastic that they put on top of the carpet, and the water pump rests on top of that. The water lines are also above the plastic sheet. There is certainly moisture in there, but it's all in the carpet, which is below the plastic sheet.

I can pretty well eliminate the possibility that it's the shower, as this started on the first night of the trip and we had not used the shower yet. I am leaning more and more toward the air conditioner theory, although that may be way off target.

Today I got up on the roof and took the cover off the air conditoner unit. Then I went back inside and took off the interior panel. What I discovered was that I couldn't see where the condensation drain was, much less whether there was anything wrong with it. In my home air conditioner, the drain starts at the evaporator coil, inside the house. I do regular maintenance by pouring some bleach through the drain to keep it from getting clogged up with algae or mold or whatever that stuff is. That's the extent of my knowledge of air conditioning. On the Airstream, I'm lost. Most likely, I will be calling Randy at North Dallas RV and getting set for another trek over to his place. For now, we have a fan blowing on the carpet. I couldn't see any way to pull the carpet up, though that would certainly be preferable.

Gene, since since we don't have internet access when traveling, I am several days behind on reading of your adventures. I'll catch up this weekend. There may be all kinds of challenges in Alaska, but I'll bet air conditioner problems are not among them.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:30 PM   #6
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Are you connected to a water supply while checking? It'll be easier to find a slow drip if the line are pressurized. Don't just try to follow wet spots on the carpet.
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:49 PM   #7
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Even with the shower turned off, if the line is pressurized, it can leak. In ours, inside the closet next to the shower, there's an access plate behind the shower control.

Good luck on your search. You are learning all sorts of things during this "adventure".

Gene
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Old 06-25-2010, 09:02 PM   #8
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Check the pipes that supply the toilet,
especially where the pipe attaches to the toilet. Ours leaked there and
got the carpet wet. Hard to get a wrench on the compression fitting
without pulling the toilet, however.
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Old 06-27-2010, 06:59 AM   #9
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Wet carpet mystery

Muddsmith, as I read about your wet spot on the carpet I could hardly believe it. I have the exact same problem on my 1988 Excella. My layout is different so the spot is in the center of the hall between the refrigerator and the microwave cabinet. The only wet spot is in the center of the floor and the area around the spot is not even damp. The PO had just replaced the fresh water tank and the spot is in the area near this location. Three pipes pass under the floor near the spot and they are original. The spot only seems to appear when I am hooked to city water. Since every thing else I can check has been checked, my next step is to drop the fresh water tank and inspect under the floor in that area. Not looking forward to that but at least I can replace the old pipe and eliminate any potential future problems. Will continue to follow this thread with updates.
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Old 06-27-2010, 08:38 PM   #10
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Mike, I'm sorry to hear someone else is having the identical problem, but it is encouraging in a way. For now, I have brought the trailer to the house and hooked it up to water and will try various things in the next few days to see if anything produces wet carpet.

What makes me lean toward the air conditioner being the problem is the fact that this just cropped up on our trip last week, and the only thing we did differently on this trip was to use the air conditioner. Bassfiddler has just started a thread about his condensation drain that has aroused my interest and that may be describing my problem. That thread is here for those interested:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f427...tml#post865264
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Old 06-27-2010, 09:04 PM   #11
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Mike, since it only happens under pressure, there may be a pipe leaking and spraying the underside of the floor. It seems it would also be sending water downward (that gravity thing) and leaking out the bottom of the belly pan.

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Old 06-27-2010, 09:19 PM   #12
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We had a mystery leak that took forever to find. We have a wet bath and the shower water leaked through a small gap at the base of the toilet puddling on top of the black tank under the sub floor behind the dinette and under the desk. The subfloor needed to be replaced and the bathroom sealed with LOTS of caulk.
Leaks never seem to originate where you first suspect.
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Old 06-28-2010, 10:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rettoc625 View Post
We had a mystery leak that took forever to find. We have a wet bath and the shower water leaked through a small gap at the base of the toilet puddling on top of the black tank under the sub floor behind the dinette and under the desk. The subfloor needed to be replaced and the bathroom sealed with LOTS of caulk.
Lordy, I hope that's not what my problem is! That must have been quite expensive.

Gene, I've had the water pressure turned on since last night, and so far there's no detectable moisture. Today after work I'll start running water in the sinks and flushing the toilet and standing on my head if necessary. If none of that produces any carpet dampness, my plan is to disconnect the water and release the pressure and then crank up the air conditioner.

I'm bound and determined to replicate this problem, even if I have to get a pitcher of water and pour it on the carpet myself!

Mike
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:58 AM   #14
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you might try filling and using the toilet while hooked up to the water, it could be in the plumbing and seals there...
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