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Old 10-17-2014, 06:47 PM   #1
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window leak

I discovered a wet carpet in my 2009 Airstream Classic. It is a front living room with the sofa at the very front of the trailer. Upon removing the arm rest of the sofa, I discovered the carpet was wet in the storage area beneath the arm rest. I discovered that the water was entering at the window seal which I have since sealed with Pro-Seal, a sealer used for sealing aircraft fuel tanks. My question is what is the best and easiest way to remove the wet insulation which is between the inner and outer skins. I've been considering cutting a couple of 3 or 4 inch circular holes in the inner skin then pulling the wet insulation out until no more wet stuff comes out. Then blowing warm air into one hole for a couple of days to dry everything. The perhaps installing expanding foam in the cavity. Then I would rivet the resulting 3 or 4 inch aluminum discs back in place, seal it up then apply new covering to the wall. Does this sound like a reasonable fix? Thanks.
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:46 PM   #2
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Are you sure that the insulation is wet? When I bought my AS in 2011, there was evidence of a leak in the front corner, and there was mold there as well (the PO had it parked with a for sale sign for 2 years pursuant to surgery). I went from the PO's place directly to JC and they found that the leak was the sealant around the front corner window glass behind the rock guard. The stripped away the old sealant and resealed all the front windows, as well as changed the gaskets of the front window. They also used some chemicals to neutralize and remove the mold (my wife is extremely allergic to mold and their cleaning job left no trace of mold). There was never an issue with the insulation in the walls under the windows.
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Old 10-18-2014, 01:31 AM   #3
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Do NOT use expanding foam in the walls. It will expand and expand and push the wall surface out, and maybe even the exterior wall. Don't ask me how I know, but it was a dual skin fiberglass trailer, not an Airstream. The metal on the walls of an Airstream is weaker than the fiberglass walls.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:40 AM   #4
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Thanks for the great advice! That thought actually crossed my mind and if I did it I planned to proceed very cautiously, a little bit at a time. But, since you had experience with this with poor results, I'll heed your advice. Thanks again.
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Old 10-18-2014, 08:45 AM   #5
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Thanks, BLKMAGIKA. I just assumed the water found its way down through the window leak into the cavity between the inner and outer skins. Do you have any thoughts as to how the water may have found its way from the window down to the carpet?
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:01 AM   #6
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I would first make sure that you have indeed sealed the leak around the window since that should be your #1 priority. I'm not sure that tearing up the inside of your trailer to try and dry the insulation is worthwhile. If the leak is truly stopped, the insulation may just dry itself out over time.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by century4 View Post
Thanks, BLKMAGIKA. I just assumed the water found its way down through the window leak into the cavity between the inner and outer skins. Do you have any thoughts as to how the water may have found its way from the window down to the carpet?
When the water seeped in, the path it followed was to go around the glass, which is in a channel, and then down the wall. It wet the arm of the gaucho, which was moldy afterwards. There was a water stain on the wood subfloor in that corner (the PO had replaced the carpet with Perego snap-in flooring in the front half of the AS).

The AS tech pointed out to me that the window sealant had been cracked and a part of it had actually fallen off. Because all this was behind the dark plastic rock guard, I would not have found it unless I unscrewed the fastening holding the guard in place (the guard is hinged so it can be swung aside). The repair was itself was not complicated, as it just meant removing the old hardened and cracked caulking around the window and replacing it with new sealant. The change of the gasket was done as a preventative measure (it was 25 years old).

As a result of that service I had done at JC, I have made it a point to visit there twice yearly (on my fall trip south for the winter and again on my return north) to regularly do my servicing there. Besides the competence, I like the fact that I get a fixed appointment and whatever work has to be done is done without having to leave my AS there. If the work takes more than 1 day (and it has on occasion) they have camping facilities there - they pull the trailer onto the terraport and I sleep in it overnight; then it's back in the shop at 7:30am. On my first visit there in 2011, when they repaired the leak at the bottom of that window, they also found water seeping in around the rivets where the front end cap is attached. I opted for a permanent repair, which meant that they drilled out and hand bucked in new rivets. That and other upgrades had me camped there for 10 days - and you don't want to know what that cost.
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