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Old 05-11-2016, 06:55 AM   #71
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Or the old timer's low tech gasket inspection. Get a nice new crisp dollar bill and standing outside the door, go around the perimeter of the door frame closing the door on the dollar.

If the dollar sticks it's a tight seal. If it drags its a fair seal. If it slides in and out with no resistance the seal is probably not making good contact.

The tricky part is their is also a screen door bug seal next to the entrance door weather seal so you have to decide which one is gripping the dollar bill.

Sometimes you can improve the rubber seal function by putting silicone spray or grease on it, and new seals are less likely to stick. A new rubber seal may also form itself to the irregularities of the door over time.
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Old 05-15-2016, 12:04 PM   #72
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Well - dollar bills don't get through so I really don't know where the problem is. Next step is to start spraying it from the outside with a hose from bottom to top while DW is inside watching for leaks.

In the interim, we stopped by the trailer yesterday and there was still water leaking (ever so slowly) out of the very bottom of the door on to the threshold. I think I mentioned earlier that inside the door, the window frame comes together in a seam at the bottom of the frame - you can just see one of the "slits" in the frame in the center of this pic, above the horizontal handle.

When the water came in from the trip, it was clearly leaking down through this seam inside the door. I had to put 4 weep holes in the bottom inside of the door today and when I was pulling the drill out, the insulation on the bit was wet to the touch. 😞

So I caulked that seam in the window frame today hoping that if I can't track down the source of the leak, I can at least prevent more water from going inside the door.

I am definitely going to close the vents next time we're driving in the rain and see if that has any impact. The positive news is that the water entry is all going down to the threshold and draining out to the ground without entering the trailer itself. If there's a silver lining to this (Flying) Cloud (groan), I'll take it....

Slightly bummed - but still glad I did it. Brad (at the factory) seemed bummed too and told me he wanted me to get exactly what I paid for. I may have to take it back there next year if I can't figure it out this season....

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Old 05-16-2016, 05:26 AM   #73
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Well - dollar bills don't get through so I really don't know where the problem is.
. . .
I can't emphasize enough the power of a vacuum in the interior, coupled with wind-driven water on the new door, plus positive air pressure. I have worked on huge oceanfront houses with custom doors and windows, many odd-ball areas of through-flashing for chimneys etc., and have been amazed at seeing water run UP a large sloped steel hip rafter in an attic, all from a small hole in some flashing way down on the soffit overhang.

Having the skylights open is a huge factor in your leak IMO. Plus Airstream may not have factored in your new door location into their willingness to do the installation. Also, I believe your fans have a hard plastic rain cover ("roof" in essence) over them, right? This rigid shape sticking up creates much more vacuum than just a skylight dome (only) being cracked open a little IMO.

See if you can get JC to set up a vacuum system and test a current model at the factory. If they can get the system set up, at least your trip there for further R&D might be productive. Without a vaccum system, you end up with mainly "analysis paralysis" IMO.

Good luck!

Peter

PS -- I would be surprised if JC does not already have -- or has plans for -- a vacuum system, especially for the new Nest model. Also, certification of all models for sale in Europe under the EU codes and regs, would require some kind of vacuum/pressure testing IMO. JC may not advertise the availability of such a testing facility, but it is either here or coming IMO. Blaze the new trail!
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:31 AM   #74
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I don't think Airstream can use a vacuum or pressure leak test system on newly assembled trailers because it would pull/push the fresh sealants out.

I'm wondering if water could be coming in through the door latch and lock mechanisms. I have had our dead bolt assembly loosen over time, maybe it came that way. Anyway there are two phillips screws on the interior of the door that were loose, allowing the dead bolt assembly to be loose, not tight against the exterior.
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Old 05-16-2016, 06:43 AM   #75
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Thanks Peter - excellent insights. Yes, I do have those fan "roofs" you mentioned - though since their installation there was never a problem with the original door - even on that last rain soaked trip - the original door had no leaks at all.

But your points are well taken. I don't mind being the research guinea pig on this one 😀
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Old 05-16-2016, 09:59 AM   #76
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I don't think Airstream can use a vacuum or pressure leak test system on newly assembled trailers because it would pull/push the fresh sealants out.
. . .
I didn't mean to test each completed unit, but rather to test the various doors and weatherstripping systems for each model, after any sealants etc. have cured. Basically to ascertain that the design of each component is sound, and it performs as designed.

Of course the new door here was not on a standard model, but it could be tested at JC (or at home per the suggestion made last week to jury-rig a vacuum system in the main original door -- Post #).
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:04 AM   #77
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Thanks Peter - excellent insights. Yes, I do have those fan "roofs" you mentioned - though since their installation there was never a problem with the original door - even on that last rain soaked trip - the original door had no leaks at all.

But your points are well taken. I don't mind being the research guinea pig on this one ��
Thanks.

It is the combined lower air pressure inside, and the increased air pressure at the front, which make the problem IMO. The combination is what does it. The original door further back on a side wall lacks the same increased frontal air pressure. Wonder if AS has ever had any units tested in a wind tunnel?

PS -- Also the water and slipstream coming off the tow vehicle are different IMO for the new front-ish door vs. the original. Lots of factors, but when they add up -- that is when the leak occurs.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:24 AM   #78
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Thanks.

It is the combined lower air pressure inside, and the increased air pressure at the front, which make the problem IMO. The combination is what does it. The original door further back on a side wall lacks the same increased frontal air pressure. Wonder if AS has ever had any units tested in a wind tunnel?

PS -- Also the water and slipstream coming off the tow vehicle are different IMO for the new front-ish door vs. the original. Lots of factors, but when they add up -- that is when the leak occurs.

Yes - also at the front-ish area with all that spray coming off the truck, you have the "eye brow" over the door channeling water out of its bottom front part practically inside the seam for the hinge. It's got be almost like it's blowing the water in there with a 65mph hose.
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Old 05-16-2016, 11:16 AM   #79
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Yes - also at the front-ish area with all that spray coming off the truck, you have the "eye brow" over the door channeling water out of its bottom front part practically inside the seam for the hinge. It's got be almost like it's blowing the water in there with a 65mph hose.
An excellent observation. It would be interesting to rig up a wireless back-up camera on the back of your tow vehicle and watch (record?) the water and wind action at the front edge of your new door, and at the corner you have ID'd.

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Old 05-24-2016, 05:59 PM   #80
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Was thinking about this today (still no chance to test it in the rain with the vents closed)....

The location of my new door, while in the street side, is still forward near the a-frame as is the case with rear bedroom models. Meaning - there are tons of AS trailers on the road with a door near the a-frame and tow vehicle - with the same "eyebrow" funneling water on the hinge...so why haven't I heard of those units taking on water during a driving rain?

If the theory we're sort of evolving in this thread includes my door's proximity to additional water being closer to the truck (combined with the vacuum force of the open vents) shouldn't that apply to rear bed models too?

Are there owners of rear bed models who travel with vents open and could report the same result?
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Old 05-24-2016, 06:04 PM   #81
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Yes should apply to any trailer with similar door up front. Those solid vent covers/roofs create a heck of a vacuum IMO, especially at 65 MPH. wonder if the mfg. site has stats. or PDF white papers graphing vacuum vs. air speed? A Google search for

maxxair vent cover negative air pressure

Does show comments about black tank odors coming into trailer from the negative air pressure with vents open.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:33 PM   #82
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I saw those too. I sent an email to the Maxxair folks to see if they had any research on this.

Curious if other Airstreamers with forward doors using vent covers have seen the same problem.
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Old 05-24-2016, 08:44 PM   #83
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We have the front door and vent covers but have never towed in heavy rain. I never noticed the problem in light rain.

We seen you and your door install at Jackson Center, very nice. I was just thinking, did they seal the eyebrow above the door?
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Old 05-24-2016, 09:19 PM   #84
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Hi Doug - yes, it was fun meeting you and Cheryl live at JC!

And yes, they sealed everything. Even ran a series of hoses (like a rain array) on it for 30-45 minutes AND the sealtech test - no leaks. This is why I think Peter's idea about the vent cover creating enough vacuum to draw (what was torrential) rain past the gaskets has merit.

Next time it rains cats and dogs, help me out with some research and take yours for a 30 minutes spin with your vents open and let me know what you see, won't you? 😂
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