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Old 04-05-2012, 05:02 PM   #1
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Ely , Minnesota
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Rear Storage Door Leaks?

Hi Folks.

I stored my 28' Safari outside this winter. I took all of the precautions recommended...antifreeze in the pipes, mouse proofing, covered the vents on the roof, jacked it up to take pressure off the axle, gave it a good washing and waxing in the fall... bottom line, we made it through the winter just fine.

By the way, we live in northern Minnesota and I did take the snow off the roof one time. We did not have much snow this winter, so it was easy.

When I opened my rear storage door a few days ago, I was surprised to find the carpet on the floor very wet in one corner. I checked in the bed room and it was wet on one side adjacent to the area in the storage area that was wet.

The only way that I can think that the water got in is at the top of the door on the rear storage area. The door sticks out just a hair and I assume that as the snow melted or rained, the water running down the back of the AS caught the lip and went into the storage area.

Has anybody out there had this issue before? Any other ideas as to how the water could have gotten in? I temporarily made a flap out of duct tape to cover the top of the door. Any other suggestion as to a more permanent solutions? The lock is tight and draws the door in as far a it will go.

Thank for any suggestions or confirmations.

Bert Heep (Enjoying an early spring in Minnesota
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:13 PM   #2
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I suspect, but am not sure, that your leak came from up north of the storage door and maybe even forward.
Was it stored level, nose up, or nose down?
Do you have a pic of the rear of your Safari so we can identify possible points for leaks? (one on my Classic was the license plate pocket, but I'm not sure if yours has one.

BTW: I love your town. I go canoeing in the BWCA every year....sometimes twice.
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Old 04-05-2012, 07:07 PM   #3
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I had the same thing a few years ago. It turned out to be coming in at the top of the licence plate housing. It is plastic and all I had to do to cure the problem was run a bead of Acryl-r in the joint between plastic and aluminum skin.
My trailer is painted so the rivets and seams are all sealed with multiple coats of paint. That eliminates a lot of potential leaks.
Al
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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Hi...Thanks for the quick response. I had it stored level as far as I know. I checked it when I jacked it up. Not quite sure what you mean when you say "and maybe even forward". I will try and send a photo. I don't have a license plate pocket. Mine has a small light above the plate with a rubber gasket behind it, so I doubt it is coming from there. When I have the door closed, the upper lip of the door sticks out about a quarter inch from the body. After I get on dried out I will see if the duct tape flap keeps the water out.

Yeah...Ely is a great town. We have lived here for 17 years and also love to paddle. Our cabin is located on the Echo trail about 11 miles from town. In fact, I used to work for Piragis Northwoods as the Outfitting Manager. Just recently retired.

Thanks again for the response.

Bert
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Old 04-05-2012, 08:26 PM   #5
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Hi Al...
I do not have a license plate "pocket". I have a small light above the plate and there is a good rubber gasket between the light and the body. Thanks for the suggestion.
I doubt very much if it is coming from any of the rivets. I still think it is the top of the door on the left side. It sticks out about a quarter of an inch from the body and that is the side that got wet. I will see if the duct tape flap does the trick after I get things dried out.
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Old 04-05-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Bert, I just 2 and 2 together. I now recognize your name from the newsletter emails! Been in Piragis many times. Left a bit of my money there as well.

Anyway, a lot of the time the leaks are quite some distance from where they show up. many times the water will run into the c channel within the wall and run to the firs opening in the c channel and that's where you find wet carpet. I would start inspection up high.Running lights, sealer at top of rear window, tops of any side rearward windows, all of the roof mounted vents, etc. Then work your way down, inspecting anything which has an opening through the skin.

This is a patience game.

Up your way is the entry point of one of my favorite paddle routes. Up the little Indian Sioux.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions. I will start at the top and work my way down. Frustrating to say the least.
Yep...easy to leave some money at Piragis...cool store for sure. I agree about Little Indian Sioux. In fact, that will be our next trip the early part of July. Now that I am retired we are going to be able to paddle during the summer. That whole area north of and between entry 14 and 16 (Moose River North) is probably my favorite area in the BW.

When you come up for your next trip...you would be welcome to stop by our place.
Our fire number is 2283 on the Echo Trail.

I'll let you know when I find the source of the leak.

Thanks,
Bert
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Old 04-15-2012, 08:19 AM   #8
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Just want to let you all know that I found the leak. It was the door on the storage compartment. The top of the door sticks out about a quarter of an inch on the left side when it is closed, so when the water drips down the back it catches the lip and goes into the storage compartment. I put a rubber strip held on with duct tape to see if this would divert the water. It did the trick and the compartment stayed dry during a very heavy rain. Now...I can work on getting the door to close properly. Thanks to all for your suggestions.
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Old 04-15-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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Since there is a gap, could water have gotten as far as the seal and then frozen? If so the expansion could have caused the seal to be compromised temporarily and whwn it thawed the water ran in. If so this may be a temporary problem. jim
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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This is a way more common problem than most people realize, and is something that has been an issue with Airstream for decades.

Because of this, When buying vintage, the floor just inside and to each side of access doors is the first place to look for floor issues (the bath/toilet area being second).

There are several reasons for this, to include the possibility that the space between the access door an the door frame are not spaced evenly making it impossible for the rubber like seal to span the gap to adequately be water proof.

I have a friend with a 2005 Classic tell me his access doors leaked, and wanted to know if I had a solution. It made me wonder if I had the same problem.

So if you wait till after dark and have someone go outside and point a bright light at the access door seals, while you go inside and get yourself in a position where you can see the backside of the access door, you might find the same thing: if you see light, you clearly are not water-proof.

And if you do have an issue, you can fix it before the damage is done.
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