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Old 08-26-2004, 03:06 PM   #1
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A new leak

After a night of hard rains here in E,ville, I went over to the trailer to continue putting a new floor in it. Unfortunately, I discovered that the floor I wanted to cover has been dampened by rain water. Its does not appear to be alot and it seems to be just under the windows on the street side of the trailer. I felt along the double paned side window below the bigger windows that open and there appeared to be some water on the bottom inside edge. Could this be my problem? Do these windows leak since they do not open? Could the water be coming in above and running down? Any thoughts and comments? I need to get this fixed as we are planning a labor day weekend with our sovereign.
Wayne
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Old 08-26-2004, 03:43 PM   #2
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Find you gray and black water vents. That's the most comon place to have a leak. I bet they are over that side.
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:31 AM   #3
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Those windows can leak...at the seal of the window glass to the window frame, and also at the junction of the frame and the trailer.
Only way to tell is stand outside and hose water onto the trailer down low and move up little by little and have your partner watch for when the water appears, then you will know it is below where you have been squirting water...then Parrbond it sealed.
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:42 AM   #4
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We keep finding new leaks with each hard rain. Has anyone coated the inside of the outside aluminum walls with a total sealant coat? We still havent put in the insulation, so now is an opportune time. silver suz
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Old 08-27-2004, 12:34 PM   #5
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Silver Suz,

I hate water leaks! I have been thinking about coating the entire inside of my outer skin since my inner skins are all off. Some things that I have discovered or thought about in the process are as follows:

1.) Getting a waterproof coating to stick properly seems to be a bit of a trick. The aluminum has to be really clean and maybe even needs to be lightly sanded for this to work. I had tried painting on some ElastoSeal rubbery roof coating to see what would happen. Admittedly I did not wash the aluminum first but I discoverd that it did not really stick well at all. I have just finished washing down the entire inside of the outer skin just so that sealer I put on the joints and etc. would stick well. I am not at all sure I want to sand the inside just so the sealer would stick well. I might do another experiment to see how effective the washing was but I am not sure I want to go the full coating route. I have wondered if automotive under coating would work but, again I am not sure I want to go that route either.

2.) We had some really heavy rain around here this last week and I found leaks in places I did not even know leaked. I decided to get a large tarp that I could cover the trailer with temporarily so the leaking areas would dry out enough for me to deal with them. The main thing I noticed was that the leaks are all in places that you might expect them to be. Namely around fittings, older olympic rivits where some PO had done some repairs, through holes where screws were missing from the awning mounts and along the joint between the side and the bananna wrap. I was not finding any leaks in the middle of sheets of aluminum (or course). I guess the point is that some of these leaks can be behind frame members and might not get very well waterproofed by coating the entire inside. Of course coating the entire inside would not help much with the middle of the skins except maybe reducins condensation. Water could still run down behind a frame member and soak into the floor edge.

3.) I am leaning in favor now of carefully caulking all the places that have potential for leaking or that I know do leak. I have started encapsulating Olympic rivits in Sikaflex and running a bead along the edge of the panels. Unfortunately there are some panels on the back top that were repaired somewhere along the line evidently without putting any sealer on the joints at all. I hope caulking from the inside will fix these places. I will run some tests either by hose or when it rains again to be sure. I don't really want to remove and re-install the panels.

4.) I believe I read somewhere here in the forums that it is not a question of if an AS will leak it is just a question of when and where. With that in mind I have been thinking about ways to deal with any water that gets into my walls after they are closed up. What I have in mind to do is to create a sort of gutter with a drain hole in the bottom of each wall section. When I get to that point I am intending to take photos and post my approach but I can share some details here. I have already decided to use foil insulation in the walls which I will mount 1" inside of the outer skin. I am going to do this by cutting 1" wide strips of foam insulation, putting them along the edges of each cavity and attaching the foil to that. I will then put 1" wide strips of 1/2" thick foam insulation on the inside to help keep the foil located. At the bottom of the outer cavity I thought I would put a piece of foam that is cut with a bit of a slope toward the drain point. I still haven't decided exactly what to use as a drain tube but the idea is to add something that will allow the water to drain into the belly pan without coming in contact with the plywood floor. What I really would like is a small funnel like tube about 1/4" in diameter with a flared top. I also need some sort of screen to keep bugs out. I might be able to use copper or aluminum tubing with a flared end. I am still looking for the right solution here.

5.) The thought that still bothers me the most is that some water could still get into the edges of the floor even with the gutter arrangement. This is still because some leaks could occur that would run down behind the frame bows. I guess the bottom line is that it is not possible to be totally sure that no water will ever get in short of perhaps coating the entire outside of the trailer with a total moisture barrier. I wonder how much weight a layer of fierberglass over everything would add to the AS? Maybe kevlar or carbon fiber? I guess we can just do the best we can.

Malcolm
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Old 08-27-2004, 02:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laurandwayne
After a night of hard rains here in E,ville, I went over to the trailer to continue putting a new floor in it. Unfortunately, I discovered that the floor I wanted to cover has been dampened by rain water. Its does not appear to be alot and it seems to be just under the windows on the street side of the trailer. I felt along the double paned side window below the bigger windows that open and there appeared to be some water on the bottom inside edge. Could this be my problem? Do these windows leak since they do not open? Could the water be coming in above and running down? Any thoughts and comments? I need to get this fixed as we are planning a labor day weekend with our sovereign.
Wayne

Wayne,
The advise to check your vent gaskets is good and is probably your leak. If that is not it, recaulk over the entrance door and front window. You will find caulking there that could leak. Mine was leaking as well as the vent gaskets being bad.

James
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Old 08-27-2004, 05:57 PM   #7
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James,I believe the windows in question are on the street side, the door being on the curb side of the trailer?
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:10 PM   #8
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Leaking trailer

Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
James,I believe the windows in question are on the street side, the door being on the curb side of the trailer?
That's right they are. But while I'm at it I might as well check them too.
I picked up 4 tubes of parbond today. This is going to make for a good saturday morning project. Thanks for the input. By the way, what do you use if its not the windows but the vents? I'll give you an update tomorrow. Hope its good news.
Wayne
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Old 08-28-2004, 01:02 AM   #9
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If it is the vents, the rubber gaskets will be cracked and brittle underneath the metal vent cover, and will need to be removed, replaced, and sealed properly.
You will need a tube of Vulkem for this, and any other large seam areas such as over the doors and windows.
ParBond is for the smaller seams. I have probably used 7-8 tubes of Parbond on my trailer in the past 2 years. Seems the Parbond lasts about 2 years and then cracks and drys and needs replaced.
There is a limited number of places that water can enter. Par Bond and Vulkem can stop it from happening....just a matter of isolation and persistancy in locating the places.
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Old 01-14-2005, 07:23 AM   #10
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Interior sealing

http://www.aviationproducts.net/flam...s3202_tds.html

We use this product on aluminum and I have seen it still flexable and sealing after 20 years in service. It has very good adhesion properties as long as the surface is clean. The best cleaner is MEK, but us it very sparingly with ventalation and proper personal protection.
My unit is sealled with a white compond that appears to still be flexable and holding. Except where they did not complete the job. Both of my forward corner windows leaked where they had not completely coated the frame.
The best method is from the outside first, the outside should stop the water first then the inside should act as a secondary.
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Old 01-14-2005, 08:10 AM   #11
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The right paint finally arrived today. It is low odor DynoFlex Roof Guard by AFM in their Safecoat line. (A paint line for the chemically sensitive). After hearing about the cleaning beforehand, I think I'll do it again since it's been 2 months since the last inside washing. Otherwise it ia taped and ready to go.

We just got the added kick in the pants, by finding out there is a company going to drill for oil/gas and wanted our back 2 acres (in nature preserve) which luckily the mineral rights are in our name by a fluke. I told them not only No, but HE## No, and I told them of the significant threat to my health anything upwind would cause including, likely death ( backed up with medical documents). So building a "Safe House AS Trailer is of tantamount importance. And I'm supposed to avoid stress? Snort, snicker, snicker, sigh, silver suz
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