Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-23-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1966 20' Globetrotter
1993 34' Limited
Hugo , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Adventures in Leak Testing

Here are pics of our latest excursion into the world of leak testing a 93 Airstream Limited Classic. I'm using a 24" Utilitech floor fan that puts out maybe 5000 cfm. The pic shows the rear queen base flipped up and I cut a piece of 1/2 plywood out to rest on the bed frame (over the drawers, etc.)with a 20 inch hole in it.
Then had to try (read that: "really try") to seal up all the places where air could leak out. We realize that new window and door gaskets will help. Using a purchased bubble solution from Walgreens. You can use dishwasher liquid (like Joy Ultra) with a little glycerin added in to make the bubbles better.

We found a few windows leaking at the bottom (middle of bottom).
Found the small square outside lights leaking terribly which is contributing to a bad floor underneath them in the front of the trailer.
Still continuing to check. There are more leaks for sure.
The tops of things were better than expected, like the awnings and such.
Also, have a 66 Globetrotter to check out later. . perhaps with a different setup.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4523.JPG
Views:	142
Size:	105.6 KB
ID:	98674   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4524.JPG
Views:	125
Size:	105.4 KB
ID:	98675  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4526.JPG
Views:	130
Size:	108.0 KB
ID:	98676   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4522.JPG
Views:	135
Size:	104.3 KB
ID:	98677  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4519.JPG
Views:	140
Size:	105.4 KB
ID:	98678   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4520.JPG
Views:	135
Size:	105.2 KB
ID:	98679  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4525.JPG
Views:	136
Size:	103.2 KB
ID:	98680   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4527.JPG
Views:	132
Size:	109.6 KB
ID:	98681  

Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4528.JPG
Views:	132
Size:	102.5 KB
ID:	98682   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMGP4529.JPG
Views:	128
Size:	104.7 KB
ID:	98683  

__________________

__________________
fstuneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 02:39 PM   #2
Rivet Master
 
memgrove2000's Avatar
 
Elkhart , Indiana
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 633
Send a message via AIM to memgrove2000
Great idea!... I don't have a rear bed with access to the outside like you so I have been toying around with the idea of using my gas powered leaf blower with a plywood cover and some clamps in a accessory door opening. Trying to do the same thing....
__________________

__________________
Mike
Have a great day!

TAC # IN 1 Air#27922
memgrove2000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 02:46 PM   #3
Wise Elder
 
Jammer's Avatar
 
2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,119
Excellent post.

I'm in the process of buying a late 1960s camper and plan to do something similar.

Did the amount of airflow seem like it was about right? What bubble solution did you use? Any problems at all with it staining or attacking the aluminum in any way?
__________________
Jammer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 04:08 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
 
1966 20' Globetrotter
1993 34' Limited
Hugo , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Leak testing stuff

I'm just using Super Miracle Bubbles by Imperial from the local pharmacy (80 oz.); cost $3.00. Course, you could just do a Google search for bubble solutions too:
Here was one of many: Bubble Town, soap bubble fun and magic - Bubble formula
Just a soapy sort of solution, doesn't seem to be hurting anything. I'll wash the camper after a while here anyway. I tried wiping it off and didn't notice anything special.

I wanted a lot of airflow because we have a very large camper. Couldn't find out what airflow cfm the SealTech 4300 puts out. The local dealer here (Pleasureland RV) charges $100 for the setup and $98/hr thereafter. They're probably pretty good at it. They primarily use the machine to check their own units before they are sold, etc.
I think there are soooo many places for air to leak out, that airloss is a big deal; so I wanted a lot of volume. A calm day helps out also. I can't hear the fan inside the trailer the way I have it, but sometimes I can hear air hissing out around windows.
What I want to know is: why does water come in thru those little places??? Is it like a vacuum inside the trailer or what? Cold to hot. Driving in the rain? Driving rain? Why does it come in when it could go straight down to the ground. Maybe some tech person can tell us.
Hope this helps. This is fun stuff!
__________________
fstuneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 04:54 PM   #5
Rivet Master
 
Minno's Avatar

 
1972 31' Sovereign
Lexington , Minnesota
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 3,323
Quote:
Originally Posted by fstuneck View Post
What I want to know is: why does water come in thru those little places??? Is it like a vacuum inside the trailer or what? Cold to hot. Driving in the rain? Driving rain? Why does it come in when it could go straight down to the ground. Maybe some tech person can tell us.
Love your setup! I'll have to try something similar in Little Girl this summer once I think I have all the leaks fixed.

To answer your question - surface tension and capillary action will draw water into places you would never think it would go. Even uphill sometimes! That's why on home roofs, you have a drip edge. And on older home window trim, they cut a saw kerf in the underside of the window sill to make a break in the flat plane of the wood. Water hits the break, and from there drips to the ground instead of being drawn up into the underside of the window. Another example is a Pyrex measuring pitcher. They have a spout for a reason - to break the surface tension. Try slowly pouring water out of an almost empty pitcher on the side sometime - you’ll understand what the spout is for, and how water get climb into the pin holes in your trailer.

Chris
__________________
Minno is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 08:36 PM   #6
1 Rivet Member
 
1973 31' Sovereign
Haverhill , Massachusetts
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 9
Maybe I'm a little slow, but what purpose does the plywood serve? Can I just put a huge fan inside and close all the windows and door? Or does the air come from outside?
__________________
theveths is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
JFScheck's Avatar
 
Vintage Kin Owner
Rockville , Maryland
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,474
Images: 33
Nice - one hell of a great test rig!
__________________
John "JFScheck" Scheck
2015 Roadtrek CS Adventurous XL
2015 Mercedes Sprinter 3500 XL Chassis with Mercedes BlueTec V6 Diesel
**I Love U.S.A.**
JFScheck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2010, 09:16 PM   #8
Rivet Master
 
Becky B.'s Avatar
 
1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,617
Images: 19
I can't WAIT to try this out. I have leaks that I can't find & need to before proceeding with my project. Hope it works! Thanks for the idea!
__________________
Becky


1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 08:14 AM   #9
2 Rivet Member
 
1966 20' Globetrotter
1993 34' Limited
Hugo , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Air leak testing

I'll have to try the fan inside alone. I had assumed that just having a fan inside would only make the air swirl around and not pressurize the cabin. Gonna try it today though. I'll repost after awhile to let you know how it turned out.

ps - I was all over the top of the AS yesterday and still amazed at how tight the top seemed. I have a couple of messy fan units to replace, but the seams and rails and upper areas showed no bubbles.
__________________
fstuneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
Becky B.'s Avatar
 
1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,617
Images: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fstuneck View Post
I'll have to try the fan inside alone. I had assumed that just having a fan inside would only make the air swirl around and not pressurize the cabin. Gonna try it today though. I'll repost after awhile to let you know how it turned out.

ps - I was all over the top of the AS yesterday and still amazed at how tight the top seemed. I have a couple of messy fan units to replace, but the seams and rails and upper areas showed no bubbles.
I would think it would just swirl around too if you don't have some source of air. I'm at our greenhouses right now & looked at your post again to see what size fan you used. We have a really big one, but I don't want to blow out the seams! I'm interested to know how it worked by just using the fan.

That would save some $ & work if I don't have to get a sheet of plywood.
__________________
Becky


1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 10:02 AM   #11
2 Rivet Member
 
1966 20' Globetrotter
1993 34' Limited
Hugo , Minnesota
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 32
Tried the fan inside a closed trailer and no bubbles showed up at all on KNOWN leaky areas. Sort of figured it wouldn't work. I believe you're not going to blow out any walls with the kind of pressure from fans. No evidence of that at all. Just too many other leaks probably.
I could have just cut out a hole in the bed base also and then maybe hinged it or something; that way allowing further testing every year. Gotta have that outside air coming in pressurized. I lived in a house with a 3 foot attic fan that had enough suction to pull drapes away from the walls. You could do the same with your house (i.e., energy audit stuff) to find incoming leaks, like around outlets, etc. Still have to fix the leaks in the trailer now.
__________________
fstuneck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 11:09 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
Foiled Again's Avatar
 
2012 25' FB Eddie Bauer
Vintage Kin Owner
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 5,883
Are there GOOD air leaks?

The human body gives off two quarts of moisture daily just through breathing. We breathe, shower, cook, and occasionally sweat inside our airstreams - and THAT moisture has to go somewhere. I have the bare aluminum walls inside. They are NOT sealed at the seams and they are applied with POP rivets that have teensy holes in the center. So internal moisture that is not vented out can make it's way between the walls and into the fiberglass insulation. I'm sure that even if one has the "mouse fur" interior, moisture can accumulate in the mouse fur as well as migrate through the interior aluminum seams.

SO....

It seems to me that it might not be a bad idea to have the bottom side of the windows leak air - or for air/moisture to be able to evaporate from the bottom of the centerline seam. If you think about it, wouldn't it actually make good sense to have a "drip edge" where the floor meets the walls that dripped moisture outward and downward below the exterior band that conceals the rivets?

I am once again chasing a phantom leak near my rear wraparound windows, but when I seal my window frames, should I really seal the bottom once I've gone around the radius? I'd rather have capillary action vent that water OUT than just let it proceed to the floor.

HOWEVER - by not sealing the bottom edges, is it possible that eastern Virginia's well known high humidity is seeping IN between the walls - and what happens when I run my Air conditioner on a 99 degree day with 99% humidity. I see the outside of the trailer develop sweat, is the same thing happening between the walls?

NOTE, I do always have my bathroom and shower vents open even in 20 degree weather - except when there's a noreaster blowing with 50 MPH winds. This gets rid of a lot of humidity buildup.

Paula
__________________
Today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.
Foiled Again is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
Rivet Master
 
Becky B.'s Avatar
 
1964 17' Bambi II
Vintage Kin Owner
Schererville , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 2,617
Images: 19
I got my chipboard this evening & cut the hole in it & fit it to the streetside twin. I'm gonna give it a whirl tomorrow afternoon. Hope it works!
__________________
Becky


1964 Bambi II
1988 Avion 32S
Becky B. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2012, 05:16 PM   #14
Rivet Master
 
Steve Bryant's Avatar

 
1991 34' Limited
Wichita , Kansas
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 736
Images: 7
This is a great idea/concept. Has anyone else tried this and what are the results?

Thanks,

Steve
__________________

__________________
Steve Bryant is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Adventures in the Keys Chief On The Road... 10 12-30-2009 02:35 PM
RV Leak Testing Services soldiermedic Commercial Listings 23 11-24-2008 05:43 PM
New Airstreamers blogging about their adventures TransAmerica Member Introductions 4 08-01-2008 06:17 PM
Adventures in Plumbing (with Pics) R&SZinser Fresh Water Systems 27 08-11-2004 06:07 AM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.