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Old 10-20-2010, 08:39 PM   #1
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Airstream classic - slide out water leak fix

If you are having a problem with a hard to find leak in a classic slide out, here's an inexpensive fix that you might want to consider.

After watching a driving rain hit against the closed slide-out. It was apparent that water was rolling around the aluminum awning cover and right into the horizontal joint at the top of the slide.

I've heard that if the curb side is kept higher, then a slide is less likely to leak. However as you know conditions are not always perfect.

Here's how I fixed the problem and haven't had any evidence of a leak since the repair.

1. Either purchase a typical 90 degree angle aluminum roofing drip edge or bend your own 4 inch wide piece of aluminum right down the middle.

2.Cut the length 4 inches longer than your slide awning roller.

3. If you want it to look good, paint both sides of the drip edge silver or clear coat the bare metal.

4. With the awning in the closed position, release the extension awning locks, and pull the awning open just far enough to insert a small piece of 2x4 behind each awning arm.

5. Your aluminum awning cover should now be rolled out flat and facing the sky. Take the drip edge and lay it along the edge of the aluminum where your awning material begins.

6. Space the drip edge so the overhang on each end is equal. Drill and pop rivit one end of the drip edge into place, then rivit the other end.

7. Install as many additional rivits as you desire. I found that every 12 inches is about right.

8. Caulk the entire drip edge on one side then remove the 2x4 blocks, let the awning roll back into the holders, then clear caulk the other edge.

9. The end result is an attractive little overhang that will keep the water rolling off your roof from entering at the top of your slide when the slide is closed.

10. Now, open your slide and you will see that the drip edge turns upside down and also serves to divert water away from the material awning. This will help prevent rain water belly and drips landing on the roof of the slide.

This works pretty neat. If I can figure out how to post some photos on this site I'll try to do that.

~ ~ A. Kenney 2690
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:04 AM   #2
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That sounds like a really good idea. I have a 2002 Classic/slide but have not experienced any leaks. I would like to see some pictures if possible. Thanks for the post.

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Old 10-23-2010, 09:23 AM   #3
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We have no leak...but a wind driven rain can push a small amount of water onto the top of the slide out unit. When you close the unit the gasket on top of the slide opening will squeege out most of the water, but some may remain causing some water to roll off the top into the trailer as it is being closed. One fix is to check the roof after one of these storms and use a long handled squeege to pull the water off the top prior to closing the slide.

We may experience this situation once a year or so. The slide when fully opened or closed though is tight. Not a source of leaks on my unit.

Jack
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Old 10-23-2010, 09:28 AM   #4
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I had water underneath the dinette. Could not find a problem with the seal. There was an opening around the skylight when caulked eliminated the water. Go figure.
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Old 10-23-2010, 10:29 AM   #5
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Sounds like something I will try , any pics of the complete install. Your explanation sounds quite complete but a picture is worth a thousand words. Changed skylights , Don't think they where leaking but did have the typical cracking . I have had a damp spot between the dinette and lounge it has dried up and come back once and dried up , sounds like it may be coming from the area You described.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:15 PM   #6
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I'd like to see it also. I had a leak on my slide that turned out to be a detached section of the weather seal across the top of the slide, not readily visible from the exterior until you looked from a ladder and the seal had dropped. Needed a quick fix, IIRC double faced exterior carpet tape.
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Old 10-23-2010, 05:21 PM   #7
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Never experienced a water leak from this area yet but will keep this in mind..

Thanks
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Old 10-23-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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Photos for Slide Leak Fix

Hi,

I'm trying to get some help with posting photos of this little invention. Still waiting for a reply. So far, I'm clicking on the little paper clip but it seems to take me no where.
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Old 10-23-2010, 08:54 PM   #9
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Looks like a clean installation.. nice job.
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Old 10-24-2010, 10:55 AM   #10
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I wonder if a good calking along the awning cover seam would also work? Your installation is fantastic; nicely done.

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Old 10-24-2010, 01:28 PM   #11
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Caulking the awning seam

Pap,

You're right. My slide awning is about 4 years old. There's about 3/4" of canvas material with sewing that sits between the awning rail and the segmented aluminum awning header. I took a small amount of DAP 3.0 Advanced All-Purpose Sealant (Crystal Clear) and rubbed it back and forth with my finger until it became totally impregnated into the threads and canvas. Great flexible water proofing idea that should put years of protection between dry rotting of the canvas header. I also used it on the blue awning seams where they were starting to fray a little bit. The DAP 3.0 glued the frayed material together, water proofed the seam, and is barely noticable.

Incidently, here's the specifications for DAP 3.0. This is readily available at LOWES. It's a relatively new non-silicone caulk that's approved for use on aluminum and other metals. I needed a home made bushing to cushion a copper gas line where it passed through a plywood wall. I oversized the drill hole, put the copper through then shot DAP 3.0 around the open space. This stuff has worked great for that and other purposes. It doesn't turn copper green (reaction) like silicone does.

I appreciate the earlier comment on this thread about a leaking vent or skylight as being the source of a wet floor around a slide. It's definately a good idea to start at the top and work your way down when looking for leaks. If the quality control for roof caulking on all Airstreams is anything like the original caulk job on all my roof vents, skylights, vent pipes, TV antena, you name it, they all should be suspect for leaks. Whoever the fellow is that's doing the roof caulking at the factory needs to go back to "Caulking 101" class. What a mess. It's sickening! Every opening through the roof should be double flashed just like any other roof opening on a house or SOB box on wheels.

Here's another little idea that seems to work pretty good. On the tear drop running lights, the screw often gets rusty and looks sick. But, take the screw out, and you will see that all the threads are rusty under the lens also. Rain water travels down the threads into the light fixture. Often, the bulb socket gets corroded in a short time. Try replacing the screws with matching stainless steel and pick-up a miniture "O"-ring washer that tightly fits over the threads. This will help seal the screw head against your lens and end that little leak. While you're at the store, you might want to pick up a little gasket material. You can count on most of the lens gaskets to be dried out. Since my bulb socket was just starting to corrode, I took the bulb out and sprayed everything with WD-40, wiped it dry, then put things back together.

http://www.dap.com/product_details.aspx?BrandID=189&SubcatID=25

http://www.dap.com/docs/tech/00010032001.pdf

http://www.dap.com/docs/msds/00010032001_english.pdf

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Old 10-25-2010, 09:57 AM   #12
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All great ideas, many thanks for the post.

Pap
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:34 PM   #13
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NOAZRK2690,

Interesting drip edge, I'll look into mine and see what happens.

Thanks,

Gary
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:50 PM   #14
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Wink Slide leak on 2004 safari

We purchased this airstream safari used 2 weeks ago. It has rained here this past week & we have a leak on the slide end near the corner of the sofa. We had noticed a stain & mentioned that I hoped it wasn't water damage & sure enough. The carpet is soaking wet & being soaked up the sofa arm end. Not certain where the problem is. We have called our dealer & will work with them on it.

New to safari-ing
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