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Old 10-31-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
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Airstream Flooded...SOS

Hello and thanks to everybody taking their time on trying to help.
We had really bad rain last night and today. We got to check the trailer and water all over the living room area on the floors.
I was able to see some water tracks leading to:
1)The seam in the top next to the roof vent.
2) the small "skylights" in top of the side windows.
Just wondering what is the best way to go regarding sealing the seams?
a) Can we do some good looking and a professional waterproof sealing from the outside. Like with masking tape and applying some sealing? If so. What will be the best product?
b) Do we need to take the whole interior out and seal the seams from the insde?
Please adivse.
We see these 2 options and we rather take the 1st option on the picture.
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Old 10-31-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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pics

sorry forgot to post the pics
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:02 PM   #3
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pics of where it leaks

Those are places that I was able to see but you guys probably know that if is leaking there where else is leaking.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:10 PM   #4
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Mine had a cracked skylight, awning mount leak, and a window seal bad. Sealed them all up and it only lasted about 6 mths. Leaked in pretty much the same places yours appear to leak. I need to check more often for possible problems. If you had the rain we did you could have had 3 to 4 inches or more. jim
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:26 PM   #5
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My trailer had 11 separate leaks contributing to one area of damage at the front curbside window. The ceiling vent, the antenna base, the awning bracket, the awning rail, the vista window, the outside skin lap joint, and the step release slot, to name a few.

I'm not sure if the window gaskets leaked or not, I replaced them and the door gasket as an almost first order of business.

The hardest leak to find was the skin lap corner midway up the side. To locate that, I had to remove the inside skin from the floor to above the window. I sat in the trailer at night during a month of thunderstorms on a farmer's milking stool with a poacher's light. I applied Vulkem by day and chased leaks by night for a solid month.

The trailer was dry when I finished and it's been dry over a year. It really didn't have much damage and once that was repaired it's a very solid trailer.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:36 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by VeggieBullet View Post
Do we need to take the whole interior out and seal the seams from the insde?
No, never, ever! That would be like sealing a house roof leak from the inside.
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Old 10-31-2011, 03:50 PM   #7
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As routine maintenance I have sealed windows, doors, bracket mounts, and all places that look like potential leak areas on my trailers. I did use masking tape like your picture and it worked quite well. A heat gun was used in some places to remove old product. In others a hard nylon-like scraper sharpened to a bevel worked well. Clean up with mineral spirits and a Scotch Brite "Dobie" cleaning pad. Dry well and mask the areas and apply Vulkem. A finger will smooth the bead of Vulkem. Remove masking tape immediately after smoothing the bead. Have plenty of "spirits", mineral and otherwise to help cleanup!! It can be a sticky mess - Vulkem doesn't just wash out of clothes! It will be satisfying job when you are done!!!
Dan
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:17 PM   #8
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Sealing the windows & Seams

Thanks guys for the prompt reply. Well we feel a lot better knowing that sealing from the outside is the way to go.
Now wondering what number is the vulkem that we need to use? And it seems like they come in different colors. So we are asuming that silver is available? Where we can get the be$t deals?
thanks again.
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:59 PM   #9
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I used Vulkem 116 gray. Got it from HD and Lowes both.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by VeggieBullet View Post
Thanks guys for the prompt reply. Well we feel a lot better knowing that sealing from the outside is the way to go.
Now wondering what number is the vulkem that we need to use? And it seems like they come in different colors. So we are asuming that silver is available? Where we can get the be$t deals?
thanks again.
Sealing seams is just a part of the water leak issues. Vent covers, awning rail, clearance lights, vista view and stack windows, all should all be looked at as well.

The gaskets for the windows, entrance door, access compartments and the sewer vent pipe covers gaskets, simply don't last almost 40 years, especially the vent pipe gaskets which last 2 to 3 years.

Andy
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:16 PM   #11
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You can use Vulkem or Parbond to seal seams from the outside. Parbond is used mostly for seam sealing and is thinner than Vulkem and will flow into the seam better. Where you see the leak on the inside isn't necessarily where the leak is on the outside (think gravity). It IS easier to see leaks if the skins and insulation are out, but not necessary. Sometimes rivets leak too. Duct tape works in a pinch to cover leak areas until you can get to it, but then you have to clean off the tape residue..... Check windows carefully. Ours leaked like a sieve, and all needed new D gaskets and adjusting.

Kay
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:00 PM   #12
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I'm not sure my clearance lights leaked, but it's easy to see how they could. I replaced them all with LED light fixtures of the same size as OEM. I made new gaskets and sealed the wires and screws with butyl. I sealed all the window and door seams and joints with Vulkem 116.

The hardest leak to fix was the curbside top vista window. The previous owner had broken out the inside glass and stopped. I ended up adding a hard gasket for the inside spacer and sealing with Vulkem. I tried sealing the outside of the glass with Vulkem but it didn't stick. By the end of this summer's heat attack it was hanging loose.

This summer I scrapped the old gasket and the Vulkem off and resealed it with 100% silicone.

Last summer was a test. I did one window with Vulkem and the other side with 100% silicone. The Vulkem didn't hold. The silicone side is still good. I'll watch them both. I actually hate vista windows. Next I hate it that the outside vista gasket isn't available.
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:06 PM   #13
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Before Sealing

Hi guys.
Thanks for all the quick replies. Very helpfull.
We are very thankfull that we had very good weather lately and therefore no water leaks.
We are ready to start sealingevery seam and joint thet we see.
We have a couple of quiestons regarding the process.
1) Since we are planing on polishing the traielr in a near future. should we remove the clearcoat befoe sealing the seams & joints? Will tis make a difference on the way that parbond will work?
2) How to reach and be in the roof without causing any bending or dameges on the skin?
There has to be a way to do it. Common sense is telling us that pressure on the beams should be fine.
Parbond can be found at HD or Lowes? What about the RemoveAll 220?
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Old 11-02-2011, 09:15 PM   #14
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Parbond can be found at some trailer supply stores or ordered online. It works the best for seams. Vulkem is the clear choice for roof items. It can be ordered online.

I would seal the seams now and then deal with the clear oat when you go to polish.
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