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Old 07-09-2010, 02:17 AM   #15
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1971 25' Tradewind
Menlo Park , California
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Our '71 Tradewind had leaks from bad sealant on windows near the front door (minor 1 ft sq repair), and the usual problems in the rear;
  • Leaks from the taillight housings
  • Water seeping in underneath the plywood floor due to the silly design of the rear storage compartment cover. This caused problem with the frame rusting, rotting the floor over the frame and rear crossmember, and causing electrolytic corrosion due to the use of a steel rear hold down plate bolted against the aluminum skin and C channel.
I've replaced the floor in front, and am now finishing the more extensive repairs in the gutted bathroom; I replaced the steel rear hold down plate with stainless and am riveting that to the skin every 1.5 inches or so. Oh yes, and replacing several square feet of plywood. In addition, the entire floor will have received several coats of epoxy and a finish coat of moisture cured polyurethane paint... we're going for rugs rather than carpets so we can both clean more easily and find evidence of leaks long before they cause damage.

All boats leak - why should Land Yachts be left out?

- Bart

Bart Smaalders
Menlo Park, CA
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Old 07-09-2010, 06:13 AM   #16
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2012 25' FB International
Evanston , Illinois
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Posts: 188
We have a 2008 model and have had a slight leak around the gasket in the front window. The local dealer couldn't find anything wrong. We tightened the fasteners to get a firmer seal and continually make sure that the gasket area is free of dirt and debris. So far that has solved the problem but we keep a close eye on it. In an effort to get to the core cause (or causes) we are also in the process of re-evaluating our hitch setup. It may be too rigid causing some slight torque in the front which could obviously alter the window seal. Don't know how it will be in a driving rain while towing, but with our upcoming trips, we will find out maybe.


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Old 07-19-2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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I bought my 2001 30' Excella new in early 2002. I had one slight leak from the front 22" X 22" skylight in a very hard rain. In 2008, I had the entire roof checked and resealed at a local RV repair shop. In July 2010, we decided to replace the carpet with Mannington Adura plank vinyl. (This is AMAZING stuff). When I took out the front couch, the four bolts holding it in were rusted as was the bottom frame of the couch. I discovered wet wood on each side of the two black battery boxes under the couch. I checked the front lower outside seam and discovered a loose screw behind the vinyl insert trim. This had allowed the trim ring to pulled slightly away from the outside skin and water to seep behind it and then inside the trailer. I resealed with vulkem caulking and tightened the screw up then caulk in the vinyl trim insert. This seems to have stopped the leak to the inside but I will be monitoring it.

PS: The front skylight blew off on the way to WY International while driving in a heavy wind across Kansas. I ordered a new one and received it in Gillette, WY. I put the new one on and it is greatly improved over the old one in that the new one has an aluminum trim ring that installs with screws over the top of the skylight. It doesn't come with screws however. I pre-drilled and then used #10 self-tapping metal roofing screws that come with a rubber grommet and washer. Topped the screws off with sealant. No leaks so far.

My theory on leaks:
1. all seals dry and crack over time and have to be maintained
2. long trips and rough roads open seals and vibrate screws out which contribute to leaks
3. I wish A/S would use treated plywood on their floors or cover them with aluminum sheeting-at least up to one foot away from the inside edges.
Dan M.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #18
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1977 25' Tradewind
Waskesiu Lake , Saskatchewan
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I work in a National Park and have found that RV's in general have issues with leaking - not just Airstreams.
Every home needs a dog, and every dog needs a home.

1977 25' Tradewind (with two ... three... FOUR dogs)
2011 Ram 1500 Quad cab, 5.7 Hemi, tow pkg.
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Old 08-14-2010, 12:53 PM   #19
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
1972 25' Tradewind
Houston , Texas
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Think about it. This forum is loaded up with Airstream owners with trailers from the the 50's to 2010. My 72 Tradewind is 38 years old. People on this thread are commenting about 40+ year old trailers and the few leaks they have had to fix on their trailers. How many roofs would you replace on a 40 year old house?
Very few of the SOB trailers make it past a 10 year anniversary as they are cheaply made and the road vibration and leaks tear them apart. Last month at a state park a man with a 5th wheel told me that he's had to replace his trailer every 5 years as it falls apart and leaks. His brother next to him was in his 85 Excella. So you might go over to one of the other SOB trailer forums and post the same question and see what answers you get.
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Old 08-14-2010, 11:11 PM   #20
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Bremerton , Washington
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Thanks RichHog,
I will check the forum for Montana fifth wheels as they are considered very well made.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:19 AM   #21
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Eternabond, or not?

Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, after several years of use I had two problems. The rear vent cover was blown off in a heavy wind. I got on top of my trailer and found the vent cover was broken. I put in on and duct taped it in place. That night it rained like crazy. My front vent dripped a few drops of water. I thought it was condensation. But when I got home, I found that the front vent leaked. The sealer used on the vents gets hard and dry and cracks. I had to replace my rear vent cover with a new one and reseal the front vent and plumbing vent. This will have to be checked and/or resealed every few years.
Hi, well it seems that my front Fantastic Vent is leaking again, or possibly was never stopped completely from leaking. This time after quite a bit of rain, I noticed wetness in the same area. This time I decided to remove all of the sealer that I could get to and reseal it more properly than last time. I don't want to remove the vent completely because as you can see in the pictures the plastic base has many cracks in it and a few broken corners. I feel that if I remove it completely it will crumble in my hands. So I cleaned it as well as possible and resealed all around the edges, over all of the screw heads, and over all of the cracks. Now I'm thinking about going all around the vent flange with Eternabond, like maybe the 4" wide tape. Has anyone else used Eternabond white tape on their Airstream?
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2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
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Old 01-17-2011, 09:34 PM   #22
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2005 25' Safari
Salem , Oregon
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Still leaks.

Hi, as I await for total dryness of my trailer, today I hosed it down to clear the dust and hope not to see any leaks. But when I went inside and checked there was still some drops of water that got in. As I searched for possible leaks, I spotted a crack on the inside of the Fantastic Vent main housing. I know I sealed all of the cracks from the top, but when I flexed the area where the crack was on the inside, it dripped drops of water. I will go on top again tomorrow and see if I missed this crack, or didn't seal all of the crack. Maybe I didn't see the whole thing. I'm still considering using Etenabond tape on it for insurance, but I want to stop all leaks first. Eternabond is for almost forever, so I want this done last. If you look at the last picture in the previous post, you can see where I sealed the screw head and went up the crack. In the first picture in this post, you can see the crack in the forth screw area. And the last picture shows the crack from the inside.
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2005 Safari 25-B
"Le Petit Chateau Argent"
[ Small Silver Castle ]
2000 Navigator / 2014 F-150 Eco-Boost / Equal-i-zer / P-3
YAMAHA 2400 / AIR #12144
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Old 01-17-2011, 11:11 PM   #23
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1974 Argosy 26
Morrill , Nebraska
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I find it interesting; the talk about Airstream or any other manufacturer and their quality control. In an earlier post their was a mention of the testing process AS goes thru at the factory for water leaks. That's when the trailer is new; doesn't have an interior and all of the stuff in it to travel. On a 4000# net weight trailer, 6000# GVW; If it is virtually the hull and frame. How much does it weigh? Maybe 2000#.
Ok, load it up to the GVW weight, haul it down the road for 10,000 miles on every kind of road and weather condition imagineable; Through temperatures varying 100 degrees. Let it set outside with ice and snow setting on it melting slowly, running down the sides, getting in every crack a crevice, then freezing solid. Then thawing and refreezing over and over again. I could go on and on.
But after all of that; take it back to the factory and test it for leaks again. I'd bet it or any other TT wouldn't pass.
I would think it would be better to come up with a design that would allow for any water that leaked in to be drained out. With the history of rotted floors in AS's, why are they still building with a design that has the floor going under and behind the interior walls. It's just a trap for the water. In my experience with this old Argosy with the leaks it has had in the past, the most (99% of the) damage has occured to the floor and the frame.

So get the wood out of under the interior wall all together, let any water that gets in between the inner and outer skin run down into a system of drains that would allow the water to run out the bottom. Put drains in the belly pan that would allow any water to run out and not be saturating the insulation and rotting the frame away.
Just A thought.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:15 AM   #24
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1972 31' Sovereign
Des Moines , Washington
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The most common leak problems arise from the vent gaskets getting old, these are a maintenance item. One thing about an Airstream is if it does have a bad leak the worst thing that usually happens is floor rot, which can be repaired! Now think about a box trailer, the whole thing falls apart! I guess I just want to point out how many 40 year old box trailers do you see around here? I have friends that have new expensive box trailers and they are constantly fixing leaks, can't say that about mine. And you know we have had our share of liquid sunshine these past few years! Having owned one, I don't think I would have anything else! Unless I had a cover or covered space for it!

Just my 2 cents!

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Old 01-18-2011, 06:15 AM   #25
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1975 31' Excella 500
Bladensburg , Ohio
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Good point about not seeing very many 40 year old box trailers around. My AS is a '61 and she still has no leaks and the floor is solid.
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Old 01-18-2011, 06:52 AM   #26
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1967 24' Tradewind
Greenville , South Carolina
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They probably all leak

I think they all leak but the owners may be unaware. Mine is gutted, all of interior including the interior walls. With the interior walls removed you can see the leaks, some are very minor and probably would not cause any problems if they didn't worsen. I have been chasing leaks for 2 months, some only appear after many days of continuous rain. I'm using Prodex insulation because it won't absorb any future leaks, sealed the new wood floors and have considered the drains in the floor chanel idea that has been done by a forum member ( I looked the thread, but didn't come across it) and was mentioned above as an idea. Prior to this trailer I had a 1963 Silver Streak that actually had 1/2" screened holes through the c-chanel for to direct any water that might get in, out into the bellypan where it would drain.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:19 AM   #27
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Louisburg , North Carolina
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Why trailers leak~~~ Because they can!

I live in a community with 2500 Campers set up permanently and I do repair work on all types of campers here. ALL campers no matter what they cost, either leak , have leaked or are going to leak. I have worked on 5 year old campers, that have been set up on blocks since new and still have the floors completely rotted out. So they don't have to be towed to develop leaks. If a rubber roof has a pinhole in it water will get in and then the roof becomes a perfect seal to keep the wood damp and cause the roof to rot. I have worked on campers with rubber roofs that no one has been able to find where the leak is and they continue to leak no matter what anyone does to stop it. Slide outs are especially hard to keep leak free. I have found that You must inspect every window and door and every seam especially on the roof, at least once a year and use the factory type sealer any where that it is needed. I personally would suggest getting up on the roof and checking it at least twice a year. NEVER NEVER use silicone anywhere. Only use the same type sealer used by RV manufactures. I buy Dicor self leveling lap sealant by the case and it is great for the roof vents and of course I use Parbond for most of the Airstream leaks.
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Old 01-18-2011, 09:40 AM   #28
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Why can't you use silicone on an Airstream?

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