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Old 01-18-2011, 11:01 AM   #29
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Silicon

Because ------ NOT EVEN SILICONE WILL STICK THE NEXT TIME !!!!!
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:09 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by yve79 View Post
Why can't you use silicone on an Airstream?
Many silicone sealants react with the aluminum skin on the Airstream, causing corrosion issues. The aircraft alloys used on older Airstreams contain copper and are quite sensitive to corrosion effects. There are silicone sealants suitable for use on such aluminum alloys; however, this can be difficult to determine and you have limited recourse if things go wrong. In addition, removing the silicone sealant residue when it needs to be replaced is difficult. In general, you're best off using the recommended polyurethane sealants. They are a little more difficult to apply and clean up than silicones - a cloth wetted with mineral spirits seems to work well. For small seam repairs the Parbond or aluminum colored Alcoa gutterseal work nicely, and if carefully applied can be used w/o tooling (shaping) the applied material.
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:33 PM   #31
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Why can't you use silicone on an Airstream?
Silicone is the unfaithful lover of aluminum. It's very inconsistent. Many places it sticks so hard that you can't remove it with gifts or vacations. And inches away it doesn't adhere to its vows -- easily giving up the grip for the next pretty swoosh applique!

Leaks like a sieve in other words...
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Old 01-18-2011, 12:39 PM   #32
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Why can't you use silicone on an Airstream?

Previous replies are right on.
I hate to find a silicone mess when I try to fix a leak. It fails much more rapidly than Dicor or Parbond and is a REAL bugger to try to remove and clean up. It is also much more difficult to work with and make a neat job with. It has a very uncanny ability to completely fail in one spot and stick like glue and be very hard to remove just one inch away.

I wont use silicone in any salutation. Not even on household jobs of any kind.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:50 PM   #33
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It scares me to say this, but, so far, my 2000 30' Excella has never leaked! It faithfully sits outside throughout the winter and summer, going through temperature changes of 100 degrees, covered from time to time with over a foot of snow. I did lose the rear skylight on a trip through Nova Scotia but, fortunately, it wasn't raining and I was able to make temporary repairs until I returned home. I've often worried that leaks might be running down the inside of the walls to the floor but I've never found any soft spots. I hope my good fortune with this AS continues since, for the most part, it has been relatively trouble free.
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Old 01-18-2011, 01:53 PM   #34
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Maybe

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It scares me to say this, but, so far, my 2000 30' Excella has never leaked! It faithfully sits outside throughout the winter and summer, going through temperature changes of 100 degrees, covered from time to time with over a foot of snow. I did lose the rear skylight on a trip through Nova Scotia but, fortunately, it wasn't raining and I was able to make temporary repairs until I returned home. I've often worried that leaks might be running down the inside of the walls to the floor but I've never found any soft spots. I hope my good fortune with this AS continues since, for the most part, it has been relatively trouble free.
That you know of.....
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:03 PM   #35
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Leak

Quote:
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It scares me to say this, but, so far, my 2000 30' Excella has never leaked! It faithfully sits outside throughout the winter and summer, going through temperature changes of 100 degrees, covered from time to time with over a foot of snow. I did lose the rear skylight on a trip through Nova Scotia but, fortunately, it wasn't raining and I was able to make temporary repairs until I returned home. I've often worried that leaks might be running down the inside of the walls to the floor but I've never found any soft spots. I hope my good fortune with this AS continues since, for the most part, it has been relatively trouble free.


It ain't going to fix itself. Given time I guarantee it will need attention sooner than later. You should probable completely redo the vent and skylight seams at this point, if they have never been touched.
In your weather zone, the freeze will continue to work an any opening available, and eventually cause LEAKS !
You have been lucky to get a good one. Preventive maintenance will keep it sound for many years.
Dave
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:12 PM   #36
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That you know of.....
I alluded to the possibility that there could be leaks - but ignorance is bliss and I had rather spend my time planning the next trip! Besides, at 71 years old it's a pretty sure thing that my Airstream will outlast me - and even require less maintenance along the way!!!
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:21 PM   #37
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It ain't going to fix itself. Given time I guarantee it will need attention sooner than later. You should probable completely redo the vent and skylight seams at this point, if they have never been touched.
In your weather zone, the freeze will continue to work an any opening available, and eventually cause LEAKS !
You have been lucky to get a good one. Preventive maintenance will keep it sound for many years.
Dave
It was repaired right away with a new skylight. I plan to replace the front skylight before heading out this Spring, as well as the A/C shroud. I check the other sealants faithfully, however the skylight failure was due to deterioration of the plastic and/or overtightening of the installation screws. The A/C shroud is so brittle that I could break it up in little pieces with my bare hands. I found this out when replacing the A/C starting capacitor late last summer.
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Old 01-18-2011, 02:31 PM   #38
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A/C Shroud

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cracker View Post
It was repaired right away with a new skylight. I plan to replace the front skylight before heading out this Spring, as well as the A/C shroud. I check the other sealants faithfully, however the skylight failure was due to deterioration of the plastic and/or overtightening of the installation screws. The A/C shroud is so brittle that I could break it up in little pieces with my bare hands. I found this out when replacing the A/C starting capacitor late last summer.


I broke my bath vent also. Not hard to do.
The A/C shrouds get brittle over time. Small repairs can be made to make it last a bit longer.
USE CONSTRUCTION ADHESIVE AND A SCRAP PIECE OF VINYL SIDING AND REINFORCE ON THE INSIDE. Then you can fill and smooth the outside crack with white sikoflex caulk.
I used this method to reinforce mine to mount 20W solar panels on top. Worked good.
Dave
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:28 PM   #39
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Leaking Fantastic

I can't be sure, but it looks to me that the fan was not installed correctly originally. Fan-Tastic fans come with a foam gasket that goes under the flange. No other sealants go under the flange. I know we all love our Vulkem, but don't do it. The directions that come with the fans are explicit and every broken flange we've seen is the result of the directions not being followed completely. If the fan is installed correctly and the flange breaks, Fan-Tastic will stand behind it. I know because we work with Fan-Tastic to honor warranty claims now and then and I was on the phone with Larry Milks at Fan-Tastic about this just last week.

Now, as for whether Vulkem is the correct stuff to use for the finished perimeter bead and on top of screw heads... I don't think so. Vulkem (100% Polyurethane) is the best stuff to use for metal-to-metal sealing, but when you are doing plastics, all bets are off. You have to know what plastic you are sealing. In the case of the Fan-Tastic bases, silicone sticks well and Vulkem sort of, usually, mostly does. Although I am willing to be corrected (we're all learning), I believe the fears about corrosion when using silicone on alclad are unfounded. No, you don't want to use spray silicones, but caulks are fine. You may choose not to do it for other reasons (mildew, hard to remove, etc) but I do not believe you will find any damage caused by the silicone on your roof...and it sticks. The only other product I would trust up there as a caulk-type sealant is EPDM sealant. Dicor has one but make sure that's what you are getting. EPDM sticks and it is highly UV resistant.

No matter what you do, I would stay away from adding lots and lots of goo up there. It creates dams and hides problems. Keep it simple and follow the directions.

I look forward to other opinions.
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Old 01-18-2011, 10:36 PM   #40
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Hi, on my Fantastic Vent assembly, it was installed at the factory when new. If there is a gasket of any kind in there I don't see it. Because it is cracked in places, I chose not to remove it. [probably destroy what's left of it] Originally it was covered in some kind of sealer about 2"s wide. I am using the same sealer that the Airstream repair center sold me for sealing my rear bumper area. I believe it is called Tempro 626. I hope it works and I may go over it with Eternabond RV tape.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:06 AM   #41
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The previous owner of my airstream chased a fan leak for what appeared to be years by the look of the mess I cleaned off. Once it was clean I just didn't see what would let water run (not drip) out of that fan. Someone on this forum (can't remember her name), wrote about a leaky antenna mount. This was my leak. The antenna leaked into the ceiling, but the crank gasket held,so it ran to the closest low point. This was over a foot away, and was the screws that held the screen to the ceiling under my fan. I might mention that on top of the airstream this would appear to be uphill, but once water got in the ceiling it was downhill.
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Old 01-19-2011, 12:47 AM   #42
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I've had a leak in the rear for a couple of years in my '05 22 and just traced it to the rear Fantastic Fan. I removed all of the factory sealant and found that most of the screw were overtightened and I had cracks from the flange up the base, almost to where the dome comes down. There was no gasket used by the factory. I probably could have sealed up the base of the fan but in the end I ran to Camping World and replaced it with a new unit and used the gasket. It wasn't worth worrying about the continued leaks and further damaging the floor. Mine was leaking in the fan and traveling down the curbside wall where it softened the floor in places. I used gitrot to strengthen the floor and now, knock on wood, it looks like we are leak free. I really think the factory installation was sub par.
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