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Old 10-28-2010, 10:23 PM   #43
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For a trailer that is touted as being the best in the biz, As sure has a lot to learn. Many leaks are attributed to this rear area as well as all around the perimeter. the Bannana & belly wrap terminations (behind the rub rail) are NOT sealed from the factory! This allows water to pour in and cause a slow death.

Is this planned obsolescence on behalf of AS? Do they care about their reputation? Wally would turn over in his grave to know these bodys are not sealed properly.
Don't get me wrong, I dig AIRSTREAMS, but as I have been rebuilding my '76 SOVEREIGN, I have seen a multitude of crap that just should not have been. When complete, this will be far better that new!
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Old 10-28-2010, 11:50 PM   #44
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aluminum dam

I am trying this on my 65 resto.I cut a 90 degree piece of .032 angle 1.5x1.5 63in. long.
I removed the trimline and rivets holding the skin.I trimmed the L so it would curve and pushed it between the outer skin.
When I make the door with a Stainless piano hinge it will cover the serrated edges.
It will mount with a 3/16 channel for the standing water to run out the sides.Don't have the door finished yet,but the aluminum'dam" should keep the water from going directly in the wood .I add that my shell was loose and was jacked up a couple of inches while two friends sat on the bumper to push it down.
We will see,but it should work.
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:13 PM   #45
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@ lazer,
I have many friends with SOB campers (some brand new) and am still glad we got our 1979 AS even with the bumper leak. 30 years old and the floor around the rear was rotted out about 6" from the back wall. I was able to remedy our leak and fix the floor but thinking it took 30 years to get to that point, if I keep an eye on it, I've got at least another 30 years with my repaired floor.

A horror story:
A friend of ours bought a brand new SOB box 5th wheel (36' length I believe) in 2008. It was a behemoth. A year later, the back wall was falling off due to water intrusion. The camper was replaced in 2009 under warranty. Later that summer, same thing happened. They got a new camper (but had to pay the difference and gap insurance or something like that). Now in 2010 they are leaking again... I am glad to have a 1979 that doesn't leak at this point. And if it does, I will find it and seal it up. The worse thing that can happen is some floor rot as opposed to wall, floor and roof rotting.
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Old 04-02-2011, 03:51 PM   #46
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Bumper leak; maybe fixed?

I have (had) a small leak in the rear compartment of my 2006 Safari LS. In addition to this information thread, I visited with the Spokane, WA AS dealer and he gave me two possibilities. I thought it only occurred while driving in the rain but that wasn't the case. I tried fixing some of the caulking around the frame with Parbond which worked well but didn't solve the problem. Next I tried the more invasive procedure of removing the rub trim insert (no big deal), then unscrewing the rub rail and caulking with TremPro 636 which is a challenge this spring in Idaho. To protect the caulk while it cured (0vernight, at least) I tented the rear of the AS with visqueen held out with boards. I had intended to leave it tented for two days but the rain, hail and wind took care of removing the tenting.

Anyway, it has cured enough in 27 hours and looks like a good seal. I need to check further up where the roof panel meets the rear panels but I am hopeful this will take care of the issue. It appears this same "fix" was done by one of the POs, but it wasn't a very good job, IMHO.

Anyway, I am hopeful that tomorrow I can screw back on the rub rail and then I am going to have to wait until it hits 65 degrees to re-install the shrome trim with 3M double-sided tape.

I appreciate the help this thread gave me in getting this job done.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:15 PM   #47
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Please let us know if your caulking under the rub rail fixed the problem. The kind of seal you put on should, by all good logic, fix the problem. But who knows? After my experience, I'm still paranoid and worry that another leak might start in the rear.

My post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ter-59831.html lists some the places where we thought water might be coming in to the trailer.

Good Luck
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Old 04-03-2011, 10:19 PM   #48
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My experience is the aluminum window frame will leak where it meets the skin, and where it meets the glass, but especially where it meets the glass. Look closely and you may see a tiny gap in these areas. With water present and higher air pressure on the outside than inside (wind-driven rain), a great deal of water can enter. The big pano window units are suspect and deserve watching.

My cure has been frequent inspection (a good flashlight after dark will give the best view), and sealing so that a 1/8" bead of sealant overlaps both sides of the joint. The sealant must have some thickness so it is pliable and can expand/compress with movement of the metal or glass. The factory sealant is too thin.

Airstream does not seal the bottom side of tail lights, electrical covers, and rub rails so that water may drain away, I believe.

Doug K
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:46 PM   #49
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Tanker IP,

Yes, the bumper caulking has apparently fixed the leak. We had 8 or more hours of hard rain yesterday and the rear compartment remained dry. I took the AS to the dealer in Spokane this morning for some bearing and brake maintenance and a new skylight and they are going to check all of the other penetrations on the roof as long as they are doing the skylight.

Your post of other possible leaks is interesting and certainly worth checking out. I did check around the rear window and all of the caulking appears to be sound. I certainly appreciate the help with this. It was interesting developing the skill to apply the TremPro and the Parbond. Of course, I'd rather not have to deal with it but it is apparently an on-going maintenance issue to deal with. I am excavating a nice parking area this month and will install an RV carport so that should help as well.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:49 AM   #50
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I have a couple of questions about caulking under the rub rail.

1. Do you have to repair the floor before caulking under the rub rail? I ask, because I would like to caulk first, then make sure that fixed the leak, and then repair the floor. It's only a small section of the rear floor in the storage area (curb side corner) that is bad. I figure the hardest part will be cutting the radius for the corner (tips are welcome! I an thinking about making a cardboard template). Fortunately the frame appears to be in good shape.

2. In pulling off the rub rail, am I to understand that the chrome flat piece insert in the rub rail just "pulls off"? Then there are screws or rivets that attach the actual rub rail? Then the insert is reapplied using 3M trim double side tape? If rivets, what size? I have a rivet gun so I am good to go on that if need be, just need the rivets.

3. I have a tube of Sikaflex at home, would this be an appropriate product to use?

4. The only other place that I suspect is maybe the lights. Any tips on sealing those? Should I remove the light and seal behind it? As I understand it, the bottom of the light should not be sealed in order to let and water drain out. Of course they say the same about why we shouldn't seal under the rub rail.

I did seal under the rub rail with the Acryl R last year and that seems to have stopped most of it, but I still get some dampness. Hence the desire to seal behind the rub rail. Note, I have also resealed the (Hehr) windows between the gasket and the trailer with Acryl R.

Right now, this and the AC unit are my only leak areas. Right after I discovered the leak in the rear compartment last year, I pulled out all of the carpet for that compartment and the side compartments so I could keep an eye on the floor for leaks (none found). FWIW, personally I would suggest that anyone with carpet in these areas pull it out. If you wish, replace it with a new piece that is removable. One further note, I had the front couch out when I installed my new IOTA converter last year, the floor looked to be in good shape.

Any other tips / comments are welcomed.
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:21 PM   #51
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I've got a friend who has a 1971 (I think--I know it's a '70 or '71) Overlander who has the same problem. He has replaced the trunk door gasket, siliconed everything he can possibly think of up and down the back and side of the trailer----still it leaks. The board is rotted, exposing the metal underneath. Fortunately, it's only the size of about a folded washcloth. Is it the same design on the 1971 models? He hadn't thought about the leak coming from behind the trim line. I know he has vulkemed the top of the trim line and where the lower trunk (where the shore power line is located) meets the body--still the leak. It's driving him crazy and me crazy listening to him!!
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:30 AM   #52
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1. I believe I caught my leak before I had any damage to the floor so I cannot say what order the repair should be made in, but I agree it makes sense to stop the leak first.

2. The chrome trim does pull off. I used a plastic putty knife to ease it off a little at a time. The hardest part was removing all of the old adhesive. I would say I have 4-5 hours into that part of the repair. I had screws that held my rub rail on the rear of the trailer. There were rivets along the front section closer to the wheel wells but I did not remove those because I could just unscrew the rub rail and that provided adequate space to caulk the bumper area. I bought 7/8" wide 3M double-sided tape (part #03616). I have yet to remove the adhesive from the rub rail itself, but there appears to be less of it and, being metal, it will allow for scraping without causing any damage. The chrome trim could be easily damaged.

3. I used TremPro at the suggestion of the AS dealer and other Forum posts. The Sikaflex may work but I have no specific opinion on that.

I sealed the top of the rub rail with Parbond and left the bottom of the rail uncaulked to provide for possible drainage. I have yet to reapply the chrome strip due to weather constraints.

The repair was not as much trouble as I had anticipated and it went pretty with the exception of the difficulty experienced because of the spring weather.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:56 AM   #53
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Sad, this is a design and production re-occuring failure in the same location on multiple years. Hopefully - by now with all the feedback posted here on the forums - this issue will finally be resolved in future AS models - not that I would ever buy one again.......
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #54
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Not so fast...

Well, when I picked my AS up from the dealer, I noticed I must still have a leak because the rear compartment carpeting was a little wet. After drying it out, I inspected the window above, the seams and then noticed that the right tail light had a suspicious gap along the right side that could easily be the culprit.

I tried unscrewing the fixture and getting a closer fit to the skin but it wouldn't move so I just cleaned and then caulked with Parbond. That was two days ago and after a very substantial downpour last night, the compartment is dry! While I would like to think I finally have repaired this leak, I would like to wait another week before declaring success.

The AS dealer applied 3 tubes of Sikaflex on the roof after he replaced the skylight. The mechanic indicated that the skylight was missing half of it's screws and was ready to blow off. Now if the weather would warm up, I think we are ready to head out.
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Old 05-17-2011, 05:51 PM   #55
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Rear L?

Greetings,

I'm a newby with the back end of my '79 Excella 500 opened up to replace the rotten floor. I've pealed back the rub rail, and removed the rear banana wrap (slightly different shape on my model) and removed the old floor. I'm getting ready to put POR 15 on the frame. It is pitted but seems pretty solid. I'vebeen reading about the possible fixes to the rear using an L channel but I'm not sure that would work for me. My leaks seemed to be in the back corners and that is where the bottom of a L shaped piece of aluminum would need to be cut to handle the curve.

I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas about how to get a really nice watertight seal at the back. My plan is to put a good bead of vulkem at the base before I put the rub rail back on and then to seal the top and bottom of the rub rail as well.

By the way, the information I find here is incredibly helpful. So far so good with this project. It is just the back piece of flooring that needs to be replaced and I have center bath unit so things are fairly simple back there.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Abe
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Old 05-18-2011, 08:03 PM   #56
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That's a good tactic. To seal behind the rub rail. On my Argosy, when you remove the rub rail, you can see the wooden floor sticking out, not a good setup. I often wondered if a piece of Aluminum flashing wrapped around the new wooden floor along with vulcum would be the hot setup. Specific to your rot in the corners, Don't discount leaks from up above, like the corner lights, or tail lights. That lovely round shape can sure move the leaks around depending on how the trailer is sitting. G
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