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Old 09-22-2009, 08:14 PM   #1
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Bumper Area Leak? Maybe?

I have started the search for our leak. I need to get this done before I begin the much bigger task of working with the deteriorated OSB in the rear of our 2002 22' AS. Today it rained mightily and an area in the back under the sink that was almost dry is now wet again. I tried to examine carefully the rear area and can see no evidence of broken or seriously deteriorated caulk/sealant. Finally I began to wonder about the bumper. Should there be a good bead of sealant right where the lower band meets the bumper? It certainly gets wet there, but I don't know how that area is connected to the C-Channel and floor area.
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Old 09-22-2009, 08:47 PM   #2
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If your trailer is like mine that piece of metal goes in under the banana strip and directly under the floor. This caused the floor to rot under one of our beds.

Keep it sealed.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:59 PM   #3
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There should be a good bead of sealer there. that is a major leak spot. The water sits there on the bumper and just soaks in. Good place for that new Trempro you just ordered. Make sure to clean the old stuff out very good, and wipe the area down with mineral spirits before applying the new stuff.
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Old 09-24-2009, 09:29 PM   #4
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We took the bumper off our Argosy to clean it up and repaint, and found that there was nothing to protect the floor. The plywood was just sticking out there, open to any rain that would run under the back of the bumper. We sealed it with vulkem and put the bumper back, and then it and under the rub rail before we put it back. I have since also sealed the top of the rub rail all around the trailer because in removing the banana wrap for repairs, we found plywood edges open all along the sides of the trailer also. More Vulkem all along the edge before the banana wrap went back on.
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:15 PM   #5
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How to seal bumper area?

Thanks Isadora.. your comment, and some other post I read pointed to the possibility that I might have to do some dis-assembly back there. I was hoping all I needed to do was to caulk just right there on the bumper where the rub rail is. Possibly I have to take the rub rail off. I don't know how. Still looking.

Anyone else know the steps to get a good seal in aft end of an Airstream?
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Old 09-24-2009, 10:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TankerIP View Post
Thanks Isadora.. your comment, and some other post I read pointed to the possibility that I might have to do some dis-assembly back there. I was hoping all I needed to do was to caulk just right there on the bumper where the rub rail is. Possibly I have to take the rub rail off. I don't know how. Still looking.

Anyone else know the steps to get a good seal in aft end of an Airstream?
You could ask Airstream.. (but I suppose if they knew they would have sealed yours correctly)

This thread has me thinking about mine now. I think this is an area that Im going to have to investigate. If water found its way to the rear bumper on mine I could see where it might puddle up.
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Old 09-25-2009, 04:18 PM   #7
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Vulkem is on.

I called Airstream today. The rep confirmed that the seal in the bumper area is behind the rub rail, and "frequently" will work loose to allow water to seep in. He said that the rub rail is screwed on, but as I found out, it's really riveted on. Having no rivet gun (and never having used one). I decided to caulk the rub rail/bumper intersection. I purchased Vulkem 116 (Aluminum Stone tint) yesterday. I will let you be the judge on the color.

I hope now the water that collects on the bumper will run off to the side, rather than into the trailer. Once this sets and I get the inside dried out well, I will run a hose back there (or wait for rain) to see what happens.

One other clue of water seepage is from the sewage holding tank cover. I have an aluminum cover on the tank. After rains it drips water for sometimes a day or so. I first thought I had a leaking tank. In fact, water seeps in from the bumper to the holding tank cover, and may even "fill up" the holding tank cover.

This seems like an area that everyone should check when making sure their trailer is secure. I wish I had. Estimates for repairs now run as high as $6000.
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Old 10-03-2009, 10:14 PM   #8
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Tanker,
From the looks of it, your trunk runs right up to the base of the trimline (just like our 1979). Our rear floor was rotted due to water running off the trunk into the flooring right behind the trimline track. You sealed the top of the trimline track but nothing will stop water from going over the trunk but under the trimline track straight into the end of the flooring (if AS didn't improve the design between 1979 and 2002). Riveting the trimline back on is fairly easy and you can get a rivet gun and aluminum rivets (the medium and long shank ones) from Lowe's or Home Depot (or similar place) for about $25 total. Our trimline track was in 2 pieces and met up right in the center of the rear so once we drilled out the rivets across the back, the trimline can be pulled back to see the trunk/wall meeting and allow you to use vulkem to seal off the gap.

Shot of the trimline track pulled of:


This was the inside of our floor looking to the outside when the track was removed. Our gap was huge.


This is where we sealed it with Vulkem:


We also found that there was an aluminum piece inside the trunk, near the top that let water between it and the frame which also went to the base of the flooring. We used the bathroom mirror to see it better since it is on the roof of the trunk space and sealed it of as well.

This shot is odd but it is of a mirror wedged into the trunk at an angle to see the top of the inside of the trunk. Notice the Vulkem bead around where the top of the frame meets the ceiling of the trunk which is aluminum sheet. We also continued the bead on the outside where the aluminum against frame would let water under it.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:13 PM   #9
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It's Dry Now

Bowmans - I'm amazed at the amount of damage this kind of insidious leak can do. How long do you think your's has been like this?

I put the bead of vulkem securely on the lower part of the trim to make a seal between the bumper and the trim. The top part of the trim still has it's factory installed seal intact. It has been a week now; we've had a lot of rain; and still no leak. The area inside under the cabinets is still dry --- although it is the consistency of sawdust.

I'm going to Jackson Center in a couple of weeks to get it fixed. I'm so sickened that I let myself be fooled by having plastic cover over the carpet under the cabinets. This leak continued for several years, unnoticed. I just hope other owners check this area regularly, and catch it with a simple caulk repair job before it gets bad.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:43 PM   #10
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...The area inside under the cabinets is still dry --- although it is the consistency of sawdust.

I'm going to Jackson Center in a couple of weeks to get it fixed...
good luck with this...

sealing the bumper area/trim line is a good thing.

but that particular model doesn't have a belly pan AND the subfloor is OSB...

apparently a/s coats the bottom side of the osb with something and coats the exposed frame members...

but i just can't imagine a coating doing much to protect the osb OR frame in a driving rain or after some use shakes things loose...

imo the real preventive repair is to ADD the belly wrap most (all) other models have.

it's hard to guess how much osb may be soft/crumbly without PULLING much of the lower interior.

IF they are gonna do that (pull the interior) i suggest DITCHING the carpet for solid surface flooring.

good luck and take PICTURES!

we love to look at the a/s operations and transplants.

cheers
2air'
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:01 PM   #11
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Tanker,
Thanks for pointing this out. I haven't seen evidence of a leak here in our AS, but it's an area I'm going to keep an eye on, and will probably apply Vulkem just to be safe.
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Old 10-05-2009, 09:38 AM   #12
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Tanker,
We just bought ours in March so I am not sure how long it has been leaking. The PO noticed the leak at some point because he used spray foam on the roadside in the opposite spot where the picture of the gap was taken. That didn't seem to stop the water because that side was rotten and wet as well.

2Air,
I am still learning alot. If not a banana wrap, what is the black cover that goes where the banana wrap usually goes on Tankers AS?


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Old 10-05-2009, 10:34 AM   #13
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My 2000 excella has a trunk in back and it seems really dry around all edges and carpet.

No dampness at all inside along edges even after a very hard rain.

To those who are dealing with this issue, should I be concerned and keep an eye around the edges or should I go ahead and seal the bottom section of the trim where bumper meets ?

I am coincered also about sealing water in this area if it were running down behind plastic trim area and I seal the bottom it could hold water in this area and eventually allow it to seep into trunk area...............

Would the dampness be evident inside the trunk/wood edge area if it were leaking

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Old 10-05-2009, 10:54 AM   #14
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If not a banana wrap, what is the black cover that goes where the banana wrap usually goes
hi tadd

from side views 22s have what appears to be banana wrap.

but from the UNDER view it doesn't extend across the bottom as a belly pan/wrap like most modern 'streams.

so the bottom is OPEN like many old cars and trucks, fully exposing the frame rails and osb subfloor in many areas.

basically they've got 'quarter round' skirting, expect were the tanks are covered.

see the pics in the FIRST post of this thread...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...-it-33396.html

the only good thing about no belly wrap is that when the frame starts to fail, it's easier to access for repairs...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...ure-48105.html

i'm unaware of any other recent models (besides the 22) that don't have the full under wrap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbie R. View Post
...I am coincered also about sealing water in this area if it were running down behind plastic trim area and I seal the bottom it could hold water in this area and eventually allow it to seep into trunk area...
rr'

the issue is covered a bit in this thread, but yes trapping water is not a good thing behind trim or at the rear bumper or front frame/body junction.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f477...ign-23121.html

cheers
2air'
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