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Old 11-17-2003, 08:30 PM   #1
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Help with Leaks

HELP We just bought this 85 27ft Sovereign, our first AS, a day after getting it home it rained. I checked for leaks (due to my past experience with vents). And beleive me, what a nightmare. I found four leaks. Here we go: No. 1 from the stationary front side window (next to the door). I checked behind the seat and noticed a leak patterns on the wall. Pulled the carpet and found rotted floor. made a hole in the rotted area and found water under the floor, including the wet insulation. Then I checked the back vent, and it is leaking (right into my face while I was looking up). Then I noticed a leak in the closet which I beleive is coming from the holding tank vent pipe cap. And number four was behind the kitchen spice rack, most probably from the range exhaust vent. NEED HELP. Any suggestions, beside calling the previous owner and asking for my money.
I tried to use the search engine, but it is not working. Need help BAAAAAAAAD.
Thanks.
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:41 PM   #2
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Get out the Vulcem and Par Bond. The top and side of the fixed window needs the old loose sealnt removed an it needs to be redone. Depending on the size of the gap you may need to use Vulcem. 1/8 inch or less use Parr bond. If you have an awning I would check the mounting hardware over the front window too.

Vents, apply additional Vulcem in the cracked and crazed vulcem orund the lip where the vnet meets the roof sheet.

Stove vent, run Vulcem on the top side of the hinge where it meets the skin of the trailer.

Check BOTH of the vent pipes. There is a member who had water run UP form a leaking vent pipe cover.

If you want to be sure of a good bond, wipe the area with alcohol before application and allow it to dry.

YMMV< and it has worked for me.

I would check all of the windows and refresh the sealant where it looks like it needs it.

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:42 PM   #3
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Leaks you just have to keep searching for. No other way to do it.

I have been chasing leaks at both ends of our 59 that I just put a new floor in. I think I have it narrowed down to the gutter and the top of the window frame. The sealent just got old and not working. Hope to reseal that tomorrow. Supose to have rain by tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:17 PM   #4
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leaks

Rather than just adding caulk you may think about replacing gaskets and possibly vents. I just pulled off two of my vents and noticed there were no gaskets and large gaps that rain could pour in even if the outside edge was caulked. Do a search on vent replacement on this site and you get details. I had leaks in the same place as you do so it's not uncommon.
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Old 11-17-2003, 09:42 PM   #5
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thenewkid64 makes an important point about where to use Vulkem and where to use Parrbond. Large gaps - Vulkem. Small gaps and seams, Parrbond. Parrbond will flow to an amazing extent, so always check after a few hours to make sure it filled the seam.

Tin Hut makes a good point about the gaskets on the vents. Fairly inexpensive, and easy to replace.

In all cases, however, as this unit is new to you I suggest you take a look topside to make sure there are not additions or modifications - brackets, screws, bolts, holes, who knows what - that is allowing water to come in then run down the sides.

Good luck,

Mark
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:30 PM   #6
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Dear Friends:
Thanks a million for all of your suggestions. Few quick questions: about the roof vents and the pipe cover, how hard is it to change all gaskets? Do I need to drill all rivets out? and do I have to rivet them back or could I use screws instead? Where can I get the gaskets from? I can get the Parbond from local trailer dealer ( I have their catalog) but it did not have the Vulcem. Do I have to order it from especialty stores? Finally, can I use Parbond at this season (temps around 35)? Again thank you all. I'll let you know about the results.
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:32 PM   #7
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Danesh, check your PM's , I replied to the one you sent me.
Vulkem I ordered from www.airstreamdreams.com because the local dealer wanted for one tube what I could get 2 tubes for shipped UPS to the door...it pays to shop.
Parbond I got locally....the dealer was reasonable on that.
Good luck chasing those leaks!
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Old 11-18-2003, 05:25 AM   #8
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Another good source for caulking on a local level are your metal roofing/siding/commercial insulation supply houses. A couple of the regional one that come to mind are ISI (insulations systems Inc) and Guaranteed Supply. Dynamic Fasteners is another one. You will most likely have to purchase a full case but if you gang up with a couple more AS owners it shouldn't be and issue

Aaron
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Old 11-18-2003, 06:32 AM   #9
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Vent pipe covers use a thick rubber gasket. The covers are held on with 4-6 screws. This is the only thing on the roof that is gasketed. The vents are metal to metal with Vulcem in between. The pipes have to be able to move, hence the gakset. The roof vents are part of the roof. Removing the roof vents is not necessary to reseal. I would start with the vent pipe gaskets, they are a known point of entry for water and could be the cause for more than 1 of your leaks.

I do not know the answer to your question on application temps. I would check the use instructions when you get your hans on it. I know the Vulcem gets very stiff as the temp drops. I store my partial tubes in the fridge, I have to let it warm up of at least an hour before I can used it.
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Old 11-18-2003, 09:42 AM   #10
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Danesh, I just went through a lot of what you are describing. A few thoughts:

1) I riveted my roof vent in place because I had no confidence a screw was going to last. Drilling out the rivets is no problem if you are careful and don't enlarge the hole. Put a little caulk on the stem of each rivet before you put it in.

2) Even with the replacement gasket, be sure to Vulkem (caulk) everything very very well. Clean up all the old caulk beforehand.

3) I found that trying to find the source of leaks was frustrating and counter-productive. Once water gets into the shell and soaks the insulation, it can wick almost anywhere. After a few weeks of that, I just went up on the roof and re-dideverything that looked suspicious.

Result: five popped rivets replaced on the vent fan; two plumbing vents & gaskets replaced; one mystery rivet hole on the roof caulked and riveted; all roof seams caulked (using tape to ensure neat clean edges); TV antenna re-caulked; one clearance light re-caulked; all five windows re-weatherstripped; entry door weatherstripped; and about 8 missing or failing rivets around the body replaced.

j54mark makes a good point. Once you get up on the roof for a careful inspection, you might be amazed at what you find! I certainly was ...

When you've got serious leaks like you have, it's easier to just fix it all at once than fiddle around trying to figure out where the leak is, IMHO.

-- RL
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Old 11-18-2003, 10:58 AM   #11
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Search for other threads on vent replacement. Depending on your year you may need not only gaskets but the vent cover itself. Mine were fiberglass and brittle and cracked alot when I was prying off. I replaced with metal covers I got from InlandRV. I suggest using rivets instead of screws which can loosen and cause more leaks. While I was up there I found my awning attachement was loose and the caulking cracked so I redid that. I plan on resealing all windows as well.
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