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Old 04-17-2016, 04:07 PM   #1
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1957 22' Custom
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Holy Moly, she leaks like a sieve

I'm starting to do the fully monty on a 1975 13 panel and I have all of the interior skins off. We had a good rain here today: 17 leaks and counting. It seems like every seam has a wet spot or a drip. Can these things really be sealed up from the inside?
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:09 PM   #2
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Welcome to the real world of vintage trailers(any brand). They all leak at least some of the time. Just like real VW bugs and Harleys leak oil and boats leak water.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:14 PM   #3
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Probably because there are no 1973 13 panel Airstreams. You must mean 1953?


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Old 04-18-2016, 05:31 AM   #4
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1957 in his ID on the left.

Welcome to the forum DDickey, and Good Luck . . . !

I have no expertise about this, but am interested in knowing more. Some kind of penetrating epoxy for the seams? Drill out rivets at overlapping seams and caulk? With what?

Let the Summer Games begin!

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Old 04-18-2016, 07:00 AM   #5
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Dyslexia

Whoops, my showing is dyslexia itself, I meant 1957
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Old 04-18-2016, 07:49 AM   #6
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I have found most leaks are from loose rivets and windows. I wait until a good rain and mark them with a sharpie. Then replace and reseal.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:09 AM   #7
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the most "painless" and "realistic" solution is to move to:

https://www.currentresults.com/Weath...cipitation.php

;-)

Or - do like I do and keep it under a canopy at all times - it's kind of expensive paying for the 2 guys w/ the "Wide Load" Sign on their cars, that must drive in front and in back of us everywhere we go . . .

Maybe it's a combination of finding loose leaky rivets and replacing them and cleaning all the inside seams w/ Lacquer Thinner and then running a bead of Polyurethane Sealant like Trempro or Sika on the inside and then using your thumb to "push" it into the seams . . . short of taking the thing completely apart and putting it back together.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:24 AM   #8
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I drilled the rivets out of every seam on the trailer, cleaned, injected sealant, and then re-installed the rivets. It was a lot of work but it doesn't leak anymore.
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Old 04-18-2016, 09:42 AM   #9
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OUTSIDE IS BETTER. Lazy way - if you have access to two box trucks, park one on each side of the Airstream and make 2 X 10's into a laydown ramp over the roof. It's also possible to rent a few sections of scaffolding quite inexpensively, OR just use a nice long ladder with a brace (2x4 covered in carpet about 2.5 feet long - to keep the rails from marking up the side of the Airstream. I find the reach across too far for my short self.

Captain Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure on every single rivet. Mark the ones where the liquid disappears inside, and re-treat them a day later. 99% won't leak the second time. On the seams, clean out all of the old sealant, then use Trempro or Sikaflex to reseal. For a NEAT seam, use two parallel strips of masking tape or painters tape, one on each side of the seam. Apply the caulk, finger smooth, wait briefly for the caulk to START setting, then remove the tape.
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:02 AM   #10
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1957 - very nice! Pull out the interior skins and slather Vulkem all over the seams from the inside. Also check your window seals if they're rotted they will leak


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Old 04-18-2016, 12:38 PM   #11
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Finding/Fixing Leaks with the skin on?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rugjenkins View Post
I have found most leaks are from loose rivets and windows. I wait until a good rain and mark them with a sharpie. Then replace and reseal.
How do you do that with the interior skins on? Or is that just when you remove them and, if that's the case, how often do you do that?

Which begs a question: Has anyone ever devised a way to identify, locate and repair shell leaks with the relevant interior skin on?
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:50 PM   #12
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Holy Moly, she leaks like a sieve

DDickey posted he had the interior skins off doing a fully Monty. I still have my interior off until I spray soon.

With interior skins on- captain tolley is good and reseal exterior seams an windows

Pressure testing is the way many check when all is together or apart
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Old 04-18-2016, 08:00 PM   #13
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Captain Tolleys

So should Captain Tolleys be used from the outside, or the inside, or both, or does it matter? I just ordered some from West Marine...
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Old 04-18-2016, 10:51 PM   #14
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If you want to treat the wall/skin that is not visible against corrosion. Get some Zinc Chromate from an aircraft supplier. That is the old standby method used in aluminum aircraft manufacturing. Be sure and use a respirator, or you will get zinc poisoning in the lungs. Don't ask how I know.
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