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Old 08-28-2002, 02:12 PM   #1
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Leak at rear bedroom wall

My 1985 Excella 31', rear twin beds has leaked randomly for years above curbside bed at seam from straight to curved section. I have caulked the roof seams carefully with Vulkem.
Prevous owner had windstorm to damage curbside ZipDee awning. The awning rail at rear was torn loose, I added rivets
at the last 4" of rail, caulked carefully. With awning out the rail is off the skin by 1/4" at lower edge, rivet shafts are visible. During rain water runs past rail at several points down side of camper.
I suspect leak at awning rail rivets, esp at back.
What can I do to stop the leaks?
K L Stone
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Old 08-28-2002, 03:18 PM   #2
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leaks

I had a similiar problem which, by following the advices from the A/S factory, I was able to stop.
On the lower bottom section of your unit is a line of rivets going all the way around. These are usually covered by a large blue strip of vy. (abt 1.25 inches wide?)
Most of these blue strips are usually gone by now due to the Sun's UV reaction to the material. But can be replaced.
What this does is acts like a weather strip over the rivet heads, which, can let water into your unit as these rivet heads are not sealed~! Just that simple.
One additional step, I put a dab of VUKLUM over each rivet's head before closing it all in with the new blue vy.
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Old 08-28-2002, 07:40 PM   #3
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Kirby.
Check the "sewer vent pipe cover gaskets."
You may need to remove one cover to properly check it.
They are probably the number one cause of roof water leaks.


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Old 08-29-2002, 03:44 AM   #4
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Kirby,
As usual, Andy has given you some very good advise. Check the roof vent gaskets. My pesky leak turned out to be the holding tank vent gaskets. Both were bad and both were leaking. It is an easy and quick fix to a serious leaking problem.
Take the vent covers off and take a look!
James
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Old 08-31-2002, 04:47 AM   #5
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Does your trailer have an awning? I had a similiar leak,turned out that the top awning bracket and screws had worked loose.
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Old 09-07-2002, 08:16 PM   #6
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Leaks: Blue strip & Vulkem

Vern, You mentioned that you can buy the blue strip. Where? Also, my newly acquired 80 Caravelle has leaks that I strongly suspect are due to the strip and seam underneath. Today I striped the worn caulking & tomorrow had planned to caulk with clean silicon. However, that might not do it if I don't seal the brads and replace the "blue vy." You also mentioned Vulkem; what is it and is it better than silicon? Thank you. Joe
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Old 09-07-2002, 08:22 PM   #7
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PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT USE SILICONE!!!!!!

There are much better products to seal that seam, look for PARR bond or one of the other sealants listed (search under vulcum). The person you eventually sell your trailer to will thank you.
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Old 09-07-2002, 08:52 PM   #8
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Vulcum & Alcoa Gutter Seal

Thanks Brett. I did a search as you suggested and came upon another discussion group - Airstream Central. A discussion there suggested that Vulcum was good for windows, doors and windows. But, they suggested that Alcoa Gutter Seal was better for rivet seams and edges of trim - which I think is where my leaks are coming from. They further said that Vulcum was easy to use, but that the Alcoa product was very "unforgiving." Well, being a newbe, maybe I'd better use the Vulcum (and return the silicone). What's your thoughts on the alcoa product, and can I just use the Vulcum on everthing? (It seems that Vulcum is also used by the concrete industry to seal cracks and joints...) Thanks, Joe
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Old 09-07-2002, 10:54 PM   #9
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Joe,

As quoted by Andy of Inland RV
"The sealer on top of the belt line molding is cosmetic. Vulkem will give a bead that is very wide. Instead, you can use Par-bond, which comes in 5 ounce tubes. With it, you can lay a fine bead."

I have not used the gutter seal, but have used vulkem to intall a new power outlet. The vulkum seems as difficult to work with as any outher tube delivered product. I have used the above descripbed Par-Bond and have had good results.

The main issue here is to use a product that will retain both the bond to the skin as well as he elasticity to move with the trailer. The par-bond is also silver in color and will blend well with the trailer. FYI Silicone is not UV stabilized in most cases and fails in 3-6 months of exposure. Then it turns black and looks horrid.
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Old 09-11-2002, 09:45 AM   #10
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Fan and water heater leak

Thanks guys, I did find the "Vulkem 911" polyurethane sealant in a matching silver. I had to drive 30 miles to get it, no one locally ever heard of it. Yes, it is messy, but it went on with reasonable ease. I had to use a grinding wheel to get it off my hands. I cleaned and caulked the bottom trim, which had gaps, and will redo all of the rest later. I'll see if I can find the Par-bond and experiment with that product. I also finished replacing the floor in front of the door. It isn't as good as new, but the rug will hide my lack of carpentry skills. I now need to move to the water heater and fan over the kitchen burners. The fan works sometimes, more often when I bang on it, but even then stops after a few minutes. Profanity doesn't seem to help. New fan motor I suppose. The heater gets attached in about an hour. I've run a fan on it for days trying to dry out the area. Everything is dry now except the bottom of the tank. Since I can't find out what the leak is, I plan to cut away the insulation and see if it is a connection (hopefully), or the tank itself. Prayer is in order. I appreciate the help.
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Old 09-14-2002, 12:10 AM   #11
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stripe

You can get the striping material from www.stripeman.com
My wife will have to dig out our paper work and i will send you the # of the color we found to match . I will also send you sample pieces so you can match it up to your trailor.
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Old 09-14-2002, 01:44 AM   #12
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Cleaning Up.

I agree that, Vuklum is generally a mess to apply and, to clean..
A couple of tricks that I used. On the advice of a fellow A/Streamer: Use Vet. plastic syrine (cost less than a doller) for applying the Vulkum..it'll give a much nicer, neater,controlled bead when you apply it..
And, when cleaning up, I used spirit of mineral oil to clean my hands, etc. Works~!
Now for the 'blue strip', I picked mine up from A/S factory while visiting there..My best recollection is: Cost was abt a 1.00$ a foot for the small stuff and abt 1.50$ for the wider strip, so you'll wanta be real sure that you have a little more than you need.. So you don't end up on the short side.(looks better afterwards, lol)
On one small section, I ended up having to 'pull' it in to fit...<smile>
ciao
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Old 09-14-2002, 01:54 AM   #13
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Finis looks

This is what the blue strips looks like now..
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Old 09-14-2002, 12:14 PM   #14
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Water heater leak and Blue strip

Vern, Wow. That blue strip looks great. I hope to do the same to mine once I do the priority stuff. I understand that the strip doesn't cover a seam in the aluminum body so I can put off the strips for now. I did discover my water heater leak. Fortunately it was not the water heater. The hoses leading to the heater were all wet, as was the bottom of the heater. I tried to dry the area with heat and a fan, but it was still impossible to pinpoint the leak. So, I had determined to cut the insulation away to see if it was the tank. I turned on the pump so as to have pressure, and with knife in hand grabbed the hoses to pull them out of the way in order to start cutting. Doing so produced a jet of water from one of the connections. Then the hose slipped off completely soaking me and covering my glasses. So there I am, soaked, blinded, and with my thumb over the pulsating end of the hose. And, the turn-off switch is ten feet away. Neither yelling for my wife, who was in the house, nor cussing stopped the water. So, I let go and hit the switch. I jammed the hoses back together to reduce the water flow, but by that time water was flowing through two escape hoses on the outside back rear that, until then, I was unaware of. So I found my leak. The screw bracket had rusted and wasnít holding tight. This caused a constant but imperceptible leak. Fortunately, I had a new bracket handy and after much to do was able to get the hose back together secured with the new bracket. Whew. To my amazement, the leak stopped and all is dry. I have not fired up the heater yet. Start praying now. A friend, whoís father was a maintenance supervisor at the Savannah River Nuclear plant, told me that an old trick is to cut small strips of toweling and wrap them around valves and connections. That way, when you have a leak the towel will get wet and is an easy thing to check. This I plan to doÖ Thanks for all your help. Joe P.S.: Do you have the Web address for the Airstream store the sells the white stip?
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