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Old 12-27-2011, 03:08 PM   #1
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1974 Argosy 26
Savoy , Illinois
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Leak Repair Advice

I recently inherited a 1974 Argosy 26. It is in very good shape with a few issues due to lack of use and maintenance over the last several years.

My main concern currently is 3 leaks where rain is allowed to enter the interior. Not severe but enough to cause a couple small puddles on the kitchen counter top. Over the years this has caused the backsplash of the counter to "explode" and will be need replacment once the leak issues are resolved.

Where the water is dripping along the interior wall seems to coincide with where there is a line of exterior rivets. There were a few of these rivets missing and those have been replaced. The leaks are on the side with the door and awning. I am suspicious that there maybe issues with rivets near where the awning attaches but hidden under the awning or along the awning track where it attaches.

I have checked door and window near where these leaks are occuring and have repaired their seals so I know those are not the issue.

Any help on where to start would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Steve
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:04 PM   #2
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2005 30' Safari
Jeromesville , Ohio
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Hi Steve:

Welcome to the Airforums.

Most Airstream service manuals will tell you to use a garden hose to selectively soak areas of the exterior while someone else observes from the inside for the leak to begin. I've not had great luck with this method with small, pesky leaks. I fought a drip-leak for months that was showing itself as a drip on the edge of the pull-down cover for one of my vista-view windows. The hose test never highlighted it. In the end, I became increasingly more critical of rivets and seams. I think I vulkem'd or Parr-bonded every rivet, bolt, and seam on the curb-side front half of the trailer.

I'm not sure what your floor plan is, but the vent/fan/hood over the range can be a sore point. Open the cover from the outside and apply Vulkem or Parr-bond (depending on the width of the gap to be filled). Other than that, buy a couple tubes of Parr-bond and start re-filling every seam between panels (exterior). Looks for any rivet that just doesn't look quite right and fill around it. Depending on how your awning is attached, you might remove the screws / bolts that attach it to the trailer one-by-one and apply Vulkem, then re-insert the bolt. I did this some time ago on my trailer, too. The TV antenna plate and where the TV antenna wire goes through the top will also be big issues. Water can enter there and run-down the interior skin until it finds a place to drip out. No one sees the top of your trailer, so goop-up all these places with Vulkem (after a thorough cleaning, of course). You already mentioned the awning rail. This can be another sore point since it will hold some amount of water and it's always being "pulled on" by the awning, even to some extent when the awning is rolled up. I did a healthy cleaning on the top side of my awning rail and then applied a healthy bead of Parr-bond.

So far, my pesky over-the-vistaview leak has not re-appeared.

Good luck.
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Old 01-02-2012, 10:15 PM   #3
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Steve, I had a similar issue. In my case, it is a 1987 Excella. I happened to be at the AS factory for service and wanted to have them install a cellular antenna on the roof - I use the cellular network for internet (Broadband-2-Go) and I wanted to install a Wilson amplifier with an external antenna.

At AS factory service, they had repaired a window leak in the front (the seal was dried out). The tech dropped the bezel of the Fantastic Fan to try to see where he would run the wire for the antenna. At that point, they did the water test to check that the window seal was OK and we saw water seeping in around the rivets of the seam on the roof. The fix was expensive, but the only was to do it properly is to strip the interior out in that vicinity, drill out the rivets of the leaking seams and hand buck in new rivets - then apply a sealant and reassemble the interior.

When I had a LY motorhome I had roof leaks as well. The integrity of the rivets is critical, as the whole assembly is being twisted and worked when you drive down the road. The rivets keep it together. Sometimes they will loosen, and when that happens, they need to be replaced. No matter how much sealant you use to stop a leak, if the structural integrity is weak (i.e., missing and loose rivets), it won't hold.
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Old 03-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #4
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I'm having the same type of issue with my 1988 Excella (29'). I just went in there to start my "spring cleaning" and noticed that under the cabinet on the left as you walk in the door was damp. At first I thought it might just be condensation (more like hoping) but when I pulled out the carpet it was obvious the floor was wet under it. I did the hose test, the paper towel test and looked all over. I cannot find a source of any leak. The refig is dry above and below and in the outside access panel. No water came in around the window or rivets. Right now I am running a fan inside the cabinet to dry it out. Its not soaking wet, just damp enough that you know you have to fix it!! Oh another thing, there is a very very small soft spot just outside of the cabinet, next to the door under the carpet. The previous owner (three years ago) replaced almost all the floors and carpet. I don't think he replace inside of this cabinet. Any suggestions?? where is this water coming from??? Is it because I left everything packed inside the cabinet and condensation built up to look like a leak and it just needs to dry out?? (oh please tell me this is the case!) Thank you for any help you can send my way....
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:14 AM   #5
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Sandy and Bob,

It took a while but I solved a good portion of my seapage. I ended up purchasing Vulkem and sealing along where the awning connects to the roof. I also purchased spray on Flex Seal (as advertised on TV). I masked along the linear roof seam and around roof top components ( vents and TV antenna) and sprayed several coats. Flex Seal wicks into even the smallest openning and seems to have solve the majority of my issues. The linear seam, running alongthe roof, front to back seems to have been the problem. Funny thing is that on some rainy days there is no leakage even after heavy rains, other days, a light rain will cause seapage. I have one remaining small leak that I have not been able to solve...
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandi & Bob View Post
I'm having the same type of issue with my 1988 Excella (29'). I just went in there to start my "spring cleaning" and noticed that under the cabinet on the left as you walk in the door was damp. At first I thought it might just be condensation (more like hoping) but when I pulled out the carpet it was obvious the floor was wet under it. I did the hose test, the paper towel test and looked all over. I cannot find a source of any leak. The refig is dry above and below and in the outside access panel. No water came in around the window or rivets. Right now I am running a fan inside the cabinet to dry it out. Its not soaking wet, just damp enough that you know you have to fix it!! Oh another thing, there is a very very small soft spot just outside of the cabinet, next to the door under the carpet. The previous owner (three years ago) replaced almost all the floors and carpet. I don't think he replace inside of this cabinet. Any suggestions?? where is this water coming from??? Is it because I left everything packed inside the cabinet and condensation built up to look like a leak and it just needs to dry out?? (oh please tell me this is the case!) Thank you for any help you can send my way....
Have you checked the exterior - just where the band of trim is around the bottom. That is where the shell is fastened to the floor and frame. I've been fortunate not to have this type of leak, but I know of others who have had them, particularly where the rear bumper meets the body. Make absolutely sure that this seam is intact - clean it and reseal it. You can order the sealant from the AS factory (I bought some there).
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Old 03-20-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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Question

Thanks everyone for your input. Here's where I am now with my leak. I don't see it!! Yesterday we washed the awning and the camper, I mean really soaked it! No leak!!I don't get it. But I did see that the caulk is in desperate need of replacement and I also found a couple of rivits that could also use sealing. I ordered the Vulkem on line from Amazon and plan to re-caulk each awning and around the bottom (yes, I saw a spot that appears a little "dented" in that will benefit greatly with caulk). But here's question number 2. I went on Airstreams web site and saw a product called Acryl-r Seam Sealer. While washing the top, the seams did look rather old and cracked, should I get this seam sealer and do all the seams?? Is there a better product? AS claims its the "official sealer for AS trailers" here's the link to the page. https://store.airstream.com/product_...roducts_id=163
Thanks again, you guys are great!
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:01 PM   #8
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1978 Argosy 27
Hoover , Alabama
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I spent 3 hours wire brushing around all my windows, to clean out the grime and the falling apart gaskets. I used vulkem filling in the gaps. I have reduced my leaks to one, I now know its origin...I started with seven.
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