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Old 11-13-2009, 03:28 PM   #1
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Leak tested under pressure!

The trip to the St. Louis area was well worth the effort. As the photos show, soldiermedic found quite a few small leaks in our Safari. Today I got out and worked on all of the issues. I used caulk on some and Cpt. Tolleys on others. It is supposed to rain this week and I am confident that we have resolved all of the leaks.

I spoke to the dealer where I bought the unit about the air bubbles around the air conditioner. He says that the way that the air conditioner is designed, that under pressure, you will always have air passing through. If anyone has different information, pass it my way and we can get the discussion going.

Thanks to soldiermedic for the good work. Fast, professional and very reasonable.

His web site is ifindrvleaks.com
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Old 11-13-2009, 06:54 PM   #2
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The trip to the St. Louis area was well worth the effort. As the photos show, soldiermedic found quite a few small leaks in our Safari. Today I got out and worked on all of the issues. I used caulk on some and Cpt. Tolleys on others. It is supposed to rain this week and I am confident that we have resolved all of the leaks.

I spoke to the dealer where I bought the unit about the air bubbles around the air conditioner. He says that the way that the air conditioner is designed, that under pressure, you will always have air passing through. If anyone has different information, pass it my way and we can get the discussion going.

Thanks to soldiermedic for the good work. Fast, professional and very reasonable.

His web site is ifindrvleaks.com
Like your cajun spelling of do-right!
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Old 11-13-2009, 10:03 PM   #3
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I enjoyed meeting you xbob2. I hope that we cross paths again.
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:35 AM   #4
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Hey Chief I just saw this thread. Glad we were able to find your issues. Bummer about the AC unit, but what about the water that you were getting? The dealer comment on that at all?

Steve
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Old 11-18-2009, 09:47 AM   #5
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...
I spoke to the dealer where I bought the unit about the air bubbles around the air conditioner. He says that the way that the air conditioner is designed, that under pressure, you will always have air passing through. If anyone has different information, pass it my way and we can get the discussion going.

...
I'm not so sure. I saw this when you first posted and have been sitting on my hands for a while. There is no path from the inside to the outside associated with the AC except for the drain. It that's the outlet for the drain in the photo and there is no connection to any kind of drain tube, OK.

I'm not sure what kind of AC you have, but that looks like a strange place for the drain.

Glad the rest went well. Steve and family are friends. Best to all.
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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I'm not so sure. I saw this when you first posted and have been sitting on my hands for a while. There is no path from the inside to the outside associated with the AC except for the drain. It that's the outlet for the drain in the photo and there is no connection to any kind of drain tube, OK.

I'm not sure what kind of AC you have, but that looks like a strange place for the drain.

Glad the rest went well. Steve and family are friends. Best to all.
Air pressure is a TWO way thing. If the inside air pressure can create that huge bubble on the outside - there is some kind of path for it to do so.

If you watched the weather channel last week, you saw Virginia Beach get hit by a Nor'easter - almost as bad as Hurricane Isabel in 2003. I'll bet I had more OUTSIDE pressure coming in due to 50 mph wind gusts than any test equipment would normally produce.

I deduce that if that much air can penetrate out... rain could penetrate in under high wind conditions.

just my 2 cents
Paula
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Old 11-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #7
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Air pressure is a TWO way thing. If the inside air pressure can create that huge bubble on the outside - there is some kind of path for it to do so.

If you watched the weather channel last week, you saw Virginia Beach get hit by a Nor'easter - almost as bad as Hurricane Isabel in 2003. I'll bet I had more OUTSIDE pressure coming in due to 50 mph wind gusts than any test equipment would normally produce.

I deduce that if that much air can penetrate out... rain could penetrate in under high wind conditions.

just my 2 cents
Paula
No argument. Not to mention the winds encountered when towing.

The thing with the test equipment is that it is much easier to find a bubble on the outside than it is to track down a leak from the inside. Water that comes in may run down the inner skin for some distance before entering the cabin.

Anything that helps locate problems is a plus in my opinion. I don't think anyone is claiming that this is the ultimate answer, rather another tool. Like all tools, a lot depends on how it is used.
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #8
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there is an "exterior" drain in that area for the water produced by your heat pump's defrost cycle
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:28 PM   #9
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Air pressure is a TWO way thing. If the inside air pressure can create that huge bubble on the outside - there is some kind of path for it to do so.

If you watched the weather channel last week, you saw Virginia Beach get hit by a Nor'easter - almost as bad as Hurricane Isabel in 2003. I'll bet I had more OUTSIDE pressure coming in due to 50 mph wind gusts than any test equipment would normally produce.

I deduce that if that much air can penetrate out... rain could penetrate in under high wind conditions.

just my 2 cents
Paula
I'm not sure I understand this, Paula -- I thought that is what the pressure testing was all about, to find those paths where rain and other moisture can penetrate and allow you to seal them so it can't. We had a pressure test done by Airstream of Arkansas and they found a good many leaks and sealed them for us. After that, several water-related issues we had been having were gone and we were thrilled! Then, a year or so later, we had soldiermedic test our 310 again to check the seams and to pinpoint where our window seals were leaking. He found several non-window issues that had been baffling us and we took lots of pictures to show which windows were the worst for us to re-seal first. VERY helpful.

To me, this is a great test to show where those "paths" are, regardless of what mechanism could possibly drive water in through them. It was VERY helpful and diagnostic and allowed us to fix some things that had been bothering us for a long time. It's like putting water inside a boat before you launch it to see if it leaks through the hull--the water pressure in that case would be the air pressure here.

Susan
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Old 11-18-2009, 02:33 PM   #10
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Air pressure is a TWO way thing. If the inside air pressure can create that huge bubble on the outside - there is some kind of path for it to do so.

If you watched the weather channel last week, you saw Virginia Beach get hit by a Nor'easter - almost as bad as Hurricane Isabel in 2003. I'll bet I had more OUTSIDE pressure coming in due to 50 mph wind gusts than any test equipment would normally produce.

I deduce that if that much air can penetrate out... rain could penetrate in under high wind conditions.

just my 2 cents
Paula
From your title you seem to infer that leak testing is bogus ... is this true?
Bob
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:21 PM   #11
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We've had a few leaks in our unit... known leaks... and the leak testing confirmed it, plus found a few more...

Since then, those leaks have been repaired. Since our unit travels a lot and gets lots of use, so we plan to leak test ours annually. It's good at pinpointing the areas that tend to flex (for lack of better phrase) and keep water damage at bay.

I wrote a post about our experience on my blog. We are totally satisfied with the experience.

/Lois
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Old 11-18-2009, 03:30 PM   #12
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That bubble is front corner of the AC unit. I would have some concern regarding what component is allowing the air to escape. If it is the seal between the pan and the ceiling, it's going to let water in. I've really not examined this area closely. On a typical flat topped or slightly crowned trailer, there is a gasket that forms a seal between the exterior hole in the trailer roof and the air conditioner itself. I'm not clear in an Airstream situation whether the pan and the roof has its own gasket and then another one between the AC unit and the pan. In your situation that area which is leaking is important since from the location that I see in your picture, I'd have the uneasy feeling that towing in the rain might have a high likelihood of allowing water to get in.

I just don't see how a dealer can make a blanket comment like they did, unless they know that based on the picture, a bubble there is not a leak indicator to be concerned about.

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Old 11-18-2009, 03:47 PM   #13
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That bubble is front corner of the AC unit. I would have some concern regarding what component is allowing the air to escape. If it is the seal between the pan and the ceiling, it's going to let water in. I've really not examined this area closely. On a typical flat topped or slightly crowned trailer, there is a gasket that forms a seal between the exterior hole in the trailer roof and the air conditioner itself. I'm not clear in an Airstream situation whether the pan and the roof has its own gasket and then another one between the AC unit and the pan. In your situation that area which is leaking is important since from the location that I see in your picture, I'd have the uneasy feeling that towing in the rain might have a high likelihood of allowing water to get in.

I just don't see how a dealer can make a blanket comment like they did, unless they know that based on the picture, a bubble there is not a leak indicator to be concerned about.

Jack
That was my thinking Jack. I just looks like a strange place.
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Old 11-18-2009, 04:05 PM   #14
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Or they just don't want to fix it.
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