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Old 05-29-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Leaking storage hatch hinges...advice needed

Please help fellow 'streamers! Have been furiously working to trace and seal leaks on my 86 Sovereign and have found one that I have yet been able to fix. It appears that the rear storage hatches are leaking from the hinges into the bellypan below. There is evidence of po replacing wood flooring in both storage areas, but when raining and testing with pitcher of h2o, still pouring into the area. Saw a previous post re: window hinges and putting in silicon and working through hinges while opening and closing. Is this the correct fix? By the way, why would a design flaw this huge have been allowed by Airstream? Cannot believe that the majority of storage lockers aren't suffering similar issues. Thanks in advance for any advice you all can share.
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:19 AM   #2
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Silicon id frowned on as a sealant for Airstreams (it'just doesn't work well, but it's a lot of work to remove), but there was a thread on this subject, and if I recall, it was one that Zeppelinium started...

[edit:] Here it is. That is, if I understand your complaint...
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Old 05-29-2010, 10:35 AM   #3
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Thanks for the link Aage, but I'm talking about the side storage doors...my bad! Also, I know about not using silicone on the skins, but for the hinges, that was the recommended product on a previous post. Go figure! I have already sealed the large gaps with Vulkem, but haven't touched the hinges themselves.
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Old 05-29-2010, 02:39 PM   #4
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Well, I only have experience with the 1974 access doors, but the hinges there don't seem to leak; on mine, the thing to look out for is the black rubber seal around each one: is it in good shape.
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:32 AM   #5
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Rubber gaskets are in good shape, removed yesterday and cleaned well. However, I'm not certain whether they were placed in correct position. Is there a photo somewhere of where they should be mounted? Have read of being on doors instead of inside flange? Confused, as usual ;-).
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Old 05-30-2010, 11:37 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3blessed View Post
Rubber gaskets are in good shape, removed yesterday and cleaned well. However, I'm not certain whether they were placed in correct position. Is there a photo somewhere of where they should be mounted? Have read of being on doors instead of inside flange? Confused, as usual ;-).
The access door gaskets, are installed on the doors, by airstream.

If someone has a leak problem, they can be installed on the door jamb, and moved in a little bit, to increase the gasket sealing job.

Andy
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:59 PM   #7
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Andy, you're back and well-rested I presume? Hope your trip was fabulous. Was hoping to get your answer to this perplexing leaking hinge. I'm at a loss at this point. Tried putting gasket back onto flange and working in some vulkem and clear roofing sealant into the hinge. Rained an hour later and washed majority of clear sealant away and into bellypan. Arrrgh! Will be calling you this week with another order. Sandy
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:25 AM   #8
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If you look for "annoying mistery leak" thread it may be the same problem as I was having. I have an 85 25' sovereign with a leak on the curb side lower rear storage access panel. I found that the exterior vulcum seal around the rear curb side window had deteriorated and allowed water to seep through the wall and enter on to the rear interior floor and banana panel. I spent a lot of time changing seals and removing the door not to mention trying to keep my new sub-floor dry for several days until I had moved on. It took a lot of time to convince me that it was not coming from the lower door. If you are experiencing the same issue it is more than likely not the door that is leaking. There should be a body rib that runs to the door. It can be traced by looking at the exterior rivets from the factory. Follow this rib and seal anything within 2' of either side from top to bottom. Use a syringe from your local pharmacy to make a small bead of vulcum. I don't think it is the hinge but that's only my opinion. Good luck
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Old 06-08-2010, 10:35 AM   #9
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Hey rc707, thanks for your reply. Yes, I did read your thread with much interest and am glad you found your fix. However, I know that the leak is coming in from the hinge because I've already tested with running water directly over the door and the water went right on in, running down the interior skin. I've also sealed all seams, windows, and roof areas above with Vulkem. At this point, I'm seriously considering finding and ordering two window gutters, like those placed over the side windows of the AS. From reading other posts, it seems that those little gutters prevent the window hinges from leaking into the interiors and should work well for the storage hatches too. It's been really frustrating trying to battle this problem because it's been raining daily here in Louisiana and continuing to leak into the bellypan. Can't wait till mine is fixed like yours.
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Old 06-09-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Sounds like you are having the same problem that I am. If you will notice in 86, Airstream moved the side hatches down or the rub rail up and the two are in alignment. The water runs down the top of the rubrail and into the hinge area. I have my floor out now and was watching the water run into the bellypan from the rain. I guess I will be removing the access hatch to see what can be done to fix the ongoing problem. If you find an easier fix please let me know. I don't look forward to removing the hatches.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:16 PM   #11
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Decided to remove the hinge from the hatch area. Wha-La, the factory did not put any sealer on top of the rub rail where it passes under the piano hinge. This would allow water to enter the trailer through the rivet holes for the rub rail and between the skin and the hatch area. Sealed it with Parbond and will do a water test tomorrow to see if it is fixed. I am so ready to get this floor back in. If you need a pic I will take one on the other side when I pull it apart, and post it.
Hope it works.
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Old 06-09-2010, 05:21 PM   #12
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Hatch Leak

I am too excited to wait, had to do the other side and took some pics of the area I am talking about. If you will notice the rivets are not sealed either, not good. You can see the seal area I am talking about before sealed and after sealed. When I put the door back on I will put a dab of sealer on the rivet head before I pop it and in the hole after.
Hope this helps.
Al
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #13
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Hi Archersfin, thanks so much for your input and photos. I have sealed the rivets, but have not yet removed the entire hinge plate as you have. Suppose I'll have to do that as well. Have you had the opportunity to do your leak test yet? I think I'll be able to do some work today before it rains again! Tried to answer your pm, not sure if I did it correctly. Would very much like to keep in touch re: AS issues. Sandy
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:36 AM   #14
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Sandy,
I can finally say the leak is fixed and I can put the floor in. Just be sure and clean all surface's before re-assembly. Before I put the gasket on I sealed the end of the hinge with a little Parbond, just as a little added measure.
I did not get your PM, but will keep in touch with repairs.
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