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Old 12-12-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
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leaks where awning is attached

Today I washed my Argosy for the first time. In fact, it's probably the first time in 34 years that the roof has been washed. I'm pretty sure the wet floor inside the trailer is due to the awning. The most obvious cultprit is where the brackets are attached. Second culprit would be the rivets that hold on the awning rail. Anything else I should pay special attention to? Should there be a bead of caulk all along the awning rail?

The two roof vents are the next suspicious areas.

I'm sure glad I'm in Arizona where it has rained only one or two days in the last three months since I brought her here from Oklahoma. Today it must have hit 80 degrees.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
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Yes, the roof vents are primary sources of leaks. Check to see if the old Dicor or Silkaflex is old and cracking. And yes, there should be a bead of Dicor/Silkaflex along the awning rail, too. The window frames should also be sealed.

What part of Sun City are you in?
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:40 PM   #3
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Sally....the awning rail is only held on with less than a dozen rivets. Drill em out, clean the rail and roof area, vulkem the rail and the rivets as you reinstall. It goes quick....major lea problem solved. The awning attach plates are another leak point. If the awning is off...the attach screw holes are wide open....seal around the edge of the plates and make sure all the screw holes are filled (with a screw) till final awning arm installation. Vents always need to be resealed. I used Ceramaflex on the roof...out of sight to all on the ground....and it sealed everything up there. Keeps things cool too.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:59 PM   #4
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When I had a leak caused by a screw hole (to hold the awning in the rail) in the skin it leaked down the wall onto the bed. If you can determine where the water is coming out of the inner skin, it can give you some clues as to where the leak is. Water can travel great distances inside the skins, but gravity usually keeps it flowing down hill.

A/C units, vents, and running lights are the most suspect in my book. Often you can locate the leak by running water on the outside of the trailer at the lowest possible leak location first. Let it run for several minutes and check for your leak. Move the hose higher up and repeat the process until you find the problem. My leak would show up after 2 or 3 minutes of water flow.
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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My experience is that Vulkem is a fine product and has it's uses, but it doesn't last but 3-4 years in the heat of the desert southwest. I sealed my fantastic vents with Vulkem 4 years ago and the Vulkem was already cracking and leaking this past winter. Dicor and Silkaflex, on the other hand, appear to last much longer in this climate. I still use Vulkem to seal rivets and windows. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Dicor will not last in this use either.............as it cracks in a couple of years in roof sealing uses.

I would only use grey Sika-Flex 221 in this case. Ultimately, one would remove the awning from the rail, drill out the rivets and remove the awning rail. I would then run butyl tape the entire length of the awning rail, re-rivet it to the sidewall and then Sika-Flex the entire top seam, along with a bead over every rivet. Allow it to cure and then re-install the fabric.

Anything else is just a Band-Aid and will NOT guarantee success or elimination of said leak.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:37 PM   #7
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Running lights and old Armstrong AC were the culprits of most of my leaks and I had a bunch of them. If you have the old AC, remove all the old sealant (what ever type has been applied) around where the power and freon lines run down thru the top. Clean the area and the top of the trailer well and apply vulkem. For marker lights, drill out the rivets that hold them on and reinstall with a dab of vulkem on the back side of the light and on the rivet as well as the hole where the wire feeds out of the skin. This should stop the marker light leaks. I thought my leak on the curb side was from the awning rail, but it was from the AC unit.
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Old 12-13-2010, 06:56 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your helpful responses.

99% of the wet floor was on the awning side, directly down from the awning brackets. The trailer was pretty level side to side when I washed it, but higher in the front, and lower in the back.

The awning is all there and attached, and I don't have plans to remove it.
After reading all your posts I'm going to concentrate first on the awning brackets and rail. Then I'll move to the vents and lights and the newer Coleman air conditioner.


Mello Mike, I'm in Phase 1, near 99th and Peoria.

What size (Olympic?) rivets hold on the awning rail?

Thanks again everyone. I'm almost excited about getting started.
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