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Old 04-04-2006, 04:17 PM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
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My new (to me) airstream turns into nightmare

Just got down to some nitty gritty cleaning last night after it had rained all day and there seems to be water pretty much all the way down the edge of the street side floor. Found some moisture in bath behind toilet, was wet along wall/floor joint under twin bed. Can't tell about the refer and worst of all the floor was dry rotted to the point where there is a hole in it under the left hand side gaucho pad. Help, my dream has turned into a nightmare. Don't know where to start looking for water. Can see where vulkem had been used in the past to seal up all the usual culprits up top, but I wonder if the water isn't somehow coming from the trim strip that goes all the way around the bottom of the trailer. Really don't want to start tearing all the ceiling apart to find leak although I now wonder what kind of black mold might be up there PO of course said no leaks and I have no recourse. Any suggestions on how to patch a piece of dry rotted floor?
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Old 04-04-2006, 04:24 PM   #2
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Search around the forum and you will find many people have had to patch up their floors, or replace them all together. It's not as bad as it sounds.

The water could be getting in through the panel seams. They need to be cleaned and resealed occasionally. I stopped most of the leaks in my trailer by sealing the seams.

Sorry to hear you're having such bad luck. It's a shocker when you find it, but unfortunately it's not all that unusual in old trailers.
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:44 PM   #3
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It almost looks to me like the water is coming in through the rivets that hold that piece of blue trim to the bottom surrounding the trailer. Has anyone else had that problem? What's the easiest way to fix?
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Old 04-04-2006, 05:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacnstac
It almost looks to me like the water is coming in through the rivets that hold that piece of blue trim to the bottom surrounding the trailer. Has anyone else had that problem? What's the easiest way to fix?
Run a bead of caulk around the top edge of the extrusion, but to do it right you need to take the blue insert out, drill the rivets out, thorougly clean behind the extrusion and the back side of it. Then lay a bead of vulkem on the backside of the extrusion where the rivets go thru, then replace and place a small bead of caulk around the top edge of the extrusion. That is what I am doing with mine as I get to it.

Aaron
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:03 PM   #5
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start with the sewer vents.

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Old 04-04-2006, 07:36 PM   #6
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The sewer vents would cause a leak way up by the gaucho?
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:36 PM   #7
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Not sure what year you are working on but on my '76 I had a similar problem . I took off that lower moulding to find the leak and it was not the problem . The lower belly roll goes under the side alum. sheet so the water would have to go up for it to leak . I guess if it was a bad seal and you drove in heavy rain it could leak . Mine turned out to be a vistaview window . Try using a garden hose on one section at a time to see if you can narrow it down . If you have soft floors it's been going on for quit some time , which makes me believe it's happening while the trailer is stationary . Good luck and don't give up
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:46 PM   #8
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Check out my site, I had a similar problem, all kinds of pics and tricks...

Good Luck, what year is your rig?

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Old 04-04-2006, 08:16 PM   #9
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We had the same problem by the gaucho, in fact when we removed the gaucho my husband fell thru the floor. After we pulled all the rot out we ran a water hose on the outside and we found the leak around the front where the belly wrap is. We vulkemed around the top of the molding where the blue band and presto it was fixed. We searched for about a month to find that leak. I wish we had done what Aaron was talking about.



Becky

Look under my pictures and you will see what our leak looked like. Sounds alot like yours.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
Not sure what year you are working on but on my '76 I had a similar problem . I took off that lower moulding to find the leak and it was not the problem . The lower belly roll goes under the side alum. sheet so the water would have to go up for it to leak . I guess if it was a bad seal and you drove in heavy rain it could leak . Mine turned out to be a vistaview window . Try using a garden hose on one section at a time to see if you can narrow it down . If you have soft floors it's been going on for quit some time , which makes me believe it's happening while the trailer is stationary . Good luck and don't give up
It's a 1979 Sovergn 31'. I started looking around the windows and noticed that one of the lower windows was wet when I pryed the plastic surround around it with my finger. Perhaps it is the windows. When you say run a hose and watch, I don't understand how you can see where the water is coming in with the inner shell of the coach intact.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:33 PM   #11
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Also look for loose screws and rivets, the water can creep in around and along such items and into the wood floor. When I took my Bambi apart one of the largest leaks I found was the Bambi script itself. These logos are held on with simple clips on the back of the outside skin. Water travels around the curve of the trailer and right to these logos.
good luck!
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Old 04-05-2006, 11:03 AM   #12
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What ever you do, DO NOT USE SILICONE SEALANT ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE TRAILER. It will deteriorate in a few years and is just about impossible to remove. It is not compatible with aluminum.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:02 PM   #13
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Aint that the truth!!!!

Silicone is a curse!!! I've been working on the top of the trailer for the past 2 days and one of the past owners used silicone it is just awfull not to mention a pain in the rear to get off.




Becky
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:28 PM   #14
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You've gottten some good advice so far. Don't panic, everything will be ok.

What they mean by using the hose is: Get a helper, have him/her stand outside the camper with the hose on, start spraying the outside from the bottom and slowly work toward the top of the trailer, one section at a time. You go inside the trailer with a good flashlight and look for leaks in the area that is being sprayed by your helper. You can find most leaks in this manner, but you may have to take a few things apart to repair some of those leaks. Don't worry, we can help with that, too.

The "Gaucho leak" that you have, we had, too. Turns out that one of the wires to the front running lights above the front window had broken the seal on the Vulkem. Water leaked in above the window, ran around the widow frame into the floor and rotted the floor out.

Hope this helps a bit.

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