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Old 07-14-2016, 06:18 AM   #1
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1979 31' Sovereign
Milford , Ohio
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Mystery leak, rear corner of a '79

The trailer is a 31' 1979 with a rear bedroom and rare original full sized bed. Over the winter a bad leak developed where the rear wall met the floor, rotting that edge of the floor.

The leak was the sealant had dried and cracked where the shell meets the top of the rear bumper compartment. I got that all cleaned and re-sealed with vulkum but am still getting a small leak in the rear corner on the "driver's" side.

The floor is wet where it meets the wall, beneath the little nightstand back in that corner.

I have removed the tail light assembly on that corner and sealed stuff up, also put some parbond on the vertical body seam below the tail lights, and on top of moldings in that area.

As I said, the major leak at the back is cured, just getting a small amount in now. Have not checked with a hose yet, just after rainstorms.

Wondered if someone had a similar leak and if so where it was. The floor repair has to wait until the leak is sealed.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:14 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the clearance lights up top or any plumbing vents through the roof? There is a rubber seal on the vent stack that goes bad and the leak can follow the vent pipe down and around.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:35 AM   #3
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Regarding the plumbing vents, those are on the opposite side of the trailer and farther forward as this is a rear bedroom model, not rear bath.

I have not sealed around the rear clearance lights in a number of years and suppose they could be a problem.

There is also a clearance light, low and on the side, around the corner from the leak. Also a wedge shaped piece screwed to the side corner with a reflector on it. I had planned on sealing those as well.

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2016, 12:49 PM   #4
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1979 31' Sovereign
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I had to replace the rear section of flooring in my 79 due to rot. Before I reinstalled the inner skin I checked for leaks and found the Airstream lettering on the rear of the trailer had small leaks. I had to reseal the letters from inside the trailer before I put the skins back on.
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Old 07-15-2016, 06:06 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip about the letters.

When it comes time to replace the floor, I will be removing the bed and nightstand. With those out of the way it is just a simple matter of drilling out a thousand or so pop rivets to remove the lower wall skins, so I had considered doing that if I can't get the leak solved by then.

Right now I will probably do what I can from the outside, as I plan to replace the flooring late fall, end of my camping season.
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Old 07-15-2016, 01:43 PM   #6
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1977 31' Sovereign
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Check for cracks in plastic vent covers - all of them. Water has a way of traveling great distances, from point A to point B, in cases like this. "How does it do that??"

For me, the culprit was the center vent cover - it was cracked. It took a close inspection to find it. Water "mysteriously" found its way to the rear bedroom.

Tom
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Old 07-15-2016, 05:06 PM   #7
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I have seen leak from a clearance light and water would collect on a cross member and set until the trailer was moved and it would run off the end and down. It might not even have rained in a couple of days when it showed up.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:32 AM   #8
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Posting a follow-up as it looks like the leak has been found.

My clearance lights above the rear window are original and their bases have deteriorated and cracked. I gooped some sealant over those and the leak has stopped.

I know this is a sloppy and temporary fix, but I am glad to know the source. Before replacing the subfloor I will replace those lights with something that looks like OEM.
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