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Old 06-18-2016, 11:42 AM   #1
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Rear Bumper Plate/Floor Leakage

Yesterday I found moisture on the floor under the dinette in my 2009 25FB. I thought it was coming in around the windows or from above the windows. But by means of this forum I come to find out that prior to 2012 AS were prone to have water seepage in the back floor because of no sealing between the rear bumper storage plate and the outer skin. So I did some further investigation and I'm 95% sure I have the same issue as the floor is damp all along the back of the trailer, not just at a specific area like under a particular window.

How to fix it? I was wondering if anyone has fixed this by just sealing the upper edge and the bottom edge of the moulding without removing it. Obviously it would be an easier fix without having to remove the rub rail insert and the rub rail itself.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:41 PM   #2
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I had exactly exactly the same leak on my 2008. Sad to say for me it was a $6k repair.

In my trailer behind the rub rail airstream failed to properly seal the gap between the shell and sub floor. Water would settle betwee the insulation and subfloor, and that rotted out the floor. Rub rail, bumper was removed, area re-sealed. Unfortunately mine had been leaking from new and after 8 years the subfloor inside was toast so I had to have the interior at the rear of the trailer completely removed, including the bathroom and shower (I have a 25SS), then the subfloor was completely replaced and everything was put back together including some new interior skin that was removed to replace the floor.

We found my leak as part of larger renovation where I was having hardwoods installed ... So replacing the flooring itself was already factored in and was not in the additional repair charge.

If you want details on how to repair call Paul at timeless travel trailers in Denver and he can share details. Www.timelesstraveltrailers.com. Tell him Wulfraat sent you
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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Some photos of the damage to my trailer....
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:56 PM   #4
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Subfloor damage
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Old 06-18-2016, 12:58 PM   #5
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Plywood absorbed a lot of water over the years...
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:15 PM   #6
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Rear Bumper Plate/Floor Leakage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
Yesterday I found moisture on the floor under the dinette in my 2009 25FB. I thought it was coming in around the windows or from above the windows. But by means of this forum I come to find out that prior to 2012 AS were prone to have water seepage in the back floor because of no sealing between the rear bumper storage plate and the outer skin. So I did some further investigation and I'm 95% sure I have the same issue as the floor is damp all along the back of the trailer, not just at a specific area like under a particular window.



How to fix it? I was wondering if anyone has fixed this by just sealing the upper edge and the bottom edge of the moulding without removing it. Obviously it would be an easier fix without having to remove the rub rail insert and the rub rail itself.



Any thoughts?

Even though I have no signs of leakage in that area I did exactly what you are thinking. I also calked screws and rivets under the plastic rub rail trim when I replaced it.


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Old 06-18-2016, 03:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sheriff1 View Post
Even though I have no signs of leakage in that area I did exactly what you are thinking. I also calked screws and rivets under the plastic rub rail trim when I replaced it.


2015 F350 CC 4X4 6.7 Diesel
2010 27FB Silver Cloud "The Silver Spoon"
Did you remove rub rail moulding (not just the insert) completely or just caulk on the top and bottom of it?
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Old 06-18-2016, 03:13 PM   #8
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Yes the actual rub rail gets removed, not just the insert. The issue lies behind the rub rail. I didn't do the actual work, Timeless did (and they did a great job, fixed it for good).

There was never any leak detected from the inside. It wasn't until the bed and laminate were removed for hardwood flooring installation that we discovered it. There was actually a hole in the floor based on the water damage. if you have a rear dinette I highly recommend you peel up the laminate to investigate. your job is probably less intrusive than ours was if you need to replace subfloor (remove benches and dinette, etc..

The water damage comes from below the floor - there is an insulation membrane that is affixed to the bottom side of the sub floor in late model trailers - water makes its way between the insulation and subfloor and rots it out from below. We would have never have know of the damage until one day when the shower pan or bed would have sunk down through the rotted subfloor...
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Old 06-18-2016, 06:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
Did you remove rub rail moulding (not just the insert) completely or just caulk on the top and bottom of it?

Just the insert, sealed rivets then molding top and bottom.


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Old 06-19-2016, 12:36 PM   #10
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floor leakage

I replaced my floor due to rot 1972 ambassador. I lifted the rear of the trailer so the outer skin covered the plywood and then som so water would drip off before contacting the plywood. I then sealed the rear plate to the skin under the rub rail. Seal only the top of the rubrail. leave the bottom open or you may trap water.
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Old 06-19-2016, 01:46 PM   #11
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I just finished mating the shell with the floor on our 73. The original floor was so rotten we had to be careful stripping out the interior as we would fall through in many places.
For the new floor I used a product called Komacell. It is a foamed PVC plastic. It won't rot or hold moisture. It is also about 2/3 the weight of plywood. Looks great so far.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:58 PM   #12
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I removed the seating from the back of the AS and pealed back the linoleum. The floor was wet about 2 to 3 feet from the back wall. Surprisingly, and thankfully, the floor is not rotted. But I plan to put something on the plywood to stop any decay (not sure what it is and will have to do more research).

I ordered a 16 ft. piece of the rub rail insert (that's expensive stuff) to replace what I remove from the rub rail. When I get that I'll remove the rub rail itself and then caulk the seam between the bumper plate and the shell, remount the rub rail, and attach the new rub rail insert. Am I missing anything?

I am planning on using Sikaflex 221. I ordered a tube but am wondering if one tube will be enough. Opinions?
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Old 06-22-2016, 03:52 PM   #13
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Is Sikaflex 221 the right stuff to use to seal between the bumper plate and the shell? I see some use Vulkem. Are they pretty much interchangeable?

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:43 AM   #14
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Sikaflex 221 should be good. I need to recaulk my rubrail and after looking at new Airstreams was thinking of using Acryl-R, mainly because I have it and because the new Airstreams have very small caulk beads on the rub rail--smaller than what I think you can make with a caulk gun.

Bob and Nancy had a thread which listed appropriate sealers by application. This list was amended frequently. I also spoke with Airstream customer service about the products they currently use before starting my own project.

So here's Bob and Nancy's amended list (in part):

Windows/Trim/Rubrail/Exterior Lights:

Sikaflex 221 Grey (seals and bonds. Use Eternabond spray cleaner to prepare surface)
Parbond Grey or Clear (small hand tubes, prep and clean-up use cosmoline remover)
Trempro 635 Grey
Loctite® PL® S40 Polyurethane Window Door and Siding Sealant
Lexel™ Clear

Small seams (between aluminum panels):

Acryl-R (available in cans from Airstream store. Use applicator or disposable syringes to apply)
Aluminum Pigmented Gutterseal
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:56 PM   #15
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I have a 2008 Safari SE 25 with rear twin beds. We've been working at resealing starting on the roof as we had leaks at side window next to door and the skylight was leaking. A rusty colored crud had appeared inside at the ceiling seam and on a few rivets near skylight. We replaced skylight, cleaned up the rusty crud and it's returned at one of the ceiling seams. The leak by front window next to the door stopped, and a new one appeared on the other side of the door by the stove - but only when it rains really hard.

Meantime, the back storage compartment started leaking near the edge where the bumper meets the skin. When we purchased the trailer in 2014 it had a slight musty odor when we'd open the curbside storage compartment inside under the twin bed, but the back outside storage compartment never leaked until recently. It makes sense that this would be coming from the back bumper and wicking underneath. I did elevate the tongue and that seems to have helped somewhat but I am changing out towels in the back compartment every time it rains, and it's raining frequently.

Sealing above and below the rub rail seemed like a good idea, but I've read varying opinions of not to seal under or not to seal above, because it has to breathe and not to trap the water inside.

So it's kind of confusing. Why not seal under the rub rail since that's where water collects, sits on the bumper and will go right under, and above so it won't get in from above? I'm wondering why the rub rail insert and the rub rail both need to come off? Besides sealing above and below and removing the insert and making sure rivets underneath are sealed, why undo the rub rail itself. It seems it would be better left intact.

Any help will be appreciated - I'd like to do it right and I'm just trying to understand.
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Old 08-16-2016, 06:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asv2 View Post
I have a 2008 Safari SE 25 with rear twin beds. We've been working at resealing starting on the roof as we had leaks at side window next to door and the skylight was leaking. A rusty colored crud had appeared inside at the ceiling seam and on a few rivets near skylight. We replaced skylight, cleaned up the rusty crud and it's returned at one of the ceiling seams. The leak by front window next to the door stopped, and a new one appeared on the other side of the door by the stove - but only when it rains really hard.

Meantime, the back storage compartment started leaking near the edge where the bumper meets the skin. When we purchased the trailer in 2014 it had a slight musty odor when we'd open the curbside storage compartment inside under the twin bed, but the back outside storage compartment never leaked until recently. It makes sense that this would be coming from the back bumper and wicking underneath. I did elevate the tongue and that seems to have helped somewhat but I am changing out towels in the back compartment every time it rains, and it's raining frequently.

Sealing above and below the rub rail seemed like a good idea, but I've read varying opinions of not to seal under or not to seal above, because it has to breathe and not to trap the water inside.

So it's kind of confusing. Why not seal under the rub rail since that's where water collects, sits on the bumper and will go right under, and above so it won't get in from above? I'm wondering why the rub rail insert and the rub rail both need to come off? Besides sealing above and below and removing the insert and making sure rivets underneath are sealed, why undo the rub rail itself. It seems it would be better left intact.

Any help will be appreciated - I'd like to do it right and I'm just trying to understand.
I don't know which way is the "best". Personally I decided to take the rub rail off and seal the joint between the bumper plate and shell. My thinking was that was a more permanent solution to the problem.

That's not to say sealing the top and bottom of the rub rail might not work. I did both (the rub rail top and bottom and the gap above the bumper plate) as a double prevention. If the rub rail is sealed there will be no water under it and no reason for it to "breathe". If it can "breathe" can water can get behind it and without the gap between the bumper plate and shell sealed it will leak again.

Those are my thoughts.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
I don't know which way is the "best". Personally I decided to take the rub rail off and seal the joint between the bumper plate and shell. My thinking was that was a more permanent solution to the problem.

That's not to say sealing the top and bottom of the rub rail might not work. I did both (the rub rail top and bottom and the gap above the bumper plate) as a double prevention. If the rub rail is sealed there will be no water under it and no reason for it to "breathe". If it can "breathe" can water can get behind it and without the gap between the bumper plate and shell sealed it will leak again.

Those are my thoughts.
I appreciate your input. It does seem taking off the rub rail is a neater more efficient way to seal because you can actually see and get to what you're doing better, as well as clean up any dirt and grime from the grooves in the rub rail.

I have a PDF file from Airstream with step-by-step instructions for leaks and sealing end shell and bumper seams. (I was hoping solving the issue would be simpler) It first instructs to look for water dripping from underbelly (they note that not all water dripping from the underbelly will be due to an improperly sealed rear end) The next step is to remove the rivets and carefully roll back the underbelly to gain access to the floor area to check for water. If water is found they instruct to put a long cut in the reflective insulation to drain the water, and then look for the source of the problem. After that it goes on to describe what you have done with removing the rub rail insert, etc. After removing rub rail & cleaning, they recommend Sikaflex 221 grey for sealing seams/holes: bumper end shell seams, banana seams & screw holes securing rail. Then after the rub rail is resecured and insert installed, they advise to reseal top edge of rub rail with Acryl-R. No mention of sealing underneath. (Still seems like extra protection to me)

I'm still contemplating how to proceed, but it sounds like removal of the rub rail is the right way to do it. Darn it!
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Did you remove rub rail moulding (not just the insert) completely or just caulk on the top and bottom of it?
Stopping the leak by removing the rub rail is not very hard. This is what I did.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...de-109059.html

Good luck!
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:57 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asv2 View Post
I appreciate your input. It does seem taking off the rub rail is a neater more efficient way to seal because you can actually see and get to what you're doing better, as well as clean up any dirt and grime from the grooves in the rub rail.

I have a PDF file from Airstream with step-by-step instructions for leaks and sealing end shell and bumper seams. (I was hoping solving the issue would be simpler) It first instructs to look for water dripping from underbelly (they note that not all water dripping from the underbelly will be due to an improperly sealed rear end) The next step is to remove the rivets and carefully roll back the underbelly to gain access to the floor area to check for water. If water is found they instruct to put a long cut in the reflective insulation to drain the water, and then look for the source of the problem. After that it goes on to describe what you have done with removing the rub rail insert, etc. After removing rub rail & cleaning, they recommend Sikaflex 221 grey for sealing seams/holes: bumper end shell seams, banana seams & screw holes securing rail. Then after the rub rail is resecured and insert installed, they advise to reseal top edge of rub rail with Acryl-R. No mention of sealing underneath. (Still seems like extra protection to me)

I'm still contemplating how to proceed, but it sounds like removal of the rub rail is the right way to do it. Darn it!
Darn it (putting it mildly) for sure.

I did not remove the belly pan. What I did instead was drill an 1/8 hole through the floor in the center of each section and then pushed a rod with a point on the end down through the hole to puncture the insulation. I had a few drops of water drain out but nothing like I've seen some have to deal with.

We have had some serious rain since I finished the repair and have not seen any evidence of moisture.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:58 PM   #20
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Stopping the leak by removing the rub rail is not very hard. This is what I did.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...de-109059.html

Good luck!
You did a really nice job with your repair. It gave me a lot of inspiration. Thanks!
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