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Old 05-30-2007, 02:51 PM   #1
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1970 27' Overlander
Houston , Texas
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Rear Bumper Seepage

Hi All,
Does anyone have a fix for the issue of rain seeping in where the bumper meets the rear at the belt line. I was in the rear compartment feeling around and found flakey rust chips all along the width of that area. I vaccumed it up and have raised the toungue so gravity will pull the other direction. I seems to keep mostly dry now. Should I just seal the area? I think this is a result of tail sag from the bouncing from old axles. Should I put blocks under bumper and raise front to close gap and re-weld with some angle iron to frame and then seal? That was another thought. Any ideas are appreciated.
James
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Old 05-30-2007, 06:31 PM   #2
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James,

It certainly sounds like your trailer has the rear end separation. Inland Andy has posted the proper procedure for repairing that on here. I think it might be on his website.

Try searching for it on here using the "search" button at the upper right. You could also go to Andy's website Airstream Innovations at Inland RV Center, Inc. (951) 734-8130

OK, I just checked Andy's website and don't see the article on there on fixing the separation, but it is on these forums. You can find it. It's an involved procedure, but certainly doable.

Good luck!
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Old 05-30-2007, 08:58 PM   #3
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1974 31' Sovereign
1970 23' Safari
1956 26' Cruiser Overlander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsflint
Hi All,
Does anyone have a fix for the issue of rain seeping in where the bumper meets the rear at the belt line. I was in the rear compartment feeling around and found flakey rust chips all along the width of that area. I vaccumed it up and have raised the toungue so gravity will pull the other direction. I seems to keep mostly dry now. Should I just seal the area? I think this is a result of tail sag from the bouncing from old axles. Should I put blocks under bumper and raise front to close gap and re-weld with some angle iron to frame and then seal? That was another thought. Any ideas are appreciated.
James

James,

OK I'll Bite on this because I know a bit about it, since I just finished fixing my sag issue. First, If there is not a humungous gap between the shell and frame at the rear caulk it up and do it quickly unless you have the time to fix it now. My 31'r has the elephant ear patch that "repairs" the separation issue but by no means is it or was it a fix for sag. As well I also have the stiffening plates that in my opinion would probably work fine on a 27'r like yours, but on the 31's it simply moved the pivot point. I would also be careful of blocking the rear and raising the front as this will cause the door to not function. You can do it, but you need to be careful and check door function as you go or you end up with a leak at the door instead of in the rear. As for the fix, I jacked the rear of my unit to just above level, which was determined by utilizing a ten foot bar of square aluminum and a level that was placed on the interior floor. You will be able to see the gap under the bar if the floor is not level, you can also use the level on the bar to indicate where you are. I then took 3" x 2" x 3/16" thick angle and plug welded it to the frame from the stiffening or axle plate all the way to within about 4" in front of the rear bumper. Do this to both sides and then remove from jacks. As for the hard part, you have to remove the belly and then replace when you are done. The 3 x 2 x 3/16 is very strong and once welded to the frame as a sub-frame the system is much stronger than originally built and should take care of the sag issue for the next 30 years anyway. I also used 3 1/2" x 2" x 1/4" and plug welded it from the stiffening plates forward 36". I did that for rigidity on both sides of the axles so that I did not end up forcing a frame break or stress fracture in front of the axles.


It really isnt as bad as it seems...it's just an airstream. Good luck and if needed I have some pictures I can send to you, PM me if you would like to see them.

Dave.
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Old 05-30-2007, 09:18 PM   #4
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I'm going to throw a randon thought or two at this also. Our 71 had/has a leak and has no tail sag. Just inside the trunk the first inch of wood was damp. There is a bead of caulk at the bumper line as mentioned above, that is old but intact. I started with a new seal on the trunk door - no luck. So I systematically began with 2 inch blue painters tape - first on the beltline - no luck. Then on the top edge of the trunk door frame - a little luck. Seal the license plate rivets - no help.

Well you get the idea. It turns out the old and the new seal both leaked. The door was bowed slightly on both corners from people leaning down on it over the years. Held down in the middle and a little upward pressure - the door seals.

Not saying that's what's wrong - just that I'd hate to think I started reinforcing a frame when it was just the door weeping a little water.
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