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Old 05-26-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
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repair leak - Sealtech?

I have a 2004 Safari that only leaks in the back at closet door when it rains. Took my RV to dealer in SC and paid almost $900 to tell me there were no leaks. Drove it 3 hours back home and first rain and the RV leaked!!!! Has anyone taken it to a Sealtech technician? Any other ideas on how to find this leak yourself? Nearest Airstream dealer is 5 hours away. I've resealed the seams on the side, but still leaks when it rains.
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Old 05-26-2013, 09:35 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by pullonofhhi View Post
I have a 2004 Safari that only leaks in the back at closet door when it rains. Took my RV to dealer in SC and paid almost $900 to tell me there were no leaks. Drove it 3 hours back home and first rain and the RV leaked!!!! Has anyone taken it to a Sealtech technician? Any other ideas on how to find this leak yourself? Nearest Airstream dealer is 5 hours away. I've resealed the seams on the side, but still leaks when it rains.
A qualified tech and a SealTech machine will be the only way to definitively locate the leak(s) on your trailer. I think you will be amazed at the number of bubbles that you will see from places that you never suspected.

PS: I have one on order. Can't wait to start using it!
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Old 05-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pullonofhhi View Post
I have a 2004 Safari that only leaks in the back at closet door when it rains. Took my RV to dealer in SC and paid almost $900 to tell me there were no leaks. Drove it 3 hours back home and first rain and the RV leaked!!!! Has anyone taken it to a Sealtech technician? Any other ideas on how to find this leak yourself? Nearest Airstream dealer is 5 hours away. I've resealed the seams on the side, but still leaks when it rains.
Practically speaking the sources of leaks are:
  1. every window
  2. every bathroom vent
  3. every vent stack
  4. the TV antenna
  5. skylights
  6. roof fans
  7. loose rivets
  8. seams
  9. running lights
  10. trim especially above the rear bumper
  11. internal moisture that doesn't vent out - cooking & showers especially
It's daunting isn't it? Sealtech works really well. Perhaps too well since some "leaks" may be better off left alone. By that I mean the bottom of a window or the bottom of the panel that goes from the roof to the midline. These could actually weep a little humidity OUT if left open.

It's not a bad idea to get up on the roof and just inspect and re-seal the all the seams, antenna, vents, etc. Ditto for the tops and sides of the windows, and for the bottom trim line. However that could be overkill too. At least one member has made a fairly good homemade leak tester. (I'd post the link to the thread if I could find it again... my search skills must be lacking.) He used an industrial drying fan - took out his mattress, opened the outside garage door, cut a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of an industrial fan in the bed's plywood base and set the fan - blowing IN - over the hole. Closed up everything else, then went over the outside of the Airstream with a spray bottle of soapy water. Marked wherever he saw bubbles, and re-sealed. He then replaced the bed's plywood (he'd just cut the part that lifts up) and put the mattress back after he was done.

I suppose if you had some sheetmetal skills you could build a funnel that would go around a fan on one end and fit in the garage door on the other - then seal it up with duct tape... but I think the hole in the plywood is easier and cheaper to replace.

I don't trust myself on the roof of the Airstream - but I have a friend with a business that has a fleet of box trucks - and an Airstream. We recently parked HIS stream between two of the box trucks and spanned over the gap with a couple of extension ladders - with plywood laid on top for comfort. Lying flat, we could access the whole roof. My turn next cloudy weekend!

Oh... and for neat sealing, use blue painter's tape on either side of the seam, drop your Vulkem or Trempro bead, smooth if needed, then pull off the tape just as the stuff is setting up. Almost idiot proof. (Hint, Trempro gets everywhere and if it sets up before you clean it off with solvent - you're gonna be using a Scotchbrite pad to remove it from your skin.)

Just read Lewster's post - coming to this coast any time soon?
Paula
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