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Old 02-18-2009, 11:36 AM   #1
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Water leak just above battery boxes, 1979

I've had a mystery leak for a long time that would let a trickle of water in on top of the battery boxes. This is a 1979 31' trailer with the battery boxes up front. I've sealed all the likely places up front yet the leak remains.

For the current project I am working on, I removed some interior skin and insulation below the front window so everything is exposed on the inside. A good opportunity to see where that leak is really coming from.

Above each battery box on the backside of the interior skin is a vertical strip of caulk (vulkum?) about an inch wide, which goes up almost to the bottom of the window sill. Note that there is no seam there, unless maybe the skin overlaps about 6" from the nearest rib and I didn't notice. Anyway, the leak is just oozing out of a not even visible pinhole in that caulk, maybe an inch above the top of the battery box.

Anyone seen this before? What is the best fix? Scrape it all off and re-coat? Re-seal just the pin hole with new vulkum or something else? My first impression was that the caulk was used to hold the insulation in place until the interior skin was installed. Is it sealing the inside of a seam?

Thanks,
Christopher
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Old 02-18-2009, 11:38 AM   #2
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Hi Chris,
Can you post a picture or two?

That would really help!

Michael
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:02 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by blickcd View Post
Anyone seen this before? What is the best fix? Scrape it all off and re-coat?
Christopher:

I can think of two things:

First - look out for a "doubler" on all or portions of the outer skin.

From the exterior on my '78 there was absolutely no indication of a repair being made, however, when I removed the interior panel it was quite evident that the drivers side front corner had a "doubler" repair done some time in the past - there is a possibility that your "seep" hole could be relieving water trapped between the two skins.

Second - the wing windows.

Again, on the wings of the '78 there was a HUGE amount of sealant - I did not find any leaks in the window area, but it was obvious that someone had taken great precaution to prevent it.

Good luck in your quest.

On edit: - what about the vent immediately above the Univolt?

Is this the same "Vertical Strip" (drivers side - under the main window about directly under the "G" of the vehicle parked outside) as on your's?






Note the small Steel Plate to the left of the "vulkum" vertical strip - this is where the road side of the drivers side battery access would tie in (if this trailer had one installed).
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #4
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If I were to post a photo it would look like 87MH's, with the exception of a battery box protruding in on either side of that black plate at the bottom and below the front window. The vertical strip of caulk is visible there as well.

The leak is not coming from the univolt below the 12 volt panel. BTW, I am installing two sealed battery boxes between the two factory ones. They will be acessible from the inside and a vent hose will go out the top to a duct I am connecting to that univolt vent. The boxes will be above the old vent out thru the floor and a vent hole out the bottom connects that up.

Christopher
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Old 02-18-2009, 01:47 PM   #5
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BTW, I am installing two sealed battery boxes between the two factory ones.
You may want to explore the floor support you have for the batteries in that area. The spare tire compartment is under that space, and on the '78 there is nothing but the 1/2" plywood spanning the entire area. This area was covered by either Gaucho or Table in any conceivable option offered by Airstream, so it was never designed to carry any weight.

Take a look at the first few posts in my "Sovereign" thread to determine how I reinforced this space prior to installing the spare tire.

An angle running between the "V" of the A-Frame would also work as a support for your batteries.
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Old 02-18-2009, 05:39 PM   #6
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Got it covered Dennis. I replaced some rotted flooring in that area and reinforced it for the extra weight. It sounds like I also have a bit more steel up front than you.

Christopher
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:28 AM   #7
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Just a quick follow-up. The vertical strip of caulk is sealing the inside of a seam. I will probably cut out a one inch diameter area of sealant where the leak is and put in a fresh dab of vulkum.

I've attached a photo. One leak is in the vertical strip of caulk above the battery box on the left, and just above that flexible conduit. There is also a leak in the vertical strip above the box on the right, maybe an inch above the top of the box.

Christopher
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