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Old 11-20-2012, 05:50 PM   #1
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1965 26' Overlander
Seattle , Washington
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Water seeping in under the the rear

Hello every one, another leak advice would be great. Water is rolling in under the rear and soaking the subfloor. I wonder if it is possible to remove the band that wraps around the rear, loosen the the exterior panel without actually removing the whole piece and insert a piece of aluminum behind the exterior wall and angle it so that the rain water will roll of away from the rear and at the same time install it as my earlier piece was, except that one was all broken and rusted out. Of course I did not check out leaks before buying this old beautiful Airstream. But I knew the rear floor was rotted out and I replaced it and painted it with epoxy. Am learning as I go , trials and errors,frustrations and successes. Happy thanksgiving, Monica
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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If your trailer has a storage unit across the rear, hinged forward, and the door resting on the bumper, open the door and check the row of four or five bolts which come downward from the frame channel above the floor, through the wood floor, and extend through the rear cross member. They may be rusted thereby not doing their job of holding the rear of the trailer together.
Also, the forward part of the storage door hinge may be a flat piece about six inches wide, extending forward beneath the wood floor. Water can collect on that piece and find it's way forward and soak the wood floor.

That happened on our '65 Caravel. I had to remove the trim piece around the bottom rear of the trailer, remove the rear portion of the belly pan, cut out the last six inches of the floor, drill out the rivets holding the inside aluminum wall behind the fiberglass bathroom, drill new holes from the bottom up through the rear cross member, the forward storage door hinge panel, new floor piece and through the channel. I then removed the new floor piece, cut slots from the new bolt holes to the edge, same with the hinge panel, inserted new bolts, started the nuts onto the blots, installed the new floor piece and hinge panel, tightened the bolts, put a wood "sister" on the bottom of the floor along the seam between the old and new wood, replaced the belly pan.

Before I inserted the storage door hinge panel back in, I cut a couple of unneeded inches from the forward edge.

Before I tightened the bolts I ran a heavy bead of sealer across the back of the trailer, and again after tightening the bolts.

I hope you don't have to go through the above, but water getting in between the bottom of the wood floor and the flat hinge piece is common with trailers with this design and year.

The alternative to replacing from the bottom, is to remove the interior and work from the top. I did the repair this way in two days.

I
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:01 PM   #3
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Replacing the flooring and coating it with a two part epoxy is mandatory for almost all Vintage units. I don't think that installing a piece of aluminum sheeting in the manner you describe will help. The sheet will just end at the top of the plate/floor and the condition will persist. Jim's solution is a good place to start but you need to make sure that every space that could leak above the area you are having problems with is sealed and then some. Holes around vent pipes need to be resealed every 5-7 years; window frames and tail light fixtures are often sources of water incursion; etc.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle & Bear View Post
Replacing the flooring and coating it with a two part epoxy is mandatory for almost all Vintage units.
In reviewing my post, is see that I did neglect to say that I did coat the new wood, paying extra attention to the edges, and the edges and as much of the old wood that I could see and reach.

The solution I used was two part epoxy mixed with denatured alcohol. It makes a thin, watery mixture that soaks into the wood nicely, especially the edges, and when the alcohol evaporates, the epoxy goes off, and you then have wood which will probably outlast the rest of your trailer. I use a disposable brush to apply liberally.

I have also used this mixture on plywood floor areas which have been wet and separated or checked as they do. It really works well with that type of damage. In this case, I pour the mixture directly onto the bad area and let it soak in. The next morning the area may be sanded smooth.
It will not repair or restore dry rot. That must be removed and replaced with new wood.
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Old 12-03-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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1965 26' Overlander
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water seeping in.....

Thanks for good advice. I will however wait for the leak problem underneath until weather improves sometimes in May.I put a length of plastic across the back and no seepage of course. Oh well, I do love Seattle. I have resealed just about everything I can think of, vents,lights, around back window and some, and so far that is good. I did coat the sub floor with two parts epoxy making sure the edges got covered well. So with no leaks,well it's only Dec, so who knows what drops are going to find its way into little pinholes, I can now focus on connecting the drain pipes hook up pex line install toilet and water heater. It's amazing that the more you dig in the more you want to pay attention to detail.I am far from being an Airstream expert but after I have figured something out, made the right cuts, measured rights, and so on it does feel that I can do this. So many experts out there and some of the info is beyond me ,like welding and axle work. But help is not far away. Again, thank you, it is great that I can ask no matter how simple and get such kind responses. Maybe when the 26 footer becomes road worthy I will take a long trip and just enjoy the fruit of my labour, and maybe even meet other Airstreamers on the road. Monica
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Old 04-12-2013, 05:52 AM   #6
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1983 31' Excella
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I watched a television program on TV showing how they built the Air Stream and these trailers are not sealed between body panels. They are assembled and sealed on the outside of the overlaps and nothing between the overlaps . This is where I believe they need a good butyl sealer as well as the outside and inside seams so that it will keep reasealing itself with movments of the trailer as will happen while towing it . What would it cost to treat the floor with a wood preseritive when building it . ? not much and it would last a long time . You would expect this from the nicest travel trailer in the world.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:53 AM   #7
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My understanding, from a plant tour back in 2011, is that they started using butyl tape between the overlap of the panels. Don, the tour guide, made special note of it, so it must have been a recent change. In addition they apply acryl-r to the outside of the seams and, I think, some black stuff???? to the interior of the seams.

My 2007 (jinx) has not had any seam leaks......now leaks around opening frames, belt moldings, and now, cracked skylights are another thing. I expect it...but DW is complaining about how much work I have to do on it.......
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:58 AM   #8
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Your trailer is older than mine but this is how I solved the problem. I got rid of the plate that goes under the back of the trailer. I am going to extend the bumper a few inches at some point and put the storage compartment back on with a gap at the back for water to shed off the trailer just like it does on the sides.

Perry
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Old 04-12-2013, 09:37 AM   #9
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modesto , California
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The factory design of the rear panels and the bumper storage is fatally flawed.
Let me see if I can explain:
The exterior skins come down over but just barely cover the edges of the plywood sub floor.
The cover with the hinged lid for the bumper storage compartment 90 degrees up against the Skins right at the edge of the plywood.
The rub rail goes on top of that mess and as we all know sealing the rub rail does nothing to keep water out of the trailer.
These flat pieces of the bumper storage allow water to enter the rear between the skin and the plywood.
To seal this area properly you must remove the rub rail, the bumper storage cover must be removed and try to seal the whole thing with TemPro and replace.

Or do what I did eliminate the back access hatch and Fabricate a 90 degree bent flashing to fit between the skins and the ply. So when water rolls down the skin it keeps rolling past the seam and off the lid. no chance of it getting to the plywood any more.
I had to use a metal strecher to fabricate the 90 degree flashing and bend it to the trailers radius on the corner pieces. Very tricky.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:23 AM   #10
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What Batman did is about the only true fix. To this day I DO NOT understand why Airstream could not have done this. I am in the process of doing this same repair on my 1975 right now...after I rebuild the tank boxes and frame. I am not eliminating my storage compartment, I need it for access to plumbing and valves.

Aaron
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Old 04-12-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Barts created a great drawing that illustrates the issue and his fix in another bumper leak thread.

He effectively put the protection inside.

All credit to Barts.



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Old 04-12-2013, 12:28 PM   #12
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1981 31' Excella II
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I ment to put a link in the post below. Barts and I did the same thing.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f476...fun-91686.html

Perry

Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
Your trailer is older than mine but this is how I solved the problem. I got rid of the plate that goes under the back of the trailer. I am going to extend the bumper a few inches at some point and put the storage compartment back on with a gap at the back for water to shed off the trailer just like it does on the sides.

Perry
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Old 05-06-2013, 11:52 AM   #13
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1963 19' Globetrotter
Old Bridge , New Jersey
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I am trying to figure this out now as I seal the rest of my 63 GT, I realize nothing is easy on these AS's but you'd think they could have sealed them the right way, the first time, would have prevented a lot of headaches. This post should help a lot, but I am considering just remove the entire shell and pulling the chassis out and just getting it done. I am thinking I will remodel the interior anyway, and this way I can reinforce the chassis and avoid the back sag.

Thanks for the post.

P.S. Is it possible to reinforce the chassis from under the trailer to prevent the back from sagging ?
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:56 AM   #14
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2001 27' Safari
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I am working on the same problem. I removed the rotten plywood and have cleaned the C channel. Has anyone sealed the seam from the inside?

do you have to remove the exterior rub rail and drill out the rivets for access?

I have the epoxy to seal all the replacement plywood.
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