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Old 07-29-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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2005 Bambi Intl CCD floor repair

I have a soft spot in my AS right in front of the door.

Since this is my first trailer, I can only imagine it is a leak in the roof or a leak in the plumbing.

I'd like to have it repaired this fall so I'm looking for recommendations for someone to do the repair. Anyone go through this?

The damage seems to go from just under the dinette to the front of the bathroom so the bathroom may have to come out.

In the meantime, I am recaulking the roof, replacing cracked FF, new vent etc.

I'm in Portland, OR so any reco in the PNW would be great.

Thanks,
JT
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:02 AM   #2
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Maybe I spoke too soon. The more I read the leak/floor posts, I realize there are multiple reasons the AS leaks.

Let me see, roof could leak, plumbing vent, window joints, lack of caulk behind rub rail, door misaligned, or maybe even an internal source.

I still could use a reco on the best place for repair if anyone can offer advice.

Thanks,
JT
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:59 PM   #3
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I've been tracking down leaks in my 1976 International. I took the inside skin off to track the leaks by the curbside living area window. I located 6 leaks between the front door gasket and the first seam in front of the living area curbside window. That's maybe 30". 7 if I count the door gasket that I replaced. 8 If I count the busted plastic cap on the ceiling vent. The vista window was leaking, the window gasket was leaking, the seam was leaking at the first horizontal rivet row (that one was hard to find), the awning bracket was leaking, and the lower rivet band trim molding was leaking.

The door gasket was leaking and now there's a leak right at the lower edge of the front of the door frame. Most of those leaks ran down inside the wall to the floor and into the belly pan. Two leaks ran the water directly into the belly pan and a nice 2 inch rain would leave a quart of water standing in the belly pan. Now add pink soggy insulation and that's the recipe for a rusted frame. It never dried out under there.

I absolutely don't trust this thing to be dry. I'm going to drill some weep holes in the belly pan and after I fix all the leaks I can find, I'm going to add bubble foil insulation under the floor boards and in the wall where I've removed the pink. I'm replacing the damaged floor wood with treated plywood and I'm going to coat the perimeter with spar varnish. In the rear where the street water enters, I'm going to fiberglass, epoxy, and spar varnish the whole back floor area. Luckily I have a middle bath and the rear is solid and has been almost leak free all these years.

The leaks I'm dealing with were minor and the issue is deferred maintenance and neglect. The problem with long term deferred maintenance and neglect, is the damage compounds and can become serious. I can see a big part of the problem with this trailer has been the builtins and attached furniture making inspection about impossible. With the OEM builtins, the only floor exposed is a walk path in the center. That's not where the leaks are. The only thing I'll have built in will be the kitchen base cabinets and of course the bathroom. Everything else will be movable/removable for cleaning and inspection.

My attitude for any Airstream would be "assume it's leaking". More often than not, that'll be right.

Gary
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:43 PM   #4
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That's quite a list.

I've attached a few photos of the floor of my 2005 16' CCD.

The area in front of the door is soft throughout the discoloration area. The dinette side of the entry is slightly more soft.

The area under the dinette is discolored and the linoleum has lifted up from the subfloor in the area that looks like an oblong shadow.

I understand the subfloor to be oriented strand board, which is a poor material for that application.

I've been proactive about caulking the roof areas, vents, FF but am afraid there are other suspect areas.

Someone mentioned the belt line lack of sealant could contribute to water getting in.

Also there is an issue with the window seems that I am trying to learn more about.

This trailer is 5 years old and otherwise in beautiful like new condition.

JT
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Old 08-01-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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I've attached a few photos of the floor of my AS.

The entry area is clearly discolored. It is softer on the dinette side.

Under the dinette has a long dark stain that runs on an angle. The linoleum has lifted up from the subfloor in that area but still feels solid.

I've been diligent about caulking the roof, vents, FF but I'm afraid there are other issues here.

I want to be sure and understand the big picture before tearing the trailer apart to replace the floor. After all, it is just 5 years old and in otherwise perfect condition.

JT
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:29 PM   #6
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Welcome, and sorry about the floor problem. The vinyl flooring is loose laid and only held down by the furniture being placed over it and screwed down. You'll have to start with having things removed to pull back the floor. Perhaps then you will gain more clues as to where the seepage may be coming from. Either which way the floor covering has to be picked up to address the issues underneath that has caused the damage that you do see now.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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hi jt'

yep vinyl flooring stains like those...

are seen with leaching of the 'black stain' from moisture related mold/mildew growth.

even after the m/m is KILLED or the water issue solved, the stains remain.

here's another thread with PIX of the same nastiness...

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f353...tml#post771253
_________

since the subfloor is osb,

it has probably been saturated, expanded, loosened, soft and so on...

MOST of the threads here on NEWER subfloor issues

involve the 22 footers produced in the early 2000s.

so YOUR DOCUMENTATION...

exposing, repairing and otherwise dealing with this issue in 16s WILL be very useful...

no doubt there is a LOT of overlap with 22s

and even older stream with water damage...

i look forward to your exposing and fixing this in a newer bambi...

hopefully you'll document all/most of this process

and others will JUMP in with help, questions and so on....

there are a LOT of savy renovators and skilled rehab'rs here

who can offer wisdom and guidance.


cheers
2air'
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Old 08-01-2010, 03:02 PM   #8
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On mine, the door gasket leaked, the door frame where it meets the aluminum outside skin leaked, and the lower beltline leaked. Unfortunately the previous owner chose to ignore the leaks. I'm setting it all straight.

With Airstreams, I'm like Mike Holmes: discover, uncover, and recover.

The ideal plan with these things is to have them stored in a dry shed and take them out for use on dry weekends, and put em back in the shed.

Gary
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:28 AM   #9
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Going through the same thing with my '01 16' Bambi . . . I got a sharp utility blade and went around the entire circumference of the floor and was able to peal the whole piece of vinyl in one piece - easily done - I am using that as a template for both a 3/8 inch plywood subfloor over the existing spongy subfloor, and as a pattern for the new piece of vinyl. My subfloor came out in great fistfuls of wet sawdust in a couple of areas - by the fridge and by the hot water tank under the bench seat - had some trouble by the front door like yours as well - after removing the loose stuff, I drilled a bunch of shallow 3/8" holes that went through most of the subfloor but not through the heavy plastic. There is a product called 'Rot Fix' that I poured into the holes and around the circumference of the rotten stuff - it penetrates the wood and hardens rock solid. then down to Home Depot for a gallon of premixed floor leveler. I had to put four layers in the bad areas to get them up to the same level as the rest of the good sub floor - letting each layer cure overnight. tomorrow I cut the 3/8" plywood from the pattern. there is enough room under the front door and around the cabinets that the 3/8 inch will fit nicely - between the Rot Fix, the floor leveler, and the plywood, there won't be any spongy spots - at least that's what I'm banking on! If you want, I'll let you know - I'll take some pics as I go along this adventure . . . Peter
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Old 08-04-2010, 12:28 AM   #10
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Cafe,
I'd love to see photos of your progress. I am camping this weekend then again in two weeks. Then will I will start pulling up the linoleum to see what's going on.

Have you been able to determine where the water originated?

JT
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:51 AM   #11
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Footage to Follow!

JT, Sorry I haven't had the opportunity to do the pictures, but I promise to get some of this Pilgrim's progress today or tomorrow.
I think the leaks originated when the past owner decided to store it for FIVE years under a fir tree. He just backed it in and unhooked it. Of course, the thing was covered in pine needles (which like dog hair, still gets discovered in nooks and crannies despite going over the exterior with a toothbrush)- and there was water in the tank. I suspect the lines froze, cracked and spilled their contents in the spring - under the vinyl floor - the small slightly damaged area around the door is fine - and is rock hard with the Rot Fix. The small area around the fridge still has a little give to it, but I am banking on the 3/8 plywood to take this flex out - its directly under the fridge door, so it is not in an area that anyone will ever step on in any case. The other area is over by the hot water tank, which is under the bench seat in the Bambi - most of the damage is under the bench itself, so will get no traffic whatsoever - it has crept out about six inches into the main area - so that is where the Rot Fix, the drilled holes, the flexible floor patch - has been pretty effective . . . I will see if I can drag my camera out there this morning an post some pictures on this - worth a thousand words.
Peter
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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OSB --- What junk

cafediem Going through the same thing with my '01 16' Bambi. My subfloor came out in great fistfuls of wet sawdust in a couple of areas

Cafe,

I too have an '01 16' and acquired it from a couple who used it probably 3 times, then parked it where it sat for about 3 years untouched. When I originally brought it home I found a small area of damage near the door and fixed it with Rot Doctor which has done just fine in the almost 3 years that I have owned it. I found the source of the leak to be around the outside wheel well trim and the rub rail in that same area. I keep a paper towel stuck in under the interior skin so I can check it everytime it rains. So far it has never leaked again. While I was at it I coated most all of the floor area under the galley counter and the area where the oven is just to further protect it. Soon as I fixed that, I started at the roof of the trailer and worked my way down to the bottom redoing all the sealant on every place that used sealant, including the beltline trim, bottom rub rail, replaced the outside shroud of the fantastic fan, and all the plumbing vents and seals. When I got down to the sides of the trailer, instead of just resealing the outside galley vent, I decided that I would remove it and paint it silver since I don't really like the contrast of the white plastic on the trailer. The vent has lots of screws in it but I found that only 4 of them actually pentetrated the skin. The others merely had it pushed back to seem that it was attached. The only thing that was holding it on in several areas was the broken sealant. Another great source for leaks.

To finish the job, I got inside and redid the same for the whole area in the wet bath and other place that may leak inside. Fortunately, I had no interior plumbing leaks including around the water heater.

Even after all this dedicated upkeep, the end of this story unfortunately may be much the same as yours. Recently, I am seeing some "bubbling" of the floor covering in front of the fridge and it is creeping towards the front of the cabinet under the sink. A strange place as I don't have any of that in any area where I can see the edge of the subfloor. I use my trailer often and have since I bought it and have not changed my ways about maintaining it. I have done many upgrades to it and made it much better than the day it came to live with me and most people actually think it is a brand new trailer when they see it, can't believe it's 10 years old. The reason I have not cut up the flooring to confirm my fears it that I have several more trips on the books in the coming few months and I don't want to lose the use of it just now.

I do not know where the water is coming from but if my suspicions are correct, inline with many recent forum posts, it may be back at the bumper area. Apparently from what others have found, an unsealed area that you wouldn't have any way to know that the factory didn't choose to seal and requires removing a whole bunch of trim to know that. It kinda makes me think that no matter how hard you work at it, looks like it's a very expensive, losing battle.

I so agree with 2Air in a post that I read in another thread, the problem IS the OSB. As much as I like my Airstream it is so hard for me to believe that there is any way that their product would be built with pivotal things like the floor being made from something that is known to do one thing extremely well ---- ROT and fall apart.

Since I really want to keep my trailer, when I cut that flooring and if it turns out like I'm afraid it will, I am done with fixes. It will be a full floor replacement, absolutely no more OSB, ever. Good luck on your fix and please document it here so we can all learn.

TB
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Old 08-05-2010, 11:40 AM   #13
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There's a vendor here who can do an air pressure test for leaks - It's Soldiermedic http://www.ifindrvleaks.com/

One of my local RV shops also has this equipment and it's a once a year ritual for me to have it done on my AS.

Basically they pump air INTO your RV through a roof vent when all of the doors and windows are sealed, and hose soapy water over the outside... where there are bubbles you have leaks. They are marked, and after the trailer is dry are sealed.

You'll be shocked! Paula
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Old 11-21-2010, 06:43 PM   #14
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OSB -- What junk Follow UP

Follow up on post #13 above, a major vent, I chronicled my suspected floor rot problem. Well, about a week or so later I got out the razor knife and found just exactly what I expected to, a miserable pile of rotten OSB dust.
Long story short, I towed the Bambi home yesterday with the entire subfloor replaced with "overkill" 3/4" marine grade plywood. I cannot describe how good it felt when I stepped on that new floor and it actually felt like a floor instead of a floppy sponge. To say the difference is night and day is a very inadequate description.
TB
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