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Old 12-26-2006, 09:58 PM   #1
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opening around steps

I was tooling around a while ago and noticed that there is an opening on both sides of the steps into the flooring.You can see insulation in there and have noticed since I have had the Airstream that dirt water and the outside enviroment is getting in there.I believe stopping this would possibly help a lot with things such as rotting floor,insulation becoming a house for some unknown creatures,wasps,bugs,mice,etc,etc.It is fairly large and seems to be there for no reason.I am wondering if there is a reason for it being like this.I would like to block it off but not completly closed.Just enough of a crack to let a little bit of breathing into the flooring.I will take a pic and post it here in a moment.Thanks.
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:46 PM   #2
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I'll have to look at mine, but my first thought would be, close it up. There are plenty of non airtight panels on the bellypan.

One forum member also told me that the rear belly skin under the back end is fairly loosely put on. They have a 2003, but later years could be similar.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:45 AM   #3
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I'm almost certain the area around the steps on our 28' CCD was the entrance for a mouse last spring......I got'em with a traditional trap before our 3000 mile trip! He wreaked havoc with "stuff".....poopin' all over the place.........yuk!......... even got into Orville's popcorn before his demise! I haven't performed any steps to shore up the area....except to add d-Con to all the RV rental bays to keep the population down.......and it's worked!
I also keep the steps up all the time now!
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Old 12-27-2006, 06:00 AM   #4
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Openning around steps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
I was tooling around a while ago and noticed that there is an opening on both sides of the steps into the flooring.You can see insulation in there and have noticed since I have had the Airstream that dirt water and the outside enviroment is getting in there.I believe stopping this would possibly help a lot with things such as rotting floor,insulation becoming a house for some unknown creatures,wasps,bugs,mice,etc,etc.It is fairly large and seems to be there for no reason.I am wondering if there is a reason for it being like this.I would like to block it off but not completly closed.Just enough of a crack to let a little bit of breathing into the flooring.I will take a pic and post it here in a moment.Thanks.

Hi Devoman; I can tell you this, wasps do not like when you change their coordinance. It screws up their reference points and makes it hard for them to return to the nest. I honestly do not see any reason for that area to be open. Close it up, but if it will make you feel better cut an openning in the panel and glue in a small SS screen window. It will keep critters out. Thanks "Boatdoc"
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:54 AM   #5
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I would like to be a bit critical here and I know I am going to offend you loyal Airstreamers. I have gone over 2007 airstream products over the last 6 months with a fine tooth comb. We are shopping for a retirement RV and considering AS as I have always wanted to be part of the AS lifestyle. I read so many things like this post about AS quality controll OR lack of it. Hard to service items such as water pumps, leaks that go undetected. I have a friend who has been in the RV business for 40 years. He used to sell AS. He owns His own RV business and I respect this mans opinion as much as one can as He was a high school friend of mine. He got out of the AS business (He sells several different Trailer and Camper manufacturers) because of the quality of the product. He said his tech people spend so much time prepareing/repairing AS for sales and they return for warrenty at a rate HE could no longer tollerate. He has owned serveral AS of HIS own. I told him I wanted an AS and HE flat told me,,,buy another product,,I would not be happy with the AS quality. And after spending the last six months on here and reading about all the "new" trailer issues and litterally crawling over under and around Airstreams for the last 6 months I am totally disillusioned by the contruction of AS. As I am by so many other manufacturers. There are some good RV's out there,,but few and far between. Sorry for this...but it has to come out sometime. I wanted an AS so bad I could taste it. But..I am affraid I am going with another manufacturer. Matter of fact I have found that some of the TRUCK camper manufactureres have very good qualility with very servisible rigs. Sorry,,,,I repect all of you but things have to be said that are true. Here is an example..you can change out the water pump in a Lance amper by opening a door and loosing two fittings and two screws..done...You have to dissasemble the closet to change the water pump in an AS. He also told me leaks in AS go undetected because of the way they are constructed. So many people find out after their floor are rotted out. He has one in the shop when I was there last week. It was an 06 Safari that the head liner had come loose....they took out the liner to find a leak had developed and ran down the side of the trailer and under the floor undetected..Major problems. I guess when you think about something as long as I have and then find out its not what it appears to be...well ya know...its time to move on.
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:15 AM   #6
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I'll have to take a look at my trailer; not certain I have the "gap" on the sides of the step place....

I do know that after about 6 months (from when I purchased in October 2002) a bolt fell out of the side of the step leaving that side unsupported. The dealer had to cut a hole in the bottom covering to get to it; I guess the factory paid.

Sorry to hear that you are not going to get an Airstream. We still like ours even though it has had a few problems. I have had a few problems with every RV I/we ever owned
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Old 12-27-2006, 08:17 AM   #7
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You know, I'd like to think the issues are just with Airstream, but I think you'll find that it appears to be an industry standard. Having had 2 Airstreams and both having had/still have issues, I agree, it's hard to justify the higher costs other than the "cool" factor. When you really, truely think about it, one could buy several "disposable" RVs that are also poorly constructed for the price of a single Airstream.

That said, I still love my Airstream and try to give it every possible chance. If someone figures out how to close off this area, let me know. I am going out to the Safari in a few weeks again to get my Dometic fridge serial number to see if I'm in the recall...at that time, I'm gonna check the step area. When at JC last, I spent the nearly $225 to get the 2005 Safari dual step installed, which I think somewhat blocks off the areas that are being discussed. I'll letchya know and try to remember to bring my camera with me.
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Old 12-27-2006, 09:35 AM   #8
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Here is where and what they look like.When looking at it you can see it is about almost an inch wide opened.I think I will be putting a piece of wood there for now after I seal it reall good with some paint and then find something better like hard plastic or rubber to replace it.Just for now though a quick fix would do some justice.This is happening on both side around the steps.I wonder why Airstream did this.Could this just be one of those things that sometimes it closes up close and sometimes it doesnt?

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Old 12-27-2006, 09:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
One forum member also told me that the rear belly skin under the back end is fairly loosely put on. They have a 2003, but later years could be similar.
Mine is like that also and I have an 05'
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
Mine is like that also and I have an 05'
Just great....yet another thing to do....I swear, Airstreams are like exotic European sports cars.....looks great, but high maint......
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Old 12-27-2006, 10:52 AM   #11
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My '73 is like that also (pictures 1 & 2 above). Sealant is part of the answer. Vulkem or Parrbond or the like can be used to close up the opening between the outriggers and the outer skin. On the '73, the arms that support the steps ride in a channel cut right thru the middle of the outriggers. There's no way on earth to close that part up because they have to be there in order for the steps to function. And yes, it was a mess in there when I pulled the belly pan.

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Old 12-27-2006, 11:10 AM   #12
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And just so you fellas don't run outta stuff to worry about.....

You may want to check the wheel well areas. The '73's have the same situation there between the banana wrap and the outriggers. Also, look at the area where the A-frame enters in front and the main frame rails exit in rear. The front was only covered with a cheesy plastic cover, the rear had no covering of any type. Water runs right in.

Just to let you know, I don't know much about the newer model campers. My one and only experience with RV's is the '73 Overlander I'm rebuilding in the back yard.

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Old 12-27-2006, 12:25 PM   #13
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Covers

The wheel wells in mine are all covered up and the plastic is pretty thick also.I will check some more to see if there are any holes around there to be safe.
As for filling in the hole at the steps.That would be a lot of goo to be filling that in.If everything works out rightI will have it covered with a thin piece of wood until I can find something more sutable for weathering.
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Devoman
The wheel wells in mine are all covered up and the plastic is pretty thick also.I will check some more to see if there are any holes around there to be safe.
As for filling in the hole at the steps.That would be a lot of goo to be filling that in.If everything works out rightI will have it covered with a thin piece of wood until I can find something more sutable for weathering.

I caulked mine since they didn't caulk one of the areas on the curbside wheel well when mine was built. Had water on the floor that I couldn't figure out where it was coming. Monsoon at rest, no leak...drive in rain, water on the floor.....so after finding the cause, as a matter of course, just caulked the wheel well areas and when at the factory, they too caulked the area as well where it was leaking.
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Old 12-27-2006, 12:53 PM   #15
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What I have found to be very useful for these kinds of openings is a scrap of old aluminum screen - the kind you use to screen your porch with. If you ball that up and stuff it in, it will make an effective barrier for anything you want to keep out. If you are concerned about moisture, then I would use aluminum duct tape after the screen.

I think that a lot of the AS quality problems are the kind that can be addressed and fixed. Mostly a bit inconvenient, and make you shake your head in wonder. But rarely to you hear the kinds of horror stories that compare with rubber roofs, sidewall delamination and such. Mine is in its 10th year, and I'm not hesitant to spend money on major upgrades - such as solar (my next project). If I had any other brand, I suspect I would not be investing more $ on anything, unless it was to make it saleable.

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Old 12-27-2006, 12:58 PM   #16
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You may have a point there. Maybe screening, with an overlay of caulk (Vulkum, etc). A gap as wide as it is would be difficult to do with just caulk and no backing without several reapplications....
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:20 PM   #17
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Detective work

Here are a couple more I just found.Does this look like something that is a problem in the future.I do know that the one with the broken rivets are.I am going to replace those as soon as I get a chance to.Would I be able to go to say home depot or lowes to get the rivet tool and some rivets?Not the shaver though.Also what type of rivets can I use for this area and will they have it in the store.I have never really had to look for these items so mabey someone could chime in before I go across town to look for these.
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:52 PM   #18
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Picture number one looks like plain ol' pop rivets. I wonder why they have worked lose, tho. HD has those and the rivet gun by the truck load.

Is pic number two the same area from the other side?

Picture number three--the gap between the frame and the wheel well--that's the type of thing that that's getting caulked on mine. Dirt, water & grit get in there and make a mess over time.
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:00 PM   #19
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Devo,

I noticed a bunch of belly rivets had come loose at the back of my unit last summer. I drilled them out and used pop rivets with washers and thought I had done a marginally good job.

However, the whole shebang let loose from the back all the way to the axles while I was changing a tire on the side of the road (a big truck blew by me at warp speed). You never saw such a mess of dragging panel and blowing insulation. I tied it up and made it to Jackson Center, where I was going anyway. They did a wonderful job (of course).

Anyway - long story to say that, yes - this can be a problem that you'll have to keep up with. And you can get an ordinarty pop rivet tool - I forget the sizes but you can search the forum for details on how to replace belly pan rivets. Your picture puzzles me a bit - I'm not sure where this is. But it looks like you will have to figure a way to hold down the pan to get it tight before you rivet it. Perhaps a suction device will be sufficient.

'Stream on. Pat
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Old 12-27-2006, 02:14 PM   #20
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The first pic is the street side rear end.The second and third pic is of the wheel well area.The white stuff is where the water collected some type of soft stuff over time.The 3rd pic is where the only hole I found to be around in the wheel well.I will be going to the hardware store today and start fixing these things before I leave next week.I will up date when I can and also if I find some more things I will post them.
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