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Old 03-18-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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Really horrible feeling in my stomach

Hello all,
Well, I did it. I jinxed myself real good this time. I was just telling someone how our trailer has a solid floor and no signs of leaks (can you tell where this is going?)
We were supposed to head out on a mini camping trip today, but our son has a fever and no amount of cowbell is helping. So my husband thought it would be good to work on some electrical work that was chopped up by the PO.
I didn't mention that it is a rainy day, did I? He's been out there for a little bit, so I went to go see how it was coming along.
He has removed the couch and panel covering the battery boxes and

then!
I see it.

Water. Dripping. I think I'm gonna be sick.

Can someone look at this picture and tell me where to look? I'm am praying that it is from a window seal. That would be the better scenario, right? if it is a window seal, it's not an obvious one.
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The water is dripping from under the trim around the window, where the screw driver is pointing to. I don't see any drip any higher up than that. I seriously don't know what I'll do if it's not. Possible shell leak?

Many thanks!
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:25 PM   #2
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Cara there are numerous sources for the water to get into around that area. Yes the window seal is one area also the space between the window frame and the shell.
It could also be leaking from the clearance lights or the Airstream letters.
I found a spot (actually a few spots) on mine. If you have the plexiglass rock guard over the front windows it will most likely be leaking from the point where the hinge is riveted on and also from the point where the lift up arms are riveted on. Both the hinge rivets and the arm rivets are pop rivets and not closed solid buck rivets. They will definitely leak.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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WasagaChris,
Thank you for the prompt response and your expertise. I'm kinda freaking out right now. (do you remember me talking about my dry trailer with 270win? Geesh.)
So, I probably shouldn't nit pick about where the leak is, right? I'd rather seal up as many possible spots as I can. I'm guessing I should have the window reinstalled with new gaskets/seals, right? Then what about the smaller possibities? Should I caulk?
Or do you think I should get out the garden hose and really see where the water is coming from?
It's rare that I freak out over things like this. I'm a handy girl (10 years in the motorcycle biz and an avid home improvement DIYer) I can usually figure out how to fix things. But this one is making my head spin because I don't know where to start. I'm not too proud to pay someone to fix things either, but I fear that this will mean we need to take the interior apart which is my nightmare.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:38 PM   #4
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One step at a time. Treat it like routine maintenance...seal the seams, the lights & window edges. You will find and control the leak.
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Old 03-18-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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One step at a time. Treat it like routine maintenance...seal the seams, the lights & window edges. You will find and control the leak.
Step one: Breathe

Ok, so don't freak out? Ok. Treat it like mainenance. Ok, I can definitely handle that. I'll order some silver caulking today. I'll do the whole trailer, it appears to be due for it anyway. Hopefully I won't cause any leaks.
How many tubes might I need for a '31?
I'll wait for a dry day. Good weather is on the way. A beautiful day will make it possible for me to bear the 'caulk' jokes from my husband.

I've got a 5 night trip to Oregon coming up in two weeks, any reason I be concerned?

On the brightside, we've been in a drought all winter. We really needed this rain.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:01 PM   #6
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That can come from anything uphill of the leak. Great help, eh? My '74 Argosy had a big floor rot issue from a leak at the bottom of the window. Is the window bedded in a plastic extrusion? Those are no longer available of course.

When the rain and leak slow down, sheet some water outside on the window for a while. Some may enter that lower seal and show up back inside. That would be the easy answer. I posted a long time back on my fix and then Zeppelinium did a great job explaining it more fully -- Wing Window Leaks.

Your window gaskets aren't old & hard? They been replaced with good resilient gaskets? If you have a rockguard over the front window, check out if the top attachment rail is nicely bedded in Sikaflex or Vulkem. These leaks can travel laterally a suprising amount once they get between the outer and innner skin.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:19 PM   #7
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That can come from anything uphill of the leak. Great help, eh? My '74 Argosy had a big floor rot issue from a leak at the bottom of the window.
Anything uphill?!?!? Haha, wow. Thanks for making light of my situation. I need that. My husband isn't saying much. But his looks are saying "what did my wife get us into?"
Fortunately, the floor is not rotted, still solid, but it is discolored from water. I can see it has leaked a few times. The discolored section is about 14 in x 20 in. All around that is perfect looking wood. So my non-expert opinion tells me we don't need to rush to gut or refloor (again, my nightmare)

MelodyRanch, your simple words calmed me down. Told my husband we need to seal everything as soon as we can.

He's already making 'caulk' jokes. Geesh.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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Relax and take a deep breath. Think about the problems of the third world. Your Airstream leak will seem so insignificant Chasing down leaks in Airstreams is considered routine maintenance.

Enjoy your trip to Oregon, and don't let a little leak stop you. If the floor gets wet, just point a fan at it and dry it out (this is also good advice for when you forget to lock the fridge door and everything spills out in transit and soaks your floor). You might want a little fan to keep in the trailer for these sort of emergencies.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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Relax and take a deep breath. Think about the problems of the third world. Your Airstream leak will seem so insignificant
Haha, Stephanie, Oh, I think about 3rd world countries all the time. Haha, I really do. And thank you, you're right. I count my blessings daily. Freak outs are few and far between for me. When it comes right down to it, I have a warm, clean bed at home and wholesome food.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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I bought four tubes of aluminum caulking for the 31' Albatross and I might need a couple more. Of course I am using it liberally and not taking any chances that we will end up with a shell off restoration again down the road. I think we have taken everything apart and replaced, restored, and resealed. Now watch...first trip out we will find a leak. After all, they all leak.
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Old 03-18-2012, 07:53 PM   #11
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Y'all aren't really using caulk on your Airstreams, are you?
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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Put some duct tape around the lower seal of the window and enjoy your trip.

You'll have plenty of time to deal with the leaks.

Plus you need to arm yourself first....

Bob
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
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Y'all aren't really using caulk on your Airstreams, are you?
Terry,
Heck ya! They got a big ol' discount tub of it at Big Lots for a 1.98! I'm gonna get out my best butter knife and slather it on! More is better right?!?!?

Actually, I was just going to ask what the best product is. Also, I am seeing a few places online what offer Airstream parts and such. My husband bought a few things from Inland RV. From everyone's experience, is that the best priced place to buy? Once I find a good source for certain things, I tend to stick with it.

Also, I love asking questions and learning how to do new things. Airstreams are so new to me and my husband, we never assume and ask lots of dumb questions. Having said that, I welcome all advice.
If anyone saw my other thread, they'll know that I just sold my prized 1972 Cutlass Convertible to get this AS, so I want to do everything properly, no half-assed jobs allowed here.

Thanks again everyone. I am calm now. I saw the water and knew that was the AS biggest enemy, it overwhelmed me for a minute.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:22 PM   #14
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Like other posters have written, leaks are a matter of deferred maintenance or damage. If it's deferred maintenance, just do the maintenance . . . top to bottom. If it's a leak from damage, just fix the damage.

My trailer had water damage just to the front of the entry door. I figured somebody left a window open too long. Wrong! It had 11 separate leaks from the entry door to the front of the street side window. I sat in the trailer on a farmer's milking stool with a poacher's light during a month of summer night thunderstorms before I found them all. I had to remove the inside skin to find the last leak. It was a midway skin lap joint that looked fine from the outside.

Some leaks I could only see at night with the light. In the daylight, I couldn't see them.
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