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Old 03-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
Isn't Adzel a wall product, too weak for floors?

doug k
Doug, it may well be too weak. But I would think that something similar could be done by AS in conjunction with a company like Robert Weed that has the skills to develop a high quality subfloor that can withstand water. As much as a new AS costs you would think that the subfloor issue would have been addressed. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 03-01-2012, 07:19 PM   #128
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Perry
You are right it would be Over Kill to try to vent each rib top and bottom.
A non rot floor would be the better investment of time and effort. We are not talking that much water in any one place. There is a new thread posted on the forum, nylaboard is the product name. Sounds pricy but promising
Floor replacement material.
Still looking for one to work on.
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Silver Streak did this for a couple of decades, then eliminated the vents on the last dozen years of production. The late Houston area guru, Bob Ashby, recommended sealing them shut (more than a half-dozen on sides and rear of coach). While SS trailers are highly unlikely to leak (short of damage) the vents were seen as possibly contributing to higher humidity in the walls IIRC.

IOW, I wouldn't create one problem to solve another. Sort of like getting all excited over working on the roof. Get on and get off as the roof design/construction is fine with this. The "solutions" become a problem in themselves.

Finding the 80-90% solution is the only hard part. That last percent isn't anywhere near worth it.

I would never use truck bed liner. Too heavy. What Darkspeed used on the shell interior looked worthwhile as an adjunct to higher quality insulating properties. Maybe some "water resistance" as well.

.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by REDNAX View Post
What Darkspeed used on the shell interior looked worthwhile as an adjunct to higher quality insulating properties. Maybe some "water resistance" as well.

.

Yeah, I liked this idea too but further investigation by FC7039 brings up a different viewpoint. See link below. Jury's still out on this coating

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f478...e-86901-2.html



I PM'd Darkspeed to ask his opinion, but he's gone AWOL.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:19 PM   #130
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In houses, you try to place a vapor barrier as close to the outside wall as possible, then insulate on the inner side of it. Modern construction is that the siding has a breathing space behind it to allow for drying of condensation with some sort of drainage at the bottom. You can control humidity in a house in various ways, but you have no control over the outside. But in a house, there's a lot more space than a trailer. A few people in a trailer plus cooking and showers produce a lot of humidity per square foot in a trailer.

The problem with an Airstream is there is no effective vapor barrier, no drainage, poor sealing and metal walls where condensation loves to form. Vents in the interior walls would create some breathing in the walls to dry out the space between the inner and outer skin. But fans to circulate air inside also are necessary. We have plenty of fans.

If I were building Airstreams I would have a vapor barrier in the wall and spray foam insulation. Modern foam insulation is far superior to the stuff used years ago. This necessitates much better sealants. Gaskets should be used everywhere there is a penetration of the skin. There are sealants made for auto and aviation that are used to coat gaskets or make them—I just got some aviation grade Form-a-Gasket to put between the awning brackets/mounts. This stuff has a very wide temp. range and stays flexible enough not to tear. There are other brands of similar stuff. I knew about it because it is used in putting auto engines back together and to seal parts on the engine like water pumps. It withstands great pressure.

Waterproofing Airstreams is not impossible, but it does costs more. Airstream is a company that does not like change, so I have no hope of them adopting my ideas. But as owners, we can do a few things. If I were rebuilding one and removed the inner skin, I'd rebuild it according to my ideas. I'd take out all the penetrations and make gaskets for them. I'd look for a better subfloor, but if the trailer is sealed well, maybe plywood coated with epoxy paint would be fine. I'd put in weep holes or some drainage like Perry. But I'm not doing that, so I'll keep sealing and make some gaskets when I can. I'll try to ventilate better too—the bathroom and shower fans work well for that without making the noise of the Fantastic Fans.

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Old 03-01-2012, 10:21 PM   #131
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Hey Gene,

How about sharing your source for "aviation grade Form-a-Gasket to put between the awning brackets/mounts" ?
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:08 AM   #132
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I went to the local auto parts store. The stuff comes in tubes and small plastic bottles. The bottles have an applicator which makes things easier. There are a variety of Form-A-Gasket types and several different ones look like they would work. Note that this stuff is hard to get off and any excess should be wiped off before it gets too dry. I haven't tried this yet as it has been snowing on and off since Tuesday. The official name is Aviation Form-A-Gasket Sealant Liquid", item #80019. I think it is also known as "Form-A-Gasket 3". It is viscous.

It is basically for sealing metal to metal on engines or using with a gasket between metal parts. It can also be used on a screw going into metal, but this stuff is brown and I think some other versions are orange, so any that shows may clash with that natural aluminum we all love. I got it for the awning brackets/supports, but there may be a few other places it would work.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:17 AM   #133
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The Form-A-Gasket is RTV silicone and it is probably no better than the polyurathane or Vulkem as it is called. There are other sealants that are better suited to our needs. Silicone will leave a residue that nothing will stick to. I use RTV gasket sealer all the time for the application it was intended for. It is designed for sealing metal parts that are very flat and the adhesive layer is thin. It may not have the properties that you want as a bulk sealant or caulk.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:33 AM   #134
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I have been using nothing but Aviation Sealants on my GT. The beauty of this sealant is "no gaskets required". I have a ready source for it though, as it does have a shelf life and I cannot legally use it for aircraft sealing after the expiration date, and we have to pay a hazmat fee to dispose of it. There are many different types available but to buy it would be very costly. It is a two part polymer available with different curing times, viscosity, and adhesive properties. It always stays flexible.
My GT does NOT leak, it does have condensation like all Airstreams. So, have I won the war on moisture, not quite, but I have won the battle of exterior leaks, and it has been a long and some what labor intensive battle though.
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:28 AM   #135
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Aero', how does the sealant you are using differ from Form-A-Gasket? It has some of the same qualities, but is a two part apparently.

Perry', I believe Form-A-Gasket is not for "flat" surfaces, but for "machined" ones, i.e., smooth. I intend to use it for the awning supports and not for the numerous other places where other sealants are appropriate; I might find some other place for it (sealing screws for ex.), but haven't really thought about that. I could buy some gasket material in the alternative I suppose.

I looked up the formula and the "aviation" type is composed of "vegetable oil, rosin, ethanol, talc, propanol and methanol". There's no mention of silicone, though given my weak chemistry knowledge it may be hidden in the specs. Form-A-Gasket #1 contains resins and my brief look at silicone chemistry states it has "resins" in it and #3 has "rosin". I don't know the difference between resin and rosin. Maybe both indicate silicone but I think they are just components of many different products.

Then I looked up "RTV silicone" and it appears to be a two part product that is mixed like epoxy. All the Form-A-Gasket products I am aware of are not two part and they aren't mixed. I am confused by your post. Are we talking about different versions of Form-A-Gasket?

I looked at the awning supports because of a post somewhere (maybe on this thread, maybe elsewhere) saying that the 3 screws in them were where water got in. But looking how water runs down the side of the trailer, it appears it hits the supports all around them. If there is a pinhole in the sealant around the outside, water will get in. I figure to use the Form-A-Gasket underneath the support and in the screw holes, screw it down, make sure there's no slop over (cleans up with alcohol), and then use Acryl-R around the support. I may remove the step light and do the same thing if I can figure out how to remove it—it also gets hit by water running down.

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Old 03-02-2012, 02:38 PM   #136
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I have seen the term 'Form A Gasket" referred to various products so I have a tendency to ignore them and use what I am familiar with, which are Mil Specs. I use sealants which fall under spec 8802. The product names are Pro-Seal, PRC, semflix, flamemaster, Desoto, etc. Basically I use only a few products with the part numbers being: PR1436-B2, PR1440-B2, PR 1428, etc.

I have never really looked into using anything else, as aviation sealants are so far superior then anything else on the retail market, that I don't even look beyond them.
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:32 PM   #137
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Form-A-Gasket is a brand name of a company called Permatex. It may have become a brand name that has been generalized to all such products such as Kleenex and Thermos. I think Loctite has similar products.

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Old 03-02-2012, 09:37 PM   #138
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Well the Airstream made it through the tornado today and it did not leak. The street side awning came off but it did not do any damage. We lost most of our big trees which hurts. My shed is gone and my old van got rolled. House is not bad. It is a mess.

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Old 03-02-2012, 11:49 PM   #139
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Perry,
I'm glad that you folks are safe. A lot of people have been hammered really hard today.

I wish you and your neighbors the best in cleaning up.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:49 AM   #140
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I am not clear how an owner of a newer model AS with trimmed in wall to wall vinyl can catch leaks early enough to avoid damage. From the posts it seems that the leaks on the newer models are discovered when a table leg goes through the floor or the vinyl starts showing stain marks from below because of mold and mildew.

I am asking because I have thoughts of perhaps buying a new AS someday and would like to understand how owners that stay ahead of these problems monitor for leaks before they create major problems. In my present 02 model I installed the floor covering so that I can easily lift the edges of the floor covering and check the perimeter for signs of leaks.
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