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Old 12-01-2003, 09:12 AM   #1
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Waterman's Avatar
1999 25' Safari
Wailuku , Hawaii
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Water in Bellypan?

I live in Oregon west of the Cascades and this is the time of year for rain. My '89 Excella 32 foot sits next to my home, uncovered. Periodically, I tilt the trailer up high at the nose, so that any water sitting in any low spots (like the channel over the awning) will roll back towards the stern and drain off. When its rainy, I normally leave the nose tilted slightly up to help with runoff.

The other day, I raised up the nose (high) and noticed a steady stream of water draining out in front of the left wheelwell, behind the refrig compartment. This water came out for maybe 2 or 3 minutes before finally stopping. There was not any water in the fridge compartment (thought maybe that water had gotten in thru the fridge vent but everything was dry). The inside of the trailer is dry everywhere and there is no evidence of dampness, dryrot or leaks anywhere in the interior.

If water is somehow getting into the bellypan, is this normal? Do I have a leak 'between the skins' that is running all the way down? Isn't there fiberglass insulation down under the floor that can get soaked, consequently wicking upwards to get into the floor? Any ideas, similar experiences to share would be appreciated....

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Old 12-01-2003, 09:49 AM   #2
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1956 22' Flying Cloud
Durango , Colorado
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I would say its not normal, however, not unusual - you probably have a leak - most likely below the belt line - that is running down the walls and into the belly. You need to run it down because what happens is the water sits in the belly against the frame and will rust the frame. Also if there is enough water it will get the insulation wet which acts as a sponge and takes forever to dry out and could rot the floor from the bottom up.

So in the short run - probably no harm done - in the long run if let unattended, harm could be done

Ken J.

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Old 12-01-2003, 01:21 PM   #3
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It seems to be a common trait of Airstreams to have water in the bellypan and have been told so by some experts here on this forum.

However, I do feel that it contributes to rusted frames, corroded bellyskins, wet insulation and rotted floors. I usually seal the seams under the banana wraps to try to keep as much of it out of there as possible, this seam is under the lower rubrail.

If you are curious why don't you open up a section and let us know what you find?

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Old 12-01-2003, 02:26 PM   #4
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My 2001 Safari would collect water in most cases when I washed the trailer. It would collect in the most rear belly pan. I would guess it was around 8-10 oz. at the most. Since I normally washed the trailer before heading out I would notice it draining at the seam when I tipped the trailer down while hitching up. Both my dealer and the folks at Jackson Center told me that this was normal and was nothing to be concerned about.

Looking at the bumper configuration I could see openings between the storage area for the electrical cable and the underbelly area. These seemed to be vent type openings so I could see how water directed the wrong way could get into the area.

Personally I didn't like that water in there either but since it seemed to be only there during trailer washings so I didn't pursue the issue.

Jack Canavera
AIR #56
'04 Classic 30' S.O.,'03 GMC Savana 2500,'14 Honda CTX 700
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:14 PM   #5
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I have the same problem. I agree with Chas and think that AS has a design problem. For instance regardless of what you do, one always will get water in the underbelly from step openning. Because of leaks, I have been cuting the flooring to repair them. As i am doing this, I have noticed that the water has been flowing into all the other places getting the insulation wet. I do not know what to do at this point, since I am a new AS owner, Soverein 1985. But maybe in spring I will open the underbelly and look under there to see the state of frame and redo the insulation. Any comments are welcomed.
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Old 12-07-2003, 09:32 PM   #6
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Mine does this too. I notice when I raise the front that water comes out by the steps. I think Airstreams should come from the factory with a huge tarp, water leaks appear to be the biggest complaint of Airstream owners.

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Old 12-07-2003, 09:41 PM   #7
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
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I saw this thread when you started it but probably wouldn't have made a connection without today's new post. I was researching another issue today and found a thread with some connectedness: seal the bottom edge trim pieces?

Keep us posted!


5 meter Langford Nahanni

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