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Old 09-15-2015, 02:31 PM   #1
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2001 30' Limited
1973 31' Sovereign
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 20
Rear Bumper repair

Howdy folks!

We're deep into our rear bedroom renovation on our 2001 30' Excella. When we bought it, the bedroom was in decent condition but needed some rehab. We saw some some water damage, the carpet smelled a little funky, and the layout didn't suit our future needs.

Now the bedroom is gutted and I feel like we're at a good point to address a different issue. The day we got the trailer, we bottomed out backing onto a steep hill. The rear bumper suffered most and is now pointing slightly up. It's not a drastic difference but enough for me to ask for y'alls advice. It collects a little water when it rains (see the watermarks in the photos) and there seems to be a slight gap between bumper and shell where they meet on the left and right sides. The interior water damage seems to line up with the exterior gaps, but the damage was there before we bent the bumper. (Not sure where the leak is coming from, window seals looks good, haven't had time to check fan seals. Those spots on the floor definitely get a little damp when it rains heavily.

I've seen some repairs on older bumpers, but I've seen very little on newer bumpers. Wondering what approaches some of you might take to this repair? Also, I'm strapped for time and looking for help finishing the outstanding projects on this trailer. We've had little success finding reputable people to work on the Airstream in the south east, so any suggestions on *available* techs/contractors/shops would also be appreciated.

Photos:
https://www.flickr.com/gp/129703177@N08/X0z4ho
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Old 09-15-2015, 07:57 PM   #2
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1986 34' Limited
1966 24' Tradewind
Conifer , Colorado
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Hello goosemobile. The good news is you have a plywood subfloor, better than the OSB in my trailer, and you have discovered the leak problem. Now with some thought and experimentation, you can solve the leak issue.

As you probably know, Airstreams leak. The seal between the body and the bumper is one of the worse places. Getting water in the bumper storage compartment does not surprise. Mine does that too. I drilled some drain holes in the belly pan to let most of the water drain out.

My trailer had a leak just above the rear window. I also had a leak at the tail light assembly. I pressurized my 66 Trade Wind with a squirrel cage "floor fan" and soaped every seam. I found and sealed 7 leaks using this method. See photo.

You're going to have to disassemble your rear bumper and find out what's bent. It could have made the infamous rear body seal worse. But until you take a close look you won't know what it takes to set things straight again.

Good luck on your Airstream project.

David
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Old 09-15-2015, 08:41 PM   #3
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Melbourne Beach , Florida
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Use the forum search tool or google "airforums rear bumper leak". There is a thread on here with a detailed description of disassembly and repair.

Al
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Old 09-20-2015, 12:55 PM   #4
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2001 30' Limited
1973 31' Sovereign
Livingston , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2015
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Ordering the sealants I need and gonna get er done. Thanks for the info!

After futher prodding, the bumper drawer on my classic was really bent up and pressing the bumper upwards. It was so jammed in there, I didn't even know I had a bumper drawer when I bought the thing. Once we were able to get it out, the bumper looked much less stressed and leveled out. We're going to try to repair the the tray ourselves but I'm looking for Airstream Classic bumper replacement drawers for the future. Anyone know a source? Or would you replace with the more traditional bumper compartment and lid assembly?

Also, after looking through some of your sealing jobs, I've been impressed with your clean looking seals. Are there any tricks to applying Vulkem and Parbond so cleanly? I have the little syringes but it still doesn't look quite as nice as some of the jobs I've seen on here. Nice flat, smooth, seals
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Old 09-20-2015, 03:02 PM   #5
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Corona , California
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GooseMobile;

The fix is easy.

That's what your insurance is for.

Stuff happens, even in Texas.

Andy
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Old 09-22-2015, 12:24 PM   #6
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I want a new bumper...mine is square? Wonder how that happened?
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Old 09-22-2015, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Esarabeth View Post
I want a new bumper...mine is square? Wonder how that happened?
The square straight bumpers were for sewer hose storage.

Airstream never used them.

Andy
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Old 05-01-2016, 11:17 AM   #8
Hometeam4
 
1997 25' Excella
Silver Spring , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 8
Rear Bumber leak fix

Hi Goosemobile,
Were you able to find the leak and repair it? I've got the same issue and have the backend in the same position, (i.e. Carpet and beds out). Any details are appreciated.
Best
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Old 06-01-2016, 07:05 PM   #9
Hometeam4
 
1997 25' Excella
Silver Spring , Maryland
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 8
1997 Excella bumper conversion

Attachment 263687I've figured out that the rear bumper had been riveted to the body through the C channel where the plywood is instead of higher into the U channel. That is because the lip of the banana wrap and back bumper aren't high enough to catch the U channel. I think 2 POs ago, they must have tried to fix the leak with black silicone, but it still leaked. I am considered converting the old style bumper with slide out drawer (see picture) to the new style bumper with or without a box. I believe the new banana wraps will fit and because the existing bumper extends out farther than the body, I could cut off the ends of the belly to make it fit. What I am unsure of is how to wrap the underside where the enormous box sits. Has anyone done this before and if not, can I get picture of the new model underneath directly in the back?
Thanks for your help.
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