Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 05-13-2004, 02:30 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 47
Images: 9
Unhappy leaky rivets on roof?

Hi all,
I own a A/S Sovereign 1992 and have the problem that, when it rains, water drops inside at 2 spots, depending if the trailer is up front or up rear.
I assume that the entrance point of the water must be a rivet (or rivets) on the roof of the trailer, since I already made all other possible entrance spots (roof window, antenna, fridge exhaust, etc.) watertight by sealing them with silicone.
So there seem to be no other possibility where the rain could pass into the trailer except through a rivet.

My question: Is this a common known problem with Airstreams? If other have encountered a similar problem, what could I do? Thanks for your advice.

Hans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2004, 03:20 PM   #2
Chuck's Avatar

1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 4,476
Images: 260
Hi, Hans....

first of all, you shouldn't use silicone to seal an airstream; it won't adhere to the alluminum properly, will turn black and look nasty, and generally can't guarantee a good seal.

do a search on this forum for "vulkem". there are numerous threads on properly sealing stuff.

also: check your plumbing vent gaskets. This was a source of leaks on my trailer, but it was an elusive one to solve, as I only noticed the leaks after periods of heavy rain. (light problem). I finally figured it out, with the help of the members here. Anyway, what happens is that the rubber gasket that is supposed to fit tightly around the vent pipe, and then is held down tightly against the roof skin, dries out, and seperates from the pipe. there is a small drain hole in the cover, which can easily clog with debris. during periods of light rain, not too many rain drops actually find the gap and get inside the trailer...water that gets into the vent cover can drain out before it collects at all. but in heavy rain, it can't exit the little partially clogged drain hole, and water collects in this cover. the water level rises above the level where the gasket was supposed to be sealed to the pipe, (but is no longer because it is worn out, dried, cracked), it starts pouring inside, where it finds sponge-like insulation in the ceiling, and is wicked to "god only knows where".

my leak was at least 10 feet away from one of the vents...and "uphill", (higher up on the roof than the level of the vent pipe) as well. since I replaced the gaskets, no more leak.

this is talked about in other threads, as well...some even have pictures.

good luck!

Wbcci: 3752
'73 Safari 23'
'00 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 QC
Chuck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2004, 03:56 PM   #3
Rivet Master
Happycampers's Avatar
1979 30' Argosy
Havelock , where we park it
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,651
Re leaks

Hello Hans.. Chuck is right about using the Vulkem. We had a leak in our Tradewind.. rented some scaffolding and went at the top with the Vulkem around the vents , tv antenna and everything large. Found a few rivets with pinholes on the edge.. put a small amount of Parbon on each rivet on the roof and also along the seams.. we have had some heavy rain and the trailer is dry as a bone.. This is one of the first things I would recommend doing to any trailer .Annie
Happycampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2004, 04:51 PM   #4
Rivet Master
53flyingcloud's Avatar
1984 29' Sovereign
Savannah , Missouri
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 3,446
Images: 17
Blog Entries: 1
Send a message via ICQ to 53flyingcloud Send a message via Yahoo to 53flyingcloud Send a message via Skype™ to 53flyingcloud
Greeting Hans~
Chuck is right on about both items~!!
I'll betcha the number one source for leaks is the bath vent pipe~It should be check once every 5 yrs min.~
I can tell you from my own experiences it's not fun to pick it out..
Stay away from silicone~!! (Oops, too late..)
Another spot that Annie touched upon (several good spots), one of which is the TV ant..Stands to reason, you're cranking it up and down alot and, water will find a path.
Good luck to you..
WBCCI 5292 AIR 807
NEU #64
New England Unit
53flyingcloud is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2004, 04:54 PM   #5
Rivet Master
BobbyW's Avatar
1965 20' Globetrotter
Currently Looking...
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,002
Images: 9
The PARBON mentioned above is an excellent choice. It comes in a reseable tube instead of a cartridge. Then you can carry it with you. Comes in white, gray and clear. Most RV stores carry it. Also wicks into seams well. I have been using the heck out of it lately trying to stop all my leaks.

The silicon messes up the surface, even if you think you get it off, making it tough to use the right sealants.
AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
BobbyW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2009, 05:04 AM   #6
1 Rivet Member
1960 24' Tradewind
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5
Contrary to popular opinion, I've had good luck using silicone around the vent pipes... I use the silicone that is labelled "aquarium" sealant.
k4ter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2009, 06:45 AM   #7
Rivet Monster
wahoonc's Avatar

1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,141
Images: 40
Originally Posted by k4ter View Post
Contrary to popular opinion, I've had good luck using silicone around the vent pipes... I use the silicone that is labelled "aquarium" sealant.
It will hold for a while. But you will have to completely clean the old silicone off if you ever plan to reseal the area. Not an easy task.

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
wahoonc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2009, 07:06 AM   #8
Rivet Master
funkill's Avatar

1973 27' Overlander
Sparks , Nevada
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,383
Images: 27
One of the PO's of my AS used silicon all over the seams, vents, windows and rivets. I've spent about 40 hours so far picking silicon off the top of Ophelia. I have found quite a bit of corrosion underneath and there is obvious *etching* away at the aluminum. Funny thing - since my removing the stuff, no new leaks. Appears to have been put on for *preventative maintenance*. Regardless, it caused much damage to the aluminum. Just my experience thus far ....

funkill is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Leaky Windows & Skin Replacement PizzaChop Leaks - Weatherstrips, Gaskets, Caulks & Sealants 9 03-08-2004 11:13 PM
Missing Exterior Rivets carls017 Ribs, Skins & Rivets 5 10-13-2003 08:55 AM
Rivets skip Ribs, Skins & Rivets 25 08-03-2003 10:46 AM
2004 30' Classic roof rack gklott Our Community 0 07-15-2003 03:00 PM
Roof question Don in E Texas Roof 2 02-21-2003 06:11 PM

Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities

Copyright 2002-2015 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.