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Old 01-21-2018, 04:11 PM   #1
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Glue leaks around windows - DIY fixes?

Hi everyone - I have an oily substance coming through in 3 different spots in my 2012 - around the windows.

Airstream NW fixed the same issue in 2013 under warranty. The service manager at the time (not there now) said they would fix if gasket leaks happened again. I didnít get that in writing and unfortunately the new service staff wonít help.

So looking for some advice if anyone out there knows how to fix. I am wondering if this kind of work is even DIY. I think I can handle re applying sealant if I donít have to open up AS by pulling rivets.

Please see pics and let me know if you can help with step by step ideas. I really appreciate any info any of you can share with me! Thanks!!!

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Old 01-21-2018, 05:02 PM   #2
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Where's that stuff coming from? What did they tell you first time around that was causing it?

I'm no expert, but when you say glue, what is this glue and what's it do?

PLUS, bumpin' it up for you
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Old 01-21-2018, 05:11 PM   #3
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Thanks! I will have to look at the service invoice again and quote them. I know they said ďoily leakĒ and something about removing screen and trim and re sealing. I left the invoice at work, but I will take a photo of exactly what they did. Thanks
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:03 AM   #4
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We recently had a small water leak around the rear window (same design as front in our 27FB) that left a water trail down the wall in the same place. We solved it by applying aluminum-colored parbond along the seam above the window until it stopped. Hereís hoping your fix is as easy. Hereís an example, though there are other places to get it: http://www.airstreamsupply.com/Parbond-Aluminum
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:41 AM   #5
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Thx Rocinante! I will get some of that!

Hey Major - below is actual quote from service paper work, on what AS did to fix oily leaks. I was told that it was sealant from around a gasket?

Spelling and grammar are hard to decipher in parts, but I did my best to translate below:

ďInstalled 360180 adhesive seal sikaflex 221.

Removed both front and rear screens.

Also removed upper trim rings on all vista windows.

Cleaned glue and sealed all holes and factory relief cuts.

Also filled space above window frames.

Cleaned and rinsed all screens and trim rings. Work took 3 hours by 2 techs. ď

I am looking for advice on how to do what they did above and/or if it is all necessary. From the inside, there is trim that is held by regular screws around the windows. I am plenty comfortable pulling those and resealing what I can if members think that will help?

Thanks for any ideas and advice everyone!
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:40 PM   #6
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My guess is that the oily stuff is accumulated (and rotted?) pollen and simply came in with water.

Your report from the original repair tells you what sealant was used: Sikaflex 221. It is terrific stuff, but care is necessary when using it. If you decide to use it, mask off everything that should not have any sealant on it and have a box of nitrile or vinyl gloves that you can change out often.

If you are hesitant about doing this work yourself, I suggest going back to your dealer and having them take care of it. The former service manager's promise probably was only for immediately after the first repair and not meant to apply four to five years later.

Tim
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:55 PM   #7
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The bad news is that the screens are on the inside (I think). Once the water gets that far, you have already lost. It has to be stopped from the outside.

West Marine (and others) carry a product called "Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure". It is a thin liquid, probably a polymer, that thickens with time and exposure to air. You brush it along seams and it flows into voids and thickens. I bought some "just in case" but never used it. I gave it to someone on a rally who was having leak problems. He said it worked. Paint it on the junction of the window frame and the skin with a small artists brush. Come back later (per the directions) and re-apply. Repeat until the liquid is no longer absorbed.

Another thing to consider is that the leak may not be at the window itself. Look on the roof above the window(s) and make sure there is nothing there with a defective seal. Water could leak on the roof and flow down the inside wall until it hits the window frames.

i don't know where you would be getting an oily substance. My trailer had grey stains that sort of felt oily but it was aluminum oxide corrosion from the window frames flowing down with the water.

Al
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Old 01-23-2018, 02:48 PM   #8
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What a good idea! I have Capt. Tolleys too, but went for the Parbond. Trolleys would have been neater, thatís for sure.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:04 PM   #9
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I'm wondering if the oily leak is the sealant they used and the window gasket having a "reaction" to each other. Then turning to goo & dripping.
Just a wild guess.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellerzal View Post
Thx Rocinante! I will get some of that!

Hey Major - below is actual quote from service paper work, on what AS did to fix oily leaks. I was told that it was sealant from around a gasket?

Spelling and grammar are hard to decipher in parts, but I did my best to translate below:

“Installed 360180 adhesive seal sikaflex 221.

Removed both front and rear screens.

Also removed upper trim rings on all vista windows.

Cleaned glue and sealed all holes and factory relief cuts.

Also filled space above window frames.

Cleaned and rinsed all screens and trim rings. Work took 3 hours by 2 techs. “

I am looking for advice on how to do what they did above and/or if it is all necessary. From the inside, there is trim that is held by regular screws around the windows. I am plenty comfortable pulling those and resealing what I can if members think that will help?

Thanks for any ideas and advice everyone!
Overall, repeating this work is probably far more work than you want to do on your own.

I agree that once the water is inside the window area, the battle has been lost. All that remains is for that water to drip down the inside wall.

That said, here's how I stopped the leak we had, which looks similar (except for the oily stain).

First, I removed the interior screen by removing those philips head screws. Note there is a rubber cap on the pointy end of each screw, which will come off as you remove those screws. Don't lose those, as you will want to replace them when you put the screen back on. Rubber cap replacement is easy to do from the outside once you open the windows.

Second, during a rainy period, I got a rough idea of where the water seemed to be coming into the trailer - I could see the water trickling down the edge of the window and then inside the trailer via the window well. I was grateful that the water came in this way vs. sneaking down inside the walls and making an awful mess in there.

Third, once the rain was over and things had dried out a bit, I got on a step ladder with my trusty aluminum-colored Parbond and schmeared it carefully along the riveted seam just above the window, focusing on the side of the window from which the water appeared to be entering. Given it was our rear window, this seam was above the window and below the rear awning. In your case, it will likely be just below where the front sun shade pivots as you raise it away from the trailer and the front window. Somehow, water must be getting in there between the shade and the window so it can penetrate into the window area and come inside. Just to be sure, also inspect how the sun shade is fastened to the trailer above this window to see whether it might be possible for water to be coming in via that route. I think not, but I don't have our trailer here to look at it.

Fourth, once you select your most likely candidate, try the Parbond or the Captain Tolley's, let it cure, and wait for the next rainy day to see what happens. If you have a garden hose handy, feel free to cheat, but don't blast the trailer so hard that you damage sealants.

Postscript: I am quite suspicious that the leak above our rear window may have been caused by an over-enthusiastic employee at a Blue Beacon wash location. We had no leak before that visit. We've only been there once. We told them, "No acid, and keep the pressure wands well back from the trailer so you don't damage the sealants at the seams!" So, if you decide to use a facility like that to clean your trailer, be careful and keep an even closer eye on the washer-folk than I did. Sure looked nice afterward, but we did not enjoy finding / fixing that leak.
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Old 01-23-2018, 05:38 PM   #11
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It's hard to tell from the pics, but it looks like that stuff is on the screen, likely meaning it's coming from the top of the window.

2nd, the work order indicates that they removed the upper trim rings.

If it's just the one window up front, I think I'd try what was indicated here sealing the entire upper frame of that window.

I'd also carefully look at the surrounding area, including rivets and the front roof panel seams. Inspect for loose sealant, rolled edges on sealant, and any small pinholes or cracks.
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:37 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone - great ideas that I will dive into. I super appreciate it!
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Old 01-23-2018, 09:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majorairhead View Post
It's hard to tell from the pics, but it looks like that stuff is on the screen, likely meaning it's coming from the top of the window.



2nd, the work order indicates that they removed the upper trim rings.



If it's just the one window up front, I think I'd try what was indicated here sealing the entire upper frame of that window.



I'd also carefully look at the surrounding area, including rivets and the front roof panel seams. Inspect for loose sealant, rolled edges on sealant, and any small pinholes or cracks.


The other weird thing is: on a day like today in Olympia, it rained itís ass off - huge drops all day. I just went into my silver palace and the glue leaks are right where they were 10 days ago. They drip down, run a bit on the aluminum and then stop. They never reach the floor.

It has to rain insanely hard for like 3 days straight for me to see this stuff. I WILL figure this out - thanks again everyone!
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:02 PM   #14
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Btw, thanks for this thread, as it reminded me to call my dealer and schedule an inspection / repair of all sealed seams in preparation for next year. Itís expensive, but we have to protect our investment, right?
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