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Old 08-04-2009, 09:26 PM   #1
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1978 25' Tradewind
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Door to Nowhere?

We have a '78 Tradewind (2 dbls... front double is pull-out, not booth style)

There is an exterior compartment door which seems to be a door to nowhere.

It opens and what we see is the outside of the interior vinyl wall covering. It is located on the street side, just in front of where the kitchen is on the inside. Right next to the furnace. Basically the wall behind the pullout table. You cannot access the interior via this opening.

The exterior door doesn't close fully and I suspect water will get in. (We've had the trailer for just a few weeks.)

1) What is the door? A feature pertaining to some other model than ours? Or something more useful than we've perceived?

2) Would I kick myself it I just silicone caulked it shut?

(Extra facts for the humor value: it was a funny moment... we struggled to figure which key opened it... then realized that it was tough to open because of, not a *lock* issue, but because of some rigging up by the PO involving duct tape and wedging... then the grand moment of opening revealed: Nothing. A wall. Stunned silence, then uproarious giggles)

Now, what to do? To caulk or not to caulk?

By the bay
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:30 PM   #2
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From your description, it sounds like either a PO was going to add a door, and never finished it, or the door is supposed to be there, and a modification inside caused it to go nowhere. Can you post a picture?
Also, silicone is contraindicated on aluminum, it contains ingredients known to the Airstream community to cause bad stuff to happen to the aluminum.
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
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Hello, thats kind of funny...we just installed a door which leads to nowhere on our recent Airstream. When we bought it, it had a sliced main side panel close to the rear and made more sense to install a door than replace the main side panel. Could have been the same reasoning from your previous owner.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Ok,
total newbie here thinking I could use silicone caulk... thanks for gently telling me NO (when it is probably discussed so often)

I see now that Vulkem is for the aluminium. (So much to learn!)

It'll be a week before I can have the time to open the door-to-nowhere again for a pic.

After learning about Vulkem by reading in the archives, I'm still left with this question about that product:
Where can I buy the Vulkem?

Many thanks for your info
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #5
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I'm not sure if they're all butyl caulks. But my preference is Sikaflex 221. It develops a dry surface skin in half a day compared with Vulkem which seems to take a long time. Gray is an excellent match for your favorite color.

https://store.airstream.com/index.php?cPath=44&page=2
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #6
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I like having a door that goes nowhere, it keeps me from going through and getting lost...

Repeat stunned silence, then giggles...
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:50 PM   #7
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Assuming you didn't come out of that door first.....
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:57 PM   #8
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Before you seal it up...
Place a treasure map or photo of Rod Serling in there
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Assuming you didn't come out of that door first.....
Oh you silly boy, where do you think I hide when the nuts come around??
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:14 PM   #10
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Quick! Somebody call Geraldo! Tell him Capone's treasure is in there!

Roger
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Old 08-05-2009, 04:35 PM   #11
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I'm not sure that silicone does anything more bad to aluminum that other materials, but maybe it does. If so somebody jump in. The bad stuff that silicone does it looks yuchy as it matures and it is a bear to get that stuff off aluminum.

You could remove the door and frame get a piece of aluminum and rivet it over the hole with bucked or Olympic rivets. Unless an AS afficianado no one would ever know. Zeppelenium recently did it with a couple of windows and did a thread about it. Then of course you could give the door to the needy through the forums. I'm sure someone needs it.
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:06 PM   #12
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Door to Nowhere

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumatic View Post
Then of course you could give the door to the needy through the forums. I'm sure someone needs it.
Hey, is it the size of the back door of a 1966 Tradewind? Mine flew off somewhere on the highway after I left C&G Trailer Repair on my way to Montana. When I called them about it, like, "You guys forgot to lock on my door and now it's gone," they said, "Oh, those things could come loose and fall off anytime." Well it didn't fall off since 1966......until now.
I ended up having a muffler place along the way fashion me one out of metal with a little lock, but it is rather flimsy and well, not pretty.

Anyone have one they want to donate? I am at an all time low on the cash flow as an artist.... or barter for art???

Carol

PS I know, I know, I should have checked everything myself before I left there..........
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Old 08-05-2009, 07:20 PM   #13
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Both Sikaflex and Vulkem are polyurethane sealants. Silicone adhesive, both RTV and caulk contain curing acids that are corrosive to the aluminum on Airstreams and similar coaches. I have seen aluminum etched by silicone, it does leave a mark. While I've never seen it actually eat a hole in a sheet of aluminum, I have seen it leave a stain on the aluminum that could only be removed by stripping, sanding, and polishing the area.

And the access doors on a 1970's model are different from the access doors on a mid-1960's model.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by By the Bay View Post
After learning about Vulkem by reading in the archives, I'm still left with this question about that product:
Where can I buy the Vulkem?
I tend to get Vulkem from Vintage Trailer Supply - Vintage travel trailer parts and supplies! but many Fastenal stores have it as well (TremPro 636 "Vulkem" Polyurethane). We've got a local Fastenal just west of Peace Portal on Grandview, but I haven't tried them yet. I'm sure they can get it for you if they don't have it in stock.

cheers,
steve
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