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Old 01-24-2013, 02:00 PM   #1
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1977 31' Excella 500
Los angeles , California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 201
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Rear end separation and tail lights

So I've concluded that my rear end separation wasn't leaky plumbing but leaky tail lights. If you have suspected any of this it could be a fairly easy fix and I'm sure this has been posted before. So the taillight cups come out (from the outside thank goodness) and you can probably put some vulkem around the cups but that would solve only half the problem. Also pinpoint around the beltline rub rail (top one) where water can gather and siphon on top of the taillight. I have some pretty big puddles sitting in my C Channel. Cool thing is you can attack most of this stuff from the outside of the trailer. I have a 77 excella and these taillights stick out quite a bit but I'm sure they happen on other ones as well. Note that this leak deposits directly at the main frame rail bolt/c channel connection so the rust just killed that whole critical point of connection and helped accelerate the separation as well as axles I'm sure. I'm not the original owner but after taking out the floor I could see that a lot of the rot only happened at the corners and the steel angle stock at the very rear of the trailer. Hope this helps but I'm sure I've seen posts on this before.

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Water stains where it enters taillight cup. It also enters around the taillight housing at the top

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You can probably seal around here with vulkem or similar sealant

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Water pools here and enters most like the main source of water entering the rear

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Pooled inside the C channel with nowhere to go but rust out the bolts and leak though to the subfloor
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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1977 31' Excella 500
Los angeles , California
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 201
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Here is an update in real time rain. Hope it helps. It's not a pretty sight for those of you that have these type of tail light assemblies so the easy assessment is removing the tail light cups and looking for the water corrosion on the cups and that would be a good indicator of problems to come.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:36 AM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,134
There are usually several leak paths on the rear of these trailers. You probably found one of them. My tail lights were leaking some. Mine have a gray plastic cup behind them but they still leaked a little. The big leak was above that plate on top of the bumper. Other leaks paths are window frames, awning mounts, sewer vents, and loose rivets. The bumper compartment is the main culprit on these trailers. The top plate funnels water under the floor and the bottom plate funnels water into the rear frame. Pull your belly trim at the back and look under there and you will see what I am talking about. Stopping leaks are one of the most challenging aspects to deal with and one that a wise man will make sure is complete before preceeding on to renovation of the inside. Keep on hunting leaks. The best way I have found is to remove the inner skins and sit out there finding leaks when it rains.

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