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Old 08-22-2014, 04:25 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
Strafford , New Hampshire
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 13
Plumbing/flood Problem What to do????

Okay, I finally was able to fulfill a long time dream to purchase a vintage airstream.
I bought a 1963 Flying Cloud. It was my solution to a homeless situation. I sold my home and I have not found a new one yet. Since you can't find an apartment with a dog and if you did you pay through the nose. So why not buy the airstream and live in it till the fall when i find a new place??? This was my solution
Well it is 51 years old, even though the systems all work, living in it full time pushed the limit a bit.

I went home the other night during an unusual heavy rain. It had rained before with no leaks. Not this night, there were flood warnings!!!! So when I opened the door the floor was covered in water. The dog looked at me and was like "something is not right. As I looked at the roof expecting to find a huge problem I found that it was dry as a bone. One tiny leak in one of the vents but no way could it be the problem.
The water was coming in under the front couch at an alarming rate. I am a newbie so I am still thinking that it is rain coming in through a seam on the side. It was a driving rain so my mind did not leave this as the source. I sat and started to find a place for Oliver (the dog) and I to go. Again, not many places to go with a dog in a rain storm. The hotels were booked so after two hours of trying to figure things out and finding a place to stay, we abandoned ship.
It occurred to me at 4:00am that it was not rain and it had to be a plumbing problem. Sure enough I go back to the camper (rain had stopped) but the water was leaking out from the bottom of the camper. I quickly turned off the water.
Now we are a week later and I have pulled apart the camper (as much as I can as I do not have a place to work on it other then at the campsite). I inspected the plumbing expecting a huge blow out but did not find one.
The floor is ruined, but not a huge deal as I was going to replace it.
My concern it the underbelly. Could this be full of water??? What do I need to do to find out short of ripping the aluminum away?? Can I just go through the floor boards?
Has anyone had a similar Problem??? If so what did you do? I would kindly appreciate any help.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:05 PM   #2
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mimiandrews's Avatar
1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 1,653
Water in the belly pan will leak out by itself. The insulation in there will be wet, but that should be all.

Find the leak in the plumbing--compressed air is useful if you can make an adapter to put 30 or so psi into the water inlet. Much less cleanup compared to testing with water.

Fix the leak when you find it. There are lots of fittings at HD and Lowe's that will join two pieces of copper pipe.

When you do your floor repair, consider replacing the water lines with PEX. We did that a few years ago, and have been completely happy with that decision.

Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:30 PM   #3
1 Rivet Member
Strafford , New Hampshire
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 13
Thanks for your reply.
I had nightmares of moving to new location with a belly full of water.
I have done a quite a bit to dry things out.
I will have to find the leak before winter so I can winterize the lines.
Let me know if you can think of anything else I should be thinking of.
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