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Old 02-19-2007, 04:24 PM   #381
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The bubble method of finding leaks is actually pretty easy to do. A couple of assumptions first. It works best when you have the inner skins and insulation out from between the walls. You will need a helper, an air compressor, and a container filled with a solution of water and dish washing liquid.

From inside the trailer, locate the general area of the leak. Charge up your air compressor and force air thru the seam where the leak shows up. Have your helper pour the water/dish soap solution along that seam from above the area where you think the leak may be coming from. The compressed air will cause the solution to bubble. Once all the “bubble areas” are found, clean very well and allow a dry for a day or so. Then seal that area and after a few days flood the outer seam with water and see if you found all of the areas for water in ingress (I haven’t yet!)

If anybody needs more info, let me know.

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Old 02-19-2007, 07:09 PM   #382
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I hate water leaks too!

Over the weekend I finished putting the foil insulation back in my walls. That was the queue to clean up the inside again so that I can get ready for installing the inner skins. To my consternation I found two places that had small puddles of water on the floor and no obvious source of the leak. Of course it is harder to track down now that the foil is in place. I too thought I had them all sealed up. At least my floor Polyboard subfloor is totally impervious to the water that has puddled up. If you want to drive an Airstreamer nuts jut drip a little water here and there on their floor from time to time...

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Old 02-19-2007, 09:31 PM   #383
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrzowt
Ryan,
When the weather claers, would you post some photos of both the Vulkum and Acryl-R work you did? I'm interested in the final look on each. I need to re-touch a few things.
Thanks, Dave
Dave, It may be July before the weather clears, so here's a rainy photo showing both products. Vulkem is above the window drip rail, and the Acryl-R is along the sides of the window and along the skin seam. The Acryl-R's silver color disappears when dry.

Hope this helps!

Ryan.

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Old 02-20-2007, 09:58 AM   #384
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim & Susan
Charge up your air compressor and force air thru the seam where the leak shows up.
how? what kind of nozzle? how do you direct the air into any specific seam?

I thought you were talking about the method that some rv shops use, that involved pressurizing the entire trailer, soaking the entire trailer exterior w/ soapy water, then examining the whole trailer for bubbles...Which would require covering certain known leaky items w/ plastic sheeting, like the roof a/c, maybe the roof vents, the front door...then there are so many other small areas that aren't air tight, like holes in the floor where pipes and wires pass through, etc...

I wonder if my 3hp compressor (that I use to power my nail gun, etc) has the capacity in terms of "volume" to do that...I was thinking maybe a leaf blower, which isn't nearly as high pressure, but much higher volume.
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:01 AM   #385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck
...

I thought you were talking about the method that some rv shops use, that involved pressurizing the entire trailer, ...

I wonder if my 3hp compressor (that I use to power my nail gun, etc) has the capacity in terms of "volume" to do that...I was thinking maybe a leaf blower, which isn't nearly as high pressure, but much higher volume.
You'll never get it sufficiently sealed to hold any pressure.

And if you did, a leaf blower is the right answer. Can you imagine the force of just 1/2 psi on so many square inches? Boom!

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Old 02-20-2007, 10:04 AM   #386
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OK, I see what you mean. I have a 30 gallon shop type compressor. It works at 90 psi (I think it is). It has a nozzle that can be used to simply blow air. Does that make sense?
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:08 AM   #387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r&kweber
Dave, It may be July before the weather clears, so here's a rainy photo showing both products. Vulkem is above the window drip rail, and the Acryl-R is along the sides of the window and along the skin seam. The Acryl-R's silver color disappears when dry.

Hope this helps!

Ryan.

Attachment 32644
Thanks Ryan, exactly what I was looking for.


Chuck,
After a fire we use a large fan to pressurize the structure to remove smoke. The method is to place the fan a few feet back from the door so that the cone of air coming from the fan completely covers the door. We then open a window on the far side, which exits the smoke.
In your case, don't open the window, leave the trailer closed up for added pressure. If you don't have a large fan you may try using a window with the screen off or your idea of a leaf blower may be valid. I don't suspect that it will take a lot of pressure to make bubbles, but you will need some volume.
Let us know if you try this how it works. It's great for smoke...
Dave
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:08 AM   #388
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelinium
You'll never get it sufficiently sealed to hold any pressure.
that's what I'm thinking...but don't RV shops do something like this? or is that only for newer trailers that aren't so well...um...."ventilated" as our vintage beauties?
Or perhaps they just have a big enough blower to do the job...
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Old 02-20-2007, 10:32 AM   #389
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As an alternate leak finding method, you can use an air compressor and the method described here.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:14 PM   #390
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I wonder if turning on all three of my Fantastic fans at the same time in the inward mode would generate enough air preasure inside to generate the bubbles even give the fact that there are various expected air leaks here and there? There are 4 or 5 speed positions and the lower settings seem to generate a fair amount of air volume. Has anyone tried this?

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Old 02-20-2007, 02:51 PM   #391
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We used the method very similar to the one Markdoane described. My air gun has a cone shaped rubber tip which we pressed against a rivet sized hole in the skin. Set the regulator to 60lb. and held it open. I used a thick soap solution in a bottle to find leaks in gas piping. The applicator has a large dauber that I ran along seams. I had many small bubbles along seams and a few large bubbles show up.

We decided against the leaf blower method, it would take a long time to set up ?? Someone suggested using a fog machine (ala Halloween) on the inside of the trailer and look for 'smoke' coming through seams. Might work?

Ryan.
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:45 PM   #392
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3 fantastic fans may do it if you duct tape any windows/doors to eliminate extra leaks.

I do think the leaf blower is viable if you run a flex tube from the blower to a cardboard window cut-out with a duct size hole cut in it.

A fog machine may work, but be careful. Some of the agents used to make the fog leave an awful yellow residue. One of our guys filled the fire station up with "smoke" and did some training. When they were through the station needed several hours of cleaning. There are some non-staining fogs out there.

The first person to try any of these ideas post them here to help everyone, it'll be interesting to see what does/doesn't work.
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Old 02-20-2007, 04:23 PM   #393
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idea

I don't know how effective this would be, but would a blow-drier with a "cool" setting help at all, just pointed at the test area? It would be easier to set up and handle, I'm not sure if it would blow with enough strength.
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Old 02-20-2007, 05:17 PM   #394
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If y'all haven't noticed, the staff is creating a lot of new sub forums lately. One of those new forums is "leaks". Dave, if you want, we can create a new thread there about this particular method of leak-finding and I can copy some of these posts over there. That way it will appear as it's own title/thread and will be easier for folks to find down the road.

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Old 02-20-2007, 05:21 PM   #395
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That's fine, if that works better. I don't know for sure that the fan/blower idea will work, going through the inner skins...

We probably are a little off topic here.

Dave
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Old 03-06-2007, 06:16 PM   #396
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Well, I gotta tell ya boys and girls. Safety is the key. I have managed to injure myself again. I finally got all the necessary parts to finish restoring the antenna yesterday. So what do I do? Gather it all up, climb up on the ladder and go to work. Climb up on the ladder, hummmm……

Seems after about the third or fourth trip up the thing, the feet aren’t in the right place any longer. And of course, I’m too dense to notice that particular fact. Down I come, arse over teakettle and land on my left shoulder. A friend of the family, Dr. Jodi decides to stop by the house on her way home last night and after a few choice words (moron, stupid, imbecile, etc) she says “if it still hurts really bad on Friday, come see me”. Oh well, at least Jodi didn’t resort to the Jeff Foxworthy routine that our 14 year old did. I’m beginning to feel like Tim “the tool man” Taylor. This is injury number two and I don’t even have the dang walls back in, yet. I’m typing with one hand for a few days, can ya tell?

Oh well, time to stop whining. Real information to follow.

Jim
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:47 PM   #397
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Andy at Inland RV sent me a PM saying that we should all be careful not to “over pressurize” the interior of our campers when looking for leaks (I’m using this, and paraphrasing, with his permission). Seems you can put too much pressure in the interior and create even more leaks in the process. Just as luck would have it, I saw a show on The Science Channel last week called “How It’s Made”. They profiled an SOB company building a camper using an internal pressure system to look for leaks. The description was “thin”, but they appeared to have a blower of some kind connected a roof vent that was bringing in outside air and creating a positive pressure inside the camper. At the same time, there were technicians outside spraying soapy water over the areas most likely to leak looking for the bubbles described in previous posts above. Food for thought.

I’ll have more tomorrow. Just too tired and sore at the moment.

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Old 03-06-2007, 07:56 PM   #398
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Ow

Ouch. I took a tumble off of the frame when I was tiptoeing across it to the back of the trailer. I banged myself hard when I slipped off, but I realized I could have easily broken a bone or smacked my head. Life's way of saying "take a breather". I'm glad you're OK, at least it sounds like it!
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:08 PM   #399
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Jim so sorry about the injury. Have a few beers and maybe it will feel better.
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Old 03-08-2007, 08:57 PM   #400
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air pressure

Hi Jim were back from Baja and it sounds like you have been having a good time working on the trailer. They are a lot of money but if you look around thay make ladders that have steps on both sides and are real heavy duty. I have 2 one is 8' and one is 6' and after putting in two new fantastic fans I am thinking about getting some more no matter how much they cost because I want to be laying around outside the Lab as we call it drinken a lot of cold ones without any pain. Hope you are OK. I did fall across a cool way to smooth out trempro sealant today. In the past I would just wet a finger and smooth it down but today I was on the roof and I had my spray bottle of soap water to air test for leaks and I put my finger in the soap water and shook it off and low and behold it worked great on the trempro. Stay on the steps. Dave
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