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Old 11-22-2013, 05:30 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1991 30' Airstream 30
Lake Luzerne , New York
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 50
Water in the tool draw? (300LE model)

On my 300 LE (1991) on the rear passenger side there is a sliding out draw with a thermoformed plastic lid which the PO used for tool and jack storage. I have found in even relatively dry weather (no or little rain) I find water accumulates in the bottom of this compartment? The top is dusty from road dirt, so I believe there is no water leaking down from inside the coach into the compartment (the water tank is above under a single bed). I am stumped! Are there any other models that have such a slide out draw and have you found water collects inside this compartment? All of the other lower storage compartments are dry.
Sebastian, have you noticed this on your 300? Any good Sherlock Holmes ideas?
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Old 11-22-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,689
Images: 1

Jim... and others who suffer this scourge!

There are many ways that water can get into the storage drawer, and you have covered a couple of them..
I have counted them...
In fact.... there are more than 50 holes in your average storage drawer... and any ONE of them can be the source... and I am NOT talking about the big one where you stow stuff!

Here is my $0.02.
I believe that the ABS tops that are screwed and mastic'd to the drawer structure are to blame...
The idea was sound, but the poor execution + time = Failure.
Here was one of mine before I redid them...

It rains... or you are washing your baby..
I have stood and watched this scenario in action....
Water runs down the bodyside UNTIL it reaches the drawer...
The water get drawn between the drawer outer skin and the steel frame, and runs down the INSIDE of the curved drawer skin.
Its hits the ABS drawer top, where there is a ditch built in to direct the water away..... But wait...
Airstream filled this ditch with MASTIC!
Look at mine!
This how it looks from a distance... looking from the inside out with the drawer removed.
I had removed the aluminum drawer lid...
See those foam rubber seals... USELESS.

Lets look closer...
See the huge pile of mastic against the outer skin?
See the wetness where the water has made it over the ditch?
See all the cracks and splits in the ABS top?
That is how the water gets in.

Other end as bad...

Under that mastic is the ditch that would save you from lots of leakage.... if it was done right... and the ABS top was not cracked..

Lets look at this again....
Red arrow is how the water getting into the drawer top should flow...
Blue arrow is what actually happens..

Step 1:
Seal the drawer against the skin to stop water being drawn into the joint by surface tension and capillary action...
Placing a simple Home Depot "D" shaped rubber seal as shown.
I curved the ends down, because I think it might help... but no proof yet.

Look closely at this picture...
Look at the top of the steel... See those water sediment stains?
That's where the water sits when this seal is not put there...

If this does not work...
Then you must remove the drawer... remove the ABS top... repair it with MEK/ABS slurry.... then reseal EVERY screw and joint.

I have refinished all of my drawers now...
I chose to polish the outer skins and bed liner the steel, inside and out.

I have not put the tops on yet... my ABS was in bad shape and I think I will make sheet aluminum tops instead.
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Old 11-23-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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1936 20' Clipper
1947 22' Liner
Curtis Wright
1989 37' Airstream 370
marshfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 768

You never cease to amaze me!!! But could you try to be a bit more thorough and include some pics and descriptions??

Good to see you back at it!

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Old 11-23-2013, 09:48 AM   #4
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Foothill Ranch , California
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 4,689
Images: 1
Thanks Charly... LOL.

Truth is that this info is all buried in my thread... I had the pictures already, just had to cut and paste a little.

I hope it explains the issue, but feel free to ask questions.
The replacement aluminum top is already dimensioned, and drawn out... I just need a bead roller and a sheet metal brake... and they are on my list!
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Old 11-23-2013, 04:54 PM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1991 30' Airstream 30
Lake Luzerne , New York
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 50
After I wrote you I found the link and while everything sounds right, but problem is that the Aluminum cover that fits to the ABS shaped flange, is always dusty on top - no sign of any moisture there, just inside I carry this 20 gallon fish tank with me - lucky there aren't any fish (yet?). I will shoot some pictures in the a.m. and see what you think. Appreciate your assistance! Jim
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