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Old 05-16-2007, 05:27 PM   #1
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uneasy airstreamer cryin' again

For those of you who are not familiar with my tale of woe, check out Uneasy Airstreamer thread in the Member Introduction forum. I am too weary to repeat my sad tale of my Airstream ownership thus far. Suffice it to say, it has been too leaky to believe.

I am assuming you are now up to date on its history.
And now I will continue. I went to check out my trailer today in the lot where we store it to see if all was dry inside as it should be...and...
WE HAVE ANOTHER LEAK!!!!

We can't use it, we can't sell it...all we can do is pay for it!
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:29 PM   #2
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It sounds like you financed your purchase... If you bought it from a dealer, go to the bank, tell them you bought a lemon and must return it, cancel the loan, etc. See what they say. Cut your losses and buy an older Airstream.
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Old 05-16-2007, 06:47 PM   #3
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Anne, sorry to hear this is still happening. I did have leaks over a window and from the toilet exhaust fan that the dealer sealed effectively the first time. I didn't get the skylight option. Other easy sources could be from any of the windows, door, Fantastic Fan, air conditioner and front vent. Are you seeing them from anywhere else?

This is still under warranty in the greatest likelihood. Warranty fix-ups are pretty normal during the first shakedown (literally) season or two. There should be a finite list of causes and it is all the dealer's responsibility. I wrapped up my warranty work just last week after 20 months of ownership and am very happy. Have you had it back to the dealer and are they able to address these issues? How close is your dealer?
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:14 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear that. Bob is right, keep dragging it back there until they beat all the bugs out of it.

So where is it leaking now?
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Old 05-16-2007, 07:27 PM   #5
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An older coach isn't necessarily the answer. I have a trailer that was refurbished partially by David Winnick, and it leaks. There is vulkem everywhere, and it leaks. I have no idea why, and am pretty upset considering the sizeable amount. I cant camp in it unless it isnt raining. I also need to find somewhere indoors to keep it so it stays dry.

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Old 05-17-2007, 07:09 AM   #6
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Greetings all,
Just in case you all don't know this yet,...............they all leak, no matter what anyone says. We are in the process of replacing the rear floor area in a 02 22' Airstream at the moment. It has an OSB floor (wood chips glued together) which swells when water is applied. Why Airstream decided to build with this garbage is anyones guess. Anyway, We have a machine called a "Sealtech 430R" that we use to detect leaks. It is basically a very large squirrel cage fan & duct arrangement that sucks air in through one of the ceiling vents & pressurizes (low pressure) the interior of the trailer. Then we spray a soap solution all over the exterior of the trailer & watch for bubbles forming. We used this machine on the 02 & found several leaks in the rear end roof area that have probably been there since new.
Another client brought in his 61 Bambi several weeks ago for an axle replacement & he told me "my trailer doesn't leak". We ran the machine on it & found that virtually every seam blew bubbles. We called it the "inverted sieve". We sealed it up with vulkem & retested & found a few other minor leaks. It is now leak free! We will test it again next year as part of the ongoing routine maintenance. Floor rot destroys these trailers in a very short time!
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:53 AM   #7
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Here Here Colin!

The 1958 SOTR, leaks from Colin - that is because we are polishing it and have not sealed the seams yet - and it'll be parked in a barn until completed too! I know where the leaks are coming in, and if we do take it out, you bet I will have a towel sitting there. I am thankful Colin soaked the new ply in weather seal, and that its real ply - not this OSB stuff. Once we seal it, you can bet I take it to Colin for this test! A few hundred dollar test to prevent lose of a $40k trailer - you bet!
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Old 05-17-2007, 07:56 AM   #8
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Hey, Colin:

what's it cost for this type of diagnostic service?

I wonder if there is any kind of "home-brew" method for pressurizing the interior, for those of us who are (either too cheap, or) too far away from such a machine.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:15 AM   #9
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one exception to "they all leak" - my Argosy is tight as a drum... the PO lived in Illinois and it has enough rust on the outside to indicate that it was not stored indoors. The interior is without evidence of any leaks. and yes - i am nearly done in removing all of the exterior rust.
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:15 AM   #10
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Can we see pictures of your leaky unit???
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Old 05-17-2007, 08:51 AM   #11
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We use a Seal Tech machine here to find leaks...It pressurizes the cabin and the guys spray a soapy liquid around problem areas from the outside...bubbles appear where the leaks are so it really helps us to narrow down our search and pinpoint the problem area...

You might check and see if your dealer in Canada has one of these or can get his hands on one.

G
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:02 AM   #12
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Hello...We did our own home version of the leak test.. Hubby was on the inside of the trailer and I was on the outside with the soapy water.. he had the aircompressor and used it going around the front window where we knew there was a leak but could not track it down.. worked like a dream.. We will use the same method for Costalotta 2 when we start the redo next week..
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:17 AM   #13
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hmmmm.... just wondering..... Could we turn both of our Fantastic Fans to "in" and pressurize the AS enough for the leak test to work? Wouldn't a great deal of the pressurized air exit through large openings like the refrigerator vents and furnace vent? Or would the fans produce enough air pressure for leaking seams to show with a bubble test? What do you think?
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:27 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wbrownrr
hmmmm.... just wondering..... Could we turn both of our Fantastic Fans to "in" and pressurize the AS enough for the leak test to work? Wouldn't a great deal of the pressurized air exit through large openings like the refrigerator vents and furnace vent? Or would the fans produce enough air pressure for leaking seams to show with a bubble test? What do you think?
I have used a electric leaf blower on a boat, works great.
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Old 05-17-2007, 09:39 AM   #15
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Thumbs down

Sorry to hear about all the problems you've had with your new unit. I know some things can happen in transit, but I have to say this...given the number of leaks you've had, I question seriously if the factory's leak test is all that great and or if the QC crew is out to lunch. One person on the forums went to see theirs built. On the QC checklist they checked several things on the sheet that the unit either didn't have or wasn't inspected, yet checkmarked "good to go". As an example, the nameplate on the end caps, checkmarked on and straight, yet there was no name lettering on the coach at all................

Mine had a leak too that the current test didn't catch that was caused by the folks on the line not caulking the wheel well.

I myself have been fairly disappointed in both my 2003 and 2004 Airstreams for a number of reasons. I think the comment that was made, dump the current unit and get a vintage makes the most sense to me. At least you know you'll put some work into it and know what to expect. It's just downright shameful what I see happening to your unit and the many other units in the QC threads I've read about.
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:04 AM   #16
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My '72 leaked in a couple of places after it was stripped and re-clearcoated because of the heat damage from the fire on the movie set. Oasis who did the strip and re-clearcoat said that they had sealed all the seams but I guess they missed a few places. I was extremely fortunate that Lewster was staying here when it came back and he could re-vulkem the leaky spots. It does take a certain touch. Now, it's tight as a drum. For a situation as bad as the one described I'd guess the rig is probably a lemon.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:35 AM   #17
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It seems to be leaking from the top of the front window, down through the screen and we had little drops of water hanging from the bottom ledge of the window, one on the left and one on the right. Nice and symetrical.
Oh yeah, and the carpet is wet again.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:47 AM   #18
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We are just a ten minute drive to the dealer and to pick up our trailer and haul it to there takes maybe forty minutes. They have been really good about all this but the service guy looked very depressed when we turned up there yesterday and told him about the new leak.
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Old 05-17-2007, 11:57 AM   #19
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I'll see if I can dig a picture up and then I'll see if I can put it up. I am a novice with this stuff.
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Old 05-17-2007, 12:04 PM   #20
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sealing a leaky AS

I saw the interesting response from Arkansa AS on using a special appliance to locate and seal AS leaks. I am still searching for my "perfect" AS. I was not aware until today that AS trailers suffer from leaks also. I just looked at one recently (a 1987) and decided to pass on it after noticing the leaks. My concern based on my previous ownership of two non-AS trailers that developed leaks, is that there is more to fixing a leak than just sealing the leak. In my case, it resulted in floor and wall damage, mold and wet insulation. I replaced all of that and got rid of the mold after airing it out and washing with chlorine. No one has mentioned that as being a part of an AS leak fix/repair? Would the insulation on an AS not get wet and create mould within the two walls?
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