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Old 09-15-2009, 07:50 PM   #1
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1978 25' Caravanner
Toledo , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Tradewind floor damage in rear

I am new to this forum, so I hope this is the right place to raise my question.

I have a 1978 Tradewind, which I have towed over 20,000 miles over the past three years.

I have done much of the refurbishing myself, and it seems to be towing beautifully.

However, this year I found a leak in the rear closet. (It is a 25' Shower bath.) The camper was stored with the front high, and water had run back to the right rear, and rotted the very back of the closet floor. I am still looking for the leak, but that is another story.

I need to be able to see what is going on underneath. There is a panel on the bottom, which I think is for insulation, but I am not sure. I cannot find it in my service manual. It is pop riveted on the sides, and has 6 (I think) screws running the width of the camper screwed into the bottom.

To take that off, I will need to remove the screws and the rivets. Can anyone tell me what those screws go into? Are they holding anything other than the bottom panel?

I have spent a lot of time reviewing posts here, looking for a picture of how that is all put together, and have found nothing so far.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 09-15-2009, 08:39 PM   #2
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I have a 75 Trade Wind and the only area in the rear with screws is the plate that attach to form the bottom of the rear bumper storage area. It runs all the way to the bottom edge of the trailer and has no rivets at the end. A previous owner may have removed a piece of the pan to get to the dump valves or some other item in the rear on your trailer.

Floor rot along the rear of the trailer is not uncommon in the 70's units. The design of the rear bumper allows water to run off of the storage compartment and run onto the floor. Running a bead of vulkem along the space between the bumper compartment and the body should prevent this from happening. There are also numerous other things that might cause this.

I noticed that I had the beginning signs of rot on mine in that area, but the wood was still very solid. I treated mine with a 2 part product called rot doctor. It made the wood even more solid and also protected it from any further water damage. I also sealed the area between the lower belt line and the skin which is another place where water can enter this area.


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Old 09-16-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
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1978 25' Caravanner
Toledo , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 13
Thanks for the response. It does help. I have sealed the area you call the beltline, as I thought that was where the water was coming in. I have found a couple of other places, but the most likely one now is the space between the bumper and the body.

The bolts confuse me. There are 4 bolts, on the right (passenger) side of the camper, about 6 inches from the reat. They only extend perhaps two feet, i.e. they do not go across the whole camper. I guess I will remove them and discover what they hold, but I do not like to be so adventuresome.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:23 PM   #4
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1978 25' Caravanner
Toledo , Ohio
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 13
I talked to Airstream a while ago, and I think they have pointed out that the piece I am looking at is the Holding Tank Pan. I do not see any sign of a belly pan, at least I cannot separate the two. So, I am going to try to clean it good, caulk the area between the body and the bumper, and see if that seals it. I am really not eager to see what is under there anyway. If I can stop the leak, then I will be happy, although I do worry about the condition of the floor. This model has a back closet, and the closet has rotted aout 4 inches from the bumper. The rest of the floor seems solid. Hopefully, the rest of the things under there are ok.
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Old 09-16-2009, 06:38 PM   #5
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How large is the rot area? Does it extend all the way to the wall? A small area in the middle of a panel can be patched. A small area that exends to the wall will involve the C channel and may require more work. A large area may involve floor panel replacement which is significantly more work. I also used Rot Doctor as above post with good results to stabilize wood that is starting to show signs of water damage and rot, and areas adjacent to advanced rot, but it won't fix advanced rot.
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:47 AM   #6
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1978 25' Caravanner
Toledo , Ohio
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Well, I found part of the leak. It was as azflycaster suggested, between the bumper and the body. It seem the pan for the Auxilary and Main wate tanks covers from the wheel all the way back to the end of the camper. The bolts I was concerned about are into that pan. I still do not understand what they hold, but I did not remove the pan, or those bolts. I suspect they hold the drain valve for the main tank.

Now, I have a leak higher up. somwhere above the trim which runs just below the window. I suspect the tail lights. I have sealed the running lights, and the window.

The rot is not too bad. It is primarily a section about 5 inches square, in the back corner of the closet. I think it will be ok, although when I get the leak stopped, I will research some options to stop the rot.

Thanks for the help.
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