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Old 09-08-2014, 06:34 PM   #1
New Member
2007 25' Safari SS SE
Naperville , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Water leaks from panels underneath Airstream

We have a 2007 Airstream Safari SE and noticed that the last few times we have picked it up after it has been stored outdoors, there is water leaking from the panels underneath the trailer. I have been on top of the trailer looking for a break in the sealant to see if perhaps water is getting in through the top and running down the sides, but can't find anything. Is it possible that the water is getting in through the rear storage compartment where it meets the trailer? Help.
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Old 09-18-2014, 03:35 PM   #2
Rivet Master
1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,142
Yes that rear compartment is a problem. I don't know on your newer trailer but on the older ones the bottom of that compartment for the sewer hose is also the skin on the bottom of the trailer. Any water that gets under the skin will find a way out. The top part of that plate funnels water into your sub floor. There have been a few of your vintage that have had no caulk at the back and they end up with a rotten floor. You better get a moisture detector and see if the rear floor is wet under the floor covering.

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Old 09-20-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Courtenay , British Columbia
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 4
Rear Bumper compartment a problem

This is my first post. Perry is right, the bumper compartment is a problem. I'm in the process of replacing a section of the plywood subfloor after finding a soft spot. After removing the lower panels of the inner skin and the Belly or Banana band I found that the plate to which the flip up door is hinged extends in under the rear wall just below the "C" channel that fits over the edge of the plywood. There was no caulking at this seam nor was there any Butyl tape behind the Banana band so water flows in underneath the plywood and collects on the underbelly. It also wicks in on the bubble wrap that AS uses for insulation getting trapped between the plywood and bubble wrap.

My local RV repair man was familiar with area in question and suggested I use a Polyurethane sealant made for the auto industry which I picked up from an auto parts store. It is designed for metal seams under stress and vibration. I caulked the seam along the wall and also where the plate sits on the trailer frame rails. I hope this helps. I've attached a couple of photos.

I've found this Forum to be an invaluable tool. Thanks.

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Old 09-20-2014, 11:00 PM   #4
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2008 27' Safari FB SE
Akins , Oklahoma
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 60
Images: 20
The dreaded no caulk beneath the trim top of the rear bumper trunk leak. Lots of repair procedures posted in lots of places on the forum. Airstream really botched this and never came clean on it for almost all cases. So simple to have done it correctly and they didn't. Just a sorry thing to do for something that costs as much as one of these things does.

Courtenay and others show how to fix it right down to the last detail by pulling the trim strip, caulking the top of the trunk and then putting the trim strip back on.

There is also the element of having to fix the floor rot if it is rotted.

I needed to get mine fixed in a hurry (rainy season and all that) and didn't want to pull the trim strip so I just laid a bead of Sikaflex along the bottom outside of the trim. Problem solved. No more leak. I'll pull the trim later and fix it by concealed caulk but it seems the top and bottom of the trim should be caulked anyway on the outside.

The plywood rot wasn't terrible but the floor was weak over about 9" of that last little strip of ply. I soaked the area with Clear Penetrating Epoxy then leveled it off with Bondo and sanded it smooth. Strong enough. The belly is dry and I need to fix the worn through rivets so I'll do that next. I didn't want to go through that whole ordeal of cutting out the last strip of ply and wrestling a new one in.

Hose the area down with clorox solution to kill the mold if there is any and there probably is some if there is a leak.

Best of success.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:02 PM   #5
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2007 25' Safari SS SE
Naperville , Illinois
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 4
Thank you for your replies! We have ordered caulk and butyl tape (and I think a moisture meter is next) and will plan to do the repairs before the hunting trip next month!
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Old 09-21-2014, 01:01 PM   #6
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2009 23' FB Flying Cloud
Canmore , Alberta
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1,762
Images: 6
Also consider dropping the rear section of belly pan to allow access to the rear 4-6 feet of the underside of the floor. (It may also be necessary to remove the rear stabilizers.)

Check a few spots for moisture between the floor and the reflective (i.e. impermeable) insulation. If wet cut out the reflective insulation. This can be replaced by one inch foam board insulation. IMO, there is no need to attach the foam insulation to the floor, let it rest on the frame, or on the belly pan (glue on pieces of foam spacer to leave draining space).

This will also give you a chance to paint the floor bottom, and spray the frame members with anti-rust compound.

It sounds like a big job, but not really. A few hours is all that's required, plus drying time if wet.
Bob and Nancy
Cheer Up, Slow Down, Chill Out!
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