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Old 07-05-2013, 02:24 PM   #281
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woof, they will tell you the Airstream was leaked-checked at the factory. And it was.

Personal opinions:

Don't see a need for this on the new trailer because I believe it could pass the test and develop a leak on the way home. There may be contributing factors, rough roads or stiff suspension tow vehicles are suspect by some who repair trailers. I would use a tow vehicle capacity that closely matches the Airstream size, not too small and not too big.

The greatest disappointment with a new Airstream are leaks and corrosion.

On my new Airstream I did not trust the foam seals on exterior fittings, so I masking-taped and sealed them on the top and both sides, leaving the bottom unsealed for possible drainage. Watch the pano windows for leaks along the inside bottom sills at the curve. Use a moisture detection meter quarterly to probe through the vinyl floor at the sides to see if plywood subfloor is damp.

Corrosion will happen at exterior rivets, panel edges, fittings, and wheels. Also steel underbody components. As soon as I brought it home, I sprayed the underbody steel with Boeshield T-9 which leaves a paraffin wax residue on them. I sprayed all the exterior rivets, panel edges, fittings, and wheels with CorrosionX and wipe off the excess. Do quarterly. If at the ocean or on salted roads, wash and do again when home. The exterior panel surfaces are protected with a clear coat finish before manufacture, but wherever this is cut or drilled, corrosion can/will happen.

Routine quarterly maintenance is easy and can save you disappointment in the future. Don't wait for leaks and corrosion to do damage. Ownership of anything requires care to keep it nice, Airstream is no different.

doug k

Ok, Ive read through 75% of this thread...spooky stuff...

My new 2014 30' bunkhouse is on order for late october.

I want to be as diligent as possible to watch for and catch any leaks...especially before said leak could do damage.

And also, if I catch such a leak in warranty period, I am guaranteed to get fixed at no cost to me...which obviously is ideal.

Any advice for me at pickup of the trailer and going forward as to how to watch for leaks (besides what doug wrote above)?

I am still figuring out if I will have my covered storage built by delivery date...but WORST case scenario would by by march 2014....not that it will never get rained on, it will, when we use it of course.

The prospect of pulling over and waiting for rain to pass seems a good idea, but really impracticle...

You can bet you bottom that I will be on the lookout for leaks! Our model has no pano. windows...not that other windows cannot/will not leak....

Im glad that such threads are out here...keeps me grounded at least....

How good are these leak detectors? Which one is recommended?

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-05-2013, 03:25 PM   #282
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Ok, Ive read through 75% of this thread...spooky stuff...


How good are these leak detectors? Which one is recommended?

Thanks for any advice!
One of my posts in page 17 has a link to the meter I bought. It works fine for me. Note that even if you keep out of the rain, the dew off the skin in the morning and plumbing leaks can get you. The first thing I'd do after warranty or if service is required for moisture is to slit the reflectix under the floor to allow moisture to escape when not if it enters.

Brad
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Old 07-05-2013, 04:08 PM   #283
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Answers following questions below in bold/italics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PharmGeek View Post
Ok, Ive read through 75% of this thread...spooky stuff...

My new 2014 30' bunkhouse is on order for late october.

Any advice for me at pickup of the trailer and going forward as to how to watch for leaks (besides what doug wrote above)?

I'd plan to spend about three hours going over every inch of every seam on top and on the sides (where any item is mounted on the exterior such as windows, doors, water heater, belt line molding, etc.) to look for visible gaps and absence of sealant. I'd also be tempted to seal every exterior seam with Acryl-R as a preventive measure!

I am still figuring out if I will have my covered storage built by delivery date...but WORST case scenario would by by march 2014....not that it will never get rained on, it will, when we use it of course.

A travel trailer (any brand, any model) should be able to withstand some exposure to the elements. Covered storage will be better in the long run for many reasons, but shouldn't be mandatory. I would prioritize the covered storage construction, but I also wouldn't sweat this issue.

The prospect of pulling over and waiting for rain to pass seems a good idea, but really impracticle...

You're right, impractical and paranoid!

You can bet you bottom that I will be on the lookout for leaks! Our model has no pano. windows...not that other windows cannot/will not leak....

Im glad that such threads are out here...keeps me grounded at least....

How good are these leak detectors? Which one is recommended?

A moisture meter can be helpful, but just pulling back the vinyl and looking for discoloration, smelling for mildew and feeling the subfloor surface with your fingers will all suffice if done at some regular interval. Let's say every three months. Put it on your calendar as a recurring pop-up reminder on a quarterly basis. Initially, most of us will be very vigilant. It's just that in the long run, many things demand our attention and your new trailer will be one of numerous things that need attention.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old 07-05-2013, 05:24 PM   #284
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Answers following questions below in bold/italics.
Excellent - thanks!
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Old 07-05-2013, 06:03 PM   #285
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Damaged wood floor can be repaired at times. I used Git-Rot to repair this dinner plate size area.


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Old 07-05-2013, 06:06 PM   #286
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Old 07-06-2013, 08:33 AM   #287
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We use a Sonin Moisture Detection Meter, under $30 at Amazon, during regular quarterly inspections/maintenance of the trailer. You can check the perimeter in minutes by probing through the vinyl into the plywood subflooor. I found one leak below a loose entrance door hinge, no other indications, easy fix.

Sonin 50211 Rapitest 10% to 28% Pinless Analog Wood, Concrete, Plaster, Carpet, and More Moisture Meter - Amazon.com

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Old 07-06-2013, 08:45 AM   #288
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Cool - ill buy one for sure

Is it possible I check for leaks as such and still miss a leak? Or is this method pretty much iron clad?
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:02 AM   #289
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Nothings iron clad but you really improve your chances.

doug k
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:45 AM   #290
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Here's the one I mention in my post on page 17 of the thread: http://www.amazon.com/General-Tools-...moisture+meter It works well for me. Re: Iron clad

The difference between this and the previous listing is this has a digital read out and you have to set a " hold" feature to take the reading and get the meter back to your face to read. The one Doug listed is analog but allows you to measure in tight places and still see the meter. Either will work. I like the digital because I keep a list of locations of past measurements in my binder to watch the percentage of moisture over time. If the moisture rises and falls the same amount in all measurement locations then it's probably not a leak and is just the wood adjusting to the relative humidity of the environment.


As Doug said, nothing is Iron clad but between measurement and yearly close inspection of the shell seams you should be able to mitigate most leaks. BTW: The term is "Aluminum Clad" 'round here!

Best of Luck

Brad
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:50 AM   #291
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"aluminum clad"

Hahaha - man I'm a noob
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Old 07-06-2013, 09:52 AM   #292
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Would e nice if it had a probe on a wire for easier maneuvering - but looks nice!
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #293
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Thank you for all your helpful posts & Pics.

Just working through similar issues on my 2008 25 FB SE. Wet but no rot I don't think. Thanks to you & others alerting m to this discouraging problem.

-evan

Hi again,

During our Spring camping trip down the Oregon/ California coasts my wife & I encountered a fair bit of rain & had the usual frustrations with water accumulating in the Front & Rear window wells but no other obvious water leaks. We started talking about replacing the nasty shag type carpet in the bedroom & talked about converting our Queen FB to twins to give a little more room & better sleeps... thus I came back to the forum to search on flooring options only to find that topic was not what kind of floor to put in but how to deal with "Rot"!

"Yikes" says I. Could we be afflicted too? Since we were going to replace the floor I took the plunge & cut into the vinyl near the dinette. Sure enough, the plywood was soaking wet! No rot but clearly there were big problems with water entry.


Since then in late April, I believe that I have spent 500 + hours working on my Airstream. There were at least 4-5 different routes of water entry contributing to the problem. Once I started pulling the unit apart, it prompted a whole lot of other work...

I will be posting a more complete blog of what I have done but here are a few pics showing how much water was trapped in the floor.







The trim taken off by Rear bumper - no caulk; just dirt & water on the foil.


Hmmm...I wonder where that foil goes?

Cutting into the under floor insulation revealed a virtual geyser...


Water was coming in through the bumper wall interface. The Starboard Rear tail light was incorrectly installed & had a major 2-3 cm wide gap between the inside wall & the housing. (I forgot to photograph it unfortunately.) Water was coming down the inside wall from the front & back windows and also Port side front area near the GVWR stickers where the belly band had no caulk. Similar smart design as the rear bumper.

Anyways,

I will post more about my various 'fixes' but it has been an adventure. Our unit is now back on the road. I really like it & hope I have it fixed but I do think that the Airstream design & assembly team need a big slap up the back of the head. If I performed my work as shoddily as they seem to, I would out of a job.

Thanks for posting all this good information folks. You saved my trailer.

-evan



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Old 07-13-2013, 03:34 PM   #294
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Read the first few posts and just said Dang! we went through a similar thing with our trailer. Airstream would not admit to the poor design of the front access hatch of our 27' FB. hope it all works out.
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Old 07-13-2013, 04:20 PM   #295
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Don't forget "gitrot". Good product for absorbing into weakened/porous wood fibers. Tightened up our small problem areas really well.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:41 AM   #296
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Don't forget "gitrot". Good product for absorbing into weakened/porous wood fibers. Tightened up our small problem areas really well.

HI Channing,

I treated the floor Topside & Underside with Rot Doctor for 'insurance purposes' - peace of mind. I'm glad to say that there was no visible rot or softening but I wanted to be sure to resist rot if there was any further intrusion. Fingers crossed, I hope there won't be now.

-evan
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #297
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Kewl!!! That is good stuff too if you caught in time
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Old 07-15-2013, 10:41 PM   #298
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As the wood was pretty much intact I just used Prestone Antifreeze (Ethylene Glycol) as a first treatment which mixes easily with moisture in the wood and kills the fungi and then dried it out and applied CPES™ Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer as detailed earlier in the thread. Time will tell how it works but my research suggests that it will be just fine. - Brad
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:41 AM   #299
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I appreciate your posting your experience Brad (SuperTrouper).

I used some of your ideas to deal with my wet floors.

As I previously posted, the rear floors of my 25 FB were soaking wet with the underfloor foil bubblewrap insulation trapping the water there.

The rear bumper trim had no caulking at all and there was free entry of water through the Starboard rear taillight assembly. I also found water coming in through the rear & front window wells.

After pulling up the vinyl & removing the belly sheet metal, I let things dry out for a few days.




I ordered some Rot doctor & treated the floors liberally.




http://eheffa.zenfolio.com/img/s9/v91/p1861911116-3.jpg

In anticipation of mounting foam insulation under the floor, I wanted something to keep the insulation away from direct contact with the wood. I did not have redwood available to me & wanted to use something inert. I found some vinyl outdoor lattice trim & used this as spacers:


I then screwed the foam/foil insulation to the floor with the spacers keeping them from contact with the wood.







I then used your idea of inspection ports & did the same thing with marine screw on access ports.




The bumper & all the belly band trim was caulked with liberal amounts of Sikaflex & reapplied with Dum-Dum caulk beneath the trim as well.



Time will tell I guess but I am hopeful that the leaks are fixed.

I will post a few pictures of my modifications to the window wells in a separate post. (I opted to install drains as I was not confident I could totally prevent the windows weeping water while underway or when in heavy rain storms.)

-evan
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Old 07-25-2013, 08:23 PM   #300
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Very nice work and quickly done as well! - Brad
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