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Old 09-29-2010, 06:59 AM   #101
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Thought I fixed the leak at the back wall.....?? Still leaking. HELP!

So, I removed the back trim between the bumper and the back of the airstream. Found a large uncaulked gap. My 1979 rear bath, 25' tradewind was leaking badly only the sub floor at the interior back wall. (See pictures and prior posts in this same Forum) I double caulked it waited for it to dry then rivited the trim strip back on. I am still getting a bit of water seeping in on either side right on top of the two steel frame bars that come from the bumber up under the bathroom floor and continue down the Airstream. (I can see these because the sub floor is removed from those two small areas)
My question is.... Is there another way the water can be getting in? I can not locate another way. I have sealed the tail lights above, the other two top seams above, the bathroom fan ven, the plumbing vent gasket... you name it.
What do I do next? I am stumped.... Pretty sure the rear bumber to back wall is sealed good.
Thanks! As usual, any tips are greatly appreciated.

Lynn
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Old 09-30-2010, 07:59 AM   #102
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Originally Posted by SilverCottage View Post
As many others have stated this is a serious problem. I've looked at the mitre joints on the rear pano and they seem fine. As well, I've tapped on the floor under the dinette and it seems solid.

My question...what is the best way to determine if my 3 year old trailer has the leakage that seems to be so prevalent?

Thank you for a very informative thread.

Just keep an eye on it. Feel along the edges of that wall - between the vinyl flooring & wall. I found mine under the seat opposite the door. Had to crawl around a bit.
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Old 09-30-2010, 08:45 PM   #103
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Port Ludlow , Washington
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Thanks, Glenamoy, I took time to read everything on the thread. It all points to being vigilant about detecting water leaks and acting promptly. My leak was from an ill-fitting gasket at the storage area up front. We traveled last week through the rainstorm that drove Minnesotans from their homes. Water constantly thrown up by the TV wheels made its way into the compartment, where carpeting and foam padding, covered with visquine, soaked up and stored water which then wicked into the bedroom. I cut out all the material in that compartment to the bare wood and threw it away. In a French language Home Depot in Quebec (not much English spoken here!) I found a space heater and some weatherstripping. With heat and less carpet, the wood began drying out We are in New Brunswick now, with wet weather still threatening - but things are dry. The gasket seal leaves a large gap in one corner - I've used the stick-on weather strip as a temp fix. Calls to Airstream not yet returned. That compartment is much more serviceable without carpeting!

Now I'm watching the mitered joints at the rear window for caulking failure, and testing the vinyl flooring under the dinette!
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Old 11-05-2010, 03:12 PM   #104
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The nightmare is finally over

I picked up my trailer, at long last, today. It has been almost 4 months to the day from when I first noted the rot under the dinette. A whole season of camping lost, and countless hours being the squeaking wheel.

Airstream made good on the repairs, after all the give and take noted in earlier postings here. Working through my local shop, they replaced the floor, resealed the leaking mitre joints on the panos, resealed the leaks in the bumper trim, and resealed one pano that was leaking within its frame. Another leak developed on the roof while the trailer was in the shop, and that too was fixed (leaking rivet on the roof). I was left to pay for the inside vinyl floor replacement.

The real cost was the time the trailer was not in use...four months amortized over the useable life of the trailer is not insignificant.

I chatted with the Airstream rep a little while ago. I suggested that A/S place some clear warnings--frank and direct--in their user's manual about the constant and serious danger from leaking. Their product is inherently unstable with regard to leaks at seams...there seems to be no way around that fact. I don't know if I would buy another one--I'd have to think long and hard about it--but I know their user's manual is worthless on the subject of leaks; nowhere does it mention what could happen to the floor, and how little water it would take to ruin the plywood. The mitre joints at the panoramic windows are notoriously leaky, but they seem to have cured this problem in new models, where those joints are welded. Finally, the bumper strip seems also problematic. On the A/S factory's recommendations, my shop sealed that trim both top and bottom.

By the way, the A/S rep recommended the following for exterior seals:
Windows etc: Sikaflex 221 . It has a grey color.
Roof: Sikaflex 721. It is white in color, and has an added UV inhibitor.
I now have some Sikaflex on hand, and will check the trailer each time it goes out.

Finally, one more tip. My shop punched a few small holes in the aluminum insulation material that rests beneath the plywood, while the plywood was out. There was water pooled in that insulation from the water test, as there was no way out for it....the insulation is water tight and holds the water against the plywood. The shop said the holes would allow the water to drain into the belly pan, where there were natural ways for it to exit.

Good luck...and be vigilant with your seams!
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:14 AM   #105
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The shop said the holes would allow the water to drain into the belly pan, where there were natural ways for it to exit.

Your belly pan has drain holes in it? Mine holds water like a bathtub.

Gary
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:32 AM   #106
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Hmmm....I was told that there are no holes in mine either....but that there are places along the edges that will let water slosh out when the trailer is in motion. Anybody know anything about that? My repairers have been pretty much right on with everything else they have done....but these trailers are tricky!
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:38 PM   #107
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Hmmm....I was told that there are no holes in mine either....but that there are places along the edges that will let water slosh out when the trailer is in motion.
Hahahaha! That's funny . . .
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:59 PM   #108
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glen', I found a front pano window leak not at the mitre joint, but at the junction of frame and glass, almost all the way around. Look closely and you will see the very thin amount of sealant here. Apparently with age and vibration, the thin sealant begins to separate from the aluminum frame allowing water to seep through. I taped the seam allowing about 1/16" of glass and aluminum to show, and applied sealant all around so that it extends onto the glass and aluminum. Removing the tape carefully before drying allows a clean edge and no more leak.

Doug
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Old 11-07-2010, 06:59 PM   #109
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we have a 25ft inter fb same leak we puled back the vinyl bleached the floor and the vinyl (didn't get the stain out) sealed the back bumper area and sealed all around the unit. I also checked the windows. I wish I had been reading this and had taken photos but I was to busy fixing my unit. I do believe that A.S. should stand behind this seeing as this is not a isolated problem. I will be in touch with them next week. and see what their view is on this. Maybe they would like to hire us to test their units I am very glad we have this form and from now on I will take photos and check the form when I see a problem.
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:42 AM   #110
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Hahahaha! That's funny . . .
'Tweren't supposed to be. That is what the repair guy told me. And he is a fairly experienced, respected guy who has done right by my trailer. I asked him if I should have them drill holes in the belly pan, like they did in the insulaton. He said, no need to. Anybody have anything to add on that?
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Old 11-08-2010, 08:43 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by dkottum View Post
glen', I found a front pano window leak not at the mitre joint, but at the junction of frame and glass, almost all the way around. Look closely and you will see the very thin amount of sealant here. Apparently with age and vibration, the thin sealant begins to separate from the aluminum frame allowing water to seep through. I taped the seam allowing about 1/16" of glass and aluminum to show, and applied sealant all around so that it extends onto the glass and aluminum. Removing the tape carefully before drying allows a clean edge and no more leak.

Doug
Doug,
One of my many leaks was that one, too, as I mentioned in my last post. The repair folks sealed it in a similar way.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:03 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glenamoy View Post
'Tweren't supposed to be. That is what the repair guy told me. And he is a fairly experienced, respected guy who has done right by my trailer. I asked him if I should have them drill holes in the belly pan, like they did in the insulaton. He said, no need to. Anybody have anything to add on that?
While tracking down a leak originating under the often-mentioned gap hidden by the trim molding (mine was actually the gap between the top of the frame rail and the bottom of the aluminum plate where water made its way past the bumper compartment piano hinge...of course...and migrated/wicked under the frame rail), I noticed pooling water in the belly pan and decided that a 4"x 12" louvered soffit vent (as used on a house) placed at the very center of that area...which was a natural low-point due to gravity of the riveted belly panel. This allows drainage of water seeping in along the edges and promotes drying of the insulation, etc. when it does find its way in there.
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:18 PM   #113
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Originally Posted by txstreamer View Post
So, I removed the back trim between the bumper and the back of the airstream. Found a large uncaulked gap. My 1979 rear bath, 25' tradewind was leaking badly only the sub floor at the interior back wall. (See pictures and prior posts in this same Forum) I double caulked it waited for it to dry then rivited the trim strip back on. I am still getting a bit of water seeping in on either side right on top of the two steel frame bars that come from the bumber up under the bathroom floor and continue down the Airstream. (I can see these because the sub floor is removed from those two small areas)
My question is.... Is there another way the water can be getting in? I can not locate another way. I have sealed the tail lights above, the other two top seams above, the bathroom fan ven, the plumbing vent gasket... you name it.
What do I do next? I am stumped.... Pretty sure the rear bumber to back wall is sealed good.
Thanks! As usual, any tips are greatly appreciated.

Lynn
It sounds like you have the same one I tracked down that is on top of the frame rails but below the lateral plate that mounts the hinged bumper cover lid. The seam everybody has been talking about was sealed on top but I still had water stains. The water stains were symmetrical and originated from the two corners where the flooring sat on the rails and could best be seen from below only when the belly panel was removed (to fix a black flush connection). I'll try to snake my camera in there and grab a photo for where mine was caulked so you can see where i'm talking about. I sealed this 3 years ago and have not had any more intrusions.
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:11 PM   #114
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Belly pan drains.

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Old 04-18-2011, 04:48 AM   #115
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I've got a 2007 Safari 27-footer 75th edition; we were camping this week and noticed black spots on the floor under the dinette, which turned out to be water-damaged rotten wood. Taking to the dealer a.s.a.p.
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Old 04-19-2011, 09:10 AM   #116
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Same identical problem to us. Airstream did step up to the plate and paid for underfloor repair and the fix (sealing EVERYTHING). They will NOT pay for the new flooring but we wanted to wait anyway to see if any more leaks develop. Make sure to call AS and get them to help you walk through the process.
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:44 AM   #117
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This is my nightmare. Were you (4227free and altamont) aware of a leak before hand or was this a hidden leak??
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:28 PM   #118
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I too found leaks around the rear panos and some discoloration in the vinyl under the dinette. After doing some research I decided to buy a Sealtech 430r to test for leaks. I bought it from guy in Detroit. Hopefully it will reveal all the leaks. These sure are leaky trailers. That's unacceptable given their cost.
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Old 04-20-2011, 05:43 PM   #119
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J5MM
It was hidden, just found it.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:20 AM   #120
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I too found leaks around the rear panos and some discoloration in the vinyl under the dinette. After doing some research I decided to buy a Sealtech 430r to test for leaks. I bought it from guy in Detroit. Hopefully it will reveal all the leaks. These sure are leaky trailers. That's unacceptable given their cost.

Not maintaining the seals and caulking is unacceptable too! But if the Airstream factory did not seal it in the first place then shame on them.
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