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Old 09-06-2009, 10:09 PM   #1
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Rotten floor due to water leak!

I've got an '07 Safari 25-footer FB SE; last time we were camping we noticed a soft spot under the dinette which turned out to be water-damaged rotten wood. Looks like water has been gathering under the linoleum for a long period of time and causing the problem including a crumbling section about eight inches in diameter.

The question of course, is where could the water be coming from? We keep the camper under covered storage so its probably not an external source (rain, etc.) coming thru a window.

Of course, warranty was out in May of 2009 but Airstream is working with us on it. The snag is we need to take it up to the Factory which is 600 miles one-way. Anyone recommend a good repair shop nearer to Atlanta Georgia?

Any ideas on where the leak may be coming from?

Lance

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Old 09-17-2009, 01:20 PM   #2
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We had some staining (from a leak) on our trailer also. Have not had the courage to pull up the linoleum to check on the extent of damage. My wife mentioned the discoloration a few months into us buying the unit but didn't mention it to me until a few months ago. Way past the 2 year warranty. I called AS and they said the trim piece (under the back window, running from door to furnace probably had a gap in it (true!) and that is where the water got in. The trim piece is to hide where the body meets the floor. I got some AS sealant and went around the whole area. I don't know if it cured it as I also have a leak from one of the top windows over the sofa.

Let me know what AS does to help you out in this situation. Obviously it was a manufacturing defect.

John
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Old 09-18-2009, 09:47 PM   #3
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Had an RV service shop remove the rear trim at the bumper.

THERE WAS NO SEALANT.

It's evident where the water was getting under the rear wall and into the interior.

This is the second 2007 I know about that has had this issue; you may want to check yours!



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Old 09-20-2009, 08:04 PM   #4
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Is Airstream going to step up to the plate and repair this for you? this is obviously a case of poor construction from the factory. Probably the same guy that sealed my shower. Are you going to replace your entire floor?
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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You would think they would issue a recall. It really makes you wonder if an Airstream is really built any better than the others doesn't it? They sure make you pay for it!
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:35 PM   #6
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My problem is identical to yours!

I've got an '07 Safari 25-footer FB SE; last time we were camping we noticed a soft spot under the dinette which turned out to be water-damaged rotten wood. Looks like water has been gathering under the linoleum for a long period of time and causing the problem including a crumbling section about eight inches in diameter.

The question of course, is where could the water be coming from? We keep the camper under covered storage so its probably not an external source (rain, etc.) coming thru a window.

Of course, warranty was out in May of 2009 but Airstream is working with us on it. The snag is we need to take it up to the Factory which is 600 miles one-way. Anyone recommend a good repair shop nearer to Atlanta Georgia?

Any ideas on where the leak may be coming from?

Lance (TennisMan, 2009)

Here I am a year after TennisMan's post, and I have the identical problem with nearly the identical model Airstream...a 27ft '07 FB Safari SE, puchased in late '07. Out of warranty of course!!

The rot is afew patches under the dinette, and like TennisMan I suspect leaks in the rear seals around the bumper and trunk assmebly. I just discovered this yesterday, and am cogitating on what to do. Did Airstream help you out, TennisMan? I haven't removed the trunk yet to see if they missed applying sealant there, as in TennisMan's, but I can. What would you good folk suggest as a first course of action?

Words cannot express how disappointed I am in Airstream---whether they left out the sealant (as with TennisMan's) or not, this is a shoddy design. At about $60k, this product should NOT be rotting away only a few years from purchase. I keep mine completely under cover, and maintain it religiously. This should not be happening!

Any suggestions gratefully accepted.
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:40 PM   #7
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Take it to the factory
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #8
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Angry

I had it repaired locally for about $500; it would've cost me far more to travel to the factory and get it repaired. The guy who repaired it (who was trained by A/S) said the rot was definitely due to the lack of sealant between bumper and wall. A/S only offered to "assist" in the repair with a reduced labor rate. Gee, thanks for the offer.

Sorry to see it happen over and over again; will I buy another A/S? No sir, no chance, no way.

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Old 07-08-2010, 07:53 PM   #9
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Thanks very much for the reply, Lance. It is good to know what happened in your case with Airstream---that they did not stand behind their product in what was a clear manufacturing defect. If this were a flyweight, run-of-the-mill white box trailer, I could understand....but not when we pay a very hefty, premium price for a supposedly outstanding product. If they forgot to put in the sealant at the factory, they should make it good, no matter if your two year warranty just ran out. Lexus and Toyota recalls don't depend upon warranty timing.

I spoke with head office Airstream customer service today--they were undertandably reticent to discuss what might be done until it is examined, which is fair enough. I'll take my trailer by our local Airstream dealer tomorrow for an inspection and estimate. I intend to be there when they take off the aluminum molding, in order to see if my trailer, like yours, was built without necessary sealant between the bumper and the wall. If so, perhaps a recall--or at least an appropriate repair policy--is in order, as both rolled off their assembly line in the same year.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:01 PM   #10
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I won't post about my issue - but believe me - I can give you their answer, it's all your lack of proper maintenance and lack of detecting the leak in time that is the problem. Ask me how I know.....

been ther last month - got that answer - even though there was a 2003 CCD 4 s/n numbers behind mine which had the EXACT same issue and leak and repair - and it was all my fault that mine leaked.
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:15 PM   #11
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Clancy,
Can I ask where your leak was and the source? I just found a soft floor and leak under the vinyl on the curbside in the area of where the desk used to be. I think it might be coming in from the outside electrical outlet but I'm not sure.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:55 PM   #12
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Clancy,
Can I ask where your leak was and the source? I just found a soft floor and leak under the vinyl on the curbside in the area of where the desk used to be. I think it might be coming in from the outside electrical outlet but I'm not sure.

Yep - exactly - no sealant under the beltline trim.

I also had them add the frame strength kit to all my outriggers which they did at their cost. I will add that the factory service guys are the best at these repairs but they do get alot of practice, sadly.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:17 PM   #13
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Thanks for the post, ClancyBoy. Yet another couple of cases with the same problem--clearly originating at the Airstream factory.

I brought my A/S to a dealer this morning; they'll get to it early next week so no prognosis yet. I can say with certainty (and photos) that there was no factory installed sealant along the external base of the beltline trim--just along the top. That means that the only defense against major water leaks for water hitting the top of the horizontal bumper trunk surface would be a line of sealant underneath the beltline trim, along the hidden join between the trailer shell and the bumper trunk. This is precisely where there was no sealant on TennisBoy's trailer (see his first posts and photo). I will know the story on my trailer in a few days. The service agent, for what it is worth, shook his head and agreed that there is no way that this type of leak should be happening on a 2 and 1/2 year old trailer. Will keep you posted.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:57 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info. Our 2009 FC 27FB has a discolored area under the dinette. I have already found and repaired leaks at the rear windows (do not believe this to be the source of the problem). After 1 year of ownership and multiple problems, I find it hard to believe the newer models will last any longer than any other brand out there. Mark me down for someone who will not buy another Airscream. Wish I had found this forum B4 purchase.

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Old 07-15-2010, 12:03 AM   #15
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Hi, I can see where water can run under this moulding and btween the bumper plate and the body. Is the plywood floor above this seam or below it? If below the seam, the water would sit on top of the wood and rot fairly quickly. I don't have any problems that I know of yet, but my question is: Are these isolated cases, or are all Airstreams built without sealer, where the body sit on top of the bumper cover?

Note: picture borrowed from TennisMan
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:38 AM   #16
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Lightbulb Thoughts...but no similar experience here

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenamoy View Post
Thanks for the post, ClancyBoy. Yet another couple of cases with the same problem--clearly originating at the Airstream factory.

I brought my A/S to a dealer this morning; they'll get to it early next week so no prognosis yet. I can say with certainty (and photos) that there was no factory installed sealant along the external base of the beltline trim--just along the top. That means that the only defense against major water leaks for water hitting the top of the horizontal bumper trunk surface would be a line of sealant underneath the beltline trim, along the hidden join between the trailer shell and the bumper trunk. This is precisely where there was no sealant on TennisBoy's trailer (see his first posts and photo). I will know the story on my trailer in a few days. The service agent, for what it is worth, shook his head and agreed that there is no way that this type of leak should be happening on a 2 and 1/2 year old trailer. Will keep you posted.
Looking forward to your report. I guess the Houston dealer is Texan RV (DeMontrond Buick sister company?). Am very curious how you are satisfied (or otherwise) with their service and pricing. Did you buy trailer from them?
There is an independent RV shop somewhere in South East Houston that supposedly is very Airstream competent Bob Jones RV @ 713-910-2949.
From the pics it looks to me like a thinner sealant needs to be forced in between the grey edged plywood floor and the perimeter channel that rests on it.Then maybe a wide caulk tape could be laid behind the belt moulding and snugged when the moulding is reapplied. I don't know if travel (road) flex would tend to break the wood to channel seal, but I'd maybe replace belt as to facillitate removal occasionally for re-sealing. Hope that is never necessary.
As for floor, if it is not all the way thru, look into Rot Doc or similar to re-furb re-strengthen it. If it remains dry, that should work and would omit you having to cut & patch.
Good luck.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:55 AM   #17
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I feel your pain, guys. This seems to be a problem with Airstreams for quite a few years, actually from about 1969 and up. On my '72, keeping vulkem in the gap between the shell and bumper helps prevent water intrusion and the dreaded rear end separation problem. I fixed this once, never again.
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:29 PM   #18
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Angry Foot through the floor in our 2007

Here we are, three days into our three week vacation and 665 miles from home when my husband put his foot through the floor under our dinette, exactly like the previous post. He then took out the dinette and pulled up the linoleum to find it looking exactly like the floor in the previous post. This is outrageous, as you say, that we spend over $50,000 for a "quality" travel trailer in 2007. We now have to suspend the rest of our vacation to drive to the nearest service department, and then of course, try to deal with Airstream on this. Our model is the 2007 International CCD fb.
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Old 07-18-2010, 05:06 PM   #19
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Bummer Sparkygus. This stuff just should not be happening! As to having this problem on-going, is Airstream just cheap, or stupid, are a combination thereof? This just should not be happening and it should not be a "maintenance" issue on a late model trailer!
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sparkygus View Post
Here we are, three days into our three week vacation and 665 miles from home when my husband put his foot through the floor under our dinette, exactly like the previous post. He then took out the dinette and pulled up the linoleum to find it looking exactly like the floor in the previous post. This is outrageous, as you say, that we spend over $50,000 for a "quality" travel trailer in 2007. We now have to suspend the rest of our vacation to drive to the nearest service department, and then of course, try to deal with Airstream on this. Our model is the 2007 International CCD fb.
I've been waiting to post a reply to those who have kindly made suggestions on my own problem--my trailer is at the dealer, awaiting a decision from the factory on what, if anything, they will do about this problem. It has been there nearly a week and I hope to hear back shortly. But in reading Sparkygus's note today, I can see that yet another person has had the same, identical problem on a very late model Airstream. As you are on the road, I figure I better tell you what I have learned about the leak.

Although the belt molding at the bumper of my 2007 trailer was not sealed with sealant (just like that of the first poster to this thread), I'm not so sure that it is the problem. The mechanic at the dealer did a water test, and we found a hidden leak at the mitre joint on the left side corner window of our panoramic window. The leak is hidden behind the curtain (of course!) where the water comes in (probably also comes in in between the walls). Looking more closely, the service guy saw that the interior leak had been patched at some time after it was built (but BEFORE I was sold the trailer, new), with a glop of a different type of sealant, inside the window. Clearly a bandaid attempt.

I've attached a photo of the outside of the window at the failed mitre joint. You can see that the sealant is cracked. The panoramic windows each have these mitre joints, which are unstable. When the trailer is sailing down the highway at 60mph, the tensile stresses on such joints are extreme as the trailer hits bumps and the like. The two pieces of aluminum window frame on either side of the mitre are unattached to each other, so the sealant splits in tension. If you are familiar with silly putty, you know that it will stretch, unless it is snapped quickly--then it cracks apart. I believe the sealant fails in a similar fashion, even on a very new trailer. To make matters worse, the mitre joint is right at the end of the gutter on the back window (see photo), meaning that a stream of rain water pours right over it. Not a good design. The service fellow concluded that this was the cause.

My trailer is 2 and 1/2 years old and had clearly been rotting for some time, unbeknownst to me...the leak is hard to see. Moreover, it doesn't take much exposure to rot out a floor. Mine is kept in a barn out of the weather when not in use, which is most of the time. In my brief ownership it has seen perhaps three rainshowers on the road, and four washings. That is it...except of course for the months it sat on the dealer's lot waiting to be sold to me in late 2007. And that is all it took.

Those of us posting about this serious problem on this thread--each with a 1 to 3 year old trailer--are not alone. Clearly Airstream is aware of the problem, because in the 2010 models ALL of the mitre seams (one on each corner window) are now welded together , for all panoramic windows (see second photo, of a welded mitre joint on a 2010 rear bed trailer). So clearly the design was faulty, else they would not have taken this expensive step. All we need to know now is whether they will recall, or at least whether they will do the repairs. I shall let you know what happens in my case, and I hope you will do the same.

I can recommend only that a squeaking wheel will get the grease. Let the factory know about your problem, and that you are one of many. I doubt they will be surprised with that information. Good luck!
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