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Old 08-06-2021, 06:45 PM   #1
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Dirt Road Dust

Im seeking info from those who travel dirt roads with their Airstream.
Were currently traveling in a 2017 27ft FB and had the resent opportunity (not by choice) to drive approx. 100 miles on dirt roads to get to our end destination.
Driving with Rock Tamer mud flaps and keeping to 25MPH in a attempt to reduce the stones and dust storm the distance seemed like an eternity. In the end the interior of the trailer was a disaster. Along with the interior of any of the cabinets over the wheel wells were absolutely coated in dust. I mean Covered!
What Id like to know is; is the the norm? If so its completely unacceptable, either way it needs fixing!
What have you done to seal the openings (that dont appear obvious) to meditate the problem? Pull the wheels and seal gaps in the wheel wells? And?
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Old 08-06-2021, 07:23 PM   #2
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I take a portable blower with me to clean the outside off (trailer and TV). The stuff that seeps in the vehicles is part of the game...
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Old 08-06-2021, 08:02 PM   #3
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I grew up at the end of a half mile dirt lane. We always drove slowly on that stretch, but our (60’s era) cars always had a layer of dust inside.
I just don’t think it’s possible to seal something as large and accessible as a trailer without adding enormously to the weight and cost.
When in those parts of the country, my wife never lets me complete a turn without peering ahead for gravel roads or fresh tar. We still (rarely) get surprised.
You did the sensible thing, driving slowly, and I sympathize with your experience. Best to clean up, and then put it (and your frustration) behind you.
Happy (not-so-dusty) trails to you!
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Old 08-06-2021, 08:08 PM   #4
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You can not make your trailer air tite!! If you don't want dust, stay off gravel roads. I have 5 miles of limestone gravel to get to pavement, have tried to seal every possible opening and the dust still gets in.
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Old 08-07-2021, 07:44 AM   #5
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Recently i was watching a video by a family pulling a travel trailer down one of the Outback routes in Australia. He used gadgets that installed in the roof vents and put positive pressure in the camper to help reduce dust infiltration. Might be worth some research ?
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Old 08-07-2021, 07:51 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by twobikes View Post
Recently i was watching a video by a family pulling a travel trailer down one of the Outback routes in Australia. He used gadgets that installed in the roof vents and put positive pressure in the camper to help reduce dust infiltration. Might be worth some research ?

I used to run the fantastic fans. Not sure it made much difference.Pretty hard to build up pressure in a '68 though.
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Old 08-07-2021, 09:11 AM   #7
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We have been lucky in not having a problem with dust intrusion in our 2009. The dirt road in and out of Chaco Cultural National Monument in New Mexico was certainly an excellent test for dust. That road is teeth chattering bad and 25 mph would be a dream.

In older trailers, like our '73, dust intrusion was an indicator that the wheel wells were no longer sealed to the body.

With your relatively new trailer the dust has to be getting past the various seals. A lot of dust under the cabinets suggests the belly pan, tank valves, and/or wheel wells are no longer sealed. A lot of dust on interior living surfaces suggests window, door, and fan seals.

The foam seals on our shower and bathroom vents went kaputski. I've also replaced the screen door and main door seals which certainly helped. Our refrigerator cabinet, which is open to the outside, seems to be a dust magnet, but the refer needs airflow so we live with it. The refrigerator cabinet needs to be sealed from the trailer interior as the refrigerator can produce carbon monoxide. So if you have pulled your refer, check that it was properly sealed on reinstall.

Positive pressure would certainly be helpful if the air being blown in was dust free. We can see the dust billow over the top of our trailer so we travel with everything closed up.

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Old 09-18-2021, 04:58 PM   #8
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Country roads, take me home?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TorchRozee View Post
...had the resent opportunity (not by choice) to drive approx. 100 miles on dirt roads to get to our end destination....the end the interior of the trailer was a disaster. Along with the interior of any of the cabinets over the wheel wells were absolutely coated in dust. I mean Covered!
Just had this experience after four hours on Alberta 501. Great road but it was gravel and the interior was coated with dust, including inside the cupboards and even the vertical walls in the baggage compartment. Ouch!


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Old 09-18-2021, 06:34 PM   #9
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Refer Vent sucks Dust into Airstreams!!! :(

[QUOTE=TorchRozee;2523715]I’m seeking info from those who travel dirt roads with their Airstream.
******
We travel on some minor to major dusty roads in the Rockies.

The Number ONE Dust inhaling location is: Under the Refrigerator cabinet opening. I had this issue with the 23 foot and also the 25 foot. Sometimes one area sucks more dust and you WILL find it when you stop and have to clean the dust off the floor.

On the interior floor, under the Dometic Refrigerator, is the vent outside, necessary to draw air and keep the system running smoothly. In the process, this area is a vacuum cleaner and the interior of your Airstream is the... BAG. Although not disposal.

I have minimized the dust coming through this area, which we estimate 80% of total dust coming into the trailer. I have stuffed fiber glass insulation in many other areas (fender well areas that are accessible from the interior) and had stuffed fiber glass insulation through the small opening in the storage compartment of our 27 foot International Front Bed.

There is a thin piece of plywood? that is screwed to the back of the space, with several inches at the top that is open to the interior, below the Dometic Refer. In the next few days I am going to get to this piece of plywood, rather flimsy and thin... and remove it to see what is 'behind the curtain'. I was going to use Gorilla Tape to tape this area seal this opening... but curious as to what is in there. Over the fender well, as well.

Our 2006 23 foot Safari sucked dust from the fender wells in large amounts. My wife says inches of dust on the floor between the fender wells. We had Warranty Work done at Jackson Center... they found the Fender Wells were not sealed properly and trimmed, refitted, riveted and sealed the two fender wells. Took care of 90% of the dust. It really messes up your vacation cleaning the entire interior... so I know what you are thinking.

Stuffing fiber glass insulation, removed from the paper does work. This time I need to really.... really... get to solving our major dust inhaler. Possibly someone else has had the "Refer Sucking Dust over Fender Well Outside Vented Aluminum Door".

I may pull out ALL the Fiber Glass Insulation to check dust sources and reinstall. Wear a face mask to not inhale fiber glass or dust. Just a bit better than the Covid mask, gloves to protect hands and long sleeve shirt. Put all into a garbage bad and replace with clean fiber glass... if you have tried the fiber glass insulation method.

I would estimated that 70% of Airstream Owners DO NOT travel long stretches of Dusty Roads to go camping. We travel a lot into the Dusty Mountains of the western USA aka, Rocky Mountains. The view is wonderful. Sucking dust... is not.

If you are finding Light Dust within the Interior. Lucky You! Just look for the where it is coming from and use your imagination.
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Old 09-19-2021, 07:07 AM   #10
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I think the idea of reversing the flow on the roof vent/fans would certainly improve if not solve the problem. Pulling in cleaner air and providing a slight positive pressure has to help.

We have made several trips down into the furthest campsites in Palo Duro and when dry the fine red dirt/dust coats the outside of the trailer up to waist high but I have never noticed any significant dust inside.
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