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Old 01-31-2015, 12:07 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
2018 25' Flying Cloud
Mission , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 51
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Leaking from Fantastic Fan Vent

I tried caulking over the factory caulk with silicone (mistake?) but leak recurs
after a few weeks when we have a prolonged (all day) rain. Doesn't leak when driving thru heavy rain! I suspect the hairline weather cracks in the plastic frame that is attached to the roof are the culprits. Can these be caulked or should I have the frame replaced. Is it usual for a 4 year old AS to have the plastic crack?
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Old 01-31-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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I would strip it down to the roof and start over, scraping away all the old caulk and taking a look at how it has been installed.

You may find issues there, or not, which will tell you how to proceed.

Find a need and fill it.

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Old 01-31-2015, 01:20 PM   #3
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2012 25' Flying Cloud
San Antonio , Texas
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Call FF and have them send you a new plastic frame. The hairline cracks are too hard to patch effectively. You will cry if you strip the area clean, re caulk and find out it still leaks.
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Old 01-31-2015, 01:41 PM   #4
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2002 30' Classic S/O
Fleming Island , Florida
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I had leaks in both of mine. The frame was just screwed to the sheet metal skin, which is very thin. The original gasket is foam. After a while it compresses and doesn't seal any more. I put my vents back down with white caulk i got from the airstream store. Mine had been removed and replaced at least twice, judging from the holes in the skin. I bought some aluminum stock and used it for clamping bars under the skin. On the rear I used 1" x 1/8" bar, on the front, i used 1" x 1" x 1/8" aluminum angle. I'm not sure which i like better. The bar stock conforms a little to the curve of the roof while the angle does not. I was trying to stiffen the front roof because the TV antenna had it "oil canning" and had broken the caulk seal on that side of the vent and around the TV antenna. I cut the aluminum to match the length and width of the vent, and match drilled it to the vent frame. When i finished in the front i sprayed "great stuff" foam all around the vent and the antenna. The roof is much stiffer in that area now.
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“You cannot reason someone out of a position they have not been reasoned into"
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:13 PM   #5
1987 Avion 34W owner
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Good Ol' , USA
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If you get a new frame for your fan, I would highly recommend Eternabond Alumibond to seal the roof around the frame. Seal it as you normally would with butyl tape, Parr Bond or other sealer, then apply the Eternabond as added insurance. I did that on my Avion and I doubt I'll ever have to worry about a leak. Here's a picture:
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:05 AM   #6
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 409
Another plug from Shiny Pete for Eternabond Tape. It is amazing stuff, and available in bright white for the white roof of the newer Airstreams. Like PaulnGina, I used it around the edges of our FF frames where they meet the roof of our coach when it was a few months old.

The FF frames can crack due to heat, flex and different torque on the screws, cracking the plastic flange. You could try and salvage them if they have tiny cracks near the screw holes, especially if only a couple. I scraped, peeled, and razor bladed flush as much caulk as possible along the visible surface of the frames and screw heads to start. You'll need to clean everything up whether you end up removing the frames or not, so you might save replacing them when you can see them clearly. Also, make double sure the vent lids aren't cracked...........

I then wiped everything down with Acetone, and installed 2" white EB tape over the frame edges, overlapping the corners, and covering the frame, the screws, and about an inch of the Airstream roof skin. It is important to get rid of as much caulk as possible, as EB will not stick to silicone, and really doesn't want to stick the white caulk Airstream used on my roof openings either. Google EB to buy and for how to apply videos.

I hope this helps!
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