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Old 03-02-2017, 08:17 PM   #1
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Reseal every two years?

My Airstream is still within the two year warranty but has developed a leak. The dealer tells me that it is not a warranty item as Airstreams must undergo a complete resealing every two years and that is an owner responsibility. I would like to know if other people are doing a complete reseal every two years or suffering leaks if they do not. It is quite expensive.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:49 PM   #2
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Assuming you are talking about skin segment seams. I only reseal when it leaks and then only around the leak. But then I live in the Southwest. Sources of leaks can be a bugger to find, but it is a pretty easy DIY job. Never met anyone who reseals all the seams every 2 years.
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Old 03-02-2017, 08:50 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hickmand View Post
My Airstream is still within the two year warranty but has developed a leak. The dealer tells me that it is not a warranty item as Airstreams must undergo a complete resealing every two years and that is an owner responsibility. I would like to know if other people are doing a complete reseal every two years or suffering leaks if they do not. It is quite expensive.
We took ours (bought ours used in 2/2014) to JC in mid-2015 and had the roof's old caulking removed and then resealed. It took a full day. They said it should be done about every 5 years. We were there to have a soft spot in the front center floor repaired. They did a pressure test (soapy water on the outside and pressurize the interior) and put it in the "rain room" to blast it with water. They didn't find any leaks. We monitor the sealants around the window and clean / repair as needed. I don't see any water leaks, but it's been pretty dry this past year.

It is expensive, $125 an hour, I think, but every two years is a bit much. I'd agree with the 5 year estimate by JC and watch the sealants on the outside, clean and repair if anything looks suspect. There's several threads on the different sealants used for each area.
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Old 03-02-2017, 09:03 PM   #4
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I believe checking for leaks often and sealing as needed is a better and more economical plan.
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Old 03-02-2017, 10:38 PM   #5
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It's too bad that some Airstream dealerships are the worst place to get information about Airstreams. We took ours to the dealer once to ask a question and have never gone back. Nor will.

We travel extensively in retirement and route our travels through Jackson Center every two years or so to have routine inspections and maintenance. They inspected all the seals and sealant on the roof this past fall (Airstream five years old and always outside, throughout the country) and found everything in great shape except the two plumbing vents which they resealed.

The frequency of sealant failure would be dependent on exposure to sun and extreme temperatures, rather than time. For example an Airstream in the Arizona sun all year would have sealants fail sooner than one in a moderate climate, or stored under a roof when not being used.

We have our own inspection cycle every quarter of the year. One of things we do is probe through the vinyl floor into the plywood subfloor with an inexpensive Sonin Moisture Detection Meter to look for moisture. If there is a shell leak, it will most probably end up draining into the subfloor where it can initiate floor rot. We can find it early, and then find and seal the leak.
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Old 03-02-2017, 11:42 PM   #6
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Could you please describe "probe through the vinyl floor" in more detail. Do you actually stick a probe into the vinyl and puncture it and create tiny holes? Thx
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:26 AM   #7
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The probes make a couple of pin pricks through the vinyl.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:40 AM   #8
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Probe areas that are hard to reach so you don't see the holes. Under beds, cabinets, etc.
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Old 03-03-2017, 06:54 AM   #9
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Have you contacted Airstream Corporate HQ to verify what the dealer is telling you about the warranty?

Seems like they should cover the seams/leaks. But not having bought a new AS I would not know.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:36 AM   #10
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Must be another great engineering program of AS to reseal. Many old AS have never been resealed and wasn't even recommended, so what is going on with AS? are they using inferior sealants?. A lot of floor rot comes from fiber glass insulation in floors of older AS as water gets in belly skins then stays wet causing frame rust and floor rot not from leaks thru skin seams. Why is insulation needed in floor as very few AS are used in cold weather and for sound proofing it's against law many states to ride in trailers? Many manf. of rv trailers do not enclose belly nor insulate even many mobile trailers manf. don't. It sure doesn't keep critters out.
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Old 03-03-2017, 07:43 AM   #11
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There has been a lot of discussion about this on the Forum; I did some research before having my 2012 resealed after 4 years. There were no leaks but visual inspection showed some deteriorating sealant.
To answer, YES AS uses inferior sealant. There are many sealants used in marine applications that are good for 15 years of exposure or more. Not what AS uses though, cynically because of price.
No question that you are covered for leaks when you pick up your new trailer, but there are differing opinions on how long the warranty will apply, as opposed to calling it "wear and tear". My conclusion was that you probably have to go to JC with your trailer to be certain since dealers are taking varied positions, probably based on whether they have had trouble getting payment from Airstream.
Based on my own experience, you are asking for trouble if you don't at least periodically visibly inspect the roof.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:00 AM   #12
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Sounds like a pretty good thing to be doing - for the Airstream dealer!

I do as many others and just try to keep a good eye on things myself and deal with as needed. This includes getting up on the roof once or twice a year t check all the culking and re-do anything that is deteriorated.

Of course if ever a leak does develop someplace I try to find the source and resolve it as quickly as possible - not always simple as water can take devious routes on its travels down to the floor!

I also have an electronic moisture detector that I slightly modified by adding a home-made cable-attached hand probe that has sharp needle points on it.
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Old 03-03-2017, 08:16 AM   #13
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Here is the Moisture Detector I use, 9v battery operated. The probes are on a cord that allows me to reach difficult corners. I sharpened the probes needle sharp with a file, and can go around the perimeter of the Airstream poking through the vinyl into the plywood subfloor.

This is where the floor rot occurs. The sharp probes make a tiny hole in the vinyl and virtually self-heal quickly after probing. I like to do this during our quarterly inspection of our Airstream, after a hard rain. If there are shell leaks, they will most probably show up as moisture in the subfloor.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:48 PM   #14
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A couple of years ago Airstream went to a new production sealing system: Adseal on the roof and seal tape between skin over laps. Adseal is a silicone based product made in UK. The service center says it is the most durable of their two available sealants for Texas sun. I had some skin work done and was impressed with the results. I also had the roof resealed as I was going to install solar panels. The roof job took two days to clean and reseal. I think was well worth it. A lot cheaper than floor repair. The skin work sealing doesn't show, and it requires no edge sealing. I think Airstream engineering did good job on this one. Lets face it the more the trailers leak the more come back the will have to work so the have incentive to get it right.
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Old 03-03-2017, 02:59 PM   #15
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6 month warranty on the sealants

My understanding, and I think it states this in the manual or somewhere, although I don't have it here to check, is that the sealants are only warrantied for 6 months - not the full two years.
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:08 PM   #16
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No, AS used Dicor on my trailer roof, self-leveling. Not great stuff.
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Old 03-03-2017, 03:17 PM   #17
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For roof sealant, I am going with Bus Kote this should cover the seams and rivets as well as other openings. ie vents and Fantastic. It,will,also act,as an insulator.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:53 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
For roof sealant, I am going with Bus Kote this should cover the seams and rivets as well as other openings. ie vents and Fantastic. It,will,also act,as an insulator.
MJ
Excellent choice Mike Ive contemplated for several years but now maybe no can do because my age getting on roof. Every thing I found it is a great coating and easy to do. Bill
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Old 03-03-2017, 05:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Airtandem View Post
For roof sealant, I am going with Bus Kote this should cover the seams and rivets as well as other openings. ie vents and Fantastic. It,will,also act,as an insulator.
MJ
What happens when it comes time to replace a vent or fan?

Can you just cut through the coating and apply a new coat (or two) to that area after replacement?
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:51 PM   #20
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Resealing...

Rivet Masters... help me understand. I've been a tire kicker for over 6 mos and almost purchased a 2011 25' FC more than once - the general understanding that ASs leak and owners must be vigilant leak detectors, expecting to reseal often / regularly. Seriously? AS cost what they do and ...they leak. 🤔 What! The new units are crazy expensive ...and are expected to leak? Really? How does the buying public justify paying high $s, knowing full well ...they leak? I'm dumbfounded. What other consumer product has this reputation and stays in business. I've got the AS itch really bad; the brain part of me is asking "are you insane; don't you know they leak?" 🤔
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