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Old 05-27-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
CampUnger's Avatar
1979 31' Sovereign
Wabash , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 86
Images: 1
Leaking Awning Mounting Plate Patch

We have been fighting a leak in the trailer since we got it two years ago.

We have finally had time to work on sealing and inspecting it properly and found that the awning arm on the front top curb side was REALLY loose. We took it off and found that this must have been a problem before. There were 6 holes total in the skin, none plugged or sealed.

Yeah, we had floor rot too and repaired that.

Finally, We think we have it figure out. My husband made a patch out of tempered aluminum, filled all the holes with vulkem and put vulkem under the mounting plate.

We don't yet have a rivet shaver, and we weren't expecting to tackle this when we did, so, we just filled the heads of the rivets with parabond.

I realize alot of you are probably cringing at the thought of using the vulkem as the gasket, but, it's ours, we have NO plans of selling it for MANY years to come, and NO MORE LEAK!!!

That being said, aside from the rivets needing shaved, I think he did a great job on the patch!!!

One day it will get a shell off restoration, but probably not till the kids are old enough to entertain themselves.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #2
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1974 Argosy 20
2014 20' Flying Cloud
Kooskia , Idaho
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,591
I think you did a great job. Airstreams are to be used and need not be a museum piece or time capsule.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:32 PM   #3
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1975 31' Sovereign
1980 31' Excella II
Sprung Leak , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 7,173
Images: 40
My 75 is on it's second or third set of awning mounts, I have multiple patch plates, using a sealant between the plates is an acceptable patch method. I used to do metal roofs and architectural metal work as my job. I prefer to use a non hardening butyl sealant like Sikalastic between the metal layers, but the vulkem will certainly do the job.

__________________ many little time...
Why are we in this basket...and where are we going
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:53 AM   #4
2 Rivet Member
1974 25' Tradewind
2007 27' Classic FB
Wilkes-Barre , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 29
Nice repair job! I need to do the same on my '74. Any idea where I can get the tempered aluminum and what thickness did you use?
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:17 AM   #5
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1979 31' Sovereign
Wabash , Indiana
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 86
Images: 1
We used an old road sign (legally obtained)
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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1972 31' Sovereign
Fort Bragg , North Carolina
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 270
Glad you caught it and fixed it quickly. Nice job.

We had a similar problem two weeks ago. While closing the awning, the front rafter support arm felt loose. I looked up and sure enough the rivets did not seat well in the newly installed panels.
I had some parabond and thick screws sent and took off the bracket, cleaned it up and resealed the holes filing them with parabond before drilling down the screws. I'll get it done right this fall once we are done with it.

We've had some very heavy rain on the east NC Coast here and no problem with any leaks.

Here's the before picture which I'm glad we were paying attention to when closing up the awning until the next weekends get away.

On this old bracket, the front bottom rivet hole, only takes rivets, so attempting to place a taphead style screw in this will not work. The rafter arm will NOT seat correctly. Found out the hard way by forcing it down and now the ear of the bracket is cracked. The Zip Dee awning fared well for 35 years until this repair. We'll get it fixed in the fall.

Too much fun to be had.

Happy Airstreaming!

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