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Old 05-01-2017, 07:31 AM   #1
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 348
Remove Awning to Fix Leak?

I'm about at my end with these 2 persistent leaks coming in near the curb-side kitchen and bedroom windows. I've been on the roof of my renovated '79 AS Excella (3rd owner) for 10's of hours over the last 2 years trying to find these leaks and I've narrowed it down to about a 1-foot span in both locations underneath the awning rail.

In my latest attempt to plug these leaks, I drilled out 3 rivets on the awning rail I suspected of letting in water, filled them with caulk, re-fastened the rail where the 3 rivets were drilled out. It somehow made the leak worse!

The problem is that I can't get underneath the awning rail to see where there may be popped rivets or other holes.

I am considering taking the entire awning and rail off, sealing everything underneath it, then putting it back on. I really, REALLY don't want to do this (because it seems like a lot of work) but after 2 years of dealing with drip-drip-drip on my bed in the middle of the night I don't know what else to do (other than permanently install a towel where the water is dripping in).

Before I go the route of removing the awning and rail, anyone else have any suggestions on how to attack these leaks that seem to be coming from under the rail?

https://youtu.be/bAVdnv8vcFI
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:50 AM   #2
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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It sounds like it is time for a positive pressure test. Principle is simply that you remove a vent or access hatch, plumb a fan or airmover into it, thus forcing air into the interior of the trailer, and then you hose it down with soapy water and watch for bubbles.

Also, some people have had luck using one of those lever activated suction cups and working along a line of rivets. If the suction cup fails to hold suction, then you know one or more of the rivets underneath is not sealing.

good luck!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:12 AM   #3
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belegedhel View Post
It sounds like it is time for a positive pressure test. Principle is simply that you remove a vent or access hatch, plumb a fan or airmover into it, thus forcing air into the interior of the trailer, and then you hose it down with soapy water and watch for bubbles.



Also, some people have had luck using one of those lever activated suction cups and working along a line of rivets. If the suction cup fails to hold suction, then you know one or more of the rivets underneath is not sealing.



good luck!


Already tried that Both the homemade method (using blowers) and the Sealtech method at an RV repair shop. No bubbles around the area where the leak was, which isn't surprising since I've since confirmed that the water is entering the trailer under the awning rail.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:49 AM   #4
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2008 25' Classic
Full Time , Texas
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If you've got a couple of friends to help remove the awning then I would go that route.

I'm feeling your pain. I've been working on my leak for 2 years.
I have a smaller leak coming in at the top of my rear window of my 2008 Classic 25fb dripping down the bug screen. I think some of the rivets on the end cap roof sections are allowing water to run down the panels where they overlap between the rivet line and the edge of the top panel where the Acryl is applied. I applied some Trempro around the suspected rivets on each side of the center panel that curves down to the rear window. This weekend we had 6" of rain. The upper roof didn't leak but found some wet mouse fur where is meets the floor to
the curve under the curved window/rear join so now I'm looking that leak.

Good luck.

Kelvin
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:07 AM   #5
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1979 31' Excella 500
Charlevoix , Michigan
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 348
Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
If you've got a couple of friends to help remove the awning then I would go that route.

I'm feeling your pain. I've been working on my leak for 2 years.
I have a smaller leak coming in at the top of my rear window of my 2008 Classic 25fb dripping down the bug screen. I think some of the rivets on the end cap roof sections are allowing water to run down the panels where they overlap between the rivet line and the edge of the top panel where the Acryl is applied. I applied some Trempro around the suspected rivets on each side of the center panel that curves down to the rear window. This weekend we had 6" of rain. The upper roof didn't leak but found some wet mouse fur where is meets the floor to
the curve under the curved window/rear join so now I'm looking that leak.

Good luck.

Kelvin
You know, even if I don't end up finding this leak, I'm glad I posted this thread if for no other reason than to hear that I'm not the only one that's gone 2 years trying to find a leak! Thanks for making me feel not alone Kelvin
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trekerboy View Post
I'm about at my end with these 2 persistent leaks coming in near the curb-side kitchen and bedroom windows. I've been on the roof of my renovated '79 AS Excella (3rd owner) for 10's of hours over the last 2 years trying to find these leaks and I've narrowed it down to about a 1-foot span in both locations underneath the awning rail.

In my latest attempt to plug these leaks, I drilled out 3 rivets on the awning rail I suspected of letting in water, filled them with caulk, re-fastened the rail where the 3 rivets were drilled out. It somehow made the leak worse!

The problem is that I can't get underneath the awning rail to see where there may be popped rivets or other holes.

I am considering taking the entire awning and rail off, sealing everything underneath it, then putting it back on. I really, REALLY don't want to do this (because it seems like a lot of work) but after 2 years of dealing with drip-drip-drip on my bed in the middle of the night I don't know what else to do (other than permanently install a towel where the water is dripping in).

Before I go the route of removing the awning and rail, anyone else have any suggestions on how to attack these leaks that seem to be coming from under the rail?

https://youtu.be/bAVdnv8vcFI
How about covering the awning rail with Eternabond tape? at least the 1-foot span you suspect is the culprit?

For peace of mind, I have covered the full length of the awning rail (and all other seams/rivets on the roof) with Eternabond tape. See the attached photo. If you zoom in, you will see the tape covering the awning rail on the street side. All the rivets are covered by Eternabond tape.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:36 AM   #7
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1988 25' Excella
1987 32' Excella
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I took the awning rail off my 32' to fix a leak. It was a lot of work but not the worst thing I have had to do on my Airstreams. Not a job to really fear. I used Olympic rivets and a lot of sealer. It is not as neat as the original job but it no longer leaks. One of the problems was that the installer mis drilled some holes to start with. Mine was a long, heavy awning so I had to use a ladder and a helper to slide it out of and back into the groove in the awning cover
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:14 PM   #8
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This user had a leak from the awning rail

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f456...ak-145788.html

Kelvin
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Old 05-01-2017, 04:00 PM   #9
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2014 27' Flying Cloud
Bushnell , Florida
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I am a big fan of Eternabond, as mentioned above by Rostam. (Although, I hadn't thought of doing the roof rivets or the awning rail edge - nice work!)

I cured leaks on at least 5 sob campers for friends, our previous motorhome, and a new enclosed cargo trailer I use for rough camping and toy hauling. Great stuff! I also did all the edges on our fantastic fan mounts and the plumbing vent edges on our Pete, a '14 Flying Cloud 27fb when he was new. So far so good..........

Point is, Trekerboy, I'm another satisfied eternabond customer, and you might just avoid pulling the awning and rail..........


Hope this helps.
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