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Old 03-30-2020, 09:20 AM   #1
2 Rivet Member
 
1993 29' Excella
Crystal Lake , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 53
93 Excella-outer storage door seals question

Just bought my first Airstream a month ago. I was originally going to buy a vintage project Airstream, gut it, and rebuild it completely. The wife talked me out of that, as she just wanted a usable unit.

Well, my inexperience in Airstreams has reared it's ugly head. I accept 100% of the responsibility, as I should have known better than trust another human. Seller told me of his vast experience with Airstreams since he was a teenager (what a bunch of hooha), and that this 93' was an original beauty. I bought it, hook, line and sinker, and now I've got a project Airstream at 3 times the price. I called the seller, and now he's back peddling like Michael Jackson doing the moon walk. Shame on me......I'll deal with him later.

Anyway, after cleaning, we couldn't get rid of the musty smell. I have pulmonary issues (COPD and chronic asthma) so this is a bigger deal to me than most. I decided to pull out the front goucho, and the rear beds, as the original carpet was under both.
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Old 03-30-2020, 09:26 AM   #2
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1993 29' Excella
Crystal Lake , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 53
As you can see, (and I've done better research post-mortem) that it leaks like a sieve. I will now be gutting this trailer (already begun) and rebuilding it correctly.

On a side note, how the heck did Airstream ever think it was OK to use OSB as a subfloor? Shame on them.

My plan is to remove all the ceiling fans, vents, etc....and clean the roof, and re-seal the entire trailer. I'm researching the correct sealers to use for the different components/areas, and am compiling my list.

My other immediate concern is these exterior access storage doors that fold open for access to tools, etc....from the outside of the Airstream. Mine don't fit or seal well worth a small hill of beans.

How do I improve the sealing capabilities of these doors. You can stand inside the trailer, as shown in the picture, and see air coming through. All the access doors, including the front battery doors, are leaking. Not the only source for water, but what do I need to get these to seal tightly?

Thank you in advance for any help.

Signed,

Airstreamidiotnewbie

aka Trustingfoolforthelasttime
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:52 AM   #3
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1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 755
You have a trailer that is 27 year old. Replace the gaskets around the exterior doors and you can slightly bend the doors if they have been bent over the years. You will have to replace the gaskets around the windows and entry doors as well. Rubber gaskets don't last forever, and if you want them to last longer, an application of products such as "Wurth" rubber care a couple of times a year, extends the life considerably. The rubber gasket around the vent stack is probably original and gone as well. All of the caulking around vents and skylight has to be replaced over time as well. Trailers are like homes, they have to have maintenance!!
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:55 PM   #4
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1994 30' Excella
alexandria , Kentucky
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You have a project on your hand. It can be done by a decent DIY person and can be time consuming. I have put floors in two AS trailers.

The subfloor is sandwiched between the shell and the frame. The wood is inserted within a C-channel. There are bolts that are holding all of this together. You will need to remove some of the inner skins and outer lower belt line and lower wrap to do the job correctly.

The leaks are likely coming from the vertical seam near the rear of the trailer and the lower belt line. Possibly from the window just above.


Here are the sealants that I have used.


For small joints above the belt line and vertical seams. Use blue painters tape and mineral spirits to strike off the joint and it will look professional.



https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/p...ith-applicator


Get this caulk in black and gray for large joints:

https://airstreamsupplycompany.com/p...-black-10-3oz/


Roof vents, etc... self leveling


Sikaflex 715 white
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Old 03-31-2020, 12:28 PM   #5
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1976 31' Excella 500
Chappell Hill , Texas
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Great source of products for you here: https://www.vintagetrailergaskets.com/
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:07 PM   #6
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Oh gosh, so sorry! But don't blame yourself. We had over 30 years experience in water damage repair, inspections, construction, etc. and still got hood winked. Even did a full inspection ourselves. No smell, no visual evidence or even pings on a water meter but there was water damage and mold below the surface (s). Someone had even covered rust damage on the frame with a metal patch. The owner(s) may not have been aware of some of the leaks but as we have all learned, they ALL leak. That said, she was very road ready and we traveled thousands of miles and had thousands of smiles with our 92 excella for 6 years before we started our rebuild. It started as a remodel and updating that ended up being a "shell off" or full monty as they call it. Our floors looked much like yours in different spots and the rear end had practically rusted through! So now it's almost two years later and we are still working on getting the chassis and shell back together. Much closer than we were when we began. But know this, nothing will go as planned. Nothing. And it will be much, much, much, more expensive than you ever dreamed! Not to mention frustrating, exhilarating, mind blowing and did I mention life consuming? And we're retired! So before you go too much further, ask yourself, if this is what you really want? It was not what I wanted but here you have it. I'm quite sure in another 6 months to a year I'll feel completely different! If you'd like more information or any help just ask!
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:17 PM   #7
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1992 29' Excella
Virginia Beach , Virginia
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Our backyard project
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:25 PM   #8
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1993 29' Excella
Crystal Lake , Illinois
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Posts: 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoedis View Post
But know this, nothing will go as planned. Nothing. And it will be much, much, much, more expensive than you ever dreamed! Not to mention frustrating, exhilarating, mind blowing and did I mention life consuming? And we're retired! So before you go too much further, ask yourself, if this is what you really want? It was not what I wanted but here you have it. I'm quite sure in another 6 months to a year I'll feel completely different! If you'd like more information or any help just ask!

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm a contractor by trade, and I've been building custom furniture and cabinetry, as a profession, for 30 plus years. I have a lot of construction experience, and learning the systems of an Airstream is the only learning curve I will need to follow.

I was actually intending on purchasing a more vintage Airstream, and starting with the mindset of a "Full Monty", but bought this instead to appease my wife. She didn't want to wait on a restoration project, and this was being touted, by a very disingenuous seller, as ready to camp. Live and learn.

I can't camp in it the way it is, as the mold under the floor is incredible. I have significant lung issues, COPD and asthma, so I have no choice but to take it completely apart and rebuild it from the ground up. I've already begun gutting it. I'm not the type of person to quit anything. Never have, never will, so whatever it takes, that's what it takes. I will renovate it into a nice, new living space inside a 1993 Excella body.

I have the original paperwork for the camper, as well as the bill of sale and owners manual. That helps alot with information regarding systems. This camper was $38,000 and change back 27 years ago. Seriously, I'm half way through gutting it, and I am extremely disappointed with the lack of quality that Airstream puts into building one of these.....especially for what they charge. When I'm finished, this will be a much better camper to enjoy, with quality products and materials used to rebuild it. This OSB floor, and particle board cabinetry is a joke. I'm glad I'm pulling it all out now. My hand was forced, but it'll be a lot better in the end.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:32 PM   #9
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1993 29' Excella
Crystal Lake , Illinois
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 53
Well done on the gantries. I'll have 2 to build in my near future, once I get this thing gutted.

Good news! The refrigerator/freezer from Dometic works!! ha ha ha. Plugged it in overnight to see if it would freeze a half bottle of water, and low and behold......ha ha.

I need to get some propane to test the heat system and the oven. Wife and I already decided to put in a tankless hot water system (currently the original tank system), and new Fantastic vents. The ones currently in the trailer work sporadically, so since they are both leaking badly (NEVER sealed properly when installed on the roof....a major source of water intrusion, as I discovered yesterday) I will get 2 new ones.
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