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Old 11-29-2012, 05:16 PM   #1
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1974 Argosy 28
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Airstream? Nope, Waterstream

After having our first good rain since I brought home my Argosy, got lots of leaks, so I'm gonna call it my waterstream trailer.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:24 PM   #2
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Remember, start at the top and work down.
The most likely source of leaks are the vents. Check the vent covers for cracks. Check the caulking where vent cover stacks attach to the roof.
Then check everything that sticks out of the roof; sewer vents, AC, antenna mount, refer vent, etc.
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Old 11-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #3
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Roger,

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Airstream! It's a world that is often damp or even wet, and one needs to battle the leaks constantly. Or at least, be on the lookout for them.

The aluminum flexes as the trailer moves, or even just as it heat up from the morning until dusk, and then cools as the darkness falls. Motion pulls at the various joints, and the inevitable happens: leaks!

As Ken pointed out, the roof is the worst culprit. My experience is that the three roof vents for the waste tanks and plumbing system are the first to go. Get up on that roof and have a look for cracked caulking, and remove the vents, scrape off the old Vulkem (today it's called Trempro 635) and replace the little screens, the large rubber gasket, re-caulk, and you will dry up pretty quickly.

Lots to read up on in the Forums about leaks. Keep reading and do not hesitate to ask questions, OK?
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:58 PM   #4
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Problem solved!
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:33 PM   #5
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
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Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:41 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the help guys. You are killing me with the pictures.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Looks like a Navy river boat. Also, it doesn't look much like an AS, at least around the front structure.

What is it?
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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Hey Roger,
That was a good rain the other day, wasn't it? My AS was parked in the shop.
We knew about 2 leaks all summer long. This week, I finally stripped off all of the old sealant and today I applied some 3M 540 polyureathane sealant. This is not a fun job.
I found that the little plastic dish scraper from my kitchen works well to remove the old sealant without scratching.
I didn't stick around to wait for it to dry. I completed one section today. I'll try to finish on Monday.
Applying the new sealant is a bit of a messy job. If anyone has any clever tricks to make application out of a caulking gun easier or less messy, I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Good luck, Roger!
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Old 11-30-2012, 08:54 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mrs.Mod View Post
Hey Roger,
That was a good rain the other day, wasn't it? My AS was parked in the shop.
We knew about 2 leaks all summer long. This week, I finally stripped off all of the old sealant and today I applied some 3M 540 polyureathane sealant. This is not a fun job.
I found that the little plastic dish scraper from my kitchen works well to remove the old sealant without scratching.
I didn't stick around to wait for it to dry. I completed one section today. I'll try to finish on Monday.
Applying the new sealant is a bit of a messy job. If anyone has any clever tricks to make application out of a caulking gun easier or less messy, I'd be thrilled to hear them.

Good luck, Roger!
Yep, I think we had an inch of rain, and all of it passed thru my Argosy. LOL So far, I have replaced both vent pipe roof covers and gasket kits from Inland RV, Trempro 635 around entrance door, front windows, rear bumper base by hinge, radio antenna gasket, and water fill door. New front door gasket, battery box gasket, storage door gasket. Trempro all seams and rivets on the roof and around roof vents. It's raining again now, so I will check again. BTW a heat gun on low is a good way to dry the floor, I don't have any floor coverings yet, bare wood, so easy to see the leaks.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:01 AM   #10
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That's good that you have the benefit of no interior and you can see the leaks easier. Mine is fully assembled and although I enjoyed my ignorance through the summer, I fear what is lurking behind the walls.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:18 AM   #11
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That's good that you have the benefit of no interior and you can see the leaks easier. Mine is fully assembled and although I enjoyed my ignorance through the summer, I fear what is lurking behind the walls.
Although I have full kitchen and bathroom, the bed area and living room area were gutted, and bare floor wood everywhere, so easy to find the leaks. Cara, you need to look under all cabinets, around all the walls for leaks, and keep in mind water runs downhill, leaks may be higher than where they show up. Ask me how I know.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aage View Post
Looks like a Navy river boat. Also, it doesn't look much like an AS, at least around the front structure.

What is it?
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f161...tml#post548738

:-)
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Click on the link to see a picture of the Sioux River falls near my home.
https://visitsiouxfalls.com/assets/i...uxfalls-og.jpg
Eastern South Dakota is very pretty with hills, rivers, and trees.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:09 AM   #13
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Love the humor. I guess that is what keeps us going after we dry out from the rain, is the great support we can count on from the forums. We've all been there and eventually somehow get back there as we use our Airstreams. I've fix many leaks, just to have another show its ugly face, but not location.

keep us informed.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:45 AM   #14
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Roger,
I looked under the cabinets and under the bed and everything actually looks good. Not even a water stain.
Behind the gaucho, there is a leak. Looks like it's gotten wet a few times, but not rotting. Fortunately for us, we don't get much rain here.
I'm not taking any chances, I'm sealing up everything. A shell-off floor replacement is NOT something I EVER want to do.
Don't forget to search out the type of leaks that happen within, like leaky plumbing. I've seen the floor within inches of the shower pan, and it looks ok, but then, on our last trip, I noticed a small 1/8 inch crack that has appeared in the corner of the shower floor. Great.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:53 AM   #15
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Hi Cara, my leaks now are in front around windows and are minor. Plumbing, I have completely redone with pex, and pressure checked, so far so good. I am currently finishing new twin bed frames. This is a major project for me but what else for an old geezer to do?
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #16
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Sounds like fun to me. Let me clarify, I would do a shell-off floor replacement, but time and space aren't there. I've had a habit in my life to jump into every project head first and though I eventually do get them done, it's painfully tedious. We are almost finished with out 69 Camaro interior that I started, shoot, 6 years ago? It sat untouched for the majority of that time and it drove me crazy. I couldn't bear to see the AS sit like that, never knowing when I would be able to use it again.
So, my new moto is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". It suits me well and costs a lot less.
I almost had my husband taked into buying a gutted AS out of Coarsegold to restore and sell. But he's not as adventureous (or crazy) as I am.
Best of luck to your project too!
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:05 PM   #17
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LOL, love that solution!
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Old 12-02-2012, 01:15 PM   #18
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How are you 'resealing' the seams of the aluminum shell? I can see the old sealant in my seams, but I also see lots of gaps where the sealant has cracked and probably just fallen out. Are you scraping the old sealant that remains from inbetween the seams as much as you can, then sealing over it all?

I suspect I have leaks in the roof seams because I have water pooling up on top of two window frames on the inside of the trailer! Yuch!

Also, my refridgerator access door has water pooling up on the inside bottom of the frame, but I've temporarily completely DUCT taped the whole door on the outside, so it must be coming from the inbetween the outside/inside shells.

I have a 66 Caravelle.

So any instructions on how to reseal the seams?
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:00 PM   #19
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How are you 'resealing' the seams of the aluminum shell? I can see the old sealant in my seams, but I also see lots of gaps where the sealant has cracked and probably just fallen out. Are you scraping the old sealant that remains from inbetween the seams as much as you can, then sealing over it all?

I suspect I have leaks in the roof seams because I have water pooling up on top of two window frames on the inside of the trailer! Yuch!

Also, my refridgerator access door has water pooling up on the inside bottom of the frame, but I've temporarily completely DUCT taped the whole door on the outside, so it must be coming from the inbetween the outside/inside shells.

I have a 66 Caravelle.

So any instructions on how to reseal the seams?
Hi there,
yes, I removed all of the old sealant using the plastic dish scraper from my kitchen. It worked really well without scratching the aluminum. Then I went back and cleaned all the seams and anything that needs to be sealed with soapy water. I didn't want to fully wash the trailer now that it was completely unsealed. I washed it a day before I started removing all the old sealant and then parked it in the shop, so it's generally clean.
One forum member told me that he used blue painter's tape and masked everywhere that he sealed. Then he told me that he found a little blue caulking tool and he liked that method better.
I tried both. I hate the little blue caulking tool. (As seen on TV) It just turned out way more sloppy than I could live with.
So yesterday, I started masking with blue tape. It takes more time, but I'm convinced this is the best way to get a clean line. I don't use the blue tool, just my finger. I dip it in water first. Seem to keep the mess down a tad.
I'm aiming for an 1/8 bead on the seam laps and the blue tape doesn't disappoint. (I'm not good at sealing, but I'm awesome at taping!!!! )
I'm about half way done.
I'm using a polyureathane sealant by 3M called 540. So far I like it. We shall see how it holds up to weather and UV. I order it in gray, but I hear the clear doesn't degrade and turn yellow either.
I would be glad to hear other experiences with this job as well!

Best of luck,
Cara
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:15 PM   #20
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leaks. Sigh.

I didn't read every post, but if silicon has been used, you'll need to use something to remove the solvents it will leave behind, from the aluminum.

I have had so many leaks on my trailer... and you think, there are a finite number of penetrations, you have to have gotten them all! It's an adventure
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