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Old 11-05-2019, 05:10 PM   #1
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Could my subfloor be compromised due to this leak?

We have a 2018 27FB Twin Bed Globetrotter we purchased in April, 2018. In the Fall of 2018 we had damp flooring between our twin beds. This occurred while driving in the rain for 4 straight days as a weather system followed us all the way from the Grand Canyon to our home. We later determined this was due to a frame separation issue that was fixed by Jackson Center under warranty.

On a recent 2-month trip to Texas and New Mexico, we had a leak in our front storage compartment that we had never previously had. Through a series of tests by me, I came to the conclusion that this was caused by a repair to another issue that was addressed at JC. A part was inserted behind the Relax Awning rubber bushing and it appears to me that a sealant was not used and should have been. The long story to this issue was posted by me on the Globetrotter page of Airforums at the following link.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f543...nt-201679.html

Subsequent to that post, the leak returned. While on the road I used a silicone sealant I purchased at a big box store on the road. Apparently, when I started to use the awning again it caused this sealant to compromise and leak again. I called Airstream Customer Service and they recommended I use AD Seal which Airstream uses for sealing purposes.

I applied this sealant and let it set up for 24 hours with the awning open. I closed the awning, water tested the area, and the there was no leak. I will test later after opening the awning to see the AD Seal works under the condition where regular silicone failed.

When Airstream fixed the frame separation issue there was no subfloor issue to my knowledge. On this trip, the area leaked on 3 separate rain incidents. It also leaked on my leak test in travel status and my leak test when I returned home for a total of 5 times. I kept a Chamois cloth in the compartment to soak up any water that leaked in. 1 of the rain incidents and 1 water test only had a couple ounces of water. 2 of the rain incidents saturated the Chamois cloth as it was a hard rain all night. The remaining water test had the Chamois cloth half saturated as I soaked it pretty good. After this water test, I ran a dehumidifier overnight and there was minimal water pulled out of the air. I feel this was due more to the weather at this time vs. any retainage of any water leak.

My question – under these circumstances what are the chances of any rotting or damage to the subfloor? My 2-year warranty runs out on April 25, 2018 and if there is any chance of damage, now is the time to get it addressed.

I appreciate your thoughts if you have had a situation similar to this.
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Old 11-05-2019, 06:13 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GOUSC View Post
We have a 2018 27FB Twin Bed Globetrotter we purchased in April, 2018. In the Fall of 2018 we had damp flooring between our twin beds. This occurred while driving in the rain for 4 straight days as a weather system followed us all the way from the Grand Canyon to our home. We later determined this was due to a frame separation issue that was fixed by Jackson Center under warranty.

On a recent 2-month trip to Texas and New Mexico, we had a leak in our front storage compartment that we had never previously had. Through a series of tests by me, I came to the conclusion that this was caused by a repair to another issue that was addressed at JC. A part was inserted behind the Relax Awning rubber bushing and it appears to me that a sealant was not used and should have been. The long story to this issue was posted by me on the Globetrotter page of Airforums at the following link.

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f543...nt-201679.html

Subsequent to that post, the leak returned. While on the road I used a silicone sealant I purchased at a big box store on the road. Apparently, when I started to use the awning again it caused this sealant to compromise and leak again. I called Airstream Customer Service and they recommended I use AD Seal which Airstream uses for sealing purposes.

I applied this sealant and let it set up for 24 hours with the awning open. I closed the awning, water tested the area, and the there was no leak. I will test later after opening the awning to see the AD Seal works under the condition where regular silicone failed.

When Airstream fixed the frame separation issue there was no subfloor issue to my knowledge. On this trip, the area leaked on 3 separate rain incidents. It also leaked on my leak test in travel status and my leak test when I returned home for a total of 5 times. I kept a Chamois cloth in the compartment to soak up any water that leaked in. 1 of the rain incidents and 1 water test only had a couple ounces of water. 2 of the rain incidents saturated the Chamois cloth as it was a hard rain all night. The remaining water test had the Chamois cloth half saturated as I soaked it pretty good. After this water test, I ran a dehumidifier overnight and there was minimal water pulled out of the air. I feel this was due more to the weather at this time vs. any retainage of any water leak.

My question – under these circumstances what are the chances of any rotting or damage to the subfloor? My 2-year warranty runs out on April 25, 2018 and if there is any chance of damage, now is the time to get it addressed.

I appreciate your thoughts if you have had a situation similar to this.
Talk with Customer Service and make sure they acknowledge in email your complaint/ date under warranty. We had good luck when we went to JC 7 months after warranty ran out, because we notified them of our warranty issues, and they could not get us in till October...they honor their word for fixing things...I was happy, after 2 days of fixes..everything was done like new, except a squeak in floor...but technician noted the problem on my work order and said next time I was there and had more time, they would fix under warranty. Good luck!
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:52 PM   #3
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Short answer: Possibly, yes, but unlikely given the age of the trailer.

Since AS continues to use Plywood as a subfloor, rest assured yours will rot eventually. Most last at least a decade or so -- some have lasted for far longer. Keep an eye on it, you can use an ice pic or other instruments to probe for softness. The new warranty only lasts for three years, and unless there was standing water for a while, your plywood floor is likely to outlast those 36 months.

Still, water damage tends to be cumulative. If you still have it in 9 years or so, you may be at a point to replace it then; hopefully with something like Coosa Board that is waterproof and mold resistant and even lighter than plywood so you never have to worry about leaks rotting the floor from underneath you ever again.
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:17 PM   #4
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If you allowed the area to dry well after each event, you probably have no damage
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:19 PM   #5
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It is most likely fine. It takes long term leaking to rot out the subflooring.....Is the section that got wet as perfect as the sections that did not get wet? no.....But still, you likely have nothing to worry about....just be sure to get that leak stopped.
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Old 11-06-2019, 10:03 AM   #6
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For whatever reason silicone sealant is the big NO NO on Airstream Trailers it just won't work. There has been great discussion back in March 2019 on the use of sealants which I suggest you read through for leak prevention once you dryout - below is a link to a summary on my Blog,

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...lants-summary/
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by drbrick View Post
For whatever reason silicone sealant is the big NO NO on Airstream Trailers it just won't work. There has been great discussion back in March 2019 on the use of sealants which I suggest you read through for leak prevention once you dryout - below is a link to a summary on my Blog,

https://www.marriedwithairstream.com...lants-summary/
After my silicone leaked, I did some searches on Airforums and found the same result. Being on the road for 2 months I was limited in what I could obtain to try and stop the leak. Airstream Customer Service and a JC Service Manager recommended the Adseal so that is what I currently have on it after drying out. If that fails, I will get one of yours from the Windows/Trim/Rubrail list. I also plan on purchasing some of these items to have on hand while travelling in the future.

Thanks for the list!

The consensus at this time seems to be no comprising of the Subfloor in this instance due to the RV being less than 2 years and not exposed to leaking over a long period of time. However, it appears most Airstreams have these issues at 10 yrs and out. I will see if anyone has any different thoughts. However, in my mind if you keep the water out, I don’t see why you would have these issues at all.
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Old 01-20-2020, 06:53 AM   #8
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Cause of the leak is different than I thought

Subsequent to my initial post and, after I thought it was fixed, the leak continued. I edged it out again.

A fellow Aistream owner helped me determine the potential source of the isssue. I have the Relax Awning. the rubber grommet that contains the power to the motor came loose. This appears to provide the opening for water to enter. I have applied duct tape around this area while on the road. This, and keeping the front of the Rv elevated when parked keep water from entering.

I will also need to check see if the wiring is getting frayed since the grommet is loose
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Old 01-20-2020, 07:51 AM   #9
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Indeed, Mold, bacteria and other critters cause rot and require the material to remain damp in order to live and reproduce and it takes a lot of continuous water for a month or more to build large colonies. Laminate separation and warp can also be a bit of a problem fortunately the glue is water resistant and the sheets are fairly well secured so that damage is limited as well. Notification is great advice, but if you keep it dry for long periods and it only gets wet for short times, you should be Okay as others have advised.

For readers who don't go to the threads on use of silicone sealant, the silicone, though flexible is not strong in sheer, so with continual flexing, it cracks usually in 3-12 months. It is easier to apply and wipe off so people like it for fixed structures where the joints don't flex, but for vehicles it should be avoided. The flexible polyurethane sealants/glues are superior in sheer, but they are very sticky when not curred and more difficult to get a nice smooth attractive bead.
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Old 01-20-2020, 09:25 AM   #10
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Picture of Loose Relax Awning Grommet

Below is a picture of the suspected leak source. The awning is in the closed position here. When closed, the grommet compresses somewhat but is still not sealed good at the top. When awning is open the grommet begins to pull away to allow more water in. There is a line in the grommet where it needs to be pushed in past that will keep the grommet secure. The grommet was apparently not pushed in far enough during the build or, was pulled away during JC warranty work and not secured back. This is the front grommet. The rear grommet looks like it is not in far enough as well but not as bad as the front.
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