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Old 02-24-2009, 02:35 PM   #1
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,480
Images: 27
embarking on weather-izing

Sooooo, after owning Ophelia for a few months, I finally notice two leaks. Water accumulated on the top of the *dresser* in the bedroom (streetside) and another by the windows at the curbside, forward of the door.

I see a lot of sealant coating the rivets on the exterior just above the bedroom/street side window. Hummmmm.

I saw water running down the interior skin and onto the carpet along the livingroom/streetside windows. Looks like it originates above the fixed window --- maybe the vista-view or roof.

So, I ordered the acryl-r w/applicator this morning from the Airstream shop. I also called Inland RV to get window and vent gaskets (still need to get dimensions for access hatches). I meant to do this job over the holidays but was ill and then I got involved in *prettying-up* the inside. D-Oh.

Where should I start??? I guess my priority is finding/fixing the leaks. Then the window gaskets (they're in bad shape). I was asked by Inland if I wanted to redo the gasket at the screen door. I dunno - guess I need to examine it. I have never even looked at the top of my trailer - and I'm scared! I saw a post from someone who uses a water hose to locate leaks - starting from the bottom and letting it run for 5-10 minutes in an area before moving up the trailer. Is there a better way?

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Old 02-24-2009, 05:40 PM   #2
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1972 25' Tradewind
old mystic , Connecticut
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 320

This has been my "job" this past week. I removed all the windows and replaced all the gaskets, then I climb up on a ladder and removed 35 year old vulkum from above the windows. Since we are going to strip the clearcoat off when the weather gets warmer I wasn't too worried about getting the remover on the clearcoat, which it did remove. I'm not sure if I'll reseal above the windows now or after we strip the clearcoat. If paint stripper removed the old vulkum I'm concerned how it would react to the new stuff. The AS is stored inside so I don't have to worry about any rain issues.

I used a paint stripper, I think it was called aircraft, layed on a thick coat waited about have an 1/2 hour and then scrapped it off with a PLASTIC razor blade, you could probably use a plastic putty knife if you wanted to. Came right off, then I cleaned it down with mineral spirits.

To remove the windows I first removed the 2 castle nuts from the arms, The from the outside lifted the window up almost pointed to the sky, and the window lifted right off. I marked each window as I took it off with a piece of painters tape and wrote on it which window it was, I don't know if they make any difference where they went back in or not but I figured better safe than sorry.

I got a box of 100 razor blade and this tool from the hardware store. It is small and fit into the palm of my hand. I removed as much of the old gasket as I could then, apply a product called "adhesive remover", I think it was just plain paint stripper with a different label! BAM took off the rest of the gasket, cleaned it off with a green scotchbrite pad and then wiped it down with mineral spirits.

I took 2 piece of 4 foot aluminum angle and screwed them to my plywood beach and then used then to hold the pieces of gaskets after I cut them to length. I spread the glue on the gasket then on the window spread it with a plastic razor blade and let it dry about 20 minutes then put the gasket on the window. I held down the corners with some very small plastic clamps. left each to dry over night. I finally got a brain storm and went and got some pinch type clothes pins for clamps. Worked great.

Next I'm on to the door!

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Old 02-25-2009, 07:56 AM   #3
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Great - thanks for the details Annette. I'll be on the lookout for that handy tool. No angle iron around my place, but I'll find something ....
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:04 AM   #4
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1973 27' Overlander
Tucson , AZ
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 1,480
Images: 27
So, this weekend, IT began.... course, I picked a nice weekend to be stuck on a ladder, leaning over the roof of my A/S and catching some significant rays. I've got a nice farmer tan started now.

So, the roof of the trailer is a ghastly mess. Looks like the POs used the theory of "more is better". There's an unreasonable amount of silicone around the vents, rivets, etc. whatever is around the A/C perimeter and the gap at the awning is incredible - maybe 2" bead of something white. And around the antenna is something spread in great amounts - though thin - and is gray and very hard.

I worked with a nylon pan scraper (Nylon Pan Scrapers : Stoneware : The Pampered Chef, Ltd.), a dental pick and mineral spirits (helped melt the silicone). What a chore. I think I can get the gobs & gobs of silicone off using these tools - and some of the smeared vulkem. But I have no idea what the really hard gray stuff is. As suggested in some other threads, I'll try a blow dryer to see if will soften. Any other ideas? I have a bad feeling this is going to be a real PITA and will discourage any other projects on Ophelia....
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