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Old 07-29-2014, 01:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Brian, your wetness shows up at a break in the c-channel where the curve for the corner panels starts. There aren't other breaks between the wheel well and there...and there to the next break up by the batt box where the front panel joins the corner panel. So, anything that leaks into the c-channel in that 1/4 of the AS can show up there.

I had wetness only on the curbside in that spot and it was a combination of the wheeled awning latch and a mis-drilled rivet in the side window eyebrow.

My experience, on the wide bodies is that a leak on the center items (fans, skylights, and A/C) (and I've had 2 of the three, never a fan) is that they leak straight down, and maybe into the wall as well, but it is too flat there for all of the water to go to the c-channel, IMO.

I have also had Capt. Tolley's soak into the rivets where the side panel, the white roof panel and the end cap are all three layers, riveted together. Don't know if they leaked but they were suspect on routine rivet sealing. Also, like you said on streetside check awning mount rail and lower arm mount.

Thanks Rich,

Darn, I was thinking maybe the Fantastic fan was my problem!

I will check it closely anyway - seems to me it was well gobbed up with caulking by the previous owner. Sometimes that can be deceiving though and water can still get in. I may just remove it all and apply fresh caulk anyway, and that will allow me to see if the flange is cracked.

Presently, our trailer is parked in the storage area a little nose down (I forgot to level it before removing the batteries!) so if it did leak, possibly it still could be the source of my problem.

We had a fair amount of rain yesterday and when I checked the problem areas today (both bottom edges of the sides of the sofa/carpet at wall) they were quite damp to the touch. I opened the sofa bed a bit to check underneath and the front wall / carpet area didn't seem damp near the battery boxes, only the sides of the sofa and floor near the front edge of the seat as mentioned

When I go out to the trailer tomorrow, I will take all my caulking supplies and try to ensure every item in the vicinity is well caulked!

I have never tried Capt. Tolley's but a local store carries it, maybe I will pick some up and give it a try tomorrow.

I have not tried sealing any rivets. Is it possible to find leaking rivets with a visual inspection, or do you need a pressure test? I don't think I have any that are obviously loose.

Is it worth just putting a drop or two of the Capt. Tolley's on the edge of every rivet in the suspect area just for good measure?!

Sure would like to nail down this leak, it is frustrating!


Thanks again for your comments ............ Brian.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:58 PM   #22
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I hit all my roof rivets with Tolley's...just a tiny bit. If it puddles in a ring around the rivet, it's sealed. If it wicks in immediately and disappears, it's a leaker. I think I only found 2 or three in the entire roof.

I am now a fan of Eternabond for roof openings.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:07 PM   #23
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Hmmm..... Capt. Tolley's web site lists various materials it can be used on (rubber, plastic, ceramic, etc) but doesn't mention aluminum.
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Old 07-29-2014, 03:43 PM   #24
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This page specifically addresses aluminum under "Vehicles old and new" and states rivet holes

Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:21 PM   #25
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When the Fantastic fans leaked, I first noticed water dripping from between the garnish and the inside aluminum skin. Later as they cracked on all 4 sides, they leaked down inside the skin too. When I removed the inside garnish, that allowed the leaks to drip prettymuch straight down. I didn't allow them to leak enough to cause any damage.

One thing I noticed was the replacement fan base wouldn't accept Vulkem at all. It just peeled off without sticking to the plastic at all. That's after I washed the new parts with acetone prior to applying the Vulkem. I removed the Vulkem (by pulling it off in one piece) and redid the job using Tyvek sealant. That stuff stuck like mad.
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Old 07-29-2014, 07:27 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I hit all my roof rivets with Tolley's...just a tiny bit. If it puddles in a ring around the rivet, it's sealed. If it wicks in immediately and disappears, it's a leaker. I think I only found 2 or three in the entire roof.

I am now a fan of Eternabond for roof openings.
Just took a look at the Eternabond website, I wasn't aware of the product.

Is it their tape that you would use on the Fantastic fan? I see it can be had 4" wide and 6" wide.

One of those sizes would surely be wide enough to cover the vertical portion of the fan mount as well as the flange, and overlap onto the roof metal of the trailer.

May well be able to deal with any existing cracks I would think.

Not sure how easy it would be to install - I guess you'd have to use one piece per side on the fan base, then fudge the tape around the corners somehow.

Is that how you would go about it?

I assume no other additional caulking would be used, just the tape.

Or were you meaning some other Eternabond product rather than the tape - they seem to sell a variety of sealants.


Brian
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:01 PM   #27
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I do think the eternabond would work for cracks in the housing but last year I installed eternabond tape all around both my fantastic fans. This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking it all off .

Long story short,....What happened was I decided to add a patch over the refrigerator vent, this required removing a piece of eternabond tape on one side of the fan. I used 4 inch tape that ended up covering a seam I needed to re rivet. Water poured out when I removed that piece of tape. I think what happened was the tape had a hard time sealing over the screws, one tiny leak and the water made a channel all the way around the FF. Right where the flange meets the roof, because you are bridging the drop from the top of the flange to the roof. My seal on the underside was good ( no leaks) so that water just sat there and corroded the roof. Not only that I think the water was getting hot enough ( my roof is polished) that the FF plastic was degrading. There are strange white areas after I cleaned everything off. No real issue but the corrosion on the roof was surprising. Required the black rouge bar.

Tomorrow my fan will go back in with butyl tape and Sikaflex 221 which is what FF Recommended and Lewster here on the forums.

I think the tape is better left for flat areas ( you need roller pressure to make it bond and it's really hard when you have screws, rivets and areas that drop.)

Ps Eternabond says it will stick to any sealant except silicone. In my experience it does NOT stick to vulkem either.
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Old 07-30-2014, 07:29 AM   #28
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I think the tape is better left for flat areas ( you need roller pressure to make it bond and it's really hard when you have screws, rivets and areas that drop.)
Great info - thanks!

I can understand what you say about gaps under the tape and vulnerable areas being created when taping over screws if they are higher than the rest of the surface. Seems to me I read about the fantastic fans being installed with countersunk screws though? If that were the case, it wouldn't be an issue.

I haven't removed all the gobs of caulk from my fantastic fan yet so I don't know what sort of screws are user there! Not even sure if the fan frame is cracked or not - but it wouldn't surprise me from what I have read here.

I watched a couple of installation videos about Eternabond tape. One thing they say is to lay the tape down loosely and not to stretch it when installing.

Doing that I suppose might help to allow you to use a roller to push the tape in tightly where the fan flange edge is, to avoid a gap caused by bridging down onto the AS roof.

Brian
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:39 AM   #29
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Further to earlier post I went out to the storage area and checked the roof of our 05 Classic this week to try to find the source of a leak (or leaks?) that were causing damp spots on the carpet and base of the front lounge sofa on both sides.

I checked all the windows, awning brackets, rub rail seams, skin seams, rivets, support brackets for rock shields etc and didn't find any glaring problems although I did find a couple of what I felt were minor imperfections - I recaulked everything with Acryl-R.

Then, up on the roof, I again checked for seam issues, loose rivets etc and found nothing.

I had replaced the skylights a few years ago with Maxim units and don't believe the front skylight likely to be the cause of the problem. (seemed too far back from the damp areas anyway.

But when I removed the very thick caulking from the Fantastic fan I did find cracks at all four corners of the fan base and one or two other cracks from other mounting screw holes as well.

Also I found that although the thick caulking looked ok superficially, there was water underneath it when I got it up.

So this possibly was the cause of my problem - we shall see! I cleaned everything up as much as I could, then recaulked the fan base.

But then also, when looking at the two front roof mounted clearance lights, I notice that both had substantial condensation in them.

When I removed the lenses, I found that the sockets were completely rotted - I am amazed that the lights were still working, I doubt that they are now after I disturbed them!

I am wondering if this could be the source of the problem? I temporarily sealed the lenses with Acryl R and have ordered new fixtures.

I suppose it is possible water could have entered between the inner and outer skins via the light assemblies, run down in the wall to the C channel and then along to the areas each side of our sofa where I gather there is a break in the C channel.

The leak was not a huge one but enough to make the carpet / sofa base wet to the touch.

As best I could I checked the floor underneath and all seemed solid so hopefully I have found this before major damage has been caused

I'll check the trailer again soon to see if it has dried out, then again after the next heavy rainstorm!

Brian.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:28 AM   #30
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We had these exact problems with our fantastic fans. I purchased and installed them during our restoration in 2010, I had heard of the crack issues and installed them with stainless screws and large washers to spread out the seal pressure but they still cracked and leaked. after two years of frustration and the removing and resealing process I called fantastic and talked to their service rep. I explained the history and that I had learned of many others having the same issues. They were very good to deal with and sent me out new housings less the motors at no cost even though our fans were past warranty by a couple years. The new frames are quite a bit different and made with thicker flanges. No problems now for the last year.
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:41 AM   #31
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My wife thought I should add the not so fun part of the story. The worst leak we had was the vent over our bed of course! I poured buckets of water on the vents when we were at home while I had the equipment to repair and always thought I had the problem fixed:-) It would always leak when we were on a trip and always in the middle of the night. It would leak so much it was like the vent wasn't even there, but not a drop at home!!!
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:03 AM   #32
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I'd like to add a picture here of the Eternabond Alumibond tape I used around a Fantastic Fan on our Avion. (Enlarge the picture and you'll get a good view of the tape around the fan.) Although I placed the tape only up to the vertical part of the fan's frame, you could easily lay that strip or another strip of tape to cover the vertical part of the frame. I have really liked the Eternabond tape and will recommend it to anyone!
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Old 03-08-2015, 08:57 AM   #33
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"They ALL leak" common statement. I have/had the same problem with a roof leak. I took my A$ to a independent shop to help with the problem. In examination, he said that one edge of the Fantastic is next to a rib, buth the other side is the shroud and thin Al, NO support. He suggested putting some kind of support between the roof and inner shell. He used a 1/8 by two strip 16 in long strip of Aluminum and than screwed the Fantastic, roof and strip together; and caulked. So far, No damp dreams.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:34 AM   #34
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Any updates on the new/improved FF ases over the last 3 years? I have major cracks in mine that were installed in 2011. Looking to replace
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Old 06-06-2018, 06:37 AM   #35
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Any updates on the new/improved FF ases over the last 3 years? I have major cracks in mine that were installed in 2011. Looking to replace
I have 3 that are cracked above the roof level. I've noticed one leaking. I called Fan-Tastic Vent and was told that the part is no longer available. I'm going to fix them with Eternabond tape.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:50 PM   #36
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Yeah I am going to go the EternaBond tape route. I think I have to get out of the idea that my fan solution will ever really be permanent. I wish a supplier would start making aluminum bases with modern guts that we could rivet together. I would spend some $$ on that...
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Old 06-20-2018, 02:42 PM   #37
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Used THIS when I replaced the Skylight 7 years ago, it's been in the AS tool kit ever since.

Up on the roof for Spring get-ready, skylight holding up great. 👍
FF's not leaking but all the factory Goober-Stuff is leaving the scene. 👎
Will clean and tape all the factory mischief.

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Old 06-22-2018, 02:39 PM   #38
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One down....🤗

Removed all the Goober Caulk from the factory.👎
Cleaned with Brakleen and covered the flange,(no cracks) & screws with the Extreme Sealant Tape.👍
Available on AMAZON. 5yds x 3" wide.

Just finished and it started raining. 😂

Bob
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Old 06-22-2018, 09:42 PM   #39
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Fantastic Fan Leaks

Thatís nature crying about being no longer able to get inside your Airstream...

Your luck is way better than mine. Mother Nature does her best to rain on my parade before the job is finished....
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:30 AM   #40
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I installed the gray eternabond tape on my 3 fantastic fans. I removed all of the old vulkem and prepped with acetone. I used a 4inch x 50 ft roll and did an extra layer running up the vertical sides of the base also since cracks run up as well. The meeting at the corners required a little vulkem to completely seal it all; but overall I am extremely happy with it. We have had some serious rains since then and not a leak in sight. I forgot to get after photos, but I took a polishing shot and it has a finished fan in the middle. I also took off the faded covers and replaced with translucent and one gray... which i love!!

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