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Old 03-22-2017, 06:21 PM   #41
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I recently removed my center rear clearance light to get power for a backup camera and it had no sealant around it. Only a thin gasket between the flat light and curved roof. The screws were already corroded and I don't know what kept the water out. I sealed around all the clearance lights and betwee the light and the base. I left the bottom side of each light unsealed just in case some water was able to get in. I hope I never have to replace a light!
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:54 PM   #42
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I decided to have all my clearance lights replaced with LED versions as the current ones are all 10 years old. It will be nice to be able to leave my Airstream outside in rainy conditions again.

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Old 04-05-2017, 05:57 AM   #43
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Despite replacing the clearance lights, removing the window glass hinge, resealing and installing the leak persists. It rained hard last night for an hour and after the rain stopped went outside and found water coming down the bug screen.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:10 AM   #44
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The vent fan on the roof?
Have you completely removed the fan base to check the seal?

I had to re-do both fans on my Safari and one on my Excella.
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Old 04-05-2017, 10:40 AM   #45
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During my remodel I had two MaxAir vents installed, pulling out the Fantastic Fans. New sealant applied. Also no evidence of prior leaking around the vent openings and the wood framing. The vent is forward of the main rib the end cap is attached to and I'd be surprise water could venture towards the rear opening with all the insulation but who knows.

I'm planning on removing the day/night shade and then the bug screen which seems to be attached to the white interior window frame. The first photo above the water is dripping between the white bug screen frame and the window frame. Hopefully once the rear inside window frame is removed it will expose the top of the window frame where water is collecting.

Worse case scenario is to pull down the over head cabinets. That will expose the area above the window. There is no interior aluminum skin behind the cabinets. The cabinets have there own curved back. If water was coming from the clearance lights I would imagine the insulation would soak up the water like a sponge and stay wet for a long time and give an indication where the leak was coming from.

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Old 04-06-2017, 06:03 AM   #46
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While it was still raining on and off, after work I managed to remove the day/night shade and bug screen. It exposed a little bit of the top of the window. There is some flashing in the way but I can pull it back some what and look up. The back of the window between the top of the window frame is heavily caulked. I can see a couple of brown colored screws. I first thought they were rusty but they are treated screws. Looking at some Airstream assembly footage on youTube I think they are used to mount the window in a steady position while the techs rivet on the window frame. Its from these screws the water is seeping out.

So the top window frame channel is still collecting water.

I've had all markers lights replaced with new LED versions. I'm assuming the shop sealed the mounting holds and wire entry points. Several of my old lights were rusty inside.

They have removed and remounted the rear window hinge, remove each rivet from the awning rail and reinstalled new rivets with plenty of sealant. I've resealed the top of the curved side windows and the rear window. Resealed the miter joints of the window. Some how water is still making its way to the top window frame. The shop even ran a SealTech to pressurize the interior and not bubbles found around the window. Their next step was to remove the cabinet over the rear window but felt the clearance light replacement fixed the issue.

I'm going to try this Saturday to set up a step ladder and tie down my garden hose and soak the crap out of the rear window area. If it starts to show a leak then I know its the window area and not clearance lights. If that fails to produce the leak I'll soak the clearance lights.

Here are a couple of photos of the window frame after removing the bug screen.

First shows the water dripping and the second shows looking up to the top of the window between the interior metal flashing and the window frame. The brown screw head is visible which is where the water is coming through an then wicking down the bug screen.

Kelvin
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Old 04-06-2017, 07:29 AM   #47
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Kelvin,

You're on the right track. Start your flooding from bottom to top...and don't rush it. Sometimes it takes a lot of time for a drip to show up inside and if you move up too quickly, you can't eliminate the lower areas you just flooded. I would also advise to lower the nose of the trailer. This will help eliminate or condemn the rivet line where the clam shell is attached to the roof panel. With the AS tilted down in front, when you flood the rivet line, the water will either follow the clamshell/roof/wall bow to the floor where the clam shell meets the flat side wall....or potentially show up at a rear roof vent (or other penetration....but most likely at the floor on one or both sides. Allow a lot of time for that potential and probe those areas.

As you work up from the window top. try and isolate each seam and light with a small stream, and again, allow a lot of time for drip to show. As you already know, water leaks are an exercise in patience. Sometimes it has taken me more than a year to identify, isolate, understand and cure an individual leak.

I have now been leak free (per 10 water alarms) for a year...until just the other day. After a couple weeks of on and off persistent rains, I had one of my rear center alarms go off. The "rag" I use as a moisture attractant for my alarm was just barely damp....so that one is going to be a bugger to find. I'll start with the lower rub rail, as it has been 6 years since I resealed it last and it is looking a bit ratty....and again....work from bottom up, or you'll get lost chasing your tail.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:14 AM   #48
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Thanks for the tips. This leak seems excessive. The shop ran a SealTech pressure system and found one leak on the lower curved window edge which is way below and off to the side but nothing showed up around the window or rear window awning rail.

So frustrating. I'm almost tempted to drill a couple of weep hole up into the top window frame. That way it will drip to the lower window frame and give me a better indication the issue is fixed if I ever find the source of the leak.

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Old 04-06-2017, 08:22 AM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Thanks for the tips. This leak seems excessive. The shop ran a SealTech pressure system and found one leak on the lower curved window edge which is way below and off to the side but nothing showed up around the window or rear window awning rail.

So frustrating. I'm almost tempted to drill a couple of weep hole up into the top window frame. That way it will drip to the lower window frame and give me a better indication the issue is fixed if I ever find the source of the leak.

Kelvin
No discouragement allowed!!!! You WILL find it, and when you do, it will be an ah ha moment, and "well that's pretty obvious" feeling. SealTech is a great tool, but like all tools, only as good as the person working it. I'm not saying your tech wasn't good, but something was obviously missed. Slow and steady.....and start with a plan...and follow it with patience. Tilting fore and aft and side to side can be a great tool for isolating quadrants. That takes time that dealers and shops don't have. Again, some of my plans of attack have taken months or longer to resolve.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:23 AM   #50
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No drilling either! That's a band aid , and permanent.
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Old 04-06-2017, 08:46 AM   #51
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The holes wouldn't be noticeable up under the top window frame and would be a better indication of the leak vs waiting for the water to seep through the screws I mentioned down the bug screen. That way I could put the bug screen and day/night shade back on. We are camping next weekend with possibility of rain.

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Old 04-06-2017, 09:05 AM   #52
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It's hard...from pictures, but are you SURE that the water is coming through the screw hole FROM the window frame channel? two reasons I ask:
1) water in the channel will tend to run to one or both sides of the window. It would be very unlikely that the channel would fill to a level to reach the screw hole...unless the screw hols is absolutely at the floor level of the channel (or "rib" strengthener which the window is riveted to)
2) your drips are spread out over several inches. IMO, if the screw hole were the SOURCE of the visible evidence of a leak, it seems there would only be one water path, and drip, directly below the screw.

IMO, the source of the leak is above the window frame and is running down the inside of the "wall", inner skin, and collecting around the screw head (among other drip paths over that few inches). Is there a way for you to see up in there between the inner skin and the window frame/rib....even gently prying the inner skin away a bit more. I believe you'll find water above the screw.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:10 AM   #53
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Found this youTube video of Airstream assembly



At 2:12 it shows a Classic 25fb, like mine, going into the rain test.

It shows the inside of the rear window area. On the close up showing the tech running her hand in the upper rear window frame is were the water I'm getting is collecting. Notice the screw heads across the window frame. I think that is one of the screw heads I can see in that photo.

I'm beginning to think the window has so much sealing my leak is up further.

I have an patch in the back of my dinette cabinet. There is a large access hole for the Classic radio set up and I removed all of that and patched up the large hole. I can get my arm part way down it but need to remove the dinette table to put a step ladder. Behind the cabinet there is no inner skin just the insulation glued to the out shell. If there was a leak coming down from above would it saturate the insulation and soak up the water like a sponge? With the insulation glued on would it not prevent the water to make an easy path down the shell? I can't feel any wet insulation.

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Old 04-06-2017, 09:16 AM   #54
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As you said in post #45, some (hopefully minor) disassembly of the overhead locker might be in order. If yours is like mine, that bottom padded vinyl panel comes off pretty easily, and exposes an inch or two of cavity between the panel and the false bottom of the interior locker floor. This might give you a better look at the area above the screw....I can't remember exactly how the wood cabinet framing is like in that location.

Other thing I would try is laying your moisture meter probes (not penetrating with the points) against the back curved wall of the locker. You may be able to note areas of higher moisture content in a vertical path in the area where water is running/collecting in the insulation. Also, with that lower panel removed, you should be able to take probe readings in the (usually) hidden woodwork under there.....IF....the water is coming from further up and soaking the insulation.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:25 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KJRitchie View Post
Found this youTube video of Airstream assembly



At 2:12 it shows a Classic 25fb, like mine, going into the rain test.

It shows the inside of the rear window area. On the close up showing the tech running her hand in the upper rear window frame is were the water I'm getting is collecting. Notice the screw heads across the window frame. I think that is one of the screw heads I can see in that photo.

I'm beginning to think the window has so much sealing my leak is up further.

I have an patch in the back of my dinette cabinet. There is a large access hole for the Classic radio set up and I removed all of that and patched up the large hole. I can get my arm part way down it but need to remove the dinette table to put a step ladder. Behind the cabinet there is no inner skin just the insulation glued to the out shell. If there was a leak coming down from above would it saturate the insulation and soak up the water like a sponge? With the insulation glued on would it not prevent the water to make an easy path down the shell? I can't feel any wet insulation.

Kelvin
Yes, but if the leak is up higher, gravity would make some of that water run down the back curved wood of the locker. If the source is more or less from the vertical portion of the clam shell, then most of the water would run down the inside of the outer skin and be deflected by the upper window rib/frame. I would still expect heavy insulation soaking south of the entry source, which might be detected in the cabinet woodwork. Let me study your video. I think your shell construction in the center and north of the window is pretty much like mine....except panos and no wardrobes.
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Old 04-06-2017, 09:38 AM   #56
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Kelvin, can you take pictures of the cabinets, from end to end with the doors open, and relative close ups of the "accesses" (ie radio equipment, etc). I really think some disassembly is in order. Video is blurry, but helpful.
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Old 04-06-2017, 06:52 PM   #57
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I've attached a photo showing the end cabinets and a close up showing the opening where the legacy radio wire access. Standing on the dinette I can reach in and touch the bottom where the shell comes into contact with a horizontal rib. about halfway to the curb side corner. I feel no wetness from the bottom to top. If the clearance lights were leaking wouldn't the insulation retain the water for days before it dried out? I can reach the street side window corner and about You can see insulation behind the hole. The insulation is still glued to the shell. I can feel the center and street side clearance lights wires and no water.

I really don't think the leak is coming from above. When I touch the top of the rib over the window it doesn't seem to be at the same height as the top of the window frame. There is a void between the top of the window frame and the shell horizontal rib. I believe the top of the curved side windows are riveted to this rib as well as the top of the rear window. The top of the rear window has the rain gutter/window hinge plate riveted there. The shop removed this part, resealed and riveted it back on. The tops of the curved windows have be resealed. This would leave the rivets suspect but the shop also put in a SealTech machine and didn't see any air bubbles. Maybe it isn't foolproof.

Somehow water is getting to the top of the rear window frame. Its a U channel and the water leaks out of the brown headed screws used to support the window when it is being riveted on my Airstream manufacturing techs. These screws are in line with the water dripping down the bug screen.

Kelvin
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Old 04-07-2017, 07:07 PM   #58
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My analysis above is incorrect. The water isn't collecting on the top of the window frame but somewhere above in the horizontal rib. Looking at the photo looking up the screw head is screwed into the window bow or rib above the window frame. When I reach through the access hole in the rear of my cabinet I can feel the screw. So the screw enters the window bow rib and exits. However there must be a void because the screw enters but exits through a different wall. When the leak was apparent the other day it isn't wet where the screw exits so there must be a void.

I propped up a hose on a step ladder and used a jet spray to directly on the rear window with the rear awning deployed. I ran the water for 45 minutes and didn't see the leak appear. Photo 1. I can feel the rivets from the window hinge/gutter and all appear dry despite being flooded.

Then I moved the hose over to the street side curved window and within 10 minutes there is water coming out the screw head yet where the screw exits there is no water or moister so that tells me where the screw enters isn't the same rib wall where the screw exits. Somehow water is getting in from either the side/curved window via rivets or the roof section that intersects the curved window mounting frame.

I'll try to isolate the corner window better tomorrow to reproduce the leak.

If it is the corner window then I'm not sure what to try to seal.

Kelvin
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Old 04-08-2017, 10:58 AM   #59
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Set up the step ladder and the hose and sprayed the corner window for about an hour. Couldn't reproduce the leak. I blocked off the rear window with the awning and a plastic sheet. I'm now back to spraying the rear window. 1/2 hour into it and no leak showing up.

I'll try the curb side curved window next.

Frustrating. I may have to live with this leak or have the rear windows pulled and reinstalled.

Kelvin
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Old 04-08-2017, 12:35 PM   #60
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After soaking the rear windows from street side to curb side at or just above the top edges I wasn't able to reproduce this leak.

However, once I set the spray pointed to the center clearance light with water running down all sides of the rear end cap the leak started to occur on the street side of the rear window.
The water collects on the awnings and even runs forward to the ends of the awning rails.

I will concentrate on the street side points of entry objects.

Kelvin
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