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Old 08-29-2013, 03:15 PM   #1
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Leak at rear bumper storage rotted floor inside

I have a leak at the junction of the rear bumper storage cover, exterior skin, and the U channel where the walls studs connect. This allows water into the interior, which has rotted the wood floor. Thought I would post some photos of my repair.

First I removed the vinyl rub rail insert, removed the screws holding the metal rub, drill out the pop rivets holding the rub rail. I cut the caulk joint between the metal rub rail and the exterior aluminum skin. This allowed me to pull the metal rub rail away to expose the leaking joint. You can see in the photo there is absolutely no caulk at the joint where the U joint sets on top of the hatch.
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After the open joint was exposed I scraped excess caulk with a plastic putty knife, then cleaned the join with alcohol and a tooth brush, then wiped it clean with paper towels. Repeated several times.
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Then I masked the joint with painter's tape and caulked the joint.
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Old 08-29-2013, 03:26 PM   #2
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Question Leak repair

I reinstalled the rub rail, using stainless steel screws and aluminum pop rivets.
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Then I masked with painter's tape and caulked the joint at the top of the rub rail.
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I do not have the adhesive, so I will have to wait until tomorrow to re-install the vinyl rub rail insert.

Can anyone tell me how long I should wait for the caulking to cure before using Acryl-R to seal the caulk joint?
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:27 PM   #3
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I can't answer your question but I appreciate the post. I have the same situation and your quite will be very helpful.

Thanks, Pete
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:53 PM   #4
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I can't answer your question but I appreciate the post. I have the same situation and your quite will be very helpful.

Thanks, Pete
The whole reason for posting was to help others in the same situation.
I'm glad you could use it!
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Old 07-08-2014, 08:32 PM   #5
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How did you remove the vinyl rub rail insert?

Thanks for posting the pictures.
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Old 07-08-2014, 11:32 PM   #6
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How did you remove the vinyl rub rail insert?

Thanks for posting the pictures.
The vinyl on mine was a dense foam with a silver vinyl coating. It originally had a two side adhesive tape holding it on. Where the aluminum bar terminated near the water heater I worked a flat screw driver under the end of the vinyl. Then lifted the vinyl up and pealed it slowly off using a narrow plastic putty knife working underneath, trying not to pull hard on it. I rolled it on itself all way around the back. Then hung it on the end of the bumper while I worked.

I scrapped the adhesive residue and bits of foam off of the aluminum chanel then cleaned it with alcohol and mineral spirits.

I used an adhesive, windshield adhesive I think, to stick it back on when I was done. I used screws twisted by hand into each side of the vinyl strip, like wedge, which held it place until the adhesive set.

If the vinyl is to far gone and you want to replace it, just rip it off. You can get new vinyl at ODM or Inland RV. It's pricey though!
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Old 07-09-2014, 04:00 AM   #7
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That bumper hatch has been causing issues since 1963. If Wally were alive he would have corrected it 51 years ago.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:11 AM   #8
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So how did you replace the floor on the inside? That has to be done properly as well. As Frank said above that plate that goes under the floor has been causing problems for a long time.

Perry
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:53 AM   #9
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," Can anyone tell me how long I should wait for the caulking to cure before using Acryl-R to seal the caulk joint?"

What is Acrylic-R? Is it necessary to use it to seal the caulk?

I do not have Tempro635. I will be using a polyurethane from a local home supply store. Is this adequate?
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Old 07-09-2014, 12:06 PM   #10
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You don't need to seal the caulk with another caulk. The polyurethane or the Acryl-R but not both.

Perry
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Old 07-10-2014, 07:46 PM   #11
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I started the repair today. I got the rub rail off and removed the caulk at the bottom. I also removed what looks like the remnants of a seal. It was so deteriorated that is not reusable if that is what it is.

I am waiting for a call from Airstream about a part number and any information I can get.

Any thoughts?

BTW I have a 1975 sovereign with the rear bedroom
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Old 07-10-2014, 08:59 PM   #12
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What is Acrylic-R? Is it necessary to use it to seal the caulk?
Arcryl-R is a sealant used to seal really thin joints where caulk will not get inside the joint, like those where the metal skin segments overlaps.
Acryl-R Seam Sealer 28430w-01 [28430w-01] - $34.95 : Out-of-Doors Mart!, More Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!
The reason I asked about curing time is because I had both types, caulk joints and Acryl-R joints that intersected. I waited a few days then did the Acryl-R. No problems.
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Old 07-10-2014, 09:18 PM   #13
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So how did you replace the floor on the inside? That has to be done properly as well. As Frank said above that plate that goes under the floor has been causing problems for a long time.

Perry
I have another thread about the repair. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f36/...xy-108608.html

I caught it before it got to bad. It's been almost a year and I've towed about 1,200 miles. No leaks since the repair, the plywood is solid, and the patch has held up.
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Old 07-11-2014, 06:12 AM   #14
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I don't know why Airstream went to that sticky back trim stuff. I would be tempted to go back to the old insert trim which is much easier to take on and off when you need to do maintenance.

Perry
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:27 AM   #15
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I know I will hear from the purists about this.

Has anyone about trimming the part that extends under the back and using a piece of flashing or aluminum to extend the vertical part below floor level?

Caulk could be applied to keep water out of the rear compartment. Anyway I would rather have water in the storage compartment than the bedroom floor.
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:14 AM   #16
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You can remove that plate entirely and attach the hinge to an angle piece welded between the frame members. You can also separate the storage box from the floor of the trailer.

Perry
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I know I will hear from the purists about this.

Has anyone about trimming the part that extends under the back and using a piece of flashing or aluminum to extend the vertical part below floor level?

Caulk could be applied to keep water out of the rear compartment. Anyway I would rather have water in the storage compartment than the bedroom floor.
There are several of us on here that have fabricated an "L" flashing to correct the problem. I don't have pictures of mine, but someone else does. IMHO this is a design flaw from the getgo and shame on Airstream for not correcting it a long time ago. On my trailers the bumper storage compartment is not water tight to begin with.

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Old 07-13-2014, 08:14 AM   #18
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There are several of us on here that have fabricated an "L" flashing to correct the problem. I don't have pictures of mine, but someone else does. IMHO this is a design flaw from the getgo and shame on Airstream for not correcting it a long time ago. On my trailers the bumper storage compartment is not water tight to begin with.

Aaron
I would like to see photos if anybody has them. Hope I never have to, but if I ever dig into the floor again, I would be tempted to remove that plate.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:21 AM   #19
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When Airstream finally tackled the rear bumper leak issue in 2012 - present, they used a round gasket between the shell and plate to seal the area (and it works on ours). It would be easier for them to simply caulk it like other seams in the area. It would have been easy for them to caulk it in years past as well. I wonder why they continue resisting putting caulk here.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:29 AM   #20
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I would like to see photos if anybody has them. Hope I never have to, but if I ever dig into the floor again, I would be tempted to remove that plate.
If the plate wasn't there would you have water (lots of it) coming from underneath the trailer while towing in a downpour, drenching the area of the shell seam. I'm guessing the plate deflects that water thrown up by the truck and trailer tires.
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