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Old 07-01-2022, 09:58 PM   #1
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Pala , California
Join Date: Jun 2020
Posts: 222
LEAKS!!! Arrrggghhh!

Hi,


2019 FC 25FB
I had a rear bumper leak I proved by just squirting water along the seam of the rubber gasket. Got some Siakflex and put a beautiful bead all along!

THEN

As I settled in with a storm confident I was leak free it started leaking in the same spot! I pulled the rivets from the inside back middle and left panel and could feel moisture above the bumper junction.

Quickly up to window I found it puddling along the rail when I pulled the trim. It was and is raining hard and I have some flex seal that's supposed to work underwater and went out and as neat as I could sealed along the lower edge of the window. Seems to have stopped it for now. Other corner slightly damp, almost condensation...

So tomorrow I get to chase leaks and seals and gaskets!

I understand the tail lights can leak. IME removing a part that's NOT leaking can result in a leak. Should I just clean and add a bead of Sikaflex along the edge of tail light?

I panicked a little and put a bead of flex seal along the inside of the window as it was pouring in there. It sealed it but could just redirect a leak although I sealed the outside....

Anyway can someone please outline a plan of attack for me and other spots that I should address with sealant.

Is Sikaflex a good option for ALL junctions?

Thanks a lot! I'm by myself and working too and getting confused by all the posts about leaks.... There's only a True Value hardware store 20 miles away for supply options. Holiday weekend means a week to get shipped...

Still a happy AS'er!

Trav
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Old 07-01-2022, 10:30 PM   #2
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I put blue painters tape over suspected leak areas and then check with a hose or after a rain. For larger areas like a window or hatch, I use masking film with the blue tape already attached. It takes a little time ruling out what's leaking from what's not, but I avoid putting sealant where it's not needed.
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:39 AM   #3
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2019 30' International
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Maybe this applies to your situation, maybe not. I noticed a few months ago water seepage inside my curved windows, it would lay in the inside bottom channel. I first thought it was condensation, but upon closer inspection, realized it was something else.

Water would seep from the exterior of the window glass, "wick" under the glass, and enter the interior. My situation wasn't bad, but I could see it wasn't going to get any better.

In consultation with the factory I cleaned the exterior channel carefully of any loose debris, wiped the glass and channel down with denatured alcohol, taped either side of the "channel", and used adseal to seal it.

I did all 4 corner windows and all the narrow "vista view" windows too.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:37 AM   #4
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2021 25' International
Winder , Georgia
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I have one vista window that just keeps leaking. Only in a very hard rain. I cannot even seem to duplicate with a water hose while washing the trailer. The water shows up inside under the bottom right corner of the trim piece. My local dealer ‘supposedly’ resealed the window under warranty but same thing happens.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:40 AM   #5
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Always look up for leak. All the way up.

In order to diagnose a leak at the window level you have to make sure that it's not a leak higher up that is just dripping through the inside layers of the wall and making itself known at the window. You could be chasing your tail at the window if the leak is actually coming from a marker light, ceiling vent, etc. above it.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:51 AM   #6
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2014 27' FB International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRH View Post
I put blue painters tape over suspected leak areas and then check with a hose or after a rain. For larger areas like a window or hatch, I use masking film with the blue tape already attached. It takes a little time ruling out what's leaking from what's not, but I avoid putting sealant where it's not needed.
This is what works for me.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:56 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richard5933 View Post
Always look up for leak. All the way up.

In order to diagnose a leak at the window level you have to make sure that it's not a leak higher up that is just dripping through the inside layers of the wall and making itself known at the window. You could be chasing your tail at the window if the leak is actually coming from a marker light, ceiling vent, etc. above it.
I often find the marker lights are the culprit of leaks on all brands. Exterior sealing the lens or the base usually does not work. The marker lights need to be removed and the holes where the wires and screws go through the body need to be sealed. Then the entire marker light needs to be re-installed.
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Old 07-02-2022, 06:57 AM   #8
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I had the same window leaks start a couple of years ago. I resealed the windows with Acrylic-R. Then a year later I had another very small leak there so I used Captain Tolley's on the small defect in my previous sealing job.
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Old 07-02-2022, 07:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO NOIZE View Post
I often find the marker lights are the culprit of leaks on all brands. Exterior sealing the lens or the base usually does not work. The marker lights need to be removed and the holes where the wires and screws go through the body need to be sealed. Then the entire marker light needs to be re-installed.
I thought about the marker light. It is almost level horizontally with the vista window towards the front of the trailer. The light does have condensation in it. Could that be the culprit if its not above the window?
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Old 07-02-2022, 07:59 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone!

It started raining hard last night and was puddling pretty good so I used Flex Glue to hit the window I could see that was leaking since it works "underwater" and it seems to have solved that one!

I'm fairly remote for the next couple months and will have to order some product. I did get some Sikaflex 221 for the bumper seal and confident that is sealed up. Can I use this every where else?

What products should I be ordering to do a complete and proper job? Local (20 miles) hardware store has typical home owner caulking, DAP etc.

I see AS recommends Acryl-R and AdSeal products....


As much as I'd like to be be super neat about it there's monsoon storms lined daily up for the next couple weeks and I just need it sealed!

I'm wary about breaking the existing seal on the tail lights as that may back fire. Perhaps a fine bead of Sikaflex around the edges.....

Thanks!

Trav
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Old 07-02-2022, 08:23 AM   #11
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My Experiance

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bcc75 View Post
I thought about the marker light. It is almost level horizontally with the vista window towards the front of the trailer. The light does have condensation in it. Could that be the culprit if its not above the window?
Of course it is possible? Water will track down and across. My 2014 had one with condensation like yours, it would present a tablespoon of water on the inside ledge of a window after a substantial rain. I used the blue tape trick to determine that was the source of the leak.

My marker lights were looking pretty tired, so I decided to replace and re-seal all of them. Amazon had them for half price. Please be aware, the video link below shows the wires easily being pulled out for servicing. About half of my marker lights did not do this. The wires only pulled out about an inch, pulling any harder could have broken the wires. The wires are VERY small, smaller than typical speaker wire, probably 20 or 22 gauge. I guess Airstream can get away with that since the LED's draw such little power. But I would have went with at least 14 gauge for durability (but that is just me).

I opted to connect new wire with heat shrink adhesive butt connectors and additionally cover with adhesive heat shrink tubing for overkill and then with one foot of extra wire pushed inside the shell. I now have a future serviceable connection.

The factory used Trempro 635 to seal the lights, so that is what I used for the re-install. The Amazon lights came with the lens, base and rubber gasket.

Video link on Marker Light removal:


My marker lights were so brittle from the sun, it was almost impossible to remove them without breaking them.

Good luck
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Old 07-02-2022, 01:37 PM   #12
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Geez!

Would you believe 5 leaks at least! The running lights weren't even secure. I doubt rolling down the road loosened them all that much. 1/4" gap on the top 3 looks like they were never set tight.....

Why couldn't I do this before monsoon season!

So bummed now.....
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Old 07-02-2022, 03:45 PM   #13
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2014 27' FB International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravisH View Post
Geez!

Would you believe 5 leaks at least! The running lights weren't even secure. I doubt rolling down the road loosened them all that much. 1/4" gap on the top 3 looks like they were never set tight.....

Why couldn't I do this before monsoon season!

So bummed now.....
On the bright side, at least you found the leak and can deal with it. Unfortunately, some have spent months taking the trailer back and forth to the dealer with no success.

Please be careful with some sealers with an acid base, some of them can react with the clear finish on the aluminum causing corrosion. Back almost twenty years ago the factory was using an adhesive for some of the information stickers on the outside of the trailers that had this reaction. "Long Long Honeymoon" did a post and video on it, where they cleaned it off and covered the damage with a larger sticker of their logo. The text is still their but the video appears to be missing.

https://longlonghoneymoon.com/video-thor-stickerectomy/

My rule of thumb is, if the sealer smells really bad, don't use it. An example would be "Silicone One". That is the old school silicone that smells very strong like vinegar. I knew a glass shop owner back in the day that used it to glue mirrors in place and it eventually ate into the silver layer on the back of the mirrors where it was applied.

That is why I opted to use the "Trempro 635" just like the factory did originally. You will also find the Trempro very handy in other places on the Airstream as well as all around the house

Best of luck
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Old 07-02-2022, 05:14 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne&Sam View Post
I had the same window leaks start a couple of years ago. I resealed the windows with Acrylic-R. Then a year later I had another very small leak there so I used Captain Tolley's on the small defect in my previous sealing job.
I would agree
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Old 07-03-2022, 11:50 AM   #15
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2019 25' Flying Cloud
Pala , California
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Oh man...

Spent hours poking around every possible source...cut out old caulking and squeezed in a full tube of Sikaflex 221 along every seam and orafice! Did a sloppy job to boot! Not so bad it wont clean up....I forgot painters tape and stores closed to Tuesday and monsoon in 10 minutes!

So I'll get the pressure check pretty soon!

At least the leaks I sealed the other day didn't leak but I still have water accumulating in the channel of a high spot sort. AS may be 1° list to curbside and leak street side.

I cleaned and recaulked:

All around the windows and the seams between and under the back awning.

Pulled running lights and caulked as much as I could. Man! No slack on the wire to do a proper job but certainly better. Tightened up screws.

License plate holder removed and caulked

I thought the tail light would be a prime spot but there's a gap at the bottom and it was bone dry behind the leds so just retorqued screws.

Awning hinge points.

Above door. I felt a soft spot and cut in and water poured out! That suggests not leaking but I beveled it back and filled with caulk.

Kept staring at that oval Flying Cloud badge...could those rivets leak? (anyone else find that a crumby design the logo I mean A spot for a COOL design?!)

Bumper was done a couple days ago.

The glass on mine seems just to be sitting on a ledge with nothing inside to hold except caulking....caulk?


Roof looks clean....seams solid all along. I spoke with an SOB owner and they said the used a caulking imbedded in a mesh and that solved a long term roof leak...Any advances or idea how to improve on that? I won't tackle this unless my other more likely (fingers crossed!) leaks prove them selves one way or another!

Thanks all! It's good to know that despite solo flying full timer I have a place to turn when disaster strikes!

Trav!

Any ideas?
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