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Old 08-21-2019, 08:53 AM   #1
New Airstreamer
2020 25' Flying Cloud
Malakoff , Texas
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 1
New buyer here with leak questions

I am new to this forum and about to buy a Flying Cloud 25. My only concern is about the rivets leaking. Is this a good forum to ask if anyone has experiences with Airstream rivets leaking? We will use this Airstream for our entire retired life and travel USA and Canada for many years. Any advise or comments are welcome...…..thanks.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:35 AM   #2
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1962 28' Ambassador
1961 19' Globetrotter
1962 26' Overlander
Mesa , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Congrats and Welcome to the adventure, travel and obsession of all things aluminium.

Yes this is a great, the best, place to read about Airstreams, Rivets, fixes and accessories.

Yes Airstreams leak, yes Rivets fail, yes water is tenacious and will find a way in. Newer ones leak less than vintage.

But they are always stylish, always admired, sought after and loved.

Keep Reading it's all in here.

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Old 08-21-2019, 10:14 AM   #3
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1973 21' Globetrotter
Houston , Texas
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Welcome to the Forums!

If you use the search function and just put in terms like "leaking rivets" you should get many hits of people sharing their experiences with leaks in general, leaking rivets, leak prevention, etc.

Don't let the fear of leaks disuade you from getting an Airstream. I recently had the experience of looking for a used trailer for my father in law. We were focused on white-box trailers less than 10 years old, and it was surprising how many of them had rotten spots in the floors due to some leak, especially those that had the rubber roofs.

Owning any brand of trailer or RV is like owning a boat. If you want it to stay afloat, you need to be constantly vigilant, and keep up with the maintenance. Door, hatch, and window gaskets eventually dry out and crack and have to be replaced. Window glazing can leak, air conditioner mounts and condensate drainage tubes can leak, etc.. At the end of the day, a leaking rivet is probably rare compared to all of the seals that will leak as they age.

good luck!
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Old 08-21-2019, 02:53 PM   #4
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1986 31' Sovereign
Miami , Florida
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Buy your trailer and enjoy it. Periodically inspect the entire interior perimeter visually and, for a few bucks on Amazon, with a moisture probe. For extra piece of mind, every couple of years take it to a dealer with a "SealTech" machine and have it tested for leaks (most dealers charge $100-$150 for this service).

If you are buying used, by the probe-style moisture testing tool first and use it while inspecting prospective purchases...
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:18 AM   #5
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2022 28' Flying Cloud
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Which moisture probe at Amazon is good for conducting tests in an Airstream?
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:46 AM   #6
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2018 28' International
Fayetteville , Georgia
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I have a 2018 Serenity 28. No leaks. No poped rivets.
2018 International Serenity
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:05 PM   #7
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Cuddebackville , New York
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Since 2007, with two different Airstreams, I've had interior rivets pop out, but they don't cause leaks and are easy to replace. I never had an exterior buck rivet leak.
2014 25' Flying Cloud Rear Twin
2019 Ford Expedition Platinum
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:08 PM   #8
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2012 25' FB International
Trent Woods , North Carolina
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 3,120
As suggested, spend a great deal of time reading posts on the Forum. You will see that some have relatively trouble-free trailers,others have "problem children". You do not know what you will get out of the factory, but a good dealer will PDI many factory issues and fix them before selling you the trailer.
With your intent of keeping the trailer a long time, understand that these things are not made as well as houses, boats, and cars. Some of the RV stuff just breaks. Airstream's construction practices and material choices will lead to other maintenance issues for you. Be prepared to fix things or spend time and money having a dealer shop fix things. Some prefer to go to Jackson Center for their repairs.
I am not the only one who did not drink the Koolaid. If I really had known then, what I know now, I would not have bought an Airstream or any other RV. I would have continued a practice of periodic cabin rentals, motels, and resorts, albeit for fewer days than we spend in the Airstream. I find the need to fix something after every trip aggravating. Sometimes it is minor stuff, but I have had to replace the freshwater tank, had the roof recaulked, remove the water heater on a trailer that is only 6 years old. And yes, I have had a leak that I had to chase down. The seam leaked, not a rivet. The last trip might have been our most trouble-free; I only had to replace the propane detector.
If you roll with the punches better than I do, then by all means, join us and go camping.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:32 PM   #9
2 Rivet Member
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1961 16' Bambi
1969 27' Overlander
Bonner Springs , Kansas
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Get yourself some Cpt Tolley's from Vintage Trailer Supply. Clean around the suspect rivit, follow directions. It has worked for me. Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:47 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
2000 30' Excella
Toledo , Ohio
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Originally Posted by Spaggs View Post
Which moisture probe at Amazon is good for conducting tests in an Airstream?

I use a Sonin model50211
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:16 PM   #11
2 Rivet Member
2015 27' FB International
Miami , Florida
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 66
Originally Posted by Spaggs View Post
Which moisture probe at Amazon is good for conducting tests in an Airstream?
General Tools moisture meter. Home Depot. $40
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:25 PM   #12
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2006 34' Classic S/O
Fort Worth , Texas
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,767
Airstream recommends resealing the roof every five yeas. If you do the SealTec leak detection procedure at the same time that should fix you up for five more years. The Factory Service center does not charge much for the labor either. The only other thing I do at that time is replace the door seal. That seems to save lots of aggravation down the road. If yo keep your trailer under cover that really helps to prevent deterioration of the sealant from the sun.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:38 PM   #13
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1961 26' Overlander
Cayce , South Carolina
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 18
I have been chasing leaks for 2 years I guess it is part of owning a 58 year old Airstream. We use it as much as we can and it sits next to the house so we are in and out of it nearly every day. it gets checked over after every rain and any water cleaned up immediately. So far we have not had what i would call a major leak.
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