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Old 07-08-2018, 03:49 PM   #1
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Rear Bumper Leak - Another Repair Complete

I know this has been covered many times but since I was very nervous stepping in to fix this myself, I thought I would share my fix for those that feel like I did. First of all, this fix is relatively easy if all you are doing is stopping the leak. I donít have any floor soft spots so stopping the leak was my main goal. Iím uncertain when this manufacturing practice started but I read that in 2012 Airstream corrected it.

I picked up a moisture meter and did some tests to confirm that moisture content was higher under our dinette at the rear of the trailer so I knew I needed to fix it as soon as I could. After reading many of the posts on this I decided to dive in.

1) As you can see in the first picture there is absolutely no sealant between the beltline and bumper lid. Remove the Center Chrome strip. It is some sort of firm rubber that is held on with surprisingly little stick from double sided tape. Then remove the screws holding the belt line on. These were in pretty firm and I found it helped to use my small impact driver and a new screw driver head. These can be held back easily to get access to the repair.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:51 PM   #2
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2) Now you can see that the bumper compartment lid is completely unsealed where it meets the rear wall allowing any water on the lid to flow into the rear floor area. Insult to injury, my trailer also had two areas where the gap between lid and rear wall was as much as 1/4Ē by 6Ē or so long at each end of the bumper compartment. In the picture you can see where a putty knife could slide about 4Ē into the gap.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:54 PM   #3
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3) I chose to get some 1/2Ē x 1/2Ē aluminum flashing to help seal this area as well as some rubber seal material to help fill the gap. About $6 at Loweís. To match the curve at each end of the bumper compartment I cut on the bottom flange approximately every two inches so I could shape the flashing. I added a bead of Sikaflex to the backside of each flange and then pop riveted it into place. I then sealed all edges of the flashing. Note that I had picked up white Sikaflex by mistake but since this would be hidden I completed this step with what I had. Gray Sikaflex was used for all exposed seals.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:57 PM   #4
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4) Rienstall the beltline just like you removed it. I opted to go with new screws although the old screws would have been fine. I then used 1Ē wide two sided exterior tape to reattach the center trim.

5) I masked off the areas to be sealed because Sikaflex is quite tacky as it comes out of the caulking gun and sticks to everything. This also gives me a chance of getting a nice caulking line. This worked quite well but I found that the blue painters tape pulled some of the gray paint from the bumper compartment lid and some of the chrome from the center trim.

With the exterior seal, the flashing seal and the bead under and behind the flashing I have three seals keeping water from entering the trailer at the bumper. It probably took me four hours or so to complete since I was taking my time. Someone else Iím sure could do it in an hour or so if they knew what they wanted to do. I think itís very important for someone with a trailer that might be affected by this leak to investigate it with a moisture meter and make appropriate repairs to minimize future repairs and expense. I hope this helps people like me that are nervous about diving in.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:14 AM   #5
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Nice job! Great tutorial. Did you attempt anything to treat wood behind wall? Thx
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Old 07-09-2018, 05:12 PM   #6
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CAV, no I didn’t try to treat the flooring wood. I’m not sure how I could do that without pulling the dinette, couch and vinyl. Since I don’t detect any soft spots I didn’t want to do that at this time. Maybe others with more experience could weigh in on options.
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Old 07-09-2018, 06:52 PM   #7
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Thanks for sharing your tutorial. This is a preventative fix I plan to carry out on my 2005 Safari 25.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:15 PM   #8
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CAV, no I didnít try to treat the flooring wood. Iím not sure how I could do that without pulling the dinette, couch and vinyl. Since I donít detect any soft spots I didnít want to do that at this time. Maybe others with more experience could weigh in on options.
I recommend at a minimum dropping the belly pan enough to slit the reflectix insulation in the back two panels to let water out. I cut it out completely and pulled the furniture/floor up to dry and then treat the floor. If the floor is solid then you might only need to let the existing water drain so the floor can slowly dry out.

Here's my story. I have a 2008 27FB.
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f396...ml#post1262866

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Old 07-09-2018, 10:16 PM   #9
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Thanks SuperTrouper! I hadn’t found your write up when I was reserarching and wish I had. Than may be my next step - I may give it time to see how much it dries.
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Old 07-09-2018, 11:12 PM   #10
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Thanks SuperTrouper! I hadnít found your write up when I was reserarching and wish I had. Than may be my next step - I may give it time to see how much it dries.
Yeah, note that I fixed the leak in January and the water was
Still in the floor in August when I took further action. I hope that yours dries faster but unfortunately with vinyl on top and plastic below, itís not likely.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:05 AM   #11
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I have owned 6 TT by Airstream, 2 Argosy and 4 Airstreams ranging in age from 1974 to 1999. Everyone has had this issue, the first thing is ALWAYS Caulk the beltline. This area where side meets belly is overlaped backwards and funnels water into joint with floor.
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Old 07-10-2018, 11:01 PM   #12
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I've had the same problem with my 2014 27FB Classic. I took it to Foleys, and they pulled up the floor and caulked the rear bumper area in January; but when I took the trailer north on a long trip in May through heavy storms, I noticed that the back was all wet again. Not sure where/how they caulked it, but it seems I better do the job myself this time. So much for Airstream correcting the problem in 2012!
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Old 07-11-2018, 05:42 AM   #13
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Great write up. Thanks for posting. I have a 2011, so I imagine I’m needing to do this. I bought a moisture detector, but haven’t found moisture in the floor and no soft spots. Our AS does sit under cover though. I have the rear bath in our 23, so there’s no way to get the moisture detector near the back wall.
I still think I’ll do this repair. Four hours work for peace of mind.
Thanks again for sharing
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:34 PM   #14
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What is a good adhesive to reattach the vinyl trim to rub rail?
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Old 12-30-2018, 02:35 PM   #15
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what is a good adhesive to reattach the vinyl trim to rub rail?
3m vhb
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Old 04-14-2019, 08:05 AM   #16
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Great thread that ALL owners of trailers in this age group should know. Tore out the flooring on mine and rotten wood before getting it resealed.
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Old 09-03-2019, 10:49 AM   #17
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Don't want this to sound flippant, but why wouldn't a good caulking seal between the bottom of the beltline and the bumper cover plate (which are less than a 1/4" apart) not be sufficient to prevent the water from getting under the beltline which would then simply drain to the ground on either end of the bumper plate? One would also caulk the top portion of the beltline to prevent water from entering from that side.
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Old 09-03-2019, 12:22 PM   #18
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Don't want this to sound flippant, but why wouldn't a good caulking seal between the bottom of the beltline and the bumper cover plate (which are less than a 1/4" apart) not be sufficient to prevent the water from getting under the beltline which would then simply drain to the ground on either end of the bumper plate? One would also caulk the top portion of the beltline to prevent water from entering from that side.


Thatís exactly what I did.
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #19
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Just going to leave this here. This permanently fixed the problem.



http://www.motorcycleproducts.org/AS...Rear-skins.jpg


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