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Old 01-18-2012, 08:53 AM   #1
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Roof leaks

It's amazing, how many owners have never replaced the sewer vent pipe cover gaskets, that are known to only last 2 to 3 years.

Lack of replacement leads to a partially rotted floor.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:08 AM   #2
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I am doing an experiment with no gasket and Vulkem only around the pipe to roof interface. In a year I will take the cover off and inspect the Vulkem to see how it is doing. I don't like something that high maintenance but your right it needs to be taken care of. I had a pretty good size leak in the rear of my center bath and fixing the vent seems to have fixed the leak. My leak ended up in the rear not in the bathroom where you would think the water would go.

Perry
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #3
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Actually depending on your climate, they can last less than one year. I was surprised to see that the rubber was cracked pretty bad after just over 6 months on mine. I will probably change mine to a vent of different design.
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by perryg114 View Post
I am doing an experiment with no gasket and Vulkem only around the pipe to roof interface. In a year I will take the cover off and inspect the Vulkem to see how it is doing. I don't like something that high maintenance but your right it needs to be taken care of. I had a pretty good size leak in the rear of my center bath and fixing the vent seems to have fixed the leak. My leak ended up in the rear not in the bathroom where you would think the water would go.

Perry
Perry.

The sewer vent pipes move when the trailer is towed.

After the Vulkem sets up, it more than likely will pull the seam apart.

Vulkem is strong, but I don't think it can handle the twisting of the shell.

That's why the gasket was used.

But, time will tell.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #5
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6 years ago I used pond liner materiel still looks good
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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Airstream uses, at least in their opinion, materials and parts that are normally better than average.

What to use when repairing an Airstream product, such as the way it was built, may not always be the best to use, but it sure is a good starting point, at least until that method or part has been adequately proved wrong or inadequate.

Remember, that the shell lasts forever, and not much else.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
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My sewer pipe gaskets must have been made from some exceptional material. When I tore down the trailer there was absolutely no evidence that they ever leaked. No rotting of the floor, no staining on the inside of the outer shell, no staining on the inside of the inner skins, no water marks on the pipes at all.
I think the contention that they will only last 2 to 3 yrs highly suspect, but that is only my opinion of course based on my observations.
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Old 01-18-2012, 03:42 PM   #8
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What our gasket looked like after 6mos on the dealer lot....
Lucky I was Forum warned and caught it rite away.

Factory also forgot several screws so it leaked like a sieve.

Bob
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:11 PM   #9
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Where do they leak? From the outside, or from in the pipe?
Just asking as I check the caulk for cracks routinely.

TW
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Old 01-18-2012, 05:14 PM   #10
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Perry.

The sewer vent pipes move when the trailer is towed.

After the Vulkem sets up, it more than likely will pull the seam apart.

Vulkem is strong, but I don't think it can handle the twisting of the shell.

That's why the gasket was used.

But, time will tell.

Andy

Andy are you refering to the old style aluminum shroud covers for the pipes or the new style plastic sewer vents/covers?
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:38 PM   #11
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Where do they leak? From the outside, or from in the pipe?
Just asking as I check the caulk for cracks routinely.

TW
On our Classic.....both

You can see the pipe gasket in the above post.....

Here is the flange and base....

POI...new gasket made from inner-tube.

Bob
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Old 01-18-2012, 07:59 PM   #12
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Bob, that flange is so far above the roof and so hideously sealed it looks like it was pulled loose and reinstalled at the dealership by an office pinkie. Do you think they could have "borrowed" the part for some reason, then put this one one later? Or something.

Another thought. Can these sewer vent pipes bind on the cover while moving down the road, and push them up?

doug k
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:14 PM   #13
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Doug,

No the factory just didn't see fit to install all mount screws. If I remember right there were 12 holes in the plastic flange and they only used 5 screws. Look close and you can see one empty hole.
I drilled six new holes in the roof and used 9 new stainless screws.



The pipe is not secured directly to the roof, the gasket fits over the pipe and under the flange base, there is room for it to move slightly under the hat.

Bob
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Andy are you refering to the old style aluminum shroud covers for the pipes or the new style plastic sewer vents/covers?
The old style polished metal covers.

Andy
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:44 PM   #15
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Makes sense, thanks.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:10 PM   #16
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Your mileage may vary.

Hi, I removed my sewer vent, base and cap, to do a proper reseal on them while I was resealing other items on my roof. My seven year old rubber seal was in perfect shape, but the vent base was warped. I bought a new vent assembly and it also fits fairly tight on the sewer pipe and the pipe was at the correct length. I sealed it with the sealer that I bought from Rod at C&G Trailer Service in Bellflower, Ca. Should be good for a few more years, or more.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:46 AM   #17
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FWIW coming from an old commercial roofer...

I use EPDM for my gasket material. I replaced mine 5 years ago and they are still leak free. EPDM roofing material has UV inhibitors in it. Rubber gasket material probably doesn't. Scraps can be had free for the asking, or retrieved from dumpsters at large construction sites...if it even makes it to the dumpster. EPDM roofing material has a design life of ~15-20 years.

I am convinced that the factory is challenged to get little threaded objects into the little round holes. None of my covers had screws in all the holes (and I have the cast aluminum covers). And in one case they hit a rib, rather than drill a pilot hole into the rib, they just left the screws sticking up and added more sealant. Nice QC Airstream...

Aaron
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Old 01-19-2012, 05:09 AM   #18
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"little threaded objects" I love it!!!

I can vouch for that.

The screen protector on our door had three objects that missed their mark, along with two on one of the speaker mounts, and a handful laying on the floor in the Converter cubby hole....

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Old 01-19-2012, 06:03 AM   #19
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Great thread! Thank you Andy, and both Roberts.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Where do they leak? From the outside, or from in the pipe?
Just asking as I check the caulk for cracks routinely.

TW
Either, on my original ones the screening, gasket and sealant had pretty well rotted away. I redid mine but was still getting water in during a heavy rain...seems the factory "forgot" to fully solvent weld one of the elbows and a small amount of water was coming down the pipe and leaking at the elbow. A cracked pipe could behave in a similar fashion.

One of my vent stack leaks was actually showing up a bit further in along one of the stringers, water was getting in at a bad screw, running the stringer and showing up about 6' forward of the actual stack location. I found that one by dumb luck, happened to have one of the interior panels pulled to check on some wiring and saw the water tracking down, that is what led me to redo the stacks in the first place.

Aaron
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