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Old 01-14-2018, 01:16 PM   #1
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Rub rail trim , Should these be sealed ?

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I️ think theyíre called rub rails ? They werenít sealed at the factory because the upper body panel over laps the lower and so on I️ assume.
Iím trying to locate rear end leak. The usual spot ,sealed where the body meets the bumper but water still getting in.
Maybe the rivers that hold this trim have become lose? Could that happen ?
Iíve just sealed up around the rear light cluster

Thx. Nick

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Old 01-14-2018, 01:20 PM   #2
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Rub rail trim , Should these be sealed ?

Should run a very thin bead of appropriate caulk on only the top of the rub rail to keep water out from behind it. That may mitigate the potential leaky pop rivets that are usually used to install it. Why Airstream doesnít use true sealed blind rivets like they use on real airplanes is beyond me ...
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Old 01-14-2018, 02:24 PM   #3
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Have you sealed around clearance lights? Do a seam seal on all of the overlap sections of end panels with Parabond. Have you checked and resealed the vent cover housings? An often overlooked leak area is the rubber seal in the roof vent stack. Check for gasket tightness on the roof A/C unit as well. Water can wick in and run in these trailers for a long way! Also seal around the Airstream lettering above the rear window. Good luck finding the leak!!
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:06 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
Have you sealed around clearance lights? Do a seam seal on all of the overlap sections of end panels with Parabond. Have you checked and resealed the vent cover housings? An often overlooked leak area is the rubber seal in the roof vent stack. Check for gasket tightness on the roof A/C unit as well. Water can wick in and run in these trailers for a long way! Also seal around the Airstream lettering above the rear window. Good luck finding the leak!!


Check:
Clearance lights
Overlaps in end panels done today
Vent cover housing done 4 yrs ago and look good.
Can you tell me more about where an AC unit can leak ?

Many thx
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:08 PM   #5
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These look very tight against body.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:25 PM   #6
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Any thoughts out there about replacing the gasket behind these lights ?Click image for larger version

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Old 01-14-2018, 04:36 PM   #7
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The air conditioner has a gasket where it seats on the roof. There are 3 or 4 bolts that hold the unit on the roof, and they are accessed by taking the interior trim pieces off. They should be torqued to 5 ft/lb if memory serves me correctly. I had a leak in my 1976 that I was having a heck of a time to find, and finally checked the A/C. Bolts were loose, tightened up, and no more leak! Do check the gasket around the roof vent stack. This is often one of the most overlooked sources of a leak.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:39 PM   #8
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Just looking at your pictures, and I see that the pop rivets holding the rub rail are not covered with the vinyl insert. I sealed all of these rivets with Parabond and then put in new vinyl insert trim. As for the Airstream letters, they are riveted on and can leak.
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Old 01-14-2018, 04:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickclifford View Post

I️ think they’re called rub rails ? They weren’t sealed at the factory because the upper body panel over laps the lower and so on I️ assume.
I’m trying to locate rear end leak. The usual spot ,sealed where the body meets the bumper but water still getting in.
Maybe the rivers that hold this trim have become lose? Could that happen ?
I’ve just sealed up around the rear light cluster

Thx. Nick
On all of the six trailers I have owned, the rub rails had been caulked along the top edge when they came to me (not new).
Out of Doors Mart has a video showing a rub rail being caulked. http://odmrv.net/Parbond/Parbond.php

When I was going through the same issues as you I found that a few of the rivets in the rub rail were broken with the heads still there, and one was missing. But I found water was coming from above, the fan frame not sealed, worse than the rivets.
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Old 01-14-2018, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBWELL View Post
The air conditioner has a gasket where it seats on the roof. There are 3 or 4 bolts that hold the unit on the roof, and they are accessed by taking the interior trim pieces off. They should be torqued to 5 ft/lb if memory serves me correctly. I had a leak in my 1976 that I was having a heck of a time to find, and finally checked the A/C. Bolts were loose, tightened up, and no more leak! Do check the gasket around the roof vent stack. This is often one of the most overlooked sources of a leak.
great advice, thanks everyone. I'll do more research on the A/C. gonna wait until the next rain to see if my work today fixed it. Ran thin lines of Par Bond and "gutter seal" aluminum sealants along all overlaps & trim. Found three suspect lose rivets, filled with that Captains sealant stuff and dab of ParBond where wasn't taking. The money spent on a pressure leak test was a total waste, there's no substitute for climbing up on the roof and using a suction cup on each rivet. Shoulda done this months ago, was being lazy.
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:36 AM   #11
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Sealing bottom rail

When we purchased our 73 Ambassador we discovered a leak near the door, which had been repaired before. While I had the flooring removed in that area we started spraying water, beginning at the banana wrap up. It didn't take long to find the problem as water was coming in where the belly pan wraps over the sides. We sealed the bottom rail on the top edge with Parrbond, no more problems
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:37 AM   #12
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The hinge plate for the bumper storage cover is just sitting on the steel frame. Water can wick horizontally on the top or the bottom of the hinge plate, go straight in, and find the ply wood. You can see the exposed edge of the end of the hinge plate in your photo.
I did not see useful results from a pressure leak test either.
I removed the rub rail and sealed just the top of the hinge plate so that water would not wick in the top of the plate. Replaced the rub rail and then caulked only the top edge and each fastener as it was re-installed.
I found many of my marker lights were sources of leaks. The wires were sealed pretty well, but the 2 screws were not at all, and water wicked thru the threads.
Good luck. I just kept reworking gaskets and seams until the leaks stopped. I found evidence of leaks when I removed trim or fixtures to inspect. The effort was rewarding.
Brad
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:41 AM   #13
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Edit, I also sealed the bottom and edges of the hinge plate all the way around where it meets the frame.
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Old 01-15-2018, 12:59 PM   #14
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Edit, I also sealed the bottom and edges of the hinge plate all the way around where it meets the frame.
Brad


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I️ read here that itís best to remove the trim to seal properly. This was done a few years back. Iím thinking itís possibly one of the rub rails. Waiting for rain now and I️ did a bunch of sealing over the weekend.
Water can get through the hinge plate hinges though , if that make sense ! But just flows into the storage area. Assuming designed like this originally. Click image for larger version

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Old 01-15-2018, 04:47 PM   #15
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Check to see that your air conditioner shroud does not have a hole in it. I had a cluster of 3 pecan nuts still hung together which fell from a tall pecan tree at a campground. I caused a 6" triangular hole in the shroud. Six months later I was dealing with a floor rotting out on one side of the trailer.
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Old 01-15-2018, 08:26 PM   #16
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Check to see that your air conditioner shroud does not have a hole in it. I had a cluster of 3 pecan nuts still hung together which fell from a tall pecan tree at a campground. I caused a 6" triangular hole in the shroud. Six months later I was dealing with a floor rotting out on one side of the trailer.


Ha! Definitely not that, I️ was just up on the roof. The AC shroud was new a few years back from Inland RV. I️ts very durable heavy gauge plastic.
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Old 01-15-2018, 09:56 PM   #17
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On leaky clearance lights: Lew had me clean the up and apply a corrosion block, change to LEDs, add silicon gaskets, then use an "O" ring under the SS screw heads. Mine are leak free now.
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Old 01-15-2018, 11:37 PM   #18
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On leaky clearance lights: Lew had me clean the up and apply a corrosion block, change to LEDs, add silicon gaskets, then use an "O" ring under the SS screw heads. Mine are leak free now.

guskmg


When you say silicon gasket, you mean you just ran a bead of silicon sealant in place of the old gasket ? Sorry if a dumb question ! i like the idea of LED bulbs, probably way brighter. Thx
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Old 01-16-2018, 06:29 PM   #19
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Recently purchased a full compliment of LED marker bulbs. Took one marker light off and it seemed that the gasket/seal could use replacing, so put it back on for now. Is there a good website that has replacements for these ?
Figure I may as well do all of them while changing out bulbs.
Possibly a dumb question, but should I also replace the lens/covers also. Ie do they deteriorate, crack or leak over time?
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Old 01-16-2018, 08:11 PM   #20
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Mine leaked. Put the whole assembly and check for cracks and leaks.

Perry


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Any thoughts out there about replacing the gasket behind these lights ?Attachment 302432
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