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Old 03-12-2019, 10:38 PM   #21
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We had a big atypical storm in Southern California a couple weeks ago, with repeated wind driven rain over several days. I didn't think much of it, but when I went inside the trailer to get it ready for our mid-March trip I decided to test around it with a moisture meter from Amazon, based on preventative maintenance suggestions from Rich Luhr's nearly complete guide to airstream maintenance.

The moisture meter was off the charts, similar to dipping it in a bowl of water, all around the perimeter of the bedroom. Really freaked me out, so I just started dismantling everything inside to check the extent. I haven't determined the root of the issue because it won't stop raining here!

I took the tarp off it today, and plan to take it to my Airstream dealer that has pressure leak testing. For the leak to be around the entire perimeter it must be where the shell meets the floor. I noticed several areas with caulk gaps in the rear belt line, but no moisture issues back there as far as I can tell.

I'm imagining the water just travels between the walls, hits the floor and tries to exit around the outer edge of the plywood, and gets caught in that layer of impervious insulation, trapping it indefinitely.
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Old 03-12-2019, 10:41 PM   #22
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Yikes! Thanks for posting... and keep us posted as the investigation continues.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:29 PM   #23
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Wet Floor? Ya might wanna check the bellypan.

Btw - feel your pain. Water damage is the worst!
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Old 03-13-2019, 07:09 PM   #24
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Btw - feel your pain. Water damage is the worst!
Yikes, what are we looking at here? How did this happen?
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:49 PM   #25
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Wet Floor? Ya might wanna check the bellypan.

So we believe there were 2 separate issues.

1. Water ingress at under lower belt line trim at the rear bumper. This is a know issue with trailers of this vintage (2008).

2. A poorly fastened (cross threaded) drain connection at the P-trap in the shower, which caused water to pool on the sub floor under the shower... and leach itís way under the bed over the years.

Both issues were very difficult to find. In fact, the only way we found the damage after ~6 years of ownership (we bought it new) was because we pulled the bed and vinyl flooring in preparation for laying down wood floors.

$6k to fix it correctly with new subfloors in the rear 1/3rd of the trailer. Big job, but it was fixed correctly and put back better than new.
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Old 05-21-2019, 12:01 AM   #26
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billtrev-



I'm glad you found the source of the leak and are staying dry.



In case there is any wood damage or potential mold formation, I wanted to be sure you're aware of a product that Airstream and boat restorers are using -- Cold Penetrating Epoxy System.



Colin Hyde used it on the new floor in our '59 to protect the edges of the plywood. I liked the idea so much that I did the entire floor. I also use it on an old house for repairs and find it quite worthwhile. (no association with supplier)



It is not cheap and is quite ripe when applying, but it's far cheaper than replacing a floor or dealing with mold!



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Old 08-10-2019, 07:58 PM   #27
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When we had our 2006 Safari SE FBQ shipped to us last January, we found the rear vent not closed tight. In the 1700 miles between here and there, there were some pretty serious storms and the floor was puddled with water. The PO had put down tongue and groove flooring. We mopped it up and hoped for the best. Watching the floor water content, it seemed to dry out. In doing some maintenance today, I removed the curb side dinette seat. I pulled up some of the flooring, found the original vinyl flooring underneath. I pulled some of that too. Found wet wood floor from the rear of the trailer to the forward side of the door. I dropped the belly pan I repaired 8 months ago, pulled back the insulation and found that wet too. About a 1/4 cup of water dripped on the pavement. We live in Scottsdale AZ and the Airstream hasnít seen rain since February.

So, itís drying now. No rot. Just wet. The moisture content is over 50%. My question to those who have been through this is ďwhat did you do where the wood is wet but covered by frame/structure/insulation on the bottom side? How did you treat the flooring, top and bottom?Ē What is considered dry enough to put things back together?

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Old 08-11-2019, 05:09 PM   #28
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Steve,
You may want to drop the bellypan. The moisture is in the plywood, trapped between the floor covering and the impervious frigginí melamine foil underneath, just about indefinitely until you remove that foil. The only way to do that is to drop the belly, then cut out the foil to allow that AZ air to dry out the plywood.

Youíll also want to remove the floor covering. I cut mine with a razor around the perimeter, then stapled it back on the perimeter when reinstalling using my pneumatic stapler.

It took two separate dehumidifiers, and three big heaters, with no humidity in the ambient air, over a week to dry out the plywood. I didnít apply Total Boat Epoxy until the moisture meter from Amazon was reading below 15%. The Total Boat smells terrible for a while, then eventually dissipates. That stuff is HARD CORE. I had some left, and put it on my wood fence gate, and canít believe how it basically turns wood into a solid surface.

The only question in my mind is where the gray/black tanks are. I am not familiar with the anatomy of that situation, and Iím almost positive based on viewing construction photos from Jackson Center, that the foil covers the plywood above those tanks as well. They just lay a huge sheet of that crap over the entire chassis before laying down the plywood.

The fact that this insulation is impervious has created a disaster scenario 20 years from now, when everyoneís nice $100k trailers start leaking at rivets and seams, etc. and donít recognize it in time. They could have easily perforated that melamine stuff and avoided this whole issue.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:56 PM   #29
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I had a similar situation with my Classic 30, but not as bad. We didn't get a vent fully closed and it rained while the trailer was in outdoor storage. Several days later we came to the trailer and found a rug in the bedroom wet. We pulled the rug and thought all was OK. It wasn't. A few weeks later while at a rally we discovered wet carpet in the adjacent storage areas. The previous owner had pulled out all the carpet in the walkways, but not under the furniture, and replaced it with 2x3 slate look vinyl tile so the water hit the floor in the aisle and ran into the storage compartments.

I tried to cut the wet carpet out but couldn't reach some parts and there were areas that were completely enclosed and inaccessible. Apparently Airstream laid pad, carpet, and clear vinyl on the complete floor and then mounted all the furniture on top of it. I had to pull all the furniture out of the bedroom to get to the top side of the floor. That in itself was a chore. Airstream just used sheet metal screws through the cleats at the bottom of the panels. When they got to the carpet they wound up carpet fibers, essentially making a nut so the screws couldn't be backed out. I had to cut them with a diamond blade on a Dremel tool.

The subfloor was damp and discolored in places but not soft. After I dried it out, I soaked it with Minwax Wood Hardener. It has a volatile solvent but cures up with a nice hard waterproof surface.

One bulkhead under the roadside twin bed at shoulder level was completely rotted from the floor up. I had to pattern a new bulkhead and rebuild the bed. When I put the furniture back in it was going to be 1/4" too low and many things wouldn't fit back together. I shimmed all the furniture up.

We replaced the old vinyl floor with Mannington Adura Rigid vinyl plank. We haven't been camping since December - I'm in withdrawal which hopefully will be cured in a month or so.


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Old 08-11-2019, 10:50 PM   #30
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Fortunately, the wet stops before the tanks on the bottom. There’s surface rust on some of the frame that I’ll clean up and treat while the belly pan is apart. Interestingly enough, there seems to be no water damage from the gap at the rear bumper that is often unsealed on this vintage. I’ve taken the extrusion wrap off and will seal that too. There was a small bit was a small bit of clear sealant on the wrap. It must have been more effective than it looked.

It’s monsoon season here so the humidity is up a bit, but it’s still crazy hot. They’re predicting 109 tomorrow, 110 Tuesday. Hopefully this drys out this week. I’d like to get it back together and head to the mountains.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:55 PM   #31
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Day 3 of the drying out.... 20-35% moisture. The bottom side is still in the 30’s.
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