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Old 08-26-2007, 06:35 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Where to Start

About seven years ago, I purchased a used pop-up, and the PO, was a caulking wizard, he caulked everything. I recently purchased an Argosy, and the PO, looks as though he never caulked or sealed anything.

So, first things first. The rear bumper. I have searched the forums, and I think the rear bumper cover is supposed to have some type of seal on it. We had a down pour before I went camping, and the box was soaked on the iside. Does any one have a photo of what it is supposed to look like?

It rained all the way to where I was going to camp, but by the time we set up, it was nice and sunny, but there was an "odd" odor coming from the bathroom area. Since it is all sealed with and can not be seen, it started to make me nervous, that and looking at the wet bumper. When I got home, I crawled under it to take a look. There was a long rectangluar section cut out of the belly pan around the area the waste pipe came down. I removed the section, and took a peek with flashlight under.

The good the bad and the ugly. Over to the side where the power cord comes in, there was a rotted section about 4-5 inches wide and about 2 inces deep where there was water dammage. Back toward the middle and across the other side, as far as I could see, there was no additional rot dammage, but it looked like it had gotten wet. I would have tried to take a photo, but dont think I could have gotten it up in there. Also, you could tell that water had come down through the section and leaked out of the pan cut out.

So, I hope that it is still salvagable in that area. Any thoughts, on how best to repair it? Take the vanity out, our come up under from taking the belly pan down, or both?

I know that I need to seal the space between the bumper and the rub strip. What do you recommend for that and the lower rub strip? I have seen people recomend vulcum. My argosy is whitish, so I would like some thing clear.

Also, one other note, there was a lot of water under my fridge, in the belly pan, that looked like it came up throught the screen in the bottom of the belly pan, and made the wood near the door wet. Is this normal, and what is the screen for? It also looked like under the bed a little water leaked under the wheel well lining. It was a driving rain storm I was driving through, but I am not sure I should be having problems with the water coming up from under my trailer.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

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Old 08-27-2007, 02:04 PM   #2
2 Rivet Member
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Part is Done

Before the weather turned bad, I had to decide what to do, so I did things the old fashioned way, I spoke with the local airstream dealer. He recommended Parr Bond for the rub rails and PU/Vulcem for the space between the rear bumper and the bumper box. He said that I could not seal the box and to drill a few more holes in the bottom of it to let the water drain out at a faster rate.

I cleaned out the area between the bumper and the body best I could and filled it with PU. I am hoping when it dries if can get it of the rub rail, since its gray and my body is off white. While I was at it, sealed all of the rub rails, belt rail, wheel lips, and sides of windows with the Parr Bond as recommended by the airstream dealer. Using a calk gun I used almost a tube of each on all the joints, and the bumper. I caulked everything possible on the back end to try and elimnate the water coming in, but I suspect if I am sucessful at the bumper seal, most if not all of it will be under control.

Still have a couple questions unanswered. What is the screen under the fridg for in the belly pan? When it rains and you travel, it throws a lot of water up into the belly pan. Not sure if that is causing a small wet spot by the door, which I can see the wood to the floor when I open the fridge access panel.

Also, if I have cured the water leak in the rear, is it worth it to go in and replace the 4x2 section that has rotted out. To do it, I will have to tear out the vanity or remove the belly pan. Can it be left as is and treated not to rot anymore?

Your thoughts and ideas would be appreciated.
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Old 08-27-2007, 03:03 PM   #3
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1979 30' Argosy
Havelock , where we park it
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,652
Welcome to the wonderful world of Argosys... Yes it is worth fixing the rotten piece of flooring... Check out our thread Costalotta start to finish... This is our second Argosy redo and the most extensive one..
Marvin & Annie
Niki (fur baby)
1979 Argosy 30 (Costalotta)
WBCCI 10103
"Happiness is a warm Puppy" Charles Schulz
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Old 08-27-2007, 04:01 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
1973 24' Argosy 24
Grand Rapids , Michigan
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 45
Thanks for the tip

I took a look at your work in progress. WoW!! That is a lot of work, and way beyond my abilities. I am just trying to "Fix-up" the "Good Deal" I got on my 1973 24ft. The PO said that in the 16 years he had it, he did not know of any leaks, and I looked every where possible to find them. The only two places you can't really see, as I have found out, are under the bathroom and under the water tank. I have been able to see most of what is under the bathroom, and am working to fix this, but do not have a clue what is under the water tank.

To be honest, I know that many people are not aware of some of the issues their units have, but looking back, I think this guy did. Any way, after reading your work in progress, I don't reall feel as bad as I did last weekend, when I started to put things together that there was an issue with the bathroom and the bumper.

I paid $3,000 for it and was starting to feel pretty bad that I over paid by a lot based on the leaks I found. I probably overpaid, but "I had to have one". Other than those two issues, the previous owner had replaced the fridge, with a bigger one, replaced the water pump, heater, hot water heater,awning and all the water lines. The AC works great, nice and cold. When he purchased it, he replaced all the curtains and cushin's, which are not in bad shape, just a little dated, and the carpet.

Seeing as you paid $1,500 and gutted yours I don't feel as bad. Misery loves company I guess.

Anyway, back to the bumper, which based on how you took yours apart, you are probably an expert on them, and how the box attaches at the floor level and the base of the outer skin. What I have done is scraped out under the rub rail and tried to to put the PU back under there between the rub strip and the top of the box. I have also put Parr Bond on the top of the rub strip to seal any water coming down that way. The PU comes out toalmost the bottom of the rub rail, but I wanted to make sure NO MORE WATER GOT IN THAT WAY, for now.

My only question is, I have a couple of loose rivets, that need replaced down there on the rub rail, should I completely remove the rub rail, then seal with PU, then put the rub rail back on. I have patched if for now, just to stop the water when it rains again, but I would like to do it the best I can without dropping a lot of money to do it. After spending some time patching it up yesterday, Famous last words, it does not seem like it would be that hard to take it off and seal it, then put it back on.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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