I originally posted this in exterior skins and rivets, but it is at the roof seams.
I am a new guy here, first post. I have been looking around this website for some info to help me understand why this problem happened and how to fix it. I recently bought a 1968
24'T Airstream. The seams on both sides of the top roof skin have failed. The rivets have mostly failed (broken, missing, separated seams)and the sealant to mate the seams has turned to a whitish powder when scraped off. The unit sat on the cliff above the Pacific Ocean for at least 14 years per P.O. Most of the other seams still are tight and have some sort of sealant between the skins. There is definitely some corrosion in a few areas, but most of the unit is in tack. My first priority is to make it weatherproof, fixing the two seams roughly 14' each with Olympic rivets and vulkem. I read on this website that every seam on an AS is structural. I am a union Carpenter and understand shear values. I am wondering if these rivets are sufficient. I really do not want to strip the interior skins off. The interior is mostly original and want to keep it that way. I am also wondering why the sealant failed (salt, heat, sun). Any help or suggestion will be kindly appreciated. Also, I would like to hear an opinon from a profesional trailer restorer or VTS.
Some suggested the seams did not use sealer. That sounds right, because the white powder stuff is oxidation.
Someone suggested that maybe someone was on the roof. I think that was the problem because the AS was at a surf camp with plenty of kids around.
I am still wondering about the rivets being structurally sufficent, as it is about 280 rivets and I want it done right the first time.
Thank you kindly, Big Rich