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Mr. B 05-22-2020 10:11 PM

Opened ceiling pictures
 
4 Attachment(s)
Hello fellows!

2015 Interstate Ext Lounge
I drove already 112,000 miles for the past 4 and half years.
Driving for pleasure.
Love my bus.

Discovering the tracks of water inside furniture compartments, I have searched the entire roof for leaks, and in order to find it I was forced to cut a square portion of the ceiling (later I will put it back nicely). While the ceiling is opened, I made few pictures for you guys.

Apparently, the water leak was found at the end of one of the uphill bas-reliefs on the roof, and it is very strange how it has happened if nobody and never walked on the top of the roof (beside Airstream workers at the assembly plant).

OTRA15 05-23-2020 03:25 AM

Great post . . . thanks for your quality research and photos!

Curious to know the fix . . . and whether this defect shows any rust in the exterior paint above? Any other problem areas, perhaps from the body flexing during road action? Sheet metal too thin where those bas-reliefs are stamped in? This would be an actionable "hidden/latent design defect" IMO, which has only come to light after your warranty period has expired [one assumes]. I would ask Airstream to repair/reimburse you.

Good luck,

Peter

ben322 05-23-2020 03:45 AM

Also check if your year has the split plastic conduit covering any wiring on the roof. That's where we had a leak but luckily noticed it early and sealed it. Now it's one of the checks I do when waxing the roof twice a year.

Rig Rat 05-23-2020 08:44 AM

Timely Post
 
Yes, Great Research!

We too have a 15 lounge with a leak that we're trying to track down.

For a reference point on your pictures, it appears that you removed the inside air conditioner cowling and took out the top panel directly aft of the a/c. Correct?

Could you post a picture from your roof top that shows the spot of the uphill bas-reliefs area your circled on your interior pictures #2 & 4?

TIA

Mark

OTRA15 05-23-2020 10:28 AM

Great signature by the way . . . been meaning to say so for years.

Adventure before Dementia!

Amen to that.

:sorcerer:

See you when we retreat to Club Bed!

Peter

Mr. B 05-24-2020 01:17 AM

Today Amazon delivered Sikaflex221 and Eternabond tape, which I used on the outside. Apparently there was no rust on very thin and 1 inch in length crack on the roof top. However I scrubbed it to the metal with my Dremel tool, caulked with Sikaflex, and once it dried I additionally covered it with few layers of Eternabond tape for extra protection. Both these substances give a hard seal and will be flexible. With this way of repair I eliminated the need of welding.

Unfortunately I already canít make pics of the outside crack as it was very very thin, practically invisible, and is already covered. Peter suggested to ask Airstream to fix it, but I do not trust that they can fix it properly. And yes, metal sheeting is thin on the roof, but Mercedes states it is not a walking area and urges not to step on it. Yes, Ben, I have always check all conduits on top of the roof as they have tend to dry out from the sun.

One more valuable tip: Mark asked if I have removed the AC cover and the bottom part of AC frame - yes I did because at first I thought that my leak was from there, but everything appeared to be dry at the AC unit area. However I do not regret that I did remove it, because for years I was trying to find the ďhummer boomĒ on the big bumps and I have finally found it - metal building-construction electrical receptical box, that was simply hanging inside the AC and hammered at every decent road bump ))). I think Airstream should control AC installers how they lay stuff. I am going to replace that metal box with a plastic one, and to tie it so it wonít fly around inside my AC unit anymore ))).

OTRA15 05-24-2020 02:15 AM

Great update, thanks!

Peter

Rig Rat 05-24-2020 05:13 AM

Thanks Mr B, Appreciate the follow up on your fix!

Would you mind sharing how you removed your ceiling panel and your plan to reattach it?

TIA

Mark

Titus 05-24-2020 07:35 AM

We had a leak in the same area - water was dripping from the smoke or CO detector. Turned out the plastic cover of the awning wiring and antenna cable wiring was the culprit. The cover was sealed (or not) by a massive amount of caulk. It never leaked while sitting in our driveway (nose up) but always leaked if it rained while camping (nose down). When the van was parked nose-down the water following the wiring accordion sheathing into the van. JC solution was to replace the plastic cover and seal everything, including the space between the sheath and wire, with caulk. Not pretty to look at (fortunately only visible when on a ladder) but it has worked for 4-5 years now.

Rig Rat 05-24-2020 08:49 AM

Our leak usually happens too when we are pointed nose down. We get water dripping from the right side of the dome light fixture inside the cab.

Initially I thought the water was coming from the antenna on the roof which is directly overhead of the cab light because the outside antenna boot was deteriorated.

When I replaced that boot and antenna assembly I found that there was no way for water to enter the cab from that location. While the exterior rim of the boot had cracked, the rest of the rubber gasket was firmly glued to the surface of the van and completely sealed the opening into the cab area!

And that assumption held true when it rained heavily and we still had the water drip out of the dome light assembly.

So I worked backwards from there and took the inside cover of the maxxair fan off. I found the thin wood laminate surrounding the fan opening to be wet and warped.

Now that the rain has finally stopped, I will get up on the roof and explore that fan opening area.

Mr. B 05-25-2020 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rig Rat (Post 2363098)
Thanks Mr B, Appreciate the follow up on your fix!

Would you mind sharing how you removed your ceiling panel and your plan to reattach it?

TIA

Mark

I cut a rectangular portion of the ceiling stainless sheet, along factory beams which are on the front and back of that cut, so leaving 1/4 inch for new screws to attach it back. Thus front and rear will be held on screws. On the sides the cut portion will be connected to the existing by 1/8 inch hardboard underlinement, which I am going to install instead of the old one that became wet and warped. Afterwords seams will be covered by some 1/4 inch flat molding to match the entire ceiling. And sure, I will post pictures once itís done.

Mr. B 05-25-2020 01:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Titus (Post 2363141)
We had a leak in the same area - water was dripping from the smoke or CO detector. Turned out the plastic cover of the awning wiring and antenna cable wiring was the culprit. The cover was sealed (or not) by a massive amount of caulk. It never leaked while sitting in our driveway (nose up) but always leaked if it rained while camping (nose down). When the van was parked nose-down the water following the wiring accordion sheathing into the van. JC solution was to replace the plastic cover and seal everything, including the space between the sheath and wire, with caulk. Not pretty to look at (fortunately only visible when on a ladder) but it has worked for 4-5 years now.

Good job.
Btw, is your smoke or CO detector wired, or it is completely autonomous on battery? Iím asking because once I unscrewed it I have found that it appeared to be without connection ports and just on battery. But when I opened the ceiling I found the empty wires with connector there.

Mr. B 05-25-2020 02:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rig Rat (Post 2363162)
Our leak usually happens too when we are pointed nose down. We get water dripping from the right side of the dome light fixture inside the cab.

Initially I thought the water was coming from the antenna on the roof which is directly overhead of the cab light because the outside antenna boot was deteriorated.

When I replaced that boot and antenna assembly I found that there was no way for water to enter the cab from that location. While the exterior rim of the boot had cracked, the rest of the rubber gasket was firmly glued to the surface of the van and completely sealed the opening into the cab area!

And that assumption held true when it rained heavily and we still had the water drip out of the dome light assembly.

So I worked backwards from there and took the inside cover of the maxxair fan off. I found the thin wood laminate surrounding the fan opening to be wet and warped.

Now that the rain has finally stopped, I will get up on the roof and explore that fan opening area.

Once you get to the roof, pay attention to sealant on the front part of fan opening - it is impossible to caulk there without removing the fan cover.

Titus 05-26-2020 04:07 PM

My detectors are battery only (now). Originals were battery with 12V also, but JC replaced them with battery only.

Mr. B 05-26-2020 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Titus (Post 2363985)
My detectors are battery only (now). Originals were battery with 12V also, but JC replaced them with battery only.

Is it any difference between 12V and battery only?

Mr. B 05-26-2020 10:00 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Pics of the ready to be closed ceiling.

Automotive type insulation installed. I wish Airstream would use such instead of a construction style. It isnít expensive, and would be more appropriate for a high-priced Interstate.


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