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jjonesnc 03-07-2004 03:41 PM

Floor Cancer Documentary
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Yes I am proud to say i have been infected with AIRSTREAM FEVER! This is the only floor rot I have found outside the bathroom of my 1980 Excella II Rear Bath. I feel confident in replacing the wood but I pray for guidance from my fellow 'Streamers about what do do with this rusty frame. Also I am wondering what the best method of finding the leak is? This rotten spot is on the road side just forward of the "big window".
I have been seeing condensation between the glass panes of the window. When I took the window trim off last night I noticed that the caulking around the window had a little drops of water hanging from it. I know the old TV antenna is leaking and thats on my list of things to do but I am not sure of the location of this leak. I will be using this Silver Bullit to live in at Worksites for a Commercial Electrical company and the mildew has really made me sick in the past (ive lived in it for 3 years already). Planning to go out west with her and attend some rallys too............more later since my camera batteries have died.....this will be an ongoing project (my first airstream) So far i have romoved and clean the furnace and have determined it needs a Borad (big surprise there huh?) and have replaced the capacitors in the univolt. Took the goucho out last night and here I am. What should I do about this rust? its hard to see in the picture but it does actually go thru the frame rail...

jjonesnc 03-07-2004 03:43 PM

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Insulation was wet under here

Pick 03-07-2004 03:55 PM

Probably Por-15 would be the way to go. All you would have to do is scrape the heavy rust off, and wire brush, then you are good to go. Unless you want to sandblast and prime.

Navigator 03-07-2004 04:05 PM

My guess would be the window as the water entry point. You may want to revisit the window gasket.

jjonesnc 03-07-2004 04:27 PM

Thanks for the replies..............tomorrow i am going to remove the interior wall panel above the window and see what it looks like up there. more pictures to come!

jjonesnc 03-08-2004 11:11 PM

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Hard to see in this picture but the rust you see here isnt surface rust, its actually rusted bad is this in reality? I came into this area to fix the rotted out floor under the gaucho armrest and this is what i this a weld it or die situation or can i wire brush, paint and get back to it later? I MUST use this AS to go out of town to a job site in.......whats the belly skin going to attach to if there is no metal there to rivet it to? IDEAS PLEASE!

wahoonc 03-09-2004 04:44 AM

You are just around the corner from me...and in the same boat.:rolleyes: If the frame is rusted completely thru you are going to have to weld something in there to restore the structural strength of it. If it is just the bottom part or top part of the frame, I would consider a thorough cleaning, rust treatment, then welding a "C" channel repair section over the damaged area. However! if you have that bad a damage there it is likely there will be similar damage somewhere else? I am dealing with front end rot in the same place as you on my 1975, but just not as severe. I need my unit for out of town work too. I work for a national roofing contractor based in Apex. PM or email me and we can swap phone numbers and emails...misery loves company:D

Aaron :cool:

jaco 03-09-2004 09:05 AM

jjonesnc I doubt that it is "weld or die" and I think (given the small amount of evidence I have) that you could travel now and fix later.

Is the pic of the frame or of a cross member?
It looks like the belly is still on. Did you just stick the camera down thru a hole from above?

Assuming the rust out is from the water leak you have ID'ed, the breadth of it may be confined to the area you pictured, (We Hope).
You will really never know until you open up the belly. (Not a small job)(but not monumental either).
Assuming you only have upper access right now, then you will not be able to wire-brush much rust, Only one side of frame perhaps.

Here is what I would do. Brush what you can, but dont remove it down to bare metal. You need a layer of rust for this solution.
Buy some OSPHO. (call a sherwin-williams store or other paint store. Lowes sells a similar product (different name) but I dont know its success). OSPHO is very liquid, it is an acid that chemically reacts with iron oxide and changes it to iron phosphate. But you must have rust (iron oxide) present to effect the reaction. Rig up some method , mustard squeeze bottle, pump up sprayer, sling-shot :D , whatever. And saturate the area of frame/outrigger. This will buy you at least 6-8 weeks of sound sleep. OSPHO after the reaction, acts as an ideal primer, but you might not want to paint over it until you get a better idea of what is going on under there. The rust will eventually come back in spite of the OSPHO if conditions allow.
OSPHO is mildly dangerous and minor precautions need to be followed, I have had it on my hands and no problem if washed off fairly soon. Last I bought was around 20 dollars a gallon. The Lowes stuff comes in quarts. If I find name of that product I'll edit and add it to this post.(EDIT: Jasco Prep & Primer 6.00 a quart).
OSPHO by the way is heavily used along the coasts in the offshore oil and plant maintenance and painting industries. Great stuff.

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 11:36 AM

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are are some additional photos of the area and a picture of what my future plans are. No i havent removed all of the belly skin yet but will be soon. My budget doesnt allow for any welding at this time so i guess ill have to do some rust converting as you suggested.
My long range planes will be like the pictures below to extend the frame to allow a generator and motorcycle:

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 11:38 AM

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the first pic is of the completed project on an AS......this is of the welded up frame.......

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 11:40 AM

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the specific area im dealing with........

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 11:41 AM

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specific area........

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 08:35 PM

Rotten Floor Culprit Revealed
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OK here is the culprit of my rotten floor...the seam on frame of the "big window"
I have no clue how to fix this.

jjonesnc 03-09-2004 08:39 PM

Rotten Floor Culprit Revealed
Ok here is the culprit of my rotten floor under the curbside Gaucho armrest.....the seam on the frame of the "big window"
I have no idea how to fix this. PLEASE HELP MY BELOVED AS:confused:

thenewkid64 03-09-2004 08:46 PM

You have 3 choices IMHO.

One is to vulcem it from the inside. The vulcem will stop the leak, but it looks like it needs to be repaired.

The other is to find a welding guy that does aluminum. The welding scares me a bit because if he gets to the skin he could blow it out, creating a hole. If he is good it will be a nice strong leak proof weld.


You could remove the window form the trailer, have it welded and reinstall it. This would return the strength, not chance the skin and be sure the leak stays fixed.

biggerbadbrad 03-09-2004 08:48 PM

Wow! That is kewl! But I'd hate to see what it does to the running gear/trailer balance, not to mention tongue weight. :confused:


jjonesnc 03-09-2004 09:18 PM

Thanks Kidd for the response.
So then i should take the window out and take the glass out correct? where would I get a new window seal from?

thenewkid64 03-10-2004 05:02 AM

I would remove the glass, should just be a matter of taking the the pane past vertical and it will "fall" out of the hinge, be prepared!

The seal can be bought from any Airstream dealer by the foot.

59toaster 03-10-2004 07:17 AM

Clean out the crud to oil free and vulchem it. Had a acess hatch frame doing that and it cured it.

jjonesnc 03-11-2004 10:43 AM

in the beginning......
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just starting the restoration........

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