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Old 05-10-2019, 08:45 AM   #1
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Caulking on lower belt line molding?

Greetings from KY to everyone,
While I did my battery bay update I noticed some water inside the bay dripping from a hole where the wires were routed in.
Trying to locate the issue I took the bedroom window out and replaced the seal. No luck.
I then placed an aluminum tape over the belt line molding top so that water would shed away from it and after a heavy downpour no more water in the bay.
I noticed that there is no caulking on top of the molding anywhere.
Is yours caulked ? Or should I look at a different approach to fix this ?
Thanks for your input
Joerg
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Old 05-10-2019, 08:54 AM   #2
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My 36FDDS is caulked
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:04 PM   #3
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I have to recaulk some of mine as you can see some of the caulk turning loose. Curious what type caulk everyone is using. Picked up some Dicor clear to use last time over at camping world. Also trying to figure easiest way to clean off the older caulk.
thanks
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:17 PM   #4
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I just looked at my 2004, and my neighbor's 2004 which is in the next storage space. Both my coach and his does not have caulking along the belt line trim. The trim is clipped over the top/bottom of a track-like piece that is affixed to the body. Without removing the trim, which does appear to "float" and is not permanently attached to the underlying track, it looks like there is some form of caulk or sealant between the mounting track and the coach body. Otherwise, the belt trim is removable and there is no caulk between the trim and coach body.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
I just looked at my 2004, and my neighbor's 2004 which is in the next storage space. Both my coach and his does not have caulking along the belt line trim. The trim is clipped over the top/bottom of a track-like piece that is affixed to the body. Without removing the trim, which does appear to "float" and is not permanently attached to the underlying track, it looks like there is some form of caulk or sealant between the mounting track and the coach body. Otherwise, the belt trim is removable and there is no caulk between the trim and coach body.


Yes that is exactly how mine looks at this moment. So I know that just a little tape over the top seals whatever leak I have. So I am a bit torn what to do. Removing the trim might ruin the nice paint that it has.
I guess the easy solution is just to run a bead of clear adhesive caulk down the entire side. Like Geocel or Dynaflex something of that type of clear caulking.
Thank you for checking
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:34 PM   #6
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So I just checked once more and the trim piece that covers the belt line is in 2 sections over the length of the coach and the rear last section is just 5 ft or so long. Anyways I was able to pry it up with my finger. So I think I will start taking it off and see what is going on underneath. Click image for larger version

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Old 05-10-2019, 06:25 PM   #7
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So this evening I removed the entire trim piece to get a view of the issues beneath.
The first problem is that the screws are regular steel the same square head you see everywhere else. Needless to say some of them are rusty to the point that the head popped right off trying to loosen them up. 3 are missing all together so I have at leased 6 screws to look after now. There are 61 screws over the entire length.
At this time my intend is to change them out to either stainless steel or a torx type deck screw that has a nice weather resistant coating.
The aluminum profile was rather dirty and I cleaned everything up using a brush and alcohol (don't want to add any water at this time).
So I still have to see how water is penetrating in there but my guess is that it sits on top of the aluminum channel and manages to get sucked into the seam to the wall and then into the floor of the coach … I guess.

Also I need to find out if the screw goes into wood or the frame … probably the frame so in case I have to replace any broken off screws I will have to drill and countersink a hole 1/2" next to the existing one. If this is the case best solution is a stainless sheet metal screw.

If anyone of you guys went through this already I would love to have your input and advise.

Thank you
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine06 View Post
So I just checked once more and the trim piece that covers the belt line is in 2 sections over the length of the coach and the rear last section is just 5 ft or so long. Anyways I was able to pry it up with my finger. So I think I will start taking it off and see what is going on underneath. Attachment 245509
My guess is that either you have a missing screw behind the trim, a missed drilled hole, or a screw that has worked loose. You should be able to tell once the trim is off. It doesn’t look like the trim bracket is caulked either as only sealing the screw holes would be needed.

Let us know what you find.
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Old 05-10-2019, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ljwt330 View Post
My guess is that either you have a missing screw behind the trim, a missed drilled hole, or a screw that has worked loose. You should be able to tell once the trim is off. It doesn’t look like the trim bracket is caulked either as only sealing the screw holes would be needed.

Let us know what you find.
Looks like you posted as I was typing so the above is irrelevant.

From your findings, the plan to replace with stainless is a good one, IMO. The water is likely coming in through the screw holes so adding sealant to each hole before securing the new screws might be wise. Old unused screw holes need to be sealed as well. Water can even enter through a hole where the screw is still there, but is rusted. At least you know the general area where water came in, from the wet compartment.

Keep us posted.
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Old 05-11-2019, 08:38 AM   #10
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Thanks for your input.
I am trying to determine the size of the screw and have yet to get one out without twisting it off about 1/4Ē below the head. Screws are rusted and 3 are missing and I have now twisted about 4 of them off. Not all in a rowe I tried several areas. So what I will do next is to drill a hole about 1Ē over from the original and see what the drill goes into. I bet I just have the frame to go through and that means all I need to be careful with is that I donít use a screw too long bottoming out against the back of the square rail.
I try to think of some sort of sealant that I can add along the top of the aluminum rail. So rail to wall. There is space to the outside molding and I am contemplating to put a small bead of Sikaflex in top of it. That is a lot of work I got myself into here but hey I am committed now ...
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Old 05-11-2019, 09:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine06 View Post
Thanks for your input.
I am trying to determine the size of the screw and have yet to get one out without twisting it off about 1/4Ē below the head. Screws are rusted and 3 are missing and I have now twisted about 4 of them off. Not all in a rowe I tried several areas. So what I will do next is to drill a hole about 1Ē over from the original and see what the drill goes into. I bet I just have the frame to go through and that means all I need to be careful with is that I donít use a screw too long bottoming out against the back of the square rail.
I try to think of some sort of sealant that I can add along the top of the aluminum rail. So rail to wall. There is space to the outside molding and I am contemplating to put a small bead of Sikaflex in top of it. That is a lot of work I got myself into here but hey I am committed now ...

My thoughts, take them for what you're paying me for them.


If you're going to the trouble of addressing each screw of the trim rail, consider this. The rail that holds the trim is held against a fiberglass wall which is impervious to water intrusion. I don't know if there was a sealing strip of any kind placed between the wall and the rail, however. If I were doing this, I would not put a bead of sealant along the top of the rail as it's unnecessary and may interfere with the final attachment of the trim piece. The only areas of concern are where the screws pierce the outside wall.


When I had a new awning installed on my last coach, the tech drilled the mounting holes, shot a dab of silicone into each hole, then put in the mounting screws. To me, a similar procedure would suffice for what you are doing. If you wind up removing the rail, it will be easy to fill/seal every unused hole. When reattaching, using a caulking gun and forcing a dab of sealant into each hole before putting in the screw should work as well.



The advantage of running a bead of sealant along the top of the rail would be to prevent further rust of the remaining screws, should you choose not to remove/replace them with stainless. In that case, it makes sense, IMO, as a preventative measure.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #12
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Suggest that you inspect to see if there is a joint between upper/lower panels covered by the belt line bracket. If this is a joint (2 separate panels, this is how my DRV is put together) then you need to caulk behind the belt line trim also. One large panel, no joint. A lot of different brands of fivers having rotted floor problems due to the edge of the floor into which the screws penetrate--rusted screws indicate water behind the trim and possibly into the floor edge. If there is a joint, some mfgs put the lower panel OVER the upper panel insuring that water that gets behind the trim will get behind the lower pane. If no joint, then just a poor quality screw used. Fixing this to look right is a tough deal...
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:47 PM   #13
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Thank you for your input guys ... much appreciated.
Here is what I did:
So it was obvious that removing the screws and placing new once in the same place was impossible as all of them just snapped off.
There are 61 screws along the side.
Trying to drill a hole using the same position but next to the snapped of shaft of the screw I did not like.
So the screws that appeared to be rusted I took out (so purposely snapped them off) as I was afraid that these were the once leaking to the interior. Just like you mentioned above.
I filled that hole completely using Dynaflex sealant (donít care for that in particular but the cartridge was started and in my gun).
I then drilled a 3mm hole all the way through the channel and the wall into the frame. I followed up with a 4mm dill for the top channel and a countersink. Next I filled also that with sealant and placed the new screw in. I did 12 screws this way.
In addition I used that spray can rubberized sealant changed out the nozzle for one with an extension tube and placed it through a little plastic piece (as a shield). This sealant is very thin and my hopes are that it will penetrate in and around the screw head and sucked possibly in by the capillary effect.
I did every screw this way.
Next I used the same on the very top edge of the Aluminium rail. Any form of caulk will sit on top this stuff can seep between the rail and the wall IF there is a space. I used it on the entire lengths. I taped everything off protecting the paint first and then followed up with a rag and acetone.
As the last measure I used a cartridge of clear OSI sealant (itís solvent based and not good to work with but has extrem good stability) cut the tip off as small as possible and ran a tiny beat on top of the aluminum rail.
So that is how it sits of right now ... I hope I donít have to touch that again.
Joerg
Ahh ja pics ...
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Old 05-11-2019, 02:56 PM   #14
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Unfortunately there is a belt line on the other side too ...
Well tomorrow is another day.
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