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Old 01-09-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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First time sealing a travel trailer questions

Last year this time I purchased my first TT a 2004 Terry quantum 320dbhs. I camped in it about 12 time this year and loved it. I want to preserve what I have so I want to go through it to be sure all is well sealed. I am not doing the roof (leaving that to the experts) I am just sealing the extremities for this project. I wanted to lay out what I have planned to see if other felt I was on the right path or to let me know I was going down the wrong way! If there is a sticky for sealing travel trailers please let me know where I can find it. I have not been able to find anything good on the process. If not, My plans are as follows:

1)Scrape off existing GeoCel/Proflex rv sealant. I am pretty sure that is what is on there now and not silicone but how can one be certain?
2) Clean the area with some sort of acetone I was told DX 320 by ppg is a good cleaner.
3) apply new proflex rv sealant.

Q1) can you apply new Proflex on top of old proflex? I donít really plan to do this but wanted to know in case there is a hard place to get where it is very difficult to peel off the old stuff.


On the trim and end caps there seems to be a type of putty tape.
I plan to remove the trim seals, clean them and then apply new butyl tape. I am not sure if acetone is the best way to clean off the old Butyl tape
On the curb side of the trailer the butyl tape is missing in some spots.Where I picked at it to see what it was, On the other side and front cap it seems good. I think I am going to leave the butyl tape alone on the side that looks good and the front caps.

There are some extremities Letís say hypothetically an outside vent or the front cap where there is butyl tape lining the trim but it seems more trouble to remove the vent and trim to add new butyl tape than it does to just add a bead of Proflex over the butyl on the vent and front cap.
Q2) Is it bad to apply proflex over Butyl in these situations ?

Q3) Although I brought Butyl tape from the RV store I am not 100% certain it is butyl tape and not putty tapeÖ. It is sticky but from what I read Butyl tape is realllly sticky. Perhaps Fleetwood used putty tape
instead of butyl tape?

Q4) For the trim areas held in by screws do I need to add some sort of sealant to the thread of the screws when I am re-screwing the screws into the trim?

Right now these are all the questions I have. I plan to tackle this job this weekend while the weather is good. Any hints, suggestions or words of warning are welcome.


Thanks in advance for all responses.
Jason
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:29 PM   #2
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Jason, everything on the roof including front, rear, and side seams will come apart when they replace it. The professionals you have replacing the roof should seal it all. Relax!
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:58 PM   #3
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Even after doing all that, you cannot be 100% sure you sealed every water intrusion source. The only way to be 100% sure is to locate an RV repair facility that uses Sealtech leak detection system.Sealtech Manufacturing Inc. - RV leaks bubbles recreational vehicles. That system used after you complete your re-seal job, will reveal any possible water leak.
Good luck! You have a lot of work ahead.
I use a turpentine dampened rag to clean old caulk/sealant before applying new overlay sealant. It will remove the surface layer of old sealant,.leaving a clean surface that will bond with new sealant.
Silicone-based sealants leave a stubborn residue that resists bonding to anything else. There are special cleaners to remove silicone residue prior to a reseal. How can you be sure it isn't silicone? Dried silicone can be removed simply by loosening one end and pulling up and out. It normally doesn't stick well.
Painters blue masking tape placed about 1/8" ( or your choice) away from both sides of a sealant bead makes cleanup much easier and leaves a professional looking joint. I use a wet finger to smooth out the "lumps" I always have after running a bead of sealant, allow it to dry a few hours, then remove the tape. This works when you have applied sealant to the underside of a trim piece too. The excess squeezes out, remove the excess, then do the same as above.

Q1, no
Q2, yes
Q3 don't know
Q4, no, just make sure the piece being held by the screw has sealant underneath.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:11 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlee815 View Post
Last year this time I purchased my first TT a 2004 Terry quantum 320dbhs. I camped in it about 12 time this year and loved it. I want to preserve what I have so I want to go through it to be sure all is well sealed. I am not doing the roof (leaving that to the experts) I am just sealing the extremities for this project. I wanted to lay out what I have planned to see if other felt I was on the right path or to let me know I was going down the wrong way! If there is a sticky for sealing travel trailers please let me know where I can find it. I have not been able to find anything good on the process. If not, My plans are as follows:

1)Scrape off existing GeoCel/Proflex rv sealant. I am pretty sure that is what is on there now and not silicone but how can one be certain?
2) Clean the area with some sort of acetone I was told DX 320 by ppg is a good cleaner.
3) apply new proflex rv sealant.

Q1) can you apply new Proflex on top of old proflex? I donít really plan to do this but wanted to know in case there is a hard place to get where it is very difficult to peel off the old stuff.


On the trim and end caps there seems to be a type of putty tape.
I plan to remove the trim seals, clean them and then apply new butyl tape. I am not sure if acetone is the best way to clean off the old Butyl tape
On the curb side of the trailer the butyl tape is missing in some spots.Where I picked at it to see what it was, On the other side and front cap it seems good. I think I am going to leave the butyl tape alone on the side that looks good and the front caps.

There are some extremities Letís say hypothetically an outside vent or the front cap where there is butyl tape lining the trim but it seems more trouble to remove the vent and trim to add new butyl tape than it does to just add a bead of Proflex over the butyl on the vent and front cap.
Q2) Is it bad to apply proflex over Butyl in these situations ?

Q3) Although I brought Butyl tape from the RV store I am not 100% certain it is butyl tape and not putty tapeÖ. It is sticky but from what I read Butyl tape is realllly sticky. Perhaps Fleetwood used putty tape
instead of butyl tape?

Q4) For the trim areas held in by screws do I need to add some sort of sealant to the thread of the screws when I am re-screwing the screws into the trim?

Right now these are all the questions I have. I plan to tackle this job this weekend while the weather is good. Any hints, suggestions or words of warning are welcome.


Thanks in advance for all responses.
Jason
I have used Acetone, be careful as it took the paint off my aluminum siding. Try 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner ("08984") on the can, but always test a spot before using any type of cleaner on your trailer.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:40 PM   #5
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Hello,
Thanks for all the comments and tips. I enjoy the learning that takes place on forums like this. I am surprised there is no sticky or more info on these things on you tube or anywhere that I could find. Based on what I hear, I think I can get er done well by myself and not have to worry about someone else doing a 1/2 ass job... It just may take me a bit longer but I know it will be done right.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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I forgot to post links to the Eternabond video library and RV roof and trim repairs. Hope you find them useful.
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Old 01-17-2013, 07:25 PM   #7
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Hello,
Just wanted to again thank everyone for the references and give some feedback on the project. The Link Ray gave is excellent. The night before I did this Lowes was closed so I couldn't get the 3M ("08984") recommended. I got some Acetone just for stand by in case I couldn't get to lowes the next day and as 1010 said bad idea..... I didn't take off much paint but it did take off a little bit.. I really appreciate the warning if you had not told me, it would have been much much worse. I found acetone actually worked great on my rolled up awning. It cleared the water spots. I found this out by accident and cleaned the whole rolled awning. Looks 100% better now.

I couldn't find a good tool to apply the sealant. I found my fingers were best but after a short time your fingers will get gooed up and it really slows down the job cause you have to clean your fingers up before you can continue to the next section.

I went back a few days later to review the work and the job didnt look too bad. I feel I need to apply some more to make it even all around and fill in some spots where it is thin. Is this acceptable or recommended? Is there anyway outside of feeling for a small opening to ensure the job was done right? I know you can do a seal tek test on the roof to check for leaks but what about side walls and other extrusions? This is why I want to apply a second coat to places where the sealant was applied thin. I imagine sanding would be a bad thing (to make it all even)... .. I assume I just fill in the low spots or spots that look like it is not applied evenly all around. IF THERE IS NO WAY TO PROVE THE EXTRUSION SEAL IS DONE RIGHT, IS THERE A WAY TO TELL IF IT WAS DONE WRONG? It looks good to me but this is my first time out and I want to ensure my TT lasts a long time.....
Thanks again for reading and any comments
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:48 PM   #8
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The big thing is to always test the product you are using on a small and hopefully not so visible location to see what it does before going crazy with it. I learned the hard way, I thought Acetone would be the same as Denatured Alcohol, oops. When applying sealant like silicone, have a small container of water available to dip your finger into, may have to wipe it off, but you will not have the build up on your finger. I have am guilty of using too much sealant, doesn't look professional, surely wasting product & $$, but it is sealed. I would keep an eye on what ever you calked & sealed, if you see a crack or break in the material, you may want to remove the old and replace it with new, I have been told not reseal without removing the old sealant and cleaning the surface.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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The big thing is to always test the product you are using on a small and hopefully not so visible location to see what it does before going crazy with it. I learned the hard way, I thought Acetone would be the same as Denatured Alcohol, oops. When applying sealant like silicone, have a small container of water available to dip your finger into, may have to wipe it off, but you will not have the build up on your finger. I have am guilty of using too much sealant, doesn't look professional, surely wasting product & $$, but it is sealed. I would keep an eye on what ever you calked & sealed, if you see a crack or break in the material, you may want to remove the old and replace it with new, I have been told not reseal without removing the old sealant and cleaning the surface.
Silicone sealants and RV's don't mix.. Silicone doesn't hold well over time either.
To make a clean, neat caulking job, mask the joint (width to suit) just as you were going to paint it, smooth out the caulking, removing excess in the process, remove the painters tape after the sealant has cured for a few minutes.WaLa! You now have a professional looking job.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #10
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Great suggestion Ray. I'll remember that on my next caulking job
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:07 PM   #11
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jlee815, thanks for asking these questions. I recently bought a Quantum 32DBHS (2005)
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