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Old 05-24-2005, 08:43 AM   #1
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Hi all, apparently my window caulking passed it's expiry date this weekend. I have sprung a few window leaks (fortunately on our last day out.) Our camping buddy had removed his windows and replaced his caulking on a vintage RV in the past and recommended we do the same. I think I am up for the job. However, what type of caulking do you experienced types recommend? Should I just head off to the Depot and use household stuff? Any and all help will be much appreciated!
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Old 05-24-2005, 08:43 AM   #2
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Hi all, apparently my window caulking passed it's expiry date this weekend. I have sprung a few window leaks (fortunately on our last day out.) Our camping buddy had removed his windows and replaced his caulking on a vintage RV in the past and recommended we do the same. I think I am up for the job. However, what type of caulking do you experienced types recommend? Should I just head off to the Depot and use household stuff? Any and all help will be much appreciated!
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Old 05-24-2005, 10:11 PM   #3
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I used a clear, silicone based, window/door caulk. I did it probably 3-4 years ago and I haven't seen any leaks!
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Old 06-29-2005, 09:41 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Camping in MN:
I used a clear, silicone based, window/door caulk. I did it probably 3-4 years ago and I haven't seen any leaks! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I suppose the most basic inviolable rule of RV maintenance is:

Never use silicone as a sealant on the exterior of an RV!

Silicone not only has very poor adhesion characteristics; but won't even stick to itself. :-( So in the event that future maintenance is required, ALL of the old silicone; every last trace must be removed.

If you have a sealing job where silicone might seem to be the answer, then go with something like polyurethane or polysulfide sealant. While polyurethane adhesive-sealant looks and feels a whole lot like silicone, that's where the similarity ends! Widely used in marine maintenance, it has over 20x the adhesion characteristics of silicone; and if you ever have to do a touchup job, polyurethane will adhere just fine to the old polyurethane. The only caveat with polyurethane sealant, is that it should only be used on stuff that will never again have to be replaced or removed.

But that doesn't at all address Jennifer's question. The windows on her 1979 Travelaire were initially installed with a water-sealing putty-tape gasket. When the window is screwed onto the trailer, any extra putty tape that squishes out around the sides of the window is trimmed off.

To do the job properly, the windows should be removed; the old putty tape removed; new tape applied; and the windows reinstalled.

While putty tape was sort of state-of-the-art for 1979; and perhaps still available at Home Depot; it has now been pretty much replaced with the preference these days, favouring butyl tape for the same applications. Regardless of choice they are both really cheap.

The efficacy of your eventual maintenance efforts will be motivational, rather than cost-driven; i.e.: time and effort-vs-cost. Keeping moisture from invading a wood-framed rig like your Travelaire, is critical in preventing the whole effort collapsing upon itself into a pile of dry-rot. :-(
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Old 06-29-2005, 03:11 PM   #5
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Jen/John, I use dicor for just about everything on our bigfoot camper. It is esp made for rubber roof maintenance but I have found that it works fine on fiberglass and metal.

http://www.dicor.com/roofmaintenance.html

Dicor has a great help line...I have used it many times.

If you are removing your windows you might find a tar-like substance to place between the window frame and the metal or fiberglass. On our bigfoot, the mfg used this black tar type material....it has held up so well.

Also, another problem with silicone, especially clear silicone, is a mold that develops under the surface...little black dots...can't remove it...

Hemi
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Old 06-29-2005, 07:44 PM   #6
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Thanks for all your suggestions. We actually removed one window this past weekend and discovered the putty tape. We removed it, got some more at Canadian Tire and put it all back, worked like a charm and will do the same for the rest as time permits. I will have to check out the butyl tape if I can find it.
Thanks again!
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Old 07-02-2005, 04:52 AM   #7
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when I redid my back window I used aluminum tape around the opening. folded it over to seal the inside and outside of the camper then buytl type caulk tape around the window frame. last weekend to rained hard no leaks
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Old 07-02-2005, 07:29 AM   #8
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by jen&john:
I will have to check out the butyl tape if I can find it. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Home Depot carries both black and gray butyl tape in the "caulking" section.
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