Caulk on the belly band? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-26-2013, 12:29 AM   #1
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Caulk on the belly band?

Was wondering if these scamps left the factory totally free of ANY caulk?
Been removing the silicone caulk from the belly band of my 5th wheel as it has discolored and looks terrible. Any hints on how to better remove silicone caulk? Have the usual removal tools, anything that dissolves it, softens it etc.? Do I need to re caulk it? (bought it this weekend from original owner 2004)

thx, John
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:22 AM   #2
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Hi John, welcome to silly-cone 'EL. It's a PITA. I've yet to see any new trailer that doesn't have some sort of caulk around the belly band. Believe it or not, it does serve a purpose, just not a sealing purpose. Once you get it off, you'll see a "ditch" between the belly band and the body. That area will fill with dirt, tiny twigs, moss, etc. The caulk actually keeps it much, much cleaner.

A plastic knife, plexiglass ice scrapper and my thumbnails are what I use to remove caulk because these things won't score the gelcoat... metal will! But, here's a thread for you!

http://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f...tml#post299447
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Old 06-26-2013, 01:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gihuff View Post
Was wondering if these scamps left the factory totally free of ANY caulk?

We don't see a lot of Scamps up here, but I did see a new one a couple of years ago. It looked like a well-intentioned child had used up a few tubes of clear silicone sealant everywhere two parts joined. My understanding, perhaps incorrect, was that the owner hadn't modified it. I would have been embarrassed to admit having done that work in my backyard.

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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
I've yet to see any new trailer that doesn't have some sort of caulk around the belly band. Believe it or not, it does serve a purpose, just not a sealing purpose. Once you get it off, you'll see a "ditch" between the belly band and the body. That area will fill with dirt, tiny twigs, moss, etc. The caulk actually keeps it much, much cleaner.
... until the caulk itself becomes worse than any dirt that could just be washed out. My Boler has some horrible stuff there which is both ugly and nearly impossible to remove. The areas without caulk look much better.

I suggest that if people want to caulk the groove between the body and the belly seam trim (this is not about sealant under the trim), they should use something far more readily removable than silicone - perhaps some latex product.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:16 PM   #4
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I'm about to put my belly band back on. What is the general consensus in sealing? Should I be using butyl tape at the top side, trim off excess after install, then run a bead of sealant along the top edge. Or just install the belly band dry, then run a bead?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:24 PM   #5
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I would put butyl tape on the whole back of the belly band. Water doesn't flow up hill, but condensation is a concern. Then calk the top. Overkill maybe.
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:45 PM   #6
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I would put butyl tape on the whole back of the belly band. Water doesn't flow up hill, but condensation is a concern. Then calk the top. Overkill maybe.
Wow, straight to excess , I was really hoping for the easy way out here. I have been dreading this belly band install since the day I removed it. Getting it on there without scratching the finish, butyl tape sticking to my paint were I don't want it, and getting the corners tight are all thoughts keeping me up at night. Where is the easy button?
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Old 06-26-2013, 02:56 PM   #7
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I hope everyone trying to follow this discussion understands that the Boler/Scamp seam and Trillium-style seam are quite different, with differently installed trim. I'm not familiar with Beachcombers, but it looks more like a Trillium than a Boler/Scamp to me.
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Old 06-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I hope everyone trying to follow this discussion understands that the Boler/Scamp seam and Trillium-style seam are quite different, with differently installed trim. I'm not familiar with Beachcombers, but it looks more like a Trillium than a Boler/Scamp to me.
I do realize this, but must admit, I did not think of it before I posted in this thread. I just saw a belly band/sealing thread and got excited. Yes my belly band is the same style as a trillium. My apologies for any confusion.
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Old 06-26-2013, 05:57 PM   #9
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The pictures on your profile page, Willis, indicate to me that your Beachcomber seam is a lot tidier than that on Trilliums, with their constantly rusting-out metal tabs.
Looks to me like you're doing a ground up restore/repaint- why not seal that seam up with fiberglass and sand smooth before repainting. Then the belly band goes back to being a simple piece of cosmetic trim. No need to caulk at all in my opinion. If the band doesn't snug up perfectly so as to keep debris out, a thin rubber "gasket" (pieces of old bike tire tube?) could be used to do so.

Francesca
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Old 06-26-2013, 07:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
The pictures on your profile page, Willis, indicate to me that your Beachcomber seam is a lot tidier than that on Trilliums, with their constantly rusting-out metal tabs.
Looks to me like you're doing a ground up restore/repaint- why not seal that seam up with fiberglass and sand smooth before repainting. Then the belly band goes back to being a simple piece of cosmetic trim. No need to caulk at all in my opinion. If the band doesn't snug up perfectly so as to keep debris out, a thin rubber "gasket" (pieces of old bike tire tube?) could be used to do so.

Francesca
This is what I wanted to do. What you see in the photos of my trailer are deceiving. The sides actually mesh up quite well and would except fiberglass. But the front and back are a different story. The top shell slips over the bottom shell, and with the two different angles coming together, it leaves a gap.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:01 PM   #11
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The top shell slips over the bottom shell, and with the two different angles coming together, it leaves a gap.
Interesting! Still sounds like a much better joint than the Trillium. I'd love to see a close picture of that. Is the gap under a "lip", or a distinct line between the two shells? And why does its size/orientation preclude using fiberglass for filling?

Francesca
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:15 PM   #12
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Poor John, his thread took a 90 degree turn.

John, I will have to remove and replace the caulking on my Scamp sometime in the near future. After I get the "whatever" type of caulk off and the area cleaned up. I plan on making an investment in blue painters tape. I'll lay a line of tape on the body and another line along the entire length of the belly band. The distance between the two will be determined by the widest width of the belly band to the body. I'm thinking it could be as much as 1/4 inch in some places because I know it's not an equal width all the way around.

I'll then run a bead of caulk (NOT silicone) and smooth it out. When it starts to setup to the point I can pull the blue tape without having it flex and run... I'll pull all the blue tape off.

That's the plan anyway. I'll let everyone know how it goes... when it actually happens.
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
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Poor John, his thread took a 90 degree turn.
I'm sure John won't mind if others talk about their belly bands too, Donna!

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I'll then run a bead of caulk (NOT silicone)
We all know your opinion of silicone, Donna, but I don't remember what you always recommend instead-? What's your favorite product, or at least the one you'd advise for this application?

Francesca
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Old 06-26-2013, 08:40 PM   #14
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I will use Pro-Flex, if it will stick. I'm not sure what's on the belly band on my trailer. I'm the third owner... but remember, this is not for sealing anything. It will strictly be used for asthetic purposes. If someone isn't concerned about leaks, etc. (not ALL belly bands leak) silicone may be what they'll end up using. Not me however....
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