Police your caulk lines - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-29-2002, 03:31 PM   #1
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Police your caulk lines

A couple of times a year ... I do Fall and Spring ... it's really important to police your caulk lines.

You can't just eyeball the caulk. Caulk that appears to have a good bond can in reality, leak like a sieve.

Walk around your little fiberglass wonder, look closely at the caulk lines around the doors, windows, stove vents, storage compartments, etc. Take your finger and press on the surface just above and below the caulk line ... see, if, in fact, the caulk is holding tight.

Snow is forecast for later this week, so I did a thorough inspection of the trailer.

I found that a little plastic spacer around the door lock appeared cracked and loose from the caulk, so I applied new bead of caulk.

Check around your water heater door, too. Remember, try to separate the two caulked surfaces to see if the caulk is really bonded to each surface.
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Old 10-29-2002, 05:38 PM   #2
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Caulk

:wak So, what are you saying?
*****1.**You pump more caulk over the old?
*****2.**You scrape out the old caulk and re-caulk?
*****3.**Tell me more...
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Old 10-31-2002, 09:28 AM   #3
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Hi Michael

>>remove or caulk over

Michael, I'm ashamed to admit that I usually first try to caulk over old caulk ... particularly if the caulk appears to be in good shape, but only lost its bond to one side. I clean and rough it up with a rag, then lay a light coat over.

If the seam opens up again (which some do, and some don't), I'll clean off all the old caulk and apply new.

Last time I did that was when the top caulk seam popped along the top of the stove exhaust vent. You couldn't even see it unless you stood on a small step ladder. We were getting an occasional drip on the sink cabinet surface. Pam thought I was just being messy doing the dishes.

Since the caulk was not easily inspected, I figured I'd fix it ... and fix it right. We haven't had a problem since.

By the by, this was after Bubba's replaced the vent cover which was sheared off by a mean tree. Not sure Bubba caulked it correctly to begin with.

But what do you expect from Bubba? I mean, you gotta double check his work.
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Old 10-31-2002, 02:11 PM   #4
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caulk

The wonderfully smooth caulk job on my roof vent showed that while the caulk adhered well to the fiberglass, it did not stick to the galvanized metal frame of the vent. It looked good, but you could just peel back about an inch of caulk that was just 'laying' on the metal. Could be the frame wasn't 'clean' when installed, but it was a surprise!

...Removed and replaced. But that silicon is really tough to get off the fiberglass!:bh
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Old 10-31-2002, 03:23 PM   #5
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Caulk

We quit using Silicone years ago when we were still Tent Trailering. We found it would stick to some parts and not others. It is terrible to try and get off and nothing else will stick to it, often not even more silicone.

We now just use a flexible outdoors caulk and if it needs a bit touched up we just scrap off down to clean and re-caulk.
Nancy :wave
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Old 11-04-2002, 08:59 PM   #6
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caulking

:waveOK, So silicone caulk is a no-no...Are you using a latex-based product? I need to get out and do a bit of caulking, as I'm getting a nice drip tonight in the steady rain. Been working hard on the Dayton all week, and the wife bought me some nice Rt. 66 tapestry material for new curtains, and some Rt. 66 lights<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3dc733dbac183red,white & blue.jpg/>
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Old 11-04-2002, 09:04 PM   #7
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caulking

OK, feel free to bash the newbie...I was trying to insert my cool picture over to the left...I guess I'll have to read the instructions again. Oh, BTW, the white Corvair in the middle is the one we'll be towing our U-Haul with...we drove it to Flagstaff this summer, and going to tow to Carlisle, PA this summer for the national Corvair convention...We would take one of the convertables, but the wife really likes the A/C in the coupe. Sorry for the wasted bandwidth...Can anyone edit the pic and put it in the right spot for me. Thanks.
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Old 11-05-2002, 06:45 AM   #8
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Just about anything

Just about any caulk you can buy in your local boating store is good to use. Ask them would works best on fiberglass boats!

Figure any caulk that is good for fiberglass boats is good for your fiberglass trailer.

Most stores carry two different types ... high-flow and low-flow. If you have a particularly hard-to-find-and-caulk leak, use a high-flow variety ... which will flow and seep into the smallest crack.

Be forwarned that any high-flow caulk will really want to "run" down a vertical side, so use sparingly.
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Old 11-05-2002, 11:12 AM   #9
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Timeout from Caulking Police.

Quote:
Orginally posted by Craig H
OK, feel free to bash the newbie...[...]
Hey, Craig. We don't allow newbie bashing here! (Well, not unless they really ask for it! ;) But, you're not even close!)

I think what you were trying to do with your photo is use it as your avatar (?)

Check out the tutorials (near the bottom of the index screen) for some good info on how to do it. (You'll need to make the pic smaller, and upload it in your Settings.)

[b]Okay, back to Caulk.
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Old 11-05-2002, 12:00 PM   #10
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Charles and Trees

Charles, what IS it with you and trees? BTW, when you used the term Mean Tree, were you being like one of those Eliteists with the Mean People Suck! bumper stickers, who consider themselves to be above average, or were you referring to a parsimonious tree?:o

I suspect that Pam is correct, and you were splashing water around. All this blame on trees and Bubba is just a sham to cover your carelessness at the sink. Of course it doesn't leak now, because you've learned to be more careful.;)

Pete and RatLadies
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Old 11-05-2002, 12:05 PM   #11
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shhh

shhh, Pete ... shhhish! Pam might hear you ...
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Old 11-05-2002, 07:45 PM   #12
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Warning, Warning, Warning

:o eeeeeekkkkkkkk Do I have a horror story to pass on about using latex caulk. You know, the kind that that they sell with a 50 yr warranty, always stays flexible, for windows and doors? Well, let me tell you, pardners, stay away from that stuff like the plague. I don't have time to go into it now, but I'm here to tell you that anything that is water based (latex) is a big no-no and could lead to disaster. I learned the hard way. Actually I already knew it, but someone else didn't and the results were....let's just say, not pretty.

Like Charles says, any boat caulk will do. Even some of the RTV silicones from an automotive store will work. Just don't get it at your local DIY home store. Some of you may have had real good luck with it, but I personally don't recommend it.
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Old 11-06-2002, 06:11 AM   #13
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latex caulk

I've heard and experienced nothing but bad with silicone caulk. We have seen tent-trailers and house trailers with the roof and floors rotted out of them because the silicone let go and was not noticable. We talked to people with one year old trailers that have leaks because the silicone rv caulk put on at the factory has let go.

The tent trailer that we had prior to the Trillium and now owned by friends has 25 year latex caulk on it put on 10 years ago and is still fine. It's had a very few minor touchups in this time but no leaks.

The only thing I don't like about the latex is dirt sticks to it, but better that than leaks.
Nancy
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Old 11-06-2002, 08:58 AM   #14
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Latex/silicone caulk

Nancy,

I'm a firm believer in 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it', and it sounds as though you have had good luck with it. That's great. I perfer working with latex because it is so much easier, believe me, it's just that I've had nothing but failure with it so have started using marine silicone with great success.

I think one of the secrets to using latex type caulk is the cure time. If one has the appropriate weather for proper cure time, I'm sure it would do well. It's just that most of my leaks were discovered during wet situations and the latex will wash off before it's cured.

As most of us have found out, there are many ways to keep our fiberglass units rolling and camping. That is one of the great things about this website having so many different types. Love the input and ideas from all!
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