To pull out my windows or not pull out my windows??? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-01-2016, 06:25 AM   #1
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Name: Alyson
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
Posts: 4
To pull out my windows or not pull out my windows???

I am new to the fiberglass trailer world. I did a leak repair a couple of weeks ago on the small kitchen window on my 1981 Trillium 1300. I repaired with pro-flex rv caulking and it did the trick, no water now!! My question is.....since joining the group I have read about the importance of re-sealing with buytl tape around all windows. I understand to importance of no water getting in and planned to do this project this coming winter. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and mentioned my intention of doing the job of taking out the windows and resealing them, they asked, "oh are they all leaking??" My answer was no.....the question being if they aren't leaking, why mess with it??? So folks I'm looking for input...is this something that trailer owners should just do every so many years regardless of leaking or not?....should I not disrupt the windows and just do a re-chaulking with pro-flex? Do you only pull out the windows if water is coming in, in numerous places? Or is the question that it could be coming in in small amounts that are not visible? Thoughts and experience??? Thanks!!

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Old 08-01-2016, 07:50 AM   #2
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Arizona
Posts: 4,268
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To pull out my windows or not pull out my windows???

No, it's not automatic every so many years. Lots of environmental variables affect the longevity of window seals. But if one has gone bad, it's likely others aren't far behind.

No, caulk is a short-term band-aid, not a fix, and it just makes more clean-up work when you do a proper reseal.

Yes, it's very possible small amounts of water could be getting in unawares and rotting the wood mounting strips, running behind the foam liner, and causing slow deterioration of other things, even the wood inside the fiberglass floor if it finds a crack, screw hole, etc.

My thought is this. I wouldn't put the trailer out of service in the middle of prime camping season to do all the windows unless there were major problems, which doesn't seem to be the case here. But given the age of the trailer and the fact that one window has developed a leak, I think it's time to make plans to redo them all. The advantage of doing it proactively is you can do it when you want, not when a leak demands action.

Schedule a time when you won't be using the trailer, not too hot, too cold, or too wet. Allow plenty of time because it's very common to have to replace the wood strips around the windows. As you're preparing, I'm sure you can pull up some good old threads with details and pictures if you do a "Site Search/Google"* on something like "reseal Trillium windows."

You'll feel so good when it's all done!

*Only available on the website, not the app. Much better than the app's search function.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:14 AM   #3
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Bigfoot B-17 CB
Washington
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I had a leak on one window in my 94 Bigfoot 2 years ago. The factory had used a foam tape and an external silicone bead on all windows. I decided to reseal all 5 windows with butyl tape. I spent about $20 on butyl tape and it took about 2 house per window to do the job. It was not a difficult job. Your Trillium windows might not be as easy to do. Every time we have a hard rain, I'm really glad I resealed my windows.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:16 AM   #4
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
Posts: 586
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyson Brown View Post
I am new to the fiberglass trailer world. I did a leak repair a couple of weeks ago on the small kitchen window on my 1981 Trillium 1300. I repaired with pro-flex rv caulking and it did the trick, no water now!! My question is.....since joining the group I have read about the importance of re-sealing with buytl tape around all windows. I understand to importance of no water getting in and planned to do this project this coming winter. I was having a conversation with someone yesterday and mentioned my intention of doing the job of taking out the windows and resealing them, they asked, "oh are they all leaking??" My answer was no.....the question being if they aren't leaking, why mess with it??? So folks I'm looking for input...is this something that trailer owners should just do every so many years regardless of leaking or not?....should I not disrupt the windows and just do a re-chaulking with pro-flex? Do you only pull out the windows if water is coming in, in numerous places? Or is the question that it could be coming in in small amounts that are not visible? Thoughts and experience??? Thanks!!

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The one thing I would check first is the wood framing on the inside of the Windows as they frequently rot and need to be replaced then you can determine on removing the window all though you can replace the framing with out removing the window.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:40 AM   #5
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Name: Claire
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
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I copied this from a thread and did not attach the link, so I cannot give credit where credit is due. This is great advice.

Now that I have seen the make up of the windows system in the Trillium I think I can give the following advice to those who are wondering if their wood window frames beneath the ensolite needs replacing, complete with some non-intrusive tests:
  1. If your Trillium is a '70s or '80s series and has never had the windows "re-sealed" then chances are it does. This is due to the fact that even the slightest amount of moisture introduced, even from relative humidity, cold outside & warm inside, warm outside & cold inside etc. has no real way to escape. The backing of the ensolite in my Trillium was damp way down the sides even though the wood frame in the area had dried to some degree. My Trillium is stored in doors in a temperature controlled environment and recently spent a week in Southern California in the direct sunlite all day, with temperatures around 35 celcius, and never saw any moisture coming back to the motherland (BC Canada).
  2. If there are some attempts at sealing the various areas around the windows, utility hatches, belly band, etc. then that means someone noticed moisture in it before and performed this type of "maintenence". I am sorry to have to be the one to tell you but the only thing they probably succeeded in maintaining was the moisture in the wood or between the ensolite and the fiberglass. Once these areas get wet I don't see any way for it to dry. I took my trailer to bake in the sun in southern california for a week, and while I noticed the relative humidity inside go away I was surprised at how much moisture was in there.
  3. Smell - if it smeels like a damp basement in your trailer, or specifically in the storage bins, then you probably need window frame replacement.
  4. Take a screw driver and start to remove the screws in the corners on the outside of the window frame. If they are rusted out or turn in place (without coming out) then your wood window frames need replacing. Test a couple of them. My one window had no water damage at all, while all the others were rotted. Also, some corners were affected while others weren't. The bottom corners on the dinette windows were the worst ones, so that would be a good place to start. If you are worried about the screws not going in tight enough if the wood is ok just dip a wooden match or a deluxe toothpick in wood glue and into the hole. Let it set overnight and cut off the excess flush with the window frame and then put the screw back. This will give the screw something to bite into. I did not invent this, it was provided to me by another forum member above.
  5. On the inside of the window frames test the curtain hardware screws as above. If they turn in place, or are rusted beyond belief then you got excess mositure.
  6. If you remove a small section of the t-bar vinyl insert molding (the stuff that covers the ensolite seams) above the windows (don't worry, it snaps back in place but be careful as it may have become brittle) you will see a small white piece of the channel that holds the molding in place above the window. This small piece is glued onto the wood around the window that the aluminium window frame gets screwed into and is luckily near the corners which seam to get the bulk of the moisture ingress. Using a awl or a screw driver give the wood in this area a poke and if it feels soft then chances are they need replacement. Again, I would recommend looking at the stuff in the bottom corners. If the wood looks and/or feels wet when you remove the moulding then say a prayer and pull out your putty knife.


There are two types of butyl tape. You want to use the one with the smooth paper not the crinkly paper as the smooth one lasts longer.

My first Trillium window thread.

David Tilston is a name I often search under when I need trillium advise as he owns 4 or 5 and has worked on them all.
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:54 AM   #6
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Name: Claire
Trailer: 1978 Trillium 4500
British Columbia
Posts: 227
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Was looking for help with my trillium door and came across this thread that I thought would be useful to you.

Hi Everyone! New Trillium owner
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:08 PM   #7
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Name: Alyson
Trailer: 1981 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
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Thanks everyone..I have some reading to do!

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Old 08-10-2016, 10:34 AM   #8
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Name: Anne-Marie
Trailer: 1977 Trillium 1300
Ontario
Posts: 72
Very useful info here! I'm bookmarking this thread for future use on my 77' 1300 Trillium.
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Old 01-17-2017, 03:56 PM   #9
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Name: Caitlin
Trailer: 1973 Trillium 1300
British Columbia
Posts: 43
So we have leakage around at least one window. They all open only part way and one has a broken handle. Does anyone know how to rectify the tightness issue? One doesn't close all the way down either. I'm tempted to try and replace them all instead but I just love the jalousie style window and don't want to lose that. But, I want windows that we can all operate (and don't leak). Thoughts?
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Old 01-17-2017, 04:29 PM   #10
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006
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[QUOTE=There are two types of butyl tape. You want to use the one with the smooth paper not the crinkly paper as the smooth one lasts longer. [/QUOTE]

I've never heard of this before. I've used both and never noticed any difference in performance other than the crinkly one is a bit harder to remove the tape from. Anybody have any stats on it?
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Old 01-17-2017, 06:39 PM   #11
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Name: Chris
Trailer: Trillium 1300
AB, ON, NS
Posts: 39
Point #4 in post #5 is a great way to check the wood. It will be easy to tell if the screw is in rotted wood or if the screw itself is rotted away.

Resealing the windows is fairly simple job. I did two windows in half day last time the weather was nice and I'll do two more this weekend. The weather looks nice again.

The wood, if like mine is about 2.5" wide with a 45 degree bevel on one side. I ripped a few piece off the full length of a 3/4' ply sheet. Just cut them to size to match the wood being removed. There's lots of info on this and resealing if you search the forum.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:53 PM   #12
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
California
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If the factory would install the windows with the best methodology to date you wouldn't even think about resealing them. Unfortunately they are initially installed with just good enough methodology. This requires you or someone previously to redo the job right and take the time and methodology to do it properly. Also some where in time there was a change over from oil base window putty to Butyl tape. Even after at least 20 years or so some people still use old putty tape. Why so they can redo the windows later.
So if you want it done right you have to redo it. Better to do it when its not leaking at a time of your choosing than at a poor time when its cold out and in the middle of the rainy season.
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:32 PM   #13
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Boler13/trillium4500/buro13
Ontario
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If you are going to have to replace the wood framing my advice would be to replace it with composit or pvc material , a little more expensive but you will never have to worry about it rotting again.also replace the screws with stainless or aluminum screws
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