Why not silicone? (Split from Forums 101) - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-27-2015, 07:10 PM   #29
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You have my vote too, Bob. Your experience has been similar to mine.


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Old 03-28-2015, 02:31 AM   #30
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Wow! 28 posts on the original day!!
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:02 AM   #31
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Butyl tape is so easy to use compared to anything out of a tube I wouldn't use anything else. That said........ Raz
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:25 AM   #32
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Yep, and I peeled lots of silicone sealant off of the then 8 year old 13' Scamp we had when removing the windows for resealing with butyl tape, one of which already had a leak. When I removed the roof vent to install a Fantastic fan there was ample evidence of additional silicone piled on to patch an earlier leak in that area.


Builders like silicone sealants because they are less labor intensive (code for "Cheaper") to use and will suffice for the average first ownership period, or at least past the warranty period which is usually about 1 year
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:26 AM   #33
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IMO. If properly done, silicone will maintain a weather tight seal longer than butyl tape.
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Old 03-28-2015, 10:10 AM   #34
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I have seen any number of less than 5 year old RV's with leaky, "silicone sealed" windows and vents that had leaks. One would hope that the original builders could "properly" use the product.


When I pulled the windows out of my 42 year old Hunter the original RV Putty Tape was still in place as was evidenced by tell-tail paint transfer from the original build.
And, even to argue if that wasn't "Original", I bought it from the 2nd owner who had owned it for 20 years and he commented that he had never pulled the windows when I asked before buying it......
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:16 PM   #35
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Has anyone tried using the as seen on tv product Flex Seal?


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Old 03-28-2015, 04:41 PM   #36
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Has anyone tried using the as seen on tv product Flex Seal?


Lilly The Trilly - 1975 Trillium 1300
A previous discussion. Worth a look. Raz
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Old 03-28-2015, 04:52 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
IMO. If properly done, silicone will maintain a weather tight seal longer than butyl tape.
Then what conclusion should I draw from having had to remove both badly leaking fantastic fans sealed with silicon in 2013 from my less than one year old 2012 Scamp 19? Picked up at the factory in early June and both fans leaking by the following February. Yet the butyl tape I used when resealing both fans did not leak while I owned it and the new owner has not informed me that either one is leaking again. And, I have spoken with other FG owners who have had the same experience with silicone sealed structures.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:47 PM   #38
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Then what conclusion should I draw from having had to remove both badly leaking fantastic fans sealed with silicon in 2013 from my less than one year old 2012 Scamp 19? Picked up at the factory in early June and both fans leaking by the following February. Yet the butyl tape I used when resealing both fans did not leak while I owned it and the new owner has not informed me that either one is leaking again. And, I have spoken with other FG owners who have had the same experience with silicone sealed structures.
The only conclusion there is, is whoever installed the fans at the Scamp factory did not do it properly otherwise they would not have started leaking so soon.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:35 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
The only conclusion there is, is whoever installed the fans at the Scamp factory did not do it properly otherwise they would not have started leaking so soon.

I might share the same conclusion if I didn't know three other Scamp owners who have also had fans leak within three years of purchasing them. And when I called Scamp, I was told by the parts man that they use butyl tape when they install fans (they didn't on mine).

Approximately 25 years ago I purchased my first camper (a Coleman pop-up). It did not have a vent fan and I wanted one. The local RV dealer who sold it to me told me to install it with butyl tape. I asked if silicone caulk would be better and ended up on the receiving end of a lecture. Since then I have not found silicone to be reliable any time I have used it in spite of following all instructions for application. So I surely wish someone who believes silicone is superior to butyl tape for sealing RV vents and windows would inform me how it is done "properly" given that the "professionals" who constructed my most recent trailer apparently couldn't do it "properly."

Sorry, silicone advocates. Use all the silicone you want and I wish you good luck with it, but I prefer to use a product I know from experience will not leak for years.




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Old 03-28-2015, 08:55 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom Rowland View Post
IMO. If properly done, silicone will maintain a weather tight seal longer than butyl tape.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I have seen any number of less than 5 year old RV's with leaky, "silicone sealed" windows and vents that had leaks. One would hope that the original builders could "properly" use the product.

When I pulled the windows out of my 42 year old Hunter the original RV Putty Tape was still in place as was evidenced by tell-tail paint transfer from the original build.
And, even to argue if that wasn't "Original", I bought it from the 2nd owner who had owned it for 20 years and he commented that he had never pulled the windows when I asked before buying it......
I agree with Bob. a long life seal with silicon is the exception NOT the rule. When I removed the side windows from my 40 year old Boler the butyl tape was a sticky and stretchy as the new tape I installed.

I am a mechanic where "silicon gaskets" are common, they do work on perfectly machined surfaces that are perfectly clean and using new silicon, but if the surfaces are not perfect or clean or the silicon is a little outdated it will fail.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:02 PM   #41
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So I surely wish someone who believes silicone is superior to butyl tape for sealing RV vents and windows would inform me how it is done "properly" given that the "professionals" who constructed my most recent trailer apparently couldn't do it "properly."

Sorry, silicone advocates. Use all the silicone you want and I wish you good luck with it, but I prefer to use a product I know from experience will not leak for years.
A few years ago the bath window on my S19 was leaking around the frame. I removed it cleaned the surfaces and reinstalled it using butyl tape. Guess what, it leaked more than it did before I removed it. I removed it and reinstalled it using silicone to seal it. It hasn't leaked since.
The "professionals" that constructed your trailer are "hourly assembly line workers" doing what they are told to do, how they are told to do it. If they don't, they will be looking for another job. I have worked in that type of environment where I raised an issue of how something was being done and I was told do the way I was told to or leave.
If ALL the surfaces to be sealed are 100%, not 99.9%, free of any dirt, oils, old sealant and all foreign material before applying the silicone it will seal properly and it will last.
Butyl tape has not worked for me while silicone has.
You use what you want but I will continue using Silicone because my experience tells me that silicone works better.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:03 AM   #42
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Interesting thread going on here. In over 30 years I've owned everything except a 5'er and a pop up. Every leak that I've had to deal with on any of them came from the factory build, a repair or addition that a past owner did with sillycone. Never had a butyl seam ever leak. Thought I had one once but it turned out a plastic vent frame cracked...but the butyl seal was still fine . Got a question for any butyl doubters out there. Would you use sillycone or plumbers putty installing a sink drain basket ?
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