Working on a Trillium 5500 - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-17-2015, 07:50 AM   #29
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Also, it seems to me that the wood around the window I re-sealed last week was kinda damp... This I don't like. I tightened the screws a little more and we'll see. I may have to remove that window again, I hope not.
Well, the window I just resealed is leaking.
I'll have to pull it out and see what's going on.
Also it looks like the crank actuator for that window will have to be replaced, as I can't shut the window close tight, feels likes the little gears are skipping teeth. I never noticed that when I worked on the window last week (or maybe that failure just happened). My local RV parts dealer says they have about a dozen model of these on stock, hopefully they have one that fits.

I'm getting ready to reinstall my fridge, still debating wether I should repaint the vent or strip them to bare aluminium and polish them. I think I'll strip them and see, they look like they have about 5 coats of paint on them. Never too late to repaint if needed.
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Old 09-17-2015, 08:15 AM   #30
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I like the look of bare aluminium.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #31
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I like the look of bare aluminium.
I don't mind painted or bare, but my wife said to paint it. End of discussion!

I've taken my leaky window again this morning. I can't figure why or where water was coming in.

Boy is that butyl stuff sticky! Like chewing gum! Good stuff that is.

My local RV part store had the appropriate window actuator in stock, and to my surprise it wasn't too expensive ($13). The old one was riveted to the window frame, I just used 3 stainless bolts, nuts, and locking washers I had here. Fits perfectly.
The window frame has to be partially dismantled for the actuator to come out. Just 2 screws really, no big deal. Unless there is another way to remove it, I don't know, I didn't spend much time looking.

I scraped the old sealant (which wasn't old at all), this time not necessarily to the bare metal, applied new butyl tape, and reinstalled the window. Again, the sealant oozed out everywhere, I can't see this window leaking again, but then... we'll see.

Hopefully I'll be able to reinstall my fridge this afternoon.
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Old 09-17-2015, 01:50 PM   #32
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If you still have leaks, you might want to look at the belly band.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:21 PM   #33
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Oh yeah, don't worry, the belly band is on my radar!
But in the case of that window, the leak was definitely coming from above the band. The wood (new cedar I just put in) on one side was wet.

I also know for sure the rear window leaks. It's the next one on my list, maybe tomorrow.

I couldn't find water anywhere else. I'll do all the other windows in time, I don't like living in a camper surrounded by rotten wood and mold. The wood on that last window I just did was almost growing mushrooms!
At least once the rear one is done, all obvious leaks will be sealed before winter hits.

Me and my wife were just discussing the belly band this afternoon. Right now there is a bead of silicone (what else?) on top of it. It looks old and dirty and I don't like it. If after all the windows and vent are re-sealed there is absolutely no sign of leakage anywhere, I'll just peel the silicone off the belly band and redo a nice bead of sealant (not silicone... ProFlex? is it available in "ivory" or "almond"?). Then I guess it can stay like that for a while. But I know one day I'll have do get rid of, just like you did on your trailers.
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Old 09-18-2015, 03:13 AM   #34
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The leak could be from the rear clearance lights above the Window, and traveling down inside the ensolite. I have the same issue with my 5500, and I have replaced rear windows frame already.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:27 AM   #35
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I will look that up, I remember a few clearance lights are not original, can't remember which ones exactly. Thanks!
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:14 PM   #36
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For some reason, yesterday's post on my blog wasn't displaying correctly. A Blogspot bug I guess. It's now fixed.

I know the Google translation isn't perfect, but I think you can figure it out. Knowing both languages, I sometime find the Google english version quite funny, as I can see how the original text was translated! I can provide more details if needed, just let me know.

https://translate.google.com/transla...-text=&act=url

I'd like to post some details and the pictures of my work on this thread, I'm sure most members here would appreciate. I'll try to do it when I have time. In the mean time, I hope you appreciate the blog.
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:12 PM   #37
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Mostly a repost from my blog:

Resealed the rear window yesterday. I think I’m getting better at it!
Took me about 30 minutes to get the window off. Stuck hard in silicone.



I’m calling it *silicone*, but I’m not sure if this really is silicone. One the first window I did, the sealant was a white rubbery stuff, just like the silicone you’d put around your bathtub. It wasn’t that hard to get off the fiberglass, and on the window frame you’d just peel it off and the aluminium frame would come out mostly clean. On the second window, the sealant used was gray. It has the same rubbery texture as the white stuff, but is VERY hard to remove from the trailer. On the aluminium frame of the windows, the stuff is pure hell. You can’t just grab the edge and pull it off, it always break and all you can get off is a tiny bit. I don’t know if some silicones are better than others, but this gray stuff is much tougher than the white silicone of my first window. Not sure if it’s not some SikaFlex of ProFlex sealants, I’m not familiar with these but they are apparently tougher than silicone. In any case, the stuff is a chore to remove, and white or gray my windows are leaking!

So once again I’ve spent most of the day scraping off old silicone - or whatever that is.
Wet and rotten wood, the other windows.
Lost of rusted screws.



Last week I’ve discovered Silicone-Be-Gone. Works great but requires at least a couple hours to act. So as soon as the window was off the trailer I took my utility knife and shaved as much as I could of the old silicone, trying to leave only a thin layer. Got to be very careful not scratching the gel coat.



Then I applied Silicone-be-Gone with a brush.



While the silicone remover did its thing, I began to clean the window frame. I’m using a metal brush on my drill, which usually works fine to get the old sealant off. But not this gray stuff! Looks like the brush is kinda only melting the stuff, which then sticks to the brush. Very hard to get this stuff off. Even once clean to the metal, the aluminum frame remains sticky! I found that the best way was to first trim off as much as I could with a knife, then use the brush the remove the bulk of it. It’s the remaining thin coat that seems to take forever to remove. I found that acetone dissolves this stuff quite easily. Alternating the wheel brush with rubbing with an acetone-soaked rag a few times helped a lot, and I eventually ended up on the bare, clean aluminium. Just to be clear, the actone is used on the window frame not the trailer. Do not use acetone on the fiberglass, as it will damage the gel coat.

Inside the trailer, there is a thin plywood panel just under the window. I think most Trilliums have this. I had to take it off, since it is attached to the wood frame at the bottom of the window. What was behind this panel wasn’t very good looking…



Decades of dirt and dust, mold, etc. One thing I didn’t expect, and I didn’t know Trilliums had this: there is a strip of open-cell foam in the recess where the two halves of the camper are joined. Probably just to fill the gap and have a smooth wall. But open-cell foam is like a sponge, and it probably soaked a lot of water from the leaky window just above. The result: mold! Yuk!



When new, this foam was actually yellow!



Too many pictures... continued on my next post!
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Old 09-20-2015, 07:18 PM   #38
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Of course I ripped this all off. The disgusting foam pieces where mostly just under the window. I’ll find some other foam (closed-cell this time) to replace it.



In that panel, there is a 120V power outlet. I took it off. It’s a pretty basic kind of outlet. The wires simply run through, no screwed connexions. I wouldn’t want that in my home… How safe is this?



By the time I was done cleaning the window and ripping the dirty foam off, the old silicone was ready to be scraped off the trailer. I used my plastic scraper, and I would say that about 90% of the old silicone just scraped off pretty much effortlessly.



I reapplied some Silicone-Be-Gone again, to help remove what was left.

While I was doing this, my wife did a good cleanup of the window with the aluminium wheel cleaner. Before I put the window back, I had to straighten the frame. It was bent at all the screw holes (overtightened?).



I simply used a piece of wood and carefully hammered it straight.

I did the final removal of the old silicone on the trailer, cleaned everything to the bare geal coat, then my wife helped me putting the butyl tape, then the window back in (you don’t want to drop that big window!).

Overall, the removal, cleanup and reinstall of that window took about 7 1/2 hours. I would say that about 80% of that time is spent cleaning up old silicone!

Finished the day reinstalling my fridge vents and water heater door that had just been repainted. Already starting to look better!



Carl
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Old 09-21-2015, 10:17 AM   #39
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Thank you very much for the detailed write up.

The open cell foam is new to me. I have never seen it before. Maybe just a 5500 thing? I agree, closed cell foam would be better.
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Old 09-24-2015, 08:11 AM   #40
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I see your water heater is on the opposite side to mine.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:00 AM   #41
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In the opposite side bench I have the water tank and pump. City water inlet and water fill for the tank are also on that side.

I find that there is a lot of wasted space in these compartments. Especially on mine with the rear dinette permanently converted into a bed.

The previous owners used the space under where the rear table was for storage, using two large plastic bins on wheels. They would just roll them out to access the content. Worked good I guess. But the bins don't go back completely to the the rear of the trailer, there is an unused space of about 12 inches. There is about the same space between the water heater and the rear wall, and on the opposite side there is the water pump but it could be moved forward closer to the water tank and again, there would be about 12in of free space at the rear of that compartment. So it makes a total area of about 12 inches by the width of the trailer that could be used for storage. I'm thinking maybe instaling an exterior hatch at the rear of the trailer, maybe 10 or 12 inches high by 24in wide, to access this area from outside. Could put lots of stuff in there, like water hoses, wheel chocks, leveling blocks, etc.
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Old 09-24-2015, 11:32 AM   #42
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I agree Carl. The same could be said of the kitchen on a 1300 with a furnace. Lots of wasted space.
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