Caulking the belly band of my Boler - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-23-2015, 05:57 PM   #1
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Name: Emilie
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Caulking the belly band of my Boler

Hi there,

The belly band of my 1975 Boler is leaking. I know there are already several posts about this on the forum, and I've read through them. I understand that the real solution is to remove the belly band and seal the point where the fiberglass meets. However, if I wanted to put a temporary bandaid on the problem by caulking the top of the belly band, would this work? It sounds like a lot of owners have done this.

I've never caulked anything before. Would the right thing to use be mildew-resist silicone caulk or Lexel clear caulk? Any tips on making it as attractive as possible? Someone mentioned using painter's tape. Should I caulk or seal the rivets too, some of which appear to be loose? What about caulking the bottom of the belly belt? (I know gravity is at play, but on another post, someone mentioned condensation being a factor...?)

Thanks!
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:55 PM   #2
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If it's just a temporary fix I would use the inexpensive latex caulk you can get for under $2.00 a tube.
It cheap, will work for a while and will be fairly easy to clean off when you ready to do it right.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:28 PM   #3
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There's also a removable weatherstripping caulking that might be better for a temporary fix.

It's called 'Draft Stop' by LePage.

I tried using it on the inside of a fiberglass roof that had holes drilled in it for bolts and never had any kind of sealant used. The bolts and nuts were rusty and it was overhead so I was unable to get a good seal but it might work on a horizontal plane.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:32 PM   #4
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Just a question... are you sure it is the belly seam leaking?
Most leaks in a Boler occur around the windows (side and front/rear) and the water will migrate behind the ensulite and appear in some other location.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:44 PM   #5
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I ran into a similar problem when I first got my T4500 and tried to seal the windows and belt line. I resealed all the windows twice before I was convinced that they no longer leaked. All this time I was working on the belt line which had a bad leak below the rear window and a lot of rivets were loose. Unfortunately water runs until it finds a hole to get through. I did not want to attack the belt line unless I was sure that it was needed, so I used a 3" aluminum tape that comes with water sealing gasket/sealant on one side. I had to use 2 strips overlapped for my application. It appears to have sealed the trailer so far after 2 winters. Now I know that when I find a leak again, that I have to use fibreglass tape to seal it properly next. It is a summer job where I live.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:43 PM   #6
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Ian has given you good advice. Please know that any caulking on the belly band... no matter Boler or Scamp or Casita or (whatever brand) is strictly cosmetic. Because two halfs of a molded trailer are being bonded together, the very best way is to seal it from the interior... everything else is "temporary."

And if you say you'll seal it up with Silicone, I'll come after you! and I'll bring all the knowledgable all molded members here on the forums with me.
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Old 01-23-2015, 10:59 PM   #7
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Old 01-24-2015, 09:14 AM   #8
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Donna is right, the best way is to seal the whole beltline from inside, better yet both sides. I also agree with her statement about the use of Silicone if possible. In my case with the Trillium, access to the beltline from inside is difficult, because of the many places (kitchen cupboards, clothes cupboard and inside second skin under the rear window). All the interior walls are covered in an expensive and hard to find foam-backed wall covering which would need to be peeled back and hopefully later re-applied. I therefore plan on doing it (in sections) from the outside.
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Old 01-24-2015, 10:06 AM   #9
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An assumption is that everyone knows the "aluminum belly band trim" is exactly that, trim. It has no purpose and does not seal anything or hold anything together. Behind this trim are the flanges from the upper and lower sections that are placed together then fiberglass cloth is used around the inside to secure the sections together. The aluminum trim is held in place with aluminum rivets that are attached through the flange.

I have seen where a bent frame has twisted the body shell enough where the flange will actually crack where it makes the 90 deg bend and this could create a possible leak. In this case a temporary patch would stop but the leak would probably return as the movement of the shell would reopen the crack.

You can see what the flange looks like in the following picture of my Boler while being painted. Although it looks like is gaps around the outside, the inside is smooth and fully sealed.

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Old 01-25-2015, 06:49 PM   #10
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Yup, pretty sure. I've already sealed the windows.
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Old 01-25-2015, 06:51 PM   #11
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Haha! Understood.

I went with a clear, waterproof, mildew-resistant latex caulk. I used painter's tape to make sure it would look neat, and I think it'll be pretty unnoticeable.

And yes, everyone, I understand that this is just a bandaid. Not solving the root cause. I will do that once I acquire a rivet gun and have a bit more time on my hands. For now, gotta prevent the Portland rain from getting into Boley.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:47 PM   #12
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ooooh a Boler in Portland! Emilie, consider coming to a NOG. Spring NOG will be at L.L. Stub Stewart and Fall NOG at Fort Stevens. Bunch of people and a ton of fun!
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:23 PM   #13
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Ou! What is NOG? I'm pretty new to this whole world. Just got my Boler in October. Would love to hear more, Donna.
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Old 01-26-2015, 12:15 AM   #14
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