Help. sealant issue - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-24-2019, 02:37 PM   #1
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
Posts: 779
Help. sealant issue

I have a new BF, which has marker lights on the top and bottom corners. One or two have condensation in them after we drove in the rain. So I tried to take one off but since it did not just pop off I put the screws back, I do not want to use excessive force to pry them off. The screws have a black soft sealant residue on the threads. Appeared to be good waterproof stuff.

This is the problem. I saw a couple of the marker lights seem to have a place or two where the clear sealant did not completely fill in the gaps.

So I used Goop Marine. Then unfortunately I tried to smooth the bead of Goop. It did not smooth out, it balled up. Looks terrible. According to the Goop Tech data sheet I have to wait until it dries them scrape off what is not wanted.

So how is Goop smoothed out? I licked my finger before smoothing, I tried using a dry finger, neither worked.

I have a tube of 3M 4000 coming in the mail. I have 3M 4200 on hand but it is a large tube for a special applicator, which I don't have. I have Life Calk. Also a couple of tubes of silicone, which I bought before I found out it would be better to use something else.

What sealant to use around the marker lights? Which, by the way, have condensation in them. They are supposed to be "sealed" but it sure does not seem so, hence my need to run a bead of sealant around each one.
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:00 PM   #2
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
Posts: 458
Sealant

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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
I have a new BF, which has marker lights on the top and bottom corners. One or two have condensation in them after we drove in the rain. So I tried to take one off but since it did not just pop off I put the screws back, I do not want to use excessive force to pry them off. The screws have a black soft sealant residue on the threads. Appeared to be good waterproof stuff.

This is the problem. I saw a couple of the marker lights seem to have a place or two where the clear sealant did not completely fill in the gaps.

So I used Goop Marine. Then unfortunately I tried to smooth the bead of Goop. It did not smooth out, it balled up. Looks terrible. According to the Goop Tech data sheet I have to wait until it dries them scrape off what is not wanted.

So how is Goop smoothed out? I licked my finger before smoothing, I tried using a dry finger, neither worked.

I have a tube of 3M 4000 coming in the mail. I have 3M 4200 on hand but it is a large tube for a special applicator, which I don't have. I have Life Calk. Also a couple of tubes of silicone, which I bought before I found out it would be better to use something else.

What sealant to use around the marker lights? Which, by the way, have condensation in them. They are supposed to be "sealed" but it sure does not seem so, hence my need to run a bead of sealant around each one.
Lots of folks have a favorite. Here’s our favorites. For sealing down a vent or panel of some sort we use butyl tape. It is fairly easy to scrape off should you need to. For a tube caulk we use proflex (about ten bucks a tube) you can get clear, white and brown I think. I’ve only used the clear and white. You can get both butyl tape and Proflex at camper dealers. Do not use silicone. After you’re done with the tube and it’s still 90% full you’ll try to seal it up. You will fail and it will turn hard in the tube and make you mad. After trying tape, a plastic cap, a screw down the spout, a good man told me to put the tube in a food save bag and seal the bag like the caulk was a piece of meat. Put a little sheet metal screw in the end of the tube so the vacuum doesn’t suck the caulk out. I have a tube that’s going on three years now and is still pliable and runs through the caulk gun well. Harbor Freight sells a set of four plastic chisels for about ten bucks. They are tough and work well for scraping off old caulk , stuffing insulation in cracks. Wedging things apart. Easy does it.
As always YMMV
Iowa Dave
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:07 PM   #3
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Thanks Dave. Ordered Proflex. Will seal in the bag as you recommended. Can this be smoother out with a finger? If not, how do people get a nice smooth flat bead?
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Old 02-24-2019, 03:17 PM   #4
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Name: Dave
Trailer: 2013Escape 21
Iowa
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Smoooooth it out

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Originally Posted by Rzrbrn View Post
Thanks Dave. Ordered Proflex. Will seal in the bag as you recommended. Can this be smoother out with a finger? If not, how do people get a nice smooth flat bead?
Yes you can smooth it out as soon as you lay it down and donít give it too much time to skin over. Put a little dish soap and water in a margarine cup and dip your finger in it or charge up a rag with soapy water and keep your finger wet that way and smooth away. I live in a log house, lots of caulking each time I stain this barn. Thatís what I do anyway.
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Old 02-24-2019, 04:13 PM   #5
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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To remove caulking WD 40 is great.
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:19 AM   #6
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Did not know that about WD 40 will give it a try. Thank you
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Old 02-25-2019, 11:39 AM   #7
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Name: Daniel A.
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I learned about it while removing caulking around a bathtub WD 40 made the job real easy.
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Old 02-25-2019, 01:39 PM   #8
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Name: Wayne & Barbara
Trailer: Parkliner
Iowa
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Replace any incandescent lamps with LEDs, they are sealed and don't need caulking except around the hole where the wires come out
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:18 PM   #9
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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Thanks Wayne, I will be trying to replace the incandescent back up bulb with a sealed white LED back up lens. I just hope it fits: Bargman 4784026 Clear LED Backup Light
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:08 AM   #10
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Name: Henry
Trailer: BigFoot
Tennessee
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I replaced the back up lights with the Bargman as previously noted. Very easy, just plugged right into the light socket.

The marker lights, on the other hand, not so easy, and have yet to really do anything about them.

The problem is that 2 or 3 of the upper market lights were placed such that they extend past the radius of the corner. If I remove the lights and try to move them back from the corner I am left with a hole in the fiberglass, maybe two holes. I have never worked with fiberglass and am very reluctant to attempt such a repair. I tried taking the screw out of one side of the marker light and since the fixture was so secure it would not move I just put the screw back in. I then noticed the screw did not seem to catch. So I just applied more sealant.

Brand new trailer and I just mucked it up....
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