Just Butyl Tape Or More ?? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-03-2007, 02:41 PM   #15
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Name: Brian
Trailer: Boler (B1700RGH) 1979
Alberta
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...Maybe this Butyl rubber stuff returns to its original shape after it is compressed?
The "butyl" putty (normally grey) is somewhat elastic, so it will to some extent regain its shape when compressed and released. That seems like a good characteristic to me, which is why I have used it rather than the traditional putty. Both come as strips on a paper backing, both are referred to as "tape", but neither is what the rest of the world commonly calls "tape".

Since this material clearly does not meet the which Con provided, and is not "rubbery", I assume that it is some putty material with a small butyl component.
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Old 05-03-2007, 10:16 PM   #16
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Trailer: 1991 Bigfoot 17 ft
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I thought I was confused before.....

I've just read all the related links....

Unlike some of the other fiberglass trailers, ours does not have the "rat fur" or carpeting that others have on the inside of our walls...we have a composite wall with wood panelling. So we stuck to the method previously used...riveting the rail to the outside of the trailer. ( the rivet size that we used was aluminum 1/8" 3mm by 1/2" 12mm )

The putty tape we bought is 1/8" x 3/4" x 30 made by chemtron it is grey in color. Thanks Con for your links....definitelty a rubber sealant. Still think it was the right choice.

Still not sure about securing the bottom awning brackets though............

Thanks all ! Mitch
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Old 05-13-2007, 12:10 AM   #17
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Butyl tape is the worst abomination from the 70's and should no longer be used. What happens is you put butyl tape under something, then rivet it on. Years go by and regular use causes the butyl to get squeezed out from between but the rivets don't tighten up. Then what you have is additional space that water gets into.

My first mission in restoring a trailer is to remove everything that has butyl tape under it and clean it off entirely. To seal stuff correctly, use modern technology. I prefer to use automotive seam sealer. It's meant for exterior use, doesn't shrink over time, stays flexible, paintable, and is also meant for use in a vibration environment (as opposed to household caulking junk like Mono, etc). Silicon is almost never the right goop for the job.

Also, don't just goop the caulking on. Mask all around where you're going to spooge the stuff, then affix the item in question, and peel the tape off leaving a nice clean line where the sealant ends.
Hey Herb P. ! Went straight to Napa CMax and got the automotive sealer. Thanks for the tip !! So we're gonna keep the awning rail with the butyl tape because quite frankly it seems to be holding just fine. Can we use the automotive sealer around the edge too though ??
We are thinking of doing the windows with the sealant as you recommended....So I understand about masking all around the edges but wonder about how much is needed to seal the window ? What is the consistency of the sealant ?? Is it runny or more like a putty substance ?? Should we put in on the window edges then mount the window and seal around it ?? How does it come off if you make a boo boo ? We really want to get this right the first time !!! Anything else we need to know about this stuff ?? thanks in advance for any advice Mitch and Brian
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Old 05-13-2007, 08:54 AM   #18
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Hey Herb P. ! Went straight to Napa CMax and got the automotive sealer. Thanks for the tip !! So we're gonna keep the awning rail with the butyl tape because quite frankly it seems to be holding just fine. Can we use the automotive sealer around the edge too though ??

We are thinking of doing the windows with the sealant as you recommended....So I understand about masking all around the edges but wonder about how much is needed to seal the window ? What is the consistency of the sealant ?? Is it runny or more like a putty substance ?? Should we put in on the window edges then mount the window and seal around it ?? How does it come off if you make a boo boo ? We really want to get this right the first time !!! Anything else we need to know about this stuff ??
I would probably not use seam sealer around the edge of the awning rail because as the awning rail is used, it will cause more of the butyl tape to ooze out from under the rail and thus push the seam sealer out with it and probably break the seal... That Butyl tape won't stay put and in a couple of years, it will probably be bulged out again...

I put a decent bead along the inside of the windows. On my 17, there is a small recessed area on the window frame where you are meant to put the grey putty, I oozed about a 1/4" thick (or more) all around the window in this groove. Mask the windows first so you'll know exactly how they go back in... If the window opens, you can reach in from outside to line up a couple of the screws (assuming the inner frame stayed put which they wanted to do on my 17 which made the job much easier). Then as you tighten screws, the sealant will ooze out from around the edge onto the masking tape. The inner frame is very thin so I recommend just snugging up the screws as you work your way around and then on your second way around tighten them up more... You might even want to work on opposing screws slowly working your way around... If you bend the inner frame, the window won't suck up against the fiberglass as much... This last part is important.. I definitely recommend a good cordless screwdriver or electric drill with a torque adjustment... Doing it by hand is going to be miserable. You'll also want to work sort of fast because the sealant that goops out along the edges is going to skin over... When I did mine, I had my 5 year old inside with the cordless screwdriver. He started the corner screws while I positioned/held the window on the outside. Then he put the rest of the screws in the holes as I came inside and started tightening them...

I use Nitrile gloves to squeegee the goop from around the windows and frequently dab my fingers on a rag to prevent any significant amount of goop from building up under my finger as I'm moving... The more goop under your finger, the further it spreads... You can use laquer thinner to clean up any mistakes or wipe up any that got on the frame or what have you...

Once you're done, look at the seal all the way around the window and make sure it's evenly 'oozed' out. Any parts that have a larger gap, might not have oozed and probably indicate a bent inner frame... You should probably inject some sealant into those areas and wipe them clean as well. Then you can remove the masking tape.

If it's a hot sunny day, the sealant will skin over faster.

Hope that helps.
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Old 05-28-2007, 09:20 PM   #19
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Hey Herb ! thanks for the detailed response. I'll be honest , I thought that you might think it would be a bad idea to put the seam sealer around the awning rail and that leaving the butyl up wouldn't be so smart...We just didn't want to take it down because it was one of our first jobs...it took all day and we were so pleased with our rivet job !!!! Whine , whine !

We've been hard at work , like you, working every weekend on our trailer and quite frankly it's been a bit of a nightmare !!! Got our automotive sealant out and in the gun and NOTHING...Sometimes I feel like were in a Farside cartoon....!!! The stuff would not budge !!! hard as a rock ... Gotta go back and get some more

So, we moved onto other jobs that needed to be done...Like the dewinterizing....We attached the city water and got to it and....flooded the cutlery drawer immediately...So we replaced the "pipes" under the sink that day. We just finished fiberglassing and sanded yesterday. Looked all over the city for Interlux paint ( which was recommended by other members) Cant get it here in Calgary. I'm sure the lack of bodies of water is the reason. Ended up getting some marine paint and primer at General Paint. They carry a brand and so does Rona. Anyway , I hope that goes better...If you hear of a large fire in the N.E. part of the city this weekend it could be us torching our beloved trailer !!!

Thanks again for your advice. We will keep you posted with our adventure ! Cheers Mitch
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