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.