Leaky Windows and Vents - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-21-2003, 08:23 AM   #1
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Leaky Windows and Vents

Despite being told that it leaks only during driving rainstorms, we have some work to do on some leaks. A steady rain yesterday told us that! At least today has brought us snow;) . Later this week I will be heading into the city to pick up some supplies. Any recommendations on a specific type of caulk to use for sealing window and vent leaks. My friend works on boats and loves 3M's 5200. I have also seen silicone mentioned. Another friend recommended a fiberglass caulk. Just thought that I would check with the group for advice. We don't want to put in our new floor and cushions until the Burro is watertight.


Thanks,
Jim G.
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Old 04-21-2003, 08:36 PM   #2
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Leaks

Don't forget to pull all of the outside running lights and taillights and butyl rubber tape the holes that the screws and wires go thru. My 81' Burro had waterfalls running out of two lights.
You can use this stuff for the windows too if you want to pull them out. It comes in rolls of about an inch wide of white or black ( I suggest white so you get leass streaking) for a about 3 to 5 bucks a roll. I plan on doing this someday.
I wouldn't use regular silicone as it just gets cruddy looking and peels off after about a year. There is also some sort of super rv silicon stuff in white that the RV guy said they use after re taping the windows. It had a funny name a letter and numbers (like A400)
or something.
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Old 04-21-2003, 09:56 PM   #3
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Leaks

Another place that you might look is at the little drain holes (slots) at each end of the bottom of the windows on the outside. You have to get down and look up to see them. I had a bad leak in my '80 Burro and found that dirt and trash had clogged the drain holes. The rain water would run down into the groove that the glass sat in, and then with no open drain hole, would run over on the inside. On one of the windows I had to cut into the plastic slide that the window slid in, as it was too long and covered the drain hole. :)
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:26 AM   #4
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Leaks

Excellent point about the drain holes. First thing to check when wet around inside of windows. Charles Watts helped me with that one. Use a long piece of string trimmer (Weed Wacker Cord) and feed it through the drain holes every so often to clean them out. I believe he notches his to remove all of the debris. I have used it without the notches (I'm lazy) and even that helps some.

Silicone sealants. I have found that there are those that swear by and curse many different types. Really depends on what works best for you. There is one that is great for roof leaks of any kind. It's a high flow type. It's pretty thin and will flow into places that the others won't. I really don't like working with it, but it does do the trick when nothing else will. It doesn't work very well on vertical surfaces as it will run off, but works great on the roof. I have only found it at RV stores. If you have one in your area, they will know what it is.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:45 PM   #5
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Hi Jim! Like your boating friend, I, too, like 3m's 5200 sealant and always carry a tube (white caulk, of course) with me.

Also like Boss RTV 310 sealant (which is what Casita uses in new construction applications). Only drawback ... 310 only comes in caulkgun tubes ... but if you are looking at a lot of windows

However, trust your boating friend. Your trailer is more like a boat than a traditional stick-built trailer!

Like Suz says ... if you are dealing with caulking a roof application, ask your friend for a "high flow" caulk, which will self level and seep down into even a small crack.

Having said all that, don't forget to get a bottle of Capt. Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure ... which will find, penetrate and fix even a hairline crack.
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:24 PM   #6
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Bob, I hate to tell you this, but I suspect the reason the plastic overlaps the drain holes is to keep the Skeeters, No-See-Ums and other undesirables outside...

I was talking recently to the owner of an older Winnebago with the drain slots that go directly into the channels and he said they were infested with Skeeters on an Alaska trip while his relatives traveling with them in a newer 5W were OK (until he discovered the entry points and blocked them). The Skeeters were also getting into the reefer vents and then into his kitchen cabinets, but that's another story.

As posted before, Charles' suggestion of weedwacker cord works, and so does removing the little hoods over the slots and shoving in a small diameter metal rod if the buildup is extreme.

Pete and Rats
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