Long-lasting fiberglass caulk? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-12-2016, 06:12 PM   #1
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Long-lasting fiberglass caulk?

Okay, so apart from being a bit discolored from dirt, the original caulk around my 1988 Bigfoot B19 windows is still in great shape and it LOOKS like silicone to me (see photo #1 Original Window caulk). However, I've read in many forums that silicone is a no-no with fiberglass (can't remember why that is though...). Anybody know what caulking was originally used and if it still available?

Several years ago, I painstakingly used highly-recommended and damned expensive marine grade caulk that was supposed to be UV-resistant (from WestMarine) to caulk around the belly band but it completely disintegrated and turned to chalk really (see photo #2 "Chalk" Caulk - those bits and flakes are all that is left of the caulk).

So now I am looking for a highly sun-resistant (I live in Phoenix, AZ) waterproof caulking that is compatible with fiberglass and that will hold up like whatever the original caulk is around the windows.

What have my fellow fiberglass RVers used with proven success? I would prefer to use something clear and from which the dirt washes off (you know how some caulking will not come clean ever). Something like whatever was originally used on the windows would be great as it seems very durable.

Thank you for your input!
Attached Thumbnails
#1 Original window caulk.jpg   #2 BellyBand Chalky Caulk.jpg  

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Old 02-12-2016, 06:36 PM   #2
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Well, all I can say is I've never seen any clear caulk that stayed clean looking. Within a year it looks grungy and brownish/green.


I haven't used it (yet), but this is probably what I'm going to use when the time comes: AP Products 017-106449 Sikaflex 221 Colonial White Caulk 300 ml RV Parts


Others will step in and state their preferences. Then you get to decide
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:52 PM   #3
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Thanks, Donna, I will look into this product. However, I would recommend doing a test run on a test surface because I have tried using a Sikaflex product inside my home - for the bathroom - and found it extremely hard to handle (very gooey) and if I remember correctly, it would only clean up with solvents. However, it was not an RV-specific product, so it could have a completely different texture. Will see if they have it at Home Depot because HD is always great at taking stuff back that doesn't work out well.
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Old 02-12-2016, 06:58 PM   #4
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:26 PM   #5
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Thanks, Steve - that looks like something that once adhered, will last longer than I will! From the online reviews, it sounds like it might have some similar application challenges as the Sikaflex in terms of being a bit unwieldy, so if I go with Lexel, I will practice on a test surface first to get the hang of it.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:48 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Val & Kayla View Post
Thanks, Steve - that looks like something that once adhered, will last longer than I will! From the online reviews, it sounds like it might have some similar application challenges as the Sikaflex in terms of being a bit unwieldy, so if I go with Lexel, I will practice on a test surface first to get the hang of it.
One of the nice things about Lexcel is that it sticks to itself so you can apply fresh Lexcel over dried lexcel. It is more difficult to tool than standard caulk
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Old 02-12-2016, 08:38 PM   #7
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Ooh, I like that feature, Steve - I will order some and give it a whirl. Thanks y'all!
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Old 02-13-2016, 10:49 AM   #8
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Recaulking around windows

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Lexcel
Hi All,

I'm also planning on recaulking around the window frames and have purchased a couple of tubes of Dicor non-leveling, non-sag lap sealant for the job. It's white, which is probably not ideal. Just wondering if anyone has used this product and what kind of experience they had with it. Just starting to read about Lexcel.

Thanks,
Josh
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Old 02-13-2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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Check other website for RVs....like.... "do it yourself RV"...RV.net.....RVtravel....
and the many other sites to aid the RV community. I remember watching a detailed video showing how to completely remove the window unit on an RV and then apply special caulk (or a rolled tape compound used in window factories) then reinstall the window unit. The idea of re caulking without first removing the unit and scraping off all old caulk and cleaning the area is not the way to go.
The entire process looked very easy for two people...one inside the RV and one outside to prevent the window from falling when removing and re-installing.

Good Luck !
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Old 02-14-2016, 08:10 PM   #10
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Caulking windows

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Originally Posted by Uplander View Post
Check other website for RVs....like.... "do it yourself RV"...RV.net.....RVtravel....
and the many other sites to aid the RV community. I remember watching a detailed video showing how to completely remove the window unit on an RV and then apply special caulk (or a rolled tape compound used in window factories) then reinstall the window unit. The idea of re caulking without first removing the unit and scraping off all old caulk and cleaning the area is not the way to go.
The entire process looked very easy for two people...one inside the RV and one outside to prevent the window from falling when removing and re-installing.

Good Luck !
Thanks Patrick. Funny thing is that I actually started with the idea of pulling one offending window out, even ordered a roll of butyl tape. Watched a lot of videos and was really psyched up to do it. Then it started to seem like a big job. Decided to take an easier route suggested by one of the readers.

My plan now is to recaulk around the frame (and hopefully do a good job of that), and then install EZ-Gutter around all of the windows to divert the water away.

Of course, there is no way to divert all the water, when it rains it rains (although not that much in southern AZ). Also, I have to leave a little space between the frame and the gutter to I can caulk again in the future, or take the window out at a later date.
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Old 02-15-2016, 08:05 AM   #11
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If it's a leaking window, rebedding in butyl is the long term fix. Butyl being sticky attracts dirt so some will apply a caulk as a coating to keep a cleaner look. As Steve suggests, Lexel works well with fiberglass but I echo his comment that it's hard to tool. A wet finger a few seconds out of the tube is all you get. After that it's unworkable. It comes in clear and white. Small tubes are common. I've seen it at the local Ace hardware in standard 10 oz. caulk gun tubes as well. Raz
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:34 AM   #12
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Josh &Sonya, The task of removing is not overkill...it is the only way to do the job right...just a recaulking will only fail in short order.
The process might be time consuming but it is something anyone can do...just take your time...once and done...the professional way !

Good Luck
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:11 AM   #13
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Long-lasting fiberglass caulk?

Wondering if we need to clarify something... The caulk is not what seals the window- butyl putty under the flange does that. The caulk is really just for appearance and maybe adds a little protection for the butyl.

As others have said, if the window is leaking, the only fix is to remove, clean, and reinstall with fresh butyl.

If you just want to clean up the appearance, then removing the old caulk and adding new is okay, as long as you are careful not to disturb the putty under the flange. If the old is silicone, getting a thoroughly clean surface for the new to adhere is the hardest part. Do a Google site search on "remove silicone" for suggestions. I wish I knew what to recommend for new... agree our AZ sun is harsh on many materials!

My Scamp came with silicone caulk liberally and sloppily applied around the windows. It's a bit unsightly, but I'll probably wait until it's time to reseal the windows to deal with it.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:30 AM   #14
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"Which is the best caulk to apply to windows?" sounds very much like "Which is the best stable door to fit after the horse has bolted?".
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