Removing center trim? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-27-2003, 09:31 PM   #1
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Removing center trim?

Bottomless pit... We removed the windows to properly inspect, clean, lubricate and tint. We found rotten frames, rusted screws, etc. We rebuilt the rotten frames and re glued the ensolite, started that clean-up. Used Lacquer thinner to remove silicone (everywhere); the TT will be 200 lbs lighter after that... I am having a tough time removing the silicone, layer after layer. I applied the thinner with a brush, let stand, dries up some and some comes off; boring... I was thinking, if the previous owners used that much, there must be a leak.
Has anyone ever removed (drilled out the rivets) the center trim to re-seal the seam and then, re-drill and rivet the trim back on?? It almost feels like it would be easier to 1- remove the silicone and 2 plug whatever leak there may or may not be??
Thanks for any help or advice. JD
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Old 05-27-2003, 10:28 PM   #2
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as the belly seam is fiberglassed together, I doubt it leaks. water runs from so many places and out that the exact leak location is not easy to find.

check the bottom drains of the windows, they get stopped up and the water over flows into the tt.
second is the caulking around window, which you have already tackled.
if there are rivets to the outside, they get loose and will also leak
there could be a small surface crack that needs the "Creeping Crack Cure" applied.
over head vents crack and run down the walls (that one in mine)
That's all I can remember right now.

try the Simple Green cleaner to do the ensolite. spray, brush, wipe off with wet rag, may take more then once. then dry with a towel. worked for me. (thank to Nancy for that help)
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Old 05-28-2003, 01:41 AM   #3
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leak

Agree with my neighbor, look for the leak around windows, AC, vent opening, fridge, or door.

The belly joint is one of the strongest (and best sealed) areas of the trailer, fiberglassed from the inside. While it may look from the outside that it's a source of leakage, it don't usually happen. The belly 'trim' is cosmetic.
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Old 05-28-2003, 06:42 AM   #4
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Belly Band

Just in case you still have any doubts, my 14 yr old trailer has a rear window A/C. It drains - you guessed it - right on top of the belly band. It then finds its way down to the underside before it starts dripping off. Not once, ever in the year that I have had it (nor indications of ever) has it leaked through to the inside. I totally agree that this is the least likely source of your leak.

Fortuntunately, I think I have come up with a way to divert my water. Not road tested, but I think it will work.
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Old 05-28-2003, 07:43 AM   #5
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OK! I won't remove it. I suppose the previous owners just piled the stuff on.
I changed the small roof vent to a 14 X 14 I had left over from installing an A/C unit on the motorhome. I cleaned and used the grey tape and used Cherry Max self sealing rivets. With these, the "nail" inn the rivet does not drop off as with pop rivtes and keeps a good seal (used in aircraft construction). I inspected the rivets on the band and some have dropped off. Once painted, I will lightly caulk the band and the rivets (one by one where needed).
We are thinking of innstallinng drip caps around all windows; similar to what we have above the doorway, is that a good idea?.
In removing the windows, I noticed someone had gone silicone crazy there too; will clean, lube and tint before re-installing. I do have a question however: What is the best way to re-install? Put the grey mastic tape on the frame? On the inside channel?
As for the spider web cracks; we have lots of those, a few nicks and cracks, pitting, stress cracks by the door, etc. A fellow here is a body man, specialized in Corvettes and will teach us all the tricks to fix and deal with the fiberglass and how to prep for paint and will get him to recommend a good painter that will come to my hangar and paint it for cash.
We really love the quickness of the response and the imaginative solution folks on this board come up with. Knowledge is power and knowledge not share is wasted...
I mentioned the 14" vent, I should also mention that we also had a Maxxair Turbo-Max fan left over from the RV. It incorporates a vent cover and looks large on the roof of a 13' Trillium, but this onne has the speed control with max/miser and it means not spending any more on the "Bean". One thing I like about that unit is that you can drive with the vent open and if you forget it in the rain, its OK.
Thanks again for all the replies and help. JD
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Old 05-28-2003, 05:52 PM   #6
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Band removal

On my Trillium, most of the metal inbeded in the fiberglass band had rusted away. Since the band was falling off I decided to just fill the crack in with fiberglass and leave the band off. I can't see anyway this place could leak. My father thinks this may crack in time but I am going to take that chance and continue. If it ever cracks I'll let you know.
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:42 PM   #7
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Bellyband leak

We are sure we have a leak under the bellyband. We've done the windows...not leaking there...and checked every possible other place. When we took the band off we found (1) rotten wood and (2) lots of oogie old caulk and (3) big spaces where the oogie old caulk had disappeared.

Tao plans to sandblast the area between the top egg and bottom egg, fill it with computer matched gelcoat mixed with cabosil to make a color match paste, sand flat, and then maybe not cover it at all. We'll let you know how it comes out.:wave

Right now we're waiting for Revcon or whoever it is to call so we can pick up the gelcoat and get our door back!
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Old 06-03-2003, 09:58 AM   #8
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belly band leak

Bonnie:

Whattya workin on? :)
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Old 06-03-2003, 11:03 AM   #9
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Hi Bonnie
We have a 75 Trillium and there is no wood around the belly band that we have discovered. Where is the rotten wood you found?

Even though the two halves are fiberglassed together, I suppose it is possible for it to leak where the rivets go through. I caulked the top of the belly band just for good measure.

We did discover that the plastic drain part under the sink on ours was leaking. Our furnace was under the sink so this area was impossible to see until the furnace was removed.

Nancy
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Old 06-03-2003, 12:53 PM   #10
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10 to 1 odds on bet the leak is in your roof. Check the roof vent very carefully, both where it is riveted to the roof, and also check to plastic "lid" for hairline cracks. These both can let water get behind the fiberglass, where it runs down until it finds a place to come out. Also, my Scamp has a ceiling light which is riveted to the roof. These rivets weren't properly sealed, and water would leak in, run behind the carpeted walls, and come out under my rear window. I was going nuts trying to find a leak at my rear window! Four rivet caps and a dab of caulk later, I'm dry.
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Old 06-03-2003, 04:06 PM   #11
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Belly Band Leak

Hi!

It is very surprising to see the differences between our Trillium trailers. They all seem to be unique (-- All About Our Unique Trailer--)!

For instance, on mine, (4500, 1977) the major source of leaking, and by far, was from the rear belly band. And it was really pouring.

On the rear, up to the beginning of each corner, the belly band is screw to a piece of wood and those screws are also holding the upper and lower shell together. They are not fiberglassed together. There is just some weather strips making the waterproofing.

Everywhere else, the belly band is riveted to the shells.

In my case, in the rear, the wood and the screws were so rotten that I removed them only using my finger nails, and the weather strip was all gone. As far as I could see, the wood was pretty much gone too.

There was a 1/4 inch gap between the upper shell and the lower one since there is no more screws to hold everything.

To complicate more the thing, two lenth of the belly band are joining together in the middle of the rear of the trailer. There was a little joining hardware but I had to remove it. It was rotten too.

It will be a big job to fix that. Well, at least bigger job than what I want to do this year.

So I made a temporary fix that seem to hold very well. To replace the joining hardware I made one small hole on each piece of the belly band and tied them together with brass wire. This will be hidden by the insert.

I also force latex caulking in every screws holes, as much as they could take, making a little ball outside the band holes. This latex calking has a very good adherence and it is (and will stay) flexible. I also filled the quarter inch gap with caulking. I put a little bead of caulking on top and bottom of the band. Then, i install new black inserts to finish the job.

I must have use about one full tube of caulking, maybe more.

Of course, I will keep an eye on the job. Everything is holded down only by the caulking. But for now, after more than one month and 2 trips, it is looking fine and of course, no more leaks inside from there.

There was also leaks in front (from the band). So I think that it is important to caulk at least on top of the band as some of the water passing in the rear will find its way inside the trailer through gaps between rivet and the shell. I did that and also cover every rivet head with caulking. With the black plastic insert installed, I think that maybe it is possible for the water to go up by capilarity and go inside the trailer through the hole in the middle of the rivet.
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Old 06-04-2003, 02:07 AM   #12
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Oh my, :omy that's good to know. I had not heard about wood in the band part. I have fiberglass all the way around mine. see it as plain as day behind the refrigerator after I removed it, and can feel it through the insulation elsewhere as I'm cleaning. that's what I get for thinking I know about Trilliums when I don't have one. :nope. So, J.D., you may have to think about that removel after all. but I hope you find the leak in some easy to fix place instead.
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:00 AM   #13
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Trillium

>>
Oh my, that's good to know. I had not heard about wood in the band part. I have fiberglass all the way around mine.


Same here, Jana.

I love this forum and all that we learn.
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Old 06-04-2003, 08:45 AM   #14
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Leaks

Well, with all the windows off, I found that there was leakage at 3 of them. Had to replace the bottom part of wood frame for back window. Plastic wood in all screw holes and reinforced and re-fiberglassed (plugged) all the holes in the fiberglass. the bottom front was rotten in a few spots from all the dents and dings left to the elements, we grinded right through the gelcoat and at times right through the fiber and in the process to rebuild that. This little "cracker" was in need of TLC. The top corners of the doorway were cracked, one side had been fixed with tin and screws... Some of the previous owners went completely nuts with silicone, while others, maybe sam, probably got a drill for X-Mas one year and made holes everywhere to hang this, install that... There were eyebolts and hooks throughout the unit. Monday, I patched over 50 holes about the insides. Someone had installed mudflaps with 8, yes 8 screws (per side) in the wheel wells. Later today, I will see if there is a wooden part to the back split. Being it is a 13', I am not sure it will have one. If it does have one and it is found to be rotten, I will drill all the rivets, remove the band, fiberglass over the joint and get that done before painting. If we miss the look of the band, I am certain we can find some sort of body side molding to stick there... JD
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