Trying to re-seal windows - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-24-2016, 08:00 PM   #1
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Trying to re-seal windows

We have four windows that are leaking and I want to re-seal them so I pulled the bathroom window because it's the smallest to start out. I had attempted to re-seal this bathroom window with a double layer of butyl tape but it was a mess and it still leaked.

So, I'm starting over. I've pulled the bathroom window and I cleaned the frame and the camper surface and applied the butyl tape to the frame but when I try to reinstall, the screws won't pulled the frame tight enough to close the gap in the corners. I thought that maybe the screws were too long because they seemed almost an inch in length so I swapped them out for 3/4" screws but it still won't even come close to pulling the corners down. The top/bottom and sides look like they're sealed, but now I have to wonder; maybe it just looks sealed.

Am I doing something wrong?
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Old 05-25-2016, 11:52 AM   #2
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Hi,

I'm no expert and have only watched videos of window installs. The vids I watched did show 2 layers of butyl, as you have done. But I wonder if one layer might not be as thick and help the window seat better?

Also wondered...does window itself appear normally shaped, no bowing, warping or other weird stuff. I guess if it now appears sealed you could always squirt a gentle hose of water above it, or perhaps a small amount from a watering can to check if it's leak free.

Probably not much for good ideas, but I do send hope and well wishes your way!

Wendy

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Old 05-25-2016, 12:09 PM   #3
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Bill&Laura,

When I resealed the jalousie windows on our Boler 13, I slowly tightened the screws until butyl seeped out all the way around the edges. May take a day or two before butyl seeps out all the way around. If it doesn't, tighten the screws more. Also, helps to have warm ambient temperature. Also, using a thicker layer of butyl tape is better.

Also, is it possible that the persistent leaks in your bathroom window are between the sash and the window frame??

Edit: Also, can you tell that the screws are actually holding/biting?

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:24 PM   #4
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Gentlemen: The bathroom window has never been sealed. It leaked when we brought the camper home in November and I tried to reseal it once with double butyl but that didn't work.

Yesterday I pulled this window again, the smallest window in the camper that measures approximately 8" X 14" and is frosted, and removed all the butyl. I attempted to reset the window using a single layer of butyl but the screws won't pull the two parts of the frame together to seat the butyl at all. I have turned the screws as far as I can and they won't turn anymore. I actually broke one of the screw heads off while attempting to force them tighter and was lucky enough to be able to remove the broken shaft of the screw with a channel locks.

Need some new ideas for this issue. Right now, I'm thinking about trying to employ the sticky taped foam window strip that came with the sliding rear window we ordered from Scamp. That stuff might be thick enough to seal. I just don't know. Unfortunately, I'm out of ideas right now so I thought I'd come here and ask for advice. It seems that over 150 people have read my post but only two have chosen to offer assistance, so I'm running out of ideas. I has been less than 24 hours since I posted my request so I may hear from a few others that only get online at night after work/dinner.

Help!
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:47 PM   #5
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Bill&Laura,

Are you saying that the screws are not doing their job, i.e., not pulling the window frame snug to the body? Is there a wood strip inside the trailer that the screws are supposed to screw into? If not, another option is to use machine screws with nuts (use with thread lock compound or use nylock nuts).

Edit: For the screw that broke off, was the screw screwing in tight to the body or just to the window frame? If the screw is screwing in tight to the window frame, you need to drill the hole in the window frame larger, or use a small diameter screw thread.

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 02:56 PM   #6
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Bill&Laura,

The butyl sealing method is pretty simple. If you can tighten the screws all the way around the frame tight enough so that butyl oozes out all the way around, then you are done. If the window still leaks, then its probably coming in around the sash. If that is the case, then you may need to replace plastic trim pieces on the sash.

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:24 PM   #7
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I've tightened the screws so much that they're breaking off and the gap between the exterior window frame and the side of the camper is so huge that the butyl isn't touching the camper at all. I don't think there is any plastic involved in the window frame at all.

There zero seal.

When I completed this process on the back slider window, it sealed beautifully and it was possible to see how the butyl is supposed o work. These two windows, the bathroom window as compared to the larger slider, are manufactured in very much the same way and should assemble using the same methods, but they don't. I'm going to remove the bathroom window again and make a closer examination to see if I can identify the issue.

I'll dry fit the window to see if everything mates correctly, and then, maybe, failing any new evidence of problems, I may try the thicker sealing foam that Scamp sent me for installing the rear slider. Humm...
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:26 PM   #8
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J:

I like the reasoning you have here as you examine the issue. The screws are through the metal frame on the inside of the camper into the metal frame on the outside of the window frame. No wood involved. I've added four holes, one in each corner, to assist in smoothly pulling the frames together, but that didn't help.


I'm going to remove the screws completely from the installation process and see how the window fits "dry" by even removing the butyl. If everything fits correctly, then it stands to reason that the screws are causing the problem, as you've mentioned, and they holes will need to be bigger or the screws smaller.

I won't get to that tonight but I'm looking forward to tomorrow or this weekend.

Thanx for your input.

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Originally Posted by John in Michigan View Post
Bill&Laura,

Are you saying that the screws are not doing their job, i.e., not pulling the window frame snug to the body? Is there a wood strip inside the trailer that the screws are supposed to screw into? If not, another option is to use machine screws with nuts (use with thread lock compound or use nylock nuts).

Edit: For the screw that broke off, was the screw screwing in tight to the body or just to the window frame? If the screw is screwing in tight to the window frame, you need to drill the hole in the window frame larger, or use a small diameter screw thread.

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:34 PM   #9
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I don't know the construction of your trailer but many of these rigs, like the Trillium, have a marine grade plywood frame/backing around the inside of the opening and under the inside wall covering which will be rotten if you have a chronic leaker so screws will no longer hold the frame tight. You'll find instructions on this site for replacing it but basically, just pull all the screws, carefully remove the plywood, cut matching pieces of new material, and put everything back together using new butyl as you are doing... I used stainless screws the same size as the old rusty ones I took out. It's a good idea to coat the screws and under the heads with silicone or use thin rubber washers to help prevent galvanic action.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:36 PM   #10
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Bill&Laura,

That's a good plan: Dry fit to figure out why the frame isn't snugging up closer. Could be that the screws are tightening into first hole in which they have contact before they have tightened into the second hole in which they have contact.

-John
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:04 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWanderers View Post
Gentlemen: I attempted to reset the window using a single layer of butyl but the screws won't pull the two parts of the frame together to seat the butyl at all. I have turned the screws as far as I can and they won't turn anymore. I actually broke one of the screw heads off while attempting to force them tighter and was lucky enough to be able to remove the broken shaft of the screw with a channel locks.
Its been awhile since I resealed my Scamps bathroom window.
So I do not recall all the details and as the trailer no longer is in the driveway I can't go and look for a refresher.

You are using the Butyl tape on the outside frame only correct?

And it is the inside frame that you are having difficulty getting to fit back in correctly?

I recall having problems refitting the inside frame for the bathroom window as well. I can not recall what I did but I seem to recall it ended up being something silly I was doing. Inside frame turned backwards or not set into the outside frame far enough or something like that. After much playing around with it I was able to get it to fit back in correctly.
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:10 PM   #12
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Bill, how about showing us a few good pics of what you have? Of both the window frame and the opening. I'd like to see what you're talking about with the dry fit being a large gap.
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:18 PM   #13
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Sorry I wasn't of more help. Probably beyond me but just so you know I feel for you and your dilemma. Much smarter folks have given great ideas. Best wishes and hang in there!

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Old 05-25-2016, 05:18 PM   #14
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I've seen two types of windows. Those with a clamping ring. The screws are inside. Those that screw from the outside. I'm assuming that's what you've got. In either case, in order to tighten, the part that is closest to the screw head has to have holes bigger than the screw. The part that does the pulling has to be able to grip the screw. You might need to add an interior plywood frame around the window to give the screws something to screw into. A picture would help. Raz
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