Uhaul inner/outer wall seam separation - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-15-2011, 02:21 PM   #1
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: Uhaul CT-13
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Uhaul inner/outer wall seam separation

Good day. I have a '84 U-haul CT-13 that I am totally refurbishing. Upon removing the headliner, I noticed some pretty significant separation on the two overhead seams where the inner wall shell mates with the outer shell. Over the years, previous owners used a concoction of silicone, butyl caulk, what appears to be a green epoxy and who knows what else to re-bond these seams with no success. The joint seem well glued together towards the front and back of the camper but in the center, not. I assume these seams are supposed to be tightly bonded for shell integrity. Is that the case? Has anyone else encountered this issue and if so, what did you use to re-adhere these seams?? Thanks much
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
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Gerry, welcome to fiberglassrv!

I don't have a Uhaul so I can't comment directly on your problem but I'm sure someone here can. I would think the first step is to clean up all the gunk from the previous attempts. That doesn't sound like fun!
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:01 PM   #3
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I don't have a U-Haul either, but if it was mine... I'd clean it up.. really, really well and use fiberglass cloth and resin and do the job right. You'll be covering the seam area, so neatness only counts a bit. But I know I wouldn't want to look forward to resealing time and time again.

YMMV
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Old 09-15-2011, 07:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bard278 View Post
Good day. I have a '84 U-haul CT-13 that I am totally refurbishing. Upon removing the headliner, I noticed some pretty significant separation on the two overhead seams where the inner wall shell mates with the outer shell. Over the years, previous owners used a concoction of silicone, butyl caulk, what appears to be a green epoxy and who knows what else to re-bond these seams with no success. The joint seem well glued together towards the front and back of the camper but in the center, not. I assume these seams are supposed to be tightly bonded for shell integrity. Is that the case? Has anyone else encountered this issue and if so, what did you use to re-adhere these seams?? Thanks much
I also have separation on some parts of the seams. Mine are around one side on the front and the other side on the rear. I would not remove the green looking epoxy. It looks like that is the original green pieces of fiberglass that should stay there.
I put in Geocel 2300 MHRV body sealant-it's a white sealant recommended by an RV place-but I would not recommend using it, as it dried to a sticky consistency. Matter of fact, I'm in the process of trying to get between those seams to remove it.
My roof is sagging, leaking from the solar panel & leaking at the fantastic fan, so its not at the top of my to do list..
So I can't provide an answer for you.

Patty
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:04 PM   #5
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Gerry,

I checked the center seams & forget to mention that the center seam (streetside) also has some separation. In my camper, I believe the separation is due to a snowload on this side that I didn't remove last winter causing the separation & roof sag. Is your ceiling even on both sides? This may have caused the seams to separate. Just a thought..
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Old 09-15-2011, 08:17 PM   #6
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Forgot to tell you that in random places the seams are tightly adhered with no type of sealant. I'll shut up & go to my room now..
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:15 AM   #7
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We have the same separation in places om our Uhaul. It looks like the problem is that there is too much space between the outside and inside pieces. There is no indication that this has caused any problem at all and therefore I don't worry much about it. At this point I would not even try to rebond this area. It would probably just make a big mess, irritate me and make me go drink six beers to calm me down.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:43 AM   #8
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Bud,

I agree with you. I now have a very sticky mess there that I am almost done removing. Many of the Uhauls may have the same issue.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:50 AM   #9
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Name: Gerry
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Thank you for everyone's input. I am "going in" meaning scraping and removing the junk from the seams and re-epoxying with POR-15 or Marine-tex epoxy putty. Having these loose seams definitely effects the strength of the roof which concerns me with snow loads.
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Old 09-18-2011, 05:52 PM   #10
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bard278..... I would call these guys and see what they recommend. They make there living helping people glue boats back together. They have great products!

http://www.mertons.com/index.html
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #11
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Name: Gerry
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Thanks for the Merton's suggestion Jason. They were very helpful and they emphatically advised against epoxy putty for this application guaranteeing it would fail. Instead they suggested epoxy resin and fiberglass cloth as the best bonding and laminating process for this problem with Uhauls
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:59 PM   #12
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Do you have a picture of what we're talking about, bard?

Regards,

Matt
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:44 AM   #13
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You are welcome Gerry!
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