Water and rot - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-21-2009, 05:52 PM   #15
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Hi: Raya... You can order the Hehr Back gasket (black) that goes around the alum. frame of those vent windows from Vintage Trailer Supply. It really helped me to get the new gasket... over the stove window...MAJOR leak!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:03 PM   #16
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Thanks, Alf,

I had noticed that gasket on their site, and wondered if it was the correct one. The only issue (as I remember it) was that one had to order something like 30' of it at once. Lifetime supply! I did a bit of looking around but didn't see it "by the foot" at any other site. Has anyone found this gasket (or the various flaps and gaskets that go on the "regular" Hehr jalousie windows) somewhere else?

If not, I was thinking I might start a thread to see if a few people wanted to go in on complete sets of the various gaskets, since I think most of them had a large amount of minimum footage.

Raya
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:51 PM   #17
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I was thinking I might start a thread to see if a few people wanted to go in on complete sets of the various gaskets, since I think most of them had a large amount of minimum footage.
You could do that, or just bring what you have to a rally. I know Bolerama has a notice board that a lot of buy sell swap things happen very quickly.

Have you considered coming to Bolerama? It sounds like Marjie S is coming from NY, Jean L comes up from CT plus others. Maybe you could form a wagon train.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #18
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I tried to upload pictures but the files were too large
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:51 PM   #19
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I have taken out the back window (maybe next time it will only take 20 minutes) I was a little nervous to drill the rivets but it was leaking already anyway. The caulking was totally rotten - kind of a clay like rubbery type substance. I'm assuming it's old butyl tape. Took a while to scrape it off clean.

So, to put it back together, just get new butyl tape and rivet the window in? Then seal around the butyl with non-silicone sealer? No gasket of any kind? What keeps the rivets from leaking? Does the butyl tape seal the rivets as they go in?

Should have pictures soon. Still working on resizing them so they'll download.

Thanks everyone so far for all of the good information. It's been very helpful.

Diane D

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Old 01-21-2009, 11:15 PM   #20
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Diane,

Good for you on jumping right in to fix the window leakage properly

Personally, I don't think there's ever a good reason to run sealant around the outside of a window flange; especially one that you've just sealed properly (in this case with butyl) under the flange. If sealing around the outside worked, no-one would ever have leakage problems like you did that make them remove the window and do it right because all the "quick fixes" of sealant around the outside would be working.

I know I sound a little cranky on this - can you tell how many boat windows (i.e. ports) I've had to reseal, and how much damage I've had to repair? <_<

So, the butyl will take care of the flange. Edited to add: In case it's not clear, you want to clean off the trailer body and the window flange with something like denatured alcohol or acetone, then you lay flat strips of the butyl along the window flange, completely covering the flat part of the flange. Then you mount the window back into the trailer, and then rivet it back on.

As for the rivets, if you're using "ordinary" rivets, they do have a hole in the middle. You could seal this with a dab of polyurethane caulk, on the outside, (such as 3M 4200) or possibly (?) a small ball of butyl (not sure on that one). Just don't use silicone, as it's impossible to remove (even after it's quit working) and it leaves a really tenacious residue that will foil future attempts at painting or sealing For some reason it seems to be a very attractive sealant for people to use. Perhaps because it's clear and kind of rubbery in a "Knox Blocks" kind of way?

There are sealed rivets, that don't have the hole, although I have not used them (yet). I'm not sure if there's any downside, since I have not tried them yet, but perhaps someone else will chime in with info on that.

Raya
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:28 AM   #21
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The windows in my trailer are mounted using bolts and nuts... not rivets. Is this unusual? There's a clamping ring on the inside. The bolt runs from outside to inside. We haven't told Diane how to use the butyl yet, so I'll start and others can jump in.

The butyl I use is about 3/4 of the width of the window frame. I laid a layer all the way around. Then carefully pushed the window from outside to the inside. Had my daughter hold the window in place, go inside and mount the inside clamping ring working the insulation and rat fur gently underneath the ring. My daughter then fed the bolts through the outside window frame and I matched them up to the inside holes and put the nuts on... all the way around. I snugged the nuts down, but not massively tight. Took a plastic knife and removed the butyl that oozed out. A couple of days later, I'd cinch the nuts a bit more and more butyl would ooze out. Repeat with the plastic knife. Done.

I used SS hardware, but the very helpful gentleman at the hardware store suggested I put a thin nylon washer under the head of the bolt/nut. Stainless steel and aluminum are not good matches and will eventually corrode. I was able to buy very thin black washers and they're not even noticeable.

How'd I do?
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Old 01-22-2009, 07:45 AM   #22
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Hi: Donna D... What... No Pop Rivets??? Hmmm. Well you done good 'cept for I woulda put the screws thru from the outside and the nuts on the inside!!! Then again I can do anything backwards...( In defence of BUBBA)!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:18 AM   #23
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Hi: Donna D... What... No Pop Rivets??? Hmmm. Well you done good 'cept for I woulda put the screws thru from the outside and the nuts on the inside!!! Then again I can do anything backwards...( In defence of BUBBA)!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
Nope, no rivets. Did I not explain it properly. My tongue sometimes gets twisted around, so why not my fingers!
[b]"My daughter then fed the bolts through the outside window frame and I matched them up to the inside holes and put the nuts on... all the way around."
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:35 AM   #24
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I'm liking the no rivets idea, no little holes and no drilling in the future. How long were your bolts? I'm thinking to get short enough bolts so they don't poke out the wall over the dining table. You're the second person to mention the nylon washers. These are all great ideas!

Diane D

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Old 01-22-2009, 11:11 AM   #25
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And here I thought that since I was already advocating for no outside sealing, and no silicone, I'd better not mention replacing rivets with other fasteners in the same post

From what I've seen there are all manners of (stock) fasteners used on the windows. On my Boler, The inoperable ones have the rubber lockstrip, the small windows over the stove and in the door use rivets, and the larger jalousie windows beside the dinette use screws that go into anchoring strips that are inside the trailer.

I did see some of the operable windows when I was trailer shopping that had a clamp ring on the inside like what you're describing, Donna.

Diane, from what I know there are two or three main reasons to use rivets, and I don't think any of them apply to your trailer, so you could switch to another type of fasteners if you want to.

1) Rivets can be installed in places where one does not have access to the backside.

2) Rivets are much quicker and less expensive to install when you are building things in a factory, production setting where time is money and the volume makes little differences add up.

3) I suppose in the case of something like an airplane, with thousands of them, they are enough lighter to make a difference (although I'm not sure about this one)

When I replace rivets in my trailer, I will probably use screws and nuts. If I do use rivets I will look into the details of using the "sealing" rivets without the holes.

Raya
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Old 01-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #26
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I'm liking the no rivets idea, no little holes and no drilling in the future. How long were your bolts? I'm thinking to get short enough bolts so they don't poke out the wall over the dining table. You're the second person to mention the nylon washers. These are all great ideas!

Diane D
Now you've got to rely on MY memory I'm going to say 2 inches...but keep a hack saw handy. I know the ones around the door window vary somewhere from an 1-1/2 to 2 inches, because of the way the window is put in. I also used the nylon filled acorn nuts. Guess they're like a lock washer.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:19 PM   #27
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One tip, if you're going to be shortening bolts or machine screws:

First figure out how long you want the fastener, mark it, then remove it from the hole. Then thread a regular (non-locking) nut onto the bolt/screw and run it up pretty close to the head (you're just getting it out of the way so you can cut on your line). Cut the un-needed portion off the end, and then "chase" the threads by running the nut back off the end of the bolt/screw. The threads invariably get slightly buggered up when you cut the end off, and running the nut back over them straightens them out. Otherwise it can be difficult to get a nut started.

The nuts or Acorn nuts that have a bit of (usually white) nylon-like plastic in them are a form of locknut, so with them you don't need lockwashers or a second nut to keep the first one from backing off. You do need a tool to tighten them even hand tight, as they won't just "spin tight" by hand like a plain metal nut. This is only an issue when you're needing three hands to hold something and wish you could snug the nut up with your pinkie

Technically, you're not supposed to reuse this style of locknut, as the locking material gets compressed and won't work the same the second time you tighten it - although it's probably not a big deal on a non-critical camper application if you do so.

Raya
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Old 01-22-2009, 11:07 PM   #28
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I suppose in the case of something like an airplane, with thousands of them, they are enough lighter to make a difference (although I'm not sure about this one)
A friend of mine gave me some of the rivets they use in airplanes. They are very very tough. I tried a couple using the hand riveter with great difficulty before giving up and going out to buy more of the ones we use to finish the job. They are hard to get to use without power tools and hard to drill out. Totally different animal that what is used in our trailers.
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