Originally Posted by morgynm
I'm guessing I'm going to be kept very busy with a carefully wielded scraper after I take out the window?
Maybe... or maybe not
I've had zero trouble removing the ample amounts of silicone from my trailer... in my case it has just peeled off. I did have to razor some off one of the plexi windows
when I replaced that window seal (PO had caulked over a crack in the rubber seal as if that was going to solve the leaking problem - and it did not), but it was no big deal and took 2 seconds to do. All of the silicone covering loose rivets has come off cleanly... but it wasn't doing a particularly good job of sealing those either. I am using butyl tape as I replace those rivets to make sure those are water-tight.
That said, I am dreading when I get the replacement seals for the sliding windows
.. because I pulled one of them out and there is an excessive amount of some kind of "goop" in the channel that isn't exactly caulking, I'm not sure what it was/is or how hard it will be to clean off. I'm on the fence about removing the window frames and replacing the butyl tape - my goal is to see how things are once I replace the missing and cracked/dried out rubber seals that are still there. I'm not opposed to pulling the frames off if I need to, I'm just hoping it won't be necessary.
hatch on mine is also on my list to replace, but that's because all of the plastic trim parts inside are covered in cracks, not because it's currently leaking - but because there's so much silicone stuck over the hatch on the roof that I can't see the condition of most of it. For about $100 I think a new one is wise.. I'm not even sure the old one would hold together if I did attempt to take it off and replace the butyl tape to seal it better.
I think in general, the problem with silicone is that it's almost always just a "band-aid" fix... it doesn't really solve a problem, it just covers it up. It might stop the leak for a while, but it usually doesn't last very long compared to fixing it right. My experience is that it's usually not that much more "work" to correct a leak the right way, but silicone is cheap and easily available. I can say that with my trailer, there are a number of "fixes" that I've uncovered that are evidence of nothing more than cutting corners - why take the time to fix something right when one can fix it "good enough" for the next trip... I'm not doing that, my goal is to fix everything and do it right so I'm not doing it again in a couple of years