Window Leak - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-31-2010, 12:34 PM   #1
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Hi there. so it poured at the glass eggs rally but i was glad to discover that it did have leaks and it wasnt condensation after all. (even happier that i know where they are) So, someone suggested that i use mastic tape from the rv store but can i use the putty butyl tape from the hardware store? Is it the same thing? The process was described to me but i am more visual. does anyone out there have a video tutorial on removing/resealing the windows or a link to one? i was told it was easy but 80% of the time i take something apart it turns out to be a headache.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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Here is one of Kevin Johnson's one of a kind Boler Videos.

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Old 05-31-2010, 05:19 PM   #3
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Hi there. so it poured at the glass eggs rally but i was glad to discover that it did have leaks and it wasnt condensation after all. (even happier that i know where they are) So, someone suggested that i use mastic tape from the rv store but can i use the putty butyl tape from the hardware store? Is it the same thing? The process was described to me but i am more visual. does anyone out there have a video tutorial on removing/resealing the windows or a link to one? i was told it was easy but 80% of the time i take something apart it turns out to be a headache.
Cyndi, it seems that Carol H had similar issues which some of us were able to (I hope) correct for her. She was experiencing moisture coming from a small window and it appears that this windo had NO bottom drain/weep hole so it was suggested that maybe she might drill some small drain holes in the bottoms of the frame windows on the outside, being careful to drill on an angle as to avoid possible contact with the glass!!! Sure hope that works for her and your solution is as easy a fix....
Fall meet WILL be better, I promise!!!!
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:14 PM   #4
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Here is one of Kevin Johnson's one of a kind Boler Videos.

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Old 05-31-2010, 06:20 PM   #5
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Cyndi, it seems that Carol H had similar issues which some of us were able to (I hope) correct for her. She was experiencing moisture coming from a small window and it appears that this windo had NO bottom drain/weep hole so it was suggested that maybe she might drill some small drain holes in the bottoms of the frame windows on the outside, being careful to drill on an angle as to avoid possible contact with the glass!!! Sure hope that works for her and your solution is as easy a fix....
Fall meet WILL be better, I promise!!!!
I dont trust anything but pulling it out and resealing. it was really pouring in and due to age it's 99% chance its a failed seal/rotten wood. I'm pretty sure carol's trailer is a newer one. Yes, sept will be better, i dare say HOT! it's usually pretty good that time of year and this summer is supposed to be a good one. i havent put it back together yet, it's still air drying. all seems dry but want to give the mattress an extra few days to be sure. At last an advantage to being short! My feet didnt touch the wet end of the bed If i was tall i would have went home.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:50 PM   #6
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thanks. i wish he would have done the entire thing though. oh well, i will assume that once i open it up where to put the sealant will be clearly visible and self-explanatory.

It is pretty self-evident when you get the window out. Scrape off the old putty, and clean the mating surfaces with paint thinner. Then lay the tape on to the window frame, being careful to overlap slightly. Begin with the whole length of the TOP. You can shape the overlap like putty. The bottom of the window side has a little bump on it which can be pre-filled with a short length of tape, which you can shape a bit before tugging off the release paper.

Replace the plywood strips; see if you can find some scraps of treated 3/4 ply to make the strips. Use #12X 1-inch stainless robertston pan head screws (basically what came out, but they aren't stainless)

Remove the screen from the Jalousie window so you can reach inside through the open louvres to hold the inner frame while starting the first screws. Working from the middle of each side of the window, run the screws in firmly so that the butyl just begins to squeeze out.

After a few minutes the squeeze-out will cease, then you can carefully cut the excess off with a dullish utility knife, to avoid gouging the gelcoat. It takes about an hour to do both windows if you have a means of shaping the plywood inserts for the inner frame.
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Old 05-31-2010, 09:26 PM   #7
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someone suggested that i use mastic tape from the rv store but can i use the putty butyl tape from the hardware store? Is it the same thing?

The putty tape at my local hardware store is plumbers tape which seems pretty close to the putty sold for Rv's but is greyer and maybe softer?
I'm not sure that it wouldn't work but the local Canadian Tire sells Rv butyl tape (in the same area that stocks the roof vents) if they are easier to get to than your nearest Rv dealer
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Old 05-31-2010, 10:44 PM   #8
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I think the butyl is a good addition to the "plain" putty tape. So I would suggest the butyl putty tape.

I think you have the jalousie windows, and they don't typically have drain holes (I wouldn't add them, either). I think sliders need - and typically have - drain holes.

And I do think you are right to completely remove, re-seal, and then reinstall the window. Then you'll be good for another 30 years Anything that goes over the outside is just a band-aid fix, IMO.

Raya

PS: Is it the dinette windows that are leaking? I assumed that in my reply. If it is the smaller Hehr jalousies in the door/over the stove, then they have a special gasket that you can order from vintagetrailersupply.com (backframe gasket, which goes around the two sides and the bottom of those little windows).

PPS: On the inner frame: My 1974 has Burdick jalousies which have inner frame pieces of aluminum filled with wood, which the windows are screwed to; but on the later Bolers I've seen the dinette jalousies just have thin aluminum flanges on the inside and are riveted, so you may not have wood on the inside.
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:05 AM   #9
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It is pretty self-evident when you get the window out. Scrape off the old putty, and clean the mating surfaces with paint thinner. Then lay the tape on to the window frame, being careful to overlap slightly. Begin with the whole length of the TOP. You can shape the overlap like putty. The bottom of the window side has a little bump on it which can be pre-filled with a short length of tape, which you can shape a bit before tugging off the release paper.

Replace the plywood strips; see if you can find some scraps of treated 3/4 ply to make the strips. Use #12X 1-inch stainless robertston pan head screws (basically what came out, but they aren't stainless)

Remove the screen from the Jalousie window so you can reach inside through the open louvres to hold the inner frame while starting the first screws. Working from the middle of each side of the window, run the screws in firmly so that the butyl just begins to squeeze out.

After a few minutes the squeeze-out will cease, then you can carefully cut the excess off with a dullish utility knife, to avoid gouging the gelcoat. It takes about an hour to do both windows if you have a means of shaping the plywood inserts for the inner frame.
Now if i could see that in a video.....................Thanks, i will try to follow that. ive already learned something-'mating surfaces' Does that mean i need to putty along the fiberglass and the window frame, like when you apply glue to both sides of an item? I took them off tonight, but likely wont get to cleaning and puttying them for a few days. i will be referring back to this though, thanks again. my stove window leaks too, maybe i should fix that one as well. i'm just not excited about drilling out the rivets. maybe tomorrow....
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:08 AM   #10
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The putty tape at my local hardware store is plumbers tape which seems pretty close to the putty sold for Rv's but is greyer and maybe softer?
I'm not sure that it wouldn't work but the local Canadian Tire sells Rv butyl tape (in the same area that stocks the roof vents) if they are easier to get to than your nearest Rv dealer
I hadnt thought of good old CT! i will pick it up there hopefully, thanks
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Old 06-01-2010, 01:11 AM   #11
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I think the butyl is a good addition to the "plain" putty tape. So I would suggest the butyl putty tape.

I think you have the jalousie windows, and they don't typically have drain holes (I wouldn't add them, either). I think sliders need - and typically have - drain holes.

And I do think you are right to completely remove, re-seal, and then reinstall the window. Then you'll be good for another 30 years Anything that goes over the outside is just a band-aid fix, IMO.

Raya

PS: Is it the dinette windows that are leaking? I assumed that in my reply. If it is the smaller Hehr jalousies in the door/over the stove, then they have a special gasket that you can order from vintagetrailersupply.com (backframe gasket, which goes around the two sides and the bottom of those little windows).

PPS: On the inner frame: My 1974 has Burdick jalousies which have inner frame pieces of aluminum filled with wood, which the windows are screwed to; but on the later Bolers I've seen the dinette jalousies just have thin aluminum flanges on the inside and are riveted, so you may not have wood on the inside.
So glad i read this. Yes, my stove window leaked as well. ive never noticed the door leaking but that's probably only b/c of the flashing above it! that, or all the moisture has just gone inside and warped the door. I'll order that gasket and deal with that one later, maybe next year. i really lack energy for this, more and more all the time. i was wiped all day just from going to the rally. maybe i'm a hotel gal after all.............
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Old 06-05-2010, 09:54 AM   #12
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So glad i read this. Yes, my stove window leaked as well. ive never noticed the door leaking but that's probably only b/c of the flashing above it! that, or all the moisture has just gone inside and warped the door. I'll order that gasket and deal with that one later, maybe next year. i really lack energy for this, more and more all the time. i was wiped all day just from going to the rally. maybe i'm a hotel gal after all.............
Ok, i've pulled it apart, spent days collecting my new parts, and am ready to go. Questions:
1) the only 'butyl' tape i could find was from canadian tire and didnt actually say butyl tape. It is grey, putty, for windows, looks like what i remember except that rather than a solid strip on a roll it is segmented so you can peel off rope-like strips. i thought if i didnt peel it apart i could just use it as one piece. Correct?
2) on both windows the holes along the bottom edge are too close to the opening, most right at the edge. So, theres actually not a hole just a bunch of 1/2 moons chipped out of the window cut edge. do i need to drill new holes? I'm not excited about that b/c of adding holes to window frame. It's held all these years so far. Are 3 sides each of good holes good enough? Wont the inside frame hole it together as well? Please say yes......
3) the gasket previously mentioned for the stove window. Do you actually need this or can it be done with butyl tape as well?
4)Finally, is this a one person job, or does someone to hold the internal frame while i screw them in?
THANKS A LOT!
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Old 06-05-2010, 11:04 AM   #13
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Hi cyndi,

The putty sounds like it may be non-butyl putty. Butyl will stretch quite a bit without wanting to break apart (like really elastic taffy or melted cheese), and I don't think putty will do that, so you may be able to test it. Also, I think any product containing butyl would brag about it on the packaging. Personally, I would resist the urge to go ahead with the job unless I were sure I had the right stuff, because the work is the main thing and takes just as long with either product - but IMO butyl will do a better job and last longer than "plain" putty.

As far as the holes extending into the opening, well it would have been nice if our campers had been a tiny bit more "crafted," but they are what they are.

If it were me, I would build up new fiberglass where it should have been in the first place, and then drill nice, tidy fully enclosed holes. It's not that hard a job; just think "papier mache with chemicals" It would give the sealant a better chance of working (proper flat bedding surface) and would make the installation more secure (not that the window is going to fly out this way, but the less movement and the more bedding surface the fewer leaks). OTOH, as you say, it has lasted this long, so you could probably get away with just putting it back as-is. I don't think I would drill new holes in the window; I can't see your window, but aluminum is not terribly strong, and that would probably put the holes very close to the edge of the window (unless I'm missing something in the description).

I think it's one of those jobs that, while it would certainly be easy with two people, one person could do it with a bit of a plan.

On the small window, I think you do need the backframe gasket, and I don't think butyl would work. That's because the gasket wraps around into the exposed area and is what seals the bottom and sides of the window when you open and close it (presuming you have this style of Hehr jalousie). It's the black rubber gasket you can see in the second photo.


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Now if only we could see what you are doing
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:01 PM   #14
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4)Finally, is this a one person job, or does someone to hold the internal frame while i screw them in?
THANKS A LOT!
Raya did a good job answer the rest of the questions... but I can give you my opinion on this one. I am a single-female and consequently need to do a number of things by myself. Pulling and resealing windows has turned into one of them. I find duct tape is an acceptable "person" in some circumstances Just don't leave it attached to the trailer too long, it turns into concrete.
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