13' lil bigfoot bellyband leak - Fiberglass RV
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Old 07-18-2020, 07:48 PM   #1
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Name: Slade
Trailer: Little Bigfoot
Alberta
Posts: 27
13' lil bigfoot bellyband leak

I have discovered,to my chagrin, a fair bit of wetness at the front right quarter of my 87 lil bigfoot. I'm pretty certain it is coming from the bellyband, and I probably need to pull it off and at least inspect the screws behind, probably replace them and reseal if they seem rusted or loose. Hopefully I don't have to try to get at the wood strip from the inside, but if it has softened or rotted that may be necessary I suppose. To start, do I just pry off the black band from the aluminum c channel? I know once I do this, there is no turning back, but I don't want to damage it. I'm thinking maybe softening it up with a heat gun and then prying it out with a flathead screwdriver. Or any other suggestions?
Thanks, Slade
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Old 07-19-2020, 03:23 PM   #2
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I had a belly band leak, just to rear of the door. I removed the black band fairly easily (some heat would help so the plastic won't crack). I was able to re-insert it after my repairs. Many of the old screws were rusted and not tight into the wood strip. I bought all new screws, same length but thicker and it did the trick. I think I went from original #8 to a #10 diameter screw.

I used a flexible sealant product called Pro-Flex RV (almond color), which blended in very nicely. I put a dab in each screw hole and then a small bead on top and bottom of C channel. I secured both ends of the black band with a screw, since it had "shrunk" over the years. It's flexible and is back to full size now. The screw top can be painted black to hide it if you like.

My Lil Bigfoot has been bone dry for 3 years now, even after all the rain & hail storms we've had this year in Alberta. I'll try and attach a picture or two. Not the prettiest fix but dry is more important and it was not expensive.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:23 PM   #3
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Name: Slade
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Nice! Thank you John, for that info and positive reinforcement. I feel better about giving it a go now. Another thought I had is that if I find the screwholes are too stripped or soft, I might try sealing the old hole and moving over an inch or so for a new one. Hopefully that wont be necessary though. I will update thisxwhen I am done, probably not for a week or 2 yet.
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Old 07-19-2020, 07:49 PM   #4
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Good idea moving to new screw holes, if possible. Mine were pretty close together already (not sure on if original). Lots of screws, some difficult to remove. Good luck!
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Old 07-21-2020, 12:22 PM   #5
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Trailer: 93 "Lil" Bigfoot 13.5'
Utah
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can it be a poor seal on front window ? I would use a hose with high pressure to see where it comes in. Just a thought. what about door seal?
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Old 07-21-2020, 01:52 PM   #6
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Name: Slade
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenny Strong View Post
can it be a poor seal on front window ? I would use a hose with high pressure to see where it comes in. Just a thought. what about door seal?
We've had so much rain the area has been continuously wet for a few months. I'm not sure I would be able to notice if more came in around the band now, but the door and window would be more obvious probably. I'll give that a try in all the areas to see.
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Old 09-14-2020, 11:29 AM   #7
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Name: Nancy
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Thank you for the detail picture. We have a leak to and will investigate. Best of luck fixing yours.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:09 PM   #8
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Hi Nancy. I will be interested to hear how yours goes. I have been unable to get to mine yet after having a back injury this summer. I've been hesitant to start something that I might not be able to finish. Waiting to hear from the surgeon, so I can't see getting to it before next year.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:12 PM   #9
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Utah
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Slade I just bought a new belly band vinyl insert on amazon it is sold as 7/8" x 30 feet. You need about 25'. measure yours it might be a different size width. I started on the left side of the door. held the roll in my left hand as I pinched the vinyl between my right thumb and first finger. inserting the bottom edge and letting the top edge work into place. I used a hose, (water) and scrub brush to clean out the aluminum track. I have no leaks. I cleaned the trailer with zep floor wax stripper. It badly stained the vinyl insert, in random places it looked so bad. softened the black, I spray painted on window frames. My insert is beige in color.
Later Kenny
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:18 PM   #10
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Name: Slade
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I was hoping to reuse the original band, but I have a feeling I may end up needing that information you just supplied. 35 years may be too much to ask of the old stuff. Thanks!
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:21 PM   #11
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Slade my sister lives in Canmore. she has a Boler. I think a 78. My Doctor said he had had 2 back surgeries and was not happy I had a herniated disk L5S1. he said if I send you to an orthopedic surgeon he will schedule you for tomorrow, lets try physical therapy. I went August to Jan. I feel quite well. Later Kenny
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:23 PM   #12
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My insert looked fine in place when I took it off it had some cracks here and there.
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Old 09-14-2020, 12:40 PM   #13
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I hear you. Go to a muffler shop, you're going to get a muffler, whether you need it or not. Just keeping my options open- it could take months yet to get in to see someone, so it gives me time to keep working on it.
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