Butyl Banter and Repair Reassurance - Fiberglass RV
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Old 06-07-2017, 08:56 PM   #1
Biasdr's Avatar
Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 60
Butyl Banter and Repair Reassurance

I have a 1983 13' Burro that's yet to see an adventure (with me and Jersey, my schizoid Springer). But I'm close enough that I'm already stocking it with essentials. Some questions/chores I have:
1. I'm using a lot of butyl lately and I'm curious if I'm doing it right. Am I supposed to stretch it out and roll it around before use it or put it on in the tape form that it's in when I buy it?
2. I've read the threads but want to be clear: to reseal the rear window do I simply remove, clean window frame and opening, rebutyl and replace?
3. I'm filling dozens of screw holes with Oaty's Epoxy Putty. Keep going with same?
4. Buying a new Walmart 27DC-6 onboard battery that will accommodate weekend trips. Not many choices for non-marine up here.

Near future ventures include awning rail (rivets or 3M VHB 4622), new tires (ST175 D80 13), new wheel bearings, repair 2 small sections of punky wood using RotFix.
Everything I know I learned from you, oh wise ones. Thanks for 9 months of tutorials (so far).
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Old 06-07-2017, 09:53 PM   #2
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Name: John
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1700
Posts: 2,025
Welcome Bruce! Hope you are enjoying fixing up your camper!


1. Butyl tape: In most cases I apply the tape flat to one of the surfaces, such as a window flange, to be sealed, then remove the paper liner. More/thicker butyl is better. Let it ooze out, then trim it off.
2. For re-sealing windows, yes the way you describe is normally how its done. Fresh butyl tape will seal the window. (Burro owners can chime in if this window is somehow unique.) If its a sliding window, you may additionally need to flush dirt out of the bottom track and weep holes.
3. Not sure about using Oatey's to seal screw holes in fiberglass. If these are screw holes that are no longer used, most use either epoxy or polyester resin with chopped fiberglass mixed in to patch and fill.

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Old 06-07-2017, 11:00 PM   #3
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Posts: 2,979
Oateys is not a great hole filler. That said I did have a front window in my Campster that I fixed a leak using something similar. The reason that window leaked is when they put the metal extrusion that formed the window frame into the bending machine when it was finished forming and the window was put in place there was a small void in a few areas between the glass and the metal frame. As that window sits on a slope because of the shape of the trailer water was accumulating in the outside track and then pooling over into the inside track to the point where it filled it up and ran down the interior wall. Pushing some Oateys into that small crevice between the glass and the metal frame worked great. Much like window glass putty but it was much easier to push into the very narrow crevice.

As to hole filling. For small screw hole that I no longer want to use I fill them in with the material from Epoxy Putty repair sticks. I put a small beveled countersink on the outside of the hole and the same thing on the inside surface. That bevel holds the patch in place so it won't move in or out but it also allows it to be sanded flush on the exterior. You can purchase Epoxy Putty repair sticks at your local hardware chain store. Very easy to mix together, you just slice off a small segment and knead the piece to mix it. There is little to no waste and there is not messy to apply. It hardens very quickly so the repair is finished very quickly. The leftover material in the stick form keeps a very long time and is super handy to have in the tool box for emergency repairs.
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:57 AM   #4
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 60
Thanks Gents

Appreciate the timely replies. The Oatys product I'm using is epoxy putty (just corrected my original post) so I guess I'm on track. Great tip on the countersink. I'll do it. I'll also keep applying butyl as I had. Great to be part of the conversation- more to come!
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Old 06-08-2017, 11:08 AM   #5
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Trailer: 78 Trillium 13 ft / 1998 Durango
Posts: 426
Butyl Tape


A friend who was an RV tech for 20 years told me what
worked best for him.

Make sure all surfaces of mating parts of window frame
and trailer exterior surface are clean. He used denatured

PREHEAT the tape so is is quite sticky and sticks somewhat
to the wax paper on the tape roll. He suggested putting
it on the dashboard of your truck in the sun.

Apply a double layer of butyl tape.

Put it all together and let it ooze out for a day before trimming.

Hope this helps.

Larry H
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Old 06-08-2017, 12:01 PM   #6
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 60
Great advice

Thanks Larry. I'll take your advice. By the way, I'm Hanson too. Originally from Madison WI
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Old 06-08-2017, 03:35 PM   #7
Name: Jeanne
Trailer: Burro
North Carolina
Posts: 48
I had a lot of trouble getting my back burro window to seal.
I ended up with two layers of butyl tape and two passes of marine sealant around the edge. Seems to be ok now.
Something that I didn't try that I wish I had was to make the entire edge around the window the same thickness. My window seemed to leak where the window frame went from double hull to that single thickness in the middle of the ceiling.
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Old 06-08-2017, 05:28 PM   #8
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Name: Kelly
Trailer: Trails West
Posts: 2,979
differing opinion on the installation...well that is good since there is often more than one way to do a job and have it turn out great

I don't prefer to have the butyl tape warm and sticky as it is then a real PITA to install as it sticks to everything and makes applying multiple layers very difficult. The first summer I worked with that stuff I was cussing at it until I realized I just needed to store it in the fridge and bring it out only when I needed to use it and then work with it while it was still chilled and firm.

In the summer time I keep my butyl tape in the fridge which makes it very easy to apply. It will warm up quickly after installation and the pressure from the clamp frame will quickly have any excess tape pushing out from under the edges of the windows, hatch or inlet fittings. That excess will keep slowly pushing out over a months time so don't be in a hurry to try to trim it back or you will end up doing the job several times.
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:18 PM   #9
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Name: Bruce
Trailer: Burro
Posts: 60
Time to walk the walk

Thanks for the advice. I'm up in Fairbanks AK and hot days aren't the norm. I used butyl behind my replacement water filler and it never oozed out- even on the 80+ days we had. I'm guessing I'll use a heat gun when I replace the window after 3/4" grey butyl arrives from amazon.
I cleaned out the slots and channels and they were stuffed with debris. Afterward I poured a bucket of water on the roof and almost none found its way into the camper.
I'm hoping to redo the front window but it's been converted into a non-opener with 4 pieces of siliconed plexi. I want to make it an opener again but need a reference picture. Couldn't find one on the site showing screen placement. Anybody have access?
Again, grateful for this group! Just joined the U-Haul Facebook group too. What's getting into me?
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:23 PM   #10
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Name: KAY
Trailer: SCAMP
Posts: 377
What's getting into me?[/QUOTE]

You are wisely learning from the mistakes of others.
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Old 06-17-2017, 11:45 PM   #11
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Name: Jan
Trailer: boler
British Columbia
Posts: 160
2 part epoxy in the shringe kit is great for small repairs. There is a Marine kit dries pretty fast, it can also be sanded when cured
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Old 06-18-2017, 03:59 AM   #12
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I agree with KC on this: work with cold butyl tape. I put mine in the fridge for a few hours before working with it. Still sticks to the window flange, no problem. Otherwise it is a pain to work with, even the paper won't let go. A single layer worked for me.
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