Minor Leak - Caulking or Sealant Suggestions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2017, 06:59 PM   #1
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Minor Leak - Caulking or Sealant Suggestions

Hi All,

The previous owner of our '05 Casita 17' FD installed some additional LED light bars to the rear of our Casita. I noticed earlier this camping season that one of the light bars (on the driver side) had started accmulating water. I removed it from trailer. One screw hole at the top. One screw hole at the bottom. Small hole in the trailer in the center of the light bar for the wiring. When I removed the light bar there was a clear rubbery substance in the screw holes, wiring hole, and around the perimeter of the light bar. I assume this was silicone. I was able to remove the water from the light bar (It still works!!!); however, since this time during a heavy blowing rain we have some water inside trailer more or less under the light bar (under the Maxx Window Cover - see picture). I assume the leak is due to breaking the rubbery seal when I removed the light bar.

What suggestions do you have for me sealing the screw holes, wiring hole, and around the perimeter of the light bar?

I will attach a picture or two.

Thanks in advance for your expertise and guidance.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:12 PM   #2
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Picture 1 of 2.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:13 PM   #3
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Picture 2 of 2.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:13 PM   #4
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Maybe butyl tape instead of silicone sealant?

I don't see any pictures ....

Good luck, Dean!

Ray
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rdickens View Post
Maybe butyl tape instead of silicone sealant?

I don't see any pictures ....

Good luck, Dean!

Ray
Hi Ray!!!

Butyl tape cut to the size of the light bar? I will read up on butyl tape.

Pictures should be posted now.

I hope all is well.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:29 PM   #6
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I use Lexel for any permanent bond and seal. Great stuff.
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:37 PM   #7
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What the heck are those? Some sort of fancy back-up lights? Security Lights?

I think I would rip them both off and seal it all up 5200, fiberglass, etc..
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Old 06-25-2017, 07:53 PM   #8
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problem with SILLYCONE is that nothing sticks to it - not even more silicone... Remove it completely using a razor, then cleaning really well and sanding with 800 grit wet/dry paper and use another sealer that is NOT silicone - anything but SILLYCONE.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Paul O. View Post
I use Lexel for any permanent bond and seal. Great stuff.
Hi Paul,

Thanks. Been reading about Lexel. Looks like great stuff.

Thx,

Dean
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:08 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bsedwebt View Post
problem with SILLYCONE is that nothing sticks to it - not even more silicone... Remove it completely using a razor, then cleaning really well and sanding with 800 grit wet/dry paper and use another sealer that is NOT silicone - anything but SILLYCONE.
Hey Bryan!!!

Got it!

Thx,

Dean

P.S. - Say hi to Beth. See ya in the campground.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:13 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by gordon2 View Post
What the heck are those? Some sort of fancy back-up lights? Security Lights?

I think I would rip them both off and seal it all up 5200, fiberglass, etc..
Hey Gordon,

The PO of our Casita wanted to make sure that the Casita could be seen at night. He retrofitted the factory brake lights with LEDs and added the three additional LED light bars around the perimeter of the rear window. Laura and I don't do much night driving, but the three light bars really put out a lot of light and function as additional running and brake lights.

Take care,

Dean
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:26 PM   #12
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Dicor sealant is messy, like runny toothpaste, but very good stuff.
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Old 06-25-2017, 08:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeanCHS1980 View Post
...

The PO of our Casita wanted to make sure that the Casita could be seen at night. He retrofitted the factory brake lights with LEDs and added the three additional LED light bars around the perimeter of the rear window. ..
Oh thats different from what I thought... and added brake lights are a good idea. I even ordered the extra lights on my Scamp to help avoid rear-end collisions.

ProFex Rv and Sikaflex are good choices.

If the lights have a flange or the like where butyl would work, I would do that also. Of course that means removing them and reinstalling them bedded in the butyl.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:02 PM   #14
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Hi All,

Update on our minor leak under the rear window corner (driver side).

1. Ray, it took me 8 phone calls to find butyl tape in Bowling Green. Camping World was out of stock. Found it at Candy's Campers about 15 miles from here. Unfortunately, the butyl tape was a little too thick for this application to use behind the LED light bar.

2. Bryan, I could not find 800 grit sand paper in Bowling Green, but I could find 600 and 1200. I went with the 600 and worked cautiously. Removed the light bar and the old silicone and prepped the area behind the light bar and where the silicone touched the fiberglass with water/600 grit sand paper.

3. Reattached the LED light bar and used Lexel clear sealant as a caulk around the LED light bar. Also, did a thorough cleaned around the top the rear window and applied a bead of Lexel across the top and the driver side of the rear window just in case the leak orginated there.

4. It poured rain and the MINOR LEAK IS STILL THERE. Just under the driver side bottom corner of the rear window. Carpet is a little wet and it will have a small pool of water on the dinette bench (driver side). Our bedding will get wet if in place.

OK, new theory, and I want your thoughts. We have only noticed the leak when parked in our driveway. We have now noticed it about 3 times. We have never noticed it camping, but we have had no major rain since noticing the leak the first time this camping season.

When the trailer is in our driveway, the trailer leans toward the driver side. I don't level the trailer in our driveway. It is about 3/4s of a bubble unlevel with the driver side lower than the passenger side.

Is there a possibility that during heavy rain that the window drain vent closest to the corner of the window is getting too much water and over flowing? Whenever we camp, I level trailer, so this would not be an issue.

Thoughts, could the unlevel trailer cause the window drain slit closest to the corner of the window to be overwhelmed with water resulting in a leak inside the trailer? I am thinking about leveling the trailer in the driveway to see if the leak occurs. Hmm, kinda hoping for heavy rain before our next camping trip on July 12th.

Your wisdom and expertise would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Dean
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:31 PM   #15
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I use Lexel for any permanent bond and seal. Great stuff.
Me too. I use clear Lexel on lots of things, including adhering the LED light strip under my awning. But, it's not the easiest stuff to work with. Work QUICKLY, and don't try to tool it much. It sets up quick and it's extremely adhesive.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:53 PM   #16
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Me too. I use clear Lexel on lots of things, including adhering the LED light strip under my awning. But, it's not the easiest stuff to work with. Work QUICKLY, and don't try to tool it much. It sets up quick and it's extremely adhesive.
Hi Robert,

I agree with your assessment of Lexel. Good stuff, but not the easiest to manage. I would like to have a smaller tube of it for tight spots rather than trying to deal with a 9" tube and a caulk gun.

Take care

Dean
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Old 07-04-2017, 05:50 PM   #17
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check the suspected leak area with compressed air if you have a compressor - one person inside with a piece of news paper and the other blowing around the suspected leak areas - all around the window. Also - Clean the window gutter (slide) area and any weep holes with compressed air. Dirt, leaves, gunk.... all get built up and stop the water from draining like it is supposed to. The windows can also be tightened in the fiberglass cut out if needed. Worst case - can remove window and put the butyl tape around it and re-install.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:00 PM   #18
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Hi Robert,

I would like to have a smaller tube of it for tight spots rather than trying to deal with a 9" tube and a caulk gun.
You said it Dean. The problem with waste on these high end adhesive caulks and sealants has always bothered me. Most jobs don't require a whole tube, and a caulk gun is cumbersome in tight places. And no matter what method you use to cap a partially used tube, it won't be usable the next time you need it.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:27 PM   #19
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You said it Dean. The problem with waste on these high end adhesive caulks and sealants has always bothered me. Most jobs don't require a whole tube, and a caulk gun is cumbersome in tight places. And no matter what method you use to cap a partially used tube, it won't be usable the next time you need it.
I seal the clipped tube with a slipover cap and electricians tape, then keep the tube in the garage dorm fridge with my beer. Used an open tube over year later with no problem.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:49 PM   #20
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The fridge is probably the key. Out in the garage or my tool shed it doesn't last long.
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