Removal Underneath Porch Light - Fiberglass RV
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:05 PM   #1
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
Posts: 6
Removal Underneath Porch Light

Hey all. I'm Tim, an Escapee living in my Escape fiver full time for about a year now. Have a question about that gunk behind a porch light. The light needed complete replacement (casing and all). After removal, the substance that the manufacturer uses to seal is clear, thick, and harder than @#$%. I'm worried about scratching fiberglass and removing gel coat if I go at it with a scraper. Any tips? Or any links...because I'm sure this has come up before.

And another thing...when I re-attach the light, I'm almost certain I'll need some type of filler back in the holes. Suggestions?

Many Thanks,

Tim
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Old 01-14-2017, 11:12 PM   #2
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Name: Dave & Paula Brown
Trailer: Lil Snoozy
Arizona
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I don't know about what to use to remove the "sealant" behind the light, but perhaps Escape factory could give you advice. I would use butyl tape behind the light to seal the wire holes.
Dave & Paula
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Old 01-15-2017, 06:04 AM   #3
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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HI Tim...just in from the Think Tank (AKA my hot tub) and have to wonder if that porch light was worked on before?
Your discription of it being 'HARD AS ....' makes me think maybe sombody used an epoxy/fiberglass fillet to stick the light in place.?.
If so you will need to sand it down to where you want it.
As stated many times on FGRV do not use a silicone base product to fixl any gaps as it will leave an oily film, will fail, and make any future repairs all the harder.
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Old 01-15-2017, 10:17 AM   #4
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Name: Larry H
Trailer: Trillium
Arizona
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Sealer?

Hi,

Agree with other posts. Butyl tape would work well.
Sometimes I just use it around screw holes to make
sure no water enters. Around wires I use a product called
Coax Seal. It is a tar-like product that is easy to work
with your fingers and never hardens.

https://www.amazon.com/Coax-Seal-Moi...ords=coax-seal

Less than $20 will get you lifetime supply....
Seal rolls in sandwich bags for long shelf life.
Share some with your friends?

Larry H
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Old 01-15-2017, 11:45 AM   #5
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Name: Duane
Trailer: 1976 Trillium 1300
New Brunswick
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Hi Tim ,If the stuff is clear & hard it's no doubt epoxy. If the "stuff" was applied over the gel coat and not on a sanded surface you my be able to try a flat blade screwdriver and tap on the edge and see if the "stuff" will release from the trailer surface. Hard epoxy can be chipped away if you work slowly. A sharp wood chisel may work too by holding the flat side on the trailer shell as you tap it to break the bond.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:02 PM   #6
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Name: Alan
Trailer: 2010 Little Joe / 2010 2 Dr Jeep Wrangler
Colorado
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Any chance it will soften if you tried gently heating w/ hairdryer
It might soften just a thought


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Old 01-15-2017, 12:08 PM   #7
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If you go here:
Escape Trailer Owners Community

You will find yourself with the search results on the Escape Forum for discussions about Proflex, which I suspect is the material you are asking about.
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David B. View Post
I don't know about what to use to remove the "sealant" behind the light, but perhaps Escape factory could give you advice. I would use butyl tape behind the light to seal the wire holes.
Dave & Paula
Thanks David,

I emailed them to ask. I'll look into the tape.

Tim
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:20 PM   #9
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerry View Post
HI Tim...just in from the Think Tank (AKA my hot tub) and have to wonder if that porch light was worked on before?
Your discription of it being 'HARD AS ....' makes me think maybe sombody used an epoxy/fiberglass fillet to stick the light in place.?.
If so you will need to sand it down to where you want it.
As stated many times on FGRV do not use a silicone base product to fixl any gaps as it will leave an oily film, will fail, and make any future repairs all the harder.
The light worked fine, and it appeared to be original to the RV. Nonetheless, it could have received an overzealous repair.

Thanks for the silicone tip.

Tim
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Old 01-15-2017, 12:30 PM   #10
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry C Hanson View Post
Hi,

Agree with other posts. Butyl tape would work well.
Sometimes I just use it around screw holes to make
sure no water enters. Around wires I use a product called
Coax Seal. It is a tar-like product that is easy to work
with your fingers and never hardens.

https://www.amazon.com/Coax-Seal-Moi...ords=coax-seal

Less than $20 will get you lifetime supply....
Seal rolls in sandwich bags for long shelf life.
Share some with your friends?

Larry H
I will look into both. It seems to me this is a case where less is more. You want just enough seleant so water does not enter the screw holes or small electrical hole. What was in place was overkill.

Quote:
Originally Posted by getaway1 View Post
Hi Tim ,If the stuff is clear & hard it's no doubt epoxy. If the "stuff" was applied over the gel coat and not on a sanded surface you my be able to try a flat blade screwdriver and tap on the edge and see if the "stuff" will release from the trailer surface. Hard epoxy can be chipped away if you work slowly. A sharp wood chisel may work too by holding the flat side on the trailer shell as you tap it to break the bond.
I think I'll try the hair dryer fix first, but my guess is that it may come down to what you suggest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alan H View Post
Any chance it will soften if you tried gently heating w/ hairdryer
It might soften just a thought


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Yes, I'm gonna try this. Thank goodness I'm at my Mom's and she has one because I don't have enough hair for one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
If you go here:
Escape Trailer Owners Community

You will find yourself with the search results on the Escape Forum for discussions about Proflex, which I suspect is the material you are asking about.
Going to look now. I knew someone would know how to find this info somewhere on this vboard. Thanks Glenn

To all you folks, thank you kindly. I'll report in on what I finally did to finish the job.

Tim
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Old 01-15-2017, 01:46 PM   #11
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Name: Michael
Trailer: Trail Cruiser
Alberta
Posts: 699
I suspect someone has worked on this before. Sounds like an epoxy resin which may be difficult to work with. Is it something you can leave in place? Personally, I would grind it out and resurface the area but wouldn't recommend this unless you have experience doing this sort of work.
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Old 01-15-2017, 04:32 PM   #12
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
Posts: 6
As it turns out...hair dryer's work!

A hair dryer softened it enough so I could peel it off carefully with a plastic scraper and a window blade scraper.

As a youngster, I worked for a guy who taught me how to use blade scrapers to remove paint overspray on cars. I took me awhile to remember about it. Anyway, it's a matter of sharpening (or smoothing out) the scraper on a window by honing it like a knife, then carefully use it to scrape the substance off. It's a matter using an almost flat angle.

It took some elbow grease and acetone to get the last of the gunk off.

I used 3M sealant (5200) because the local big box had no butyl tape or proflex. The label stated that it was safe to use on gel coats...and it is an area that is unlikely to ever see the light of day. The main concern was waterproofing.

Thanks to all for the tips.
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Old 01-15-2017, 08:42 PM   #13
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Name: Jack L
Trailer: Sold the Bigfoot 17-Looking for a new one
Washington
Posts: 1,504
3M 5200 is permanent, unlike butyl tape that can be taken apart years later. If you have already used the 5200, you will have a very difficult if not impossible time changing the fixture later. Don't get me wrong here. I use 5200 some times but it is permanent. It is sold as an adhesive-caulk and it is very good in some applications. Butyl tape is easy to work with and clean up afterwards and would be the way to go with a light fixture.
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Old 01-15-2017, 09:00 PM   #14
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Name: Tim
Trailer: Escape
Texas
Posts: 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack L View Post
3M 5200 is permanent, unlike butyl tape that can be taken apart years later. If you have already used the 5200, you will have a very difficult if not impossible time changing the fixture later. Don't get me wrong here. I use 5200 some times but it is permanent. It is sold as an adhesive-caulk and it is very good in some applications. Butyl tape is easy to work with and clean up afterwards and would be the way to go with a light fixture.
Yes, you are correct, and many thanks for pointing that out.

Lesson learned for next misadventure.

I did find this article on removal. Nonetheless, I will hope and pray the fixture has a long life.
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