Belly band silicone. - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-08-2017, 08:49 PM   #1
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Name: George
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Belly band silicone.

On the final stages of sanding my Boler and it was time to clean out the belly band. It is very full of silicone. Is this factory or have I just picked out on another previous attempt at fixing. And if factory any hints on removing so I can replace with new stuff or just get rid of it.
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Old 05-09-2017, 09:02 AM   #2
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The silicone is not from factory but previous owner's contribution. Without the silicone, a lot of dirt will hide inside the belly band.

When I was doing the restoration, I sanded them off - Which is quick but definitely is not a good method.

I'm thinking to re-apply the silicone to prevent dirt from hiding inside. Open and listening to all comments/suggestions.
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Old 05-09-2017, 02:29 PM   #3
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When I touched up my belly band from areas where white factory silicone had peeled away or was otherwise low in spots, I used product resistant to mold and mildew. In fact, I used a Red Devil bathroom sealant. A good friend here advised me of such, as little black mildew spots are such a common problem here. I use concrobium each season as they are hard to control.

If you go with a white silicone again, many now have additives to try and prevent this. Best wishes!
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Old 05-09-2017, 03:52 PM   #4
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Ty very much
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:26 PM   #5
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NO! NO silicone! You buy butyl tape at a hardware store, a big roll of it, and use that! Look it up here on FGRV and see about it. Silicone is a mistake; the reason it's so packed in there is because it doesn't work! It always pulls away in small areas leaving multiple little water trickle channels that WILL leak!


Go to SEARCH on FGRV and look up this topic!


NO silicone! Butyl tape doesn't mold. You don't need additives for it.
You can find black, gray, and white. You can also use butyl rubber caulk, if you can find tubes of it. But NEVER silicone!


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Old 05-10-2017, 06:43 PM   #6
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Butyl tape is good for sealing tail light housings, ceiling fans, windows, etc. I have never heard of it being used in the belly band here, but I surely must profess I don't read everything.

Butyl tape exposed does get dirty, and it's either a gray or black color. The OP might not like that, although said as you did it will certainly deal the belly band.

My preference would be as a highly respected man said here to use white bathroom sealant. I still have silicone in my belly band from the factory. Agreed it peels. No doubt.

But if I had my preference, I wouldn't want the belly band of my trailer wedged with Butyl. I respect Kai that is your preference. But in this application, it will be exposed entirely, not like under the lip of a fan vent or window. It gets dirty and ugly.

As many say here, YMMV.

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Old 05-10-2017, 06:51 PM   #7
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I take pleasure in firing a stream of water at the belly band to flush dirt out from behind the decorative cover. I'd never want to apply silicone there.
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Old 05-10-2017, 06:52 PM   #8
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Should have said seal belly band. And I was not aware that Butyl came in color white. I still would not wish to place it around my entire trailer exposed.

Also, other products available for RV use that are not silicone. For example, Lexel, ProFlex. Respectfully submitted. Wendy
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Old 05-10-2017, 07:14 PM   #9
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Wendy,


I was neither clear enough nor explicit enough. The butyl tape is for under the belly band trim, where it seals equally as well as it does under the window trim and roof vent trim, etc. It's not for the little cracks at the top and bottom of the bely band trim after it's on. We had ample silicone sealant along those edges thanks to a PO's ignorant exuberance, and of course it leaked. We had to pull the whole belly band trim and clean and seal it properly, with butyl tape. Just like we sealed all the windows. After a year now, not a drop of leakage anywhere.


Glen Baglo has the perfect idea, rinse it out once in a while if you're so concerned, though you don't have to rinse out around the windows; nothing will stay in there, it's full of butyl tape. But, any loose dirt will get washed away, the rest is irrelevant.


You don't need to seal the belly band EXTERIOR where it sits on top of the fiberglass. But you have to be sure it's not leaking UNDER the belly band trim into the trailer.


If we had it to do over (and someday we might) we would FIBERGLASS the top to the bottom and to heck with the original bellyband crack. Then we'd still use a little butyl under the trim, and we still would not try to seal that little bit on the OUTSIDE. Though there may be a good reason why these trailers weren't fiberglassed together into one cohesive unit--I understand they had to be in two parts to be made originally. But now? r


Silicone on fiberglass WILL pull away, as you say, peel off, and it will leak.


If bathroom sealant is butyl based, it will work FINE. If it is silicone based, it will pull away and let dirt and water inside. Then once again you're t the mercy of whatever sealant is UNDER the belly band.


Have you considered that factory sealant was butyl-based? It can look a lot like silicone but over time it behaves quite differently. And that's not to say that a lot of silicone won't stick--it sure will. It's just that it doesn't stick everywhere, or well. Where it does stick it's a bug to get off.


YMMV applies to many things, but not to the question of silicone sealant on fiberglass. It's just not a great idea.


But of course, everyone is free to do exactly as they like, including ignoring advice they don't agree with.




BEST
Kai


PS. In 2016 we bought butyl tape in black, gray, and white. Yes, we bought white butyl tape. But we didn't use it to seal tiny exterior trim cracks. If you have proper butyl tape under the trim, you don't need to seal those exterior bits.


YMMV, as always.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:11 PM   #10
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On scamps and I think bolers the aluminum belly band is cosmetic. The top and bottom sections are attached with fiberglass on the inside. The top and bottom pieces of fiberglass have a lip and rather than try and smooth it and blend the seam they just grind of enough of the lip to attach the aluminum channel.

Shouldn't need a seal for water, just one to keep crud from collecting behind it and then running down the bottom side when it rains as muddy streaks.

Having said that about it being sealed by fiberglass the belly seam fiberglass on the inside has been known to leak, I had to fix a bubble in mine that made a path for water. As have others. It is just one of the last places to suspect for leaking.

Thin bead of caulk on the top to give it a clean line isn't bad idea, can need to be replaced and will get cruddy over time. By the way, small tip and push the bead of caulk, don't pull it. You want to drive caulk into the slot so it holds onto the belly band, not smear it on the trailer and hope it sticks. It won't. Stick that is. And if it does stick it will probably be brutal getting it off when it starts to look bad.

One thing you can say about silicon caulk, not that hard to remove, just grab the loose ends and peel. Now getting the residue out of the finish is when you find out what part of silicon caulk sticks.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:10 AM   #11
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Ok Kai thank you for clarifying that.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:28 PM   #12
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Name: George
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cut it off

Thank you all for the info. My final outcome was that I decided to shave the belly band right off. Going with a smoothed out look. No more icky belly band.
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