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Old 10-03-2015, 03:24 PM   #1
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Once and for all.. 3m or Eternabond

Please offer your thoughts. . 3m tape or Eternabond for sealing around the bubble windows on an aframe?

And.. I have a tan (not white) 2014 a122s. I saw someone on here who had used the black eternabond around the windows and it looked great. They did an awesome job. But I can't find the photos now. I would like to know how they did such a good installation. The corners even looked liked they were rounded.

And.. would you worry about those windows now. .. or wait until they leak?

Thanks.
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Old 10-03-2015, 06:21 PM   #2
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Having not used Eternabond I can't speak to that, but I have used the 3M extreme tape around my large bubble window and could not be more pleased.
Prior to installing the 3m tape myself I'd had the dealer "repair" the window twice, both times with massive failures - including the window coming off while driving down US60, fortunately I noticed it hovering in the rear view mirror and was able to stop and put in the back of car. Twice I've experienced the leaks, right on the bed, and they were not small drips. Not having a dry place to sleep really puts a damper on everything.
My installation was nowhere near as well done as what's been displayed here but it is simple, straightforward and something easily DIY in one day. It's kept me dry for the last year and that's what counts.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:24 PM   #3
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I have a feeling that is like saying "Once and for all...Ford or Chevy or Dodge". I'm guessing each has its advantages, as you have pointed out yourself. I have not used either, and don't know what the repair place used on mine, so I can't offer any advice. But it will be interesting to see people's thoughts and experiences with them.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:42 PM   #4
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My windows and fan have just started leaking. I have a roll of Eternabond on order. I think either will do a good job from the reading I have done, just make sure the surface is clean. ( I have not use either.) Price was the deciding factor. I will be doing square corner. I have white roof so will be doing white tape. I think black tape is what I would use if I had a tan roof.
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:07 PM   #5
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OK.. I just ordered the translucent 3M tape.. I ordered 2 rolls of this:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00..._detailpages00

Best price I could find.. $26.76 each and free shipping.

So.. I am thinking 10 yrds should be enough for one long bubble window, 2 small windows and the fan.. Maybe?
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:24 PM   #6
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If the factory tape is the same as my 2012 A122,

then it is only a matter of time until a leak starts and gets worse rapidly.
The reason is due to the overlapping of the tape and the tape caulk/sealer washing away.

The roof angles capture a huge sun heat on those areas, which means expansion and contraction and that leads to degeneration of the sealed areas, especially at the overlap corners.

I have tried a couple of tapes, with some success, but I think I am going to strip off the tape and try some self leveling rv caulk.

I would like to see a "once and for all", but I have my doubts about that.
Each tape brand has its followers.

Good luck!
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:50 PM   #7
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Well... it seems we should just junk these aframe campers. Or live with water leaks and watching them rot away. It kinda ticks me off that the workmanship on campers is so poor. I know it's a corny saying.. we can put a man on the moon.. but we can't put a window in a camper without it leaking. This makes me wish I had bought the low end Aliner with no windows or skylights.
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Old 10-04-2015, 02:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck9997 View Post
OK.. I just ordered the translucent 3M tape.. I ordered 2 rolls of this:
TapeCase 4412N 1.96850393700787in X 5yd Sealant Tape (1 Roll): Masking Tape: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

Best price I could find.. $26.76 each and free shipping.

So.. I am thinking 10 yrds should be enough for one long bubble window, 2 small windows and the fan.. Maybe?
I didn't see this item when I bought so I spent a bit more and ended up with an 18 yard roll. I only did the large window and there's still well over 1/2 of the roll left.
I'd think you should be fine with 30'.

As others have noted, just clean it well. If memory serves a 50/50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water...

The leaks are frustrating but this application should clear that up. At the same time I've talked to enough people to know it's a common problem with all trailers, no matter the cost.
For me it's one of the trade offs I'm willing to make.
FWIW, I'm in Arizona and the tape has held up perfectly through another very hot summer.
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Old 10-04-2015, 07:28 AM   #9
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Yea.. I have owned a few travel trailers too.. it's not "if" they leak, it's "when". . That's partly why I downsized to an aframe. So at least I could cover it easier.. and work on the roof easier when it's folded down.
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:53 PM   #10
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In my former life, I was an Airframe and Powerplant mechanic (still have the license), and as you may guess, sealing anyplace you don't want water is a concern. Here is what we used, which while it may be more expensive than caulk or tape, will never leak under any circumstances in any temperature you may encounter. Pro seal 8806 (I think is the number, but if you get to the website, you will see it), which is a two part compound. The activating part is the small container on top of the can. When you mix it together it will turn either grey, or black (which you need to work fast with before it sets up).I believe it can be either brown or white too, just depending on the activator color. Your area for the sealant joint needs to be as clean as you can get it. Mask off the borders of the joint with masking tape. Mix the stuff together using a screwdriver on a piece of cardboard. Once mixed, trowel it onto your masked off area using the screwdriver blade (working it toward yourself, not away). Be as neat as possible doing that and you will cover more area. If you run out, mix up some more. Be aware that if you get this stuff on your clothes, it isn't coming back off, so wear something you don't care about. After you have completed sealing, mix a little bit of water and Dawn detergent (just enough to give the water a slick feel) in a small jar. Dipping, your finger in that mixture, and using LIGHT pressure, smooth out your seal joint all the way around. Once you have finished, let it set up for an hour, and then carefully remove your masking tape by pulling it away from the joint. If you use shorter sections of tape when you mask off, the easier it is to do this without getting messy and losing control of the tape. It does self level some, and you can re-smooth any little disruptions in your seal that might happen during the removal of the tape, but if you are careful, you won't need to. To clean up anything that gets out of your masked area, I recommend either Aliphatic naphtha, or lacquer thinner, which you can purchase in nearly any paint store (i.e., Pittsburg paint). Naptha is best for use around plastic transparencies, since it will not damage them, and it will not rub off your paint. The advantage of this seal is that it remains flexible enough to stay in place without cracking from -60 to +250 degrees F. The only time we ever had to take it off, was when we needed to change something that was sealed with it previously (i.e. aircraft windows, gearbox split lines). It isn't as expensive as you would think considering that it will outlast anything else, and is absolutely the best for any kind of durable sealing requirements where water infiltration can take place while your unit is stationary or under tow. Caulking, even self leveling (meaning flowing to a smoother finish) cannot hold a candle to this stuff, and if you don't get in a huge hurry, the finished result is more professional looking than anything you will ever get from the RV manufacturers, or repair shops. Just remember that once you start sealing, finish the job without breaking for anything more than mixing up more pro seal, and that your surface prep and masking job is 95% of the end result!
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