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Old 10-26-2011, 12:29 PM   #1
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Window caulk shrinkage, A-frame camper

One of the things I looked really closely at when we took delivery of our camper last February was the caulking around windows and doors, especially the large bubble window. It was very well done, and I've had no problems with leaks there. The mechanic who did the walk-through for us stressed that we should inspect all caulking at least twice a year. It seemed excessive but now I see why.

Over the months, I suppose the bubble window has expanded and contracted hundreds of times. Now the caulking has separated from the edge of the window most of the way around. Not a wide separation but enough to make a tiny water channel. Thankfully I've had no leaks so far. Looks like I'll have to remove and replace the caulk before storing the unit this Fall, though. I haven't found any other caulk failures on the camper.

Any advice from folks more experienced at recaulking than I? What's a good caulk to use? Any tricks to getting a good bond between the plastic window and the caulk? I'm sure there's dirt and dust in the joint area now. I read somewhere that a thorough cleaning with alcohol should be done, maybe that and an old toothbrush.
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Old 10-27-2011, 08:18 AM   #2
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I would use ProFlexRV. I have used this product before on my canvas popups roof and found this to be an extremely good product.
However, due to the fact that its in your roof, and the roof is under warrenty for 5 years, i would take it back to the dealer and have this done by them. Perhaps the window was not put in the 3m stuff that was used at the beginning of the manufacture. As the seal on my roof at the window is still very rubbery ... I would think that this is a sign of something wrong .. and should be atleast looked at by the retailer/service department.
My unit has been camped in for 50 nights this year, and with all the towing and setups, i have no issues with the back window.
Hope this helps .. d-mo
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Old 10-27-2011, 10:07 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice, D-mo. I guess I should give my dealer a call.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #4
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The only caulk seperation I have had so far is along the 90 deg angle iron that goes across the bottom rear of the trailer. I stuck some tooth picks along the seam to make a gap, filled it with white caulk then removed the toothpicks. Cleaned up with water. Looks good, but I'll keep an eye on it.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toleworks
The only caulk seperation I have had so far is along the 90 deg angle iron that goes across the bottom rear of the trailer. I stuck some tooth picks along the seam to make a gap, filled it with white caulk then removed the toothpicks. Cleaned up with water. Looks good, but I'll keep an eye on it.
Was there any dirt or dust in the gap? There's some in mine. Did you clean the area before putting the new caulk in, or after? Precleaning is the part of the job I hope is done well, otherwise I'm not sure the replacement stuff will stick.
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:00 AM   #6
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I have supplied a link to what my dealer used on my bubble window. He stated this is what FR originally used before going to regular caulking. He also said they have gone back to this tape.

The tape is available from several places online. It can be installed without having to go back to the dealer.

I avoid anyone working on my trailer other than myself.

3M

Installation Videos:

3m extreme sealing tape - Yahoo! Video Search
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:14 AM   #7
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That looks like a great item to have on hand. What width of tape did they use on your window? The videos mentioned 2" tape, which at one vendor (Hisco) runs $56.78 a roll, plus shipping. Worth it if you never have a leak, though. How does it look as installed on your unit?
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Old 10-29-2011, 11:23 AM   #8
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Without going out and measuring, I believe it is 2.5".

The next time I'm outside I'll get the actual measurement.
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Old 10-29-2011, 10:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinpickerington
Without going out and measuring, I believe it is 2.5".

The next time I'm outside I'll get the actual measurement.
Love to see some pics too!
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Old 11-01-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
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Sorry for the delay. The tape is 2.5" in width.


Photos as requested:
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Bubble 01.jpg
Views:	239
Size:	46.5 KB
ID:	8923   Click image for larger version

Name:	Bubble 02.jpg
Views:	193
Size:	36.0 KB
ID:	8924  
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