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Old 07-31-2018, 09:27 AM   #1
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cleaning, removing, exterior sealants

We just returned from our maiden voyage in our 2012 Salem Cruise Lite 261BHXL, what a great little trailer! It is everything we need and more to get camping.

The camper is in excellent shape, but one of the two previous owners (I assume) must have applied (attempted to apply) additional sealant around windows and storage hatches. I'm not sure what they used, but it must have been the wrong stuff, because it has leaked down the siding from the bottom of the windows and compartments. It is a grey or silver color and soft and tacky. I think the thick part of the runs could be easily pulled off but the base reside I will need to use some sort of solvent to get off. I am needing recommendation for a solvent that should remove the sealant without damaging the paint.

Secondly, someone has also applied additional sealant to the corner trim. While I appreciate their diligence, they did a really messy job. The sealant is 2 inches over onto the siding in some places. It is driving me crazy. It is beige in color which I can't tell is it stained and dirty or actually a colored sealant. How or what can I use to remove the majority of this up to the edge of the trim? I'm not trying to remove it from behind the trim where it is actually serving a purpose, just want to cosmetically improve the look of the trailer. I'd like to remove it up to the edge of the trim then go back over those corners myself to clean it up with a proper sealant/appearance.

Thanks for all the great advice and suggestions!
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:34 AM   #2
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I use plastic scrapers or the plastic tool for removing trim on cars. Does not harm the paint if you take your time and does a pretty good job of removing it. I get the old off, then apply new.
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:21 AM   #3
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Pics

I thought a pic of what I'm trying to clean might help
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Old 08-01-2018, 09:35 AM   #4
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OH MY. That doesn't look to be "Dicor" unless maybe it was installed in some very hot weather, the runs are unusual for Dicor. I would suggest in using some type of heat gun to soften the sealant first. Sometimes a simple hair dryer will work for this and other times an adjustable heat gun from a craft store (Hobby Lobby, Michaels) or big box home improvement store is better. Caution on the heat gun-most of these can be set for way too high heat and can damage fiberglass siding. Go to most any auto parts store and find the plastic paddles, sort of square shaped, used to spread auto body filler (Bondo type stuff) and buy a couple. Warm the sealant up then use the plastic filler spreader to remove the warmed sealant. That storage door being sealed on the underside confuses me unless water wicks up into the storage door seam. My personal opinon: The window needs to be totally removed to check for water intrusion and water damage, I hope you don't have any, then resealed. Dicor, to my understanding, is to be used on roofs to seal around anything protruding through the rubber membrane of the roof. I do know not to use silicone on rubber roofing but a good silicone may be what you would want to use in these areas, particularly resealing the window to the exterior of the unit.
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:25 PM   #5
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heat gun (low setting only) or hair dryer, plastic putty knife tool, mineral spirits and/or acetone, Awesome cleaner from the Dollar store and a soft scratch pad sided sponge...

clean all signs of the sagged sealant, then reseal the side seams and windows with a PREMIUM silicon based caulk, white, clear or colors your choice... They sell at HDepot or paint isles some small rubber hand-held tools to help make a perfect bead of caulk... better than using soapy fingers to clean excess caulk... DO NOT use silicon on anything on the roof...

taking off the windows IF there is no sign of water intrusion on the inside is overkill IMO...
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Old 08-01-2018, 02:28 PM   #6
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Goo-B-Gone on a non-reusable cloth rag.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:00 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, great suggestions. I won’t be pulling any windows since I can find no sign of water inside.

But the sealant is just unsightly. Kind of a shame Bc the camper still looks glossy and new otherwise. Some folks get a little trigger happy w a caulk gun in hand I suppose.
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Old 08-01-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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Patience, Patience and go slow. Imagine a girl stripping paint little by little with her fingernail and that is the right speed. I lightly use a straight razor blade to score a line and scrape. But I use my thin plastic scrapers, plastic blades First. I have a little mineral spirits on a cloth to help clean the residual adhesives off. You don't want something that works faster or strips cleaner because it will eat away your wax, clear coat or paint on fiber or metal. My wife got all upset when the new camper acquired in February 2018 started developing some adhesive oozes around some joints outside. I told her at least you know they sealed that area and it would be easy to correct but a little tedious. Have to remember none of this adhesive application is done by automation or precise measurement. I know I'm not perfect applying a consistent bead of adhesive... Some are, but I can still draw a crooked line with a straight edge.
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:01 PM   #9
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Removing sealent drips

I had same problem. Save and use old plastic gift cards as scrapers and spreaders. As mentioned before, "warm" it up, scrape and clean up with a solvent. I used "goo gone".
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Old 08-01-2018, 04:22 PM   #10
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Some folks get a little trigger happy w a caulk gun in hand I suppose.
or pick the wrong sealant for the purpose on hand... a good 30 + year silicon sealant name brand should do you good...
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Old 08-01-2018, 05:39 PM   #11
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or pick the wrong sealant for the purpose on hand... a good 30 + year silicon sealant name brand should do you good...
Very true. I gotta say it is easy to do (getting the wrong sealant). There are so many products and types on the market. I came very close to using the wrong sealant on my roof lap joint. The folks on this forums saved me from that blunder.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:34 AM   #12
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Goo-B-Gone on a non-reusable cloth rag.
Yes maybe after removing all you can with a plastic putty knife !!!
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:35 AM   #13
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Geocel Pro-Flex is an excellent caulk / sealer. DO NOT use it on any rubber roof. Dicor lap sealant is made for rubber roof.
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Old 08-02-2018, 09:32 AM   #14
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From previous posts on this forum, I thought using silicone sealer on ANY part of an rv was a no-no. I use the Geocel.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:41 PM   #15
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Geocel proflex in brite-white is what I intend to re-seal the sloppy areas with. I try to avoid standard silicone at all costs in marine and RV applications. I’m realizing this sealant removal project is gonna be a bear. I’m going to have to tackle one window or hatch at a time. Since that is going to take me a week or two to get through all of them, I’ve decided to focus on a good roof-down wash/wax first. I’ve got some faint black-streaks appearing so I want to get ahead of that.

I picked up some LA’s Awesome at Dollar Tree and some premium mcGuires was-wax. I already have roof cleaner. So, I’m going to wash the roof first. Then use the Awesome on the black-streaks. Then follow it all w a good wash/wax and dry.

With that done, I’ll start on the sealant removal/replace project. I’ll post before and after pics.

Anybody have an estimate on what a service center would charge to do remove all the sloppy excess sealants and reseal neatly w the right stuff? I’m kind of scared to ask.

Thanks!
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:57 PM   #16
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Woah! I called two places in Nashville, one place said if I’m having more than 2 fixtures resealed they do the whole coach body and for my 26ft it is $1500. But that is removing all windows and hatches completely and all existing sealants and properly resealing.

The other place said $135 per hour and I should figure 3 hrs. They don’t remove fixture. They use tools to strip/cut away old sealants, clean and reapply.

I suddenly feel much better about doing this myself ��
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:22 PM   #17
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Well, I got a little out of order I think. I decided to wash the whole trailer after I was done with the roof. I wanted to see how much that improved things. It actually looked pretty darn good after. So, I started spot cleaning the worst black-streak/stains with "Totally Awesome" diluted 4:1. Let me just say, that stuff is named perfectly! With the dilution, I've not had any issues on graphics or plastic and it hasn't harmed the painted aluminum at all. However, it just made the rest of the trailer (freshly washed) look dirty again. I had nice clean, brite white areas where I spot cleaned and the rest of the trailer looked off-white comparatively. So, today, I've been hand washing with "Awesome" the whole trailer in small sections, wiping with a wet cloth, then rinsing well. Of course, this is leaving a very dry, no-wax finish, so I'm going to have to either wash again or wax the trailer before storing.

Any recommendations on a wipe on/off spray topcoat? I was thinking about the same line of McGuires as the wash/wax I bought. I noticed it at Wally World yesterday for $8. I think it is quick detail wax. I really don't want to hand wax with a traditional wax and buff off. I need something quick this time that I can spray on then wipe off.

Any recommendations?
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Old 08-03-2018, 02:28 PM   #18
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Roof Before and After

Used Dicor Rubber Roof Cleaner and a standard car wash sponge and an extension pole brush. This stuff does leave white streaks on the sides of the trailer, but I was washing afterwards anyways.
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Old 08-04-2018, 09:19 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by jkrose View Post
Well, I got a little out of order I think. I decided to wash the whole trailer after I was done with the roof. I wanted to see how much that improved things. It actually looked pretty darn good after. So, I started spot cleaning the worst black-streak/stains with "Totally Awesome" diluted 4:1. Let me just say, that stuff is named perfectly! With the dilution, I've not had any issues on graphics or plastic and it hasn't harmed the painted aluminum at all. However, it just made the rest of the trailer (freshly washed) look dirty again. I had nice clean, brite white areas where I spot cleaned and the rest of the trailer looked off-white comparatively. So, today, I've been hand washing with "Awesome" the whole trailer in small sections, wiping with a wet cloth, then rinsing well. Of course, this is leaving a very dry, no-wax finish, so I'm going to have to either wash again or wax the trailer before storing.

Any recommendations on a wipe on/off spray topcoat? I was thinking about the same line of McGuires as the wash/wax I bought. I noticed it at Wally World yesterday for $8. I think it is quick detail wax. I really don't want to hand wax with a traditional wax and buff off. I need something quick this time that I can spray on then wipe off.

Any recommendations?
I have used MeGuiars products for years,,, all good !!!
Mothers also make a Very Good Spray Polish !!!

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