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Old 01-03-2011, 01:11 PM   #1
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More Places to Caulk

There are several parallel discussions going on concerning delamination under the refrigerator vent. Crocus has got an excellent thread going on the possible cause of this problem. Instead of piggy backing on 1 of those thread, I thought I would start a new post, as I intend to add the repair work later when that is done.

I noticed my delamination problem in October.

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I took the trailer to the dealer in November so he could see what was happening. The service manager took a look, and picked at the caulk and it was loose.

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The service manager thinks that the luan plywood is separating where it got wet, not actually the fiberglass separating from the backing. Same results.....it looks ugly.

This is how easy the caulk came out of the seam.....it easily pulled out as 1 piece.

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And what the seam looks like with no caulk in place:

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It turned cold right after the trip to the dealer, and I have been unable to recaulk the area, because the daytime temperatures have barely been out of the low 40s. As a temporary measure to keep more water out of that area, I wrapped a garbage bag around the vent:

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That will keep water out of the vent, but does not stop water from entering between the vent and the frame, so I want to repair this as soon as possible.

Another area to be aware of with caulking is the base of the water heater. Mine was not done properly, and the 1st time I drained the water heater, water ran back into the camper. I recaulked that area, and no longer have that problem.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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Pictures always make the explanation so much clearer.
One wouldn't think that the caulking on a 3 year-old camper would already be useless. Is FR that cheap that they can't spend an extra five bucks on better sealant? I guess the answer is obvious.
Thanks for the tip on the water heater. I am going back out to the shop for some more 'quality time' with my fifth.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:45 PM   #3
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I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to check the caulking on my rig as well. What type of caulking will you be using when you re-caulk?
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #4
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I guess it wouldn't hurt for me to check the caulking on my rig as well. What type of caulking will you be using when you re-caulk?
I think I am going to use Dicor at the actual seams, then fill the whole thing in with silicon caulk. The trouble with silicon caulk is that it doesn't seem to stick on plastic very well. I am open to ideas.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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Just to pass on some info. The service tech at my dealer told me to use only dicor on the roof and a good silcone caulk on the sides will work. I haven't inspected mine as close as others have so I haven't caulked yet, but I probably will use silicone when I do.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:39 PM   #6
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Thanks Gary.....that is the kinda input I am looking for so that I can make a decision on what to use.
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Old 01-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #7
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I have found that silicon caulking does not stick worth a darn. Wouldn't you use the dicor self leveling on fridge cutout bottom and other Dicor for any other seams?
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:01 PM   #8
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I have found that silicon caulking does not stick worth a darn. Wouldn't you use the dicor self leveling on fridge cutout bottom and other Dicor for any other seams?
That is what I am trying to figure out. The old silicon caulk did not stick.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:21 PM   #9
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The best sealant I have ever used is made by 3M and it is called 5200 Marine Sealant. We used this for many "PERMANENT" installations under water such as depth sounder transducers. We also used it to mount plywood to fiberglass walls to mount equipment. It makes a permanent bond with what ever it touches. If you get it on your skin, you have to wait for your skin to come off. The 5200 takes about 48 hours to cure. There is another fast cure version called 4200 Marine Sealant. It can be found at 3M PRODUCTS Watertight Polyurethane Adhesive/Sealant at West Marine . I haven't had a need to use it on my TT yet, but I have never seen anything better.
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by dezolen View Post
I have found that silicon caulking does not stick worth a darn. Wouldn't you use the dicor self leveling on fridge cutout bottom and other Dicor for any other seams?
Maybe this is part of the problem. Some places aren't caulked and those that are, are caulked with silicone!

I have had 2 service techs from 2 different dealerships tell me the same, they use silicone caulk on anything but the roof.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:18 PM   #11
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I have been using bathroom tub caulking, I believe it is latex. The hope is that it will be a bit more water resistant, and being latex, it does seem to stick better than silicone. I am only using it out of sunlight exposure, though, as I question its UV resistance.
Only time will tell if it was a good choice.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:30 PM   #12
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I haved the extension to the drain on the water heater to keep the water from draining on the floor when the plug is removed. I like to drain the water heater after each trip and this keeps things dry.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:54 PM   #13
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Now why didn't I think of that!
Great idea, and exactly what I will be doing next.
Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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Now why didn't I think of that!
Great idea, and exactly what I will be doing next.
Thanks.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:56 PM   #15
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Thanks for the great info. I too will be spending some more quality time with my coach.
Keep us posted on what type of sealant is being used. I've found silicone the same as others....weak at best. I've been resealing every year. I'll look into the 3M product as well as dicor.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:02 PM   #16
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I asked around on another forum and have been told by several to use Dicor Lap Sealant on the outside of your trailer.

I'm gonna have to have a better talk with my service tech!

Just found out that FR uses a product made by Geocel. They make sealant for about any use on your RV. You can find it on Tweetys or RVWholesalers web site under the name Proflex.

Here's a link to their web site; http://www.geoceltransportationproducts.com/MH.htm
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:26 PM   #17
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Use that 3M Marine Sealent...........good enough for boats. More than good enough for RV's. I've used that before on boat. Didnt think of using it on the RV. Thats the ticket, I'll let you know how it works. I believe I still have some.....now just have to find it. OK it might be lost.............but we'll get some, some how, some where !!
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:09 PM   #18
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I haved the extension to the drain on the water heater to keep the water from draining on the floor when the plug is removed. I like to drain the water heater after each trip and this keeps things dry.
I think the extension is a great idea. I also see where you have more caulk at the bottom seam than I had on my water heater.

I use an aluminum foil "chute" hanging over the edge when I drain my water heater.

Does anyone know if using the copper extension would affect the functionality of the anode rod ?? I wouldn't think so, but I don't know all of the facts concerning galvanic exchange.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:21 PM   #19
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Does anyone know if using the copper extension would affect the functionality of the anode rod ?? I wouldn't think so, but I don't know all of the facts concerning galvanic exchange.
This was my thought exactly. I am also curious as to how this actually works. Is the copper extension left on all the time? How do you close the door?

The purpose of the anode is to protect the iron of the heater. The inevitable copper corrosion on the threads may very well electrically isolate the anode from the iron of the heater.
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Old 01-05-2011, 09:56 AM   #20
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I pick up my brand new SV264 in the spring sometime and as a result of reading this thread, I will be going over it with a fine tooth comb as soon as I get it home......
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