I am in the process of resealing all of my windows and compartments and thought I would share with everyone what I have found and what I am doing.
Job was not difficult but did eat up some time.
In the not too distant past I overheard an RV tech talk about how he does a lot of resealing of the rv windows and compartments as most of them are installed dry fit. Do not know what "dry fit" meant but if it was apply a small bead of caulking here and there behind the frame of the compartment or window and than apply a bead around the outer edge... Well I guess that is what I had. He stated that as purchased it was not a matter of if but when a compartment or window would leak. Proper sealing he stated was to remove the old windows and compartments and apply butyl tape and than recaulking. This done properly would last many years.
I have recently noticed that my vinyl was just starting to lift on the inside of two of my compartment doors. Indication of a leak.
What I found...
Once I removed my three compartment doors I could see clear indication where water was getting in on ALL THREE doors
. That is 3 out of 3 people.
I set up a table by my compartment door and put out all my tools that I would need:
Grease pencil - to mark the location of the screws as I found once removed and butyl tape applied it was easier to align the screws back in the original holes. The openings are larger than the doors or windows so there is some play and with the marks you can find the holes.
Drill - to remove the screws and to put the screws partially back in.
Screw driver - used to hand tighten the screws the remaining way.
Window scraper & knife - to remove the old caulking and break the seal on the caulking around the frame.
Isopropyl alcohol - to clean the area around the opening and frame after the old caulking has been removed.
Plastic squeegee - to trim the excess butyl tape after installation
Proflex RV caulking - Used 3-4 days after the butyl tape has set.
Auto touch up paint - repainted the screw heads after installation so that they do not rust.
What I did...
1. Using a grease pencil, I made a small mark on the fibreglass just above or below the screws. This made finding the holes very easy. The cut out openings are larger than needed so there is some play for the frame and with no marks you will have a little fun trying to find the original holes.
2. Once I removed the screws, I used an exacto knife to go around the edge of the frame to break the caulking. (careful not to cut into the fibreglass)
3. Opened the compartment door and grabbed the frame and carefully started to pull and work the frame free from the trailer.
4. Used a window scraper (razor blade) to remove the old caulking from the fibreglass. The exacto knife I used to remove the old caulking from the frame itself.
5. Used Ispropyl Alcohol to clean the area around the frame and opening where the butyl tape would be touching.
6. Starting at the bottom center and working around I applied the butyl tape butting up against the edge of the opening. Apply a little pressure to hold in place specially around the corners as it will start to come back off if not.
7. Remove the paper backing from the butyl tape.
8. Re-install the door aligning the screw holes up with your marks. You can start the screw part way with your drill but I would recommend hand tightening for the last few turns. Butyl tape will squeeze out of the edge somewhat while tightening.
9. Using a plastic squeegee follow the edge of the frame around trimming the excess butyl tape away.
10. Wait 3-4 days or so for the butyl tape to set than apply a bead of Proflex RV caulking around the frame over the butyl tape.
11. Lastly, I used an auto touchup paint to go over the screw heads so that they do not rust.
I have posted some pictures in an album for everyone (could not see how to change the order) To view, Click here
Big difference with the windows is that you have to remove the valances and shades on the inside. The screws are located around the inside of the frame (inside the rv) and you will require and extra set of hands on the outside to grab the window so that it does not fall out and break.
This was a youtube link of an RV tech doing this job:
RV Today Archive- How To: Resetting Window - YouTube
Glad I caught this early. Compartment doors done and I will be working on the windows over this upcoming weekend. Inexpensive job as the tape is around $8 a roll and the Proflex caulking around $10 a tube. Probably use about 3 of each. Other than that just a bit of time.
Hope this info saves someone on some expensive repair job.
Cheers -- Oregoncamper