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Old 08-07-2010, 02:53 PM   #1
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Eternabond Roof Seal Tape on a Sunline (Lots of pics)

Hi Fellow Sunline Campers

As some of you may know this spring I repaired my slide from water damage. It is all fixed up now, better then new. The learning or (awaking) is what water intrusion can do to a camper and how long an ongoing issue can be until you realize it even with the best of intentions. I have had 2 good camping friends deal with roof water damage and they had no idea until after the damage was done. One of them has a brand new camper only 2 years old. You can see a pic of his situation later in this post. So after inspecting my roof this spring and seeing how hard you have to stay on top of cracked caulking that needs frequent inspections, I came to the conclusion I need to take some preventive actions. In my case the caulk cracks are aggravated by the fact my camper has lived outside all it’s life and it’s age. The new building has not come just yet…. So I set out on a mission to figure out what options there are to make the caulking situation better.

I’m not saying everyone needs to run out and do this to there camper. In fact there are not many who go down this approach of caulking alternatives. However I do encourage you to have your caulk checked often and dressed up right then and there. See this post for more on what to look for and how to address the caulking cracking. Rubber Roof Caulk - Inspect and repair 101

Looking for alternatives I found Eternabond, Roof Leak Repair Products & Sealing Tape | EternaBond Roof Seal. This sealing tape is a commercial roof product and is now growing in use with RV’s even when they are new. There is another brand that Rich2500 found that is reported to work well for him. Rich I’m sure may point out what he found. This post may take a few days to get it all up as I have been working on this now on and off for a few months. So here it goes. I’ll try and do this mainly in pics as that seems to get the point across better.

After research it appears the front and rear main roof seams are noted to being a point of concern where water can break thru the caulking over time so I started with them first. I had a learning experience with the front, rear and the skylight areas and had to redo them. I’ll comment more on that later on. Here is the final end product.

The front main seam. The first thing is to insure I had sound caulking. Eternabond states you can go right over well attached cracked sealant but I was not taking any chance so I may sure the caulk was sound to start with. This may be 200% overkill but I plan on keeping this camper a long time so 200% it is.

First I took up all the old caulk along the front seam and here was my 1st surprise. There was traces of moisture under the caulk??? You can see a small gap next to the top hold down strip. In that gap was moisture that was prior covered with Dicro. I do not know if it was leaking in or sweat in from the metal going from hot to cold. However it reinforced to me I need to get all this up out of here and redo this area.

So out it all came and I put new fresh Dicor down plus I filled in the large gap in the middle of the screw area holding plate. This made the Roof Seal go over the plate and have a flatter surface to adhere to. I let it cure up for a week or more before applying the Roof Seal.


The roof area “must” be cleaned and prepped very well. You can use Acetone or other high flash cleaners only to be used for this purpose. I used some Acetone but I also used a product called Eternaclean. It is a high flash off cleaner that is made for rubber roofs to get the grim off and evaporate quick. Note this does make the rubber tacky and is not to be used as a general roof cleaner, only to prep and clean for the Roof Seal.


I used 2, 4” wide strips on the front. Some use a 6” wide roll but I had other uses for the 4” roll but I still have an effective 6” wide coverage. You lay out the Roof Seal to length and then a little extra. You will trim it perfect later on.


Then figure out how you will make the end fit


I took the approach to clean the aluminum gutter and bond to the gutter as well totally covering any caulk. Here I started in the top part of the end and gently tacked it. What ever you do make sure you know where you want it as it does not come back up to reposition.


I also added some left over release liner in the very end so I could tuck it down in the gutter without it all sticking to every thing. Then pull out the liner.


I use a rounded wood wedge to plant it in place and as a guide to run a utilty knife over to trim it to length.


Once planted I pull out the release liner. Note if you have to trim the tape, don’t pull it all off. Use a utility knife to trim right down into the corner edge. And used wedge to seat the tape and create the bond.


Then start working your way down the front cap. Only pull back about 12 to 15 inches at most at a time and keep it gently taught so it will not buckle up on itself.


You need to work the tape from the high spots then wipe towards the nice flat spots. This is to get the air out from under the tape


Now down to the other end.


I do use the wood wedge to use as a trimming guide as well.




Eternabond is pressure sensitive tape. You need to firmly press it all down to set the adhesive. I used 2 different rollers as I learned. Both worked well.


Then I went back and did the next pass. Here you can see it upside down.


There is a trick to getting the release liner off. You wiggle and snap the ends quick and the release liner puckers up so you can grab it.


Then the same as the first, I peel back some liner and add a separate piece so I can pull off the liner when down in the gutter.


Then the same as before. Tack, tuck and trim







And finish up at the other end.


Make sure it is all rolled well or rubbed to set the adhesive.


So that is the front.
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Old 08-07-2010, 02:55 PM   #2
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Now to the rear cap seal across the back of the camper. Here I used a 4” and 2” wide tape. The photos are out of date sequence as I did have to redo the entire front and rear seam due to a bad batch of Eternabond. More on that later but you will see the application here.

I took all the old caulk out and put new fresh caulk in. Let is cure out a week or more and filled in the strip where the screws are like I did in the front to help not make so many valleys and bumps to go over.






Now as I was in this area of the roof I got a rude awakening. I pulled the vinyl strip off the gutter rail and YUK!!! Oh boy this is an issue. Mold and rusted screws. Not good.






Then I went to the other side and pulled that vinyl strip off. It was even worse…




And then this one got my real attention. Rusted and faint goo on the screw threads. Not good. I have seen that goo before on my slide floor rot.


Now that I had this awakening with the vinyl strip and knowing what my buddy went thru with wicking water on the gutter rail screws, I said OK this has to change. Here see this pic of his 2 year old camper. This is not a Sunline. For unknown reasons they never put caulk on the top of the gutter rail to the TPO roof. Only butyl tape and then screwed the rail on. Water found it’s way down to the screws and started wicking inside the camper. Once the screw rusted out it was a hole. Then 2 years later on a brand new camper it looked like this. He never knew he had an issue until 2 years later when the ceiling start to pucker. The entire roof was lost, one entire wall, the rear wall and part of the other wall. He had good records and paperwork at his dealer documenting issues early on when in the warranty period. His TT manufacture stood behind the repair thank goodness as this repair was out of his warranty period.


Sunline caulks the top of the gutter rail to the roof. This is good but my camper lives outside all the time and water gets in the vinyl strip, festers, grows mold, rusts screws and then some how started on mine just going down the threads. I believe I caught this right in time as a few more years and I have no idea what I would have. I only had 1 bad screw and one rusted on the threads. So I came up with a method to eliminate the vinyl strip and deal with the caulk. And I had to make a diversion from the rear cap as I did this first, then the rear cap.

I replaced all the screws with new. Cleaned out the entire channel areas and found a way to wrap the Eternabond over the edges.

Cleaned up. Wire brush, air blow gun, then acetone or Eternaclean.


This is the wrap method in concept.




I tried 2” wide tape and it is not enough


So went to 4”. Start out at the end like this with 4” wide tape


Then work your way down the length of the camper.





There is a trick to doing this. Pull the roll down about 10 feet. Stick it down in the cleaned gutter and then push down with the wood wedge. The side of the tape stick to the gutter to help hold it in place.


Then peel back about a 12 to 18 inches of release liner and tack the bottom.


The use the wood wedge to apply pressure and set the bottom area


Then the screws area where the vinyl strip went


Then fold over the roof and roll it down good. And go back and rub and press everything to set the sealant.


You keep going and it looks like this






If and when you get some sealant stuck in the gutter, take some paint thinner on a rag use the wood wedge and wipe it out so it does not collect dirt.


If you need to make a joint as the tape roll ran out, do several inches of overlap. At least 2”


Well that’s all for now. More yet to come.
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Old 08-07-2010, 07:46 PM   #3
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Now to the rear seam

After re-dicor’ing and letting it cure and I have the gutter edges taped, I apply the 4” on the rear seam starting out just like I did in the front. I only did the side seam about 3 feet down the camper at this point. I had to deal with the awning and I wanted to get the rear seam done first.


Then I apply a 2” to seal up the end and to allow me to make it curve like the roof. Trying to do this with all one piece and make the curve match I thought would be too much to pull off. This came out well

Here is the rear edge needing the last 2” tape


Now the 2”






Here you can see how you can make it follow the roof curve


And when done


Now that the rear seam was done I went to get the awning side gutter rail done. Took the vinyl off at the front, yup, yuk just like the rest. Since I already did the front and not realize the yuk under the vinyl I had to cut off the front lap seam into the gutter area and then redo that with the side piece. If your going to do this, start with the sides then the end caps.


Since I had the awning now to deal with right on top of the gutter, I unhooked the lower support and let it out to the ground and let the awning come down about a foot. This provided more room to work


Hind site is always 20/20. As I am staring at these rust screws the light bulb turns on. Go to flat heads like I did on my slide seams. So I had a box of stainless flat heads left and I used them. This provides a smoother appearance with seal tape.

Here is counter sinking the rail


The flat heads


Now no screw heads hanging out


Something I forgot to mention on the other gutter. Mine are sort of squeezed somewhat towards the trailer making the gutter open all that much smaller. By taking a pry bar or old dull chisel I always use, I sprung back open the gutter a little. Maybe only 1/8” more at the top but the profile now looks correct and the water has a better chance of getting in the gutter.


Now the applying of the gutter seal tape is the same as before on the awning side.


And here is my newer roller given to me free from Eternabond


And the side seam now done


Now I have 1 side of the camper with the seal tape over the hex head screws and one side using flat head screws. I like the look of the flat heads better but the hex screws side is not that bad. Just not as flat.

Here is the flat heads screw side looking up from the ground


Here is the hex head screw side showing small little puckers in the tape at the screw heads.


Well that raps up the front, rear and both side seams. More yet to come on the shower and fridge dome and my phone call to Eternabond
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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Now to the shower dome and fridge vent

The shower dome is straight forward. If you are going to learn how to “work” with some of the stickiest sealing tape on earth, this is a good place to start.

As with any area need to get it good and cleaned including the rubber roof area where the tape will be applied. You have to make sure you get the white oxidation film off the rubber or any dirt grim. Here I used the Eternaclean product. There are a lot of humps and bumps on the shower dome and it being pressurized blasts some of the dirt out as it loosens the grim. I have never seen the shower dome this clean before…. But only in the area I was applying the sealing tape.




Then you cut the strips you need peel off, position and rub it down




Here you can see how bumpy it is over the caulk. Need to press real well to get the air pockets out.


What can help as you work out the air pockets is to roll up small strips of release liner to place it on the roof to it will not accidentally stick to the roof as you work the part by the dome. You want to start at the dome and work towards the outside.


And when all done


Now to the fridge vent. You dig out the Dicor in the 4 screws on top, unscrew the cover and the vent flange is not exposed. This is bumpy like the shower dome. I forgot to take progression pics on this one but here is the end results.



I still have the vent pipes, antenna and skylights yet to do. My sky lights I put in new now about 3 years ago so the caulk is still good and they are under Max air covers. But they will in time get done.

One more post yet to do in this Eternabond series.
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Old 08-07-2010, 09:02 PM   #5
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Now my last post to get all the info up.

I bought one roll of 4” Roof Seal now over a year ago and a 2’ roll. The product has a 5 year shelf life and I used some 2” wide material on my slide. The 2” material worked very well there. In fact during the slide repair I had to take 2, 8 foot lengths of Roof Seal off and I can attest when it is right, it works as advertised and sticks!!!

However lucky me I happen to acquire one roll of Roof seal that had a problem with it. During later 2008/early 2009 Eternabond had an issue with the silicone used in the release liner that penetrated the sealant and affected the adhesion ability of the product. Silicone is the one thing Eternabond will not stick to. I had 3 total failures when using the 4” wide tape all from the same roll. At first I thought it was me because I used Awesome to clean some of the areas of the roof. Nope, as that 4” roll would not even stick to itself.

In one camping trip towing about 250 miles the material on the shower dome lifted. When I got home I could peel the entire thing off intact. It did not adhere.








I also had the front and rear seal fail on the 1st time out too. Same thing I could peel it right up







The rear seam


Now the rear seam was a combo of 2” and 4” the 4” had the problem the 2” roll did not. Here is the difference.






Now while the 2” did work right, after you work with this stuff you can get it off. See here. Now prepped ready to put good new tape on.


I called Eternabond and asked them about it. Since this failed I thought I messed it up with the Awesome. Some I bought more, but it was made this spring not last year. And the new rolls have a batch code and bar code taped to the core to track it. I told Eternabond about the failure I had and the roll that had the failure did not have a batch code I bought this year do. They stood right up and stated they had an issue about a year ago and they thought they recalled it all. Well not all…. They apologized profusely and stated they stand behind there products.

They asked me what I needed to be satisfied. I was not after a handout but if they could replace the 4” roll that would help. They have sent me a new roll and a bunch of other free goodies to satisfy the customer. They stood behind there product like they state. I told them I too am in manufacturing and trying to get good field info on a failed product is hard some times. I told them I would mail back the partial unused roll and the some of the material I pulled off the roof. So while it was not great getting a defective roll, they did the right thing and I can attest the right material does work as advertised.

Hope this helps someone in the future if you want to take the caulk alternative approach and permanently seal your camper seams. I have heard on RV.net some with objections to using Eternabond like this on seams. They where told this from there dealer when they asked about. Those dealers prefer to stay with the Dicor treatment. The only reason they state is it is hard to get up. And that is what makes the product as good as it is. I have worked with this material and I have been able to get it up when I needed to. Yes it is difficut to get it up but you can get it up if you need to. How many times in the life of your camper do you want take up the roof seams? Not often I hope.

Hope this helps

John

Update as of 6-7-17. For someone finding this thread for the first time or second time, I have learned some new things on applying Eternabond since this thread started. See this post in another of my frame repair threads. I now recommend using the Eternaprime primer first and also applying a small bead of Dicor sealant to the exposed edge of the E bond once installed to stop the dirt from sticking to the exposed sealant.
A Winter Project - Slide Opening, Frame Repair (Picture heavy)

As of this date, 6-7-17 my roof is still holding up very well and there are no issues with the Eternabond and there is no caulking seals
as a direct line of defense for water intrusion on the roof other then the tank vent covers. This has been a very good upgrade. It does cost some money and time but if you are going to keep your camper long term, it is a option to help keep the water out of the camper without worrying about caulk sealants failing.
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Old 08-08-2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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This has been a great resource for me, John! I will use it when I seal my Sunspot! Thanks for being so thorough with the photos and tips and everything. Great job.

Pam.
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Old 08-08-2010, 03:41 PM   #7
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Lightbulb

The PVC molded front and rear caps on Hi-Lo Towlites appear to have some noticable expansion and contraction issues where they join the aluminum roof. I have had to re-Dicor those seams twice in 18 months, and finally decided to try Eternabond. It was highly recommended to me by a the owners of a few (extremely large) motorhomes.

I just completed work on those upper areas 3 weeks ago (bridging a newly re-Dicored pair of seams)....and it has certainly been warm enough here in PA to allow full adhesion to develop.


I really have high hopes for this stuff. After seeing John's work on the roof-to-sidewall seams, I may have to plan to treat the Hi-Lo to that, as well. I'll give the stuff a few thousand miles to fully prove itself.


John....thanks again for another fantastic online DIY seminar!


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Old 08-08-2010, 06:15 PM   #8
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Pam and Frank, Thanks for the good words. Hope it does help and others can post about other ways they have done. You always do your second camper better then the first.....

One thing I forgo to add is, the edge of the Eternabond is exposed to the outside world. It is not a water issue more of a exposed dirt trap. The edge is sticky. To overcome this you can apply a thin film of Dicor on that exposed edge to stop it from being so sticky. I did do that on all mine.

Frank, your hard top to aluminum siding and expansion/contraction. Yes, I can see that happening now that you mention it. Rubber roofs expand/contract a lot different. They have other sealing issue… The Eternabond should help that problem.

John
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Old 08-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #9
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John, Great write up!! Thanks for sharing and the photos. This is something on my to do list but now after seeing your photos and what you found I see that I will have more inspection and cleaning work than what I was originally expecting to do.
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:03 AM   #10
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nice John , you should never have to worry about a roof leak
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:48 AM   #11
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Hey John,

Can you go over the proper way to laydown plywood on the roof and stepping on it. I need to recaulk the fixtures and just want to ensure I do not do something dumb!
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markbrit View Post
Hey John,
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbrit View Post

Can you go over the proper way to laydown plywood on the roof and stepping on it. I need to recaulk the fixtures and just want to ensure I do not do something dumb!
Mark

Start with a good ladder on solid ground. I say this as when you step off onto the roof and then back onto the ladder, that transition point from ladder to roof and roof to ladder that is a high risk area.


I use manageable small sheets of 1/2" to 5/8" plywood. About 24 to 30" wide. 4 foot long. Place a tarp or carpet or some other protecting material over the rubber roof then place the plywood on top. The material protects the rubber from abrasion






The roof rafters are on 16" centers. Need the plywood to span at least 2 rafters. Just press gentle and you can tell where they are. Key is spread the load and do not put point pressure on a section of unsupported roof. The plywood does the trick.

Good luck

John
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:39 AM   #13
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john, great pictures. do you suggest using this tape on aluminum roofs? i'm sealing my seams and replacing the skylight. i thought of using the tape, or there is a paint on dyco 20/20 which people recommend and i was planning to use.

i realize reading this that i don't have anything over my top edge screws, so want to seal that up. looks like that was factory...

actually, what if i use the paint for the seams going horizontal, then the tape on the edge screws?
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:44 AM   #14
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john, great pictures. do you suggest using this tape on aluminum roofs? i'm sealing my seams and replacing the skylight. i thought of using the tape, or there is a paint on dyco 20/20 which people recommend and i was planning to use.

i realize reading this that i don't have anything over my top edge screws, so want to seal that up. looks like that was factory...

actually, what if i use the paint for the seams going horizontal, then the tape on the edge screws?

or, as a money saver, could i just use dicor over the top side screws (area above the awning)?
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Old 07-08-2014, 07:18 AM   #15
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Noralee......

I completely covered seams and screw/seal joints on my Hi-Lo's aluminum roof with the Eternabond years back. Recently heard from the current owner (he's in Florida). Eternabond seams still in fine shape.

Clearly, it's more permanent than roof coatings and/or Dicor. For myself, I'd go for the Eternabond. Less costly in the long run.

Frank
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #16
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Noralee......

I completely covered seams and screw/seal joints on my Hi-Lo's aluminum roof with the Eternabond years back. Recently heard from the current owner (he's in Florida). Eternabond seams still in fine shape.

Clearly, it's more permanent than roof coatings and/or Dicor. For myself, I'd go for the Eternabond. Less costly in the long run.

Frank
thanks, looks like from pplmotorhomes it is now called sticknbond.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:08 AM   #17
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Pictures

Anyone know where I can get the pictures that go along with Johns great instructions?
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Old 08-06-2015, 07:31 PM   #18
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The pictures are all in the thread. It looks like they are in one of JohnB's Photobucket albums. If you send a PM to JohnB he may send you a direct link to the album.
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Old 08-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #19
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Hi all, are the pics showing up? They are on my screen viewing them. My photo site is very popular and I may have run out of bandwidth until I upgrade again.

They are showing now. 8-6-15 10:28pm EST Can anyone else see them?
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Old 08-07-2015, 09:33 AM   #20
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I can see them,
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