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Old 04-10-2016, 11:05 AM   #1
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Putty tape

I've successfully removed all the exterior corner trim, windows and roof vents from my trailer. Next, I'll rebuild the back corners and replace any water damaged wood that I can find under the roof, then seal her back up again. I see that a different type of putty was used around the windows than the edges. The corners are green while the window caulking is grey and seems thinner. When I look it up, I find putty tape, white butyl tape, black butyl tape, eternabond...

Someone gave me a few rolls of black putty tape they said was for marine applications. I'm hoping to use it because it was free, but I'm not exactly sure what it is.

Is there a putty 101 thread here somewhere?
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Old 04-11-2016, 06:45 PM   #2
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I think you will find white butyl tape to the what is used on the Sunlines.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:43 PM   #3
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The stuff that was on there was green, definitely original to the trailer. Is the black stuff I was given something completely different? I'd like to use it if I can because it was free and there's plenty of it, but not if it's the wrong stuff, not if it would cause problems down the road. Can I use it? Can anyone explain the difference?
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:38 PM   #4
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Hi, I will give my experiences and learnings.

There are 2 "basic" types of sealing tape.

Putty tape. This is a commonly used sealing tape for windows, doors, cargo holes. If you pull on putty tape is will snap quickly when pulled apart several inches. The upside is, this is cheaper. The down side is, over time it can crack, separate and release from the siding. The separations are concerning as they can allow water to get in given the right circumstances.

Butyl sealing tape. This must be used on rubber roofs in all locations against the rubber roof as it works with the rubber and does not affect it. If you pull on butyl tape, it will stretch like taffy. And in 65 to 75F degree temps the taffy pull can be 6 plus feet before it thins out to a hair string and snaps. Good butyl costs more then putty tape by a few dollars more a roll. Good butyl tape will not crack for a really good long time. Some brands declare 20 years guarantee.

I do not know about the older 80's campers as I have not had one of them apart. On the newer campers, ~ year 200 and newer, this is what I have found.

On the corner folded seams, butyl sealing tape is used in the joint corners to help bond the corner to be more water tight.

On the corner moldings, cargo holes, doors, windows a "form" of better putty tape was used. While it does not get brittle hard after 10 years, it does crack and separate and can unbond leaving a potential water path.

I myself have converted to only using high quality butyl in all locations. Yes, it costs a few more dollars but the long term performance is better. Butyl when used on exposed cargo holes, doors etc has the ability to be sticky on the exposed edge and dirt can attract to it worse then the putty tape. To ofset the dirt sticking problem, on a white campers, using non leveling Dicro caulking will create a non tacking washable and good bond over the butyl. This is not the cheap way out, but it has longer lasting , many years worth of no worries.

I have found many different brands of butyl. Some good and some not so good. It comes is different colors. White is popular, however gray and black are also choices. You cannot tell the make up of butly or putty tape by color alone. The taffy or non taffy pull gets you in the right family of sealants.

I have found Dicor brand butyl to be very good. I use this on the rubber roof and corners. This is not what Sunline used as I cannot locate that brand. My only knock on this is it is thin even thought it states 1/8". I can only find it in 1" wide. Their part number BT-1834-1 Here is the spec's. Notice the 200% elongation rating. That is the taffy pull I amd talking about.
Butyl Seal Tape | Dicor Products | Official Website

I have also bought and used this product. I find it very good for windows, doors, cargo holes etc. Permatite 250-H Butyl Rubber Base Tape no DS5289 that is 1/8" x 1 1/4" wide. They make narrower if you like

Bought a case of it here: The shipping packaging from the factory was exceptional. Zero damage.
http://www.amazon.com/Permatite-Rubb...re-bullets-btf

Here is their site Permatite Tapes, Sponges and Sealants

I called and talked to them to make sure the application was correct.

I have bought other butyl tape, pulled like taffy but a year later it turned hard and crusty. It seemed to be hit and miss on the RV sites that do not declare a brand and part number so I gave up on those sites unless I know for sure the brand and part number I can call and confirm.

In 2003 Sunline sent me some of the butyl tape they use on a roof vent warranty issue. I still have part of a roll in the basement. It is still pliable and sticky like the day I got in late 2003. I wish I knew the brand.

I do not know what you tell you if what you have is good or not. If it does not pass the taffy pull test, then I would say no to start with. Not knowing what it is, I cannot tell you if it is good or not.

Hope this helps

John
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:40 AM   #5
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That was exactly what I needed... thanks, JohnB. You've convinced me to pass on the unknown tape and go with Dicor. I won't even bother with the pull test on it. I've worked hard to get this far, so I might as well get it done right.

Is there a reason you would use Permatite for the windows and such, but Dicor for the seams? Is it the width? It looks like Dicor only comes in 3/4", but Permatite is a *lot* more expensive.

Oddly enough, it doesn't look like any of my leaks were around window frames. The wood frames were damaged, but it looks like the water came from seams above, not from the window seals. Can't really tell with the door frame, because there isn't even enough wood left to tell.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMcD View Post

Is there a reason you would use Permatite for the windows and such, but Dicor for the seams? Is it the width? It looks like Dicor only comes in 3/4", but Permatite is a *lot* more expensive.
Hi Pat,

In my case, I was after wider then 3/4" for my windows. 1" is about perfect, the 1 1/4" gave me some extra in certain areas. I could not find Dicor butyl in anything over 3/4". And on the roof, to make sure the butyl was correct for the rubber, I bought their butyl.

Also to make sure it was clear, the Permatite I linked you too on Amazon was for a full case of 6 rolls of 50 feet, or 300 feet of sealing tape. If you divide 300 feet by the cost to you, it is better then the big hit of a whole case.

Hope this helps and good luck.

John
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:29 AM   #7
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Oh, I see I missed the case of 6 part. That's much more reasonable. Thanks.

I stopped in to two RV dealers yesterday to pick some brains. The first, Long View in Windsor Locks, CT, was full of friendly and helpful folks interested in my project. There was even a guy there who had been a Sunline dealer for 20 years. When I asked about better insulation than the factory installed, the consensus was to go with the same 1/2" fiberglass as what was in it originally. The limiting factor, they said, was the 1x2 construction. Apparently, modern campers are built with 2x2s and have more insulation, but it's still fiberglass. I'm still curious about rigid foam and heat shield, though. They were so helpful, in fact, that I felt it would be wrong not to buy something from them, so I bought some of the butyl tape they use (not Dicor), and some roof seam tape. No sign of roof seams leaking, but they said it's still a good idea. I also picked up a huge parts catalog from them that will be a big help in working out a budget for this project.

For the best advice, they recommended that I go camping and chat with other vintage trailer owners. Sounds like very sound advice.

The second dealer, Vans in South Windsor, had nothing to add and didn't even want to know me if I wasn't buying a new camper.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatMcD View Post
I also picked up a huge parts catalog from them that will be a big help in working out a budget for this project.
Many of these dealer catalogs as the same catalog from dealer to dealer with their name printed on them. They are really good at what things are called in the RV industry. Once you know what part you are hunting for is called, it make the hunt a whole lot easier.

Glad you found a good helpful dealer. Hang onto the good ones, they can be a big help. While you may only be buying butyl tape today, some day you might buy a camper.

Glad you got your project back on track.

John
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