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Old 07-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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Re-sealing openings on exterior

Is there any reason or preference to use silicone caulk, Dicor lap sealant or any other type of caulk around exterior of windows, vents and door. The parts guy at the local RV store recommended silicone. I'm not sure I trust his judgement though, he recommended using the silicone to embed a new exhaust vent I'm replacing. I mentioned using Butyl tape that is used on all of the windows and other openings and then he said yes use that instead. Am I over analyzing this?
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Old 07-28-2012, 02:15 PM   #2
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Butyl tape is what most would recomend. Silicone seems to leave a messy look over time and is darn near imposible to remove later.
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Old 07-28-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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Everything that Gene said, plus silicone breaks its seal over time. It'll stay there for a while, but eventually there will be a gap between one side of where the silicone should seal between. Sometimes the gap is very small, but it would leak water.
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Old 07-28-2012, 04:27 PM   #4
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I'm in the process of removing and resealing all my windows and everything else that's been screwed onto the camper. My Dad was a dealer and he recommended butyl tape and said once it has set and squeezed out and I've trimmed off the excess, that I should go over the top and sides (but not the bottom) of each window with exterior caulk to deflect the water before it even has a chance to reach the butyl.

I ordered the butyl tape from rvpartscountry and it came in decent time at a decent price. I haven't bought the caulk yet, but I hear good things about a brand called ProFlex and only bad things about silicone for RVs. You want an exterior caulking that stays flexible over time since the camper moves so much when towed.

A few leaks on my camper were 'fixed' with silicone by a previous owner and they were leaking again by the time I got the camper.

Good luck, I've found the few window reseals that I've done so far to be relatively easy and I feel much better knowing they are well sealed.
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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I only replaced one vent, so I used the butyl tap to set vent, than I caulked over it. I am re-sealing all of the other windows and vents with out removing them, so using the butyl tap over the top wouldn't work well. I ended up using caulk from Dap, Dynoflex 230 a premium waterproof, permanently flexible, paintable window and siding caulk. I don't really know how good this caulk is, but they had black to use on the windows. Can't be any worse than the 15 years with no caulking. It is definetly hard to get a nice smooth bead with the corregated siding. I thought about using clear, but the old butyl tape that I trimed off looked bad and wouldn't clean off nice anyway. The colored caulk covers that up. Unfortunetly, I did the caulking before I read your post, I caulked around the whole window & vents including the bottom.
Thanks all for your input.
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Old 07-29-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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I have never used Dynoflex 230 but what I read sounds like it should be ok as a sealer around and existing window or hatch. The ideal would be to remove the hatch or window, clean off the old putty and set a new bed of butyl tape.
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Old 07-30-2012, 04:56 AM   #7
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Other openings have not been leaking. I don't have the time to remove all of them and reset them. The trailer is covered 6-8 months out of the year, this is just a pre-caution as it is a 15 year old trailer.
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Old 07-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #8
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They do make a non leveling Dicro roof sealant. I have used it around the windows and more so the front corner edging of the camper. It does not run like crazy like the self leveling will on vertical surfaces. Self leveling Dicor works very well on the horizontial roof.

Silicone on the outside of the camper like you are talking about is not a good idea. It will affect the surface to where nothing elses will stick to it when you want to repair it for breaking free a few months to years from now. It just does not hold up well. Silicone is a good product, just not for camper siding.
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Old 07-31-2012, 12:11 AM   #9
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When I resealed some leaking windows, the door and the roof vent on mine, I used plumbers putty; because it was cheap and had the same basic compound as the tape which sells for like $14.00 a roll vs $2.00 a can. I laid the putty out in a ball, used a rolling pin to spread it out on the table, rolled it to about a 1/4" thickness and then cut strips out of the spread about 1-1/2" wide. I put the putty down first under the frames etc, and then on the roof I sealed with a spray adhesive rubberized coating and with the windows, door, fixtures etc, I used clear silicone. It worked out okay.
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