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Old 07-07-2009, 06:31 PM   #1
Flyguy
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Sealing your RV

One of the simplest and yet most important thing on your RV is the caulking or sealant, especially that which pertains to the roof. Caulking is cheap to buy and will go a long way in keeping your RV leak free. You should check the RV each season for cracks in the sealant and this means climbing up on the roof, many roofs are not really made for walking on but you have to in order to inspect the roof. It’s important to wear soft sole shoes so that you don’t tear the rubber roofing material or scuff the roof, you need to inspect any place where the manufacturer has cut a hole such as the refrigerator vent, skylights, roof vents, holding tank vents, around the AC unit, etc. etc. You also need to inspect around the vertical walls as well, things such as windows, slide outs, storage doors and the seals that you see when you open these doors. When up on the roof, you need to step only on the rafters and not between them, you can tell when your doing a no no if you feel the roof flex beneath your foot, you can cut two pieces of plywood scrap to bridge between the rafters so as to give you some surface area to spread your weight on. I weigh 195lbs and this would be a significant pinpoint force with one foot down between the rafters with no plywood beneath to spread the force. I get my caulking material from CW, not because I can’t get it elsewhere but because an RV place is likely to have the correct type, I use Dicor self leveling lap sealant on the roof and GE silicone II around the windows and other stuff on the vertical walls, the silicone you can get at home improvement and hardware stores but they probably wont have the Dicor stuff. The Dicor lap sealant is compatible with the rubber roofing material. All these are the tubes that fit in the typical caulking gun. Maintenance is a responsibility of every RV owner.
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:38 AM   #2
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Flyguy, what do you use on the black rubber seals around the slides that you see when the slide is out? When we had our leak after we dried the carpet out with fans (and thank God it quit raining), we put the slides in and I looked at the caulking in the area where the leak was...it was sticky and soft...is that good or bad? Thanks!
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:52 PM   #3
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I don't use anything on the rubber seals if I can get away with it; otherwise I use "303 Aerospace" which is supposed to be compatible with the EPDM rubber that these seals are made of. I have sealed on the bottom of these seals where the rubber meets the bottom of the slide out opening with "Dicor self leveling caulk", the slide out frame on the trailer wall has "clear Silicone" on my trailer and I try to stay with that wherever it has been used. Both the Dicor and the Silicone stay soft and flexible after they have cured. I just finished reinstalling the seals on the storage compartments, they started coming undone on a some corners as is shown here.



The contact cement that I used was "Pliobond Industrial Strength" which I purchased at ACE Hardware and is shown here.



The can has a built-in brush in the can top and makes application easy.
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Old 08-11-2009, 08:20 AM   #4
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Flyguy, where did you use the Pilocar? We just got our camper back yesterday supposedly slide leak fixed....it rained and stormed last night and you guessed it...leaked like a sieve again. We are sick about it and can't keep driving 250 miles round trip taking it back for them NOT TO FIX IT! We are going to recaulk the slide ourselves. The bunk house slide is not leaking at all...thank God!
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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It's called "Pliobond" and it's a contact cement, as is shown in the above post, the Pliobond was used on the seals for the storage compartments which were coming loose at the corners (look at the photo of where my hand is on the storage compartment). I think some of the slide seals (The large ones that are glued either to the slide itself or the frame) have contact cement on them, some seals for the slide have a channel that the seal fits in to hold it in place, you just have to look and see how the seal is installed on your trailer. When the slide is out, the large seals flip out and there should be an overlap at the top corners between the vertical seal and the top horizontal seal so that the rain water flows from the top corners to the outside of the vertical seal, of course the trailer must at least be level or at 1/2 bubble off level so that the slide is tilted downward a bit to get the railn water to run toward the outside end of the slide. If you have two slides, one on each side of the trailer, of course you can't do this and in this case I would consider getting an awning for each slide-out, in fact I have only one slide-out and I'm considering getting an awning for it. You can find replacement slide-out seals here: http://www.rvsurplussalvage.com/cata...ategory_id=106
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
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Flyguy, thanks for the quick response! Our seals are black rubber and are on the outside when the slide is out and disappear when the slide is in. You can see part of one in my siggy picture below and that is the slide that is leaking but at the other end toward the tongue of the camper. We do have a slide on opposite sides of the camper but the opposite one from the leaking one is tight and not leaking...so we may try tilting the leaking one out some to see how it goes. We are also going to recaulk some areas and I am wondering if we will be able to find the caulking stuff here locally or not. I have read so much today on slides and maintenance stuff I forget what you said to use for the caulking. Can you enlighten me again? Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:19 PM   #7
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I also forgot to say...we have had the dealer order slide covers to install...and boy are they expensive but may be worth the money!
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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The caulking used by Keystone on my Passport is either "clear silicone rubber" or "Dicor self leveling compound" about everything on the vertical walls is sealed with the clear silicone rubber and I use the Dicor on the roof (Keystone uses a thick clear silicone on the roof, they must pour it on by the bucket loads) it's really put on thick.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #9
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Great! Thanks flyguy!
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:38 PM   #10
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There should be adjusters on your slides, usually located on the outside corners.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanaof4boys View Post
Flyguy, thanks for the quick response! Our seals are black rubber and are on the outside when the slide is out and disappear when the slide is in. You can see part of one in my sig
The black rubber that you see is not the actual seal. It is a wiper that directs the water and debris away from the seal. The inner seal is usually white and about 1 inch thick and is attached the slide frame behind the decorative molding. With the slide in look behind the molding and check the seal for damage. This seal is not glued in, it is shaped to slide into a grove and can move and leave gaps at the corners. If there are no gaps or damage bring the slide out check that the seal is compressed evenly top to bottom and front to rear. (If the slide is close to a wall you can use a small mirror to inspect alignment) Alignment of the slide is better off left to your dealer while still under warranty but the procedure should be in the Lippert manual you received with your trailer. (also available on line from Lippert)
There is a black seal attached to the outside frame that should be compressed evenly when the slide is closed and is aligned in the same manner.

Hope this helps, Hank
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Old 08-11-2009, 10:30 PM   #12
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Thanks Hank! Good info. We have found a couple spots that could be the culprit....like exactly where the carpet is wet on the corresponding spot outside there is a gap in caulking or at least we can't see any....my husband says there is probably caulking behind that we cannot see...so we are going to re-caulk there....and any other places we see that we think need it.
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Old 08-12-2009, 05:11 AM   #13
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If you indeed have a Lippert slide-out I have just posted all the manuals for this brand of slide-out on my webpage, look in the folder labeled "Slideout" and then in the folder labeled "Lippert Slideout", look through the many manuals there to see what all applies to your trailer. You can access my "Homepage" by clicking on "FLYGUY" in the upper left of this post which will give you a drop down menu, then click on "Visit Flyguy's Homepage". Hopes this info helps you.
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Old 08-12-2009, 07:19 AM   #14
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Thanks flyguy! I do have the owner's manual with the Lippert info that came with my camper...but its like reading Greek to me I didn't find anything in it that talks about maintaining the seals or fixing leaks though But, it rained again yesterday after we dried out the carpet and it didn't leak again. We did notice when we were looking for places that might be suspect and we put the slide in...a lot of water was running down and dripping in that corner...and we are wondering if the water is pooling on top of the slide. My husband got a ladder and looked at the top and there was pinestraw and a twig or two on top that probably got there from the storm the night before. he swept both slides off and they are extended now while we are loading up for another camping trip. It is cloudy and may rain more before we leave. I told him we are NOT going to let a leak ruin our camping fun....if we can't get it stopped before we leave we are taking a tarp and if it rains while we are camping we will put the tarp over that end of the slide to see if that prevents water from coming in. Won't look pretty and will be bad advertisement for Keystone for all to see a new camper with a tarp covering a leak! We are having awnings installed over the slides when we go back to the dealership area in September to camp...will leave it with them when we are done or before we get ready to camp so that they can install them. Maybe that will help.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:18 PM   #15
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I don't know if the manual that came with your trailer has the same info on the slide as to the "operation, maintenance, adjustment, troubleshooting, seal adjustment, and parts breakdown" of the Lippert slide as these have, better to download the manuals and not need them then the opposite. Just a thought.
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Old 08-12-2009, 02:05 PM   #16
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You are right! I did that! Got 'em downloaded to my computer for future reference. Thanks!
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:18 AM   #17
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Howdy ALL;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyguy View Post
The caulking used by Keystone on my Passport is either "clear silicone rubber" or "Dicor self leveling compound" about everything on the vertical walls is sealed with the clear silicone rubber and I use the Dicor on the roof (Keystone uses a thick clear silicone on the roof, they must pour it on by the bucket loads) it's really put on thick.
In the statement above I noticed that you Put ( )'s around a VERY interesting statement... in that you said that Keystone used SILICONE on the ... ROOF? Silicone and EPDM aren't compatible unless they have gone to an alchemist to do a miracle ?

Perhaps, it is a clear version of "Dicor self leveling compound". Not trying to be agrumentative or start a [email protected]^^#*g contest. New here and trying to seek clarity and get as much good information as possiable.

I do enjoy your posts. I find them concise, informative, and very helpful...have "gathered" several of your links into my own files to use as "Future Reference"...

Just seeking some more 'clarity' and attempting to help prevent someone not so mechanically inclined to not make a mistake...

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Old 04-17-2011, 01:59 PM   #18
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Thanks for the post Flyguy. I have read so much about leaking RVs, that I plan to do exactly what you describe at least once per season and probably more often. I am a firm believer in preventive maintenace. It is much cheaper to stay on top of things instead of letting them go and developing problems to the point of damaging other parts as well.
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Old 04-17-2011, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Howdy ALL;



In the statement above I noticed that you Put ( )'s around a VERY interesting statement... in that you said that Keystone used SILICONE on the ... ROOF? Silicone and EPDM aren't compatible unless they have gone to an alchemist to do a miracle ?

Perhaps, it is a clear version of "Dicor self leveling compound". Not trying to be agrumentative or start a [email protected]^^#*g contest. New here and trying to seek clarity and get as much good information as possiable.

I do enjoy your posts. I find them concise, informative, and very helpful...have "gathered" several of your links into my own files to use as "Future Reference"...

Just seeking some more 'clarity' and attempting to help prevent someone not so mechanically inclined to not make a mistake...

hankaye
Thanks for noticing Hankaye! This was an assumption that I made as it looks like silicone and feels like it too. Let's all assume that they did the right thing. I wouldn't use silicone on my roof as a choice nor would I suggest it to anyone. I'm honored that you take my posts to heart but I'm not an expert by any means, its all just a reflection of my experience over the years. To correct myself I should have said that this was an assumption on my part.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:47 AM   #20
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Flyguy, Howdy;

Didn't think you were suggesting anything but ... however,

thought it might be prudent to point it out to some that are less in-tune with their RV's... that's all.
Thanks for realizing that it was not a finger waggleing episode on my part.

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