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Old 12-30-2016, 08:49 AM   #113
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Ugggggghhhhh.... today in the "Suckville" category of maintenance, our first attempts at re-caulking the roof of our Interstate.

There are a few things in this blog post that T1N Interstate owners in particular should be aware of, namely with respect to the roof rack "feet" and the initial installation of the gray and/or black tank vent line(s) depending on whether you have one tank or two (I think the vents may have converged even in the rear baths just as they did in the mid-baths, but I'm not positive).

AND, if anyone has any strategic tips on how to best work with this Sikaflex product, please comment, because I could really use some pointers.

RE-CAULKING THE ROOF OF AN AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:02 AM   #114
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This is something Doug always did, and which I have someone lined up to do for me next spring....

He hated scraping all the caulk off, down to the roof, but this is the only way to do it properly...scrape it clean and replace it all.

He never complained about the Silkaflex, and put it on with a small, plastic putty knife.

The recommendation is that this process be repeated each year, but we did not find that necessary. It may depend on weather and conditions of use and storage.

You may find some very interesting things when you get it all scraped off....the root of our ceiling leaks were the chimpanzee-style install of the Fantastic Fan and vents up top.

No regard whatsoever to pre-made holes, others just drilled in willy-nilly, caulk smeared over all to give the appearance of a proper installation.

Have fun.


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Old 12-30-2016, 01:29 PM   #115
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What you said about Doug made me wonder... what tool WOULD I have used for this application job, in a perfect world?

The obvious answer is a Teflon-coated knife. What makes Sikaflex so good for a van roof is the same thing that makes it difficult to work with - it is extra-sticky. My husband tried to use a regular putty knife and it didn't work well because the Sikaflex stuck to it as much as it stuck to the roof.

I've never heard of a Teflon putty knife but sure enough, I went looking and there it is on the internet, for sale to those who are in-the-know.
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:32 PM   #116
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I'm pretty sure we have never had a teflon coated putty knife, but our climate here is different than yours so there is probably a different challenge there.

He always did this in the spring, too, before heat and humidity set in...for obvious reasons.


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Old 12-30-2016, 03:15 PM   #117
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Self-leveling caulk would work as long as you built a dam around the vent slightly higher than the highest opening you're trying to seal.
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Old 12-30-2016, 07:46 PM   #118
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The best technique I've found thus far was to use a smooth steel knife, take each dab at a time off the tip of the caulking gun, and smash it into place, working assertively to overcome the melted pizza cheese consistency of the material.

Periodically I'd need to clean the tip of the knife with the DeBond solvent because it would start to solidify a film and then the stickiness would get worse.

It's difficult stuff to work with, but I like the feel of it. It feels like good quality, like it will last.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:26 AM   #119
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Dipping your finger or tool into a solution of dish soap and water works great with silicone caulk. This was told to me in line at the Ace Hardware store by the friendly cashier as I was checking out with some bathtub caulk a few years ago. It works fantastic with silicone. It works well with the Sikaflex too, but requires much more dipping because it's so much more sticky than the silicone.
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:01 PM   #120
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The directions for Sikaflex 221 recommend soapy water for tooling.

But as noted in my post #104 above, Airstream's recommendation of 221 is not for roof sealing.

A better choice for that application would likely be self-leveling, like Sikaflex 715 RV Roof Sealant.

(note: Having difficulty with URL links; just Google "Sikaflex 221 directions" and "Sikaflex RV roof sealant" and proceed to the PDFs)
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Old 12-31-2016, 02:08 PM   #121
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Ahhhh, therein may lie the problem.


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Old 12-31-2016, 04:15 PM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by don000 View Post
The directions for Sikaflex 221 recommend soapy water for tooling.

But as noted in my post #104 above, Airstream's recommendation of 221 is not for roof sealing.

A better choice for that application would likely be self-leveling, like Sikaflex 715 RV Roof Sealant.

(note: Having difficulty with URL links; just Google "Sikaflex 221 directions" and "Sikaflex RV roof sealant" and proceed to the PDFs)

I'd say that Maintenance page (9-4) in owners manual is a cut and paste from the trailer manual. It lists all those rivets and seam sealers that are not on Interstates. Sikaflex 715 is a good product, but really designed for EPDM roofs and only available in white. Airstream uses Sikaflex 221 on Interstates since it comes in three basic colors; white, gray and black - matching the Interstate colors so it can be used where needed on vehicle. It is a very good all around sealant.


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Old 12-31-2016, 04:35 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by Boxster1971 View Post
I'd say that Maintenance page (9-4) in owners manual is a cut and paste from the trailer manual. It lists all those rivets and seam sealers that are not on Interstates. Sikaflex 715 is a good product, but really designed for EPDM roofs and only available in white. Airstream uses Sikaflex 221 on Interstates since it comes in three basic colors; white, gray and black - matching the Interstate colors so it can be used where needed on vehicle. It is a very good all around sealant.


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Interesting observations. Too bad that the Sikaflex 221 is so difficult to tool.

By the way, always wear good gloves (e.g. heavy nitrile) when using polyurethane sealants, and have ample ventilation.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:07 PM   #124
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I've been using Dicor to seal my roof pennatrations. Their self leveling formula has worked great.
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Old 12-31-2016, 06:43 PM   #125
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I have not tried it for this application, but I've had superb results with 3M 5200.

Places I've used it don't have the vibration or potential flex/movements- so perhaps the would affect its performance.
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Old 01-01-2017, 06:47 AM   #126
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.... Airstream's recommendation of 221 is not for roof sealing....
Lewster uses 221 in great abundance; in fact, he PM'd me to offer a description of his own well-practiced application technique. Given the choice between listening to Airstream and listening to Lewster, guess what I'ma gonna do??
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