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Old 07-15-2015, 12:30 PM   #1
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Best Tools for Removing Caulk?

I need to try to seal a leak somewhere around my rear windows on my 2008 Classic 25fb, that is running down to the subfloor.

Since I don't know where the actual leak is coming from I'm going to shotgun the whole rear end of my Airstream. I'm going to start with the clearance lights, then the rear awning mounting bracket, then the window frames, check the license plate area, tail light housings and finally the top of the bumper rub rail.

What caulk removal tools are needed to remove caulking around these items without marking up the surrounding aluminum?

The clearance lights have some caulking that is spread out from the base. I'm thinking of a plastic scraper.

What tool for the thin joint between the rear window and the curved pano frames?

What would I use for the heavier beads of caulk on the top and bottom rear window frames.

What would you recommend for removing the top rub rail caulk seam?

Thanks for any advice.

Kelvin
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Old 07-15-2015, 12:38 PM   #2
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I use wooden blind slats trimmed to various sizes for different jobs.


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Old 07-15-2015, 01:05 PM   #3
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I use thin strips of frp cut and ground to shape I need.
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Old 07-15-2015, 01:42 PM   #4
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In replacing our bathroom vent with a Fantastic Fan, I had a lot of original Airstream caulking to replace. My fingernail worked great but didn't cover much surface area. I found, on another thread here, cow hooves! The treat for dogs. See the picture.

The hoof itself is not so good but the edge where they cut them off is GREAT!

Took about 20 minutes to clean about 99% off.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
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The mechanical approach works best. I mask off the exposed areas adjacent to the sealant with tape so a slip by the scrapper (wood, plastic, FRP, horn) won't mar/damage the gel coat. If the PO used silicone or another product previously, use Motsenbockers Silicone, Latex, Caulk, and Foam Remover Gel to soften it before hand.
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Old 07-15-2015, 02:55 PM   #6
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I use the heat gun to soften the caulk. Makes it much easier to remove. My MH does not have clear coat so I use Aircraft Stripper to clean up all the residue. I don't think you would want to use paint stripper on a clear coated trailer. If you have a belt sander or a disc sander you can make custom scrapers any shape you want. I use cherry, oak would work well too. Pine might be too soft.
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:02 PM   #7
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I'll ask.... What is FRP?

Also, girl tool kit here, have you ever thought of using an "orange stick"? It's a nice little tool women use to manage their cuticles and clean under their fingernails. Pointed on one end and with a spade shape on the other.

Amazon.com : JOVANA 150pcs Nail Art Orange Wood Sticks Cuticle Pusher Remover Manicure Pedicure Tool 120mm : Beauty
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Old 07-15-2015, 03:08 PM   #8
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Fibre reinforced plastic....

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Old 07-15-2015, 03:59 PM   #9
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I second cow hoofs. Worked great for removing crusted on unidentified sealant on my AS.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:22 PM   #10
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SEALANT REMOVAL TOOLS from Aircraft Spruce
http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalo...hp?recfer=8717
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Old 07-15-2015, 05:04 PM   #11
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Cow hoofs? Who would've thought. What about any of the plastic tools you can find in a home improvement store?

Not really looking to go online for this sort of thing.

How much of the original caulk to remove. On the rub rail the caulk is level with the top of the rub rail. Do I try to get most of it out before I tape it off?

Sorry, this will be my first attempt at resealing my Airstream. Don't want to screw up the adjacent aluminum.

Keep the suggestions coming.

Thanks

Kelvin
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:50 AM   #12
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Homax 2-Piece Caulking Tool Kit from Lowe's. Worked well for me removing all the caulk from the roof of our Classic 30. Which BTW, is a job I'm never doing again!
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Old 07-16-2015, 11:56 AM   #13
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I've been doing this for the last few weekend. One of the POs probably was in the caulk business and they used it liberally whenever there was a leak. Of course, they figured they didn't need to get any of the old stuff off before applying the new stuff. Every vent, antennae, up on the roof had at least a half inch of caulk. I've removed it, painfully, with paint stripper, plastic scrappers, and a plastic stripper tool from Home Depot. It works, but it is not fun.
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Old 07-16-2015, 01:16 PM   #14
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I generally use pospsicle sticks with the ends carved chisel like, or sometimes plastic spoon handles cut the same way!

Brian.
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