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Old 09-08-2003, 12:13 PM   #15
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How to apply Vulkem?

Well, spent the weekend removing the gaskets around the doors and two little windows (same side). Now just have to get the gaskets back on.

question is - notice places that had Vulkem? and need to reseal between where the window and skin meet. I tried using a small syringe in the corners of the windows but guess I'm not doing it right.

Please someone tell me how to appy this stuff - with a syringe or your fingers??

stellablu
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:24 PM   #16
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ellablu

Please Say You haven't used that dredded V stuff yet.
Even the factory is using the GE Alumin. Silicon caulk that you can get from Home Depot Etc.
Much easier (small caulking gun), color matches, and stays pliable forever.
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Even the factory is using the GE Alumin. Silicon caulk
...maybe so with the newer trailers, however, Vulkem was the sealer used in the vintage trailers. From our experience, the two do not mix well. We had a PO that used silicone caulk over the old Vulkem and we had nothing but problems with it adhering. I believe it is better to stick with the original, rather than mixing the two, to save yourself a bunch of future problems.

We applied the Vulkem using a syringe and masking tape. There was a great thread posted a while back that's packed with info & "How To's" to help you out, here's a link:

Tell me more about caulking...

Shari
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Old 09-08-2003, 05:37 PM   #18
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All the Vulkem I ever have used came in a tube for a caulking gun. Is it available in some other form?

I have seen nothing about AS switching to aluminum silicone caulk. I understand they switched to Sikaflex some time back; I have used some and it seems to be an excellent product as well. The color blends a bit better with the aluminum than Vulkem.

Vulkem appears to remain pliable for decades. Maybe longer.

For really small seams I like Parbond.

Mark
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Old 09-08-2003, 06:01 PM   #19
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Mark,

The Vulcem is only sold in gun tube cartridges for the general public to buy.

Some members transfer some to a large volume syringe to have better control over the bead size when sealing smaller seams. I can understand this as the par bond seems to develop a hard cracked finish look as it ages. The Vulcem stays soft and finished the way it was when you left it.
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Old 09-08-2003, 06:41 PM   #20
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Originally posted by mareinmn
ellablu


Even the factory is using the GE Alumin. Silicon caulk that you can get from Home Depot Etc.

mareinmn
Really? What factory, maybe you can cue us in on where you got this bit of info.

Myself, I seriously doubt it. I remember a pic posted here somewhere that showed a case of Vulkem right on the production line. Yes, Vulkem can be messy but will hold up decades longer than any silicone, don't care what the tube says, 25 years, thirty years, all baloney!! I've peeled into some of the thirty year old Vulkem on mine and it is almost as fresh as the new stuff out of the tube, and stays stuck like nails.

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Old 09-08-2003, 09:01 PM   #21
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My take on Vulkem

Vulkem is a Tremco Company polyurethane sealant that is applied with a caulking gun. Someone mentioned Sikaflex, which is Sika's polyurethane sealant. There are several companies that produce polyurethane sealants.

Tremco lists about a half dozen different Vulkem products. They all come with a standard aluminum color amongst many other standard colors.

In looking at the different Vulkems it seems Vulkem 931 may be the best choice. It is a one-part non-sag sealant suitable for moving joints and vertical applications. It has a very fast drying time and good adhesion to aluminum. It's hardness is about average among the Vulkem products. Tremco also has Vulkem products suitable to be immersed continuously in water. This feature is the main selling point of the product.

One part Vulkem products come in tubes. There is also a two-part polyurethane Vulkem 222 but it comes typically in 5 gallon pails and must be mixed before use. I doubt no one but a sealant professional would want to tackle that and 5 gallons is way more than you would ever need.

Vulkems may have evolved over the years. It is hard telling what the older Airstreams actually had. I do know that polyurethanes have a useful life of about 10-15 years in building joint exteriors but we are talking about sealant joints that fill gaps from about 3/8" up to 2".

Silicone sealants have a theoretical longer life than polyurethanes. Typically 20 years. They are just as suitable in my mind. These kind of sealants didn't exist when vintage airstreams were being built.

Whether you use polyurethane (Vulkem) or silicone, you should thoroughly clean the joint down to bare aluminum.

Don't use acrylics, polyvinyls, or modified silicone acrylics--all typical stuff you can buy retail at Home Depot. To get the right stuff you may have to go to a commercial builders supply store.

That's my 2 cents today.
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Old 09-09-2003, 06:07 AM   #22
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Lightbulb Just abit of info

thenewkid64
Quote:
Some members transfer some to a large volume syringe to have better control over the bead size when sealing smaller seams. I can understand this as the par bond seems to develop a hard cracked finish look as it ages. The Vulcem stays soft and finished the way it was when you left it.
So very true~!

This is the easiest way to control your flow..
The syringes can be bought from: Airstreamdreams

As best I can recall, the prices was well under a dollar per unit. The secret to controlling the flow is all in the cut. You should try to cut the tip of the syringe at a 45 degree angle and, make it as small or large as you need for the job.
Plus..keep this in mind, you can reuse the syringe numerous times with proper storage or cleaning, if you'd just clean it out after you're done.
Good luck~!
ciao
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Old 09-09-2003, 12:03 PM   #23
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Thanks all. I tried a little syringe I have from the baby's medicine and it still is a pain to do. Maybe someone can show me at a meet or something.

So - masking tape would be good, then do you make it flush with the skin by dragging a blade over it?

I think I need to contact a Chicago area person to show me how to do this before I ruin my trailer's skins!!!! Right now it doesn't really leak - except by two windows so it might hold till next year???

Stellablu
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Old 11-01-2003, 07:51 PM   #24
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Window Leak, Caulking Question?

Helping a friend with some fix-up on his '84 34' excella (in exchange for borrowing priviliges) The big stationary window left of door taking on water between panes, caulk on entire coach in bad shape, Questions: What is best tool for removing old caulk? Is there any way to get rid of the water? Is water getting in from some way other than bad caulk? Going with the Vulkem caulk, probably using acetone to get all residue. Yor replies are greatly appreciated, Tom
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Old 11-01-2003, 08:06 PM   #25
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ParBond

My same window has fog in it too. I know you can take them out and reseal them, but I have not attempted it.
When I got my 84 Excella 31 ft, there was a number of leaks.... around the running lights, and tail light assemblies, and also where the ZipDee awnings were screwed into the skin.
I used ParBond aluminum caulk on all these spots. No more leaks. I used a metal awl type tool to remove the old dried up material which also appeared to be ParBond. Then reapplied ParBond. It flows very smoothly and nicely.
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Old 12-05-2003, 10:25 PM   #26
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Question Removing Vulkem

I am stripping and replacing the Vulkem above the windows and door and have run into one problem - after removing the majority of the caulking there is still a thin, hardened layer in some areas that will not come off. I'm sure I could use some type of solvent or a metal scraper to get it off (wood & plastic don't work here) but don't want to damage my clear coat. Any suggestions?
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Old 12-06-2003, 04:20 AM   #27
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Old 12-06-2003, 04:50 AM   #28
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Lightbulb Just for references

This is by no means all inclusive but...One of the neatest lil tool I found for working around the windows, etc is a "stainless steel" tooth pick that I picked up from Wally's World..What's nice about this is that because of it's small size and, hook feature..it allows you to work into tiny gaps..Just be real careful not to scratch your skin's surface..

Now you know another trade secret...lol

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