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Old 07-16-2002, 03:30 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Caulking and Sealants (silicone, parbond, vulkem & more)

perusing through the threads, I'm wondering: should I pro-actively seal all the seams on my "new" ('73) trailer, or just large gaps or known leaks? (there aren't any that I know of...yet, except perhaps a sloppy sillicon job around the front window). I'm reading that vulkem needs to be run in a rather thick bead....I can't imagine how that would look running up and down the trailer (yuck). Or is there some method for getting it into the seams, making it more or less invisible?

What is this "par-bond" stuff, and where do I get it?

what about the alluminum gutter/flashing caulk available at HD?
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Old 07-16-2002, 06:28 PM   #2
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It "seems" to be a problem

Ditto! I have the same question. Anyone have some good proven techniques?

What is the best product?
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Old 07-16-2002, 07:19 PM   #3
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Vulkem is used for the large seams, such as at the top of the windows, entrance door, vent cover flanges and awning rail. It's also used to seal the vent pipe gaskets, through the fiberglass screening and on to the black vent pipes.
Parbond, comes in 5 ounce tubes and is used for small seams, such as segment seams and around the top and both sides of clearance lights, and around the sides of the window frames. It, like vulkem, never completely hardens. Very small beads can easily be made with Parbond.
We have used it for many years and keep much of it in inventory.

Andy
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:03 PM   #4
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If you want your seams and windows look like this read on.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:07 PM   #5
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get some 3M blue tape, 1" and 1 1/2".
On straight seams, place 2 strips leaving about 1/16" space, on corners place a piece of 1 1/2" tape and cut it with an Olfa type knife.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:16 PM   #6
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carefully remove the side on the skin and place it 1/16" from the frame for a perfect fit.
I personally like Tremco's (same co that makes vulkem) Dymonic Polyurethane Sealant. It sticks like thunder to aluminum and clearcoat and never dries hard. It is more liquid than vulkem and not so gritty. The color is a grey/aluminum. I bought it at the local glass company for $5.25 for a 11 oz tube. After forcing it into the seam using a caulk gun, I use a rag with paint thinner to smooth it out prior to removing the tape.
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:35 PM   #7
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I'm all caulked up! Oohh haaa yaa!

PeterH,

That technique rocks! The product sounds interesting, I'll give it a try.

RVAndy,

As always, may god bless and keep you in our circle.

Dave
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Old 07-16-2002, 08:54 PM   #8
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Thumbs up

I'll store this thread away for later...

Thanks Andy for the clarification on the different sealers...and thanks to PeterH for the technique tip! Love it!

Shari
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Old 07-16-2002, 09:20 PM   #9
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I've also heard that Alcoa Gutter Seal works like the Parbond. Anyone been able to compare the difference between these two products?
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Old 07-17-2002, 12:44 PM   #10
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Thanks, guys, this is great info. But my original question: should I just go ahead and "do" all the seams in the trailer, just for good measure?
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Old 07-17-2002, 01:16 PM   #11
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Chuck. If the seams are not leaking, don't. However, if it will make you feel better, then go for it. The vast majority of exterior seams are sealed for cosmetic purposes, the exception being the roof and awning rail.

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Old 07-17-2002, 01:17 PM   #12
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:23 AM   #13
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Inland Andy - 1 more time for the blond!

I saw a post of your's not long ago that said caulking the seams was useless but sold a lot of vulkem. So in the post above are you saying 'yes' to sealing the seams on the roof (but not the sides).

Thanks
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Old 07-23-2002, 09:44 AM   #14
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Seam sealing

Sealing the seams on the side of a coach, is usually cosmetic. If indeed there was a water leak on the side, it would indicated severe abuse or structural damage. Sealing the roof is another matter. Since the roofs receive far more sun exposure than the sides, a failure of a sealer can occur. It is wise to check the roof periodically for a sealed area that may have opened up.
Generally speaking, the vast "majority" of Airstream water leaks are caused by the owner. Simply not balancing the running gear properly, AND, not keeping it that way, causes at least 98 percent of all water leaks. Extremely rough roads, cause the rest. Rarely, will anyone ever find or hear of an Airstream trailer, that has been parked for years, having a rain water leak.
That in it self tells where the problem starts.
On the other hand, most water leaks, in fact, are not at any seams, but are most likely from worn out window gaskets, sewer and drain line vent pipe gaskets that are cracked ( these should be replaced every 5 years or so), leaky clearance lights (caused by simple sun exposure which shrinks the plastic), bad or missing ceiling vent cover gaskets, and of course, missing rivets.
Awning rails usually take a beating, when the awning has been used for extended periods of time. Notice how a small wind makes an awning flutter, let alone high winds. That fabric movement puts a great stain on the awning rail.
Any resealing should be carefully considered, before any application of a sealer. If there are no leaks, then leave it alone.
Like they say, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."


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