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Old 04-19-2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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1973 31' Sovereign
Haverhill , Massachusetts
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Newbie here losing my mind...

I'm about to replace all the seals on the windows, because they are all dried out, (it leaks in a few places, btw) but after a rainstorm, I opened the windows, and there was no water in the bottom of the window sill(?), so I'm thinking it's coming in from the outside.

So I got up on a ladder, and I noticed that on the top window (the ones that don't open) there seems to be some caulking missing/has holes where the glass part of the window meets the frame of the window. So it's a long explanation to basically ask, can the Vulkem touch the glass part of the window, or do I use something else?

And I have the Vulkem, but have never used it before. So can I open one tube and just use a little, then use it again later, or will it dry out, so I should do as much as I can with the tube while it's open?

And should I clean out as much of the old caulking first, and with what tool?

Thanks in advance.

Brian
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:19 PM   #2
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Oh, and how much weight can I put on the top to check/reseal the vents?

Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:26 PM   #3
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Vulkem will work and remains flexible. Also Silkflex, TemPro or other urethane based caulk has been used but become rigid when cured.

For your second question, I assume you are talking about getting on the roof? I use planks. Others just step on the ribs. The roof is supposed to take quite a lot of weight, but I don't want to find out exactly how much.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:06 PM   #4
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Lumantic gave you good advice. I recently did this work on my '72 Sovereign. Check out my blog for details.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:16 PM   #5
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1980 31' Excella II
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Originally Posted by theveths View Post
I'm about to replace all the seals on the windows, because they are all dried out, (it leaks in a few places, btw) but after a rainstorm, I opened the windows, and there was no water in the bottom of the window sill(?), so I'm thinking it's coming in from the outside.

So I got up on a ladder, and I noticed that on the top window (the ones that don't open) there seems to be some caulking missing/has holes where the glass part of the window meets the frame of the window. So it's a long explanation to basically ask, can the Vulkem touch the glass part of the window, or do I use something else?

And I have the Vulkem, but have never used it before. So can I open one tube and just use a little, then use it again later, or will it dry out, so I should do as much as I can with the tube while it's open?

And should I clean out as much of the old caulking first, and with what tool?

Thanks in advance.

Brian
Yup use the Vulkem, if there is old sealant on there make sure it IS NOT silicone or the Vulkem will not stick properly. If it is old Vulkem, use a heat gun to soften it, then scrape it off with a wooden popsicle stick, orange stick(go ask the wife), plastic scraper, etc. When you get it cleaned off wipe down the area with a rag dampened in mineral spirits then lay on the Vulkem.

I have found that once you open a tube of Vulkem it can be resealed using a screw or other suitable plug, wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer until you need it again.

Also check the sealant at the tops of your windows where they are mounted to the body, there should be sealant there too, it can be heated and dug out and redone also.

You can get on the roof, but stay away from the end caps. I weigh around 220# and go roof top on mine, I try to stay on the ribs, wear non skid shoes and use a piece of carpet pad to sit on to keep from sliding around.

Aaron
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #6
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I have found that once you open a tube of Vulkem it can be resealed using a screw or other suitable plug, wrap in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer until you need it again. Aaron
The vulkem will dry out and cure in the tube once it is open, I kept a tube in my freezer for more than 2 years. Just take it out let it sit a room temp for awhile and it is as good as new. Then reseal it in the plastic bag and put it back in the freezer for next time. Aaron is correct, freezing works.

Don
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Old 04-19-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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You can get on the roof, but stay away from the end caps.
Good point. There are no ribs under the endcaps at the rivet lines.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:54 AM   #8
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Another newbie suffering too!

Hey all, I can definitely relate to your questions. Just purchased and brought home a 86 Sovereign. Appears that all body seams are still original Vulkem that is in need of replacement. Also have discovered window leaks! Unit has been sealed around windows/door with at least 3 different types of sealants, none of which appear to be correct. HUGE job ahead removing and replacing caulk/sealants. Does anyone know where I can get window gaskets? Need to replace the gasket around the large fixed window by the door, as that is where the primary leak is coming from, I think. The window was replaced by a previous owner and not correctly. Also need to know which rivets I need to use. Thanks so much for helping...am getting depressed. Sandy
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:26 PM   #9
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Don't loose heart, Sandy! Fighting leaks is part of the experience - kind of like weeds in a garden. The trick to fighting leaks is be patient - use the old water hose/soak method, or wait for good rains to help pinpoint the location. I used a "shotgun" approach to the leak at the front of our '83 Sovereign - looked at all the likely areas and sealed and re-sealed them all! Eventually, the leak stopped.

Inland RV sells good window seals, and should also be able to help you with the rivets. I just finished putting new seals on all my opening windows with the stuff the Andy sells and it worked great!
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:15 PM   #10
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1973 31' Sovereign
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Well, thanks for all the answers and advice.

I went out this morning and sprayed water on the 3 windows next to the door, and there was some leaking inside. So my first plan of attack is to seal those windows and if that stops the leak under those windows, then move up to the roof vent to see if that makes it leak in the same place. Does that make sense, kind of the opposite of painting where you would start at the top and go down...???

I've got it all taped up, well, 6 windows taped up and I'm gathering rags and popsicle sticks and heading out to try the Vulkem. Wish me luck.
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