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Old 09-03-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
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Smile Seam Sealing

I have read the Forums a lot, but still not clear on products and proceedures. this is on a 1973 23 ft Land Yacht. All the vertical and horizontal panel seams. I have some ideas on how to clean the seams. Once clean what to do for leak maintance. The joint is very small, or the overlap is small. If you tried to normally caulk this joint it would seem you would get a lot of caulk on the joint and then using your finger to wipe it down, would smear caulk everywhere. Seems like a paint applied sealer would do a better job. And what sealer would that be?? The clear coat if ever on this A/S is gone and we do not intend to relace it. We have a pretty good shine on the unit. Will use a little rubbing compound and then a good wax to complete the finish.
Please help. Thanks Ron
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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Typically, sealing the seams is the last step in the process, so do all your stripping, polishing, etc., before sealing. Next, clean out the seams with plastic scrapers, toothpicks, wooden skewers, etc.. For the application of the sealant, some folks use Parbond, because they feel that it sucks into the seam via capillary action. Others use Vulkem. You might try applying either with a syringe to minimize the mess, though I have heard of folks getting good results by first carefully taping both edges of where the sealant will be applied, putting it on, mushing it down with a finger, and then removing the tape to get a clean line without it smeared all over.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:32 PM   #3
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The new Airstream Life has a good article on the different sealants and their uses.
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Old 09-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
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Ron,
I have done sealing on both my trailers using Vulkem. As Belegedhel says tape both sides of the seam with 3/4" or your favorite width masking tape after the cleanup is done. It seems like I left about 1/8" or so gap between the tapes for the new sealer joint. I have used my bare fingers or vinyl gloves after the bead is applied to get it nice and smooth. Mineral spirits will clean the Vulkem off hands, gloves, etc. Some use mineral spirits to help with smoothing the bead. Don't leave the tape on very long after the joint is smoothed. This will let the sealer "flow" out a bit for a smoother look. BTW : Wear old clothes because the sealer will be on everything you touch and some things that you don't touch!!!!
Dan
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:59 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the info. Nothing is easy but got the idea.
sledguyron
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Old 09-05-2013, 01:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by daveswenson View Post
The new Airstream Life has a good article on the different sealants and their uses.
Dave, would it be possible for you to scan the article and attach it to a reply to the post? This would be helpful for those who do not have access to the article.

Thanks
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Old 09-05-2013, 06:52 AM   #7
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Dave, would it be possible for you to scan the article and attach it to a reply to the post? This would be helpful for those who do not have access to the article.
It IS copyrighted material, you know. Support the author and publisher and buy a copy! As soon as the NEXT issue comes out, you'll be able to buy this quarter's issue as a back issue without having to subscribe. But it's worth subscribing to Airstream Life anyway, for great articles such as the one in question.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #8
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Protag; you make a good point about supporting the writer and the magazine, thanks for the reminder, I should have thought about that myself
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