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Old 08-09-2012, 11:00 PM   #15
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I know what you should use to clean up the mess...

Use this stuff to get rid of the silicone:
(McKanica Silicone Caulk Remover Gel)
Vintage Trailer Supply - parts and supplies for vintage travel trailers and campers!

Not that I <ahem> have any experience with that or anything. But, if one were to somehow accidentally had a reason to remove silicone from their trailer then I would recommend using that stuff. (It's worth waiting for it to come in the mail!)
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:12 PM   #16
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Thanks Someday '59. If you were to have a secret, it would be safe with me.
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Old 08-11-2012, 09:10 AM   #17
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I recently traded several emails with Lyn Dickinson who is our area rep for Tremco (they make a raft of sealants). Based on another earlier post, I wanted to try their Dymonic poly sealant, but couldn't find it. Her recommendation:

"I would use Spectrem 2 for what your doing - its a silicone will last 20 yrs + - if you don't want silicone then Dymonic FC would still be next best - Dymonic was formulated for Canada and works okay but is an older technology sealant and will need to be replaced in 5yrs or less
I just re-sealed my windows on my 5th wheel (2003 Alpine Light) with Spectrem 2 and wouldn't use anything but - "

I asked her about reported damage from silicone. Her response:

"...
that's a myth to a certain degree - what they are referring to is "acid cure" silicone - old 50-60 technology - the neutral cure silicones do not react with aluminum. Consider every high rise aluminum frame/glass building in the world is sealed with neutral cure silicone for the last 30 years."

Anyway, I've asked for samples of Spectrem 2, Dymonic and Dymonic FC to try out. You can ask for free samples of these products at the Tremco web site.




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Old 08-11-2012, 10:29 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan and Liz View Post
I recently traded several emails with Lyn Dickinson who is our area rep for Tremco (they make a raft of sealants). Based on another earlier post, I wanted to try their Dymonic poly sealant, but couldn't find it. Her recommendation:

"I would use Spectrem 2 for what your doing - its a silicone will last 20 yrs + - if you don't want silicone then Dymonic FC would still be next best - Dymonic was formulated for Canada and works okay but is an older technology sealant and will need to be replaced in 5yrs or less
I just re-sealed my windows on my 5th wheel (2003 Alpine Light) with Spectrem 2 and wouldn't use anything but - "

I asked her about reported damage from silicone. Her response:

"...that's a myth to a certain degree - what they are referring to is "acid cure" silicone - old 50-60 technology - the neutral cure silicones do not react with aluminum. Consider every high rise aluminum frame/glass building in the world is sealed with neutral cure silicone for the last 30 years."

Anyway, I've asked for samples of Spectrem 2, Dymonic and Dymonic FC to try out. You can ask for free samples of these products at the Tremco web site.



Good- another myth debunked forever, or at least untill another new sealant thread appears.
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Old 08-11-2012, 06:34 PM   #19
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GE Silicone caulking is used extensively in industrial environments to seal aluminum jacketing on piping and equipment. Most major owner or engineer generated specifications will specify a silicone caulking as their preferred sealant and most often this is GE 1200. Look at any industrial facility, an oil refinery for example, and you will see all this nice shiny aluminum jacketing on most of the piping,tanks, towers, and vessels. The laps and penetrations on this jacketing are normally sealed with silicone caulking. The installation can last 20 to 40 years. The stuff works and does not cause deterioration of the aluminum. Now, taking it off is a different problem that I know nothing about since I have never had to take it off.
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Old 09-24-2012, 06:25 AM   #20
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Sorry - we are new to Airstreaming and are working on rehabbing a 1980 International that had leaked in both the rear bedroom and front by gaucho. We had been previously advised to use Acryl-R on the roof seams/around vents and Adaseal on the sides/windows to skin. We had not heard of using Vulkem and now we're not sure what to use where!
Also - some of our windows have a white-ish old 'caulk' that had been applied to the outside of the glass between the seal and glass itself?? When I washed the windows, it just flakes off, but do I need to put something back on?? ACK!
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:19 AM   #21
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silicone is evil

Hi there,
I'm relatively new to this too (just got our 75 in April), so I'm not an expert on fixing leaks. All I know is that I spent a lot of time this spring trying to remove pounds of silicone caulk from around every rivet and seam so I could polish the trailer. It was really hard to remove and something in it eats the aluminum. Most Airstreamers don't have a problem with Vulkem so that is what we are using. Good luck!
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:12 AM   #22
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Don't Use Silicone Caulk on Your Airstream

There, it's been said again for about the 999th time on these forums.
You can trust a sales rep who has no direct experience, or you can trust fellow Airstream owners who care about your investment and who:
- Have direct experience
- Have extensive training in caulks and sealants and their applications
- Have owned and restored multiple Airstreams
- Have spent many long and tedious hours removing silicone caulk
- Have declined to purchase Airstreams where silicone caulk was used by POs.

There are several great choices out there for different caulking applications on your Airstream. I am not going to reiterate all the good information. "Lewster" has some good advice as do others.

To quote "Wahoonc"..."Vulkem/Trempro or equivalent sealants from Sonneborn or Sikalastic are much easier to remove and reseal when the need arises."
Add Sikaflex to the list. Other urethane based caulks may also be used. (Yes, Tremco makes urethane based caulks. I'm surprised Lyn Dickinson didn't mention this alternative.)
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:40 AM   #23
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Take away the issue of using silicone with that acid that "eats" aluminum, what is the real drawback? From what I read it has more to do with how the silicone was applied. Most complain about smeared silicone covering seams and goops of the stuff that is very difficult to remove. Isn't it a good thing if it is difficult to remove?

Suppose you use a good quality silicone that is formulated for aluminum and you applied it with care and precision, what would be the problem? I am in the ongoing process of resealing my trailer and I am using sika-flex as per advice from our local dealer. I have no complaints with this product but I am starting to question all of the criticism of silicone I am hearing. Remember, there is more one way to skin a cat (whoops, bad analogy), cook a turkey (?), mow the lawn.........you get my idea.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:05 PM   #24
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another thing about silicone

So, another thing about silicon is that dirt sticks to it. The dirt sticking to it... it may or may not be a big deal to you. For me, it was a big deal. It made our trailer look gross.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:21 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Someday'59 View Post
So, another thing about silicon is that dirt sticks to it. The dirt sticking to it... it may or may not be a big deal to you. For me, it was a big deal. It made our trailer look gross.
If you've ever used TremPro 635 (vulkem), and have to work outside, it takes forever to set up and every piece of dirt, dust, etc. in the air stick to it permanently. 116 sets faster but still does the same thing - they are all very sticky sealants before they set up, including silicone.
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #26
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Stuff stuck to the silicon after is was set up, too. ick!
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Old 09-25-2012, 01:41 PM   #27
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The TremPro I used on my windows does the same. It takes on dirt and pollutant stains and requires a focused scrubbing to make it look decent.

It's been there 4 years now and is starting to crack and craze already. That will make it harder to keep clean. As I said in a previous post on this topic - I used it once, so I know what the results are, and I'll never use it again.

I have better things to do than replace sealant every 4 or 5 years.
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:36 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by aftermath View Post
Take away the issue of using silicone with that acid that "eats" aluminum, what is the real drawback? From what I read it has more to do with how the silicone was applied. Most complain about smeared silicone covering seams and goops of the stuff that is very difficult to remove. Isn't it a good thing if it is difficult to remove?
But isn't that like saying if your car has no gas in the tank, you won't have a traffic accident? I mean, the fact is, it DOES attack the aluminum. I want to say that it's acetic acid which does the bad stuff, but I won't swear to it.

All I can say for sure is that on my trailer, where the PO used silicone (mostly around windows), the silicon went either black or green as it aged. I don't know if that is a result of bad application technique or not, and frankly I don't care. The simple fact that it is so difficult to remove is PLENTY for me to stay away from it.
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