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Old 12-02-2006, 10:11 AM   #1
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What Is All This Caulking?

I have a new 2007 25' Safari. I decided to wash it and when I crawled up a ladder to wash the AS, I noticed that many of the seams around the top of the windows and also on the roof were caulked with a silicone material. When this material ultimately wears off will the seams start to leak or is this going to be a maintenance issue. Maybe its there for only preventative reasons. My first thought was that the AS had been factory tested and the caulking was placed around the seams to correct leaking problems.
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:31 AM   #2
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Oh, the young guys at the factory are pretty wild with their caulking guns. There is no attempt to be pretty when it is out of sight on the roof. It seems to be what passes for normal and doesn't indicate any specific problem.

BTW -- it is most likely a butyl caulk. Silicone caulk does not adhere to aluminum and is not recommended near an Airstream!
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:42 AM   #3
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They are all like that on the roof. Some a bit nicer than others, but none as pretty as the below the roofline caulkings....
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Old 12-02-2006, 10:58 AM   #4
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If a little is good......a lot MUST be better!!!!
I haven't seen an RV roof yet that doesn't look like that. Just think of the savings if it were done properly.
Cheers, Jeff
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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tempro

Hi,

Just ordered online a couple of tubes of Tempro (formerly vulkrem (sp) at the Vintage Trailer Supply..I also ordered a couple of the disposable syringes for only .75 cents each..I thought maybe I would be able to get a fine bead where needed..any suggestions as to applications on leaks?..do I want to be liberal-handed or use a fine-bead w/this stuff?..I think when my in-laws owned it, my father-in-law spread it all over!!
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Old 12-02-2006, 11:42 AM   #6
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Dear Woodedareas-

As Conoe mentions it is butyl caulk. And as mentioned in the case of caulking any RV roof, more is better. As I sit here in my comand center at home on the second floor I have a direct view of my AS roof. I see a spot or two that could probably use more gunk! Plus, I think the boys at JC get paid not by the hours they work but by the amount of goop they use!
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Old 12-02-2006, 03:22 PM   #7
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I had some "blobs" of white caulking out in the middle of the roof....no seam...no hole....just there. I carefully removed them.

But then found out that the "blobs" on top of screw heads above the windows were important. I inadvertently removed a couple of those "blobs" and the windows leaked on the inside..had to replace the blobs on the screws

Why did I think my Airstream was going to be different than an SOB?
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Old 01-23-2007, 11:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe stream
Oh, the young guys at the factory are pretty wild with their caulking guns. There is no attempt to be pretty when it is out of sight on the roof. It seems to be what passes for normal and doesn't indicate any specific problem.

BTW -- it is most likely a butyl caulk. Silicone caulk does not adhere to aluminum and is not recommended near an Airstream!
Silicon does not adhere?

So what is all the gray stuff around the vent pipes on my airstream, it feels like Silicon.. looks like old Silicon....

Hummmm.....

Dh
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:00 AM   #9
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What indeed?

It is probably Vulkem or parbond or sikaflex221 sealant. That is all the factory uses on Airstreams. It is butyl and adheres to aluminum much better than silicone. Also if you ever need to remove it you will find it comes off the aluminum much easier than silicone does. Anything that save you all that scraping and cussing can't be bad...right? Ed
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Old 01-24-2007, 01:06 AM   #10
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There is another possibility...

It could be that a PO put gray aluminum gutter caulk on that area. If so it might just be silicone. If that is so....GET IT OFF!!! Replace it with some new sikaflex221. Now.... That's the ticket! It will last longer and stay softer and seal longer/better than any silicone product on aluminum...period! Nuff said! Ed
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Old 01-24-2007, 07:18 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodedareas
I have a new 2007 25' Safari. I decided to wash it and when I crawled up a ladder to wash the AS, I noticed that many of the seams around the top of the windows and also on the roof were caulked with a silicone material. When this material ultimately wears off will the seams start to leak or is this going to be a maintenance issue. Maybe its there for only preventative reasons. My first thought was that the AS had been factory tested and the caulking was placed around the seams to correct leaking problems.
How about snaping a few pics!

M
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Old 01-24-2007, 08:28 AM   #12
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Abit off topic but:

I was somewhat amazed getting into the innards of my 71 of the sloppy work the factory left behind where it couldn't be seen. Missing rivets, screws, sloppy floor and sheet metal cuts, construction scraps just left there, etc.
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Old 01-24-2007, 05:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artstream
How about snaping a few pics!

M
My Airstream is out in Arizona and I am in Illinois, but will get some pics when I get out there.
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Old 01-24-2007, 06:33 PM   #14
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Vulkem rocks

I think they are using Sikaflex now. But they used to use Vulkem for the larger cracks and Parabond for the thin, tight seams.

Our 77 Overlander 'Buttercup' has thick beads of gray mushy caulk at the top of the windows and door. I was told that back then they did use the gray plumbers putty as a sealant. It is still soft in areas. I removed some of it where I couldn't save it.

Somewhere along the line someone went over all of these areas, and all of the vents and a/c on the roof, with white plastic caulk and milky-clear silicone caulk. What a mess.

Got rid of that stuff by peeling, scraping then wire brushing.

Then I re-sealed everything with Vulkem. (took notes and studied Daisy's posts and web site). Even the tiniest slits. Once I got the hang of it it went very quickly. Not a leak since!!!!

I do see some cracking in areas lower to the ground -- around the trim and wheel wells. We do live in a very dry climate and this year has been especially cold and dry.

k
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