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Old 06-05-2014, 11:14 AM   #1
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1993 25' Excella
CLeveland , Ohio
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Do I caulk these?

Not sure what these strips are called but do I caulk these strips? Are there rivets under these strips that can fail? Thanks in advance!

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Old 06-05-2014, 11:22 AM   #2
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Yes, I use Parbond on the top edge of the top belt molding. It is a very tight seam fit between skin and molding, so a thin Parbond seal works well

I use Tempro on the top edge of the bottom molding as it is a wider fit.

Clean, dig out old sealer well and tape off for a clean look. I don't seal the bottoms of the moldings in order to let any water present a route out.
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Yes, I use Parbond on the top edge of the top belt molding. It is a very tight seam fit between skin and molding, so a thin Parbond seal works well

I use Tempro on the top edge of the bottom molding as it is a wider fit.

Clean, dig out old sealer well and tape off for a clean look. I don't seal the bottoms of the moldings in order to let any water present a route out.
Thanks! What did you dig the old caulk out with?
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Old 06-05-2014, 11:57 AM   #4
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Mostly plastic tub silicone and grout removal tools available at big box HD or Lowes. I follow up with Brake cleaner to get bits and residue off.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
Yes, I use Parbond on the top edge of the top belt molding. It is a very tight seam fit between skin and molding, so a thin Parbond seal works well

I use Tempro on the top edge of the bottom molding as it is a wider fit.

Clean, dig out old sealer well and tape off for a clean look. I don't seal the bottoms of the moldings in order to let any water present a route out.
Would using Capt Tolley's Creeping Crack Cure first do get inside the molding be a good idea AND then use Parbond/Tempro? I have a bottle sitting here.
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:48 PM   #6
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I am a big fan of Tolley's....but not for the moldings. There are large cavities behind the moldings and the Tolleys will just run through and make a mess. Tolleys should only be used in very small crack situations where the capillary action will fill small voids.....like rivet heads.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I am a big fan of Tolley's....but not for the moldings. There are large cavities behind the moldings and the Tolleys will just run through and make a mess. Tolleys should only be used in very small crack situations where the capillary action will fill small voids.....like rivet heads.
Thanks. If I had not read your reply, I would have found out the hard way!
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:52 PM   #8
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The mothership don't caulk the brltlines, but that don't mean it's not a good idea
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:58 PM   #9
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Not sure about the "newer" trailers, but I just removed the upper belt molding and found the top skin properly overlaps the bottom skin, so caulking at this point, at least for my trailer, is superfluous.
The rub rail on the bottom is a different matter however. I removed it when I pulled the belly pan and found the standard AS construction method of tucking the upper panel UNDER the banana wrap. Search the forums, you'll see lots of comments on this.
Based on my personal experience, I would recommend as part of your attempt to waterproof that you remove the rub rail all the way around, clean up the wrong-way joint and caulk the heck out of it. Removing the rub rail is pretty easy, just use caution not to twist or bend it out of it's original shape. Then replace the rub rail, caulk the top gap as you show in the photo, and seal the rivet heads. You should also consider caulking along the rear end of the trailer where the bumper is located. I don't think there's much else you can do in this area other than caulk. Do a search "rear end separation" for an education.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:33 PM   #10
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The mothership don't caulk the brltlines, but that don't mean it's not a good idea
The mother ship sealed my upper belt with what looks like acryl-r at time of build. I have only had to touch up a couple areas. Lower belt was sealed at build with vulkem.

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Old 07-20-2015, 10:23 PM   #11
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Thanks to everyone on this thread ...

The rubber inserts on the molding of my 75 is long gone and "creatively" replaced with blue paint, which allows me to see the normal rivets with no goop in them. There are also a few areas where the molding flops as well as most of the top side of both need caulking. Scary thinking about the bottom skin to banana peels.

But maybe if proactive enough I'll get lucky and not have to replace any subflooring.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:23 AM   #12
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A question ...

These moldings are solely for decoration or do they serve some purpose?
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:51 AM   #13
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A question ...

These moldings are solely for decoration or do they serve some purpose?
On my 1975 it covers the rivet line of the shell to the running gear and also the belly pan to the shell.....
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:04 PM   #14
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Just did this. I took all mine off in my quest to be super sealed. The uppers are indeed superfluous, IF things are all in good shape. BUT.... I have NO confidence in the manufacturing talent (or care) when building these. The seam under the upper belt line was buck riveted right through the aluminum extrusion on the inside of the exterior skin. The extrusion is probably for creating some rigidity, but is also for some interior wall stud attachment points... Nonetheless, EVERY solid rivet went through the middle of the extrusion. You probably cant envision what I'm saying, but the extrusion is hollow in the middle and thats not the proper way to do solid rivets. The problem is that the rivet cant be bucked because it doesnt come through far enough. The boss was surely gone the day mine went together and the workers said "oops- better cover that up"....

Additionally, the seam where the endcap, meets the fuselage seam from the upper sheet to the lower sheet is a 4 way overlap. If you look right behind the awning arm, under the belt trim you'll see what I mean. The overlap is very convenient place for water to sit on the belt trim and seep right into the hole it creates.

SOOO...... in summary... DryFly has the right idea. Its only 50 or so pop rivets and you can polish behind there while you're at it. Seal the heck out of it and you wont regret it.

The lower rubrail has similar issues. The overlap is backwards, but remarkably, its not a major water infusion point. The reason is that the shell sides extend below the c channel in most spots. Even when it doesnt, the water just continues downward. That said, I'm still sealing the heck out of it as I reinstall.

Mine are all off, so I'm applying a generous amount of sealant behind. But I dont see why a nice thick bead on top wont do the same thing.

Seal them all. You would be surprised where the water gets into the cracks.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:39 PM   #15
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Today I removed a section of the lower trim from the door to the front. PO must have hit something or something hit the rig.

The bottom front corner weld of the door jamb is cracked (amazing things you notice with more time), and the bottom mount of the awning flopping.

Pulled it all apart until I got to straight stuff (slightly wet inside down low from rain yesterday but the plywood is dry with no stains), straightened the bent parts, gooped it up with a bead of Vulkem replacement, and starting from the solid front Olympic riveting my way back to the door.

Best I could tell the original seam between the wall skin and the banana peels is a hope and a prayer dependant on the molding.

Many aspects so well engineered, and yet others makes me wonder what in the world were they thinking? *yawn*
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:29 PM   #16
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We used closed end rivets to replace our rails when we put them back on. They won't leak like the pop rivets that were used originally. Vulkem the holes first to seal. When we put the belly pan on, it went under the shell, but we had to lap the banana wraps over the shell, and we vulkemed them to seal which is how they were originally done.

Kay
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:41 PM   #17
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Dont mean to hijack the thread, but can I pose a related question svp!?

On our 2005 Classic 30, the plastic cover on the rear bumper seems to have a reverse slope so that rain water lies on top of it up against the rub rail that meets the top of the bumper cover.

That interface is not caulked and because the water sits there I have often wondered if I would be wise to run a bead of sikaflex along where the bumper cover meets the rub rail.

Anyone do that?


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Old 07-21-2015, 07:37 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrgtrakr View Post
Today I removed a section of the lower trim from the door to the front. PO must have hit something or something hit the rig.

The bottom front corner weld of the door jamb is cracked (amazing things you notice with more time), and the bottom mount of the awning flopping.

Pulled it all apart until I got to straight stuff (slightly wet inside down low from rain yesterday but the plywood is dry with no stains), straightened the bent parts, gooped it up with a bead of Vulkem replacement, and starting from the solid front Olympic riveting my way back to the door.

Best I could tell the original seam between the wall skin and the banana peels is a hope and a prayer dependant on the molding.

Many aspects so well engineered, and yet others makes me wonder what in the world were they thinking? *yawn*
Believe it or not, the skin overlap to the banana isnt THAT big an issue on mine. Although its totally reverse engineered, the water just goes down. Its low enough that it doesnt go in, even if it leaks. Yes, I did formerly have a Carefree awning, which bolted through the rubrail into the floor, and a wind accident mustve boogered up the awning brackets. The holes were wallered out and perhaps could have been a water intrusion point. But even then I really dont think it was the source of puddling.

I've got an empty shell now, and many points around the camper have exposed edges of the subfloor. It doesnt leak there. It just doesnt come inside- the water just runs down. When I finish attaching my belly wrap and banana's, it will just run down.

My WAY bigger problem by the door was where the endcap meets the fuselage. The awning rail works like a gutter. When my trailer is pitched forward, the water runs down the gutter, and streams down the seam of the fuselage and the endcap. The river of water finds its way in. It drove me nuts. I tried sealing a section, then another section, then I finally drilled out every rivet from the belly up and over the awning rail and pumped sealant in between, then re-bucked it all up. Now I'm water tight.

I'm convinced this is the majority of the problems on more campers than I can imagine. I've seen tons with rotted wood inside the door- commonly at the endcap seam across the floor to the other side.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
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We used closed end rivets to replace our rails when we put them back on. They won't leak like the pop rivets that were used originally. Vulkem the holes first to seal. When we put the belly pan on, it went under the shell, but we had to lap the banana wraps over the shell, and we vulkemed them to seal which is how they were originally done.

Kay
Crazy enough, NONE of my pop rivets leak through the belt trim or the rubrail. I thought for sure these are leak points. They are all exposed, I have not sealed any however I did put sealant on the back of the belt trim before re-attaching. The rivets themselves are not sealed.

I'm in FL and it rains EVERY day....
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:56 PM   #20
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Dont mean to hijack the thread, but can I pose a related question svp!?

On our 2005 Classic 30, the plastic cover on the rear bumper seems to have a reverse slope so that rain water lies on top of it up against the rub rail that meets the top of the bumper cover.

That interface is not caulked and because the water sits there I have often wondered if I would be wise to run a bead of sikaflex along where the bumper cover meets the rub rail.

Anyone do that?


Brian.
Nope. The fiberglass center and the plastic ends have a lip that rolls up under the rub rail. Standing water on top just sits, drains into the bumper trunk, or just evaporates. The only potential route to the shell is a leak at the seam between center section and ends. I would never seal the bottom of the rail.
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