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Old 06-19-2014, 09:34 AM   #1
SawBuck's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 66
Reminder: Check your roof seals

I have a roof ladder on my TT. The convenience of access motivates me to climb up and look things over fairly regularly - every couple of weeks at home. I usually climb up and check the roof and slide top for leaves, limbs, etc. before we leave a campsite.

I last looked 6/09, giving a quick look at the roof seals. All looked good. I climbed up again on 6/16 after several days of high temps followed by late afternoon storms. I immediately noticed a thin gap around the roof ladder's roof mount, between the rung and the sealant. I checked over the rest of the roof and found a couple of other spots around the bathroom vent. One spot had about a 1" long gap where the sealant meets the rubber roof. In two other places the sealant over the screws had opened leaving tiny holes.

I cleaned the areas with a rag and soapy water, then dried them with a dry cloth and followed with a wipe over of denatured alcohol. Lastly I re-sealed the areas with non-leveling lap sealant. I probably only used about two tablespoons of the product, but I feel better about having found and repaired the potential leak points before they were an issue. If anyone has a good tip for preserving a partially used tube of lap sealant, please let me know!

I can only assume that the sequence of high temps (90's) followed by daily afternoon storms (and rapid cool downs) caused these weak spots in the sealant to separate.

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Old 06-19-2014, 01:19 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 1,100
Like you, I keep a close eye on caulking. I had to re-caulk around the ladder flanges several times; and ironically part of the cause I think is how often the ladder is used. I eventually gave up on re-caulking the ladder flanges and instead put Eternabond tape over them. I also put some caulk around the ladder tube where it goes through the Eternabond. The Eternabond can flex a bit and still stay properly in place; so far, I haven't had to do anything else to the ladder flanges.

There may not be a perfect way to keep an opened tube of caulk usable. The best I have found is to poke a nail (long enough to enter into the tube of caulk) into the nozzle, then to put a gob of putty around the opening in the nozzle and the nail, then to put the whole thing into a large ziplock, close the ziplock and wrap a piece of tape around the whole mess to exclude air, then to place the whole thing into your refrigerator.

There's lots of advice and information in forums... sometimes it is correct. For example, all of my posts are made by a political appointee who got the job as a reward for contributions to my diesel bill.

2011 Jayco 28.5RLS; 2008 Chevy Duramax; Pullrite Superglide Hitch

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Old 06-19-2014, 07:32 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Northern NJ
Posts: 96
A couple weeks ago I washed and waxed ours. Made sure to give the roof a good check over and noticed the same around the ladder. I applied some extra sealant over any spots that looked cracked just to be safe.

I tried putting a nail into the tube of caulk and wrapping the end with some press&seal. Lets hope that keeps it fresh till I need it next.
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