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Old 09-25-2020, 11:39 AM   #1
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recaulk question

The last camper I owned had water damage. There was no evidence of water intrusion and I inspected the roof annually. My guess is water got in through the corners and found its way down to the floor where it caused delamination. I recently purchased a left-over 2019 Jay Flight. It's new to me but it's two years old already. I don't want to risk having the same experience. I plan to inspect the roof and seams twice each year and repair as required but at some point the whole thing must be redone.



Recaulking the camper will be a lot of work. To do it right, the old caulk should be removed and replaced. Waiting until the existing caulk dries up and shows cracks seems risky. By then, water may have gotten into the walls. My question is, how long does the caulk last before it should be redone? I live in the northeast and cover the camper for about 6-months each year.
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
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It really seems to vary. I have heard of people having issues within a year. Our current unit started showing signs around year 5.

If you want to do it right, skip the caulk and go with Eternabond. I applied it right over the existing caulk, others remove the old and then apply it. Eternabond will not release unless it was stretched while being installed (do not stretch it!). I was lazy, I purchased a 50 foot roll, and applied it right over the existing caulking. It is a little lumpy, and only the one above and myself ever see it. Eternabond pretty much eliminates all future caulking. I still check my roof a couple times a year, primarily for tears (tree branches). I went around all my skylights, waste tank vents, frig vents, everything but the TV antenna (ran out of time, and never got back to it). Took me to evenings. Evening 1, washed the roof really well. Let it dry over night. Evening two. Started at the front cap and worked my way back. Took a few hours. The hardest parts was not getting it to accidently stick prematurely (only peal back the as much of the liner as needed), and around the waste stack vents as I did a lot of little cuts to seal up and around the pipe.

Two other areas that tend to leak. AC roof gasket. Check the mounting bolts annually.
They should be snug, but not pulled down tight. The gasket should compress over time. Once the bolts are tight, you should replace the gasket. The other spot up high that sometimes leaks is the marker lights, especially the front marker lights. At year 5 I pulled the light covers, pulled the mounting screws and checked for signs of rust on them. If they are rusty, there is water. I reinstalled an applied a little caulk to seal the light, just like the factory did.

My TT is now almost 9 years old, I have found NO water in it yet. I do check the side walls a couple times a year. In the last couple years, I have had to caulk a number of areas. They are easier to access and see than the roof. But every year I find more and more.

Note; my TT is stored indoors in the winter and outside all summer.
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Old 09-25-2020, 12:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jagiven View Post
It really seems to vary. I have heard of people having issues within a year. Our current unit started showing signs around year 5.

If you want to do it right, skip the caulk and go with Eternabond. I applied it right over the existing caulk, others remove the old and then apply it. Eternabond will not release unless it was stretched while being installed (do not stretch it!). I was lazy, I purchased a 50 foot roll, and applied it right over the existing caulking. It is a little lumpy, and only the one above and myself ever see it. Eternabond pretty much eliminates all future caulking. I still check my roof a couple times a year, primarily for tears (tree branches). I went around all my skylights, waste tank vents, frig vents, everything but the TV antenna (ran out of time, and never got back to it). Took me to evenings. Evening 1, washed the roof really well. Let it dry over night. Evening two. Started at the front cap and worked my way back. Took a few hours. The hardest parts was not getting it to accidently stick prematurely (only peal back the as much of the liner as needed), and around the waste stack vents as I did a lot of little cuts to seal up and around the pipe.

Two other areas that tend to leak. AC roof gasket. Check the mounting bolts annually.
They should be snug, but not pulled down tight. The gasket should compress over time. Once the bolts are tight, you should replace the gasket. The other spot up high that sometimes leaks is the marker lights, especially the front marker lights. At year 5 I pulled the light covers, pulled the mounting screws and checked for signs of rust on them. If they are rusty, there is water. I reinstalled an applied a little caulk to seal the light, just like the factory did.

My TT is now almost 9 years old, I have found NO water in it yet. I do check the side walls a couple times a year. In the last couple years, I have had to caulk a number of areas. They are easier to access and see than the roof. But every year I find more and more.

Note; my TT is stored indoors in the winter and outside all summer.
I'd be interested in seeing a picture of how that turned out. Seems like a good thought to avoid Dicor issues.

To the OP, my 5'er is stored indoors and I've had to touch up spots on the roof and sides. It's 3 years old. I'm sure units 100% outside would need it more often due to sun breaking things down.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:16 PM   #4
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I'd be interested in seeing a picture of how that turned out. Seems like a good thought to avoid Dicor issues.

To the OP, my 5'er is stored indoors and I've had to touch up spots on the roof and sides. It's 3 years old. I'm sure units 100% outside would need it more often due to sun breaking things down.
I ran up to the balcony and took a picture. Not the greatest, but hopefully you can zoom in and see more details. I know I took close ups when I did it, but that will take some time to search for them.

I did purchase 6" wide, as my front cap caulking was very close to 4" wide in places.

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I found a few on my phone I took last fall. You can see were I wrinkled the eternabond, so I added a small "patch" just to ensure no water could sneak up the wrinkle. Again only I and anyone above me will ever see it.


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Old 09-25-2020, 01:41 PM   #5
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I've done an exhaustive search for information on the web prior to posting this question. There are no end of opposing opinions regarding which caulk to use and the use of Eternabond. It seems that the professionals, i.e. folks that repair campers for a living, discourage Eternabond. Apparently, it works well for a while but eventually fails. When that happens, it's a mess to remove. They all seem to agree that putting caulk over what is already there is a bad idea except for small repairs.
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Old 09-25-2020, 01:48 PM   #6
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I've done an exhaustive search for information on the web prior to posting this question. There are no end of opposing opinions regarding which caulk to use and the use of Eternabond. It seems that the professionals, i.e. folks that repair campers for a living, discourage Eternabond. Apparently, it works well for a while but eventually fails. When that happens, it's a mess to remove. They all seem to agree that putting caulk over what is already there is a bad idea except for small repairs.
Mine has been on for about 5 years and is holding fast. When I first got my TT, I put a tear in the edge of the roof. I used a little eternabond, and stretched it. It released within a day or two. It was easy to remove. Anywhere were I have properly applied it, nope, it is not coming off. Eternabond does recommend applying a little decor like caulk along the edge of the eternabond. I assume driving rain/wind cannot get under it. I did not, and have not seen any issues.

If I had to replace a skylight, I will cut the eternabond along the skylight boundary. Leave the eternabond on the roof, do the repair and apply a new piece over the top of the existing.

I have not seen a post on this forum were people had issues of eternabond releasing and having a mess to clean up.

Putting a dab of caulk over bad caulk is just the easy way to do it, and for maintenance people to have guaranteed work, as you will have to fix it again and again.

No repair will ever be permanent, but I certainly glad I used eternabond, just wish I did it in year one of ownership.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:09 PM   #7
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Eternabond and Dicore each have their place on a roof. Eternabound around everything looks like a hack job. And is a big waste of money. If you don't use the Eternabond cleaner you just wasting your time.

Inspecting the roof once a year and using Dicore where needed is just a fact of life in the RV world.
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Old 09-25-2020, 03:26 PM   #8
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Eternabond is great, as long as you use the primer with it.
First time I didn't, it came up, cleaned up and used primer didn't come off in 7 years.
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Old 09-25-2020, 06:04 PM   #9
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Another area that can have issues, perhaps even bigger issues than the roof, are the seams where the walls, roof, and vertical panels join. This area typically has putty applied under a piece of screwed down trim strip. The trim strip covers up the seam and makes it look good. Then they cover the screw holes in the trim strip with a vinyl insert to make it look finished. I can see on mine where the putty is starting to break down, loosen and fall out, leaving voids. I plan on doing "something" about this Ö as soon as I figure out what.
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:04 PM   #10
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I’m having the same issue some caulking coming off and putty like material. Going to have research for the spring season 2021 and get working on it
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re- caulked vertical seams. Took off old shrunk black molding and replaced with white, and caulked. Looks 1000 % better and probably doesn't leak any more.

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Old 09-27-2020, 12:40 PM   #12
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Don't know why second pic wasn't right-side up.
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Old 09-27-2020, 12:46 PM   #13
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Which brand of caulking did you use ?
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:32 PM   #14
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For the verticals I scraped the putty out and used clear Lexel caulk.
For the horizontal after removing hard shrunk molding I cleaned top channel, caulked with clear lexel, installed new white molding and caulked top of molding with white Geocel ProFlex. Didn't have white lexel on hand needed to finish job.
I'll eventually do other verticals when I get time. I hate that putty tape stuff.
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Old 10-17-2020, 05:08 PM   #15
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X2 for eternabond. I did my last 5th wheel toy hauler with it...5 years later it looked like I put it on that day. I swear by that stuff...and I recommend it to everybody that has roof issues. We purchased a new Jayco Motorhome....fiberglass radius roof....At some point I will go around all the vents, skylights,front and rear caps, etc. with eternabond. I have not seen eternabond wear in any way.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:21 AM   #16
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On the bottom side, when the chloroplast had to be cut for a repair I tried Gorilla tape for the seams and remain happy with it. Used rubbing alcohol for a cleaner before applying, worked out well.
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Old 10-21-2020, 09:43 PM   #17
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Also keep in mind if window frames leak the leak goes directly in the wall assembly. On the last RV I removed windows and used metal tape around the window opening to prevent this. If you notice a lot of delam is under windows, heaters and water heaters.
And yes I reset the windows with sealant.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:06 PM   #18
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Jagiven: Do you use Eternabond primer after you clean the roof?
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:23 AM   #19
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Jagiven: Do you use Eternabond primer after you clean the roof?
yes, you must use eternabond cleaner AND primer.
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Old 10-24-2020, 03:40 PM   #20
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Don't Forget To Caulk These Seams

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Originally Posted by RichCarter View Post
The last camper I owned had water damage. There was no evidence of water intrusion and I inspected the roof annually. My guess is water got in through the corners and found its way down to the floor where it caused delamination. I recently purchased a left-over 2019 Jay Flight. It's new to me but it's two years old already. I don't want to risk having the same experience. I plan to inspect the roof and seams twice each year and repair as required but at some point the whole thing must be redone.



Recaulking the camper will be a lot of work. To do it right, the old caulk should be removed and replaced. Waiting until the existing caulk dries up and shows cracks seems risky. By then, water may have gotten into the walls. My question is, how long does the caulk last before it should be redone? I live in the northeast and cover the camper for about 6-months each year.
Don't forget to re-caulk the outer wall seems where water can seep into the inner plywood structures.

Especially if you slides look like this...
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