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Advice on re-sealing the exterior.


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Posted (edited)

Hey folks.  
I’m currently in the process of removing all the silicone sealant that has started to let go around the belt line, windows, vents etc. on the passenger side of the coach.  It’s been quite a show getting some of this silicone off, and I was wondering if I could get some input on just how far I need to go on this.  Obviously without removing everything, there will be silicone left down in the crevices, but is that going to prevent a good bond of the new polyurethane sealant I will be re-sealing with? See pictures for examples.  The belt line I was basically able to loosen the whole thing off and remove all the silicone.  It has been re secured with a mix of stainless TEK and stainless pop rivets.  I found the pop rivets just weren’t holding in places, so opted for the TEKs in those places which seem to be holding good.  Areas around the window are quite difficult to get the silicone out from just betond the surface and for the amount of work I’m putting into this, I really don’t want it to prematurely fail.  Hard to tell from pictures in this case I realize, but hopefully you get the idea. 
Thanks.  

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I went with Sikaflex 221 polyurethane sealant in the Aluminum Grey color as I think it will go well with my grey coach paint, and many RV repair shops have suggested it claiming it has a longer tooling time and in the long run will last longer than the competitors if applied properly.  I’m sure I’ll hear otherwise shortly. 😉

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Edited by BradHend
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Posted (edited)

Did I mention how much I hate removing silicone yet? My goodness.   I was fortunate enough to get a couple almost complete “full pulls” from 2 of the windows. 😂  The rest, however, has been a very time consuming, painfully slow and tedious process. 
For clarity, the three pictures are before, during, ready for sealant.  
Second pic you see there’s a bead of silicone beyond the surface.  
Third pic I’ve gotten as much of the silicone out, but if you look closely, there’s still some I doubt I’ll ever get without removing completely.  
Think this is good enough as far as removing the old silicone goes?

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Edited by BradHend
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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Scotty Hutto said:

Brad, what is a TEK.  I’m not familiar with that one. 😁

For whatever reason, we kinda bundle all self drilling screws into the same category where I work.   Seen ‘em called TEK, Kellie’s, Hurlers etc. but these are what I used as they were also found in several areas along the belt line. 
I’m assuming these were either originally installed or my coach has been repainted, which I don’t think is the case. The belt line, where it was still fully attached still had the paint fully sealed to the coach and belt line trim.  Could be wrong though  

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Edited by BradHend
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Silicone and polyurethane are both love hate type of products.  Silicone goes on smooth and looks good, that's why it gets used for this location.  Urethane would be an absolute mess in the factory, and would look like crap right away, and seems to weather much worse than silicone.  That silicone still LOOKS great, like it's doing it's job even if it's not.  When I get to this part of resealing, I will use silicone, even though I hate it, and polyurethane is superior in some ways.  And I suggest that even if you use polyurethane everywhere else on the coach, this I'd do with silicone. 

The silicone down in the crevice is not a problem at all.  If this was a bigger joint, you'd want a backer rod to AVOID bonding the sealant to the full depth of the joint, and if this was a parallel surface, you'd want an hour glass cross section to the sealant for best adhesion on each side, and flexibility between.  This is not an ideal joint, just something to fill up cleanly and hope it holds.  The part deep in the crack has no chance of holding with movement, it's too small and inflexible. 

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Another question I had is on the belt line.  Where should I be sealing the trim cover piece back up? 
Obviously the actual belt line piece gets sealed back to the coach side walls, but should the trim cover piece be sealed on the top and bottom, or just top? 

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Repair a Popped Belt Line
 
A C& P OF A POST I SAVED
 
How to Repair a Popped Belt Line. Belt line pops are very common in Monaco brand coaches. They typically occur near the front and rear radiuses of the belt line but can happen anywhere along the belt line. To repair the popped belt line:1.) Remove the outer rubber cover far enough to where you see clean rust free screws or rivets.2.) Find the bad rivets or screws that are broke or rusted and drill a new hole 1/4 inch from the existing hole.3.) You have 2 choices here. You can use stainless screws or stainless rivets. I myself use 304 aviation grade stainless rivets that are 3/16 in size with a 7/8 " grip. If you use a screw use a # 10 no longer then 1 inch. Do not use aluminum rivets as they will stretch and open the caulking line in the future.4.) Begin reattaching the belt line with the screws or rivets.5.) Once the belt line is attached re-install the rubber over the metal belt line.6.) Seal the belt line off on the top and bottom using ProFlex RV caulking. Do NOT use silicone based caulkings. * All belt line caulking should be replaced every 8 - 10 years. * Inspect the caulking on top of the belt lines once a year and touch up or replace.
 

 

 

LOWER BELT LINE REPAIR
 
A C& P OF A POST I SAVED.
I know I have addressed upper belt line pop's many times before but I have never discussed lower beltline pop's. Every Monaco coach has 2 sets of belt lines which covers the upper and lower seams of the fiberglass walls. Lower beltline pop's, while not as common as upper beltline pop's, they do occur. In the pictures you will see 2 of the most common types. Many of the lower belt lines also incorporate the hinge for the basement doors ( see the picture where I point to it ). We currently have a Beaver in our service center that is having all the lower belt lines repaired.  This type of belt line system does NOT have the pop out rubber trim piece ( See picture ). Instead it is held on with 2 sided tape. This type of belt line repair should be attempted with a very slow and meticulous method when peeling off the trim piece. Know right now that paint can crack and then flake off. The same holds true when removing the old two sided tape from the back of the trim piece.  In one of the pictures you will see how the screws rusted and some backed out or broke off inside the metal band. If you study the picture closely you will see my technician drilled a new hole 1 inch from the old screw holes and re-attached the beltine using 3/16" x 7/8th's " 304 stainless rivets. Never use screws or aluminum rivets. When re-attaching the rubber trim piece we only use 3-M Double Sided Tape, Heavy Duty VHB Mounting Tape. Never use any other type of 2 sided tape. The VHB mounting tape is made for these applications. My technician likes to run a tiny bead of clear Proflex caulking across the top portion of the trim piece. In the other photo you will see a pop-out rubber insert trim piece. This is removed exactly like and upper belt line trim piece. Again, take your time and work slowly as the paint can and will crack. As a side note, if you ever have this repair done by a shop and they want to use screws, run.... We have repaired dozens of belt line pop's that were done by other service centers who used screws or aluminum rivets. Over time, they will not hold. The screws back out or break off and the aluminum rivets stretch and pop. Remember, inspect your upper and lower beltline's often. Hope this helps some of you DIY'ers.
 
 
Belt Line Repair with a Clecos Tool
 
Belt Line Repair
 
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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, BradHend said:

Another question I had is on the belt line.  Where should I be sealing the trim cover piece back up? 
Obviously the actual belt line piece gets sealed back to the coach side walls, but should the trim cover piece be sealed on the top and bottom, or just top? 

So the consensus seems to be to seal both the top and bottom of the beltline trim.  However, wouldn't this trap water in the beltline if/WHEN it finds its way under the trim piece?  I thought the general advice when sealing windows was to leave the bottom center edge unsealed to allow moisture to drain out if it finds it's way in?  Why is the trim different?   Pardon my confusion on this matter.

Edited by RoadTripper2084
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44 minutes ago, RoadTripper2084 said:

.... However, wouldn't this trap water in the beltline if/WHEN it finds its way under the trim piece?  I thought the general advice when sealing windows was to leave the bottom center edge unsealed to allow moisture to drain out if it finds it's way in?  Why is the trim different?   Pardon my confusion on this matter.

That's how I did ours, except for the vertical part where I sealed both sides. On ours, the vinyl trim completely covers the aluminum track and there appears to be butil tape under the aluminum because it was oozing out in places. 

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