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View Full Version : Lousy caulk = Roof leak



Zeman
09-29-2011, 05:44 PM
Looking out the window waching it rain..........Reminds me of a project I completed in late July. After a rainstorm in July my wife says" The camper is leaking." Oh goody! Both nightstands on each side of the bed held neat little puddles of water. Open the closets and the wallpaper is bubbled up. Up on the roof I go--sure enough the caulk on the front cap is separated from the roof surface. Off to my local/non-Heartland dealer but he carries no caulk compatible with the rubber roof. Nobody in town carries anything suitable. Do some research online and find Eternabond. Call dealers 1-1 1/2 hrs away and most don't even know what it is and the rest don't stock it. Finally find a RV parts/accessories dealer who has it in stock--1 hr away. After pulling the decorative trim it exposes the aluminum band which the self tappers screw through to hold the front cap on. I laid the Eternabond over the screw holes and the edge of the front cap onto the EDPM. Installed the aluminum band by screwing the self tappers through the Eternabond. Install decorative trim, run a bead of butyl caulk on each side of the trim. So far no leaks. After bouncing around online I discovered it is pretty much an unwritten rule to check/redo your caulk every 6 mo. This being my first TT but I've got better things to do than recaulking a roof every year. Manufacturers can't find(spend the $ on) a caulk that will last a couple of years ? Better yet why not just use Eternabond or like material and be done with it on these roof seams???????? It makes no sense to be a maintenance slave to the roof---it just has to look good and not leak. Tires,brakes,bearings are maintenance items. Sooooo, does anybody need some Eternabond? I probably have about 40 ft left ----4" wide. I cut my needed length in half---2" wide and did the front and rear roof seams.

wingfoot
09-29-2011, 07:22 PM
Eternabond is a once and done procedure. I used it on my last two 5r's. Works great. I didn't screw or take any trim up. I just went over the existing old caulk (after cleaning well). Worked for me. Don't get rid of your surplus. You might think about using it on you sky light and anything else on the roof that presently has caulk.

BTW, a lot of Motor home manufactures use only an Eternabond product. I would guess the reason fifth wheel manufactures don't use it is because of cost, plus it is labor intensive.

Zeman
09-29-2011, 08:33 PM
Yes, I figured this would be a final fix. Prep is the majority of the work. I probably have a couple of years before the five pounds of caulk on each of the skylights goes to crap. The bead of caulk on the caps was not much larger than used on the rest of the trim on the trailer.

Bob&Patty
09-29-2011, 11:17 PM
Was the leak in July of 2010 or 2011?? Have you had your coach since January of 2010?? Dont know or have ever heard that you need to check it every 6 months. I check mine when I wash the roof. Haven't had to re-caulk yet and the Horn is 4 years old. I think the standard is check it every year and repair as necessary mostly before the rainy season.

slmayor
09-30-2011, 10:19 AM
Factory recommendation (or at least they told us that) is check every 3 months. As a repair facility, I don't think that is too often. Major areas are the front and rear caps from the top to the bottom and along the fascia trim on the outside bottom of the slides.
Our own recommendation is to clean and condition roof 4 x a year, or at minimum, 2 x. It's going to make it last longer and you can check caulk while you're up there. It also cuts down on the streaks on the sides. I know Dicor says you need to do nothing, but they also sell their own brand of cleaner and conditioner. LOL
That being said, I've only had to do some minor touch up on my caulk and we've had it 4 years in October.

Zeman
09-30-2011, 10:39 AM
Factory recommendation (or at least they told us that) is check every 3 months. As a repair facility, I don't think that is too often. Major areas are the front and rear caps from the top to the bottom and along the fascia trim on the outside bottom of the slides.
Our own recommendation is to clean and condition roof 4 x a year, or at minimum, 2 x. It's going to make it last longer and you can check caulk while you're up there. It also cuts down on the streaks on the sides. I know Dicor says you need to do nothing, but they also sell their own brand of cleaner and conditioner. LOL
That being said, I've only had to do some minor touch up on my caulk and we've had it 4 years in October. I'm glad you have gotten a very reasonable life out of your roof caulk............which is "my" point. I think the caulk on "my" roof is/was inadequate and it's lifespan the same.

Zeman
09-30-2011, 10:54 AM
Was the leak in July of 2010 or 2011?? Have you had your coach since January of 2010?? Dont know or have ever heard that you need to check it every 6 months. I check mine when I wash the roof. Haven't had to re-caulk yet and the Horn is 4 years old. I think the standard is check it every year and repair as necessary mostly before the rainy season. I'm glad you have gotten a very reasonable life out of your roof caulk..........."My" situation is not the same. I stumbled on the Edge M-18 post. Hopefully my situation is not prevalent throughout the Edge lineup but owners should be aware to check it out. I'm sure you have many more miles on your TT than I do on mine....and you haven't had to re-caulk. Hmmmm..........bought the TT in Feb 2010, dragged it home, sits until June 2010, 3-4 trips that yr. This yr I believe 5 trips max. Leak was this yr.

Vtxkid
09-30-2011, 11:13 AM
I placed the Eternabond tape over my front cap roof seam 9 months after I bought the RV. I wanted to ensure it wasn't going to be an issue for years to come. I wish I had done the rear seam at the same time. I looked at it last weekend and noticed that the caulking going across the seam (to the rubber roof) had spider cracks on its surface so I cleaned it along with the seam and applied Eternabond across it to. Now I don't have to worry about those seams for a long time!!! Not cheap but it is good stuff!

Ray LeTourneau
09-30-2011, 02:56 PM
I'm glad you have gotten a very reasonable life out of your roof caulk..........."My" situation is not the same. I stumbled on the Edge M-18 post. Hopefully my situation is not prevalent throughout the Edge lineup but owners should be aware to check it out. I'm sure you have many more miles on your TT than I do on mine....and you haven't had to re-caulk. Hmmmm..........bought the TT in Feb 2010, dragged it home, sits until June 2010, 3-4 trips that yr. This yr I believe 5 trips max. Leak was this yr.
Zeman, I believe all towable manufacturers use the same or similar materials for caulking the seams of their trailers. Also, they have the same specs regarding checking of that caulk. 6 months. It's the owners responsibility to check maintain these things. Sun, rain and wind have pretty harsh effects on caulking.

Freckles
09-30-2011, 05:18 PM
Years back we had "SOB" and had the same issue water running in the night stand outlets . Thought it was the roof, sealed it good only to have it come back every time it rained !! found out in my case it was coming in though the front cab roof marker lights !!

traveler44
10-01-2011, 07:54 PM
I have had the caulk along the sides of the caps get hairline cracks in places. I went over mine with the 3m 5200 and have been told that I shouldn't use it because it is permanent caulk. I figure that is the idea and if it is used for marine use it should be good enough for an rv. Is there any way to find leaks in the self leveling caulk along the top of the caps before finding water damage? Should the top of the caps be redone as a preventative measure? I really don't want to find water damage in our 09 B.H. Tom M.