Recaulking Your RV – A Tale of Sealing Our Camper
Posted in RV & Camper Maintenance on November 12, 2013 Last Updated on August 12, 2017
Laurie wanted to re-seal our camper from the day we bought it. After noticing a small damp area next to our slide, she finally had all the reason she needed to purchase all of the tools and begin the process. Unfortunately, in her first few seams, she followed the advice found in some places on the internet, and that of the dealership, and used DAP silicon caulk.
Don’t Use DAP or Silicone Calk
This is our first piece of advice. The reasons include:
It will peel away from fiberglass and aluminum very quickly.
It is the hardest thing to remove… ever! Hours of scraping solvents and cursing will be required and it still may not be completely gone.
No other sealant, including silicone will stick to silicone, ever. Every last molecule of silicone must be removed before any other sealant will adhere to the surface you intend to seal.
Beware RV dealers will tell you to seal with silicone. Your buddies on Facebook will tell you to seal with silicone. Don’t do it. You will be resealing every six months or even sooner and the job will be almost impossible.
What Did We Use
After delving into the fine details of caulking a camper, we learned there were two main sealants we should use. For our roof, we used Dicor Self Leveling Lap Sealant. On all of the non roof seams, we used GeoCel Proflex. This is our quick Proflex tutorial.
Geocell Proflex has a special RV sealant; however, after a ton of research, we learned the standard Geocel Pro Flex
, used for roofing, is apparently the same- if not better quality- than the at times higher priced and harder to find RV sealant. Proflex is meant to bend and flex as the camper, fifth wheel, or class A, rolls down the road. Proflex is also easy to clean and paintable.
It’s Not as Hard as You Think
Laurie thought it was going to be very difficult doing the sealing job but, once she got started, she actually had a lot of fun. She picked up clear Proflex, to hide any issues she may have in her seams, and just went to town.
Most of the seams on our Travel Trailer were sealed with the factory butyl tape putty stuff. The seal were dry and cracking. Laurie went over every seam on our camper and only needed 3 tubes of Proflex. At 7.99 a piece at Ace Hardware, this job was incredibly inexpensive. It took her 3 hours a day over the course of about 4 days.
She started by cleaning all of the areas to be done with rubbing alcohol to prep the surface and remove any obvious loose dirt. She kept a cup of soapy water handy to smooth the bead of proflex as well. The process is not complicated. Run a bead of Proflex down a section of seam. She went in approximately 3 foot sections. Immediately dip a finger in the soapy water and use that finger to smooth down the bead. If you laid your bead too thick and have alot of excess proflex it is fine to just squish it into the seam in a spot you haven’t proflexed yet. It will set just fine and you won’t end up wasting any. Laurie chose the clear version which looked great even though she had never used a caulk gun before this project. She found the whole project to be a fun experience and really ended up proud of herself in the end.