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Old 08-04-2017, 07:30 PM   #1
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Default How shall I caulk you- let me count the ways...

After reading hours of Hi-Lo and other forums and watching videos I think I've learned that-
1) a traveling RV is subject to the forces of an earthquake and tornado
2) preventing the dreaded leaks from those forces is difficult and time consuming
3) preventing leaks is all important
4) using silicone caulk is inadvisable because almost nothing adheres to it
5) other caulks sold by Dicor and 3M and many others usually work well and have a life expectancy of from months to years.
6) roll-on sealants such as Eternabond work well and probably have a longer life expectancy than the best caulks.

My 1999 TowLite appears to have been in the sun and rain most of its life and probably suffered some leakage damage which I think the PO mostly fixed with generous amounts of silicon caulk on the perimeter joints and windows. There's a lot of other caulk around the vents, etc. on the roof. He also has carpenter skills and replaced the inside walls and ceiling. The floor is original and is firm so there couldn't have been too much water damage, gulp, I hope. It looks quite good inside.

The roof and front and back sides are aluminum. I have brushed away dirt from the aluminum roof seams which were not caulked, but look like they may need it especially when I climbed on the roof. I've used Alpha Systems SuperFlex non-sag and self leveling caulk on the 4 roof seams. The self-leveling has not leveled much in 12 hours. With the non-sag, I apply a bead and then use my finger inside a zip-lock bag to smooth it. It appears the latter works better for me. I also have removed the silicone caulk and re-caulked about 20% of the perimeter. Again the non-sag seems to work better for me. I have ordered 50' by 4" of Eternabond which I will apply over the seams. If I already had the Eternabond on hand, I wouldn't have caulked the seams, but rain is forecast tomorrow.
QUESTION- Can/should I apply the Eternabond over the perimeter joint which meets at a 90 degree angle and has the aluminum railing with many screws?
ALSO- which caulks or sealants and procedures work best for you?
Also what caulks and procedures wok best for you?
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Old 08-04-2017, 11:35 PM   #2
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Doug, you can certainly apply EternaBond tape over a 90 degree edge seam, which is what I think you are asking about. You will have to be careful,patient and take your time. I think I'd try to lay down a 2" width along the top, and then kind of "ease" it down all along the side by just pressing a small width at a time along the entire length, rather than trying to push it completely down at one end and progressing along the edge from there. You also want to be careful not to stretch it, as that will make laying a straight line difficult. It should stretch, however, over the screws and if you're careful, it can cover them neatly.

Other members may have better advice on applying this tape. If so, I hope they feel free to offer differing opinions.

EternaBond is incredibly strong and sticky. Once it is down, you will have the devil of a time trying to remove it. And, in my opinion, it is impossible to re-position.

But, as far as I know, it's waterproof and VERY durable. It has certainly held my solar panels to the roof with NO lifting or degradation.

- Jack
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Old 08-05-2017, 07:52 AM   #3
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Thanks Jack,
I'm considering doing what you describe. Sure seems like it would prevent leaks and reduce maintenance for the life of the Eternabond Has anyone actually done it or have reasons for not doing it?.
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Old 08-05-2017, 09:04 AM   #4
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Doug, here is a thread you might want to take a look at. It was from a former member jcurtis95 and he did a really good job on repairing his roof.

Roof Repair
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Old 08-05-2017, 10:08 AM   #5
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Doug, a reason for NOT doing it is that it is "PERMANENT". You're not going to be able to easily separate that joint (if you ever need to) once you apply the tape.

- Jack
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Old 08-05-2017, 12:52 PM   #6
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Gary, Thank you for the thread link. We had a lot of rain last night and no leaks, but I'd like to make the TowLite as leak resistant as possible.

Here's a video that shows what Jack described and I will probably do-


Jack, here's a video that shows removing old Eternabond with a heat gun-


It may be messier than removing caulk?

Well back outside to my removal old silicone caulking.
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Old 08-05-2017, 03:03 PM   #7
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Those are great videos, Doug! I just used Simple Green to clean the areas where I applied the tape. AND, I did not use a roller. I don't know that it's really necessary. Notice in the second video, the guy used only his fingers to press the tape in place. That's how I did it.

The second video is better than the first, in my opinion. Not only showing removal, but how to apply.

The trouble with using scissors to cut the tape is that they get gummed up with the tape sealant. Makes them hard to use.

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Old 08-05-2017, 06:15 PM   #8
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My experience has been that all our water damage came from not taking out all windows and resealing. Do this before you have leaks.
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:18 PM   #9
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Good info. I plan on re sealing my roof with Kool Seal and the edges with EtrnaBond and Dicor self leveling compound. Is there an order in which I should proceed?

My plan:

First a proper cleaning, and removal of as much old loose caulking with a critical eye for silicone and remove as much as I can find.


I was thinking first applying the Dicor as needed, then two coats of Kool Seal followed with the tape.
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Old 08-05-2017, 06:29 PM   #10
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In addition to the repairs mentioned in the above video of the standing water that the owner was concerned with, I would take scissors and cut a series of progressively larger triangles. Building up the area with with the smaller ones on the bottom to prevent water from puddling. This would feather out raise the low area and promote optimal drainage.

Heck it might even improve his areodynamics and improve his gas mileage
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