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Trailer Talk
Re-sealing trailer roof?
 MrTruck, txdad, windy Last Activity 2014-10-02 9:10 AM
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GrittyCowgirl

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Location: Reedsville, Ohio

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Subject : Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-28 4:10 PM
Post #132273

I've bought a 98 Sundowner 4 horse slant combo with dressing room and found out the other day I have some major leaks in just about seam in the roof . Crawled on top and I can see where someone has tried to reseal the seams before with what looks like caulking. I plan on using a grinder to clean it up and strip it down, what would be the best thing to use to reseal it? Am I going about this the right way in stripping it down? No idea what Im getting myself into here as this is a first for me. Any tips would be great.

[Edited by GrittyCowgirl on 2011-03-28 4:12 PM]

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bigdreams

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-28 7:11 PM
Post #132281 - In reply to #132273

I used a product called Eternabond, and it has been great. I used the 4" wide version to make sure I had the coverage.
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hosspuller

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-28 7:43 PM
Post #132283 - In reply to #132273

I hope you didn't intend to use a grinding wheel in your hand grinder. That'll tear metal along with the old caulk. I used a wire cup brush in the angle grinder. Cleaned the metal roof without tearing the thin aluminum roof.
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gard

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-28 9:53 PM
Post #132292 - In reply to #132273

Using a steel brush on aluminum is pretty rough. Black and Decker has a chuckable inexpensive brass brush, available at WalMarts and such, that is a little less aggressive. It won't work with angle grinders but can be used in a high speed drill.

The main thing is to get rid of all the old caulking. Putty knifes, flat bladed screw drivers, cotter key extractors, anything that can get the old out. The seams can be caulked with polyurethane, or elastomeric sealants. Don't use house hold silicones. The seams can also be taped with a number of brand name products. You can use elastomeric coatings which are especially advantageous when you have roofs constructed of two different materials.

Before any coating is applied, use a good solvent/cleaner to first prepare the metal.


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GrittyCowgirl

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-28 11:36 PM
Post #132295 - In reply to #132273

I've got a sander attachment for mine that I planned on using (or would that still be to harsh after getting the the biggest share of caulking off?). The wire brush method sounds right up my alley. I've seen so many different kinds of caulking, tape and sealers at local places that I have no idea what to go with. I want something that will last at least a few years but not make my checkbook cringe. Photobucket
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hosspuller

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-29 12:06 AM
Post #132296 - In reply to #132273

I resealed my Sundowner aluminum roof...  That's why I suggested the wire brush.  It makes short work of the original caulk and leaves a clean surface if you have a light touch. 

 

This the exact product Sundowner used at the factory.

The caulk is a moisture cured polyurethane.  Manufactured by Sika Corp.

30800 Stephenson highway,  Madison Heights, MI  48071, 248-577-0020

The name is Sikaflex - 221 SF, Product code is 220-242

The color you want is "AL Gray"

The biggest difficulty is crowning the caulk over the seam.  If you just tool the caulk over the seam, it leaves a feather edge at the joint.  The feather edge will eventually leak as it ages.  I found the best method is to mask the seam with tape about an inch on each side of the seam.  Then use a curved tool like a sweat scraper to create a smooth crown over the seam.  Thinning at the tape.  Pull the masking tape up as soon as you've smoothed a couple of feet of seam.  If you wait, the caulk will cure and is too tough for the masking tape to pull apart.

Do a little at a time until you get the hang of it.  The caulk is sticky, worse than fly paper. 


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griffsmom

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-29 7:46 AM
Post #132301 - In reply to #132273

We had to remove sealant and caulk along the seam line on my Exiss trailer also. Ended up using the grinder to get down to the seam. We then used a product called Dicor Lap Sealant and it did the trick. I sat for two days in pouring down rains and never had a drop of water inside. I got it through our trailer/rv dealer that has a United Parts store in house. It was $8.00 tube and I believe we used three tubes per side. Good luck
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GrittyCowgirl

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-03-29 11:04 AM
Post #132309 - In reply to #132296

Thanks so much for the info and tip about the feathering. Never would have thought about taping off around the seams. Im pretty green when it comes to maintaining a trailer. This is the first one I've owned that needed work. Love the trailer but I've got a long to do list! lol
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Javanewt

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Subject : RE: Re-sealing trailer roof?
Posted : 2011-06-20 10:54 AM
Post #134997 - In reply to #132273

I bought Butyl Magic RV tape on eBay -- 4' by 50' for around $38. I removed the old caulk/sealant on my steel roof seams with a chisel; used a wire brush to get off the loose steel, rust, paint, etc.; used a compressed-air computer keyboard cleaner (can) to remove anything else; cleaned with acetone; then put on two coats of spray primer just over the seams. Then, I added the tape, which was much easier than recaulking (already tried that). Two heavy rains so far and no leaks. I'm going to paint elastomeric coating over the whole roof when the weather cooperates. I'm a woman who has never done stuff like this before, and the tape was a cinch. It's only been a short while, but I'm happy so far.
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