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Old 03-18-2019, 03:21 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 Compass 23TR
State: Michigan
Posts: 110
THOR #11426
Advice needed on caulk repairs...

Recently brought our RV home from storage (had to, the storage facility flooded!). While it is still too cold here to give the RV a proper wash/wax, I was going over the exterior, and discovered multiple cracks in the caulk. While my prior caulk experience is limited to kitchen and bath caulk, I DO have a high level of OCD-ness, which can be an advantage in dealing with fussy projects. I have scoured this forum, as well as YouTube, and it seems there are lots of differing opinions out there...

My questions are:
1. What kind of caulk to use? Dicor non-leveling? Lexel? Something else? I am leery of silicone caulk as it seems this will be an ongoing issue, and whatever I put on this year, I will be taking off at some future point in time.

2. Do I have to get all the old caulk off? Some say just the loose stuff...


3. I noticed cracks in the caulk where the fiberglass cap joins the cab of the truck, just above the windshield (see pics). Is this a warranty/insurance issue? Am I nuts to try to tackle this spot myself? Or should I pay someone to do it for me? We have not had any problems with leaks yet, but I'm trying to be proactive...


4. What is going on with the wheel well trim? The worst cracks in the caulk are around the rear wheel well trim. On closer inspection, the trim is loose, and held in place by 3 self-tapping screws (one in the middle, and one on each end of the trim).

I should mention that I am scheduled to take the RV to the Thor service center in May to have other warranty issues addressed, but I am pretty sure that as a general rule, Thor doesn't warranty caulk issues beyond a limited time (?90 days). And I have some reservations about having them address the wheel well trim issue, since it appears they didn't do it right in the first place...


Thanks in advance for any and all suggestions. I am so grateful to have you folks as a resource!
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:45 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 27.2
State: Indiana
Posts: 250
THOR #14698
Personally I would use a good quality silicone on the roof line and the wheel trim and use the DICOR on the roof membrane. Silicone will move with the coaches movement. The DICOR dries hard in my experience.
Caulk repairs are an ongoing issue with any MH or TT, just the nature of the beast. Anything that gets shook up as much as an RV and left out in the elements months at a time will need the caulk looked at least once a season if not more. I usually check mine before the season,after our first extended trip and again in fall before putting up for the season. Someone smarter than I said an ounce of prevention is a whole lot cheaper than a pound of cure or something to that effect.
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Old 03-20-2019, 04:47 PM   #3
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 ACE 30.1
State: Alberta
Posts: 921
THOR #2631
Well this is usually a hot potato subject because everyone has their own preference or horror story with caulking an RV. So lets stir the pot a bit.


I think most RVers will say not to use Silicone caulking on anything RV.....and I think it is because getting it all off in a few years is essential before trying to apply a new bead of any caulk (including more silicone).


So my horror story is using Geocel Pro Flex RV caulking to do wheel flares and some body side mouldings. This stuff is supposed to be the right stuff for RV's......but if you are used to caulking bathtubs/sinks and windows around the house with your typical forgiving Home Depot caulks that go on easy and you run your wetted bare finger down the bead to smooth it out and clean the edges up.......Geocel will be a new adventure in your life. It is sticky like contact cement and while you can smooth it with a "plastic gloved" wetted finger at the right cure time, I would highly suggest taping off both body edges of where you want this caulking to go. I am not a caulking greenhorn (or so I thought)....but I found this Geocel not very forgiving. I know there are lots of RVers who swear by it and never had a problem. I wonder if there is something out there too that is as easy to apply and smooth out as home caulks; non silicone and that cures in a few hours, not a few weeks as many do? Dicor for the roof is the standard for most.....certain TPO roofs can accept the standard cheaper Dicor products (I think the fleece backed TPO can).
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Old 03-20-2019, 05:30 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2018 Compass 23TR
State: Michigan
Posts: 110
THOR #11426
Ok, so we have one vote for silicone caulk, and one vote against...

I really thought this post would generate more discussion on the topic, since this is something every RV owner has to do or have done, right? Maybe the lack of response is because there isn't a good answer?

I have at least another month before temps are warm enough here to even think about starting this project, so please, if you have advice about or experience with RV caulk, let me know what you think!
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:07 PM   #5
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For what its worth, I have been told by the dealer and other RV owners to not use silicone caulk on my RV.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:49 AM   #6
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Model: Fleetwood Storm 32V - pre
State: Alabama
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THOR #6826
I wouldnít use it on a roof or body seam but I wouldnít hesitate to use it around a window or an outside light fixture. Donít know if thatís good or bad but I like to work with silicone and Iíve had good luck with it so Iíd do it.
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Old 03-21-2019, 01:57 AM   #7
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Model: Chateau 31L
State: Florida
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THOR #12189
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
I wouldnít use it on a roof or body seam but I wouldnít hesitate to use it around a window or an outside light fixture. Donít know if thatís good or bad but I like to work with silicone and Iíve had good luck with it so Iíd do it.
Completely agree. No roof or body seams but everywhere else is just fine.
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