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Old 10-12-2014, 11:52 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2013 31L
State: Florida
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THOR #908
Front Clearance light gasket problem

while following another thread hear about taillight repair and water inside....
I took a look at my clearance lights.

Two of my front clearance lights had visible water so I opened them up to dry and investigate.

I found the the foam gasket in ALL of these lights is bad. It looks like chemical damage to the foam, but I suspect heat damage.

The front part of the gaskets are shriveled and compressed, and are no longer fit under the lens.

I'll try to grab a picture later to post.

Does anyone know what sealant the factory has used on these lights? It a gob of some sort of clear-ish putty just to cover the screw head. It something that has a more rubbery goey almost chewing gum consistency that a caulk or silicone caulk....
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Old 10-12-2014, 02:27 PM   #2
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THOR #908
well that didn't work. tried posting pics through shutterfly.......
will try again later....
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Old 10-26-2014, 12:08 PM   #3
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Model: 2013 31L
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THOR #908
trying again

If your front clearance lights looks like these, I suggest you check them ASAP


here's the gasket.

You can se the deformation, that causes no seal to be made. All of my lights are like this.
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds 26A
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THOR #981
My mechanic removed all the clearance light covers, sprayed a dielectric to dry out and resealed. Didn't bother with my warranty
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:17 PM   #5
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2011 Four Winds 28Z
State: Michigan
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THOR #531
Can't see your photos, but it's my guess the lights (like the tail lights) are made by Command Electronics. If so, you can call them for replacement gaskets. I bought gaskets for the tail lights and they only cost $2 each.

Cab Mounted Tear Drop Clearance Light | Command Electronics :: Manufaturers of Lighting for RV, Marine, & Trailers
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:38 PM   #6
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THOR #1196
Ace hardware has a white rubber/butyl caulking ( for a caulking gun) It's only about $5 per tube and stays flexible.
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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THOR #908
Just picked up my coach yesterday from CW.
They repaired the back wall and a bunch of other stuff..... mostly good result, but they killed my battery.... stone dead when I picked it up. They acted like they've never heard of this being a problem!!!

But this thread is about the front clearance lights
So the called a couple weeks back. the coach was "ready" except the svc manager had done a walk around and was having them re-do the reseal of these lights. the shop used white caulk. - strike 1

So when it was ready, they pulled it around for my inspection. Straight away form the ground I could see white caulk remnants and a bad silicone job.... and I could see water in several of the lights. Closer inspection form up top revealed no gasket, a bad silicone job, and moisture in all clearance lights front and back. - Strike 2

Back to the shop, then picked it up yesterday.... still no gaskets, silicone a little bit neater but still looks like my 9 year old did it. Some of the lights looked as if they squirted a bed of silicone and let it cure as a gasket, then installed the lens. The problem is it wasn't level and so there were visible openings. Visible moisture in three of them. strike 3.

Do these guys think I'm not gonna look????

I noted the problem all over the paperwork i signed. Had them note it in the computer and plan on repairing myself. since silicone was used, I'm concerned about getting a good seal with anything, so I called my Thor Warranty contact. he's going to send replacements.

Gotta say that Thor gets good marks on my experience overall for my repairs. Can't say i give them a 10, but not bad. CW, not so much!
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Old 12-04-2014, 02:54 PM   #8
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THOR #531
I think the problem is with the light manufacturer, as I have the same issue. I noticed when I bought the coach that there was silicone dripped all over them. It's just not yet been a priority to get on the roof to fix them.

I guess I cannot fault Thor for this (other than choosing bad components). I have seen where others have had water intrusion problems with these clearance lights as well.

The lights do come with a gasket, but I think the gasket may be for under the light, as I cannot see what the gasket looks like on the Command Electronics website, and my RV is covered up so I cannot look at that either.

I should look into replacing the clearance lights with LEDs so everything can be more or less permanently sealed.

This is just another indictment of poor quality in the RV industry as a whole. If they cannot even make clearance lights that don't leak, what chance do they have for properly engineering more complex things like mega slide-outs?

I am thinking I need to get my mindset to thinking that a motorhome is just a fancy tent.
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Old 12-04-2014, 05:37 PM   #9
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THOR #908
Yeah, it is a bad designed light
I wish that my earlier attempt at attaching a photo worked.
Basically, the amber lens rests inside the base. the base has a little lip around that basically forms a bowl..... so if water gets in it aint coming out....

then there was a little foam gasket.... the same sort of material that you saw at your tail light repair. The same sort of material that will compress and over time lose its resiliency.

Then, to make matters worse, the foam gasket along the front edge shriveled up.... looked like heat damage to me. This is the area just under the bulb so heat makes sense to me.... so the gasket shriveled up so short that it no longer makes contact along the sealing edge.... and this happens to be the area that would get rain driven in form the relative wind while driving.

Oh, and then to add insult..... the lens attaches by one single screw straight down through the top. Came from the factory with a nice little glob of some sort of clear rubbery sealant (looked like good stuff)..... but this means that to change a bulb a person also needs a sort of this mystery sealant to re-seal a very real leak point at the top!
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