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Old 11-06-2018, 02:45 PM   #1
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Those pesky leaky rear lense gaskets on a brand new Axis

Hello all,

As mentioned in my intro, I had to address my leaking rear tail light/brake light lenses a day after picking it up from the dealer (so-called triple gaskets, and poor lense design from Command Electronics)

I wanted LEDs in the rear, so I pre-ordered LED lenses from Command Electronics, especially after reading about many others on here having the same issue. So, I took my "old" lenses off and sure enough, BOTH sides were leaking into the wood housing portion, causing wet wood and discoloration. If not addressed, delamination would occur in short order. Ridiculous, IMO.

Why is it leaking? On my Axis, the lenses are 14" wide and there are only 3 attachment points on the top and bottom. There needs to be 4 bolt holes on the top and bottom of the lenses for a better seal, due to either the irregularities of the lense (distance too much between screw holes and it bows), or gel coat surface. Having just 1 middle screw hole allows the lense to warp and allow space in those "triple gaskets" (garbage). Notice how the gasket wasnt depressed, and the parts that were deperessed still rusted out ALL of the screws.

The fix for me was soaking the discolored wood with Minwax as you guys have, used 3/4" wide, extra thick butyl tape I had left over from a 1963 Aristocrat Lil' Loafer I had rebuilt from the frame up. I used a toothpic to trim the excess tape, glued toothpics inside the stripped out holes, added silicon bronze screws and the new LED lenses look awesome. The cleanest look available, and will not leak for 50 years IMO...

AJ
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:51 AM   #2
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I just saw this post, where did you find those lenses
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Old 11-16-2018, 04:37 AM   #3
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i have the same LED ones just havent installed them yet.

got them from etrailer.

https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lig...03-30LEM2.html
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:01 AM   #4
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Thank you
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:26 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Ricksplace55 View Post
I just saw this post, where did you find those lenses
Command Electronics. Use butyl tape though. Their gaskets suck.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:44 PM   #6
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Make sure you mention that you are installing onto a Thor.
Command Elec. will send you the lights with the Thor plug on the wires.
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Old 11-16-2018, 11:51 PM   #7
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And new stainless steel screws with rubber o-rings. Anything you can do to seal out the water.
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Old 11-17-2018, 11:31 PM   #8
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I also will use the flex seal first,great idea. Thanks will do
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:25 PM   #9
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Just found this thread and want to change to the led's but have a trip in 5 days and need to change a burned out bulb for now. Problem is I cannot get any of the screws out. They are as tight as can be. Any hints? This is for my 2017 Axis.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:32 PM   #10
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They are probably rusted in place. I would spray some penetrant on the screw heads and let them sit for a while, then remove them. Don't be surprised if some of them are broken so be ready with some new stainless steel screws to replace them.
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Old 01-21-2019, 03:38 PM   #11
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They are probably rusted in place. I would spray some penetrant on the screw heads and let them sit for a while, then remove them. Don't be surprised if some of them are broken so be ready with some new stainless steel screws to replace them.
I was afraid of that. I hope it is not the result of leaks. I've seen no evidence of leaks yet.
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Old 01-21-2019, 05:06 PM   #12
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we bought our coach and it rained on our first trip. the day after it rained, i noticed water condensation inside the reverse lights. if you dont have water leaks yet, consider your self lucky.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:16 PM   #13
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Update: Got the screws loose. The lens was cracked because the holes in the rv didn't line up so they simply angled them, missing the gasket in a couple of places and forced them in. Also some water damage. Very busy week before we leave on Saturday so I replaced the entire unit and will spring for led units on our return along with the butyl tape and stainless screws after a drying session and treatment with minwax. What kind? Just sealer? Also going to seal up the holes that don't line up and drill new ones. The middle lower hole just grazed the top of the cutout. Two screws were angled and completely missed the gasket. There is water damage on the lower part of the cutout and the backing board. Glad that light bulb burned out.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:13 PM   #14
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Update: Got the screws loose. ....... treatment with minwax. .
I would use either an epoxy or the spray rubberized coating (like flex seal). That way if you have sitting water in this spot it cant seep though like minwax or poly over time.

But thats just me.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:14 PM   #15
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Oh yeah.... Before Bob answers you...."you got loose screws?" I could have told you that when you purchased an RV. LOL.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:58 AM   #16
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Oh yeah.... Before Bob answers you...."you got loose screws?" I could have told you that when you purchased an RV. LOL.
Amongst some other possibilities!
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:46 AM   #17
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I had the same issue. I went a step further and sealed edges of everything with thin bead of clear silicone.
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Old 01-22-2019, 02:14 PM   #18
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I missed the turn in discussion....what minwax product are you folks using?
guessing a polyurethane perhaps?

I'm not so sure a coating like that would be the best idea. Even coatings like flex seal....
....because eventually any coating will almost certainly leak. Water gets behind it then has a hard time getting out.

when mine ever leak again...or maybe even preemptively before that happens some day, I plan on most likely using rot doctor...or maybe one of the similar products available...a very slow cure epoxee designed to soak into the wood and encapsulate the fibers from within. I don't know, maybe that's no better really, but it seems to me that it probably is....

and I figure I'll probably some day vent that cavity into the bedroom so that it has a chance to breath...(or an alternative I've considered is to fill the cavity entirely by epoxying in a block to completely fill it then covering with a surface mounted fixture)

....I'm still kicking myself for not having them use better surface mount fixtures and eliminating that cavity cut out when they replaced that entire wall under warranty!

Oh well....so far the overkill caulk and seal job the bodyshop did is showing no signs of leaking... yet...
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:33 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonderdog View Post
Just found this thread and want to change to the led's but have a trip in 5 days and need to change a burned out bulb for now. Problem is I cannot get any of the screws out. They are as tight as can be. Any hints? This is for my 2017 Axis.
They're not tight in the fiberglass/wood, the screws are tight at the tail lense plastic case. I could have basically just pulled my lenses without with a screw driver.

Not sure of Command Electronics' LED light quality, i.e. able to handle various voltages. 2 of my front LED running lights have been non-functional since new.

One of these days it'll all get fixed, I'm hoping. Decided to keep my toy hauler since I know everything works.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:41 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blw2 View Post
I missed the turn in discussion....what minwax product are you folks using?
guessing a polyurethane perhaps?

I'm not so sure a coating like that would be the best idea. Even coatings like flex seal....
....because eventually any coating will almost certainly leak. Water gets behind it then has a hard time getting out.

when mine ever leak again...or maybe even preemptively before that happens some day, I plan on most likely using rot doctor...or maybe one of the similar products available...a very slow cure epoxee designed to soak into the wood and encapsulate the fibers from within. I don't know, maybe that's no better really, but it seems to me that it probably is....

and I figure I'll probably some day vent that cavity into the bedroom so that it has a chance to breath...(or an alternative I've considered is to fill the cavity entirely by epoxying in a block to completely fill it then covering with a surface mounted fixture)

....I'm still kicking myself for not having them use better surface mount fixtures and eliminating that cavity cut out when they replaced that entire wall under warranty!

Oh well....so far the overkill caulk and seal job the bodyshop did is showing no signs of leaking... yet...
They been using butyl tape for 60 years on RV's. In fact, I recently rebuilt a 1963 Aristocrat Lil' Loafer (frame up restoration), and used butyl tape that will last another 50 years.

If something is to be removeable, I use butyl tape (it comes right off if needed), and trims with a toothpick. For permanent seals, I use marine underwater sealant. After a 7 day cure, it will never leak again.

Added some pics of "Loafie" for your perusement
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