Pete’s RV Quick Tips | How To Reseal RV

Randal Murray: Hey guys, Randy with Pete’s
RV TV today. Another quick tip segment for you. Today we’re in the Burlington, Vermont location
shop and I want to show you how the industry puts on these great looking caulking jobs
to seal up our corner moldings and the base of our slides and other areas around the coach. I see a lot of units come in where customers
have done their own caulking job and they just don’t look so good and they’re not sealing
very well either. So let me show you some tricks that I use
[00:00:30] when I do it. It makes it look good and makes sure that
we get a great seal. So first of all, a few things that we need. We need some caulking, and if you go to your
local RV dealer or come to us, we’ll show you the best stuff to use for the right surface
and the right job, so we’ll instruct you on that, and any local RV dealers should be able
to take care of that. I also like to use a quality caulking gun. Now, there’s one that you can buy that costs
like $1.99 at the big box stores, the Home Depots, the Lowe’s and things like that. This one is actually a little bit more expensive,
about [00:01:00] 15 or 20 bucks, but it’s a lot more manageable and it makes the job
a lot easier to do, so I do recommend if you do own an RV, invest in a good caulking gun
and you can use it for other things around the house as well. This actually does have a stop on it so I
can stop pushing. So the caulking is not coming out of the end
of the tube and just very nice control on it. Very easy to use. So invest in good caulking gun. One of the most important things that makes
me look good too is odorless mineral spirits. Odorless mineral spirits is the active ingredient
in a lot of the caulking out there. [00:01:30] This is the one we use. I like the odorless ’cause it doesn’t stink
quite as bad and it’s super easy. It’s just a light duty paint thinner, but
it’s going to help us work the caulking and clean the surface as well, which is very important. So let’s get started. So we can get sealant gaps on our coaches
from them just being used. Only roll a camper down the road, it’s like
putting your house through a 3.4 earthquake on the Richter scale every time it moves. So lots of moving parts, lots of things that
can open up for sealant gaps and we need to maintain these just like we maintain the seals
on our roof. So first thing I do is I’m gonna clean the
surface before I [00:02:00] go ahead and apply. So I’m just going to take white rag here and
I am going to put some mineral spirits on it. I go ahead [00:02:08] here. And I fold it up just for ease of use. Now I don’t need to soak, soak the rag, but
I do like to get it damp, kind of like that. I also always have another clean rag on me
as well, so we want both of them. So let’s clean the area here at the base of
this slide. And I’m just going to take the mineral spirits
and just wipe the area that I am going to clean and that’s going to help get the dirt
off the existing [00:02:30] caulking, clean the surface, and allow us to get good contact
and good adhesion when we apply the caulking. So I’ll get that wiped down pretty good. Get all the dirt and grime off, tuck back
my wiper seal there in there. If the caulking is really old and dried and
cracked, we probably will want to remove that with some sort of razor or some sort of scraping
blade. This one’s not too bad, so I don’t need to
get that tool out, but you may. We don’t want to go over bad caulking and
we want a real flat surface to make sure that we get a good looking caulking, a joint, and
a good seal. If it’s really bumpy, [00:03:00] it’s going
to be really hard to maintain that quality of the look and the seal and ensure we have
no leaks. So get this cleaned up pretty good there. Now, I’m going to take my caulking. We’ll set this here for a second. The other thing that I see a lot of people
do is they put way too big a little hole on the end of the caulking tube. We do not need a whole lot of material and
having too much material is going to actually make it not a good looking job and hinder,
uh, our sealing process. So I’m going to take and just put a small,
[00:03:30] small hole in this. I’m going to put it at about a 22 degree angle
too. That allows me just to work it a little bit. I like it to be nice and straight at my angle,
that way I’m not pushing into the caulking when I’m doing it, so it looks pretty good. Put my knife back in my pocket here. And I’m going to fill the tube. I don’t know Karl, if you can see that white
coming up through that clear plastic tube there. I’m going to get it to the end so we get all
the air and everything out and I’m going to stop it by hitting my button on the back of
that [00:04:00] good caulking gun that I just referred to. So our area is clean. I’m going to take the dry rag and just wipe
any excess off from a cleaning process, make sure we get all the dirt, all the mineral
spirits and everything off, and then we’re going to go ahead and start to apply. Again, I’ve got my mineral spirit rag in my
hand because I’m gonna use that here in a minute. It’s gonna become very important. So now I’m gonna pump this thing up and I’m
going to start to apply and I’m not going to put a huge bead. I don’t need huge bead. [00:04:30] Kind of pushing it into the crack,
into the transition, right straight across. We’ll stop right there. Don’t go too far because you want to be able
to work the area that you’re doing and if you go too far, you may start getting a skim
coat over the top of it. So now this is the trick that separates the
men from the boys. After we get a small bead on there, I’m actually
going to take that wet mineral spirits soaked rag, mineral spirits soaked rag, and I’m going
to put a little on my finger [00:05:00] and this is where we get a good looking job. So I’m actually going to take my finger and
I’m going to go about four to six inches and then I’m going to clean my finger and I’m
going to continue that process down my whole caulking joint. What that does is it pushes it into the crack,
seals any cracks that are there. It also tapers, so we get a nice transition. We don’t have a place where water is going
to sit or moisture is going to sit. We’ve pushed it into the crack and we’ve finished
it off and I’m actually going to go back to the other way and just get any excess off. Well, Karl, if you want to take a [00:05:30]
look at that, that’s not a horrible looking caulking job. We’ve tapered both the edges. We’ve pushed the caulking into the crack. We don’t have a ton of material on there. We don’t need a ton of material on there. Any water that runs down the slide box will
go right over that caulking joint right off the side of the slide box, just the way we
want it. Now, that was easy. That was the horizontal one. Let’s do a quick vertical one here just so
we can show you that as well, and it’s gonna be kinda the same way. Gonna take my mineral spirit damp rag here. I’m just going to clean the area. Get that [00:06:00] dirt and debris off there. Make sure I got good adhesion. Clean the area up really good. I’m gonna take my dry rag and again, get any
of the excess off, dry it out where I run my caulking. Back to the caulking gun. Again, notice it’s not continuing to push
out because I have a good caulking gun and I can take the pressure off it very easily. I’m going to make sure I clean the end of
my gun so I’m starting fresh. I’m just going to go up here and again, start
that bead. [00:06:30] Nice, easy, small bead. I’m pushing it into the crack as I go. I don’t need too much material. If you get an air bubble, you can back up
a little bit. Not a big deal. We’re just going to go down, nice fluid motion. Make sure to only do what you can work as
well, so if you can only do two or three feet until you get good at it, just do that. Back to the mineral spirit rag. I’m going to put it on my finger again and
I’m just going to start drawing down, again cleaning my finger about every three or four
inches. The [00:07:00] mineral spirits is going to
give us a little bit more working time as well, and I’m just doing a light touch here,
giving it a nice taper. I’m just kind of feathering it in so you can’t
see where I’ve started and stopped. I’m going to go down there and you can see
how quick and easy this is. Karl, if you want to take a look at that job
there, and that’s how the guys do it at the factory and it’s super simple to do. Nice and easy. It looks professionally done and we’ve got
a great seal, a great taper, and we have penetrated both sides of the surface plus sealed our
joint. So if you do my couple little tricks here
with [00:07:30] you’re caulking gun, get a good caulking gun, use mineral spirits, make
sure you dampen your finger. Don’t put too much product on, all that’s
going to do is push out and get all over the place and get real ugly while you’re playing
around with trying to clean that up, the other stuff’s going to skim over and make it really
hard to work. So if we just do a little bit, taper it in,
keep things clean, there’s no residue left on my finger when I’m done. Life is good. That’ll seal all your cracks. That’ll make a great taper and a great looking
caulking job when you’re done and they’ll take a professional did it, not just you. So thanks again for watching Pete’s RV TV
with Randy today. [00:08:00] I look forward to seeing you on
the road, and happy camping.

77 thoughts on “Pete’s RV Quick Tips | How To Reseal RV

  1. Yeah Buddy, yes he is. Thanks again Randy for another exceptional how-to. I have always used water to set the bead but that mineral spirit looks like it does much better. And definitely keeps your finger cleaner. I am clear over on the other side of the country or I would definitely stop by. Thanks Man, I am Grateful.

  2. thanks and love the videos here .. so helpful!! Can you tell me if there is weights limits for slides and where to find them. My trailer has a couch and a small dinette in the slide and the travel trailer is 32'. thanks Donna

  3. you obviously didnt use 551 dicor….you cant use your finger to make it look good. What did you use? I hate not being able to smooth it out…

  4. Great video! Now I'm ready to tackle this daunting task! Any hints on how to get old silicone off??

  5. Randy, thanks for the video. I have a question. Is there a way to not use your naked finger if you're allergic to caulk/mineral spirits? Any glove you might use, or…?

  6. Good demo, learned how to do this right, thanks! Please don't yell at the camera, we can hear you and then some. Video could be shorter with less time on caulking gun and repetitions. Got it the first time.

  7. Hey, a great video. What would you recommend to use on resealing the floor penetrations. It appears what the factory used was white silicone caulk but it has separated from the low point water line drains and where my propane hose comes out to go to my grill. I have seen the great stuff grey sealer and was wondering if that could be a possibility?

  8. Great video with good instruction. I've wondered how it's done the right way. I tried last year and didnt do so great. Thankfully I only had a small section. Will tackle all when warmer weather comes. Probably next Spring. Thanks for the tips

  9. Nice technique. As a plumber I have used that style of application on plumbing fixtures for years.

  10. Hey randy I just bought a 2003 class c winnie. So my question is the guy before me use rv tape on the edges of the front cap. So i was going to use 4 inch rv tape to go over the whole corner strip from top to bottom . I know it might be not so pretty but will that stop it from ever leaking . Any thoughts.

  11. GREAT video Randy! One thing I haven’t really seen geared for the RVer (only big rig trucks) is best way to grease up fifth wheel hitch and nothing on how to lube up the slide for the hitch. Any chance of a video or maybe just a handy link you might know of?

    From one Murray to another, THANK YOU!!

  12. Very informative, good video! One question though..Do you ever revoke the old sealant first?

  13. So maybe I missed this part but are you removing the old caulk first or just caulking over the old? Also, how often does this have to be done?

  14. What brand and type of caulk was used for the vertical sides of a coach? Any tools you like to REMOVE the caulk? My coach is FILON/Fiberglass.

  15. Hi Carl. Thank you for the video. Question. I have an RV that was damaged by flooding. Only 6"-8" over the floor. I have basically eliminated all moisture from inside by running the AC and hanging drop its through the interior of the RV. My concern now is the floor. What Can I do to eliminate the moisture and dry out the wood completely so my floor doesn't rot out a few years down the road. I need help and you're the only one that I think can help. I'm a retired Vet and can't afford to buy another RV. Thanks in advance

  16. Why do you have to reseal these dam campers when they should seal them good when you buy a camper

  17. The RV dealer that sold us our TT just told me to use good quality GE silicone. I used Proflex on the last TT and that stuff is hard to work with and made a mess. Whatcha think Randy?

  18. Hey Pete, on the roof of my coach, the caulking is starting to just slightly crack in some areas. Can I deal over the old caulking or do I need to remove existing and start over? Thanks

  19. Rvs need to be redesigned for minimum of goop, nothing compensates for a poor design

  20. A tighter small hole is better. Make sure you pump it smooth and steady . That will fill the crack with no over flow. Don’t forget to work that finger .

  21. Randy, names Jim and I just bought a 1978 Tioga 2 16'6" camper and need to reseal the front overhead sleeper window, it has a lot of old calk that I need to remove (they just piled it on over the years) to take the window out and reinstall it and calk it correctly. Can you give me an idea of how to completely remove all the old calking? I thought about using an eraser wheel to take it all off but im not sure if it will work,

    the shell of the camper is all fiberglass and I can see light coming through the bottom of the window along the edge between the window and the cut out the window that the window sits in.

  22. I've always used water and I never released the pressure on the gun so it keeps oozing out. Thanks for the tips!

  23. Kinda confused.. my local camper dealer and everyone else I have talked to says Not to use silicone like he is doing in the video.. they all say use dicor or another lap sealant never silicon..

  24. At the risk of sounding like I am stomping your channel, I see this silicone fail constantly. One of the reason I can see here is the cleaning with mineral spirits. MS has petroleum distillates which leaves an oily film. That film will prevent a tight bond. It would not surprise me that the RV industry does this process since they seem to design the coaches to fail…like recommending Dicor for instance.
    Trempro recommends cleaning with alcohol such as acetone and even scouring the surface to ensure a tight.
    bond. Personally we never tool the caulk, although Trempro recommends tooliing…we don't use Tremco products or any products labeled for RV.
    If you can use a gun well you shouldn't need to. Prior to using any product read the tech data sheets.

  25. New drinking game. Drink every time he says caulking. I’m already drunk. Lol

  26. We have to replace the "tape" ( not sure what it's called) inside the groove on the front sides from the roof top all the way to the bottom where you were caulking. Do you have any suggestions on keeping it from dislodging. It started coming out on our way thru AZ ( hot summer). We stopped & did a fix as best as we could to get us home then replaced it. How do we keep the "tape like" stuff from coming out again. Can we caulk the outside of the groove like you did plus the inside too?

  27. Hey Pete, nice video. I have a newer trailer that has black caulking on side vertical rails. Underneath is putty coming out. Would you suggest pushing the putty back in with tool or finger, then recaulk with non leveling dicor? Thank you

  28. What a great calking seminar! And Randy didn't use any tape. I'm gonna get after it. I just bought a couple hundred yards of tape, that is NOT going to get used. I can see thats a big waste of time. Thanks Randy.

  29. Dude knows his stuff. I could have listened to him talk about almost anything tho!

  30. All caulking guns have that release tab to back off the pressure. Good caulking guns do it automatically when you stop pulling the trigger.

  31. Very skilled.Very good? my little rv has got some water ingress,aluminium body ,leak seems to be comming from central sky light and running along to rear bathroom area.No water ingress around sky light but i hear the water running along ,could also be leaks where rear ladder's joined too.

  32. Hey mate (yup, I'm Australian…), that was probably THE best video I've seen on how to reseal. Thanks very much – Peter V.

  33. I got rid of all the factory screws that rust and replaced every one of them with stainless steel screws I picked up at the hardware store, and used clear silicone on them as I replaced each one.Thanks for the video.

  34. What’s the best sealant/caulking for around an assist handle or underneath your camper door?

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