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Old 05-29-2016, 08:48 AM   #1
evy
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sealing openings and equipment in outer walls.

Hi everyone,

I'm working on my very first DIY camper conversion, using a 2010 extended Ford E250.

Right now I'm cutting holes on the outside of the van for :
-30 amp main electrical socket
-AC 110v standard outlet
-Water inlet (gravity)
-Water inlet (city)
-Refrigerator lower vent/access

Just to make sure, from what I red on this forum, I disregard the installation manual and I :
-cut the hole
-add grey putty tape
-screw it in place
-silicone around the edge

Don't hesitate if you have any advice at all, thank you!
I just finished cutting this one :





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Old 05-29-2016, 09:10 AM   #2
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Rust proof the cut metal edges and screw holes. Smallest can of POR-15 is your friend.

The gasket/putty tape, and good quality silicone, if needed, should provide a good seal.
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Old 05-29-2016, 02:20 PM   #3
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I would use butyl caluk instead of silicone. Silicone is very difficult to remove. Butyl rubber will do the same job and is much easier remove.
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Old 05-30-2016, 04:39 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
I would use butyl caluk instead of silicone. Silicone is very difficult to remove. Butyl rubber will do the same job and is much easier remove.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
The gasket/putty tape, and good quality silicone, if needed, should provide a good seal.
I'm in the auto/truck glass installation business and can kinda speak to this issue and those materials.

A good grade of silicone adhesive/sealant is superior to butyl in a few ways, predominately long term sealing. Time and the general environment cause butyl to harden, lose its adhesive to the mating surfaces making it ineffective.

Silicone adheres tenaciously to the mating surfaces and when cured doesn't lose its effectiveness over time. Yes it might be a bit more difficult to remove but honestly what are we sealing we need or want to frequently re-seal or be concerned the joint might not be water-tight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1der View Post
Rust proof the cut metal edges and screw holes. Smallest can of POR-15 is your friend.
This is of paramount concern! POR-15 is so effective and high quality not using it is almost a crime.
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Old 05-30-2016, 08:26 AM   #5
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:42 AM   #6
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A good grade of silicone adhesive/sealant is superior to butyl in a few ways, predominately long term sealing. Time and the general environment cause butyl to harden, lose its adhesive to the mating surfaces making it ineffective.
Most interesting. There seems to be quite a few opinions about silicone, and in the glass industry it may be a good application. I've used it in the marine environment and found it to being prone to failure fairly quickly. It tends to mold and discolor within a year or two, and has proven to have poor mechanical propertys in the applications I've used it (sealing fiberglass and wood) Perhaps better pre-cleaning and some mechanical abrasion would have helped, but I think it would still turn black with mold. For the last few years I've used butyl with great success. If you skip to the bottom of page 2 in the link below, you will see butyl joints that have remained as good as new for almost 30 years in a hostile marine environment. That's good enough for me, but your results may vary.

Re-Bedding Deck Hardware With Bed-It Butyl Tape Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 05-31-2016, 04:01 AM   #7
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Hey ArcticT----interesting info there!

Do I understand the material in your link is a brand name or particular formulation common in the marine industry?

My experience with butyl has been the typical "cheap" versions, that most commonly used within the automotive repair. While not quite as demanding as a marine application its exposure to the environment does take a toll after relatively few years.

The better grades of silicone have and do work well, seem to last a long time without issues in "normal" automotive conditions.

The results shown in the link are impressive---I'd not mind knowing more about that product.
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:38 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=The results shown in the link are impressive---I'd not mind knowing more about that product.[/QUOTE]

I'm not aware of the make up of different grades of either silicone or buytl, but perhaps thats where the difference is. Getting great results from either may depend on the formulations. I've only been using the buytl for a couple years though so I don't really know how it will hold up long term. I've use "marine grade" silicone for many years and have experienced plenty of adheasion and mold / discoloration issues. I do remember seeing some that was sold as mold resistant for use in bathrooms though, so clearly the formulation makes a difference. One thing I'm sure of is that if you do get a new leak down the road, once silicone is applied, it's nearly impossible to completely remove without heavy sanding or grinding, and if you don't get it all off, any other sealant you use will never stick. Byutl on the other hand will simply peel off cleanly. In either case I would assume that exposure to UV is what ages it, and if the sealer is in a tight joint it shouldn't see any UV. Perhaps in automotive applications there is more exposure to sunlight that caused the failure of buytl you experienced. So far for me, buytl has been a winner. Time will tell.
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Old 06-24-2016, 06:34 PM   #9
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