So I spent my birthday coating all the silicone bits on the RV with McKanica silicone remover. Two thumbs up for the silicone remover, and a big emoticon of displeasure and pokey sporks for the company I bought it from, which took almost 2 weeks to send it out.
The application of the silicone remover is… not fun, to say the least. It is called a “gel”, but it is more like old, half-dried toothpaste. It’s sticky and grainy, but unless you smash it onto a surface, it’s just going to fall off. The label said to “cover it immediately” after application… Um, what? I’m coating every seam on an RV, I’m not going to go around taping plastic wrap over it. So I just left it. So after hours in the sun, applying the stuff, I came back outside to this. It was somewhat alarming…
The stuff basically turns dark brown as it’s drying, and then white when it’s completely dry. I was worried about my paint, but when I scraped it all off, the silicone came off quite nicely (for the most part), and my paint was fine. I smoothed it on with a piece of cardboard, and I scraped it off with a plastic scraper. For any leftover residue, you just wipe it down with a dry cloth, and it comes right up.
Here is what the edges look like once done:
So compared to how the seams used to look, these are a dream!
Yesterday I had to then clean all the seams with denatured alcohol to remove any residue and clean the seams. Um, yeah, eek. They don’t warn you that the denatured alcohol acts (and smells) like fingernail polish remover, so if you scrub it when it’s on your paint, it will eat the paint off. I cleaned the rest of the seams as quickly and gently as possible.
Then I started on the caulking… That was interesting. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but the caulk used for RV seams has a consistency like super-duper thick slime. It is super dense. It also turns tacky extremely fast, so if you want to form it or work with it, you have to get to it within seconds, or you’re going to have a mess on your hands. So after a couple seams, I had my technique down.
Here is my main window, all taped up and ready to go:
Here is my storage cubby with fresh caulk on the seams…
And for a novice, I think the seams are turning out quite nicely. I’m not completely done with it just yet, but wanted to update this blog on my progress before heading into work. I’ve been using my hands (wet & soapy) to smooth out the edges of the caulk. It starts to set up so quickly that I don’t think I’d have time to sit there with a tool and work it, so I’m satisfied with how they look (finger indents here and there, but pretty smooth, for the most part)…
I have the next two days off work, so I’m going to try to get the caulking finished then. The only annoying thing I’ve run into so far is that I did not use the denatured alcohol to clean the seams that did not have silicone remover on them, and after putting the caulk on those seams, I’ve realized that you can see some of the old dirty siding under it… It’s not a big deal, but the perfectionist in me grumbles a little bit at it. I figure if it drives me nuts later on, I can always just easily remove the caulking I just put on, and fix it. God knows I bought enough caulking! *lol*
And of course, Kedric is mightily disappointed every time I let him out the back door, and instead of going somewhere or taking a walk, we just work on the RV… Soon enough, though, we’ll be going places! 🙂