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Good Sealant for Latch Replacement


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#1 NorCalSteve

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 08:18 PM

Time to replace these ugly latches with new ones.  What would be a good sealant to use between the latch and the camper?  

 

Anyone have some additional input, like, "If you buy these latches instead of the ones used by FWC, they don't rust"?

 

Thanks all!

 

Steve

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#2 ckent323

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:20 PM

For permanent installation 3M 5100 works well (it takes effort to remove it so don't use on places you may need to remove it)

 

For semi-permanent installation 3M 4100 works well.   I used it this past July to seal the Solar wiring gland I installed on my roof.  I also cleaned and applied it on all the screw heads on the roof and Yakima racks as well as around the vents.  Holding up just fine.

 

Craig

 

Edit: change those to  3M 4200 and 3M 5200,

 

sigh!


Edited by ckent323, 09 February 2018 - 11:44 PM.

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#3 scappoosebrad

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 09:49 PM

Second Craig's suggestions... the 3M 4100 & 5100 works great...have used it for decades on my boats...great seal... I would probably lean toward the 4100 as it remains pliable for easy removal at a later date...


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#4 NorCalSteve

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 10:00 PM

Thanks Craig and scapposebrad.  I also have used both 3M 4100 and 5100 but wanted to check with you experts to make sure this was the best choice.

 

BTW, this is for my friend Mike's camper, which is maybe a 2010 Hawk. I was looking at my latches on my 2012 Hawk and I don't see rust like on his so maybe the new latches will hold up better.

 

Steve


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#5 ckent323

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 11:49 PM

Some folks in these forums recommend Silaprene, Sikaflex or Dicor.  My experience is only with 3M 4200 and 3 M 5200.

 

Here is a link to a comparative discussion (I'm sure there are others):

 

http://www.popupport...-and-why.99499/

 

also a link to a discussion in these forums:

 

http://www.wanderthe...3368-roof-leak/

 

and another on the Expedition portal:

 

http://forum.expedit...kaflex-vs-3M-vs

 

My guess is several or even most of these would work for your application.

 

Good luck,

 

Craig

 

Edit:  In case it is not obvious, none of these sealants are intended to provide "structural" support and are mainly intended to seal against leaks.  Fasteners having good engagement with a frame member are needed to actually hold the latches (and similar items with a load on them) in place. 

 

As with any coating, epoxy or sealant, proper surface preparation in accordance with manufacturers directions is essential in order to achieve a strong bond with the surface(s).  In particular, Aluminum develops a thin oxide layer rather quickly and that layer typically needs to be removed before painting or bonding in order to get good adhesion.  Scrubbing with a cleanser like Alconox (basically Ajax without aromatic or chlorinated hydrocarbon) does a good job of removing the oxide layer.  I'm sure Ajax or Comet will work fine too.  However, in all cases sure to rinse well with clean water and then blow it dry or let it dry well before applying the sealant, epoxy or whatever. .

 

For reference I have done a significant amount of bonding and painting of Aerospace assemblies which were subsequently tested for appropriate adhesion.  I have seen a lot of the qualification test results as well. There can easily be a difference in the adhesive strength of 2x, 3x and more between a properly prepared surface and one that has not been properly prepared (or poorly prepared).  Yeah, I know we are not doing Aerospace work but if we want the these things to hold up over time the same chemistry and Physics apply.  ;-)  


Edited by ckent323, 27 November 2018 - 12:37 AM.

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#6 ntsqd

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:04 AM

I use 3M 5200 for purt near everything like that. Some say that it is permanent, but that hasn't been my experience. That isn't to say that stuff set with it is easy to remove, because it isn't. It's just not permanent.


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Thom

Where does that road go?

#7 Bill D

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 02:07 AM

I used butyl tape.  It wraps around the threads as you screw in the screw and you can remove the latches easily if necessary without damaging the aluminum.  I also put Tefseal on the threads of the bolt for extra sealant as well as it's ability to reduce galvanic corrosion.  It also oozes out from under the top of the screw head, so you know that there is a nice seal there too.

 

BTW, the bond between the aluminum and the latch does very little to hold the latch in place.  The screws are fastening into the aluminum of the frame.

 

I would recommend refinishing the existing latches and reusing the same screw holes or else you are asking for more work than necessary.  I would also caution that you do not over torque the screws and take care not to bend the latches as they bend quite easily.


Edited by Bill D, 10 February 2018 - 02:36 AM.

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#8 Josh41

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 01:48 PM

^ Agreed.  I moved one of mine to add an awning.  It was bedded only with butyl tape.  Aaron at FWC is helpful if you call.  He mentioned only to use urethane caulking outside.  I think 5200 is too much, I have used it on boats, there is no way to undo it, it is that good.  


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#9 ntsqd

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Posted 10 February 2018 - 03:29 PM

I've removed 5200, it's not that good.


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Thom

Where does that road go?




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