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Old 06-05-2022, 04:23 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 27
Question Resealing windows on a Collins bus

Hey y'all!

So I'm thinking about how I want to reseal my windows. Here's the thing they are currently in fantastic shape. I've had the bus for over a year now without a drop of moisture getting inside through the existing window seams. They are kept together not with caulking/sealing but a rubber gasket type material (see photo).

So my questions at the moment are:

1. Do I REALLY need to reseal these? Part of me thinks that by yanking them out and resealing it might just wind up worse than what I currently have...

2. The gasket material is roughly 1/4" - 1/2" thick, meaning if I remove them and seal it back up I will need to use something (foam backer? buytl tape?) to fill in the gap that is created.

3. I'm curious if there's a middle ground, where I don't remove the windows / rubber gasket and maybe just add a bead of caulk around everything. The obvious question becomes what (if any) material would adhere well to the rubber material and the metal of the bus.

Any tips / insight is much appreciated!
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Old 06-05-2022, 08:25 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Wake Forest NC
Posts: 163
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TS FE 2509
Engine: Cummins 5.9l ISB CM550
Rated Cap: 34
Personally if they don't leak I wouldn't mess with them, but I'm lazy haha.
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Old 06-05-2022, 10:19 PM   #3
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Location: Florida
Posts: 1,237
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Windows Seals, #1 Source of Condensation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by r0meboards View Post
Hey y'all!

So I'm thinking about how I want to reseal my windows. Here's the thing – they are currently in fantastic shape. I've had the bus for over a year now without a drop of moisture getting inside through the existing window seams. They are kept together not with caulking/sealing but a rubber gasket type material (see photo).

So my questions at the moment are:

1. Do I REALLY need to reseal these? Part of me thinks that by yanking them out and resealing it might just wind up worse than what I currently have...

2. The gasket material is roughly 1/4" - 1/2" thick, meaning if I remove them and seal it back up I will need to use something (foam backer? buytl tape?) to fill in the gap that is created.

3. I'm curious if there's a middle ground, where I don't remove the windows / rubber gasket and maybe just add a bead of caulk around everything. The obvious question becomes what (if any) material would adhere well to the rubber material and the metal of the bus.

Any tips / insight is much appreciated!
Your question is based on your confidence in the quality of replacement seals, installed by you, versus the existing, factory installed seals.

More to the point. You know yourself, best. If you believe that you are proficient at reading, learning a craft, and are willing to do the labor. Yes, absolutely replace the cheap aging seals. The factory didn't use great materials or meticulous processes. They're installed fast, cheap & expendable. Short half life. Anyone could do much better, on their first time. You'll know I'm right before you're halfway through.



TC (old lady, no construction experience) removed all of our windows, 2 to 4 at a time. Cleaned each frame & installed a much higher quality, grey butyl. $5/35ft roll. And a few other products, where applicable.


Will you do a little recon about your bus, for other Collins owners? Please peer over the top of your aluminum window frames. Is there a space between the steel bus frame and the aluminum glass frame? It maybe easier to check if it's dusk and you have a partner shine a light above. I think Collins may incorporate the same air gap over each window as IC bus windows.



A scrap section of 1-1/2" closed-cell backer rod, demonstrates the size of the void in the steel channel, above the stock IC windows. You can also see a portion of the same gap, above the adjacent window, just behind the AL frame lip.



Top edge is not air-sealed. No water enters due to the exterior overhang. This is however, a huge source of air convection. Accounting for each window, a total of 59.5 feet of 1-1/2" void, in our bus. Now sealed with closed-cell backer rod.



For us, the backer rod displayed more results than my other efforts. Some, we were not expecting. It's much quieter inside and all of our condensation problems have disappeared. Even with the interior panels & factory insulation, removed. No moist air, always dry inside, with or w/o the a/c running.
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Old 06-07-2022, 07:06 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Your question is based on your confidence in the quality of replacement seals, installed by you, versus the existing, factory installed seals.
Thank you for this thorough and encouraging reply! To answer your question, is this the gap you are referring to (see attached photo)? You can faintly see the rubber gasket strip towards the back which is layered between the outside frame and the window frame. I'm thinking about adding some backer rod on the top area as well though I am planning on spray foaming the entire bus down the road, so unsure how necessary it will be.

So I'm going to go through and reseal everything. The question now is what to do with the existing rubber gasket material which is still in good shape. Should I just caulk over it and call it a day? Or remove it and replace entirely with 2-3 layers butyl tape (the butyl I have is 1/8" and the gap is approx. 1/3")?
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Old 06-07-2022, 08:28 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
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Location: Florida
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Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Your gap is not as large as some bus frames. Still looks like a good place for closed cell backer rod. Would compliment the spray foam.

As far as reusing the old. It will likely tear and goo up. Consistency of warm gum and playdoh. Our factory seal was a (deteriorated) rubber tube covered in asphalt goo. Nasty, messy. Clean that off, it sticks to itself, like cleaning up playful. Mineral spirits smears but does break it down..

For the new butyl, we also used two layers of 1/8", in most places, then squeezed into the bed of butyl. On some, a little squeezed out. An orange plastic razor cuts it nicely, but not the paint or glazing.

We feel much more secure knowing, with experience, what to use & how to replace or reseal each window. Low difficulty, inexpensive, big gains.
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Old 06-08-2022, 12:53 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Your gap is not as large as some bus frames. Still looks like a good place for closed cell backer rod. Would compliment the spray foam.

As far as reusing the old. It will likely tear and goo up. Consistency of warm gum and playdoh. Our factory seal was a (deteriorated) rubber tube covered in asphalt goo. Nasty, messy. Clean that off, it sticks to itself, like cleaning up playful. Mineral spirits smears but does break it down..

For the new butyl, we also used two layers of 1/8", in most places, then squeezed into the bed of butyl. On some, a little squeezed out. An orange plastic razor cuts it nicely, but not the paint or glazing.

We feel much more secure knowing, with experience, what to use & how to replace or reseal each window. Low difficulty, inexpensive, big gains.
All makes sense, thanks! If you are in the need of a new career, maybe consider bus conversation motivational coach. Hardest part is getting past my own fears of ignorance / making a mistake along the way (which is inevitable, of course).
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