Windows sealed

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Dec 4, 2006
Chattanooga, Tn
My Father-in-law bought a Winnebago class c. A couple of the windows leaked. He took it to a dealer here in Chattanooga and had them seal all the windows. They also recommended that he have the old caulk that the previous owners put on the roof removed since it didn't flex and wasn't uv protected, and have it resealed.
He had all this done. The total came to 1062.64 and the parts was 180.00. I don't think they removed the windows, I think they just caulked around them.
Is this standard ? Did we get taken to the bank ? Was this something we could have done ?
Is this something now we can just yearly recaulk ?
What kind of caulk ?
Question  and answers  to #1  YES,   #2   YES,   #3   YES,  #4   Yes,  #5  I found Geocel to be a supreme caulking sealant but there are others.  Others will have their preferences, but I've been using Geocel for many many years and believe int he product.  JMHO  Cost would be less that $15 do do the entire couch no matter if it were a 45" rig
If the leaks around the windows were really bad they may have removed them to clean around the area and check the structure. Most likely they just removed the old caulk and replaced it. The materials cost seems quite high since they get the caulk fairly cheap. The total doesn't seem too far off IF they spent 8 to 10 hours removing and recaulking. Labor rates today are in the $90/hour range. It doesn't take long to rack up a huge bill.

You should be able to recaulk yourself whenever necessary. I'd check with the manufacturer to see what they recommend for caulk. There are many different kinds of caulk. For flat surfaces Dicor all purpose caulk works well and is self leveling. As Karl mentioned, check the caulking yearly. As long as it is still pliable and with no cracks it should be fine. Clean around the caulking and if you see any spots that remain dirty there might be a void. Check that area carefully.
Parts seem high, since you didn't mention any materials other than caulk. Even at dealer prices, they probably didn't use more than $30-$40 worth of caulk and/or sealer. Labor, as Jim says, is another story. It's quite possibly an all day job (figure 6+ hours of shop time) and the rate was probably in the $90-$100/hour range. Maybe even more. On the other hand, they could have rushed through it and done it all in 3-4 hours too, and you might not be able to tell the difference superficially. A lot of the work in caulking & sealing is preparation, cleaning out old stuff and making sure the surface is clean so the new caulk/sealer will stick firmly.  If all was done well, the job should last years; if done sloppily it might last only a year or two.

Could you have done it yourself? Sure. Nothing difficult about it. Scrape off old sealer/caulks with a putty knife and/or grout removal tool, clean with mineral spirits or similar and squeeze in a nice bead of new sealer/caulk. It will take you awhile to develop the knack of squeezing the caulk out in a nice smooth line, but it's a matter of training your muscles more than actual skill. You can also use Eternabond sealing tape on the roof seams and that's pretty easy to use. As for the caulk, all RVs stores sell special Rv caulks, e.g. self-leveling caulks for rubber roofs, silicones or similar for windows, etc. You don't have to have the special RV stuff, but it's still not expensive even at RV prices and you don't have to worry about getting the right type of caulk for the job at the local Lowes or Home Depot.

I'd say the bottom line is that you paid top dollar for somebody else's labor and probably got saddled with some extra profit in the form of "parts". The amounts, however, are not unusual for RV dealer repairs where labor is a big factor. That's why many of us have honed our Do-It-yourself skills to a high degree.
Thank you guys for all your responses. It looks like I'm going to have to start honing my do it yourself skills. I have more time than money. Not much but some.

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