Rain-Proofing My Truck's Crappy Camper Shell... ??
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  1. #1
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Question Rain-Proofing My Truck's Crappy Camper Shell... ??

    Hey guys,

    I haven't posted on here in a while. I have an old camper shell on my GMC Sierra that lets rainwater leak down into the truck bed on the front and rear ends of it. The front only has one of those awful rubber boots that pushes up against the cab's back window, rather than its own sealed front-side window. The back leaks around the tailgate area as well. Anyway, I don't have a couple grand for a fancy new rainproof camper shell...so I've been searching for a rain-proofing solution since I bought the truck. I think I MAY have found one, but wondered what you guys think.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Rubber-C...-096/303371976

    https://www.autozone.com/sealants-gl...ive/934735_0_0
    (EDIT: I'm looking at using this adhesive instead: https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b.../08011/4462049 ).

    I'm thinking of using that adhesive^^ to bond a cut-out strip of that sheet rubber^^ over the top of the gap between the top-back of the truck's cab and the top-front of the camper shell (and similarly around the back side), so that the rain will roll over that rubber strip and down the sides of the cab/camper (where the two meet), instead of down into the truck bed.

    Those materials are a bit costly, but a lot less than alternatives, I reckon. Will it work? Will it hold up to continued regular use over time? I have a three to four day camping trip coming up in like a week, so I'd really hope so.
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-08-2019 at 07:53 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  2. #2
    Junior Member K-Dub's Avatar
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    Nice Video! Way to go for it when needed.

    I have no idea about the topper issue...
    kj7687 likes this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Badgerflorida's Avatar
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    Great video.

    Is it too far gone for a silicone sealant? No reason why your idea won’t work. My only experience is with Gorilla Glue clear silicone for sealing a glass fog lamp cover. It stayed watertight for a year and a half when we traded it. I could tell it was weatherbeaten and looked like it was starting to crack and I remember thinking I should have used something with UV Protection. But I hit it with the hose every time I washed the car to see if it was still holding.

    Here is the GG I used. https://www.lowes.com/pd/gorilla-100...xoCUWcQAvD_BwE

    Here is one with UV protection. https://www.grainger.com/product/DAP...-Sealant-5A463

    You could use clear or white.
    kj7687 likes this.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    I'm afraid a sealant alone won't solve this, unfortunately. Thanks for the input. I guess I'll go ahead and buy this stuff and get it done. I'll try and do an update post within a month or so. Now I'm wondering if I should just try and rock some of that Gorilla Glue and save some money, instead of my adhesive/silicon idea. Hmm. I'm like the Ents in The Lord of the Rings when it comes to making choices LOL. Like the Ents, though, when I eventually do reach an ultra carefully considered decision, it is a good one, haha. So I'm okay with it.

    EDIT: It looks like that Gorilla Glue sealant will seal but won't do as an adhesive.
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-08-2019 at 07:34 PM.
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    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    I just found out that 3M recommends the regular weatherstripping adhesive (08011) for EPDM rubber, specifically, instead of the Super Weatherstripping Adhesive (08008)... It looks like 08008 might not work with EPDM rubber, so I'm glad I read this before purchasing...
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  7. #6
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Now I'm reading that either of these products could (but might not...) lift the paint from the metal surface, like acetone. Apparently, it depends on what type of paint was used/how the metal was painted. Now I need to do even more research to try and figure that part out. Why must everything be so complicated? I just want to glue a piece of rubber to my car and have it stay on LOL. I will scrape the damn paint off first if I need to.

    According to a specifications page for this product on the Napa Auto Parts website, the 08011 product is compatible with "Painted & Unpainted Metal Surfaces".
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-08-2019 at 08:34 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  8. #7
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Ah, the pursuit of perfection...it's going to be a real pain trying to get this done with like 8 feet of rubber on the top and sides of the truck before it gets too tacky. I will have to be super speedy.


    Last edited by kj7687; 03-08-2019 at 08:35 PM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  9. #8
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    There is quite a bit of chassis flex in pick-ups resulting in lots of displacement between cab and camper top. I doubt the adhesive and sheet rubber would endure.
    Have you considered and dismissed the variety of cab-to-camper boots typically used? I had good luck with a close cell foam boot but I have seen several inflatable boots like these:
    RV Truck Boot window PASS-THROUGH Camper Shell NEW lg

    https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=DChcSEwjVtJycofTgAhWbusAKHdVhAm8YABAH GgJpbQ&ohost=www.google.com&cid=CAASE-RojV8eVG-0uhRpypGWM0sWZwc&sig=AOD64_0ifd6gmaRlATqyBV7P8Epwl hzhJA&ctype=5&q=&ved=0ahUKEwiun5ecofTgAhVGMawKHQWe D7gQ9aACCDs&adurl=
    kj7687 likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Fred, I was thinking of squishing the rubber strip together a bit from each side (from where each side of it would be bonded to the rooftops) so that there is a little extra material in the gap between the two rooftops, to help reduce the pull on the two bonds during differential flexing and twisting of the cab and camper shell. I don't really like the idea of a cab-to-camper boot -- the one on it now leaks even though it's pushed against the cab's window -- , but I guess it's not necessarily completely out of the question. I've been considering/researching possibilities all day, and to be honest, I'm getting a little fed up, haha (with the process, not with anyone's suggestions!). Maybe I am just asking too much and am being overly desperate and a little crazy. Maybe I should just let it go, but I hate doing that. I'm very pleased with the mattress I have in the truck bed and the overall setup -- it's perfect, except for the damn rain problem. Sigh.

    I need to either give this up and forget it or try the rubber with 3M adhesive sealant and hope for the best. Maybe one day, after winning the lottery, I'll buy a real camper shell.
    Last edited by kj7687; 03-09-2019 at 12:12 AM.
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

  11. #10
    Senior Member kj7687's Avatar
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    Someone suggested "Amazing Goop". I Googled that and found this closely related but seemingly superior product -- Eclectic E6800. It advertises that it is UV resistant, completely waterproof, and that it provides "an exceptional bond to . . . metal . . . fiberglass . . . [and] rubber". The question remains whether that includes EPDM rubber. Sigh. If so, this seems like it might be better than the 3M product. I guess I have to stop speculating and Googling crap and contact the manufacturer directly, as I've done with the 3M product (waiting on email response...).

    This product does give me a glimmer of hope for this project, though:

    https://glazecoat.com/wp-content/upl.../e6800_tds.pdf
    KJ, just KJ, ok.


    Current rides:
    2004 GMC Sierra 1500, 1999 Toyota 4Runner

    Past rides: 2015 Yamaha XT 250, 1997 Suzuki DR 200, 2007 Honda Ruckus, 2007 Yamaha TW 200, 2007 Kawasaki Ninja 500, 2009 Kawasaki KLX331S; 1994 GMC Sierra 1500, 1987 Nissan Pathfinder, 1992 Acura Integra, 1986 Honda CRX, 1989 Jeep Cherokee, 1994 Chevrolet Astro Van, 1979 Volkswagen Rabbit, 1984 Jeep Cherokee

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