Okay folks,

I need some help.  We are going through and resealing this entire camper we just got. The issue at hand is this lovely silicone the previous owner decided to just glob on. Aside from denatured alc and other paint removing agents... anyone have a better idea on getting rid of silicone residue? Something that won't wear down the existing paint?

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The only sure fire way is lots and lots of elbow grease and possibly borrow some elbow grease from family and friends and a wire brush,,, Silicone is the RV'ers worst nightmare..

Additional information as well as photos would help a lot.

Substrates - aluminum? painted aluminum? fibreglass? fibreglass with gelcoat? one sealed to one or one to the other? roof and vents, AC, etc.? sidewalls and windows?

If the PO globbed on silicone you may be able to remove the bulk of the bulk. Problem will be the residue, which MUST be removed. Silicone will not adhere to previously applied silicone. Nor will any other adequate sealant.

What you do not want to do is apply more silicone.

If you can provide photos it would help a lot.

Be prepared, unfortunately, for a fairly labour intensive undertaking.

It will not fix itself.

Oh blessed silicone, where would the world be without thou? Unfortunately silly-con leaves a residue and it takes either chemicals or physical abrasion to remove it and unfortunately the paint is going to suffer if you are to have a residue free surface for the proper sealant to adhere to.

Sure, you had to qualify "won't wear down the existing paint" on the last bit. I would have suggested either a flame-thrower or acetone (in about 5 gallon drums) to get rid of that sillycone. Okay. Seriously there will be no substitute for that elbow grease with just pulling it off, unscrewing trim strips you can get to that have it on it, razor strippers and the like. At some point you may find the brute force option with repaint with auto paint is better than trying to be dainty about removal. Goodness knows I have a job (gob?) to do on the front of the Allegro roof with the trim strip totally covered in layers of the goop that does nothing right now except maybe decrease my MPG by about 1 or 2 miles per gallon.

Over on the boat forum the guys are using this stuff....

Permatex 80652 RTV Silicone Dissolver, 2.7 oz.

Please do not take this wrong, Tim Daily, but the product you link to is meant to assist in the removal of gasketed auto components and the gaskets  therein. As soon as you remove it from a controlled locus - valve cover - and use it in an open locus - RV roof to vent - you have changed the product's parameters.

Valve cover, you have total control of the product.

Roof, try to wipe it up as you go.

Valve cover seals largely from compression factors.

RV roof..........................................................................

I absolutely will not take it wrong.  ;)     

That being said, I'd still try it.  LOL     

Looks like there is a wait on Amazon to get it.
Here is a better price with free shipping on EBay.
https://www.ebay.com/p/2-7-Oz-Tube-of-Permatex-80652-RTV-Silicone-D...
Oops! Slightly higher price than Prime. Paul says mineral spirits works fairly well-with a lot of elbow grease...gently.

Alsie, I used a product from Goo Gone in my bathroom to remove silicone from a fiberglass bath tub enclosure I cant remember the name but it is sold at Lowe's in the caulking isle; It did help and there was no damage to the Jell Coat. I still had to use plenty of elbow grease as well. When I sealed the roof on my Motor Home I used acetone. The PO used silicone to seal the entire roof but it was un-painted aluminum for the most part and as with the other stuff plenty of elbow grease was needed. I wiped the acetone off quickly and followed with a dry towel. I would not recommend it on a painted surface though.

Thanks all for the suggestions! This silicone stuff is just unholy. I went to Home Depot and found a similar product to the Goo Gone... called Motsendbockers caulk remover.

My fiance did a small area with it and said it came off fairly easy, after he scraped the initial glob off....he is also impatient and didn't let it sit for the 2-3 mins it tells you too... and it still worked!

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