dwight.hughes
I've been reading multiple reports on this forum about wheel wells leaking in the seams and allowing water intrusion into the coach.  This has thankfully never happened to me but I do live in Oregon/Washington so I travel a lot on wet roads.  So I had decided to do something proactive about it and paint some sort of waterproof material in my wheel wells, or at least silicone caulk the seams fully.  The factory only partially calked the seams, guess they couldn't afford to do the job right?

Here is a pic of what my wheel wells looked like before I painted them...
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What you can't see in that pic is that my stock Cooper tires had been rubbing into the wheel wells.  The back of those tires sat so close to the wheel wells that in turns they'd angle into the metal.  And they had left grooves in the metal to prove it.  Anyway, I cover my tire woes in another post on this forum.  Suffice to say I had to get new replacement tires first before attempting this project.  So if you still have your stock Coopers then you'll probably just want to add silicone caulking to the seams, I'd recommend Henry's Roofing Cement for that -- Home Depot carries it in a calking gun tube and it's clear color and designed for metal flashings and sealing out water.  Good stuff.

But I decided to fully paint my wheel wells.  I'd seen these TV adds for this "miracle" stuff called Flex Seal.  That is what gave me the initial idea to do it anyway.

Upon researching the best material to paint my wheel wells with I can tell you not to use Flex Seal.  It will not hold up over time.  There is one product that really is designed for this purpose, it is called Herculiner.  They carry it in most automotive stores, the price for a quart is $30.  It is a paint on truck bed liner material.  Jeep enthusiasts swear by it and many paint their wheel wells and other exposed components with it.  It is a rubber compound that goes on as a thick layer of black rubber and remains flexible and is tough so rocks and other road stuff won't chip it off.
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  Start by prepping the trailer.  I used a trash bag and cut up some paper bags and taped it all on there with some painters tape.  Just stuff I had around the house.  Also I parked my trailer in the street for this.

It is messy stuff.  It will splatter and it will drip.  You will get liquid rubber splatter on your clothing, on your hands, in your hair, on the ground, pretty much everywhere.  So be prepared!

I purchased one standard 2" paintbrush for $1.49 at Wallmart.  You will throw this away with the empty can of Herculiner when you are finished.

One quart can of Herculiner is enough to put two ample coats on each wheel well surface.  I did the through first coat on each wheel well and then replaced the lid on the can (I'd used almost 3/4 of the can) and waited about 4 hours and then applied a second coat.  It needed the second coat because after the first coat dried I could see a few small dots of metal showing through in some places.  I had really prioritized the seam areas on my first coast with an extra thick application along those seams.  I repeated this with my second coat also.

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And the finished product...

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sunvalleyjoe
looks good I used flex seal to seal mine and posted what a good job. But it started to peel after 10 months. Not sure if is the drastic temps living in high desert. I bought a top of the line automotive undercoating and will see how it holds up this winter. I swear by Flex Seal for roofing on my wood sheds. GBA!!SVJ
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fireblot
+1 on Herculiner. I have used it on several pickup beds over the years and it really is durable. Wear gloves ...... it really sticks to your skin.... don’t ask me how I know!
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Frank
Looks good! Thanks for the idea. 
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retro195man
 Great idea and thanks for the info on which product holds up. 
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gmwat
What did you do to prep the metal other than soap and water?  I will be coating the wheel wells on our 155.
Thanks
Glen
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dwight.hughes
gmwat wrote:
What did you do to prep the metal other than soap and water?  I will be coating the wheel wells on our 155.
Thanks
Glen


Hi Glen.  Actually soap and water is a bad idea.  You can start with that I guess to get off any heavy dirt and grime.  But make certain to let it dry out throughly.

I used mineral spirits and a rag to get the metal clean.  You could alternatively use acetone.  After the metal had dried I scrubbed at it with #0000 steel wool.  This is the most important part actually.  You could skip the others cleaning and just do this.  The steel wool will scrape off any small amounts of rust and other tarnish on the metal.  Steel wool is what will allow the polyurethane paint to adhere properly to the bare metal surface.  DO NOT use coarse steel wool, ONLY USE #0000, and be careful not to dislodge/upset the existing caulking Riverside put in the wheel wells.

Hope that helps.
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Dahlgrend
I agree with your comments regarding the wheelwells and the caulking not being complete. We decided to weatherproof our 189r as well with autmotive rocker panel paint. Rubber composite for rocks and chips as well as weather resistant. Pictures of before during and after. Full season of wet west coast and no issues. Thanks for all the great ideas posted. 
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fireblot
Wow, professional job! I’m looking at the bare metal in my wheel wells and feeling a little guilty.....
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GinnyMiller
Nice mod. I am full time and have not experienced any wheel-well leaks, but this is a good project to consider, none the less. For what it's worth, my house I owned before becoming full time RVer was a log home. I sealed cracks in logs both inside and outside, with Flex Seal. Have also used Flex seal on my trailer to reinforce some roof seams and edges which I felt were done inadequately done by the factory. (had one minor roof leak in my trailer that started all this). I live in southeast Texas and went all the way through Hurricane Harvey without any leaks to my log house or camper. Just my experience.
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