Resealing an ARE topper


I've got an ARE fiberglass topper on my truck that I bought new in 1996. It is starting to leak around the windows. The windows are kept in place with what seems to be two-piece aluminum extruded pieces (one inside and one outside) that go all the way around the windows, with the inside piece screwed into the outside piece in multiple places. Looks like some sort of gasket materiel between the two.

Has anyone ever removed the side window assemblies (and the one closest to the cab's back window) and resealed them? It looks like the window would come out as one assembly.

Truck painted.10.jpg


I've never done it with an ARE, however I seem to recall it was a Leer we did back in the 90s. the windows may be different since then, but the interior bezel of the window was held on with phillips screws. Have a helper keep the window from falling out while you unscrew and remove the bezel. Tip the top of the window out, and pivot so you remove it from within the bed of the truck. We cleaned up the mating surfaces, and resealed with clear silicone sealant. I was VERY careful about keeping any squeeze out from showing.

The front Window would be a toughie. Probably have to remove the cap from the truck, meaning you will likely have to reseal the bed to cap gaskets...

If I were to do it again, I might consider using something more, auto / RV specific. Like maybe Butyl tape. Just be sure you get the right width stuff. Most likely you will need 3/4"


I've already given my wife a heads-up I might be needing her help. Unless I don't get it done till my daughter's home for spring break, then I'll task her to help me. Yeah; don't want to drop the window and have it break.


VERY careful about keeping any squeeze out from showing.
You can put masking tape on the bodywork tightly around the windowframe perimeter.
Any sealant squeeze out just peels away after its cured.
I resealed one for a buddy. We didn't use tape, we used a racket strap and a couple of 2x4s. His front window was removable so we fed the strap through the window and around the side. 2x4s on the outside against the window and tighten the strap.


Expedition Leader
Butyl tape is what's commonly used on sailboats. You definitely want a spare set of hands to hold the window in place as you remove the screws.


What is butyl tape, and where do you get it?
Butyl is a caulking sealant what never fully cures or hardens.
Its surface exposed to air may skim over and dry, but underneath stays soft and sticky. Btw, its only sticky, it wont permanently bond like adhesive.
As a tape, its formed as ribbon wound on a roll with release paper. Its also available in bulk container or caulking tubes.

As tape, its common stuff at RV and Boat suppliers. Other forms available at usual construction suppliers.
But a fair chance its not on the shelf at consumer/handyman oriented BigBox Stores.
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