Thursday, August 18, 2016

Camper Part 2

A few years ago, my husband and I bought our first camper.  We loved traveling and spending uninterrupted time with our kids and it seemed like the right thing to do, and in a certain sense, it was.
Unfortunately, we did not do enough research before dropping more than a few thousand bucks on what turned out to be a pretty hot mess. 
We spent more money and a bunch of time doing our best to get her back in good order, but the more we worked, the more problems and damage we found.  It sucked.  I did a post about the first step we took to stop her from leaking at the seams (it's a real thing and ALL campers will do it if not taken care of properly).  If you want to see what we did, check it out here.
At the end of that post, I said I would tell you how we went a step further to protect against future leaks.  Then...  well...  Sorry.
So, here I am, three years later, giving you the 411 on stopping camper leaks step two.  Let me preface this by saying this is not for all campers.  This is not something you want to do unless you absolutely HAVE TO.  This will NEVER COME OFF.  It is supposed to be permanent and prevent all future leaks and I can say so far it has, but I would NEVER put this on a camper in good or even decent shape.  Our camper walls were already so rotten at the corners some of our screws had nothing to grab on to, compromising the seal during step one so we felt we had nothing to lose.
I found this product online and it sounded pretty awesome.  We bought the webbed version for it's flexibility and the UV protector required and started taping.
We ran the tape up each corner of the trailer as well as on the roof where there was a rip in the rubber.  Once we rolled over all the tape with a roller/our hands to make sure it was well adhered, I pained on the UV protector.
Since we did this, I don't think we have had any more leakage from the areas we taped.  Unfortunately, we figured out the windows were leaking terribly and the guy we bought it from, used builders caulk to try to seal them up (that's a terrible idea).  The leaking windows had caused a huge amount of damage on their own to the interior of the walls.  On top of that, the outside storage hatch at the front passenger side had been leaking for so long before we bought it that the floor of it was rotting out.  That doesn't sound too bad since it's only a storage area, but it's also where the leveling jack is attached, so the last time we used it, the jack crunched up through the floor.
Anyway, the point of this post.  Camper sealing part 2.  Eternabond.  My thoughts.
  • Only use Eternabond as a last resort.  It's not coming off.  Ever.  It will be stuck to your camper for eternity.  Hence the name.
  • Eternabond will look best on white campers.  The UV coting is like white paint so that's what your seams will be.  Big white stripes.
  • I was very happy with the Eternabond and don't have a bad thing to say about it, my issue was lack of knowledge when buying our first RV.
So, where does this leave you?
My first suggestion is to be VERY, VERY careful if you are in the market for an RV.  I'm working up a post on some suggestions when shopping based on our experience to help ya'll out.
My second suggestion is if you, like us, already have a leaky damaged RV on your hands and have nothing lest to loose, Eternabond might be a good option to consider.
I hope this helps all of you out there in camperland!

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