Camper water damage repair

I have repaired other water damage in the camper before but i wanted to share some tips on how i went about it and what materials i used.

This leak was in the back of the camper by the bunks. A few years ago I did a pretty large repair to the back by removing the siding from the outside and replacing wood and insulation.

Leak in back of camper


Because I had it apart from the outside previously I didn’t want to take the inside apart at the same time. Even though I knew there was already water damage to the paneling . So I waited a few years until i was bored one afternoon to take it apart.

One thing I have learned while doing repairs to this camper is that they usually aren’t put together the way you would think. Removing the bunk was just a matter of removing all of the screws . Some screws had been installed from the closet before the paneling was installed in the closet . I had to cut those screws to get things out and then find another way to put it back together. My multi tool has been indispensable for this type of work . Once the bunk was out , it was just a matter of removing the whole piece of paneling . The other piece i had to cut with my multi too since it went behind the wardrobe. I used the old pieces as a template for cutting my new paneling.

Repair and reassembly

Tip – Once the camper wall is opened up , anything that isn’t rotten will usually dry out in a day or 2 .I used a fan inside of the camper to dry it out. I only had to add a little bit of framing inside the wall to give me something secure to staple the new paneling to.

I have found paneling from Menards that has worked to replace the camper paneling. It isn’t the same but it looks nice enough till we try painting it . I’ll let you know how that goes when we get to it. I used a narrow crown stapler to secure the paneling to the studs . I used plastic trim stapled to cover the corners. To cover the staple marks you can just use a white painters caulk .

Check out the roof leak repair around the Antenna i fixed

Awesome Camper Flooring Upgrade

Our camper is 20 years old and we have been wanting to update the flooring for a while.

old flooring

Like most campers it came with linoleum that was installed before the cabinets . Rather than try and remove the old flooring which was in ok shape just not very stylish . I decided to install the new flooring over top the existing . After looking at all the options out there we chose to use armstrong vinyl plank flooring .

I chose it since it is very thin and I dindt think it would interfere or get damaged from the slide out . There wouldn’t be as much waste at using a sheet linoleum product. It is relatively lightweight so it wouldn’t add a lot of weight to the camper.


I used a U notch trowel to spread the pressure sensitive adhesive . Be careful with this glue it is runny. It spilled as soon as I opened the lid. But make sure to spread it thin and let it dry before you try putting down your planks. With a fan drying it it took about 45 minutes on a 60 degree day till it was dry. You can tell the glue is dry when its clear. if it still is white then it is not dry . Once it is dry if you try and touch it, it is very sticky.

New Flooring

I first laid out most of my tile and made the cuts and then picked them back up and stacked them so knew where they would go before I put the glue down. Once you put them don they will come back up but they stick very well.

Since I was still nervous about putting the slide out in , I used 2 extra pieces of flooring to lay down before moving it in. It never did touch or scratch the floor . I was even able to pull them back out once it was all the way in. But I think I’ll just keep using them just in case.

New flooring and painted cabinets
What a difference (this picture is before it is all glued down)!!!

The whole project only took a few hours over 2 afternoons. Maybe if I was younger and used knee pads I could have done it in one afternoon. The whole thing cost under $200 and drastically changed the look of our camper. We are very pleased with the results.

After installing the blackout shades this was a great CORONA project to keep updating our camper.

Blackout Shades for Camper

We decided to put Blackout shades in out camper because trying to get kids to take a nap in a camper was getting to be a chore , last year i put vent insulators in to block the light coming in the roof vents. I also bought a roll of bubble foil insulation which i cut to put in the windows in the main areas.

Blackout Cellular Shades

These 2 things made the camper dark inside, almost dark enough that the kids didn’t wake up at sunrise when we were camping .

In the Master bedroom I installed Blackout cellular shades. They were a little more expensive than the foil they were around $30 each, but they open and close easily and they look great . They are easy to install and seem to be more child proof than the mini blinds that were up there before.

Tip ** In wood frame Campers there is always a 2″x2″ square frame around the windows to screw the brackets to.**

Home Depot has these in stock and can cut them to whatever size you need. Just make sure you choose the room darkening ones. especially if you like to nap during the day or put kids to sleep while its light outside.

The Blackout Cellular shades work so good that this year we decided to splurge and put them in the main area of the Camper. The large ones were almost $70 each but the convenience and the look make it all worth while .

Blackout Shades

Here is what we used . Its kind of hard to see them online its much easier to find them in the store

Broken Spring

I pulled into the campground and everyone was making comments. “Your brakes are making noise”.  “It sounds like you have a bad wheel bearing”. I was to busy setting up and getting all the kids settled that I didn’t notice I had a broken spring until a day later .

Broken Leaf Spring
I dont know how or when it happened.

Once i found the problem i started calling around to see if  I could find a new one. I called the camper store i had just left  that i got a new faucet from, they didn’t stock any i also looked at  the tractor supply company website and they didn’t have what i needed.

Knowing it would take  me a few days to get a replacement i had to figure out a way to get the camper home with a broken spring.

I decided to jack up the camper and put a small 4×4 between the spring and the frame  to see if it would give me enough height to be able to drive home.

4x4 inserted above spring

We took off slowly  and i stopped a few times to see if the block stayed above the broken spring .  It stayed in place the whole way home a 1 1/12 hour drive .  I would recommend taking it easy if you have to do this and trying to tie the block in place.  But  because of how my camper was made i wasn’t able to secure the block in place .

Replacement Springs

When we got home I found the springs I needed at . They shipped quickly , I installed the new one and realized I had ordered the wrong size  spring . I had ordered 4,000 Lb springs since the Trailer GVWR is 8310. Because it is a 5th wheel trailer  20% of the weight is on the hitch . 1662 lbs on the hitch  leaves  6648lbs on the axles which only requires a 3500 lb axle and springs.  I called they got me all straigtened out and have a new set shipping right out to me . I’ll have plenty of time get the new ones installed   to go camping in a week and a half. I am replacing both springs on the axle just to be sure they are exactly the same . I am also replacing any worn hangers or bolts that i find while replacing them.

Keep up with this old trailers  mishaps at

Camper Antenna Roof Leak Repair

The first time I inspected our fifth wheel camper I noticed a soft area on the roof around the TV antenna which I would have to repair. We didn’t have a TV in the camper and we never raised the antenna. We had even camped in some pretty hard rains and never noticed any signs of water damage .

I didn’t even know the roof had a leak until a week after it leaked. When I was showing my mother our new camper, she looked in the bedroom and said “you need to wash your sheets”.

My mother isn’t really that demanding or overburdening that she would tell me to wash my sheets or even make my bed so I figured I better take a look.

When I did i saw that the bed was covered in brown water which had obviously come from the roof.

The repair process

In order to start fixing the roof . I needed to gather my supplies first. I had to guess out how much wood I was going to replace . In order to buy enough materials to fix the roof .

To get the supplies i needed I went to my local RV dealer who has some EDPM roof scraps that they sold me . If I remember correctly I bought a piece that was 8’x8′ . Then I went to a local roofing company that had seam tape for rubber roof as well as the solvent to prep the roof for the seam tape.

To repair the damage,I first removed the antenna from the inside. Once the antenna was out I cut away the rubber roof until i could see where the rotted wood stopped. After the demo of the rotten wood out I had about a 2’x2′ section which I replaced.

Water Damaged Roof and Truss
Water Damaged Roof and Truss

In hindsight I wish I would have taken more pictures to show how I repaired everything but this is all I have. I used plywood to reinforce the water damaged truss. Once this stayed open for a few hours everything dried up . I also used a piece of plywood to reinforce where the antenna mounts to the ceiling.

Patched Roof


Here is the finished product before patching the rubber roof back on and installing the antenna. Once again there is solid wood to hold the antenna and to adhere the roofing to.

Completed Roof Repair

While it probably wasn’t necessary , I used Dicor 501LSW-1 Epdm Self-Leveling Lap Sealant-10.3 Oz. Tube, White, 10.3 Fluid_Ounces around the edges to make it look nicer and as an extra layer of security.

The antenna I used to replace the old one is a KING OA8500 Jack HDTV Directional Over-the-Air Antenna with Mount and Signal Finder – White, It was easy to install and is simple to operate.

To prevent roof leaks read:

Choosing a camper

There are many things to consider when choosing a camper or RV.

Your first thing to consider will be a drivable RV or one that will be towed.

You also have to consider where you will store it , what you will tow it with and how many people will be using it .

There are many types of towable campers . Pop-ups, hybrids, travel trailer, fifth wheels, toy haulers and all of these have the option to have a slide out or multiple slides . They all have advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs.


Starting with the Pop-up , it is the smallest can be towed by almost anything with a trailer hitch and can sleep up to 8 people . These tiny transformers are an upgrade from a tent and are even available with Air conditioners. They do take some time to setup and don’t have tons of storage . Most pop ups don’t have a toilet or shower.


The hybrid campers are half travel trailer half pop up. The beds fold out from the ends and the center is like a travel trailer with a full bathroom and full-size ( camper full size ) refrigerator. These can be towed by a small suv with a tow package.


The travel trailer comes in all shapes and sizes and is the most common type of campers out there. There are many different layouts which are usually abbreviated in the model name.

BH- Bunk House

RK – Rear Kitchen

RL – Rear Living

S-Indicates it has a slide out .

Be sure to look at the trailer weight and know your tow vehicles towing rating before purchasing a trailer that is too heavy. Always use a weigh distribution hitch with sway control to prevent trailers away.


Fifth wheel campers are the larger of them all. They are towed by a fifth wheel hitch in the bed of the truck . They are much taller than the other campers and usually have a bedroom in the front over the hitch. Fifth wheel campers don’t experience trailer sway like bumper pull trailers . But you give up most of your bed for the hitch.

Choosing a camper which will work for you is easy, find it may be a little harder sometimes.

Check out my post on buying new or used here