We started rebuilding the frame panels section by section, installing them as we made them. We used pressure treated wood for the frame to make sure any future water damage would be kept to a minimum. For the wall board and ceiling we used ¼” white laminated particle board . It’s much easier to find and cheaper than the plywood that was originally used. You can find it at your local home depot and just about any other hardware store. We built and attached all the frame pieces using long exterior wood screws. They are a lot better of a choice than nails for this type of project, as nails may come loose from rough roads. The white ¼” white laminated particle board walls there attached to the frame sections using brad nails. On the roof, we installed the particle board with wide head screw to prevent any chance of it bowing.
Tip: If you plan to cut white laminated particle board, make sure you use a fine tooth plywood blade. A regular ripping blade will make a mess of the edges. Also, make sure you have someone there to help you cut it. Laminated particle board is very flexible which makes it a pain to cut on your own.
Once all the frame panels were made and installed back on our travel trailer, we started insulting the trailer. We used common white Styrofoam insulation for this as its cheap and easy to work with.
We replaced the entire original wiring with new wiring as we didn’t want to chance having to go back in to fix a failed light.
Before installing the aluminum siding back on the travel trailer, we covered all the new panels with a thick layer of plastic sheeting. This was done because pressure treated wood can’t come into contact with aluminum, or the aluminum will start to deteriorate. In our case it also added another layer of water proofing.
We installed the siding and roof back on the trailer using staples and an air staple gun. We made sure to seal any possible problem areas with a siding caulk before installing the trim that covers the edges of the siding. We also made sure to use a premium roofing sealer around the top vent and were the roof meets the siding to help prevent any leaks.
Once the all the siding and roof was back on, we went ahead and installed the siding trim and windows back on out trailer. Both the siding trim and windows use butyl putty tape on their inside edges as a sealant. You can get butyl putty tape at your local RV dealer or order it online in bulk to save some cash.
The putty tape is placed on the inside surface, where the window frame edges or siding trim meets the aluminum siding. You then use sheet metal screws to attach the windows and trim, which squeezes the butyl tape creating a water tight seal. Any excess putty tape that is squished out can be trimmed away.
Once we got the outside water tight, we painted the inside and added sheet vinyl flooring . We selected sheet vinyl flooring because it’s easy to install, resistant to hot and cold weather, and above all, it’s easy to clean up. In a travel trailer you have to be careful with the flooring you select. Click-lock type flooring (laminate and hardwood flooring) can buckle because of temperature variations. Flooring that use an adhesive can become unbound when temperatures get too hot. With sheet vinyl, you simply cut to size and drop it in. You use the floor edging trim to lock it into place.
Finally, the finished results of our travel trailer rebuild below:
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