Waterproofing vintage campers is a must if you want to prevent further water damage. I lost count of the hours I spent removing silicone caulking from the seams of our Shasta Compact. It is easy to put on, but it doesn’t come off quiet so fast. Why was it there in the first place? Because there is no handbook for repairing vintage campers and I followed some advice I found online. Below you will find the products that did end up working for us.
The information I share on this blog depicts what worked for us during our camper repair and restoration project. It may not be what is best for you. You may have an alternative opinion completely. Leave a comment and let me know what you agree and don’t agree with.
You can see the steps we took to repair water damage in this post. You will want to correct any damage before you begin the process of waterproofing.
Here are my Dos and Don’ts for Sealing Seams on Vintage Campers.
Do PREP THE SURFACE
You will need to remove all of the old caulking, sealant, and butyl tape before applying more to your camper.
Silicone Caulking: I used 3M Caulk Remover and a plastic putty knife to remove this.
Sealant: I removed this with a plastic putty knife and sandpaper.
DO Use Butyl Tape
Butyl tape is used to seal windows and the roof vents. If your camper has drip edges or J railing, you should also apply new butyl tape to it as well. To apply the butyl tape, you will need to remove each window or vent, place a strip of butyl tape along the edge that butts up to the camper, and put them back in place. If you are working outdoors, you will need to pick a warmer day to apply the tape. It doesn’t stick to the aluminum as well on cold days.
Once the buytl tape has had a few days to settle, you will want to re-tighten all of the screws. This will ensure a tighter seal.
Do Use Proflex RV sealant
Proflex RV Sealant is a great product to use on your roof seams. Once you have applied butyl tape to the roof vent, you can add Proflex to the edge of it as well. A small dot can also be place on the screw heads of the windows and roof vents for extra protections. Proflex can be painted over if the need should occur.
Don’t Use Dicor Self Leveling Sealant
I’ve seen this suggested many times; so many times that I used it myself. After two years the sealant cracked.
DON’T USE SILICONe CAULKING
As I mentioned above, this is hard to remove. If you want to paint your camper at some point in the future, you will need to remove the silicone since you can’t paint it.
don’t use a heat gun if…
If your camper has already been painted, don’t use a heat gun. It can and will ruin your paint job. However, a heat gun speeds up the process of removing old products if your camper hasn’t been painted yet. Others have used a hair dryer.