Step-by-step Guide on Repairing a Camper Shell
Almost all pop-up campers available around have hard and soft shells. For the roof, pop-up campers usually have a hard shell. This type is a recent invention used by outdoor enthusiasts particularly families that love the outdoors. Simple camping trailers merge the amenities and convenience of bigger camping trailers with the portability of having a big tent.
Although pop-up campers are generally easy to maintain, there may be problems encountered particularly when it is used to house the trailer. There have been a lot of cases wherein the outer shells become brittle. In addition, camper shells have a tendency to crack due to cold weather or from years of use. Replacing the entire unit is not a great idea because a brand new one will be expensive.
Thus, it is better to fix it especially if it is just minor. There are certain ways to fix camper shells as well as ensure more nights in the outdoor with campers.
Follow a simple guide that will explain in full detail the easiest and most effective methods for fixing a brittle camper shell. You must have sandpaper, fiberglass repair kit, alcohol swaps, permanent marker, use of a stall or a garage and your own choice of paint and paint color.
Isolate the camper shell’s crack. You have to mark the crack with a permanent marker. Marking the crack allows you to be optimistic that you will repair the camper shell’s broken section and not to miss any portion of the crack that would still let moisture in it.
Scuff the area with the crack and the edges with the sandpaper.
The next thing you have to do is to spread the fiberglass cloth and cut it. You have to measure the length and width of the crack so that the length and width of the fiberglass will entirely cover the camper shell’s crack. Cut the fiberglass with 2 up to 3 inches of overlap from its edges.
Mix the fiberglass epoxy clay and spread it on the crack. Apply only a thin coating on the crack itself and a thicker layer around the crack.
Place the cutout portion of the fiberglass cloth on the epoxy clay and spread another coating of epoxy clay over the fiberglass cloth. You can repeat this process 3 times in order to build an ample coating of fiberglass over the cracked area. 6th Step – You will have to allow the resin of the fiberglass to dry indoors for 1 up to 2 days.
Once the resin is thoroughly dry, lightly sand the surface and the edges of the fiberglass cloth patch.
Using the alcohol swabs, dust off and clean the area around the fiberglass patch.
You will paint the fiberglass area with touch up paint. Make sure that the color of the paint will match the camper’s color. If not, you may have to paint the whole top portion of the camper shell.
The paint will dry after a day or two. After the top portion of the camper shell is dry, you can now use it for your next camping trip.
Tips When Repairing Camper Shells
Apply 3 to 4 coatings of fiberglass cloth and epoxy clay on cracks. It is strong enough to seal cracks and make it watertight. On the other hand, if the cracked area of the camper shell is within a high stress zone” apply 6 coatings or more on the affected area.
Make extra caution when sanding the area around the crack for camper shells are sharp. It is advisable to wear gloves when repairing camper shells.