How to Refurbish a Travel Trailer

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Summer is on the horizon and excitement grows as talk of pulling out the trusty travel trailer begins. And then you realize your trusty travel trailer has turned into your rusty travel trailer. You begin to notice the inside is showing signs of wear from the leaky roof you didn't know you had. So before taking off on your great summertime excursion, you start a journey of a different kind -- the journey of refurbishing your travel trailer.

Things You'll Need

  • Eternabond microsealant tape
  • Sandpaper
  • Rust inhibitor primer
  • Exterior paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Box of tiles

Checking for Needed Repairs

  • Fix the leaks. The best place to start when refurbishing a trailer is on the roof. Make sure to check any areas that may be leaking and seal them. Before doing this, make sure all the wood under the roof is dry, and then use Eternabond, a microsealant tape which has a lifetime warranty. When you apply it, take a four inch strip and place two inches on the roof and two inches on the aluminum of the trailer. This will keep any water from leaking in.  

  • Remove rust. Once you have fixed your roof, move on to the rust caused by the elements. This will not only improve the appearance of your trailer, but will also reinforce its shell. To do this, sand the rust down using sandpaper.  

  • Prime your trailer. Once the rust is gone, you will want to prime it with a rust inhibitor primer, which will help prevent the rust from reappearing. This is also necessary if you are going to be painting your trailer.  

  • Paint your trailer. Over time, the color of your trailer will begin to fade from the effects of the elements, especially the sun. After you have primed your trailer, wash it to remove any dirt that may be on it. You can use any color you choose; just be sure the paint you use is an exterior paint. This is the best paint to use on a trailer made of aluminum. It is also good to use a painter's tape to cover any areas, such as window frames, that you don't want painted. In addition, you can use the tape to make stripes or designs on your trailer. This allows you to use more than one color, giving it a whole new look and life.

  • Remove damaged wood. If your trailer has experienced interior wood damage from previous leaks, you will want to remove the rotting wood so that you have a more trailer. To make this easier, use a crowbar to lift up the wood needing to be replaced. This will give you leverage and make the job easier. Once the damaged wood has been removed, you can then replace it with the new wood, either on the floors or around the window casings.  

  • Fix the bathroom. This is another area that may require your attention if your travel trailer is older and in need of some TLC. The floor is usually the spot requiring the most attention, because the linoleum may begin to lift and peel over time. As long as the wood under it is solid, the most inexpensive fix is to purchase a box of stick-on tiles from your local department store.

  • Fix your furniture. If your trailer has been a member of the family for many years, you may need to repair some of the furniture inside of it as well. This will improve the look of your trailer as well as the comfort as you're riding down the road. You can do this by having your cushions reupholsterd or simply purchasing seat covers.  

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make sure the wood especially around pipes is solid before replacing the floor covering. This is an area in travel trailers that can succumb to leaks. Before applying paint surfaces must be perfectly clean for the paint to adhere.
  • Photo Credit http://www.travelizmo.com/archives/cat_travel_trailers.html, www.paulsherryrvs.com, http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view?back=http%3A%2F%2Fimages.se
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