Do-it-Yourself maintenance of a thirty foot RV is not for the weak of mind or body. I’m a do-it-yourselfer. Some people call me a tightwad, but that isn’t completely accurate. I like working with my hands even though it hurts more than it used to.
I check the seams for good seals all around the RV including the roof twice a year. I wash the EPDM rubber roof twice a year with a solution that also is a conditioner. Not sure what a conditioner does to a rubber roof, but I know it makes my hair shine. Not that I use rubber roof cleaner on my hair, but as I think about it, maybe I should try it. Anyway the rubber roof cleaner says right on the bottle that it conditions it. Could be marketing hype and if it is it worked. I buy it every year.
I feel like I need to polish or wash and wax the fifth wheel once a year at a minimum and spring is the time of year I do it. Here it is July 1st and I haven’t quite finished this year’s application. I do have several excellent excuses. There are children and grandchildren that we need to see and they need us, grass that needs mowing, and the most recent whopper excuse, water damage on the RV.
I found that one of the seals I inspected twice a year was breached by Mother Nature at some point in the past and had cause the fiberglass lamination to become delaminated. So much for my do-it-yourself inspections! This is the beginning of the end for an RV. I seriously considered taking it to the dealership for repairs but after searching the internet I learned that they have a wrote response to anyone showing up with delaminating fiberglass. It goes something like this, “the damage is too extensive to repair and wouldn’t be cost effective but we’ll give you a good trade-in price on a new one.” The mention of a new RV makes all kinds of bells go off in my tightwad head, so, I researched do-it-yourself repairs on the internet.
Found a process that I thought was the best potential way to put some life back into the RV. The videos I saw of these actually reminded me of those you see where people do stupid things and show up on America’s Funniest Home Videos. In any case, I embarked on the journey with no video camera near me just in case it went south. I did however take pictures.
During the process, I sent the pictures to Mac ( one of the mighty four ) to get his feedback. The first photo showed the damage and told Mac I found water damage. Mac’s response was “stop looking.” To that I responded, “I don’t want a window to fly out of the RV going down the highway.” That actually happened to Mac on one of our trips in an old RV he owned that had some delaminating side panels.
After finishing the repair which took 4 days, I sent Mac the final picture with the caption “Like new!” His response was “Great.” Knowing Mac as well as I do, I sent a follow-up message, “If you believe that, I’ll sell it to you”. His response was “No thanks, I was just being polite.”