Hard boiled egg…

These uHaul Campers – and the other varieties which are similarly shaped have been likened to eggs, and with the newly sweltering August weather, it’s feeling more and more like we’re out of the frying pan and into the water.  Our hope is to get our little camper prepped and ready with three main objectives met before Labor Day:

  1. Sealed – no leaks on windows, doors or ceiling
  2. Headliner done – so it looks like someplace we’d like to camp in
  3. Floor – Since we had to pull up the flooring to find out how much water was going where, we have a bit of work to do to put the flooring back together

If we can get those three things done – then the rest will be ‘bearable’ for our weekend camping trip in September.

Yesterday we worked on checking the window seals and putting up the headliner, both of which have proven to be time-intensive, and tedious tasks.

Seals

It would be nice if we could just caulk all the windows shut, but then several of the windows functionally open to allow a breeze to come through, and one window which had been replaced with a mere piece of plexiglass, doesn’t open at all now – so any amount of fresh air exchange we can get w/o installing an electric fan is very welcome.  Caulking the windows has involved using a good sealant and attempting our best at applying it to each of the windows, letting it cure 24 hours, and then testing the area’s ability to keep water out.  There are 5 windows (counting the one on the door), plus a door and yesterday we had 4 of them sealed up real well, the final one will hopefully be cured and ‘perfected’ today.

Headliner

While the headliner isn’t really a crucial part of the functional design of the camper, it is a part that gives the camper a welcome feeling.  Baring carpet in a camper (and I applaud the former owners for putting in a floating wood floor) having some means of softening the inside with the headliner is a good idea.  Finding an inexpensive though comfortable option to affix to the ceiling is another.  We went with an indoor/outdoor carpet available from a local hardware store, we like the color and think it will fit well.  The most significant issues with putting it in involve:

  • how to adhere it securely
  • how to manage the large piece of carpet (it’s 13 feet long and 2 feet wide)
  • how to cut it to fit as we’d like (on one end of the 13 feet, it begins at 22” wide, widens to 24” and then tapers back to 23”)  It’d be far better if it was simply 24” on a 13’ run, but that’s not the case. 
  • holding it in place long enough to cure – whatever we use to secure it

The headliner – far more than the seals, is a more difficult task – and the hot sun doesn’t make it any easier.

In an effort to install the headliner in a semi-permanent way (to allow us access to wiring later), we’re installing the carpet using ‘industrial’ Velcro.  The Velcro itself has an adhesive, but it’s not of the type necessary for the job – but the Velcro itself – is. So we’re using Gorilla Glue to adhere the Velcro to the shell of the camper and hopefully to the carpet itself. We’re hoping this idea gives us the ability to adhere the carpet semi-permanently, but also gives us a little wiggle room – to make up for the 22-23” taper on either side of the run.  We’re also hoping to run a thin strip of reflectix down the middle – between the shell and carpet to help insulate the inside.  We’ll see how it goes. Yesterday we were able to get the first row of Velcro onto the shell (there are two rows).  Today we’ll try for the other – and possibly get it on to the carpet – to let the whole lot cure and try to attach it tomorrow.

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