The interior walls and ceiling of Scamp trailers are typically covered with a type of mold- and mildew-resistant fabric that owners refer to as “rat fur.” The rat fur is adhered to a bubble wrap, foil-covered insulation that’s glued to the fiberglass shell. The previous owner ripped out all of the rat fur, saying he thought it was too dirty to clean, but he left the insulation.
After researching and talking with folks on various modification forums, I decided to purchase a marine headliner (typically installed in boats) for the walls of our trailer. I ordered the Silver Grey Stratos (plain pattern) from “Perfect Fit” and it arrived in a ridiculously long roll that we have stored in the hall in the basement.
First, I had to remove pieces of rat fur that were still around the rear window and the rear driver’s side window.
I really, really didn’t want to take these windows out, so I carefully cut and ripped out the old fabric.
Another Scamp owner said that when she replaced the fur with marine headliner, she simply made a fold and butted it up against the frame of the window instead of loosening the window frame to tuck the fabric behind it. That’s what I plan to do, too.
Concerned about the amount of glue residue left on the walls from the removal of the old rat fur, I started using a “Goof Off” type of spray applied to a sponge, then I lightly washed the walls to remove the solvent. (I still need to do more of this on the ceiling.)
A couple of weeks before this, I sanded and painted the bumper and tongue of the trailer with black Rust-oleum. Looks much better.
The first time we saw some water in the “dinette” area near the door, we thought we’d tracked it in. To our dismay, we finally realized that water was coming in from somewhere in the front, and we also discovered that the rear passenger side window was leaking. As a side note, there was no rat fur around the leaking window, and I’m guessing that when the previous owner took it out to remove the fabric, he just didn’t re-seal properly when he put it back in.
We caulked over all the rivets in the roof, loosened and caulked around and under the hinges on the door, and we caulked over the leaking window. We were pretty confident that we’d taken care of everything, but the next hard rain proved us wrong….
We knew that we had to get everything dry before we could consider putting up the wall covering or building the dinette or bed extension, so I ordered some butyl tape (that we couldn’t find locally) and we pulled out the rear passenger side window. A large tarp covered the roof and hole for a week or so…
It took a while to remove all of the old caulk and adhesive around the window, but the solvent we used (and elbow grease) worked well. Followed that by rinsing off the solvent and letting it dry.
I removed the old adhesive and caulk that were left on the window and cleaned out the weep holes. Then we started the process of putting it back in.
Wayne put strips of butyl tape around the window opening. I can see why this is the recommended way to re-install RV windows. It’s much thicker than the thin strip of adhesive that was there before.
Next step was to trim off the excess butyl tape that oozed out around the window, and we also caulked around the window. I can’t think of anything else that we can do to make this leak-proof!
We also caulked around the big front window–both around the outside of it and between the gasket and the Plexiglas window. In a perfect world and if we had crazy skills and an unlimited supply of money, we’d probably opt to replace the gasket around the window. After watching some how-to videos, though, we decided not to mess with this right now. Our goal is to be able to use our trailer as soon as possible, and while we’re not trying to cut corners, some things will just need to wait.
During the week of May 2-May 9, there were strong thunderstorms all around us, but not a single drop of rain fell here. Now we have a nice Saturday to get some more work done on the trailer, but until we know–for SURE–that we’ve sealed up everything to prevent further leaking, we just can’t move forward with the dinette or wall covering….