When one is buying a used RV to live in full time, you must know what you’re looking at. Yes, you’re looking at a 1990 Tiffin Allegro 31B; but you’re also looking at a potential money pit. Yes, you’re looking at a conceivable adventure; but you’re also looking at a fairly fragile piece of hardware. Yes, you’re finally a “home owner”; but you’re also making constant fixes and upgrades.
One of the things that you have to do regularly with RVs is check the seal in the roof and siding. The Girl Next Door did not get this treatment quite regularly enough while she was parked by her previous owner. As a result, there was some cracks and leaks in the shower vent that let some water in. The first time we visited, it was drizzling and we got to see the slow steady drip into the shower pan. Seemingly, she didn’t have any mold, but we could see a bulge in the shower wall that concerned us.
Thus, one of the first things Jeremy did when we got her home is to pull down that wall and some of the surrounding ceiling. He was delighted to find out that the bulge was from a spot that was badly insulated getting too much sun and warping the particle board wall with the heat generated. There was no mold present. Yippy!!
What was left was a missing panel in the shower wall and part of a ceiling panel broken off. Also, the insulation that was stuck to the wall surrounding the hole had pulled away a bit from the walls. We had to replace the shower wall to be sure that we will be able to use the shower when needed.
After a little forum research, we decided that we would get a piece of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) to replace the wall instead of the “waterproof wallpaper” that is so often used in the factory models. On January 10, we decided to go shopping for what we needed to complete some of the projects in The Girl Next Door. We shopped online a little beforehand, checked Home Depot, and finally settled on getting a 4’x8′ panel at Menards.
There was only one problem: Ruby is our main vehicle and neither car has nearly enough size to haul a 4’x8′ piece of anything. Thankfully, Jeremy’s dad was willing to let us borrow his truck to transport the FRP. He and Jeremy went together to get it and brought it back. Then, we set to replacing the wall.
Job #1- Cleaning it up. We had to remove the old caulking from the walls & sides. We also had to replace the screws holding the moldings on. Jeremy took out the pieces of broken “wall” from when he checked for mold. We tossed all the refuse in the garbage.
Job #2- Replace insulation. We used Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant to spray into the open wall. Jeremy flattened the bumps so that the FRP panel would sit flat on the insulation.
Job #3- Replace the wall. Jeremy had to measure and cut the FRP board to size. He left a tiny bit extra on each end to be sure there wouldn’t be any gaps and he shaved it to fit perfectly when he placed it in.
Job #4- Reseal. We used a stretchy bathroom caulk from Sashco in a white color. Neither of us work with caulk regularly, so it isn’t the prettiest caulking job, but it’s functional. I think Jeremy did a great job with everything he had to do mostly on his own. I’m daily impressed by my handiman husband.
This was the cheapest, most water proof way for us to fix the shower for now. We did some dreaming while we were shopping about what kind of tile we would some day like in our shower. We both agree that mosaic glass tile is very nice and we’d love to have a shower that showcases it. But for now, the FRP wall is going to have to do. As we continue to make upgrades and find out what we like, we’ll continue to love The Girl Next Door even more each day. Until the next time, stay safe and we’ll see you on the road.