Some comments to your questions,
Originally Posted by mitchbt
Thanks again for the helpful info. I worked on the camper for a month in rainy conditions and it did not leak once. But after the 900 mile drive to Nova Scotia, a bit of water got in on the first rainy day. I’m thinking the drive shook up the frame and maybe things shifted? Does this make sense?
I know this may seem like it can't be, but I can attest it is true, I can explain how if needed. Campers can leak from the siding and the roof even if standing still. And you will not see any signs of water inside the living space. It can seep into the wall cavity and into the roof, it drips down, inside the walls and keeps going down until it hits the floor and then under the floor and maybe drip out or pond under the floor festers and rots wood where ever water is ponding. By the time the water shows up in the living space, a lot to time, years may have gone by as they are seeper leaks.
The siding is sealed using putty tape at all the places screws are used. Any hole in the siding is a leak potential. As the putty tape ages, it shrinks and will separate from the siding, the molding or split in the middle. Over time the split grows until it can allow water to seep/drip into the wall cavity. Roof leaks seep/drip there way into the wall cavity too. All this can be going on and you not realize it as you cannot see it inside. A camper is not build like a house that has much better wall siding and roof system. If you have a house roof leak, many times you see a water stain in the dry wall on the ceiling, not so much in a camper until the leak gets real big or have rotted through enough it drips into the living space.
And yes, campers flex a lot towing down the road. They flex in about all directions, this puts stress on all the siding and roof joints/putty tape. The older the camper gets, the worse it gets. So yes, towing can affect water seeping into the walls, while standing still and especially towing in the rain.
Originally Posted by mitchbt
The camper will remain parked in the same place for the remainder of its life, so there will be no more drives. I don’t have much time or money to invest so I am looking for a quick fix , if it lasts another 5 years I’ll be happy.
Maybe I will peel back the aluminum and make an assessment from there? I could always layer the plywood and fibreglass over the frame. How hard is it to peel off the existing aluminum roof? I definitely want to steer clear of cleaning up that tar.
OK, understand. I'm just cautioning on the water damage as you are going to have to spend some level of time and funds to get the camper to stay dry for 5 years.
Since the camper is going to stay in one place, you have a few options to seal up active leaks and help prevent new ones.
Both of these options must have the joints and surfaces to be treated totally cleaned. No dirt or mold and the products will not bond. I can't stress this enough, the new sealants will not bond to dirt or mold.
The siding, every joint or hole in the siding needs to sealed up (windows, doors, corner molding, power cord holes, furnace opening etc. I suggest Proflex RV or Standard Proflex by Geocel since the camper is not being. towed. Both of those products come in different colors. Basically you are caulking the camper siding leak tight. You could use 10 tubes of caulk on the whole camper. See this post on how to put the Proflex on, this is using Dicor non lap sealant but the Proflex will work the same with a soapy wet finger. Do not apply in high sun or hot siding. Smooth out short sections, 2 to 3 ft long max, then put more on. Use a small bead to not over apply.
The roof, peeling back the skin is a job and then some. The roof metal is seamed to the front and rear wall. You either take the siding off or you cut it off if you are doing a roof replacement and not using the metal. And the front and rear wall siding comes off from the bottom up, not the top down. You seemed to indicate you did not have a lot of time, that is time consuming removing and rebuilding.
I have an option that will allow you not remove the roof or the tar. I really would not do this, I would rebuild any water damage first, but you want the cheapest way to and less time. So here goes.
Look into these two roof coatings. They are rated for metal and even going over asphalt. I have used the Henry, I have not used the GaCo.
On the Henry, you used 885 over the roof seams and hole penetrations to build up the coating over the screws/seams first https://henry.com/retail/repair-seal...r-roof-sealant
Then the open areas you use the 887, 2 coats https://henry.com/retail/white-roof-...e-roof-coating
The Gaco is here,
For the seams you use the liquid tape https://gaco.com/product/liquidrooftape/
Then the open areas you use the coating
The Henry you can buy at Home Depot, the Gaco you need to find a commercial roof supply house, they have a locator for your area on the web site.
Both roof products have to have the camper very clean and no residue on the surface. Doing a peel test on the tar is a good idea. More on how to do this peel test if you pick the coating option.
I will caution on this, you are sealing in an old leaks by not checking where leaks might be in the walls/ceiling. The insulation is fiberglass batt and is a sponge. It may dry out in time if you stop the leak, but dry rot may also come behind it.
There are other cheaper roof coatings, not sure they are rated for the tar like the two above are. The cost of the coating is well, nuts right now. It doubled since last summer, something in the supply chain has gotten to this paints and coating market.
Hope this helps