Camper Maintenance:

Replacing Rusty Screws & Vinyl Trim


Our travel trailer is almost 6 years old.  It lives outside in the Florida weather all year.  It's holding up well, but needs some maintenance.  I spent a couple of hours today removing all the visible screws that were starting to rust.  These were replaced with stainless steel screws I purchased at Ace Hardware.  I used a cordless screwdriver to simplify the task.  After that was finished, the vinyl trim around both entry doors was removed and replaced.  It has a mildew sort of look that won't clean up with scrubbing, or even using bleach.  Easy enough to replace.  The 3/4" vinyl roll was purchased from Amazon.

The salty environment takes its toll on Ferris metals here.

I removed two of the common sizes used on this camper and matched them up with replacement screws at the hardware store.

Cheaper and easier to buy boxes rather than buy them individually.

Ready to get started.

Most removed easily.

There was one that was so rusted it quickly stripped.  Wire cutters work great for grabbing the head of the screw and turning it.  Once it was broken loose, the screwdriver did the rest.

That's all the visible screws replaced, with a few spares left.

Okay, onto the vinyl trim. Note the grungy looking trim on the right side of the door.  I've already pulled the trim off the left side.

This stuff is very easy to remove.  Simply lift it out of the track at the bottom.  Mine was held in place with screws at the top of the track.  Once they were removed, the trim was pulled off.

Shame it wouldn't clean up.

The original stuff is shaped like the Ohm symbol.  I couldn't find this exact stuff.

The new stuff is almost flat, with the edges curled up.

Here's the tricky part.  I tried bending it in more of a "U" shape, going with the same direction it was already curved.  Turns out, that's wrong.  Bend it the opposite direction than it's formed in.  This will make the edges sit into the channel groves.

I inserted about two inches of the trim at the top of the channel, then pushed it up was far as it would go.  I replaced the screws that held it in place, the continued the rest.  By pushing one edge into the channel by hand, it made the rest of the operation very easy.  I used a spline tool, used for patio screens, to push the other edge into the channel.  This is the easy way to do the job.

Once it was all in place, and secured with a screw at the top, The trim was pulled gently, then cut off with scissors.  The vinyl ended up being flush with the bottom of the channel.


This is the roll purchased from Amazon.

Overall view of the completed job.

Close-up of the before...

... and after.

While I was working on the camper, I noticed something in the heater vent.

Looks like a frog (maybe a family) has moved into the vent.  I'll have to get them out, and put a screen over the vent.


It was a hot one today.  It took a couple of hours to get this all done today.  Next major tasks will be to replace the waste tank vent cover and the roof vent over the bed.  Both are cracked, damaged from the intense sun.  I will also be polishing the camper and applying a coat of Poly Glow.  The camper is holding up well, but does take some effort.




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Last updated 6/10/12    All rights reserved.