The Exterior walls that join up to the roof is a common concern by many teardrop camper /trailer builders. they are concerned and for good reason on what will happen if it is raining or snowing and there is not an adequate seal to keep moisture out. This is a problem that all RV have around the world. any old rv will have some form of water damage. Water damage is a fact of the RV world, that is one of the biggest cost in maintenance in RV ownership.
When I build tear drops, I like to cover the outside of the camper in aluminum, I use the aluminum sheets that are used for signs, they are called sign blanks. if you search for them I am sure you will find them. They com in various sizes for example 4’x8′, 5′ x 10′, 6′ x 10′ or just about any size you want, they range in price from $50.00/$60.00 and up I paid $93 or 97$ several years ago for a 5’x10′ sheet that I used on the top and two 5′ x 8′ sheets for the sides.
DAP 00273 1 Gallon Weldwood Original Contact Cement, Tan
I was able to put on the sides first and then trim off the excess with my router and a bearing router bit, (I will put a picture in so you can get an idea) Using a cement(gel or glue) I used a paint roller to cover the side of the camper and the back of the aluminum then with help placed it on the side and then rolled it out with a roller used to press formica tops down with and help it adhere to the seal and contact cement.
This is not a very scientific but it works and is very easy for almost anyone to do with just a little help. I then went to the local RV center and purchased RV trim with the little plastic stuff that is slid into the trim after it has been screwed down to prevent any water damage. at this point when the aluminum sheets are on the trailer nothing is screwed or mounted without a large and health supply of Bugle tape ( that soft putty tape used under roof fans and trim ect. )
I do have to say that when I put the sheet of aluminum on the roof, I used several 2’x2″ long boards layed across the top of the trailer to allow the sheet of aluminum to rest on it until I was ready to adhere it to the trailer and press into place. after wards trimming off any excess. it is at this point that you will have perfect corners or edges that are easy to trim up .
When putting on the trim I used a heat gun to blow really hot air on the metal so that it would allow the metal to bend around the trailer. then screwing in as I went all the way to the back on each side. also there was a lot of the putty tape used, you can easily cut off excess after you are done, and as an added protection there is a special caulking used in the RV trade that actually flows you can cover any questionable area with that caulking later on.
I hope that this quick article helps some of you out there that are looking for help with design and build processes.
I have a book I wrote that goes all through the entire process, and a am working on a course that will walk you through the process with video , checklist, plans, and tutorials. I hope that I am able to help you further in the future, if you have other questions please feel free to contact me or just subscribe.