Waterproofing and Painting the Oasis
Updated: Feb 14
I've had a lot of people ask me what goes into bringing a vintage camper back to life, usually someone looking to purchase one. You can always tell the folks who have done there homework and know the right questions to ask regarding typical issues an owner of classic campers may run into or want to avoid.
I write this post to show a typical process I go through to ensure a camper is water proof. It's taken me lots of research and many camper make-overs to find what works best for me. I admit I cringe a bit when I think of my early methods of just about about everything camper-related. I can be impatient and look for a quick fix, but as with most things in life, what you put in reflects what you get out. I now know it's best to look the issues in the eye and get down to the bones of any issue before working back to a good final product. I'm not a purist nor someone with endless resources of which to work. I try to bring campers to a safe, functional, and durable state, but not beyond. In this I hope people get a great product at a great price. As with all endeavors, I have much to learn and do not brand myself an expert but rather an ever-evolving student. The intent of these posts is to share tips that may work well for others, and also show someone who may be seeking a camper what they can expect from those I complete.
This little darling is a 19 Oasis. This camper has a great body, with as little damage to the exterior as I hardly ever see on a camper this age. The interior, however,.......well she's seen a storm or two. Leaking has occurred along the rear seam damaging this paneling and require this part of the camper to be gutted.
Back to the outside, though. Fist I remove all windows and trim, as they will need resealed. Same with the roof vent (roof vents almost always need replaced on these campers). Next I sand the entire camper to rid it of any flaking paint or other irregularities such as old butyl tape. I clean it with water then acetone to remove dust and prep the surface. Next I tape any lines I want for the paint pattern and apply a primer. I sand the primer and depending on the camper go through these steps a couple of times before applying the paint.
Once painted, I reinstall windows and trim with new butyl tape. Depending on the camper, I also apply another sealant over the paint at any vulnerable places. The combination of these steps makes for a nice looking, water-proof camper.