top of page

~ New Siding ~

Here is the Transformation of the Outside!

All content on this site is copyrighted property, and may not be copied or reproduced without permission

"If you think you can't, you're already defeated. But if you think you can, you can, and you're already half way there!"

Well, time for the new siding!
After trying for a long time and searching the internet for sources, I finally had to resign myself to the fact that I could not get new molded plastic corner caps for the outside corners. The factory had the less than brilliant idea to stop the siding short of the corners and cover it up with a leak invitation . . . . I mean a plastic corner cap. Not a good idea, as this only provided more places for the water to get in.
The only way around it was to buy all new siding and extend it past the corners, wrapping it a inch around the corner and sealing it to the other surface.
Aaaaaaannnnnnnnnnnnnnnd - besides that - the old siding was cream colored, dating the trailer back to the early
80's. I thought that white would look nice and make it more modern looking.

This chapter is dedicated to showing how I replaced all the original siding and the methods involved.

Better get a haircut and have a nap - this is going to take a while!

Planning the siding:

This part of the project took some very careful planning. One of the easy parts of this rebuild, if there even was such a thing, was the fact that I am not making any structural or layout changes. Aside from some mods and upgrades, The entire rebuild is a duplicate of what was already there. It is actually a lot easier to duplicate something than it is to start from scratch and design your own. The only exception was the roof. That had to be redesigned to allow the water to get away from it.

However, having said that, the original siding design was so poor that redoing it properly entailed having all the siding longer so it reached the corners. The original design had the siding stop short of the corner, seen in the pictures below, and then a flimsy molded plastic cap covering the whole corner. So, I found a supplier of trailer siding and gave them a cut sheet of what I needed.

Click on Images to Enlarge


The Plan:

I needed to come up with a way to duplicate what was there, but have the siding go past the corners.

I carefully studied the existing layout and needed to make notes and write down measurements. So! I took some pictures and ran them through a simple photo editing program that came with Windows 98 and up through I think XP when they retired it. There was a nifty feature called Posterize. It basically saved the photo as a pencil sketch. I did that, printed off several copies and went to work with a measuring tape. carefully noting and writing down the sizes and exposure of every piece on my printed picture sketches. Original and posterized examples shown here.

From there I sat down at my desk and made a complete material list of every piece I needed. This worked extremely well.

Then I went to a local RV parts and service department not far from me. They had a complete siding line in their shop. I had my choice of about half a dozen profiles and several colors, picked the one I wanted and had them run the new siding for me.

Then I had to figure out how to get it home without wrecking it.... Hmmmm. The longest piece was about 24 feet. I wound up renting a 24 foot cube van just for that one task.

1 Siding1.jpg
1 Siding3.jpg
1 Siding2.jpg

The Back:

This is a very easy way to see the work, and make notes right on the surface in question. And if I mess it up, oh well, just go print another one!

I actually did the same thing when I rebuilt the walls. It was handy to make notes regarding little details, like blocking for blinds, clearance lights, and anything else that needed it.

1 Siding4.jpg

Planning the siding:

One important detail is the siding where it meets the roof on both ends. I had to introduce the right curve to it so it flowed and matched the framing. Rather than mess up an expensive piece of siding, I got a piece of aluminum flat stock and used it for my prototype. Because I am in the industry, having access to any of this stuff is no problem.


Testing the Curve:

I needed to see if I had the compound roof slope such that the roof skin would not pucker when rolled over the edge. I took a thick piece of flat aluminum coil and screwed it down to the last rafter.


Testing the Curve:

After fastening the flat stock to the roof I did a trial bend over the end to make sure it would flow reasonably smoothly without looking like a ripple chip. I did this on both ends to make sure it worked.


New Siding:

There's the new siding! All laid out flat on a 24' aluminum scaffolding plank. It has been there for a long time, along with a lot of other parts waiting for me. It will be nice to finally see it installed.


New Siding:

And the wider siding sitting on the floor, safely leaning there until I'm ready for it. Note the 2 coiled up pieces of the same material for fabbing up other parts


New Siding For The Back:

I'll stand them up here to keep them in the right order..... Ok, and so I can look at all that spiffy new siding and smile because I see progress happening!!


Curving The Top Piece:

I fastened the top piece to a length of ABS pipe to roll the bend in it. Detailed procedure shown below for the front siding installation.


Ready To Install The First Piece:

Time to get started now! The clearance light grommets are in place and sealed. The back siding will go flush with the sides. The sides will wrap 1" around to the back. They will be folded over and sealed to prevent water entry.

The siding starts at the top, and is installed downwards, the last piece finishing at the bottom.


Back View:

There's the pieces laid out in order of installation, very carefully planned of course!


All On Except Bottom Row:

I am leaving the bottom row off on all 4 sides, as further prep is needed and wheelwell finishing etc. Some of the further prep will be outlined below later.


First Side Piece Goes On:

I had to be very careful here to get it started exactly in the right place. It is stapled to the top all the way along.


Closer Shot Of The Side:

There's my wide crown stapler on the ladder, waiting for me to start fastening to the wall studs.


Next Row:

The siding is run wild for now, then marked at 1" longer and cut off straight and ever for the fold over.


Overlap Allowance:

Note the overhang of the siding past the ends. The front gets cut flush while the back gets cut an inch long for folding to the back.


The Overlaps:

The folds all go towards the back  to naturally shed water, even though it's all sealed.


Awkward Long Piece:

The siding is profiled in such a manner to apply outward pressure on the top inside the lock of the preceeding piece.
This is called an "S" lock.


Marking The Studs:

Using the "braille" method, I felt and marked the studs. I also applied a bead of caulking to seal the penetration on the staple.


Sealing Staples:

When I push the siding into place, it seals to the caulking when I staple it. Horizontal line is the bottom of the panel


Staple Detail:

1" crown and leg staples. It is very important to make sure both legs of the staple go into the stud.


Done Except Bottom:

Starting to look like something now. Again, bottom row left off to prep the wheelwells first. Not all openings are cut out. I'll do that later.


Side 1 From Front:

Time to leave this for now and move on to the front. I'll come back here after the wheelwell is prepped. More on that later in this chapter.....


Second Side:

First 2 rows in place. I lined up the joint at the top of the door in an attempt to minimize cracking the siding in this very flexible spot.


Second Row On The Side:

This one is narrow to make the standard size pieces line up properly at the top of the wheel well, and the for the bottom row to line up too.


Closeup Of Front, Ahead Of Door:

Careful calculation and planning was done to ensure the best coverage.


Few More Rows To Go:

Easy run to the bottom now. Many things are covered over until it is time to do the finishing. It's easier this way.


Most Of Side Done:

Just a few more pieces to go. The wheel wells require some prep, angle wood backing has to be installed


One Of The Side Windows:

This run is easier than the rest, as the panels are short and easy to handle. Again, all sealed up and weatherproofed


Outside Plug:

Again, using the Blueskin membrane to seal up the plug to avoid leakage and future rot. Also, for future reference to cut the siding out for the plug

As mentioned above in the rear siding section, a detailed explanation on how to curve the top row of siding. Anything can be done with a little bit of thinking and putting to use some common, readily available materials. OK, so we need the front and back top siding piece to roll up over onto the roof. How we gonna do that? Like this:

I got a piece of 4 inch ABS pipe and a piece of 1X1 1/2 aluminum angle. A few screws and some duct tape, a drill and a couple bits and we have a custom made aluminum sheet curve bender.

Hold my beer and watch this....


Parts Laid Out:

On a pair of sawhorses, lay out the pieces as shown in preparation to fasten the siding to the pipe.


Closer Layout Pic:

The next step is to securely fasten the siding to the pipe without damaging it or putting any hole in it.


Tape It In Place:

The siding was duct taped to the pipe to hold it in place for the custom clamp to hold it there. Make sure it is straight.


Clamp Fastened:

Holes were predrilled in the 1X2 angle. It was then screwed into the pipe, the short lip firmly tightened to hold the siding.


Ready To Bend:

The assembled jig and siding are now ready to bend to curve the top on the appropriate radius for the wall to roof.


Bend Complete:

After turning it over on the ground on a piece of cardboard, firm pressure was applied to roll the siding over the pipe


Clearance Light Wiring Grommet:

Common grommets, caulked so no water can penetrate. See the holes in the top of the front and back upper siding pictures.


Front Ready To Go:

I had to keep the tarp ready to pull over, as it was threatening to rain. A lot of the work was done in this manner.


First Piece On:

Clamps were used to position it prior to fastening the panel in place. Everything was carefully measured before stapling.


First Piece On:

Wires were pulled through the holes prior to fastening. Center wire is for a light, for hitching up at night.


Mostly Complete:

Just the bottom row to go now. I cut pieces of aluminum flat stock, inserted up into a siding joint to deflect water.


Mostly Complete:

I will start the folds from the top down prior to putting the last piece on the bottom. Detail on that to follow.


Ugly Door:

Guess I better search for a new door. Or maybe get this one painted. Sure doesn't look very good against the new siding.


Starting The Foldovers:

I used a pair of downpipe crimpers to start the bend around the curve. The straight parts the bends were started with a paid of 3" hand benders (duckbills) and followed by a rubber mallet to get a nice straight even bend.


Outside View Of Bend:

The bends were done only to about 2/3 at first. This was to give a pocket for sealant.


Ready For Sealant:

Once I got the bend about 2/3 over, I applied a liberal bead of caulking into the crevice.


Ready For Sealant:

Outside view of the same thing. I made sure the bend was nice and straight.


Foldover Complete:

I pounded it flat with a rubber mallet, then stapled the siding in place with 3/4" 18ga staples


Foldover Complete:

The caulking oozed out all along the seam. I cleaned the excess off with paint thinners.


Wheel Well Finish:

Using my portable metal brake I carry on my truck, I formed the wheel well finish piece of siding, an L shape.


Wheel Well Finish:

Note the notch in the L trim. This is to provide an overlap onto the wall framing so I can seal it up.


Wheel Well Finish:

The trim inserts up into the S lock of the siding above and gets stapled up into the bottom of the framing.


Prep For Siding:

Triangle wood blocks were cut and sealed up, then screwed on for backing for the last row of siding.


Backing Blocks:

Other side, same thing. Everything is sealed up very well in there, considering how much road debris hits in here.


Flashing Trim:

I bent up a piece of flat stock to cap the bottom of the wood triangle, and heavily sealed it up with caulking.


Flashing Trim:

End view of the cap. Again, heavily sealed everywhere. No way any water can get in here with all this.


Flashing Trim:

Don't really need another picture of the same thing, but there was a blank spot on the page to fill.... ;)


Ready for Siding:

The cut in the Tyvek is the storage bay access. Going to cover it in with the siding cutting it out later.


Seal It Up Well:

Preparing all surfaces for the last row of siding. Everything is heavily sealed with a high quality polymer based sealant.


Seal It Up Well:

Different angle, and showing my Hilti caulking gun I use. A pro job needs pro tools. Ready for the last row now.


Last Row On:

All sealed and fastened in place. Note the marks on the siding locating the edges of the storage bay opening.


Wheel Well Closeup:

All stapled in place, lots of sealant oozing out. All this will be covered by the wheelhouse moulding.


Ready For Last Piece:

Rear is done in last pic, last 2 pieces of siding go on next here. See one on the ground there waiting for me.


Bottom Trim Piece:

There is a 2X2 up underneath all around. Here you see 2 styles of bottom trim to choose from. I chose to make the angled.


Trimming The Back:

All sealed at the frame rails, Time to fab up the bottom trim here. Good thing I own a brake - it is very handy.


Closer Bottom Shot:

Weatherproofing detail is visible here, Blueskin, tuck tape and the bottom 2X2 to hang the siding down below the floor.


2X2 Board:

Putting this board on allows the siding to go below the floor line for additional weatherproofing, keeping water away.


2X2 Board:

The Blueskin was wrapped under onto the underbelly. The 2X2 was heavily sealed, then screwed to the floor.


Rear Bottom Trim:

Here is the trim as a flat piece of aluminum, ready to run through the brake.


Rear Bottom trim:

And the after pic, trim bent into shape and cutout for the frame rails. It's ready to install. No pic of it in place though.

We are getting close to the end of the project here. Sadly, I never did finish it. The siding pics end here. I have a few taken later after sitting out for many years untouched.

bottom of page