The camper is (almost) officially ready!

Fair warning: This post really has nothing of importance; it's just me talking about my day working on the camper.

And, wow, what a long day it was.

As I mentioned before, while every smart camper is enjoying Memorial Day weekend at a nice campground, probably tending the campfire and enjoying a cold beverage (or two) at right about the time I'm writing this, I waited until the official-start-to-summer-weekend to de-winterize the camper.

Actually, the day started by cutting the grass. Then it was time to go get the camper from the super-secret storage location, park it in the driveway and then spend the next 6 hours washing, cleaning, and fixing up the camper.

We had to clean a lot of mold off the exterior. Since we do not store ours indoors it's to be expected, but it seems like there was more this year than before. No matter, it all came off. We use the RV Wash-n-Wax by Camco (bought it at Wal-Mart), and a sponge that's soft on one side and a bit more abrasive on the other, which seems to do the trick.

There was really bad mold on the hard plastic trim edging the windows, but that's been there since we bought it used four years ago. Never have been able to get rid of that stuff.

We used Rubber Roof Cleaner, also by Camco, for the roof. I didn't think the roof was that bad until I cleaned a section of it and looked at the difference. I also was pleased with how well the Eternabond is holding up. Couple years ago we put that stuff on the front and back roof seams, and around the vents and TV antenna. Seems to be the real deal.

We also cleaned the awning, and I am hoping it makes it through this season. We've always had trouble with the rear support, but now the front support is giving me fits.

The inside made it through the winter just fine. A few dead flies, but that's all. Cleaned the antifreeze out of the pipes, washed the windows and swept the floor. Mrs. Gr8LakesCamper wants to do a more thorough cleaning of the inside later.

The other thing we did today on the inside was finish off the rock guard mod. Earlier, I posted about this mod, which was installing a large sheet of stainless steel on the front panel, starting just below the front bed frame (we have a hybrid camper), wrapping along the bottom edge and extending under the camper about another 6-8 inches. Stainless steel carriage bolts along the top and bottom, along with a healthy dose of silicone, keeps it in place.

The final work on it today was on the inside storage area, which extends along the width of the front of the camper. Initially, I wanted to cut off the ends of the bolts, and fashion together something to cover the exposed bolts/nuts so that the compartment was more manageable. But after careful examination, I discovered that my homemade risers and blocks (risers to elevate one side of the camper on uneven terrain; blocks to set under the stabilizer jacks) fit nicely in between the exposed bolts, somewhat securing them into place.


So all I did was take last year's outdoor rug and cut it to fit the front storage area. Last year we had to pull up the laminate flooring, which had come unglued, and I replaced rotted wood flooring with new wood, so the rug finishes it off nicely.

I have one photo of the camper here, but there's an album with more photos, including detailed shots of the rock guard modification, at the Gr8LakesCamper fan page on Facebook.

And my helper for the day was my oldest son. His reward, I'll let him start and tend the first campfire of the season. My reward: After we were done he look up at me and said "This was a good bonding experience, wasn't it Dad."
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My family (wife and three kids, sometimes the dog) and I have been RV campers since 2007. We own a 2000 Trail-Lite B22 Bantam hybrid, our tow vehicle is a 2006 Trailblazer LT EXT (5.3 V8 with 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio), and our setup includes the Equalizer sway controller. Looking to upgrade the camper in the near future, but until then we get out 2-3 times a month in season.