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How To Put Wood Siding On A Camper

Look no further if you're looking for information about how to put wood siding on a travel trailer. We've researched this topic and have the answers on how to do this. Let's dive in!

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Here's how to install wood siding on your camper:

  1. Cut the wood according to the size that you need
  2. Remove lights, wires, staples, and other fixtures attached to the old siding
  3. Remove the old siding
  4. Assess the frame and treat issues if there are any
  5. Put glue on the frame, then screw the wood panel in place
  6. Apply water sealant
  7. Caulk
  8. Paint

Keep on reading to learn more about installing wood siding on your camper. We'll also tell you about other RV siding materials that you can consider. Now let's get down to business!

Installing Wood Siding On Your Camper

A large wooden construction trailer that is used as a tiny house

A camper's siding is usually made of aluminum and fiberglass. But if you're making your siding, you can use wood if it is your preferred material.

Wood isn't the usual material used for camper siding because it is pretty heavy, and to be honest, it isn't the most durable option in the market.

However, wood is prone to rotting if not appropriately treated and soaked in water.

It also attracts bugs and pests, especially when moist. Experts also say wood has a low tolerance for vibrations and wind, which are the conditions prevalent when traveling with your camper.

Some camper users like wood because of its beautiful appearance, but it is challenging to maintain its beauty over time, so don't expect your RV's resale or market value to be high.

Wood siding installation may take a long time, and the material is quite expensive. But if you want to customize the look of your travel trailer, then no one's stopping you from using this material.

Wood gives your travel trailer a rustic, vintage, charming, and homey look. It'll stand out from the rest. When designing your camper siding, you can customize its look and express your personality.

After all, the siding material you choose affects the overall look of your travel trailer, especially as it is immediately visible from the outside.

Sorry for starting with the drawbacks of using wood. We just want to manage your expectations and see if you would like to consider other materials before you proceed.

Here are the steps to install wood siding on your camper below:

Tools And Materials You Need:

  • 2x3s and 2x2s wood panels
  • sandpaper and varnish for wood treatment
  • polyurethane-based glue or epoxy resin
  • brass screws
  • power drill
  • saw
  • water sealant
  • paint
  • paint brush
  • stapler remover/flathead screwdriver
  • gloves

Check out this water sealant for wood on Amazon.

Procedure:

  1. Measure the outer wall where you will install the siding.
  2. Cut your wood panels according to the size that you need.
  3. If the wood is not yet treated, now is the best time to do it. You can sand the entire surface before varnishing it. This will give it better protection from the elements.
  4. Remove lights and other wiring attached to the old siding.
  5. Take off the staples and other fixtures. You can use a staple remover, but a flathead screwdriver can do the trick if you don't have one.
  6. Carefully pull out the old siding. Wear gloves for protection.
  7. Assess the condition of the frame underneath the siding. Treat moisture and other issues, if there are any. A damaged frame cannot provide good support to your siding.
  8. It is now time to install your wood siding. Use light wood panels to keep the weight down.
  9. Apply glue on the entire surface of the frame.
  10. Position the wood siding. It's best to have someone help you with this.
  11. Use brass screws to secure the wood in place. Space the screws evenly apart. Pre-drill small holes first before drilling the screws down. Work your way from top to bottom.
  12. Apply water sealant.
  13. Once the water sealant has dried, put caulk in the gaps between the wood and frame.
  14. Wait for the caulk to dry before painting.
  15. Allow the paint to dry completely.

Find this waterproof caulk on Amazon.

Alternative RV Siding Materials: Which Type Is Best For Camper's Exterior Walls?

Family vacation travel RV, holiday trip in motorhome, Caravan car Vacation, How To Put Wood Siding On A Camper

The term siding pertains to the outer walls of your camper.

Being exposed to various environmental conditions, it is prone to sun damage, water damage, physical damage from rocks, fallen trees, or branches, and normal wear and tear over time.

You cannot just ignore it when your camper siding is damaged or shows signs of deterioration. It has the essential job of protecting your camper and keeping your belongings safe.

As we've already mentioned, wood is not the best option. Here are other RV siding materials that you can consider to choose the best one for your camper.

Aluminum

One of the most commonly used materials for camper siding is aluminum. It is durable and lightweight, which makes it perfect for covering your travel trailer's outer shell.

It can stand up well against the elements without adding too much weight to the camper.

It is more convenient to run your electrical wiring and other connections on an aluminum wall.  Another advantage of aluminum is its affordability. You get good quality for less cost.

However, this material is prone to denting with impact. It also depends on water sealant to prevent water leaks and damage to your RV's frame and an interior portion.

aluminium composite foil sheet panel

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is another popular material for RV siding. It is more durable than aluminum. It doesn't dent. Fiberglass also has noise reduction and insulation properties that help protect you from heat and cold.

You can customize its color and look using graphic stickers or paint. Its surface is easier to clean, and fiberglass maintains its sleek look for a long time.

The downside is that it comes with an expensive price tag. It would help if you had professional assistance upon installation, as it requires special tools and equipment to make it stick to your camper's sidewall.

You also won't be able to run your wiring along a fiberglass wall. It also costs so much to repair when damaged because you have to replace the entire piece.

But considering it'll last long, it is worth the money. It'll also give your travel trailer a higher resale value should you sell it later.

Fiberglass chop strand mat roll on the table

Sheet Metal

Sheet metal is another good option. It is a durable material that makes it withstand various environmental conditions. It is also easy to use.

It comes in different sizes, but you can also cut it according to the size you need using hand shears.

However, sheet metal can be pretty heavy. It is also challenging to install and put into place since it isn't very flexible.

Vinyl

vinyl samples swatch containing multi color of chestnut and oak wooden texture surface

Vinyl, like wood, is not usually used as a camper siding material. But if you're into DIY, you can use this if it's what you want.

It comes in different colors and designs, making it an attractive option for siding material. You can make your camper's outer shell unique and beautiful.

Vinyl is lightweight, making it an ideal material for your travel trailer, but it isn't the most durable component. It won't withstand heavy winds and constant vibrations while your camper is in motion.

When it comes to price, it is probably the cheapest option on the market.

It is also easy to install. This material is best suited for those who don't use their campers for traveling anymore and prefer to use them as a tiny home or additional room in their backyard.

Take the time to weigh the pros and cons of each RV siding material and if possible, do some more research to arrive at an informed decision.

We want you to choose the best one for your camper to give you the protection you need and make your investment worth it.

Our Final Thoughts

Family vacation travel RV, holiday trip in motorhome, Caravan car Vacation

Installing wood siding on your camper is a fun and doable DIY project with the right tools, materials, and carpentry skills. You can also get someone to help you install it, so you'll be done in no time.

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