New to me northern lite - Fiberglass RV


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Old 04-08-2019, 10:10 AM   #1
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New to me northern lite

Hi! I am Joanna and just bought my first fibreglass travel trailer (actually first any kind of camper). Husband and I were tent campers until now. Anyway, the unit I bought is a not so common one, Northern lite from 1993. It appears to mostly need a good cleaning, it has no leaks according to previous owner, and I didnt see any signs of water damage. I am a bit concerned about the caulking around the windows though, it is cracked and mossy in places. Previous owner said to scrape out with putty knife and reapply. First, is this the right course of action and something I should do straightaway, and second, what type/brand of caulking do I use to replace?? Pics included. Thanks in advance!
(Bottom pics should be vertical)
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:20 AM   #2
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Can you get a close up of the inside. I can't tell if those are the clamp ring type window or they are held in with rubber weatherstrip.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:25 AM   #3
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On the home page there is a list of all the fiberglass campers. If you click on Northernlite it will bring up previous threads about them. You may find some useful information there.
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Old 04-08-2019, 10:43 AM   #4
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Whatever you do, stay away from silicone caulking. Stuff doesn't belong around fiberglass campers. Get something marketed for boats. I'd suggest 3M 4200, Sikaflex 291, or LifeCaulk.

Congrats on the purchase and welcome to the group.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:02 AM   #5
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That looks to be butyl rubber caulk. It oozes out over time. Just scrape it away with a plastic putty knife.
You don't say where in BC you are, but I would take it to an RV shop and have the windows removed, new butyl applied and windows re-installed. Don't slop other caulk on top.
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:42 AM   #6
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Inside pic

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
Can you get a close up of the inside. I can't tell if those are the clamp ring type window or they are held in with rubber weatherstrip.
Picture of window frame from inside
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Old 04-08-2019, 11:51 AM   #7
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I'm in Vernon, there are a lot of RV dealerships around. What might I expect that work to cost, there are 5 windows
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Old 04-08-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
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I'm in Vernon, there are a lot of RV dealerships around. What might I expect that work to cost, there are 5 windows

I have no idea, but at least you'd know it was done right.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:42 PM   #9
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Itís actually a fairly easy DIY job, but it does take two people- one inside and one outside. You can find good how-to videos on YouTube to decide if you want to try it. Search on "reseal RV window."
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:22 PM   #10
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Maybe it's only that the excess caulk that originally squeezed out is now dirty and moldy. Original post #1 says supposedly there are no leaks as per previous owner. Rather than jump right in removing windows and spending money and time, just clean off that old caulk and mold and do a thorough investigation for any leaks around the windows. Spend some time inside during a good rain storm. Take the trailer on a couple trial run camping trips and see what it may need for repairs.
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Old 04-08-2019, 06:31 PM   #11
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Trailer is 26 years old, but you could just camp and see if it leaks.
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Old 04-09-2019, 10:48 AM   #12
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Mary and Bob had a good suggestion. Just use it first and check for leaks.
The caulk and mold don't look serious. I would just clean off the mold gently with a spray cleaner and toothbrush, dry it and test the windows out.

Your trailer looks to be in pretty good condition. Is it insulated? Could you post photos of the interior? Are Northern Lites still manufactured?

Best of luck,
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:01 AM   #13
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A nice find. I've on!y ever seen two Northern Lites; a trailer and a truck camper, and only from outside.
I heard that the company that recently bought Escape also bought NL.
Interesting that three quality fiberglass makes are all in BC.

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Old 04-09-2019, 11:04 AM   #14
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Mary and Bob had a good suggestion. Just use it first and check for leaks.
The caulk and mold don't look serious. I would just clean off the mold gently with a spray cleaner and toothbrush, dry it and test the windows out.

Your trailer looks to be in pretty good condition. Is it insulated? Could you post photos of the interior? Are Northern Lites still manufactured?

Best of luck,
Fran
Hi Fran, yes, I think I will clean it up and try it out for a season before jumping into removing the windows. It's been parked in the driveway for a few days with a bit of rain and I haven't noticed any wetness on the inside.
Northern lite currently makes slide in pickup truck campers but they do make a current model of a longer travel trailer( I think 25'?). They stopped production of little 15 footers in 1997.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:10 AM   #15
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Inside pics

I dont think its insulated beyond an inner layer of white carpet. I'll add a couple pictures of the inside, including close up of wall/ceiling carpet.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:32 AM   #16
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I hope so! I was in a bit of a hurry shopping and I'm a newbie in this realm, so fingers crossed it was a good find First big trip is to the Yukon, we will see how it does!
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Old 04-09-2019, 01:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Joannad View Post
Hi! I am Joanna and just bought my first fibreglass travel trailer (actually first any kind of camper). Husband and I were tent campers until now. Anyway, the unit I bought is a not so common one, Northern lite from 1993. It appears to mostly need a good cleaning, it has no leaks according to previous owner, and I didnt see any signs of water damage. I am a bit concerned about the caulking around the windows though, it is cracked and mossy in places. Previous owner said to scrape out with putty knife and reapply. First, is this the right course of action and something I should do straightaway, and second, what type/brand of caulking do I use to replace?? Pics included. Thanks in advance!
(Bottom pics should be vertical)
:just to let you know this little trailer was one of the better ones in that size and it was built in Kelowna, BC. I don't think they are building trailers anymore but they are still in Kelowna building Campers, actually their campers are better than the Bigfoot's being built now.
Peter
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Old 04-09-2019, 05:22 PM   #18
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I don't think they are building trailers anymore but they are still in Kelowna building Campers, actually their campers are better than the Bigfoot's being built now.
Peter
They did stop the TTs a while back. The slide ins and trailers were built on the same line and they created a back up on the completion of all units. The truck campers are their bread and butter.
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:39 PM   #19
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Now that Northern Lite and Escape Trailer Industries are under the same umbrella, there may be a new Northern Lite trailer in the offing.

I suspect it would be a four season trailer, like NL's truck campers, and perhaps 25'.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:26 PM   #20
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Trailer looks very nice inside, Joanna. Looks like you found a good one there.
Enjoy using it!
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