I bought my first trailer 6 months ago. I just finished resealing the exterior. It took me about 3 months and I was working about 20 hours a week. This also included stripping paint off the roof which took a few of those weeks. At this point pretty much everything has been resealed. Every seam, every window, doors, vents, etc have been cleaned of the old sealant and resealed. The only thing I think wasn't done was the A/C.
The work is in removing the old sealant. I probably spent 80% to 90% of my time getting the old stuff off. I used a variety of tools each of which would work well in some situations and not in others. Some tools that were beneficial were:
- plastic razor blades
(doesn't scratch the finish)
- a dental pick (it'll scratch the aluminum but great for digging out crevices)
- 3M Radial Bristle Discs
(used with a Dremel)
- a metal razor blade (you will scratch the aluminum using this)
The last three will all scratch the aluminum, so you need to be careful using them but I tried several plastic scrappers and could not find one that was hard enough to get the old sealant off. Plus, if you're trying to dig sealant out of a crevice that you're going to cover with sealant, the scratches will be hidden. I used the metal razor blade quite a bit and I have some scratches that I wish were not there because of it, but honestly I think I'm the only one that will really notice them. I would often use the side of the blade as a scraper.
The single biggest challenge was the refrigerator vent. I did not want to remove the cover which would mean replacing the buck rivets with Olympic rivets. As a result, I spent days getting the old stuff off and new stuff on for this one vent. The 3M discs were a huge help with this but I needed a Dremel Extension to get decent access. Also, for this one, I used some rubber tubing on the sealant's tip to get the sealant under the cover and a plastic spoon dipped in mineral spirits to spread/smooth it out. Quite a challenge but is doable if you're persistent.
I used Goof Off to clean once I got most of the sealant off. The Goof Off will soften the sealants but be aware that it will also melt plastics. I think it is primarily Acetone, so you may be able to use that instead (which is probably cheaper).
I used blue painters tape to mask off my lines when I used the Trempro around windows and doors. I would have never been able to keep the seals looking neat without doing this step. You also have quite a few minutes before the Trempro sets up, so you have plenty of time to smooth/work it to get it looking right.
Par Bond is another story. After one attempt at smoothing out the Par Bond with my fingers, I gave up and never did it again. It's clear, so a little excess doesn't really show.
The Sikaflex 221 smooths out well with a (gloved) finger dipped in mineral spirits.
Oh and I did not use 12 tubes of sealant. I used 1 tube of Sikaflex 221, 2 tubes of Sikaflex 715, 1 tube of Trempro 635 and 2 tubes of Par Bond.