RV corner trims serve a dual purpose – enhancing aesthetics and safeguarding against water ingress and impact forces. While these trims are corrosion-resistant, corner molding is not indestructible. Hence, learning on how to bend RV corner trim is essential in retaining these properties.
Replacing a worn-out or damaged RV trim is easy, and this article provides step-by-step guidance on how to bend and secure a brand-new RV corner trim. Let’s get started.
- Ways to Bend RV Corner Trim
- Step 1. Remove the Damaged or Worn-out RV Corner Trim
- Step 2. Clean the RV Corner’s Underlying Structure
- Step 3. Measure the RV Corner Trim’s Width and Length
- Step 4. Position the Replacement Trim(S) on the RV Corner
- Step 5. Bend the RV Trim
- Step 6. Seal the New RV Trim’s Contact Points With the Rv Surface
- Step 7. Secure the Trim and Remove Excess Sealant
Ways to Bend RV Corner Trim
Bending an extra wide RV corner moulding is easy with the right tools, patience, and a clear understanding of the steps involved.
What to Prepare
- A correctly sized corner trim specific to your RV
- A soft-headed knocking hand tool (i.e., rubber mallet)
- RV sealant particular to the RV corner trim material
- Scrubbing pad or rough brush
- Self-tapping screws and screwdriver
- Power drill
- Straight-edge prying or scraping tool (i.e., putty knife)
- Tape measure
Here’s how to bend an RV’s exterior corner trim molding.
Step 1. Remove the Damaged or Worn-out RV Corner Trim
Note that RV owners must remove water-damaged or worn-out corner trims before installing a replacement unit. This step is also crucial in assessing the molding’s supporting structure, allowing RV owners to fix problems before replacing the damaged trim.
- Use a screwdriver to loosen the hardware, fastening the trim to the RV’s corner.
- Check the molding for glue or other adhesives and pry it with a straight-edge tool.
- Carefully remove the corner trim from its position.
Step 2. Clean the RV Corner’s Underlying Structure
Assess the corner trim’s supporting structure, watching out for tell-tale signs of damage. Fixing these problems is essential to ensure the replacement aluminum corner trim.
- Vacuum the surface to remove dirt, dust, and other particles from the surface.
- Make a soapy solution and clean the RV corner structure before rinsing it with water. Remove all surface contaminants to guarantee a better fit for the replacement unit.
- Allow the area to dry.
Step 3. Measure the RV Corner Trim’s Width and Length
Ensuring a perfect fit on the RV corner requires precise trim measurements.
- Get your tape measure and extend it from the RV corner’s outermost edges to determine the section’s dimensions (height, width, and depth).
- Measure the trim’s depth by positioning the tape measure’s tip on the opening’s outer edge and extending it to the RV support structure’s face.
- Create an RV corner trim template by using masking tape. Alternatively, marking the dimensions helps especially the bend’s location.
Step 4. Position the Replacement Trim(S) on the RV Corner
This step is crucial when flexing a bendable aluminum trim without securing it to the RV corner. It lets you assess the project once it is complete.
- Position the RV corner replacement trim over the prepared supporting structure.
- Ask a helper to hold the replacement trim while you position it on the RV corner.
- Assess the molding placement, including adjustments necessary to ensure the best fit.
- Add replacement trims to cover the RV corner, with your helper holding them in place while you make adjustments.
Step 5. Bend the RV Trim
You have two options to bend camper trim sections. In either method, the assistant must hold the moldings in their “ideal” locations to facilitate precision bending.
The rubber mallet method
- Carefully strike the molding with a soft-headed mallet while the RV replacement trim is in its “correct” position.
- Strike one section at a time to achieve the desired bend.
- Hit the other trims (if any) to ensure they have a uniform angle.
- Be patient in striking the trims. Although the rubber mallet’s head is “softer” than metal hammers, forcefully striking it can still damage the molding.
- Ask the assistant to keep the trims steady as you “hammer” away.
The heat gun method
- Read the heat gun’s operating instructions and set it to the lowest possible heat setting.
- Hold the heat gun so its heat-emitting nozzle is about six inches from the RV replacement molding’s surface.
- This RV trim bender requires you to move the device along the trim’s bendable section to soften it.
- Hold the RV replacement trim and push one section inwards to achieve the desired angle.
- Apply pressure on the replacement molding for about three to five seconds or until the trim is cool enough that the bend is permanent.
Step 6. Seal the New RV Trim’s Contact Points With the Rv Surface
You are nearing project completion. This step allows you to prevent moisture seepage into the RV’s corners by creating a waterproof barrier between the trim and the RV surface.
- Remove the flexible RV corner molding and apply adhesive on its backside.
- Reposition the molding onto the RV corner and ask the assistant to apply pressure as you caulk the edges.
- Squeeze sealant into seams, cracks, gaps, and other spaces to ensure adequate moisture ingress protection.
- Caulk the RV corner molding’s perimeter, too.
- Leave the RV corner trim to facilitate complete sealant drying.
Step 7. Secure the Trim and Remove Excess Sealant
Although the sealant can “stick” the trim to the RV surface, it might not have sufficient “adhesive” power to keep the molding in place.
- Secure the replacement RV outside corner trim with screws or other manufacturer-recommended hardware.
- Use screws to fasten the replacement RV outer corner trim to the vehicle’s supporting platform.
- Scrape excess silicon, epoxy, or sealant from the RV corner trim’s edges.
- Finish it off by wiping the surface with a clean cloth.
You might be interested in watching this video by Mainely Hybrid Homesteading on bending and installing a corner trim on a camper.
Learning how to bend RV corner trim panels is an essential RV ownership skill. It helps RV owners restore their vehicle’s aesthetics while safeguarding their investments against water- or moisture-related damage.
The steps outlined are easy to follow, although some might find them challenging. In such cases, an expert RV technician can help address damaged or worn-out RV corner moldings.
Either way, fixing a broken RV corner trim or upgrading an “unappealing” panel lets you optimize your recreational vehicle’s functionality.
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