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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How do you spell Relief? RV IN SHOP.

The Bad News is - I did a spot test of the Liquid Roof on 10 square feet of my roof. The product is fine but my old rubber was NOT good enough - it came up in ripply lumpy wrinkles and I have no confidence in it readhering when it lies down again. Trust me, I was about ready to scream. I have done many successful do-it-yourself projects before. I have rebuilt cabovers. I have rebuilt a kitchen from floor joists through ceiling. I have built buildings and porches. I'm not nearly as inadequate as I have felt this week.

And the Good News is - this morning I found a professional RV shop willing to take on the project at a price I can afford. That's what I wanted to do in the first place. So the rig went in the shop this morning. It will get a new roof. Still a rubber roof, but new, all in one piece, no leaks. I will sell off my unopened 5 gallon can of Liquid Roof, and life will be good. Now let us all pray that I don't get a phone call next week saying, "uh, Jane, the rig fell apart."

Now I think I hear a guitar calling me.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bad day on the roof

Some days it's best to go play, and I probably should have. But no, I want a dry roof, so I worked on it. Up in the corner where the worst damage is, I wanted to put a big rubber piece, instead of just relying on the liquid rubber that will cover the rest of the roof. The plywood is messed up under there and I thought a fat piece of new rubber would be more likely to behave. The procedure for this is to use contact cement on both sides of the rubber. The stuff sticks together really quite well.

Too well. The piece I had was too big for me and I didn't realize it until it was too late. It got away, stuck to the roof, stuck to itself, ripped a big fish-shaped tear in the original rotten rubber.
A big hole in rubber

At this point a lot of tools got pitched from the roof to the ground. I was not amused.

To salvage the operation, (thank you, Danny) Danny applied the patch in the other direction, which covered the holes including the new one, but did not go all the way up to the molding in front as planned. The leftover length was placed in between, but 3 lengths of ETERNABOND that I don't yet have will now be required to bridge the gaps.
Patched section

Now I wonder if instead of scrubbing off all that "paint", I should have just pulled off all the old rubber. Actually I would probably have done exactly that if the plywood underneath were not messed up, but I don't think the Liquid Roof would do too well directly over damaged plywood.

And before you ask, yes I tried to get this done professionally but couldn't find anyone to do it at all, much less affordably.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Up on the Roof

Why am I up on the roof again?!?

Instead of at work earning money or off playing music with a friend or ???

A couple of years ago, when I bought this motorhome and it had roof issues -

The holes underneath

and holes in your rubber roof are definitely roof issues -
we did a lot of roof repair. While most of the extensively blogged ETERNABOND patching has held up beautifully, followers of this blog know that last fall I was again treated to rain on the inside of the rig. Roof examination showed that the patch above the drivers seat had not held, and I promptly patched that area. And again. And again.

The patches on patches that never would stick down

The problem was that someone in this motorhome's past had painted on a roof treatment which I suspect is the same one I would have used on any of my 3 previous METAL roofs. On rubber, it wasn't adhering so terribly well. The ETERNABOND, as well as the other roof rubber patches I used, were sticking fine - to the non-sticking roof treatment. My bad.

The root of the problem

So in order to have any hope of waterproofing this roof, I must remove ALL the old roof treatment. Including that which "appears" to be adhering well, since experience has taught me that it will let go later.

Fortunately, we found a paint remover, Citristrip, which makes this a relatively easy, albeit tedious, job. Paint it on a small section of roof, wait an hour, strip it off, scrub off the remaining grey glop, do another section. Slow going, but it's going.

Citristrip at work removing the goop

Then wash the roof thoroughly. The "instructions" suggest a pressure washer. If I could pressure wash my roof I wouldn't have to DO all this.

Did you know: Spic'n'Span doesn't come in powder any more? At least not in my supermarket. Only liquid cleaners.

Amazing the little pinholes in rubber you find when you're scrubbing the roof right up close and personal. Each of them filled with rubber cement now.

More ETERNABOND patches for the big holes. This time they'll stick.

The next step is to remove the air conditioner (how???), clean again, install a DC fan in the vent, pour rubber, and pray a lot.

Unfortunately, it is predicted to start thunderstorms tomorrow and continue through the weekend. Not enough good weather for the project.

Next RV, can I have a roof that isn't RUBBER? Please???

Friday, May 02, 2008

Greenfield Lake Park and other troubled waters

Greenfield Lake
Last Sunday I spent the day at Greenfield Lake Park in Wilmington. Greenfield Lake ParkSpreading Tree
Yellow Snapdragons I walked the four-mile path around the lake. SawSquirrel squirrels and Turtle on landturtles, lots of birds, and a family of ducks. Duck familySome of the turtles were swimming among the slimy green muck that is in the lake.

Turtle in slime
After my hike, I saw people gathered around and went to check it out... A Free Market - like a flea market but Free. Really. Free Market at the ParkI had a basket of things I wanted to pass on to other people accumulated in the motorhome, so I set out a blanket and joined the fun. Found new homes for all my discards and took home a few new-to-me items I'm glad to have.
Then after lunch and a short rainstorm, I went canoing. Canoeing in Greenfield LakeI've been wanting to do that all the time we worked in this area. It's a pleasant lake to canoe - you can explore among the cypress trees growing in the lake. Cypress island
Try to stay off the green slime, though - it will hold you in one place better than an anchor would.
One local person told me the slime was a bacteria that multiplies every 20 minutes. Water quality websites refer to it as algae. This link takes you to the City of Wilmington's pamphlet on the subject. The green slime is a sign of a troubled waterway, evidence that the runoff from the city surrounding the lake does serious damage to the water quality.

Speaking of water quality, swamps and marshland, to the south of 74/76, and on both sides of business 74/76 east of Whiteville NC, the trees have been laid waste. clearcut marshland Every time I drive that way, I wonder just what happened here and why. The land is marsh. Even during the drought that was obvious. More clearcut marshland I wouldn't think it would be prime development land. There are no "coming soon" signs. My friend who lives there doesn't know either, and she is pretty well informed about what's going on in her town.

Don't Let This Happen To You!

I was Locked Out!
I paid for my campsite, parked my motorhome, plugged in, opened the awning, etc... and then discovered my bathroom door would not open! I pulled, I tugged, I leaned, I lifted, I stuck a prying screwdriver between it and the jamb, all to no avail.the latch that wouldn't unlatch
The outside of the latch has a deceptive key-slot looking groove in the button. It's purely decorative. If that button does not go in, that door does not open.
When I came back from the shower house, I took the door off its hinges enough to get it open. I removed the latch from the door and examined it closely. On the inside, lavatory side, is a small lever: a lock! While I was driving, road vibration had moved it to the left, locking the door.
I don't want that to ever happen again. I reinstalled the latch, and put a screw in through the slot where the lever would have to move to lock the door. inside latch showing where to put a screw so it won't lock on its ownIn the picture, you can see where the screw blocks the lever in the right-side position. It cannot sneak over to the left which would lock the door.
It is now PERMANENTLY unlocked.