Roof leaks

So we’ve had two roof leaks in one month. This is one of the drawbacks to RV living.

When we first moved into the magic bus, we found water leaks everywhere. What made this fact even more astounding is that the RV had just been released from repairs to the roof. We also fixed plumbing leaks left and right, which is just as astounding as the roof leaks as the plumbing had been repaired, too.

It took us most of the first year to find and fix all of the various leaks we had.

Then we found some more. So we fixed those, too.

We were told when we got this RV that the roof only had three, MAYBE five years in direct sunlight before a total replacement would be necessary. We let the damn thing sit in direct sunlight for almost four years before we finally put it under a metal carport structure.

Now that we’ve been here an entire month with absolutely no protection for the roof, we’ve discovered two leaks. One was over the driver’s seat, and was caused by silicone breaking down in the Texas heat. We put new silicone on it and hopefully solved that problem, at least for the time being.

This morning, when I woke up and went to get some coffee, water dripped from above and landed on my head. Not fun before coffee, I assure you.

The drips were coming from the handle that we crank around in circles to raise and lower the aerial antenna on the roof of the magic bus.

Being home alone, I was going to just hope for the best and I put a bathmat under the drip. It soon became evident that I was going to have to address the problem or our floating laminate floor would be ruined. So I hopped on the 4-wheeler and dragged the trailer down to the barn to grab an extension ladder. Once I got the ladder up the hill, I leaned it up against the RV and tested it. It kept wanting to fall over to the left, so I had to shim it up so I could climb it and check out the antenna.

What I saw saddened me. There are cracks everywhere in the coating that keeps our roof watertight. These cracks are deep in some spots, and they are extensive. All of the silicone caulking around anything that protrudes from the roof, like plumbing vent stacks and air conditioners, is shrinking and pulling away from the roof. One of the plumbing vent stacks has lost its cap so that water can get in.

And the antenna cable had a large tear in the watertight coating that surrounds it where it goes through the roof to the inside.

As a stagehand, I know jack shit about how to use a caulk gun. So I did what I know best. Gaff tape.

It’s not a permanent fix by any means. I’m just hoping that it slows the leak enough to keep from destroying my floors until Sunshine gets home Friday to maybe fix it proper. With another two to four inches of rain expected between now and then (on top of the four inches we’ve already had this week), all I can do is hope it mitigates the damage somewhat.


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