This is primarily a travel blog in which I write about traveling in our motorhome. Our travels have

Nacogdoches, TX, United States
I began this blog as a vehicle for reporting on a 47-day trip made by my wife and me in our motorhome down to the Yucatan Peninsula and back. I continued writing about our post-Yucatan travels and gradually began including non-travel related topics. I often rant about things that piss me off, such as gun violence, fracking, healthcare, education, and anything else that pushes my button. I have a photography gallery on my Smugmug site (

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Holey Roofs, Batman!

I slept for 12 hours last night to make up for only 2 hours the night before.  That's an average of 7 hours so I guess I'm good.  When I got up I went into the bathroom to find the an empty toilet paper roll on the holder so I opened an upper cabinet to retrieve a new roll.  I believe that in last night's post I said something about the roof not leaking.  Well, that wasn't true because our 3,000 roll supply of toilet paper was soaking wet.  At least it soaked up the rain water and kept other things from getting wet.  The water had come in through a small hole in the roof through which the TV cable entered. The sealant around the cable had been pulled out, like a cork from a bottle, when the TV antenna was attacked by the tree limb yesterday and allowed rain water to seep in through the hold.  It was right above the bathroom cabinet where the toilet paper was  kept.  Have you ever noticed how much heavier a wet roll of toilet paper is than a dry roll?

After I had my morning coffee, could open my eyes, and was almost human I took a look outside. The sun was shining, there were big white fluffy clouds in the blue sky, the temperature was about 70 degrees, I could smell pines, and I really did hear a babbling brook.  The RV park is in the middle of a New England forest.  It was a perfect day to go up on the roof of the motorhome and face what yesterday had wrought.  I got out the ladder and climbed to the roof (12' 6" high) to take a look.  Yep, there was a hole in the roof where the antenna USED TO BE.  A neat round hole about 3 inches in diameter that had been cut in the roof when the antenna was installed.  The only thing that had kept more rain from pouring in was a piece of the antenna base that had broken off and was in effect, plugging the hole.  I was hoping to simply reinstall the antenna until I discovered the broken piece in the hole.  Now I was only interested in patching the hole.

I borrowed a tube of Dicor rubber roof sealant and a caulking gun from the RV park manager and cut a patch from a leftover piece of vinyl material that I found in the motorhome.  I cleaned the roof around the hole as best I could, placed a generous amount of Dicor around the hole and pressed the vinyl patch down on it until the gooey mess began to ooze from the edges of the patch.  I also made sure that I replugged the hole that had allowed the rain to ruin our toilet paper.  Dicor is VERY sticky and I will be wearing some on my hands for a while.  One question I have asked myself is, "How long does it take for this stuff to dry or set?"  Rain is forecast for tonight and I hope it doesn't wash my new patch off.  If it is still on when we leave Monday will it blow off?  I'll just have to keep climbing up on the roof and checking it.  Of course, if water begins pouring down on Carol Ann (the hole is right above the passenger seat) that will be a good clue the patch has failed.  One thing I do know for sure is that we will not be watching television anytime soon except in parks that offer cable TV.  However, that is no great loss.

Another problem we have encountered is the intermittent operation of our rear facing camera.  I replaced the dead monitor (another $400 plus!) while we were in Gettysburg and all three cameras were working.  I know that the new monitor is operating properly because it will display the views from the two side cameras.  I suppose there is a loose connection somewhere in the almost 40 feet between the rear camera and the dash-mounted monitor.  It would probably be faster and cheaper to install a new cable than to try and find the loose connection.  It's not vital that I have that rear view but it sure does help out, especially when backing into a campsite.  Without it I have to depend on hand signals from Carol Ann.  That's scary!

Tomorrow we will tour around the area and on Monday head up to the White Mountains for a 3 night stay in the Franconia Notch State Park.  Suppose to be some beautiful scenery up there.

1 comment :

Croft Randle said...

The Dicor will keep the water out and will not wash off even when still tacky. However, you should give it a few (18?) hours before subjecting it to the wind produced by constant driving speeds which could push it into a "wave" shape and maybe off the hole.

Again, check carefully for other small cuts caused by the low branches. We once had about a gallon of water come through a tiny cut that you could hardly see. Like in a house, the hole can be far away from where the drip is. You can get the rig pressurized and tested with soapy water if all else fails. Good luck!