One year later and Newman is up to his old tricks!
Last year on this very day, we left Fort Erie, Ontario to start this crazy journey across Canada to Fanny Bay, Vancouver Island with Newman the RV and Jerry the Jeep. We were so eager to start our adventure and we didn’t know what we were in for, with the weather, and RV and tow car issues. Our neighbour Horst and his partner Sheila brought me balloons in honour of my retirement which was going to happen on January 1, 2021. If you have followed our blog for the last year, you know the ups and the downs we have had with Newman and Jerry. And just when you think you’ve got RV living figured out, something like last night happened to me!
The rain last night was torrential! I mean, a pounding, hard rain on the roof that was very disconcerting to listen to. I was alone in Newman because Richard had gone to Vancouver to do some work. Just as I sat down on the couch to read my Kindle last night, I started to hear the dreaded ‘drip, drip, drip’ at the front of the coach.
I wasn’t sure where the water was dripping inside Newman, but I was pretty sure that it was water dripping that I heard. I investigated and sure enough in the wooden cabinet in front of Richard’s driver’s seat water was coming in. Not a lot of water was leaking in though, so I grabbed an old rag towel we use outside and stuffed it in the cabinet.
Water on the cabinet.
I saw that the water had dripped from the cabinet, onto the carpet in front of the brake pedal, but we have a de-humidifier running in Newman, and with the heat from the furnace, I wasn’t worried because I knew that the carpet would dry.
I sat back down to read my book and then I heard ’drip, drip, drip’ again. Now what?
This thing on the ceiling was dripping onto my passenger’s seat. I quickly got a plastic tub and set it on the seat to collect the water.
I’ve got the water rolling down the dustpan into the plastic tub. So much for having salad bowls to eat out of!
By now I’m trying to reach Richard in Vancouver, but he had gone to bed early because he had to be up very early for his flight responsibilities this morning. I tried calling him 3 times and texting him and he was not picking up. I knew I needed to do something, but what?
That’s when I called St. Stephen. I knew with the time difference it was very late, but St. Stephen picked up and helped me figure out how to tip Newman to the right so that the rain would run off the side of the coach, instead of sitting pooled on top of the roof. We did the same thing last year when Newman’s roof was leaking and by having the coach tipped to the right, the water runs off the side. I had never started the RV before, much less worked the levelling system, so this was a big deal for me to push any buttons and unlevel Newman! Thank you St. Stephen for answering my call!
Just then, Richard called me back so I hung up on St. Stephen to take Richard’s call. Richard said I had done the right thing by tipping Newman, but he couldn’t figure out where the rain could be getting in, since we had just put a new roof on Newman in September when Richard went out to Nova Scotia for 2 weeks to work with St. Stephen to replace the roof. The roof has been fully sealed with Di cor, so why was it leaking? Richard had to go to bed since he had an early flight, but he told me he was going to try and get ahold of the mobile RV repair guy to see if he could come and tarp our roof and fix the steps on Newman asap! I went to walk out of Newman last night during all of this commotion with the roof leaking and I landed all the way from the top of Newman onto my bad leg, because I forgot the steps didn’t go out. Great, now I’ve got a sore leg which I hope I haven’t damaged, since I’ve got 11 screws in the leg and a plate too!
I decided that the roof needed to be tarped to stop the water from coming in. By now the water on the passenger’s seat was filling up fairly quickly.
I was able to find the tarp in the basement of Newman and I dragged the tarp up onto the roof of Newman, with a bungy cord, to see if I could get the tarp over the area that was leaking. I crawled on my hands and knees from the back of Newman to the front. It was very dark and pouring rain, and I knew it was very dangerous to be on the roof, but if I didn’t try to put a tarp over the roof, we were going to have more damage to our new roof!
Just as I finally got down from the roof, a huge wind gust came up and blew the tarp off at my feet!
My knee after crawling on the roof of Newman in the pouring rain. Both knees have this red bruising on them!
I called Richard back and he said the mobile RV repair guy would come and tarp the roof in 40 minutes. I waited and waited and finally the guy showed up. He went up on the roof and with some bungy cords he found somewhere, he was able to tarp the roof. He also tipped Newman from front to back to have the water roll off the back. He also tried to fix our steps, but said that it looked like we needed a new step motor so he would order one and come back and fix them once the motor came in.
Finally when Dave, the mobile RV repair guy left here, it was 11:45pm.
I was completely drenched after the ordeal on Newman’s roof. I had on Richard’s jacket and I had to peel my wet jeans off me.
I finally got into bed and I was so wired I couldn’t sleep, so I did read my Kindle for a bit. At least the water wasn’t dripping in the back of Newman, so I didn’t have to hear the dreaded ‘drip, drip, drip’ sound in the buckets at the front of Newman.
When I woke up this morning I went to check my buckets and found that there was even more water coming in now in different places.
My passenger seat bucket really filled up overnight despite having a tarp on the roof.
The vent in front of this light, as well as this light were dripping water. That meant 3 more buckets I had to find to catch the water.
4 buckets in total catching water from the light on both sides (on the carpet), the vent (bucket on the tile) and whatever that thing over my seat was.
By the time I got up Richard was already on his flight to Mexico. All I wanted to do was cry. I’m a very rational individual, but sometimes crying makes sense too. I had a thousand different emotions going through my brain; buy a plane ticket and fly home to Fort Erie, buy a plane ticket and fly to Florida, sell this stupid RV in B.C. and fly to Florida, don’t repair Jerry’s engine and just junk the car, etc, etc, etc. There were a lot of thoughts going through my brain, but I decided to use that rational side of my brain and fight back! What could I do here and now to try and stop the rain from coming in?
I started up old Newman again and I tipped him further to the right. I got my level app out on my phone to see how much I had tipped him.
That seemed pretty severe a tip to the right, so I was satisfied with the unlevelling job I had done on Newman.
Next up was to make a list: a sturdy stepstool, a new tarp, bungee cords, ropes, tie downs, di cor, and dry out stuff. I quickly had my breakfast and a shower and just as I was about to jump in Kramer the Kona, a neighbour walked by and asked about the tarp and was the roof leaking? I stood in the rain talking to Owen who introduced himself, and then I jumped in the car and drove up to Courtenay in the pouring rain. My first stop was to drop my Darn Tough socks off at the Union Bay post office to get my replacement socks underway.
Next stop, Home Depot!
Home Depot in Courtenay.
I couldn’t find everything I needed at Home Depot, so I stopped into Canadian Tire in Courtenay as well. Canadian Tire didn’t have di cor self levelling roof sealant, so I also had to make a stop at an RV dealer in Courtenay for 6 tubes of di cor.
By now Richard has landed in Mexico and I had made him aware of my plan. I had asked if he could get Dave the mobile RV repair person to come and help me put the new tarp on the roof as soon as I got back to Fanny Bay. Richard called me just as I arrived back to Fanny Bay to say that Dave wasn’t interested in going up on our roof. Great! Now what?
Just then I saw our neighbour Owen walking with his ladder. I hung up on Richard and asked Owen if he minded helping me please. I explained what the situation was and Owen went to let his wife know where he would be for the next little while.
My provisions for our roof job!
The old tarp and Owen’s ladder. Owen quickly jumped up on the roof and started undoing the bungee cords that Dave had attached last night. When the tarp actually came off the roof, I could see that it was made of a very flimsy material and it was full of holes! So no wonder it wasn’t doing any good!
Owen on the roof trying to get the new tarp as far forward as possible to cover the front area that Dave missed last night, which is where the roof is leaking.
We ran out of bungee cords even though I had bought a multi pack of them, so we used one strap on the right side of Newman. We secured every hole on the tarp to try and keep the wind and rain from getting onto the front of the roof. With the wind and rain coming off the Salish Sea, the water will get onto the roof, unless the tarp is very secure.
Newman’s new hair do!
And just as I was putting my new gorilla step stool in place to get into Newman….
The stairs came out! Can you believe it? These stairs have not worked since Monday and then today after the RV repair guy said we needed a new stair motor, and I had bought a new 2 stair step stool which is very sturdy, the steps popped out! I guess that’s one good thing that happened today.
Our neighbour Owen was amazing to come and help me for 2 hours in the pouring rain today. I have to say that fellow RV people are really ‘salt of the earth’ folk. Owen was a pilot for Air Canada Jazz before he retired. He has a great sense of humour too. When I asked him what he did for a living before he retired, he said he was in the metal tube business! I guessed that he worked building the containers for milk trucks and then he said, ‘No, I actually flew planes!” When Owen was up on the roof he said to me “If I fall off this roof, you and Richard need to toast me with a really good scotch!” So guess what Richard is bringing back from Mexico, from duty free?!! Exactly. A VERY GOOD SCOTCH!!
The inside of Newman is a little darker with the tarp covering part of the windshield, but I’m not hearing ‘drip, drip, drip’ anymore as I write this blog on the couch, under a warm blanket, with a heating pad on both of my knees!
I think after two days of solid rain, roof leaks and tarp troubles, I am due for a nice treat. Tomorrow I’m going to the spa. I booked this little treat on Monday when we arrived, after I looked at the weather forecast and saw 100% chance of rain for days on end. Despite the cost, I need the treat. When Richard gets back he will have to find some dry days in the forecast to get back up on Newman’s roof (his least favourite thing to do, since he hates heights) and use the 6 tubes of di-cor self levelling roof sealant to figure out where the roof is not sealed properly, so that we can remove the tarp from the roof and RV like ’normal’ people…if there is such a thing!
So a year of trials and tribulations in Newman and the beat goes on! ‘What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger!’ Is I believe how that saying goes, but man this is so frustrating after all we’ve gone through to put a new roof on Newman. Finger’s crossed that nothing else goes wrong while Richard is gone or those options I mentioned earlier might come to fruition!
And just when I think everything is going to be ok, I turn the TV on and the volume is not working on the remote. I wonder if this is a test? I’ve learned a lot of patience over the years, but my patience is wearing thin with a year of RV life.