Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Happy Anniversary

Our first week fulltime in the MH was busy. Lots of stuff to move in; some stuff to move out too. Tweaking the places we put stuff; adjusting pictures; etc. By Friday we felt we had a good start on getting things just the way we wanted them and we were looking forward to the weekend. Our one week anniversary in the MH. And what an anniversary it turned out to be.

The weather forecast was for rain most of the weekend, but that was OK because we had lots of errands to run. The rain started Friday night. I kept thinking what a pleasant sound it made on the roof. We went to sleep with the soft sounds of raindrops over our heads. And the raindrops just kept on falling.

We slept in Saturday morning and woke up to the pleasant sound of raindrops. I got up first and went into the living room to read. A short while later Joan got up and the first thing I heard was "Oopps". That didn't sound good. And then I heard "The floor is a little wet on my side of the bed". That sounded even worse. I got up to check. There was a small wet spot on the carpet in the corner of the rear slide. Not too bad, but it needed to be checked out. Probably just a gasket along the slide that needed to be 'smoothed out'. I put on a raincoat (really just one of the $1 clear plastic ponchos) and headed outside to take a look. And the raindrops just kept coming.

I checked the gaskets along the sides of the slide and everything looked OK. There is a gap between the top of the slide and the awning that I couldn't see into without a ladder. With all the rain and wind it was possible that water had been pushed along the top of the slide and under the gasket along the top. I got out our step ladder (I knew bringing it along would pay off), opened it up and climbed to the top step. The third step. Approximately 2' off the ground. **Note to self....get new ladder** The ladder we brought was one for inside the house. You only need 2' to be able to reach all the light and fans and other things inside the house. Not so good for outside the house when the roof is 12'6". With the top of the slide 11' feet off the ground, even with my 6'2" height I still couldn't see the top of the slide. But I bet I could see along the top of the slide if I was on the roof.

So up the ladder on the rear of the MH I went and oh so gently made my way to the edge of the MH. With the awning over the slide I had to get my head out over the side of the MH and lower than the awning. Only way to do that was lay down on the roof. So down I went and the water was cold. Crept out over the edge and peered under the awning. AHA! Just as I thought. The top gasket was still pushed back towards the interior of the MH, not out like the gaskets along the sides. So I got my handy dandy gasket fixin' tool (that's the long slender awning rod) and proceeded to straighten out the gasket. And for good measure I decided it wouldn't hurt to check the other three slides for similar problems. It didn't take long and I was done. Wet and cold, but done. Went inside, got some towels and mopped up as much water as we could. Pointed the fan at the wet spot to help it dry. Then took a nice hot shower and off we went to take care of our errands. No rainbows, but lots of rain.

We came home a couple hours later and went straight into the bedroom to check things out. More water. And it was spreading. It might be water that was already past the gasket before I adjusted them, just making its way down. But we could still have a problem. Just for good measure I thought I would adjust the level of the MH so the rain falling on the slide would shed away from the MH. That done we called my son and asked that he bring over the wet/dry vac so we could attempt to vacuum up as much water as possible.

The day progressed and the soft sounds of raindrops serenaded us throughout the afternoon and early evening. As I watched the early news I noticed a report that some parts of town had gotten over 8" of rain since Friday. We really needed it and it wasn't one of those driving, street flooding type rains. Just a gentle continuous rainfall. About 10pm Joan looked up and ask "What's that?" That didn't sound good! I looked up and noticed a small drop of water....hanging from the edge of the light fixture on the ceiling. Joan must have noticed the first drop because the carpet under the light wasn't even wet yet. I immediately turned off the overhead light switch and proceeded to remove the fixture from the ceiling (I knew bringing those tools would pay off).

For those of you who haven't ever seen the innards of a MH, the ceiling is lined with a foam insulation that is about 1" thick. I'm sure it’s there for sound and temperature insulation, but it also makes a great sponge. Wherever I touched the edge of the foam, water beaded up and ran down my hand. This section of the ceiling appeared to be soaked. I quickly removed the next light, but the insulation around this one was dry. That was good news; the leak appeared to be localized.

Only one thing to do now, get back up on the roof (I knew bringing that tarp would pay off). This time I donned my bathing suit along with my raincoat (another $1 poncho). The rain was still steady, just not as pleasant sounding. Ever try spreading out a 30' x 16' tarp 10:30 at night on top of a MH in a steady rain? Not something I hope to ever have to do again. This took about 30 minutes but with the wind blowing we still needed something to hold it down. Joan came up with a great idea....the lawn chairs. She handed them up and I spread them out along the edges of the roof to hold things down. About that time there was a slowdown in the rain and one of the neighbors came out to walk their dog. She saw me up on the roof, wearing my raincoat, in a slow drizzle of rain, spreading the tarp and she just had to ask "Do you have a leak?"

"No maam" I responded, "just decided to save a little water and take my shower outside tonight. Didn't want the soapy residue to get on the MH". (Here's your sign). I really didn't say that but wished I had.

That done I went back inside; made sure the AC units and fans were turned off as they had nowhere to vent; took another hot shower and went to bed....to the soft sounds of raindrops falling on our tarp.

Sunday dawned overcast and wet. Rain was forecast for all day. We had made the decision to move back to the lake house so we could put the MH in the shop (I knew moving into the MH 6 months early would pay off). First we packed everything we thought we'd need for a week or two; put it all in the car; then I put my bathing suit back on (and boy was it cold); then went back out to pull in the slides and disconnect everything in preparation for moving the MH Monday morning...in the not so gently falling rain. That done we made sure the tarp was secure by attaching it with bungee cords. There are not a lot of places to attach bungees on the side of a MH so we had to improvise: we bungeed to the pine tree; we bungeed to the picnic table; we bungeed to the awning attachments; we even bungeed to the ladder (see below). With everything secure we said a sad good bye and headed back to the lake.

It's Monday and the MH is in the shop. Hopefully it won't take too long to repair. The packing was good practice for future moves. Thinking positive here. Joan and I wish we'd taken pictures as all this happened, but we were in emergency mode. We did get a picture of the MH the next day. Kinda' has that Beverly Hillbillies look!

What an anniversary. One we will not forget. 


  1. Water leaks are the hardest to find. Hope the shop can pinpoint it okay.

  2. Joan had no problem finding them...LOL! Seriously, I hope you guys get things fixed.

  3. I sat here and giggled through your description of getting on the roof in your bathing suit with a $1 poncho. You're a good writer. I'll be following your blog. I hope our situation isn't as dire as yours. We just bought a used 5er and truck, haven't yet had a chance to take it out (we will today and tomorrow), but are heading off on our trip Wednesday or Thursday. We're keeping our fingers crossed that all goes well...

  4. Yeah! Found your blog thru ours! Rutroh on the leak but yeah for going FT in your rig. We're about 7 weeks in and love it!