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RiverCat Journal: Camping in the Rain

Posted by on March 14, 2012

Current Venue:  Redding, CA
Campground:  Sacramento River RV Park

It’s been raining for 3 days.  Normally I love weather but, unfortunately, this first real test for the old rig is revealing some chinks in the armour:

I’m relieved about one thing.  The once-troublesome skylight leak in the kitchen finally seems to be holding up — after having it sealed three times  in Reno.  It did give me a scare on the first day of this storm, however.  After I’d returned from the showerhouse, I found a large wet spot on my dinette seat (underneath the skylight).  But the skylight didn’t appear to be dripping.  Recalling the thunder and wind while I was showering, I suspect a gust had blown standing water under the skylight — just a fluke occurrence, I hope.

But the power short-circuited that day.  I’m not well-versed in the different circuits in RVs yet, but I lost power to most of the lights and all the outlets (except the one associated with the A/C).  This has happened before…

My handyman in Reno had spent a day touching up a lot of the exterior.  I removed a lot of the seals while he followed me with a caulking gun.  He ran out of time, however.  I had no caulking gun at the time and, upon inspection, it appeared everything was sealed pretty good except some taillights.  After I finished washing my van that day, the power short-circuited.  I had to wait an hour and a half for it to dry out, whatever “it” was, before I could reset the circuit.

The same thing happened when I came back from my shower the other day after that thunderstorm.  I had to suspect the power outlet.  It appeared to be sealed pretty well, but it’s on the same side of the trailer I might have sprayed the day I washed my van.  I went to Home Depot, purchased a caulking gun, waited for a break in the weather, sealed it, and taped it for good measure.

I was relieved the next day when it appeared to do the trick.

Then it happened again last night.  This time, however, I was able to reset the circuit after only a few minutes.  Still.

I also developed a leak in one of my cabinets yesterday (other side of the trailer).  It was a slow leak when I discovered it in the afternoon.  It appeared  to be coming out of a couple screw holes in the ceiling.  I laid down a couple hand towels and then monitored the situation until I could call a repairman today.  It did get more progressive throughout the evening.

This morning I put in a call to a mobile repair guy but am still waiting to hear from him.  In the meantime I borrowed a ladder and discovered the seals where my handyman had installed the storage rack were definitely not sticking to the roof well.  I covered the area with some trash bags to see if I could at least isolate the problem.  Lovely…


A little after noon, the cabinet stopped dripping.  However, this was a good 45 minutes after my “repair.”  It also seemed to coincide with the rain slowing down — an indication I still haven’t isolated the problem. (Although I’m still hoping the last drip was from residual rainwater that had already gotten through the roof).

At 12:45 Mike, the RV guy said he’d swing by tomorrow for a free look-see.  Whew!  That’s a first.  In Reno there are no free consultations.  Now if I can just get the storms to cooperate until he gets here…


Next Story: Before the Storm


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