Honestly I’m not sure even where to begin. This is a long read I will go ahead and warn you. It feels like I could write more of a book than a blog post from this experience.
One night about a month ago I dropped my pen on the floor of the slide out and got out of bed to find it. When I placed my hand down to feel around for it I noticed the floor was soaking wet. This is the upper part of the bedroom slide I’m talking about.
Now we had had some issues with the flooring where Zelda’s bed was getting wet about 1 week prior. (the lower portion that has the white paint on it) I pulled up the carpet, ran a hairdryer to dry it out and painted some Kilz on the floorboard.
Now I know what your thinking looking at this photo. First of all what the heck kinda repair was that right? Well I did the minimal I needed to because I had planned on waiting until it rained again to see if it continued and if it did I was going to call the RV repair guy to come out. I am also aware that the paint job on the wood base of the bed sucks. (the turquoise color). It became such a pain to paint and get in the area (I should have just removed the mattress and bed board… I figured cause no one really saw it it wouldn’t matter…..duh Christina moment) so I eventually found a bed skirt I used around it. Cheap easy cover up I know. I am planning on repainting the baseboard white sometime after we get back in the rig though. And doing it properly this time.
Anyways, as you can see the whole yellow part (upper slide area) was what was wet that night I dropped my pen in that upper area. I decided to see what the problem was because obviously the rain was getting to another section of the slide in between my bed and the wall. Not just in that lower area next to the bed where Zelda’s bed usually is (which is the white-painted area). When I got the flashlight I came to a horrible discovery! Now please note I used a photo filter (on the pic below) that made the carpet look like it had a layer of mold on top but that wasn’t mold just the way the photo came out.
(*Note the screws are there because I DID have my bed-skirt up there but it was soaking wet when I found this spot so I just pulled it off)
Now I had been smelling a slight musty smell for a short while but couldn’t put my finger on where it was coming from. And yes I looked several times. So of course you understand my surprise when I looked with the flashlight I saw a MUSHROOM growing up my wall!!!
As shown in the pics below we had a leak in this same area but on Michael’s side back in early 2018 (April) when the RV first arrived to GA. That leak came from outside the slide as well and came inside, basically on the same path. Since our rig was barely uneven at the first park we stayed at it rolled into the bathroom as well. It went along the wall, then under the bathroom door, along the cabinet, then along the shower edge and continued along the back wall behind the toilet, as you can see in the photos below. It took us a hot min to figure out where it originated as we were thinking the leak was coming from the shower or bathroom sink.
We sealed up the slide out really well outside and the leak on his side never came back. The area stayed dry. We removed the carpet, sealed it up with Kilz and dried it out. We figured we’d leave it looking bad until we could properly fix it since Tucker’s bed covered up the missing carpet. He likes to hide in that space. The problem with this leak on my side is it has been happening most likely since April when we first tried to fix the leak. When I sealed everything up I stapled these plastic pieces underneath to the underside of the slide. I thought they were a manufacturer mistake and stapling them up and sealing them would prevent further water damage. Turns out because I flattened the plastic pieces to the underside of the slide when the rain came down off the sides of the slide out it went underneath the slide and then trailed along the plastic piece which happens to go directly into my RV. It’s the little hole where the outer seals connect which the beads of water were going through and then dripping into the floor.
After it rained again before I called the RV repair guy I went outside during the rain and watched where the water was coming in. When I figured out what was going on I pulled the tape and the plastic piece down where I had stapled it. Stapling it caused it to be flush with the underside of the slide floor instead of it dripping off the plastic pieces which were at an angle.
The arrows point to where the leak came in from outside and how it was making the floor beneath wet. And yes I know there is a lot of crap that looks like it needs to be cleaned up based on the photo.
The green line shows how it trailed off the side of the slide out along under the plastic piece into the floor of our bedroom.
When I pulled the roof tape and staples off I found this underneath. Turns out how I had fixed it up was causing it to basically hold water under the slide the whole time. SINCE APRIL!!!!
That rot went at least 3 inches up into the laun that creates the base of my slide out flooring. So needless to say I called the RV repair shop. After explaining what was happening he informed me he could only fix the slide if I brought the rig into the shop. Now we had just put up the skirting not a week before and moving the RV. Although it wasn’t impossible to remove, it is a pain to get it all ready. Especially when you are sick! In our case the week it was moved (Last week in Jan 2019) we were both had a bad sinus infection. Plus the Thursday (Jan 31), moving day, happened to be my birthday.
So we did what we had to do and got the rig packed up. The guy came to move the RV to the shop. That day my husband was taking most of the fur crew up to my dad’s in North GA. We are staying there while repairs are being made. I was headed down to Savannah to visit my brother for my bday weekend and going in the opposite direction. I had been at my brothers for maybe an hour when I got a call from the RV shop.
Turns out when they crawled up on the roof to see if there were any places that were leaking from the top of the slide with the leak in the bedroom they noticed some damage to the roof. At the end of that conversation I was almost in tears because he told me that the whole roof was going to have to be repaired. Now mind you we are already prepping on over $3000 to shell out for just fixing the slide and other miscellaneous repairs. So basically we have a very expensive lesson we have learned. BTW total roof replacement is costing $8200!!! and will take over a month to fix…. Right??? I had the same reaction. Anxiety attack beginning in 3…2…1…..
The bedroom slide out leak WOULD have been covered under insurance if we had kept up with roof maintenance. Turns out “roof maintenance” is just basically changing out the seals around the vents and air conditioners every 6 months to a year! We have had the RV 4 years now and never done anything although I knew we would have to get it fixed soon. PRAISE THE LORD the roof repair is being covered under our insurance and get this we didn’t even have to pay a deductible.
We also had several other issues we knew had been building up.
- The front tire on the driver’s side is always leaking. We have to fill it up EVERY TIME we move the rig. All the tires have replaced the tires and tire covers are kept over them to prevent dry rot but that one still gets low after sitting for a while.
- We went to remove stuff under the kitchen sink and a roast pan I had underneath the water lines was filled with water. Meaning we had a another leak coming from somewhere else. We had tried to fix this multiple times even with a mobile repair guy coming out in California when we changed out the faucets. Thought we had it fixed. Guess not.
- The main slide out doesn’t go out all the way on the left side. It gets slightly angled when we try to put it out.
- Soft spots in the living/kitchen/main area flooring. Which was pointed out to me by the insurance agent.
So basically at this point it just feels like our home is basically falling apart as my husband put it.
Feb 13, 2019
The bedroom slide out has been repaired, the other misc repairs are being fixed but the thing that is going to take the longest is the roof repair. They found a dip in the roof which until they took off the roof weren’t sure exactly what was lying under it. Turns out it was just how the RV had been built and no damage had been done and no repairs to that part of the roof were needed. A bit of silver lining to the whole horrible situation.
March 1, 2019
So we finally got the RV back! All the needed repairs were completed. They did a great job with fixing the issues we had addressed other than the larger ones (roof repair and bedroom slide-out leak) There were one or two little things that weren’t done we had asked about but with the list we had for them it was a lot to make sure they got absolutely everything. We also recently moved the rig to a new RV park. If you read my latest post about RV park recommendations for locations near Fort Gordon you will understand why we moved. Anyways, turns out we basically went over to Augusta to move the RV from the repair shop to the new RV park, clean inside, put things away and then close it back up. I will cover that in another post though as things progress with possibly a new direction in life.
The purpose of this post was to explain that not everything pertaining to RV life is all fun. There are some REALLY sucky parts to living in an RV full-time. Such as having major repairs done to your home you live in and not being able to live in it while the repairs are being made. I hope this post doesn’t discourage you from getting an RV if you are in the market for this lifestyle. I just wanted to be upfront and share my experiences.