Week 765 - Water & Slides - 04-11-2021

Water & Slides

Everybody likes water. It makes you happy: to see it, to hear it, to drink it and to play in it.

And people like slides too, whee!

And water slides are especially fun.

But who likes water in your slides? No one. All four of our motorhome slides, having gone in and out 2,400 times, needed repair. The majority of the damage was done when water seeped into the slides. We spent the week in Harrisburg, Oregon at Elite RV for repairs.

This was the first time we had to be out of the MotherShip since Pete decorated the side using a wooden post. One mile from Elite RV is Life Northwest: a hotel, RV park, conference center and church! The church purchased the hotel/RV park, added the sanctuary and meeting rooms. Our room was only $70 per night with a fenced in patio for Mandy and just a few feet from the Willamette River.

The owners of Elite RV are ex-Monaco employees who worked in production and service. They specialize in the Monaco motorhome products and really know their craft. What did they do? First, they removed all the wipe seals and slide toppers. Ours were well worn, so we had ordered new toppers from Stone Vos in Florida.

Water had leaked behind the belt molding (or awning track). The entire track on the passenger side was removed, cleaned, re-attached and caulked. The driver's side was partially repaired.

Our large passenger front slide has major water damage to the wood floor. Water seeped down from the roof of the slide, through the wall and into the floor. This floor will need to be replaced at a later date as it was too lengthy a job for this appointment.

You can also see the damage from the interior of the coach.

The passenger rear slide has made a crunching sound when brought in or out. Hard to see here is broken tile on the outer edge of the floor. Again some water came from the roof, down the wall and into the tile adhesive. The softened adhesive allowed the weight of the slide to crush the tile. The Elite team glued in a hardwood block where the tile was missing. They had only a 2 inch space to work, thus they could not remove and replace the tile.

The overall goal of the slide repairs is to seal off any future water (and wind) from getting in the MH. The 2 inch wide wipe seals where removed from all slides. The openings were sealed with caulking and new wipe seals installed. Over the years we have spoken with many RVers who have had to have slide seals replaced, so this was not surprising.

The slide roofs are the main culprit in water damage. The original construction uses 4 inch tar tape to seal the slide roofs. If not properly installed the tar tape can leak water as happened to the MotherShip. As we have visited seven MH factories, we know that at each station workers have only one hour to complete their job. Thus the tar tape is not always properly sealed. [Note to all RV owners: You should have your roof and especially your slide roofs inspected every few years.]

Elite sealed every seam on the slides as well as any possible source of leaks on the roof.

Stainless steel skis were added to our large slide for temporary support before floor replacement. The skis will be left in place after the floor repair. The white "plastic" material under the floor is what rides over the rollers when the slide is brought in. Eventually the material will collapse, for sure after 2,400 ins and outs.

Smaller aluminum skis were installed on the driver rear slide. It had minor water damage and the slide rollers had started to crush the underside of the floor.

The new slide toppers were installed. Original Monaco toppers are made of acrylic material. We chose to install molded vinyl per Stone Vos's recommendation. Their toppers have a 10 year warranty.

Elite RV thoroughly inspected the entire coach and made many minor repairs that we did not ask for. These were quick and economical items. We appreciate that they treated our coach like it was theirs. This repair was adding a better weatherstripping to our front door to seal it from wind and water.

After four days they had put everything back in place and we were set to travel.

Every week the Lord blesses us in some way. Maybe by just allowing us not to have any "bumps in the road", just a very wonderful week without stress. This week had a very special blessing.

We left our motel room to return to the MotherShip. We packed the car, started it to warm and put Mandy inside. Our Jeep has a key fob that allows you to start the car with just the push of the Start button. You can't lock yourself out if the key fob is in the car. The car will beep and not lock. But not today. With both keys in the car and Mandy, the door locked! Oops, time to call the Auto Club. AAA probably comes from Eugene 30 minutes away. Sorry, Mandy we'll get you out or us in within the hour.

Not too fast; we had left the window down one inch to let heat escape overnight. Not enough to stick your arm in. But, if we only had a metal hanger we might be able to push the Auto Down for the window. The hotel had only wooden hangers. We head off the office to see what they might have. On the way we stopped to check the dumpster. Look what we found poking out of a trash bag. A two foot long car antenna. Out of trash rose the Phoenix and the window came down. Thank you God.

We had two days before our RV friends, two couples, would be in Coburg. We spent one night at Guaranty RV in Junction City.

A second night at Source RV in Veneta.

And amazingly the Three Amigos: us, Tim and Vikki and Dennis and Jean all arrived at Premier RV within minutes, maybe seconds. We had beautiful weather with beautiful friends and a great evening together. "What's your favorite place to visit?" As always, the people.

With love, Pete, Ellen and Mandy

Photos from Apr 2021

The Full Time Motorhome Living Guide

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