It was Tuesday. I was excitedly vacuuming and dusting so that we could finally pack and leave the next morning. We had plans to meet my aunt in Missouri by Friday.
I got up in the bubble top bunk to hoover. As I pulled up the mattress, I saw what anyone who owns an old home fears most: mold. Big brown wet stains on the particle board, the fabric which lies under the mattress, and the fabric on the surrounding walls.
We pulled up the particle board. There were hand-sized puddles resting in the fiberglass top underneath. It had rained several times in the past month, and we hag never thought to check for leaks.
Water was getting in… somewhere.
Ready to blow some more cash to get all the windows sealed by professionals, we drove straight to the nearest RV repair shop. Although the owner was the sweetest guy, he told we’d have to wait a few days to get the repair done. We couldn’t wait.
“Is there anything else you recommend?” we asked.
” Stay in Arizona where it never rains”.
Very very luckily, the previous owners had held on to several “service bulletins” (or, “oops we f***ed up” bulletins) written by Airsteam to their dealerships. One of the bulletins describes how water “sloshing” around the b190 bunk was indeed due to a sloppy window sealing job. (As there are only a limited number of b190s, our running joke is that the guy responsible for sealing the windows was named Todd).
The bulletin then outlines how the dealers should fix it before selling more vans.
So with the forecast full of storms and a deadline, we decided to follow those instructions and reseal the windows ourselves.
Here are the instructions:
“Remove screws from interior trim ring.”
“Apply wide masking tape completely around exterior of window to avoid marring of fiberglass. Drive a putty knife between body and window frame. *DO NOT PRY”
“The window should come out using very little force once the sealer has been cut with the putty knife.”
“Turn the window upside down on a work table and scrape off old sealer. ”
“Scrape sealer from around window opening in top cap.”
“Liberally apply sealer to window frame. Grey butyl part no. 360001-01 or Gray Sikaflex #360180 may be used.”
“Center window in opening and apply inner trim ring. Wipe off excess seaport with mineral spirits.”
“Run a small neat bead of sealer aroind the window. ”
Ok we haven’t done that part yet, because Edd said there was so much sealer oozing out we didn’t need that. But my dad said that if Todd had done that we probably wouldn’t have been in this mess in the first place. I think we’ll end up putting more on.
We bought some new thin carpet from Home Depot, along with new fiberglass insulation and placed it underneath the mattress area. I bleached the bits of fabric that we couldn’t replace, like on the walls. We drove through heavy storms on the way to MO and everything stayed dry so I could care less about mismatched fabrics.
And see that little window in the back?
Turns out we need to do that one too. Oh Todd from Airstream. You had one job.
On Thursday though, we drove through hard rain and NO LEAKS in the top! The work was tough but staying dry in our sleep was a relief. Dry dreams! Nice one.