“Aha,” but also “Hmmmm…..”

It rained during the night and it was raining this morning, so I went out to the trailer to check the exposed ceiling for leaks.  There was a small puddle of water on the front door-side dinette seat, but still no obvious source!  I also saw one drop of water fall from the spot in front of the vent.

I wiped up the puddle then headed to work, and Wayne went out and put a plastic bag on the bench with a towel on top of it.  He also set a couple of buckets under the suspicious spots.

When I got home I went out to the trailer with a magic marker–and a plan…. I took a single layer of toilet paper and pressed it against the pinhole near the vent.  Yep–even though it wasn’t raining right at the moment, the paper was wet (despite the two coats of roof sealant…)  I circled the spot with the marker.

I slowly worked my way to the front, pressing the paper against the ceiling, and I found two more spots that were slightly wet.

  

While it was “good” to find these leaking pinholes, they still didn’t explain the puddle on the front seat.  I checked rivets and other places on the ceiling, but I guess we’ll have to consider the front window again.  Early in the restoration we sealed all the way around it, but maybe there’s still a way that water is coming in.  Just don’t know….

But with significant snow in the forecast, this evening we put a tarp over the trailer.

At least this should keep everything dry until we can start doing repairs. (Sigh…)

Another attempt to fix an unknown leak, and preparing to re-do the ceiling. :-(

Last July, probably to the horror of many fiberglass RV enthusiasts, we painted the entire roof of the Scamp with Henry Tropi-Cool silicone roof sealant.

We’d dealt with a persistent leak of unknown origin, and really felt that using 2 coats of this special paint would take care of it.  Unfortunately, it didn’t.  In heavy rains, a tiny trickle of water would still come from under the insulation and headliner fabric and run down the front window.

Additionally, the ceiling was starting to sag quite noticeably.  This probably had nothing to do with the leak and was more likely due to the fact that a previous owner had ripped out all of the headliner fabric, but left the original insulation.  When we put up new fabric, we (mistakenly) assumed that the insulation was still holding tightly to the ceiling, but the pulling and tugging that he had done to remove the fabric must have weakened the bond of the insulation to the ceiling. Oh, well!

I didn’t think to take any “before” pictures today of the sagging fabric on the ceiling because as soon as I had a warm-enough day to start a project in the trailer, I started pulling and cutting out our (new) headliner fabric along with the old insulation.  I really thought that the leak was probably coming from around the vent (which had been replaced) but there was nothing at all obvious there.  Rats…. And so I continued to cut my way towards the front of the trailer until the center of the ceiling was completely bare from the vent to the front window.

The dark spots on the ceiling look a little suspicious because in 2015–before we put up the new headliner fabric–we dealt with a leak over the door with dark spots around tiny holes that looked like these.  We still have no idea what had caused these tiny pinholes on the roof, and last spring or summer we’d patched everything we could find on the top BEFORE our “last resort” of using the 2 coats of sealant on the roof.

In the pictures below, you can see the patching (done from the top) around some of the dark spots:

  

The ONLY truly suspicious spot I could see today was a tiny hole about 2 feet towards the front from the vent.  It’s one we hadn’t patched, and you can see the white of the silicone roof sealant through it.  Was this enough to cause the current leak??

I wondered if we should go on and patch all of this, now, from the inside, but then we decided that it might be best to wait until we have a steady rain to see if we can figure out exactly which spot is leaking.  After that we’ll patch everything from the inside, put up new Reflectix insulation using 3M-90 spray adhesive, and–one more time–the headliner fabric.

  

Fortunately, we have enough fabric left over from when we installed it, initially. And to clarify, it’s not really headliner fabric, but Silver Gray Stratos (plain pattern) marine hull liner that we ordered from PerfectFit.  I can’t remember how many yards we ordered, but I’m glad we won’t have to re-order it.

Being out in the trailer again makes me want to go camping as soon as we have a relatively warm, dry, and open weekend.  As I told Wayne, if an opportunity comes up before we have the new Reflectix and headliner fabric up, we should go anyhow!  I still haven’t ruled out the possibility of adding a sink and propane stove at some point, but as we’ve found already, our little mobile bedroom and dining area are really all we need for a fun camping adventure!