grrrr the joys of owning a motorhome!
Last week (and the weekend before) we took the motorhome out for a trip. We spent the weekend at Pocono Raceway for the NASCAR race weekend, and then spent a few days camping at Hickory Run State Park in PA. The downside to our week away ...rain, rain, rain and more hard rain.
We spent 1/2 of our drive to PA in hard rains, and then all but 2 out of 8 days were rain, rain, rain.
We got home on Wed of last week, only to be pounded by more rain at home.
In the past, this hasn't been a big issue. Yes we have discovered some leaks and it appears, have fixed them. Well today I went out to the motorhome and was confronted by a very strong mold smell.
It didn't take long to track down the area it was coming from - the wall next to the drivers seat. In the past we've had some mold/mildew here that we noticed during the 2 winters we spent in the motorhome. I attributed that to condensation on the inside walls, and as such, made sure to keep some damp-rids on the floor there, and to make sure I wiped down any condensation.
Today it was much worse. The carpeting, where it meets the wall, was damp today and the odor very strong. Great, so I head outside to look at the body side molding that covers that body --> chassis gap (under the drivers window). I've paid attention to this area before as the previous owner had re-siliconed this area in the past and there was some small visible rust signs. I too had siliconed this area in the past, but today decided it was time to take the molding off.
Yeah, that's a project that is going to require a new molding piece as the original is aluminum and I had to use some muscle to get it off. So I get the outer cap off, unscrew the rail and sure enough there is dampness and rust buildup behind it *BUT* even with all that, it does not appear that there's a noticeable leak there.
Grrrr I say, yes this piece did need to come off to clean up behind it, but now I have to find a replacement piece and still find the leak source.
Back inside I go and wedge myself up under the dash and I found it!!
I started pressing on the side panel where it meets the firewall and notice some softness. Not a LOT, but certainly some softness on the inside portion of the panel. I ran my hand farther up the panel and there it was -- the hole that was cut into the sidewall to run the electric mirror wires through was not sealed properly!!!
Back outside I go to take the mirror off and when I did I could see that the hole was not siliconed properly and has likely been leaking since the motorhome was new. The way the silicone had set, left a nice downward ramp for water to slide down into the wall and interior.
Well, at least I have found the source - now to:
- dry up and deodorize the interior
- fix the leaking source
- clean up the area behind the body side molding
- find and install replacement body side molding
So my advice to everyone ... get your tools, some appropriate sealer, and take your mirrors off. It only took 4 screws (well 3 since one was broken during the install!) to get the mirror off and check the entry hole for the wires.