During the rain the past weekend here, I was dry and comfortable in my bed, but I kept hearing a drip that sounded like it was inside. I got up and checked around my bed, but it was completely dry. The windows weren’t leaking, so I went back to sleep.
The rain getting in really starts months earlier – before the Hilton was even mine. My dad had leant it to my sister so she could move some things. She tried to park it in a car garage in Walnut Creek, and… well it didn’t fit. So the roof got a gaping hole in it. That was two days before I got it. Not having the money (and still paying rent), I patched it the best I could. I used water proof duct tape and sprayed over that with a spray rubberized leak fixer. I was hoping it held until I could do something else.
Then I was in Nevada in November, when my dad died, and it snowed. There was about 6 inches of melting snow on top of my van, but still no problems as far as I could tell. The first time it rained, I heard a drip, and I checked around. Water was definitely leaking in the rear door somehow. I figured it was time to get the roof fixed. So I went to an auto repair shop. They peeled off my makeshift patch – now soggy duct tape, and showed me a soggy broken fiberglass hole. They put some patch on it for $800, and I felt safe once again.
However, the first night it rained this past week, once again, I heard drips, and sure enough, water was coming in the back window or door or… somewhere! So I bought some door sealing tape and some stuff called Mortite – which is like a putty caulking. I put the tape around the door, and when I examined the back window, I thought it could be coming in there. The next night, it rained again, as I knew it would. I heard drips that were a little more muffled. I checked the place I knew was dripping the night before, and it was dry. My sealing seemed to have stopped that. But searching a little more thoroughly, I found that the inside of the cabinets that are part of the hightop roof were wet.
The patch seems to be tight though, so I don’t think it’s that. It has to be the seams where the roof and the van are connected. That’s the only way that water could be getting into those cabinets! I think maybe when she tried to drive the van into the garage, it may have hit hard enough to shift those seams, or loosen that connection.
There is supposed to be about a week of no rain, so I’m going to let it dry good – leaving the cabinets open, and then I’m going to use the Mortite all along that seam at the top. It’s supposed to rain the following week, so I’ll be able to tell whether that solves the problem. I don’t want to save money on rent, only to have to spend it on Van repairs. But I am committed to this lifestyle so, I’m just hoping here. If anyone has any other suggestions or similar experience, advice is appreciated.