My Commander is being stored at my Dad’s 2 1/2 hours away, in northern Wisconsin, so I’m making trips up there to work on it. My plan is to go at least once a month for whatever length of time I can spare to hack away at this enormously daunting project. I recently was able to go there for 3 whole days; the first time since buying it. I went armed with supplies to redo the roof because that was at the top of my Not Fun But Necessary list of things to do. That was the plan anyways. Then reality smacked me across my little cheek and sent my rose colored glasses flying right off my face. This is what went down instead…
My Uncle scored a heavy duty tarp used for hauling semi truck loads and my Dad was dead set on getting the Commander covered with it. I had a hard time getting on board with the idea because I was chomping at the bit to get shit done. I didn’t want to spend what little time I had messing around with no busted up tarp. After a lot of discussing, I begrudgingly admitted it was the best course of action. You see, my Commander has a leaky roof and to fix the leaky roof it has to dry out and in order for it to dry out, it can’t be exposed to any rain or dew. You really shouldn’t put your super fancy, expensive roofing sealants on a wet or even damp roof. Unless being counterproductive is your thang. Since I didn’t want that to be my thang, this is what we did the first day.
First we measured the massive tarp to make sure it was gonna fit. Yep! It’s a perfect size!
Then I crawled around on my hands and knees for a couple hours wiping a million holes (even pin holes!) with a cloth and applied 2 layers of tape. One gaffers and one duct.
After we prepared the tarp we had to lift that sucka up to the roof. We weren’t finished with the entire process but a big storm was in the forecast for that night so we figured we better tuck the Commander in. Thank goodness for Skid-Steers! Making life easier by lifting one heavy ass thing at a time.
After my Dad delivered the tarp baby to me, he crawled up on the roof and we tugged, rolled and pulled until the tarp was in place.
Day 1 down. 2 to go.
Day 2 we awoke with a plan to build a peak above the air conditioner. This way we would increase airflow for better drying out purposes and we could use the air conditioner inside the Commander if need be. My Dad, having mad carpentry skillz, knew just what to build and how to build it. Off to the garage we went. I learned how to run a circular saw and my Dad was surprised that I had mad circular saw skillz. I thought it was just like using a super powerful, dangerous sewing machine. No biggie.
Those pieces turned into this…
Oh but we weren’t done yet. We put the tarp back on and realized we were still going to have problems with pools of water collecting. Especially in the problem area, at the rear. So we put our heads together to come up with a design for the back end that wouldn’t collect water. This is what we came up with.
You can’t really tell in the picture but each board is taller than the previous, working its way in, with the center one being the tallest. We put the tarp back on, pulled it tight with ratchet straps and were feeling pretty confident all the water would roll right off. Next, we cut poles to pull the sides out and anchored them in. Now the Commander has wings and all the air flow a little motor home’s heart could desire.
Day 2 down. 1 to go.
With one day left I set my sights on ripping out the bedroom ceiling. I knew it was water logged. My Dad knew it had structural problems. It HAD to come down. He cut, I yanked.
Oh boy was there a lot of water trapped in there. And so much rotten wood. The day was coming to an end and I needed to return home. Since we took some of the structural support away, we finished with what else….more support beams!
These 3 days made me realize a lot. I was really unprepared for the fact that I could spend 3 days building things that were temporary. I 100% believe it was the smart and right thing to do but couldn’t help but feel a bit disappointed that very little progress was made. Next trip, I still have to rebuild the bedroom ceiling with a permanent, stronger structural support before I can even start with the roof work. I’m currently feeling overwhelmed by how much I have to tackle in an allotted amount of time, how much money it’s going to take and how much help I’m going to need. I think I’ve watched too many renovation shows where everything gets done in 45 mins easy peasy, with only small snippets of the hiccups. I’ll admit, I fell for the glitz and the glamour. The reality is, I’m totally in over my head and I am incredibly inexperienced when it comes to something like this. But maybe, just maybe one requires a certain level of naivete to take this on? Let’s hope so. I think it’s good that I am going to be forced to step away from the project because I will need the time in between to get re-inspired and find my motivation again. It’s become clear that I’m most likely going to get my ass handed to me by the Commander. I say bring it. By the end we’ll be the best of friends.