Recently, on a day of strong winds and driving rain, Denise went into the motorhome to find or check something, and came back with the troubling news of damp patches on the ceiling. I had to go out in the rain and fix up a temporary protection, until a better day for me to look into it. Fortunately it wasn’t difficult to find the problem : the sealant bead all round the Leki roof light had perished (almost certainly due to intense UV light) and was letting water past, driven through due to local ponding and a strong wind.
The idea was, that we’d build the new shed on the croft last autumn, so that, when not in use for crofting purposes (such as lambing, shearing etc), the motorhome could be protected from both the storms of winter and the ultra-violet light of summer. (In case you’re wondering, vandalism or theft is not something that happens in these islands.) Well, thanks to unrelenting winter willdness, and then coronavirus lock-downs, the shed is still not finished – and there is still scaffolding across the front blocking access.
After so long outdoors unprotected, the weather – both bad and good – has taken its toll. It’s to be expected on a vehicle of this age (16yrs old, now) that things will fail, but this is not a good part of the world to leave a vehicle like this out in the open! It wasn’t as expensive as it looks, but bought with hard-earned cash and worth looking after. This was Denise’s dream, and it’s very disappointing for her.
We had planned to use the mothorhome to travel to and from visiting family in Navarra – instead of flying. The coronavirus pandemic has grounded (almost) everyone, though, so with nowhere to go and a dramatic loss of income, we’ve had to ‘take the vehicle off the road’. (That’s a UK expression – it means declaring the vehicle is not kept or used on the public road, and allowing us to not renew the vehicle licence and insurance). We’re fortunate compared to many, but we have to deal with many many small frustrations unknown to most.
In these photos, I’ve removed the hinge-pins from the clear cover, removed all the stiff and cracked old sealant, cleaned and degreased, and then applied a new high-performance external sealant – which though I had in stock, I had only in light grey, not white. (Everything of this kind has to be bought online, here in the islands, and the choice available is extremely limited at present, due to coronavirus shut-downs of businesses.)
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It’s now a fortnight or more since this repair work was done, and it’s definitely stopped the leaks! Also, construction work is now allowed again, and some work has been completed which allowed the scaffolding to be taken down. We may move the motorhome over to the shed in the next few days.
Also the result of the motorhome standing outdoors in all weathers, all four brake discs have become heavily corroded by the salty sea air. The discs themselves are very expensive, and I certainly can’t do the work myself.
The coronavirus is proving very costly for us (almost entirely due to lost income, of course) but there are many, many others for whom this pandemic has proved life-changing, even life-ending.
When eventually the vehicle is back on the road and at last we’re driving across the Pyrenees into Navarra, we shall remember these times, remember the sacrifices and losses of so many, and be thankful for our lives, livelihood, and freedom.
As a nation, we have been found wanting in preparation and readiness for what, has been an entirely forseeable civil emergency. It is well said, that the ‘price of freedom is eternal vigilance’ !