We’ve done some pretty crazy remodeling projects in the past. We’ve tackled a kitchen, two bathrooms, built a deck, and remodeled our den complete with new fireplace mantel and built-in shelves. So when our motor-home needed a new roof, I should have known that my sweet husband was going to talk himself out of paying someone else to do the work.
It really is a trait I love about him because I am super cheap and always looking for the best deal. In fact, I am way cheaper than even he is. So the fact that he goes to so much trouble to save us money makes my heart all a-flutter.
Ken spent a week researching our roof options, going back and forth. Should we do it? It’s a MASSIVE project. Should we pay someone else to it? It’s a MASSIVE amount of cash. Looking back, I might have weighed in on the decision a little more had I known that I was going to be his right hand man on the job.
Let me back up. We bought a motor-home in May. We were all giddy and excited, making big plans. The kids and I had many discussions about roasting hotdogs and marshmallows and how everybody needed new bikes to go with our new motor-home.
I personally was about to pop I was so excited. Seriously, picture young, little Lei-Lei on Christmas Eve night, under the covers, eyes wide open. That was me the week we bought the motor-home. I didn’t sleep for several nights because I couldn’t believe our luck.
Then Ken went out of town. And then the kids and I went out of town. And then Ken went out of town again. And then I went out of town again. Basically, someone from our little family was gone over the months of May and June, and there our motor-home sat, all sad and unused.
When we bought the motor-home two months back, we knew it was going to need a little TLC. Cosmetically and mechanically, it was fine. Really, better than fine, but there was one glaring problem. The roof. So we bought it knowing we would be addressing this issue before our first adventure in campground heaven.
Ken read everything he could find online about rubber roofs. We spent many nights watching poorly produced youtube videos. Until finally we came to the conclusion that if Daryl and his other brother, Daryl, could apply a rubber roof, then so could we. I mean, we built a deck…FROM SCRATCH, and it’s still standing. Surely we could do this too.
Weekend One: take off the old roof and remove accessories.
Here is what lies beneath the rubber lining. Wood? Who knew?
What you can’t see in this picture is the thick sticky glue covering the wood. This glue is what held the old roof in place. I now have an idea of what it feels like to be trapped on fly paper. The roof was so sticky it would actually pull your shoes off your feet as you tried to take a step. At first I was very annoyed by the stickiness, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
I get kind of light-headed where heights are concerned. So obviously, I had some reservations about climbing on top of that motor-home, but with my fanny glued down to any place I sat it, I slowly became more and more comfortable with being up there. Had we not had life-sized fly paper covering the top, I might have continued to be shaky the entire project.
Weekend Two: Cover the top with new wood.
We just put the new wood on top of the old. This was a hard day for me because we had removed the attached ladder from the back of the rig. Ken was very understanding as I made him jump through all kinds of hoops moving ladders to help me up and down from the top. I only cried once the entire project, and it was on this day. I really hate heights.
You see the orange ladder in the back? I climbed that ladder 864, 472 times over the four weekends we worked on this project. Give or take a thousand. That ladder and I became really close, personal friends. I think now that the project is over, it’s lonely and misses me because I haven’t climbed it in days. It longs to hear me swear some more and manhandle its legs while I move it from one end of the motor-home to the other. I did that about 378,206 times.
Weekend Three: Apply the new rubber roof. Here is Ken doing some final prep before we roll out the new roof.
I know the beauty of this picture is going to be lost on most people, but this one is definitely my favorite of the series. OUR NEW ROOF! All glued down and clean. Isn’t it beautiful?
Weekend Four (Yes, this project took FOUR looonnng weekends): Reattach accessories like roof vents and air conditioners. I forgot to take pictures on this day, so I’ll share a couple I snapped of the two special men in my life.
I think Ken should be up for father of the year this year. He works crazy hard at work to provide for us. It’s through his hard work that our family is able to afford these kinds of luxuries. Then he works even more on the weekends getting it ready for us. He’s a catch.
And then there’s this guy and his fake smile. Working on this project served as a great reminder of how much I love this stage in my children’s lives. We were able to work and bring them with us. This was a freedom I haven’t known since I had kids because they’ve always been too young to stay out of trouble. But for the first time in a while, I didn’t have to schedule our work around their nap times. They were with us pretty much the whole time, picking up trash we’d dropped or playing.
And while I’m feeling all sentimental and all, a very big “thank you” goes out to my parents for letting us use their covered parking area. There is no way we would have been able to do this work ourselves and save all this cash had they not been gracious and let us take over their driveway for a month.
And since the inside of the motor-home will probably not ever be this clean again, we took some pictures of it as well.
Let the fun begin!