Our First Exterior Job: Stripping Our RV’s Roof



During our 1965 Clark Cortez motorhome’s underseal and rust removal (Part One and Part Two), Andy was tasked with taking off vents, air conditioning units, and a fan.

If you read those posts, you may still be traumatized (as we are) of the varying levels of rust uncovered, particularly in one area that had the most severe corrosion.

This was under an incredibly heavy AC unit where the metal had remained damp (thanks to whoever put sealer way too thick around the unit’s base) which caused rust to create a splattering of holes. This area needed to be cut out before new metal could be welded in its place; but in order for welding to happen, metal needs to be bare so we prepared for our next job — stripping our antique RV’s roof.

Earlier I had been beckoned to start this task when that AC unit was pulled off. Grabbing my trusty angle grinder again, I monkey-climbed onto the roof once more without a ladder and set to work solo. By now the reverberations of the power tool were familiar and my control over the grinder, improved. Dry paint puffed in a powdery cloud around me as I breathed through my respirator.

The work was rewarding though — I was not tucked under a dirty, greasy engine or inside battling flying bits of underseal; I was outside absorbing the sunlight and getting instant gratification with every swipe of my grinder.

While work was slow, I gradually moved from the front to back of our roof feeling fulfilled and happy.

It was a hot August day in Virginia though, and the sun’s rays burned my skin so despite my desire to finish the job between the chicken houses, I needed to seek solace in the shade of the garage.

There was no time to rest though so back on the roof I went!

By this time, Andy was done doing, well, whatever Andy was doing — though I hear him in my head as I write now mocking me as he did then: “Know what? I’ll take a picture of you’ working’,” he said and he took this photo of me.

For reference, dear readers, I was taking a photo to document this very post. (You’re welcome, husband.)

With proof that Andy was not joining a slacking team, he eventually grabbed his angle grinder and a ladder and joined me in stripping our roof.

Tasked with removing paint from areas I struggled to reach — such as the roof’s sides and gutters, Andy moved around these ares quickly.

It was here we got a look additional rust that had eaten through the metal above the gutters making the side of our Cortez look more like an odd slice of Swiss cheese.

These areas would be added onto our To Be Welded list, but for now we kept moving forward covered in paint, body filler, and rust. A genuine effort was made this first day, but still we were a little less than halfway done, which meant another day would seal the deal.

Climbing a chicken feed ladder up the height of a one-story building, Andy once more set up our camera and off we went!

Five stripping wheels later and my job was done. As I monkey-climbed down and anxiously awaited our final silver-metal motorhome, Andy took to the sides once more.

And then our roof stripping was done.

The result was a shining silver roof, which made the Cortez appear more as a strange Airstream hybrid.

Andy and I stood together on the roof, taking in our hard work and then we held our breaths in a full-shake dance to remove the dust that had built up on us; and in that moment, it felt like a celebratory cloud formed around us.

Author: L

Hi there! I am the impulsive do-er, the jumper, the one tugging to move past comfort zones to embrace a life of sheer surprise. I am a writer -- a pursuer of stories -- because I believe in the destination over the journey. I am a chaser of sunrises and sunsets and cherisher of the moments between. I have an overwhelming curiosity, an insatiable desire travel, and an obsessive yearn to turn dreams into realities. For all of these reasons, the word that best summarizes who I am is "seeker" -- I am forever a seeker.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.