Rain roof…thanks to Frank!

So, there I was sitting watching a film in the van parked at Broadford on the Isle of Skye, with a storm raging around me. I believe it was Storm Frank. Whatever it’s name it was a violent one. The van was rocking like mad and the last straw was when one of those huge recycling drums was blown over and tumbled about 50 yards to rest very close to the van. I decided it was time to move and try to find a more sheltered place to park.

I set off to a lay-by that was just on the edge of town, because I knew it was surrounded by trees which would baffle the wind a little. There’s always a danger being near trees in storms as branches break off and even trees fall down. But I was convinced if I didn’t move the van was going to be blown over.

So I parked at the lay-by and the wind was directly behind me then so that helps to steady the van and I settled down to sleep. 

Then…from the dark of the night…it came…lol

The cracked glazing unit
The cracked glazing unit

I heard it coming, you can hear really big gusts from some distance away and I knew it was going to be bad. Then it hit and I heard a shriek, then a clattering breaking sound, then a tearing sound, then a very heavy thud, and then I felt rain on my head…

The wind had come from behind and forced itself under the glazing of the sunroof where it rests on the roof. It lifted it with such force that it ripped the gas struts from their mounting, then as the glazing bent back with the power of the wind it tore the three metal and plastic hinges from the base unit on the roof, and blew the glazing unit away. That’s a scary arsed storm. So I’m out of bed with the dog going ballistic, staring up through a 1 metre by 3/4 metre hole in the roof, with 90 mph winds driving the rain inside. Nice one. 

I actually stood and just looked at it for a second or two, thinking what the hell could I do now. 

So I grabbed the table which is a typical motorhome one with 2 folding legs. I quickly polished the top with pledge then manoeuvred it through the gap in the roof, letting the legs hang down. I got some webbing and made 2 straps which held the legs tight up against the ceiling, which stopped the table from blowing outside. OK, so at least no more rain was coming in. I knew the garage was shut as it was christmas so I headed back there to shelter under the huge canopy. 
Once there I got up to have a look and everything was as I expected. The sunroof was destroyed with no sign of the glazing panel and the lower frame was snapped and torn at the hinges. 

The broken hinges
The broken hinges

So, out came the rubble bags. They are like bin bags but very strong and designed to hold broken bricks and concrete. I taped 2 of them together using a very strong duct tape so they were the size of the frame, then used that tape to stick the bags over the gaping hole. Even though the roof was still slightly damp the tape held the bags there for 2 days. Never underestimate high quality rubble bags and duct tape 🙂

There wasn’t a drop of water came in over the next 2 days although I did fear it might happen at any time. 

On the second day I finally found the glazing panel about 100 yards away from where I’d been parked, resting in a bush! The wind had carried it so far I was shocked. Although it was cracked and broken where the hinges and gas struts were, the main part of the panel was intact so I kept it and waited til Jewsons opened on the Tuesday and bought a multi-tool and some tubes of strong adhesive sealant. 

Turns out the multi-tool was a hell of a buy and I’ve used it for all sorts since. But at the time all I did was carve the rough bits from the frame and the edges from the glazing panel so I could stick it into place permanently on the frame. It won’t open of course but at least it would be water tight. A good job well done, now I just have to save about £500 for a new one lol

Bloody Frank, he can piss right off!