We were mountain high making plans for the spring and summer. We had just brought our new “Camper House” home and the little boys had helped Brooke clean and organize for a couple days. Things were coming together and we were ready to begin exploring the world around us. Jordan had been checking and replacing seals around doors and latches. We’d spent hours working in and around the camper. We knew there were some issues we needed to tend to, but nothing seemed major. Jordan order the supplies to repair and reseal the roof and all the trim pieces. The slide roof got ripped as we were extending it so Jordan knew the slide needed to be readjusted so it was level. Brooke was still enthralled with the idea of painting and small renovation to make it our little home away from home. There were also small signs of previous leaking and we wanted it dry and tight before we had future issues. As Jordan was examining the slide more closely he noticed some pin sized holes in the support wall above. It was apparent there had been a leak at some point that the previous owners had attempted to dry out.
Brooke and the boys took the next day off. Our oldest wasn’t feeling well. It’s uncharacteristic for our kids to be sick, but it was spring so we figured it was just a cold he was trying to kick. Jordan started work on the camper by himself after he got home from work.
He came inside while I was cooking dinner.
“Hey, Hun.” There was little emotion in his voice, but he didn’t sound excited. I looked up from the stove to see what was on his mind.
“What is it?” I asked, almost in a giggle because of the look on his face. Jordan isn’t known for being the most gentle with projects. I assumed he cracked or broke something that we’d need to repair or replace. We keep epoxy on hand for those moments that are not so few and far between. He’s incredibly handy, but he does occasionally (regularly) man handle things. I was expecting a cracked lighting fixture or plastic thingamajig. I was not at all prepared for what I was about to walk into.
“Just come look at this.” So I slid my shoes on and followed him out to the drive.
“Ohhhhhh.” I scanned the wall above the slide. That doesn’t look good. Is that black mold?” I’m certain my eyes were huge while I was looking at the mess we had just gotten ourselves into. We had no idea this was an issue just a few days before!
Jordan said he did think it was black mold and showed me a soft spot on the wall in the center. By this time our boys had followed us outside and were trying to climb in our newfound disaster of a camper. Keeping the boys at bay, we wrapped up our conversation outside.
What we knew… There was mold. Part of the support wall was sagging and that’s what caused the slide roof to tear. The slide wasn’t un-level at all, but rather the wall collapsing on top of it that caused the damage. We had a good amount of rot and at a minimum the header was going to need replaced. The pantry wall was trashed. We were still unsure about the floor under it in the back of the trailer, but it was on our concerns list. Our little mountain high had turned into an unimaginable low. In less than a week of owning the fifth wheel
Before I went back inside I very clearly told Jordan he was not to go back in the camper until he had a respirator. His work for The Camper House was done for the evening. We already had one kid that was affected by mold without us knowing. We weren’t putting anyone else at risk, certainly while knowing!
Our adventure for the evening was complete. We went in the sticks and bricks to research cleanup, removal, and replacing the damage. The real adventure was about to begin.
Jordan had to do most of the demo and mold removal by himself. Not only were we keeping the boys out of the area, but we knew we were expecting again and Jordan wasn’t willing to take any help just incase it caused complications for Brooke or The Baby. He worked pretty diligently for the next few days to uncover the damage and scour every other inch of The Camper House to make sure there weren’t other hidden issues. The entire wall and the center of the slide floor both had to be replaced. That meant the slide had to come out. The real brainstorming, problem solving, and Googling commenced!