Ruth and Max enjoying a beautiful rainbow at the Natyra e Qete Restaurant & Camping near Berat, Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Monday, November 8, 2021

A bigger job than I thought it was going to be!

Sure enough, as they forecast, Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day! It was so nice to have sunshine and blue sky. It was even shorts and t-shirt weather, with the high temperature going up to 24C (75F). 


And so, it was a perfect day to repair Max's leaking bathroom roof vent.

The first order of business was to obtain the use of a ladder. I walked around the campground but couldn't come across one that I could see. I bumped into the same lady who checked us in, and she thought they had a ladder somewhere. She brought me down to the woman who runs the on site restaurant. Something was said in Albanian, and I was told to follow that woman. She brings me to two ladders... one was too short, and the other was this big old home made wooden ladder that weighed a ton.

But it would do. I went to pick it up and probably could have done it on my own, but it was really a two person job. The woman picked up the other end and said something that could only have meant "Albanians are strong" and she helped me deliver it to Max.

Max is parked at the base of Shkoder's Rozafa Castle.

We visited the castle last May

Ruth helped me get the ladder in place so as not to do any damage to myself or Max. Then I climbed up to have a better look.

The damaged area that was causing the leak was at one of the hinges of the roof vent. I inspected this for a while and after a bunch of humming and hawing I finally decided that I couldn't be 100% confident that I would be able to get enough sealer in and around that area without fully removing the vent assembly from the roof.

A bigger job than I thought it was going to be, but better to do it once, and do it right.

And of course attempting a job like this without a decent kit of tools is always a challenge. One of Ruth's good kitchen knives did a fine job of cutting through the sealer they used at the factory!

The bathroom vent is out.
Notice the blue sky!

From above.
Notice how dirty the roof was. I also cleaned the solar panels while I was up there!

I set it on the table and did a closer inspection. I partially removed the vent lid, and that was going to enable me to get the right amount of sealer where it needed to go.

The area with the most damage was one side of where the hinge for the lid is located...

Notice though, that the hinge is broken in pieces!

We cannot for the life of us come up with an explanation of how this could have happened. That would have taken a lot of force to damage it that badly. Not only that, the area on the opposite side where the opening mechanism is also has a big crack. This was definitely not caused by body roll stress. In fact, the only thing that makes sense is that it was pulled in the opening direction. And yet there is no damage or marks on the vent lid itself.

Big crack on the opposite side at the opening mechanism.
Pulling open on the lid causes the crack to open.

It's a mystery.

I put sealer on the roof and the vent and pressed it back into place. I'm very confident that it's not going to leak again. But there's probably a 50% chance that the vent won't open and close properly either, with the hinge missing on the one side. I won't attempt to try it until the sealer is 100% cured. Either way, we can live without it being able to open if we have to until we return to Germany next year.

Nice day to be outside.

While I was doing this, Ruth had done a load of laundry and had taken apart a bunch of the interior and gave Max a good sweep and vacuum and shook out all of our seat covers and put them back in place.

Max's exterior still needs a bath though. I'll try and get to that today.

We had some lunch and then needed to go to a grocery store. We walked the 2 kms each way. It always takes us so long to do grocery shopping, even when we're only buying a small amount of stuff.

And then we sat outside and played backgammon until the sun went down, which is really early. It gets dark before 5:00pm!

Rozafa Castle at night.

In behind the campground is a big spotlight that shines up at the castle.
The dome on the left is a gazebo above the swimming pool that has now been emptied for the season.

A young couple had arrive later the evening before, and Ruth had been talking to them while I was up on the roof. Dominik and Nicole are from Switzerland and headed south through Albania in their van, so she invited them over for a drink in the evening so we could give them some tips since we spent so much time exploring the country in the spring.

Sitting outside in the evening.

So, it was a productive day, but it wasn't very relaxing! We feel like we need some more time, so despite the high price where we are, we're going to stay another day.

Supposed to be pleasant today, a high of 20C (68F), but mostly cloudy.


And in Canada...


  1. Just a thought here ----- Could it be possible somebody has tried to break into Max thru the vent and thats how its got broken ? Seems so strange to have that sort of damage . Trip looks amazing so far .Love your daily posts :)

    1. I thought of that, but it doesn't make sense because it wouldn't have taken much more effort to rip the whole vent lid off. But they would have first had to get up on the roof which wouldn't be easy without a ladder, and it's not that big of an opening... a child might get through, but not an adult. The other thing I thought of was maybe something happened when they were installing the solar panels. Someone slipped and grabbed onto it? Who knows...

  2. What is the time difference with Canada now? With all these daylight saving changes I get confused.

    1. There is a six hour time difference between Albania and Canada.

  3. I tend to agree with Kevin that someone fell on it or damaged it while up on the roof...maybe an installer. Probably the damage wasn't readily seen at that time, so nothing was done. Is this the first time up on the roof hence unknown damage didn't show until it rained?

    1. I am still not convinced of this because we had a few days back in the summer when we had a lot of rain and we didn't have a water leak then, unless it was there but wasn't an issue and just got worse as we traveled along.

      No, Kevin had never actually been on the roof until this point, he had been up high enough that we could reach up and wipe off the solar panels and sort of look at the roof but that is it.

  4. Could the roof vent have been open when you drove slowly under a large branch or something that low which then applied downward pressure to the lid. Or perhaps it was up when backing into a site and caught something enough to crack it? Just my thoughts. I am loving your adventures. I will try to comment more often.

    1. Nope, that couldn't have happened. There was only once that we drove a very short distance with the roof vent open before realizing it and shutting it and it wasn't near any trees. We have also thought of that but as I mentioned the roof vent is always down when we are getting ourselves into our parking position.

      We are glad to hear that you are loving our adventures. Hope you are enjoying nice warm weather and sunshine. :-)


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