I could just keep my mouth shut about all the goofs I’m making with this conversion, but that wouldn’t be any fun, would it? I think we left off last week’s van progress by saying that my combiner box hack would work until … it didn’t work anymore.
Guess what? It doesn’t work anymore.
The East Bay just had four straight days of rain, which proved to be more than my haphazard silicone caulking job could handle. In all honesty, I was skeptical that it would hold up, and in the back of my mind I knew a do-over was coming. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.
Where is the box leaking? Pretty much everywhere. It’s leaking around the cable glands (usually simply called “connectors” but I say glands because it’s more specific) so water is pooling inside the box, and water is also seeping underneath the box and dripping down the cables and into the van. No bueno.
Why is it leaking? Probably a combination of ill-fitting cable glands, the wrong kind of sealant, and poor application skills. I learned after the fact that Pelican cases are made of polypropylene, a kind of plastic that really doesn’t like to be adhered to anything, evidently silicone least of all. According to the Pelican case website, plain old Shoe Goo should do the trick (wish I’d read their FAQ page sooner). I’ve also heard good things about Dicor and butyl tape. Since I am the queen of overkill, you can expect all three to make an appearance.
So that’s the story, morning glory. Hopefully tomorrow will be sunny, Dad won’t be too much of a handful, and some major van progress will happen. Stay tuned.