Saturday, January 5, 2019

RV living has been a long process... light at the end of the tunnel.

The last post I wrote about our move to full time RV living home addressed the site prep. Over the past couple of months, we have had one set back after another because of the weather.  But, I think I can safely say there is light at the end of the tunnel.  

What we have accomplished so far may not seem like much. But, like I said before, we have had horrible weather to work around. On the "done" side of the to-do list, we have:

1. The loop and RV pad both completed.
2. The additional parking and car port are in place in front of Scott's little barn.
3. The RV has been moved on site.
4. Our power drop is installed and the RV is hooked up.
5. After some trial and error, the furnace, water heater, and AC all appear to be working.
6. The fresh water tank is filled and the pump is working.
7. We have a portable honey wagon for dumping the black/gray/galley tanks. 
8. Most of our belongings are unpacked and in the RV.
9. Some remodeling (or customizing as Scott says) has started.
10. We are actually living in the RV!

Here are a few pictures and captions to give you an idea of what we've managed to get finished.

Getting the 5th wheel moved in was a challenge. It was sitting on top of a hill, at
the end of a dirt driveway with a very narrow gate. In addition, it was in Lott; which
is about an hour away on a winding country road. Luckily, Scott (who drives
big fire trucks all the time) was able to help Ron get it moved.
We had a bit of trouble getting into our gate and around the corner of the garage.
It is pretty clear we will need to widen the gate at some point. The 5th wheel got
dinged on the corner of the garage and Scott felt horrible about it.
He patched it up with a fiberglass patch kit for RV exteriors. We just need to get a
decal or something to put over it and you'll never know it happened. 

Scott rewired the garage and  put the 50 amp power outlet on the back side of it. He also put
in a 30 amp box for Miss Lippy. She will be our guest room when family
comes to visit. She is parked up next to Scott's barn right now but can easily be moved closer to
the power outlet when family visits.

Scott suggest he put a motion sensor light on the corner of the
garage so we can see if we need to walk into his
house after dark. I don't think he wanted to be awakened
in the middle of the night by his parents calling, "Help! I've fallen
and can't get up!" But really, he is quite thoughtful
and has been a Godsend!

We put some railroad cross ties along the edge of the
RV pad so the gravel won't constantly be
spreading into the back yard. We hope to go to a local mobile
home dealer and get a set of stairs to use when we
are home. The RV steps aren't bad, but getting groceries, etc. in
will be easier with better stairs. 

We put solar lights in the cross ties and along the back of the garage.
We also put down a path of paving stones to keep
the yard from getting a path; and,
to avoid tracking in mud when it rains.

Next, I'll try to explain what I have done inside. I still have a lot I would like to do, but need to make some decisions about the furniture first. I like the concept of the L shaped couch that converts to a bed. However, the bed is actually an air mattress and would have to be inflated each night and then deflated before the slide can come in. Crazy concept in reality. We figure we will look for a comfy recliner for Ron and I'll use the one that is already in the RV. Then, all we'll really need is an air mattress to put on the floor if any of the family travels with us. We wouldn't even have to deflate it when we travel because it could be placed on top of our mattress. 

I'm still torn about the ugly window treatment in the living area.  I would love to just put up curtains. However, the existing treatment does protect the edges of the blinds. I bought some fabric to recover the part that has the Granny brocade and I think I'll be happy with that. I'm just dragging my feet about tearing them all down. 

This is a picture of the kitchen before I started pulling off wallpaper
border and took down the window cornices.

There was a horrid wallpaper border all the way around the living
and kitchen area.  It wasn't hard to remove. I just got a little
carried away in a couple of places and pulled off
the wallpaper behind it. I have to figure out how to
fix that. There was a little of the sticky residue in a few places but
Goo-gone works wonders. 
Dining area before we removed 2 chairs and
turned the table and light fixture in the other direction.
The previous owner had covered the seats on 2 of the 4 chairs.
She had also painted the table top. I
like the color but I'm not sure I'll leave it that way.
I also found some cute farm scene fabric to recover the seats. We took
2 of the chairs to Goodwill. I hope we don't regret it. 

I've started covering the cornices in the sink area with duck
cloth. It was about the most neutral pattern I could find
since there is just so much going on with the furniture!

This is the stove area after the new back splash was up. Super easy to
do! I just hope it doesn't look too much like a 50's diner.

Scott laughed when he saw how much glass ware I had sitting out.
I kindly explained that as long as we are sitting still, it is our home and
I want the things that make me happy sitting out. When we travel, I'll
pack the glassware up and store it in the sewing room.

The previous owner loves purple. She had a beautiful comforter on the bed;
but, I wanted to use Mom's quilt. She didn't want it back; and, no one
in the family wanted it so I donated it. 

Luckily, she had already removed the RV cornices in the bedroom
and put up curtain rods. All I had to do was sew up some new ones
with fabric that matches the quilt.
I couldn't part with my National Guard clock so it sits in
the bedroom. I just had to turn off the chimes. All of this will
have to be stored when we travel. For now, it makes me happy
to have a few special photographs sitting out.

I recovered the head board to match the valances and pillow cases.
But, I haven't attached it to the wall yet. I'm leaning
towards removing it all together. I may paint the
wall in the slide out a bright, happy color instead.

Things we still need to do:
1. Get water run to the back of the garage so we can hook up directly. (On the
positive side of this, we are getting some boon docking practice.)
2. Buy more support blocks to get the RV completely level.
3. Ensure the water leak around the bedroom slide is indeed because of not being completely level. If not, get it fixed.
(During recent rain storms, we found a damp spot on the floor on the downhill side of 
the bedroom slide. Until we figure out exactly where the water is getting in, we pull in the slide when it rains and haven't had any other damps spots.) 
4. Continue to remodel the interior so it feels more like home.
5. Set up some sort of tool storage in the basement of the RV.
6. Organize the office area inside the RV.
7. Replace the uncomfortable RV furniture.
8. Downsize to a smaller storage rental.
9. ... and numerous other things I can't think of right now.

While all of this has been going on, Ron and I are getting our annual preventive health care out of the way.  We figure we won't travel during the winter months because neither of us like snow. Besides, winter is filled with holidays that we want to spend with family. So between mammograms, dental and eye appointments, colonoscopies, check-ups, etc. we have been really busy. Sometimes it seems like time is dragging and we'll never hit the road. However, I feel we will be more successful if we take care of every little thing before hand.  
As we continue to settle in, remodel, and figure out this new lifestyle, I'll provide further updates. 
Thanks for letting me share this crazy journey with you!

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