Sunday, April 27, 2014

Living Room Remodel Gets Completed!

It was big, awkward, and possibly too large for the space. Today we made a special trip to the cabin to bring the electric fireplace I bought months ago for the motorhome. I knew it would physically fit in the space, but I had real concerns it would overpower the small living room area and look out of place.

I had struggled to get it into our city home by myself. It was boxed and half again larger than it really was, but knowing I would be sitting on it until Spring before I could install it, I needed to verify it functioned properly. All the while I was grunting to get it up the front stairs and in the front door, visions of an even harder struggle with the much smaller entrance to the motorhome flashed through my mind.

When it was all said and done, my concerns were unwarranted. Having a second set of arms, and no packing material, made all the difference. We easily maneuvered back out of the house, laying the fireplace flat in the back of the Dodge Caravan.  It took only a couple minutes to just as simply get it in the motorhome, and secured into it's permanent spot along the passenger side wall.

Held to the wall with a couple small metal L brackets, the only hookup required was to plug it into the wall receptacle located right next to it.

Switch on, imitation flames flickering, and immediately the warmth of the heater started to take the chill off the unheated mobile residence.

Sitting down on the sofa, feet on the coffee table, it was easy to see my concern about the size of the fake brick structure was unfounded.  I wanted it to make a statement, to be the prime focal point of the room, and that is exactly what it has become.

Now I have a freshly carpeted, cozy quarters that will have me traveling in relaxing comfort.  Get ready deep south, next winter I will be knocking on your door! This was $199 on seasonal closeout well spent!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Classing Up The Motorhome Entryway

The carpeting throughout my 20 year old Pace Arrow looked terrible. Bleached by the sun to a pasty washed out almost white, the original pinkish mauve was not only out of style, it was just plain tired looking.

What looks worse than bad carpet?  Entryway stairs covered with the same sad material. Now beat to death from all those years of people going in and out.  Whoever came up with the notion of covering stairs into an RV with carpeting needed to have their head examined.

The idea of recovering the stairs in the same manner when I replaced the carpeting just didn't make sense to me. In no time the first impression of people coming in would be brought back to the fact that this rig is 20 yrs old.  Time to do something different.

Now understand, in my mind different doesn't have to mean expensive. Likely I did this mini-makeover for less money than if I had just slapped on some new carpet and called it good.

First step is to cut some pieces of 1/4" Luan plywood and line the stair well.  Luan plywood is the cheapest material at the home center and guess has one side that makes a pretty presentable grain surface for finer work. A couple sticks of unfinished mahogany trim makes the whole project look almost fancy.

A couple rubber step treads cut to fit, and a coat of polyurethane, and Wow! That entryway looks down right snazzy now!

Granted the project went fast for me, using an air powered brad nail gun and a table saw, but no matter you can do the same thing with a hammer and nail and possible a skill saw. I fastened the rubber treads with good old contact cement. That stuff will stick things forever!

For sure, it makes a statement now, and wasn't a big deal to pull off. Personally I think it adds a touch of class to the whole rig!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring Is Almost Here...Time To Get The Morothome Ready!

Finally the snow is melting! The temps are good for working outside, and the snowbanks have receded around the motorhome!  The past two days have had me working hard on prepping for the summer season.  Last fall after buying my land yacht I was only able to drive it to storage, cover it with a tarp, and say goodnight to it as winter immediately buried it in snow. Spring is shortly here and I'm real anxious to get this thing on the road and enjoy traveling in comfort.

First item on my to do list was re-installing the start batteries. Sitting in the dealers lot the two AGM Yellow Top Gel Cell batteries had been allowed to discharge to a state where I feared they may not come back. Luckily, by applying a slow charge for an extended period of time, they came right back up to full potential.

I cleaned all the terminals and connections and hooked them back up.  I have a battery maintainer solar panel on the roof and not only cleaned it for better operation, but tested it with a volt meter to make sure it was indeed charging all 6 of my batteries.

That done, I hit the starter button and was pleasantly surprised at how easy and fast the motor caught. In no time I had both the drive motor and the diesel generator purring away for the first time since last Oct. Yay..Big Time!

Next it was inside for the big project of the day. Replacing the 20 yr old dirty and faded carpeting with new chocolate colored carpeting. I won't say it was a snap, as it took a full day to take out the seats, remove the old carpet, cut the new to fit, and install with a fair amount of grunting and swearing in the process.

I had to unbolt and remove the front seats and partially disassemble the sofa. The center console had to be unbolted too.

I spent a couple hours pulling staples out of the floor, and used that small remaining piece of old carpet under the steering wheel as a pattern to precut the new carpet before I installed it,  it was a long hard day's work but there was plenty of satisfaction that I took the time to do it right.

Was it worth the effort?  You tell me...I love the fresh new look!

Now to get that pink swivel recliner out of there, paint the walls a light spring green, and bring in the electric fireplace that will be going on that nice empty passenger wall.