RV Renovation Part 1

This is long overdue but here we go.  Here’s all the information for the renovation of the RV from front to back, top to bottom…

Part 1 covers: Floors, Ceiling, Windows, Cab, Dining and Kitchen.

First we had to remove all the old wallpaper, there was a lot!  The easiest way to do this was score the paper in thin strips, then use a heat gun to warm up the paper and slowly peel off very time consuming!

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Next the whole interior of the RV was repainted.  I used Zinser 123 primer which wasn’t great, it took soooo many coats to cover (I think I painted 8 or 9 coats).  The white top coat is Behr Ultra Premium White.

We replaced the old carpet with click and lock vinyl from Lumber Liquidators, Clear Lake Chesnut, easy installation and we used an additional adhesive just to be safe (Loctite 2 in 1 seal and bond)

For the ceiling I chose a wallpaper Frond pattern from Anthropologie.  I love the bold design and plant anything is good by me.  It was surprisingly easy to install.  The wallpaper was pre glued so we wet the back with water using a foam roller and it went up quick.

One downside to wallpaper on the ceiling of the RV is that the Winnebago is always moving, vibrating while we drive and flexing with temperature changes.  Because of this there are a few areas where the wallpaper has ripped and it buckles every now and then depending on the temperature.

I spray painted all the window trim black with an appliance spray paint as well as the screws.  Quick tip:  push the screws into cardboard to easily paint the tops.

For window coverings we used custom cut white roller blinds from home depot and for the larger windows I made window coverings out of felt and attached magnets around the edge so they can be easily hung and removed during the day for a cleaner look.  They required no sewing at all!  The magnets were sticky on one side so they were easily attached as well.

The lock on the front door was the standard lock that came with the RV and we quickly discovered that ANY key could unlock it.  We decided to get an electronic keyless lock and tried two different ones.  The first was terrible and broke almost immediately it was the AP Products 013-509 Electric Travel Trailer Lock. The second one is much better and so far we are really happy with it:  RVLOCK KEYLESS CLASS C/A STYLE ENTRY HANDLE

CAB:

We used FLOR carpet tiles to replace the old carpet in the cab Tailored Touch.  It was fairly easy except for the area that covers the engine (the dog house) Tim had to cut a TON of slices to wrap around the curved edges.  We used an adhesive to attach the carpet and a brad nail gun.

The chairs were tough to cover and I had my mom assist me because I have no patience when it comes to sewing.  We ended up using an old blanket and made slip covers for the top part of the seat, for the bottom I laid sheep skin throws from Cowboy Kate.

The rest of the cab area was in great condition.  We added a backup camera which we keep on all the time in replacement of a rear view mirror.  It is so helpful and necessary.  We found it on Amazon and Tim installed it.

DINING AREA:

The cushions were reupholstered (thanks mom) with fabric from Whole 9 Yards in Portland. Pillows from LoLoi designed by Justina Blakeny.

For the table I chose an acrylic top and had it custom made to fit from a local plastic company.  It really helps keep the space feel open and although it does scratch a little it’s worth it! Installing acrylic can be tricky because when you put screws through it you run the risk of cracking.  We slowly drilled pilot holes with a dull drill bit prior to screwing it down to prevent this from happening.

The table leg was found at the reclaim it store in Portland and to reinforce where the leg meets the table we added a longer piece of wood cut into a nice shape and secured with screws.

There was storage under the dining benches (which were original to the space) but the only way to access it was to remove the cushions and seats.  We decided to add a pull out drawer for easy access on one side (thanks for building that dad!)  On the other side we added a cabinet drawer where we could access our safe (a must have for keeping valuables).

KITCHEN:

We replaced the old sink with a new white plastic one made for RVs, nice and lightweight.  The faucet is from Rejuvenation and although heavy (we tried to keep in mind the weight of everything we used because the heavier the RV gets, the worse the gas mileage) completely worth it for the style it brings!

The black and white wood pattern wallpaper is from Hygge & West.  I hung that one up by myself and it didn’t go as well without Tim giving me direction.  I cut out the window shape and then hung the paper, I should have hung the paper first and then cut out the window… Oh well, you live you learn.  This one needed an adhesive I applied with a brush.  Now that it's up you can't even notice my mistakes.

The wood triangles next the the stove were cut out of thin ply wood and painted with a clear coat of poly then glued to the wall with the same Loctite used on the floor.

We replaced the counters and made new ones out of plywood.  Tim cut an extra piece for the edge to make it look thicker than it actually is.  We used a clear poly to finish.

For all the cabinets I chose leather pulls with gold details from Rejuvenation and then drift wood that I found for the larger cabinets.

In the interior of the cabinets we built additional dividers to maximize the space.

Now for the best part.  Before and after shots!

 

 

That's all for part 1, part 2 coming soon!!

 

RV Life

So, I don't consider myself a writer but this is something I really want to share and although it may be long (and not very eloquent)  I think you may find some value and inspiration and in the best case, spark a change in your life too...

It started last August.  Tim and I were out to dinner celebrating our 3rd year wedding anniversary. We were reminiscing about our favorite memories of the last year and our favorite special dates we went on.  One in particular that stood out was a night on a roof top where we had dessert and looked at the beautiful view of the city.  We realized that was last years wedding anniversary.  Somehow a whole year had flown by without too much significance and that was terrifying. 

(mostly) Every day of our lives is routine.  Wake up, gym, breakfast, work, home, tv, dinner, bed.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.  What are we doing?!

I couldn't stand it, and my first thought was I need more in my life!  Lets travel the world, lets help people, lets live an interesting life.  Of course Tim is much more practical than me and said that traveling the world will cost a lot and how can we make money if we're always traveling? Let's think about this logically.  So I took it back a notch and said okay how about we start by traveling the states?  We can rent our house out to cover the mortgage, quit our jobs and just save a bunch before we leave.  We wouldn't have too many expenses to worry about and we can drive everywhere.

Surprisingly he said yes, a definite yes right then and there.  So from August to December we started planning how to make this work.  By December we found the Winnebago for $5000 (5 blocks from our house on Craigslist!) and let both of our jobs know we would be quitting by May.

Originally we were going to rent the house on AirBnb and be on the road for 3 months but decided to find a long term renter so we wouldn't be constricted by time and can stay out as long as we want.  The idea is to have no schedule, no obligations or places to be at any given time. To be able to enjoy every experience without looking forward to where we need to be next.  

We won't be returning to Portland after this trip, we're looking for a new location.  Probably west coast but who knows!  Before we leave we will be selling 75% of the items in our house and putting only what we really love into storage.  My new motto for bringing anything in to our home is this:  Does it serve a purpose and does it bring joy?

The departure date (officially June 1st now) is so close and we are so excited and naturally a little nervous.  The life we are leaving behind is comfortable and secure.  We just bought a beautiful home and we're happy but time is the most valuable thing we have and it feels like it's wasting away.  Although it's a risk it's worth it.  I know we'll find a way to survive on the road, we're both creative and capable people.

I guess my point is this:  don't let your doubts, fears, rules or social norms stop you from living the life you want RIGHT NOW.  We shouldn't have to wait.  There are ways to contribute socially and financially without having to work yourself to the bone, exhausted every day just to wake up and do it again.

So take a risk.

GO

 

The Perfect Rug

Finding the right rug for our living room has always been a challenge for a few reasons:

1.  The room is large.. large enough to have two seating areas and every time I put a rectangular rug in front of the couch it severely divided up the space and made it feel less open.

2.  We have wild dogs that run like maniacs across the floor and I was sick of de-crumpling the rug every day.  

3.  The living room already has A LOT going on and as much as I love a busy space, every rug seemed to busy and distracting.

So, my 'crisis' was ended after discovering the perfect rug from ARMADILLO & CO.  It's perfection in our busy living room because the natural color blends nicely with the floors adding great texture without being too busy and the round shape keeps the flow moving in the room.  Plus it's thick and has a nice grip on the bottom that makes it impossible for the boys to move it around!  

Thanks to Armadillo for creating the perfect rug for our home.  I wholeheartedly appreciate a company with good values, that support Fair Trade practices and use natural and sustainable fibres.  Plus their rugs are designed in Australia and we all know I have a sweet spot for that place!

Black Geometric Wall

I know everyone is curious about the black wall... What's it made of?  How is it attached to the wall?  So here's everything you need to know to make your own and how ours came about...

Our living room is a busy space with all the artwork and the infamous couch and I really wanted the black wall to be simple so it wouldn’t compete with the gallery wall but I didn’t want it to be boring and plain either.  I’m not exactly sure where the idea came from but I knew that texture would be a good solution.

Bo's contribution to the black wall pattern.

Bo's contribution to the black wall pattern.

We had a thin sheet of plywood laying around so I traced a ton of triangles and Tim helped cut them out with a miter saw.  Of course our dog Bo played a part in this too.  I had several triangles laid out on the ground trying to determine a pattern and just after I snapped a picture Bo came running through and scattered the edge of the layout which turned out to look pretty interesting so I ran with it and used his thoughtful design on the wall.  I used matte black spray paint on the top of the triangles and left the edges raw (the black wall is painted with Behr Broadway in a semi-gloss) then used a nail gun to attach them to the wall.  TaDa!