Posts tagged Renovation
RV essentials

I've been thinking about our time in the RV and what it took to be on the road.  There are 9 items that we could not have lived without.  Without further ado. 

#1 Back up camera:  There was no way to see out the back of the RV and at 22' long you really want to know what's going on behind you.  We found ours on amazon and kept it on all the time using it like a rear view mirror.  You can shop it HERE.

#2 RV lock:  As it turns out you can open almost any old lock on an RV with ANY key.  I tried it.  The key to our shed opened the RV.  Not good.  We tried a different electronic lock prior to this one and returned it.  For the 5 months we traveled this lock held up great... I think there was one instance when it went a little screwy but we had the key to open it.  You can shop it HERE.

#3 Safe:  It's great to have the additional security when traveling.  This safe fit under our dining bench and we bolted it to the ground.  Never had any problems with it at all and only had the change the batteries once in 5 months. You can shop it HERE.

#4 Solar charger:  The cigaret lighters in our RV didn't have a strong charge so the Garmin would often die very quickly.  This solar charger kept it going for hours on end.  Although it really doesn't charge itself in the sun (it would take about 2 days I'm guessing) we charged it every night with power and it held up throughout the day.  You can shop it HERE.

#5 Hydro Flask:  The best water bottle ever.  We used these all day every day and I'm still using it now while living in our house.  Keeps liquids cold forever and even when the bottle is extremely hot when left in the sun the liquid inside is cold cold cold.  You can shop it HERE.

#6 Phone adaptor: This little thing came in so handy.  We used our computer screen mounted to the wall as a tv and were able to plug Tim's iphone into this adaptor to stream Netflix.  A few downfalls... You have to download the shows you want to watch because it wont let you stream directly.  Since updating the phone we had trouble using it with Netflix at all but it worked with Amazon shows.  I don't understand technology, but it's worth looking at.  You can shop it HERE.

#7 AeroPress coffee maker:  So this one is more for Tim because I don't drink coffee but he has tried many many different coffee makers and this is by far his favorite.  This is another product we are still using now in our home.  It was perfect in the RV because it's small and easy to use.  It only makes one cup though so if you need coffee for a lot of people you may want something bigger.  You can shop it HERE.

#8  Cooling vest:  This one is for the dogs (Cudi and Bo).  They rode in the RV secured under the dining table and during those hot days the ac (when it was working) didn't reach far enough to keep them cool.  These vests made a considerable difference for them and stayed cool for several hours.  You can shop it HERE.

#9 Mattress:  Last but not least, probably the most important, was our mattress.  I'm a terrible sleeper as it is, so the thought of sleeping in a tiny bed in an RV for 5 months was concerning.  We partnered with Brentwood Home to have a custom mattress made and it was AMAZING, and all natural!  I actually slept better on it than any full sized mattress anywhere.  We love it some much we have one in our home now (queen size)  You can shop it HERE.

 

RV Renovations Part 2

Alright, here's PART 2 of the RV renovations!

BATHROOM:

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We used peel and stick tiles from Home Depot.  The adhesive was not strong enough to hold the tiles so we used extra to make sure they stayed up.  For the caulking we used a silicone rubber grout and a waterproof paint for the ceiling.  Originally the tub was a disgusting yellow, we used a tub resurfacing kit which so far has held up great! No scratches!

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The flamingo wallpaper is from NewWall and the Nudes neon sign is from BritelightTribe.  The mirror I found at the thrift store and the sink was also painted with the tub resurfacing kit.  We found the faucet online, it’s made for RV’s and it’s plastic.

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The divider for the bathroom used to be an accordion door but it was in bad shape.  We kept the ceiling track in ran on and ordered new glides with hooks so we could hang a curtain… Not much privacy in the Winnebago!

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We also bought a new ceiling fan and Tim installed it, there was a leak coming in from the old one that caused some ceiling damage.

 

BEDROOM:

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We had a custom mattress made from Brentwood home and it was the best decision.   Having a comfortable bed makes such a difference and really makes the RV feel like home and a place we look forward to staying in.  We brought in our favorite bedding to help as well.  The blanket is from Shop Viariaz, the large pillow from ShopFleaMarketFab, one from Swoon Rugs and three from dkrenewal.

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We added the sconce in the bedroom from Rejuvenation as well, it’s the only new light we added but helps in making the space feel more like a home and less like an RV.

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The beautiful wall hanging is from Wanderlux Jewelry and looks like it was custom made for the space but it wasn’t, it’s just perfect that’s all!

The wall behind the bed we used another wallpaper I found on Amazon, it adds a nice texture to the space.

We installed a wall mount to hang our computer monitor which acts as our TV and a small shelf to hold the sound bar and cell phones for charging.  We stream all of our shows from Tim’s phone using an adapter.

Another pull out drawer was added under the bed to create more storage without having to remove the entire mattress!

 

EXTERIOR:

We didn’t need to do much to the exterior, just freshened up the stripes using a paint called 1shot.

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We added a several coats of sealant to the roof as well a primer and a paint to prevent leaks.

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LOGISITICS:

We have been planning this journey since August 2016 and thought we would save a ton of money but as per usual we really didn’t.  Fortunately we made it work in different ways.  This year we had a tax return so all of that was set aside (about $2,000), my grandparents had left me $3,000 that I’ve been holding on to for a special occasion and this seemed like the perfect thing to use it on.  We also sold almost everything in our house and made around $3,500.

So, the day we left (June 1st 2017) we had $8,500 set aside.

While we’re on the road I will be working with companies as an influencer and expect to make some extra money doing that.  I think having that opportunity is such a gift, I get to choose brands that I love and want to help grow their businesses while supporting our journey.

 

Cost of renovation: (this is an estimate, I didn’t save receipts) I was also sponsored by several companies to make this renovation possible.  The prices I’m listing below are what it would cost to buy everything:

Flooring (carpet and vinyl) $650

Paint $120

Wallpaper (I have a ton of leftover paper) $400

Window coverings $70

Upholstery $400

Cabinet Hardware $240

Dining Table and Hardware $140

Faucets $2,000

Bed and Bedding $1,200

Shower tiles and paint $160

New countertops $55

Exterior paint $30

Door Lock $260

Speakers and Stereo $90

Backup camera $50

New fan $120

Engine tune up $400

2 new tires $300

Sealant on roof $120

 

Total in renovations: $6,805

Cost of RV: $5,000

Grand Total: $11,805

 

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Cost of living on the road will be written in the next post!  It's not pretty but good to know how much you can expect to pay for living and repairs.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

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