Posts in OUR RV
Cross country drive

This summer we took a quick road trip from New Orleans to Sandpoint Idaho to visit my parents. It took us 7 days to drive there doing about 6 hours a day and two days exploring areas. On the way back it took 5 days at about 8-10 hours a day and one day exploring. 

We camped the whole way there with our two dogs in a small two man pop up tent which was actually amazing. The tent was just big enough for us to all fit and folded up easily for storage. No messing with assembly or poles, I highly recommend it. We also used a blow up sleeping pad because I cannot sleep on the hard ground. It was more expensive than I was comfortable spending on an air mattress but in the end entirely WORTH IT. It blows up very quickly and is small when deflated. Although it isn't thick when it's blown up it was so comfortable and I'm very particular about these things. Again, highly recommended.

For this entire trip we never made a reservation at a campground in advance. This was never a problem for us, we always got a spot and made it much easier for us to drive at our leisure and stop when we felt like it.

NOLA TO IDAHO

Our first stop out of New Orleans was at North Toledo Bend State Park, Louisiana.  

Pros: Beautiful park, very few people, we saw fireflies!!!

Cons: Very hot (end of June), really loud bugs made it hard to sleep, bathrooms were kind of gross with a lot of bugs crawling all over the floors and counters.

 North Toledo Bend State Park

North Toledo Bend State Park

 

Next stop Possum Kingdom State Park, Texas.

Pros: Beautiful camping next to the lake which you can swim in, covered areas with picnic tables. Clean bathrooms and showers.

Cons: It's a long drive off of the main road.

 Possum Kingdom State Park

Possum Kingdom State Park

 

Next, Clayton Lake State Park, New Mexico.

Pros: Absolutely beautiful location. We chose a spot up on the cliff and it was a gorgeous view.

Cons: Another very long drive off the main road. Bathrooms were okay, not great.

 Clayton Lake

Clayton Lake

 Clayton Lake

Clayton Lake

 Clayton Lake

Clayton Lake

 

In Denver we ended up staying in a hotel because of unexpected hail and it was my birthday. We stayed at the Monaco Hotel which was a lovely spot.

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Things we saw in Denver: Rino Arts District worth checking out. Blocks and blocks of beautiful murals!!

 Rino Murals

Rino Murals

 Rino Murals

Rino Murals

Next stop Seminoe State Park, Wyoming.

Pros: Stunning location in the middle of nowhere, lake to swim in although it was freezing cold.

Cons: No showers, porta potty style bathrooms, long drive off main highway.

 Semino

Semino

 Semnio

Semnio

 

On the drive to Seminoe (very close to the park) we found a small patch of sand dunes, right off the highway, keep an eye out!

 Sand Dunes

Sand Dunes

Next, Gross Ventre Campgrounds, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. If you were going to make a reservation this might be the one place I recommend doing so. We lucked out and got the last spot at 5pm.

Pros: Right on the edge of Grand Teton National Park, clean bathrooms. Lots of wildlife everywhere!

Cons: VERY crowded. Our particular campsite was very rundown and overgrown, we use the picnic table because of this. Other sites looked very nice though.

 Gros Ventre Campsite

Gros Ventre Campsite

 

The Grand Tetons are absolutely worth seeing. We had the dogs with us so weren't able to hike any trails but even driving through was gorgeous.

 Tetons

Tetons

 Tetons

Tetons

 Tetons Picnic Spot

Tetons Picnic Spot

Right after the Tetons is Yellowstone National Park and again although many of the trails were not dog friendly there was still plenty to see from the drive through and pull out areas.

 Yellowstone Geyser 

Yellowstone Geyser 

 Yellowstone

Yellowstone

 Mammoth 

Mammoth 

 Yellowstone 

Yellowstone 

We ended up buying an annual pass for $80 to the national parks because we knew on the drive back we would be going through Canyonlands and Arches so it was worth it.

Last stop on the way there was at Three Forks, Montana.

Pros: Nice bathrooms. Grassy spots, very quiet.

Cons: none.

 Three Forks

Three Forks

 

We ate at a yummy pizza place that was SO GOOD called Gills Goods in Livingston, Montana. The prime rib pizza was the best!

 Pizza spot

Pizza spot

IDAHO TO NOLA

Driving back we took a slightly different route. Our first stop was in Brigham City Utah. We stayed at a KOA.

Pros: Very clean facilities, best bathrooms.

Cons: traffic noise.

 KOA

KOA

 

We explored Goblin Valley the next day which was AMAZING!! You are allowed to camp there and it feels like you're on another planet. Highly recommend.

Pros: Unbeatable location, nice facilities and showers, best stargazing with the darkest skies.

Cons: noise travels through here easily with other campers.

 Goblin Valley Campsite

Goblin Valley Campsite

 Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley

 

There is a great trail right before you enter the park called little wild horse canyon which was pet friendly and so much fun. Our favorite part of the whole trip and we had it all to ourselves!

 Little Wild Horse Canyon

Little Wild Horse Canyon

 Little Wild Horse Canyon

Little Wild Horse Canyon

Just beyond was Canyonlands National Park. Beautiful drive with a lot of scenic overlooks. We couldn't hike any of the trails because they are not dog friendly.

 Canyonlands

Canyonlands

After that was Arches National Park which was also amazing but again not dog friendly. Still worth seeing the sights from the car but I would love to go back to hike the trails (in the fall or spring though when the temperatures aren't so unbearably hot!!)

 Arches

Arches

 Arches formations, look how tiny the people are!

Arches formations, look how tiny the people are!

Next spot was another KOA outside of Durango, Colorado.

Pros: clean facilities, nice campsites.

Cons: Traffic noise

 KOA

KOA

Our last night we drove for many many hours and arrived at a campsite very late. It wasn't a nice spot, there were tons of bugs and we were exhausted and ready to be home at this point. I didn't even take a picture of the spot. I don't even remember what it was called, Tim thinks it was in Texas and I think it was in Louisiana. Who knows, we were delusional at this point. Sorry, nothing to be missed with that one!

Okay. Bye.

Malaysia and Thailand

I'm excited to share our experience in Malaysia and Thailand! We decided to go on this trip for two reasons: First, our very good friend was having a destination wedding in Thailand so what better excuse to go?! Second, almost all of Tim's extended family on his dad side live in Malaysia and I had never been or met most of them.

So, if you are planning a trip to either of these places from the USA be prepared, it's a loonnng flight. We flew out from Spokane Washington (even though, yes, we live in New Orleans. I'll explain that in another post where I share our cross country road trip) We flew from Spokane to Seattle, a little over 1hr, Seattle to Seoul, 11+hrs and Seoul to Bangkok, 6hrs. After all those hours of travel next you've got to deal with the time change and jet lag so don't plan on jumping right into vacation, give yourself a day or to to relax and recover.

THAILAND: Bangkok

We arrived in Bangkok very late and arranged for airport pick up through our hotel the Paragon Inn which cost us $24 a night! Now, the rooms are VERY BASIC but the outdoor space is glorious and the food is excellent. It was very convenient for a late arrival from BKK and we would absolutely stay there again (we did at the end of our trip)

 Paragon Inn

Paragon Inn

Next we headed in closer to Bangkok and stayed above the Better Moon Cafe x refill station in Pears Room which we booked through Airbnb. It was $45 a night and worth it. We loved that the cafe below offered organic and sustainable options which was so refreshing. The street below was also full of food vendors which was fun to try. It's also close to the train station if you prefer to get around that way but we ended up using the app Grab which is similar to Uber.

 Pears Room

Pears Room

 Better Moon Cafe

Better Moon Cafe

 Food vendors on the street

Food vendors on the street

We loved Grab because just like Uber you type in your destination and it tells you how much you will pay. It makes for very easy communication when there are language barriers and you know that the price you are paying is fair and set. Be aware that traffic in Bangkok is terrible and if you get caught in rush hour which in the evening is around 5-8pm be prepared to spend a long time in the car. We got trapped for 1 1/2 hrs in what should have been a 25 min ride. It only cost $6, but a waste of time.

The next day we explored Bangkok by boat. We took a Grab to the Sathorn Taksin train station where you can access the boats down on the river. There are options to take river cruises but we chose to ride like the locals and pay for each stop which cost 15 Thai Baht which equals .45 cents. Much more affordable.

 River Cruise

River Cruise

One of my favorite things we did in Bangkok was go to a night market. There are so many to choose from but we selected the Rod Fai Train market which was amazing! It took hours to explore and had everything: touristy crap, vintage items for the home and clothing, small boutiques, food & drink, music and old vintage cars. A total highlight of the trip and I highly recommend.

MALAYSIA: Kuala Lumpur

We flew to Malaysia the following day to visit Tim's family located in Kuala Lumpur. There is an excellent train system called the KLIA express from the airport that was very convenient and cost RM40 which is $10 to take us from the airport to the city center. The train system in the whole city is actually great and an easy way to get around. They also have Grab which we used a lot but know that during rush hour you will NOT get picked up. We learned that the hard way.

In Kuala Lumpur we visited the Butterfly Park which was tiny but fun and worth $12 for both of us to see it. Around the same area is the free flight Bird Park which was enormous with a huge number of birds roaming around and seemed like a nice place for the animals although we were concerned with the ostrich, they looked very stressed and pulled out all their feathers. The owls didn't seem great either. Because of this I wouldn't recommend it.... it cost $30 for the two of us.

 Butterfly Park

Butterfly Park

 Bird Park

Bird Park

MALAYSIA: Melaka

Our next stop was Melaka, or Malacca, about a 2 hour drive south of Kuala Lumpur. A charming city that has a river running through it which you can take a quick boat tour on to see all the lovely sights. There are a ton of murals throughout the city, very photographable, or Instagrammable hehe. At night you can visit the night market which we did very briefly but was far too crowded for our taste.

 Night Market

Night Market

 Melaka Boat Ride

Melaka Boat Ride

 Murals

Murals

 Murals

Murals

We stayed at the most perfect airbnb right in the middle of all the action and on the river. It was called Little House by the River and cost $48.

 View from our airbnb

View from our airbnb

 Window in our room

Window in our room

MALAYSIA: Langkawi

The last place we visited in Malaysia was Langkawi. A small island off the mainland coast of northwest Malaysia. 

Here we took a tour on the cable car which cost $10 per person. It offered a breathtaking view of the island and once we made it to the top it was actually (almost) cool outside which was much needed because it's SO HOT AND HUMID. We walked along the sky bridge which was quite an amazing structure and worth visiting.

 Jungle view from the top

Jungle view from the top

 Sky Bridge

Sky Bridge

In the same area of the cable car was a 3D museum. We didn't know what to expect but were pleasantly surprised with how much fun we had there being goofy.

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 3D museum

3D museum

We had the great privilege of visiting Langkawi's observatory that Tim's auntie Mazlan Othman, an astrophysicist, founded. Yes you read that correctly, she founded it. Mazlan has made a huge impact in Malaysia and was the director of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs in Vienna. She gave us a tour of the building and an explanation of how everything works. It was a great experience!

 Observatory

Observatory

 Getting an explanation of how it all works

Getting an explanation of how it all works

We stayed at the the Smith House for about $65 a night. It was a decent spot location wise, not on the beach but easy to get places and close to the airport. Again, we used Grab as our primary transport to get everywhere and it was a breeze. 

 Rooftop pool at the Smith House

Rooftop pool at the Smith House

We ate lunch at a great spot on the island called Bon Ton a beautiful resort where the proceeds go back to helping the street dogs!! We didn't stay the night here but it looked very beautiful and rooms start at $118.

 Bon Ton

Bon Ton

Another fun place that we looked at but didn't stay at was the Tube Hotel it's about $23 a night and looks like a very unique experience as the rooms are literally in tubes! It's more of a hostel situation as you share bathrooms but looked like fun.

 Tube Hotel

Tube Hotel

Our last day on the island we tried to visit the mangroves and take a tour but unfortunately it poured rain and our tour was cancelled. We were told by many people that it was worth seeing and if you decide to go on a tour be sure to choose an eco friendly one like Dev's Adventure Tours. We ended up eating near the beach and, like most places on the island, it was very affordable and delicious!

 Meals as low as $1.25!!!

Meals as low as $1.25!!!

A few other food favorites were mangosteen. A beautiful fruit that looks like garlic cloves inside but is very sweet/tart and refreshing!

 Mangosteen

Mangosteen

 Inside of a mangosteen

Inside of a mangosteen

Another favorite was the roti. I ate it everyday no matter what. You must have it!!

 Different types of roti

Different types of roti

This next one is not my favorite, in fact I really disliked it, but you should try it if you visit. The dreaded durian. Known for its horrendous smell and odd taste. I was not a fan but Tim and his entire family LOVE it.

 Durian

Durian

 Inside of durian

Inside of durian

THAILAND: Hua Hin

The last stop of our trip was back to Thailand to Hua Hin so we could attend our friends wedding. We flew into Bangkok and arrange a car to pick us up through the website 12go.asia which was so affordable and about a 4 hour drive. 

A little ways outside of Hua Hin is a great organization called Rescue Paws Thailand that helps with stray dogs. We spent a few hours volunteering there one day and had so much fun hanging out with all the sweet pups! 

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We stayed at The Aleenta Hua Hin which was absolutely stunning. The best way to end our trip. We chose the pool residence which was a round room with an outdoor shower and private pool right on the beach. The restaurant there was also a delight, they use organic herbs and vegetables from their own garden! They offered bikes for free to ride around to easily explore the area which we did. It was a really great getaway spot, perfect for a romantic holiday.

 Our Room

Our Room

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The day after the wedding we used the 12go.asia to book another ride back to the hotel we stayed at upon arriving in Bangkok at the beginning of our trip, the Paragon Inn. Our second stay there was just as nice as the first. Again, rooms are blah but the outdoor space was very photographable and we loved it!

WHAT I WORE:

The temperatures in Thailand and Malaysia when we went (July, although it doesn't vary too much) were very hot and VERY humid. So be prepared to sweat. A lot. I brought a lot of looser fitting clothes to encourage a breeze, lots of kimonos to protect my shoulders from the sun  and very comfortable shoes. Both countries are fairly modest so keep that in mind when visiting. There are no rules about how much skin you can show (unless you are visiting a temple or Mosque) but it's best to be respectful of their culture and try to make sure you aren't showing cleavage or too much leg. In the larger tourist cities you won't need to worry as much but the further away you get from major spots the more aware you should be about what you wear.

 Top and bottom both from  Cotton On

Top and bottom both from Cotton On

 Kimono from Free People, Top from JCPenny, Pants from  Magiclinen

Kimono from Free People, Top from JCPenny, Pants from Magiclinen

 Overalls from  Liz Alig

Overalls from Liz Alig

 Jumpsuit from  Magiclinen , Kimono from  Gypsy Jule

Jumpsuit from Magiclinen, Kimono from Gypsy Jule

 Full outfit from Cotton On

Full outfit from Cotton On

 Jumpsuit from  Iris and Poppy

Jumpsuit from Iris and Poppy

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.

 

Blurb Books

This post was created in partnership with Blurb.

It's hard to believe that almost 5 months ago we set out in our RV to travel across the USA.  The memories made in that time are something we will treasure for the rest of our lives!  I took extra measures to remember what we saw by journaling every day and just finished creating a book with Blurb using their new Layflat book format.  

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Creating the book was so much fun and really addicting!  I used their book-making tool, BookWright, which was very straightforward and had helpful features like letting me know if the image needed to be higher resolution or if the image was getting cropped off the edge of the book.

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I spent hours scrolling through all the photos we took to find the very best shots and uploaded pictures from my phone into BookWright.

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Blurbs new Layflat book format is really cool.  It gave me the ability to take our panoramic shots and spread them across two pages!  I love seeing our images in all their glory, with no details lost to the center gutter.

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During creation of the book I often referred to my journal so I could correctly label where each photo was taken.  I loved being able to add as little or as much text to the images as I wanted.

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I placed the order, waited patiently, and then just like that we now have a beautiful hard cover book that will allow us to revisit our time in the RV.  

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Would you ever create a book?  What would your Blurb book be about?

OUR RVliz kamarulBlurb, Book, RV
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