So we bought the RV. Its been a few weeks, but I’ve been busy with getting everything ready to leave. We’ve been selling a lot of stuff around the house and lowering our physical requirements and needs. We are aiming to live a simple life, and reducing our footprint is part of that. With that in mind, I’ve been trying to get our computer and tech needs streamlined, so that has been taking up most of my time outside of work.
For the RV, we need to take it in for an oil change and get a tune up. It runs pretty well and I drove it about 30 miles form the purchase site to the storage site, but it could still use a little cleaning and tune up in the engine area. The oil change is needed though, I’m not sure how long it has been since it last had an oil change, so I’ll get that done right away. Then we need tires replaced. I know that will be expensive, but I’m prepared for that.
Next up is doing some interior work, but that might have to wait until we go to Florida. We will also be painting the interior and hopefully the exterior if we can afford it, but those can also wait until we get to Florida. We will be staying for a week or two at a campground there, so we will have electricity to do everything we need for a little bit.
Projects though, are thus:
- Fix up the interior: Paint, vinyl tile, fix up the countertops. The walls are wallpapered, so we have to figure out some way to repaint that. They are ugly. I don’t know if we can just sand them a little to roughen them pu and then paint over with an interior house paint or something. For the floors, we will tear out the carpet and put in a vinyl tile floor. We have three cats, so having tile instead of carpet will make things easier to clean up in the event of an accident. It should also make it easier to keep clean since we can just sweep and mop instead of vacuuming. On the countertops, I found a granite-looking paint. Its a darker, grey speckled color, but it should make the counters look better and less dated.
- Something for a bed. The RV has two small beds in the back, but I measured and it has enough room for our Queen bed to fit either way. There is currently a center nightstand in between the beds, so I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of that. There are heat, electric, and water going under the beds, so we need to reroute those and put in a structure for the Queen. For the move to Florida, we’ll just put some plywood across the current bed frames and sleep on the mattress. Should be fine. I would also like to make some storage underneath, so with help in Florida, we’ll build some sort of stand and cabinets.
- The bunkhouse. Right now, and I’ll take pictures later, there is a bunk that raises and lowers above the cab.
There are also windows up top, and we were thinking that this would make a great place for the cats to hangout and hide if they needed to. We don’t plan on having overnight guests though, so we don’t need this extra bed. So out it goes! But we still want the cats to have a place to stay, so we are going to take out the bunk and just put in a shelf of sorts with cat beds and nooks for them to hide in and sleep. This will also give us more headroom in the cab, and I found out the hard way that it is at perfect forehead height for me. I ran into it a few times. So we should be able to remove the bed, put some rails in the walls, and put a shelf across the top, leaving more space for us, more space for the cats, and more goodness all around.
- Paint the exterior. I know its a long shot, and it can be expensive, but we’d like to paint the exterior as well.
The outside is white with brown stripes, and while it is in good condition, it just plain looks old. I am thinking about painting it white or silver and adding green or red speckled stripes along the top and bottom. If we can get the paint, we have the place and expertise to do it, but paying for the paint is the hard part. That may have to wait until next year after we can save some more and figure out what we want and need.
- Solar power! We plan on spending a lot of time away from civilization, so we will need electricity. We don’t want to constantly run the generator since its both expensive in fuel and loud, so solar is the way to go. Solar panels have gone down in price a lot lately, so getting enough solar panels won’t be hard. But batteries can still be expensive. The lighter, longer lasting lithium batteries are great, but also very expensive. I really don’t want to go with standard deep cycle batteries though, so might go AGM. I’m still researching the best and most cost effective battery though, so that will be a research now, buy later, idea. I want to have solar installed before head out on our initial trek from Florida though.
- Tech that shit out. We have movies and music, a lot of them. And we have Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, Amazon video,
Pandora music, and YouTube we need to keep up on. So we need something to get all of those working. I’ve been toying with a Roku, which works for most of it, but I’m also playing around with a Raspberry Pi to play the media we already have. That’s in progress, but I think tomorrow I can get it to work. Then we can make it all work inside the RV.
- The YouTube Channel. We have to figure out how to video everything, edit it, and upload it frequently. I was originally going to use GoPro cameras, but those are expensive and I was wondering if there was a better, more economical way to do it. With the Pi being the media hub, I posted on their forums with my project ideas, and someone said I should just a Raspberry Pi Zero with a camera, Wifi’d to the central Pi, and backed up to a hard drive. The Pi Zero is only $5, so we can get a few those, the camera attachment, and have them draw pwoer from the house battery bank to have a few sources of video. One facing forward to show what we are seeing, one on the drive, one on the passenger, and maybe one on the cats. Then we have four sources, all doing their thing. Once I learn Adobe Premiere better, I can edit those and make it interesting and engaging, and hopefully at the same time make a little more money.
Thats about it for now. Here are some photos of the RV, the front, the side, and the cab. Tomorrow we will go out and do a full video intro of it and then use that to up my Premiere skills, and upload that to YouTube. Then we will make weekly videos for now since we have weekends off, but once we get on the road, we will do videos every two or three days. We plan to travel a lot and will show videos of places we are at, things we are doing, and weird little spots on the side of the road. Fun times ahead!