I have accepted a workamping position. I’ll probably never give the exact campground where we will be, just for privacy reasons, but I will be posting photos and information and stuff like that. I’m excited to be making this step, I’m hoping it will make things easier for us, and we should be able to work on some projects on the RV, get some things in a better place, and maybe save up some money to buy some land somewhere to settle down.
I had sent out emails, lots and lots of emails trying to find somewhere for us to go for awhile and be able to be stationary and relax for a bit. The stress of traveling all the time, always wondering what was going to go wrong while we headed to our next destination, has been wearing on me. I’m not in the best place emotionally or mentally and just need a break. Fortunately, we found a place where I can work 20 hours a week, most of it in the camp store checking people’s purchases out and doing some cleaning.
That will pretty much tie up my weekends, but then during the week I’ll work another few hours doing light maintenance and helping around the campground, all in exchange for a place to stay. The campground owners sound really nice and laid back and I am hoping we can just go there and get along with everyone and not have things breaking or worrying about things or whatever.
This past year has been very stressful. We’ve had a lot of issues, a lot of things go wrong and I need a place to unwind. Being able to do some work at the same time is a great arrangement and it allows me to have some structure, have something to do, and have a schedule,
It is a small campground, less than 50 sites with a couple of cabins. It sits on a lake so we can go fishing if we want, but I doubt we’ll ever go swimming since both of us have an aversion to swimming in a lake with fish and stuff. Not sure why, I just don’t like the idea of something that can bite me swimming by.
If we are there long enough, we will also have family come visit us and stop by for a few nights, so that will be nice. My mom and grandma might stop by on their way south to visit friends and family, and its pretty close to the path my dad takes every winter to visit my sister and brother. Hopefully we can see them all at some point and have it be on days when I’m not having to work as well.
I also would like to get projects done in here. I want to start with the bathroom since that seems to be the easiest to deal with since it is so small. I want to put up peel and stick tile in there, paint the cabinets, change out the cabinet pulls, and maybe recover or paint the countertop with something. I am looking into what we can do with the shower as well. We’ve never used the shower as an actual shower, just used it to store the washing machine, so its big, ugly, and a weird shade of yellow that does not fit our tastes. If we can change it out with something else, maybe something bright, it would make things in there much nicer.
Then I want to work on the kitchen. I’d like to replace the countertop, but that would take a lot of work and planning. It would be nice to take out the propane stove completely, but I’m not sure if that is something I can do myself. It would be nice to remove the hood and stove, get rid of the small garbage can at the back that we never use, and make it one large open countertop. I’d have to cut a hole in it for the sink, but that’s really it. Peel and stick tile along the walls as well to make it more homey-looking and figure out something to do with the window as well. Eventually we can paint the cabinets too, but that is a long term plan.
Of course, when we can afford it, we also need to replace the water heater and air conditioner. Those are going to be expensive projects though, roughly $600 each plus labor unless we can figure out how to do it ourselves. I’ve read that replacing a roof AC is easy and the hardest part is getting the air conditioner up onto the roof, so that should be okay. The water heater is a little more involved though, especially since I am not comfortable working with propane lines or plumbing, so we may need to just hire someone to come and do that for us.
While I am workamping, I would also like to replace the microwave with a convection/microwave oven so we can actually bake stuff for once. They range from not very much to very much in cost, so it all depends on which model we choose. We would have to find one that fits in the same space though and doesn’t draw too much power even though we will be on 50amp service for the duration of our workamping time.
Then of course is all the smart home stuff I want to work on. I’d like to be able to get the server up and running and dedicate it to web server, Plex server, file server, and OneDrive backup. I’m not sure what else I’d like it to do yet though, but well see if there are extra services I’d like to add. I want to get a NAS as well and have everything backed up to a large system stored somewhere secure so we can have everything when we need it, have the server stream videos to our TVs, and have it back up the required stuff to OneDrive so we can have it stored somewhere else and have access to it from other devices when not on our local network.
I also want to build my weather station system and have a display by the front door so we know what the temperature is like outside. I got a rain detection device that I can attach to a raspberry pi, just need to figure out how to mount it somewhere that it can sense when its raining, but still be secure and not have the rest of the electronics damaged by that same rain. I want to add an openHAB Pi to control all the devices in the RV as well and start experimenting with light controls as well as temperature so we can turn the heat on or off in the RV when need to. I want to automate it as much as possible too, but that is going to require some research.
If I can add a video monitoring system while we are workamping, tie it into openHAB, connect it to wifi and somehow make it possible to view from our iPhones, I’d love to do that as well. Then we can see who is at the front door, record if any random animals wander through our site, check on the cats while away and record in case anything bad happens.
My final project is to work on our area where the dinette used to be and turn it into a full functional desk and workspace. I have an extremely large Amazon wishlist that comes out to about $2,000. And well, we don’t have that much money. I can do it in pieces though, work on it a little each month and start putting it together. Some of the stuff is also based on us getting new computers and being able to hook it all together so we can use them like desktops at the workstation, but well, new computers are expensive too. If we somehow come into a lot of money (which is really doubtful) then maybe we can do that, but for now, if I can get the desk itself built, I’ll be happy with that.
We might also be able to tint the windows while we are workamping, but since I’ve never tinted windows before, that is going to be a project down the line or done a little bit at a time. I’ll start with the windows above the cab, since those are small, don’t slide or open, and should be relatively easy. If I can make that work well, then we can move on to other, larger windows and learn as we go.
I also need to reseal the roof, but that should be easy. That will likely be done after we put in the air conditioner and replace the remaining three vents, just because I don’t want to have to patch it or damage the seal when doing those things. Plus, having the seal on top of all of that will be better than having extra seals on top of the edges of those items.
The final piece of the puzzle is redoing the floor in the RV, painting the walls, and doing something about the valences as curtains. We could also paint the ceiling and replace all the lights inside with something that looks nice and newer. I would love to put in some sort of fake wood or tile flooring that looks nicer and is easier to clean than carpet. Since we have cats, and cats sometimes throw up, carpet is not the best flooring for them. I’m not sure how we will make that work, there are a few edges and areas where I really don’t know what we can do, but we will figure something out.
One other thing: We will have to get a vehicle at some point. I’m not sure what we will get, but hopefully we can find a way to get a small car that isn’t a complete piece of junk and needs repairs all the time, and then we will be able to get to doctor’s appointments and run to the grocery store and things like that. I don’t want to be stuck at the campground all the time. We get a lot of things delivered already, but we can’t get everything delivered yet as far as I know. Some things like milk, eggs, cheese and meat are still needed, so we are working on figuring out how to get that kind of stuff. We might be able to bum rides once in awhile, but I don’t want to have to rely on the managers or other full time residents of we can avoid it. There are services to take us to doctors in town, so we can pay for that until we can get a smaller vehicle of our own.
That’s really everything, I think. I want this to work out, I really do. I’m also worried about putting too much trust in people, putting too much expectations out there when it could be awful. I want this to be okay, I want to stay for as long as we can. I want to get things in the RV working well. I want things to be comfortable and feel like home. Its hard to deal with the stress of traveling all the time, but I just worrying I’m expecting too much from this and something will go wrong to make it a bad situation. I just want things to go well for us for once so we can get back on track, get things set in a pattern, get things under control.