We’ve been at our current campground for just over two weeks now. I’ve been working those two weeks as well, doing twenty hours a week in exchange for a place to stay. This means we no longer have to worry about traveling, which means we no longer have to worry about things breaking at least as far as the engine is concerned. We can work on things inside the RV and outside, work on making things more comfortable for us, and get things how we want to be finally. We have access to tools here as well, so if we need some random tool to get something done, there is a good chance they have it here and I can just go grab it and use it and put it back when I’m done.
Since we’ve been here, we’ve only done a couple of things. First, we had a bad leak up front in the dash. I had thought our leak was from the windshield, but I found out it was actually from a seam up on the roof. I had to get a ladder to reach it, but I went up and found that the seam had been sealed at one point, that was a long time ago. The sealant was yellow, brittle, translucent, and basically useless. I pried it off with a screwdriver, put down a nice layer of Dicor on both sides of the seam, and it has been leak-free since then. I’ll be resealing the roof soon, but I want to do some other things first. I don’t want to reseal the roof and then go up there and make new holes that need to be patched, I’d rather do it all at once.
The next project was the toilet. I went to replace the gasket on the toilet, and it was working okay for a couple of days. Then it stopped filling with water. The next day I went to try it, and it got stuck open, so it wouldn’t stop filling with water. We had to shut off the water, but it was late at night, so we spent one night without water. The next day I tore out the toilet and found out that the bottom of it was horribly rusted, so the mechanism to control the flow of water into the toilet was completely rusted through and useless. Decided to trash the whole toilet since its thirty years old and start with a new one. I did have to hack together some parts so we could seal off the hose coming into the toilet and close it, so we could at least use water in the sinks for the time being. I found toilets online, read lots of reviews, and decided to replace it with a Dometic toilet, so when we have $130 in a week or so, I’ll order that and replace it and hopefully have no more issues for awhile.
Finally, we had to work on our Air Conditioning setup. We have a portable AC unit in here that vents to the outside. I had put up a board, duct taped the hell out of it, tried to seal it nice, but it was not working nor ideal. So I realized I could vent it out the furnace exhaust since that furnace didn’t work anyway and we would not be using the furnace in Florida either. Tore out the furnace, had to reroute some propane lines and electric busbar from the battery, but managed to get it all cleared out and looking good. Put the exhaust in place, sealed it up and thought we were good to go. Well, the exhaust is not flush against the outside wall, so there is a gap where it appears pressure is building up, breaking the seals we had made. So today, I’m going to enlarge the hole slightly and bolt the exhaust to the exterior skin so it vents directly to the outside. I will completely seal around that and since there will be no place for air to get trapped and build up pressure, all the exhaust should now to go the outside of the RV. I’ll add a layer of insulation inside to keep the heat out and hopefully then it will finally cool off in here more.
Eventually, we will have to replace the roof AC unit, but that is $600 or so for everything we need and that is more money than we can afford right now. I should be able to do it in a few months though.
Sometime in there, I’d like to get a new water heater as well. Since we never use the shower, we really only need hot water at the kitchen sink. They make small instant water heaters that go inline under the sink and heat the water, all for about $160. I can remove the old water heaters, seal up the holes, mount the new one in there and finally be able to have hot water for washing dishes. I’ll also figure out a way to add some sort of switch so we can turn it off when not needed.
For keeping it cool in here, I’d like to figure out a better way to mount Reflectix inside. Right now, it is taped up with duct tape which works well enough, but its not as durable as I’d like and sometimes falls in the heat. Since we will eventually be replacing the valences, curtains, blinds, and painting the walls, I hope we can install hooks of some sort and hang it in place, maybe put grommets in the Reflectix and just hang it up and leave it. Some sort of clip to keep it in place and tight against the window as well.
In addition, I’ll tear out the other dinette bench and get rid of it. That in turn will open up space so we can put in the desk I’ve been wanting to build and give Tiffany a place to work on her schoolwork and have a more permanent place to do YouTube videos since we would like to start working on those reviews again.
While all this is going on, I’d also like to build up our media setup. I want to get a new TV eventually, preferably a 4K 43″ TV to hang where the old TV is now. Its almost ten years old, so its getting to be time to replace anyway. I want to replace the Raspberry Pi media server with an Ubuntu box, but that can wait a bit as well. And of course I’d like to add a NAS so we can store a ton of data and have it hidden somewhere out of site, but still powered up and connected to the network at all times. Somehow we will add a stereo system in here at that time too and figure out a way to control it from our phones, so we can play music throughout the RV or outside and be in control with it remotely.
And then of course, I can start working on the Smart Home stuff, adding a weather station, being able to monitor and control the lights remotely, adding a video surveillance system and temp sensor so we know how the cats are doing when we are away. I have some other smart home ideas I’d like to work on as well, but that’s going to take time and ingenuity to figure out how to connect it all together.
Finally, there is the kitchen and flooring. I would like to replace the floor with wood paneling, but I’m not sure how hard that would be. I also want to take out the stove and replace it with an induction cooktop, but that should not be too complicated. It just depends on how we want it to look when its finished. We could easily paint it, stain it, make it out of one piece of plywood and cut it to size, cover it with epoxy, maybe do the CD or penny look, I’m not sure. I just want one seamless piece of counter instead of the crap we have now. The front edge is the main part I’m having an issue with right now, but we can figure that out and make it so it isn’t a sharp edge somehow. We will also do peel and stick tile along the back at the same time, which should change the look in here a lot.
If we can get all that done, we can paint it in here and things should be looking much better. It’ll finally be a home in here, how we want it, instead of just the place we live in. It’ll be our house, our environment, and how we want it to be.