As always happen, things change, schedules get adjusted, expenses come up and plans are altered. I had a medical scare a week ago with a complication from my medications causing some heart issues. I appear to be fine now, but will have a heart monitor on for three weeks to make sure things are okay.
That means the roof project has been put on hold for now. I’ll still get it done before summer comes and the rainy season, but I am not going to be up on the roof when I have a chance of fainting and falling to the ground. I also still want to get vents to replace the ones we have and seal around those completely before I put on the final coat, so I should be able to get those in early March. Of course, I want to work on the drainage issue and make the water dam work properly so water is directed in the path I want it to go and add a small gutter so it doesn’t drip down the side of the RV anymore and leave stains and causes algae to grow.
Computers and Media
I was able to get a computer for a very low price and when we get the rest of the parts, I’ll be transitioning our Plex server over to that computer. It has double the storage space so it should last awhile and it is a much better system than what we currently use, albeit much larger as well. That is not the final iteration of it though and eventually we will get something even smaller, probably an Intel Skull Canyon NUC, and add a Network Attached Storage along with a backup server to have double the data spaced out throughout the RV. I can order the remainder of the parts for the new Plex Box in two weeks and when I have a couple free days, I can throw it together. That will require installing Ubuntu, installing Plex Media Server, making sure it is all up to date and working, and then transferring all the media files over. And then waiting for a day or two because it will likely take that long to transfer everything.
After that, the old PlexPi becomes a OpenMediaVault box to work as a NAS so we can backup files on our computers that we don’t need on them all the time, back them up with Time Machine, back some of it up to OneDrive, and stay running all the time. That should not be too hard, but again, transferring everything is going to be the bottleneck. I have it all on a hard drive now, but even if I have things plugged into ethernet, it will still take some time.
The hard drive that I now use for backup will become something else. I’m just not sure what yet. It’s a 1TB hard drive that we can figure out a use for. I may use it for the Wii or may keep it on hand for something completely different. I really haven’t found a use for it quite yet. It could also get repurposed as the surveillance system hard drive when I get around to building that.
Aside from that, I would eventually like to get new laptops for us since ours are a 2014 and 2012 and getting long in the tooth. That requires money though, something we traditionally lack. If we have a large influx of cash, then I’ll upgrade both of us to new MacBooks (Pro for me, Air for Tiffany), but that’s going to cost thousands of dollars.
I am still working Smart Home on Wheels project and hope to start with something simple soon. Setting up the central core is easy enough, its just a Raspberry Pi, microSD card, case and power supply. I’ll probably use Home Assistant since it is built for the Pi and seems easy to set up. Then comes in the actual smart devices that I have to figure out but I’ll start with lights. Finding a DC-powered smart switch for light controls seems a bit of a problem though. Most smart lights are traditional screw in bulbs or smart switches, neither of which are usually used in an RV. And especially not in one as old as ours.
One small project is upgrading our wifi. Because our router is inside an aluminum shell of the RV, the signal outside is pretty bad. If I can get a small wifi extender and put it somewhere that doesn’t have metal in between us and it, then we can get better wifi when sitting outside on the porch. I have one I can use, just have to get it to me.
The final project is the video surveillance system which is one I’d like to work on soon. It would be pretty easy to set up to take photos, but I have to figure out where to put them and be able to get power to them. I’ll be using Pis and their camera attachment with motionEye to control it all and have a feed to a local web page so we can view what is going on outside without leaving our computers. It should also record when there is motion, so we can see if we have anyone creeping around and night.
Right now we have a couch and half a dinette inside. The couch is beyond uncomfortable. We have had only one guest stay with us overnight since we moved in, so we aren’t really worried about losing a bed for anyone to sleep on. However, beneath our couch is a basement unit that rises up under the couch. To make that area flat, I have to remove the couch, take the upper part of the basement unit apart, and basically lower it down to be level with the floor. It is already carpeted, but if I can make it flush, or as close to flush as possible, then we can put recliners there instead. It will remove some of our storage space underneath, but should make the living room much more cozy.
The dinette can just be removed. It has turned into a shelf of sorts with storage underneath. There is no electrical or plumbing inside it, so if I can just remove it, we can open up that area and put something there that better utilizes the space.
I am ordering a taller wire shelf to become our storage by the freezer which will give us a better way to put things away and if I remove the dinette, we can put something there or just open the space up better.
Across from the couch is our TV and a bunch of crap. I had thought about building an entertainment center, but as always happens with my, it got far too complicated quickly. We will be getting a plastic bin to put the litter box in and catch overflow as well as have a cover on it if they will use it. I want the heater to go there as well. The shelf from kitchen can be moved over to that area and become a storage spot for our shoes, shower items, and anything else we might need to store by the door. It won’t look great, but it will be functional.
I also need somewhere to put the PlexBox until we get a smaller unit. It will probably end up on that wire shelf for now. It will have power and ethernet running from it, but I can run an ethernet cable straight from the router to that location.
One issue up front that we will have is power. For some reason, there is only one AC outlet on the port side in the cabinets. If we were transitioning completely over to solar power and batteries, then I’d just add an outlet where needed off of a breaker. That won’t be happening soon though. Instead, I think we can put our small infrared heater in between the recliners on the new lowered couch space and make it into a semi end table. To get power to that, I can run a heavy duty extension cord from the one outlet to where the heater will be and possibly even put it in conduit to stop a certain cat from chewing on it.
The only things we need power on that side at the moment would be the heater and freezer anyway, so using that outlet for those two would be fine. While we should not run a heater through a surge protecter, the freezer would be fine so we could add a power strip there if it needs one.
Eventually, we may put a new floor down and paint the walls, cabinets, and ceiling, but that will be awhile.
The Kitchen Counter
I still really want to redo the kitchen counter and add a water heater. We have not had hot water since we moved in, so it would be a really nice addition. While we are doing that, it would be nice to replace the old water pipes as well. They are an old style grey plastic that was only used for a few years and then stopped. Replacing it with newer pipe and have hot being red and cold being blue would be fantastic. I do have to figure out how things are plumbed in here though and may end up just redoing the whole system.
Eventually I’ll get to the kitchen counter as well. I’ve gone from very simple to very complex in my attempts to make it look good. I have settled on nothing though. I might use scrap wood, bind it together somehow and cut a hole for the sink. Then I can sand the edges so it has a slight radius, stain it and seal it and put it in place. I could possible replace the kitchen sink, but I really don’t need to.
Because water comes in at the rear of our RV and goes into either the fresh water tank or the city water, if we redo some of the plumbing, we need to redo the whole bedroom area. That means tearing out the bed, tearing out the storage, figuring out what in there can be moved around or incorporated, and what can be removed. On one side is the fresh water tank, water pump, and electrical switch box from shore power to generator.
If I was able to tear it apart without issue, I could remove that, replace the water tank with a new one, put in a bigger battery bank and set it up for solar power and move forward.
That is going to be a huge project though.
There are minor things we need to do on the outside as well. I need to replace the vinyl trim and the end pieces for it. Total cost of that will be about $150 and since it isn’t necessary, its put on the back burner.
Maybe we’ll repaint our RV eventually as well, but that would be a lot of work. I can’t really spray paint it inside a campground, so my options are to either do a roll paint or take it somewhere we can spray it. I also want to replace the front “Allegro” logo, but I have to find somewhere that can make the sign for us and maybe install it as well.
The only other thing I can think of is getting wheel covers since we are sitting still for awhile. UV light is bad for tires that do not move. The covers can be found for under $40 though, so I can hopefully get those soon. I’d also like to lift up the RV and put boards underneath the tires to prevent them from breaking down too much. I have not figured out how to lift it up and get boards underneath it yet though.
And that, I suppose, is that.