New Adventures

Looks like we are heading to Italy next, I should be excited but it means I need to do something with my RV.

I put so much into this thing and it deserves to be on the road and not stored for a few years. 😍🛣

Who wants an amazing RV that all the work has been done for you? 🙌🙌

1988 Holiday Rambler Presidential, 34CS

Class A, 33 ft 

Attached bike rack hitch.

VIN: 1GBKP37W2J3309361

https://photos.app.goo.gl/u7dZVFctJh2PAcR39

Sleeps: 4-5 

Seatbelts: 7 (3 in sofa, 2 living room chairs and 2 in front seats)

REMODELED & UPDATED!

New tires with TP/heat sensors- 9 includes full spare)

Lots of motor work done! Not inclusive but some of the big items- New transmission with warranty, heater core repaired, fuel pressure regulator, new spark plugs, Cab AC retrofitted for R134a, (along with other repairs so fully road worthy) 

Outside has been waxed and polished. 

New awing 

Generator, fixed some issues (new transformer, rectifier, cleaned carburetor)

LP tank

Inside has been fully updated! 

White & blue cabinets, light gray walls.

New lux vinyl plank flooring. 

Bathroom has been fully renovated, new toilet, faucets and tile surround in tub area.

Gas stove top

Convention/air-fryer toaster over (not built in)

Dinner was removed & replaced with: Mini washer/spin dryer. (Plumbed in) & Custom built butcher-block counter with storage underneath & 2 folding stools.

Back bedroom with 2 twin beds, new memory foam mattresses

Tons of storage inside!

Jack-knife sofa in living area with new memory foam mattress and custom fabric. 

Pull down twin over cab (hold up to 150 lbs, but not the best sleeping space, ok for child/tween. I currently use for storage but will buy new mattress if needed)

2 roof AC with toggle switch if using shore power

30 amp shore power- new power cord

Will include: All hoses- stinky slinky, drinking water hose, extra hose for cleaning.

Bedding for 2 twins & jack knife sofa, all throw pillows.

Kitchen items- Cuisinart air fryer toaster oven, Vitamix blender, Instapot 8qt with accessories. Electric hot plate and pans, Tea kettle, silverware and metal dishes for 4, dish rack and drying pads, etc.

Misc items like engine fluids or repair items I have on hand.

More photos here

Plumbing the Tiny Washer

I did it!! I plumbed my tiny washer

It was actually so easy!

The water lines were below the base I made. I took out one dinette bench and this took its place. The other bench had water heater so that stayed and tuned it into a shelf and counter. So water lines run from bedroom in back through bathroom, under fridge , under the stand and into other bench. So I was able to tap into hot and cold water lines.

My dad helped me with this project. I had never plumbed anything, other then switching out a faucet. We found the Shark Bate connectors at the hardware store and it made the job so easy! I had pex pipes to I got some more to build the water line into the washer. I should of added a shut off for hot and cold because of the back flow of hot into cold. I forgot to grab the extra shut offs not thinking it would be a big deal and then someone pointed out my error! I’ll be fixing that after Thanksgiving!

The outside lines took a bit to figure out but I used a rubber tube to step down the built in hose to the port I got.

To my surprise there were wires running below my hole. But I was on the look out for them so I was able to hold them out of the way as we made the outside hole bigger.

Cutting through the outside wall was nerve racking!

The drain port is a standard one used in pop up campers that a garden hose can hook to. I’ll drain to a 5 gallon bucket if boondocking or run it in to sewer hose when hooked up. This way I avoid taking up my gray tank space and trying to plum that would of been a bit harder.

You can find the washer here. The spin basket does get most of the water out but I have thought about the increased humidity it can cause. I’ll be hanging the clothes in the bathroom and I have a small dehumidifier I’ll run. I can keep door closed and even open vent if I need. My other option is drying at campground laundry mat, especially if I get behind on laundry! If I’m just drying I can at least reduce my cost that way!

New Cushions for Jack Knife Sofa

New Cushions!

I had ordered a memory foam mattress which was a great price, under $150! It was very high quality and comfortable but it was just too big. It did not fold well going up and down and was constantly slipping down into the walk way.

I knew I was going to need to cut it down but I needed the sofa to be more comfortable for me to sleep on. I sure do miss my Sleep number bed!

The two problems I had was the front of the sofa slanted down so I was sleeping at an angel. The other one was that I could feel the springs through the mattress on that side because it has less material then the top part.

It was a family affair with my dad and mom both helping me with the project.

My dad helped me figure out how to fix the downward slop of the front side of the bed, reduce the gap in between the back and front when its laid flat, and making it a tab bit bigger but still be able to open and close.

I decided to mount the mattress after it was cut down onto plywood boards. I adjust the thickness of the boards for each 1/2 to make up for the decline I was experiencing. This also solved the issues of firmness and feeling the springs.

My mom helped me pick out the fabric and upholster the cushions. I decided to use two different colors to break up the look

Before

After

There is storage underneath the sofa. The original wood door was not in good shape and I trashed it when I redid the floor. I had curtains up temporally until I decided what I wanted to do, but I really disliked them once I had the sofa done!

Since I had extra wood and fabric I recreated a similar flip down door.

After-After

Removing the 30 yr old Microwave Convection Oven

I removed the old microwave convection oven because it hardly heated up water after 2mins and it was most likely giving me cancer 🤣🤣

 I love vintage stuff but a 30 year old microwave…. nope!

I’m totally obsessed with my Cuisinart oven fryer and it fit perfectly in there with room on the side for the cutting board and induction cook plate. I still need to figure out what to put over the front so it’s secure when I’m driving, but that will come another day!

I ordered a electric kettle for less then $20! This way I can boil water quickly which is really the only thing I use a microwave for anyway. I truly don’t like to heat up leftovers in the microwave because it makes food taste like rubber! Plus with cooking smaller I am hoping for less leftovers!

Oh Canada…maybe next time…

Monday 10-8-18

To Canada!! I have to say I was pretty excited to travel through Canada. I have tried to see Niagara Falls a few times but the plans fell through. 

I had arranged to stay at another Harvest Host location that was a farm and winey that had a bunch of activities for the boys to enjoy so we were looking forward to that!

I crossed the boarder with no issues. The traffic was very quick to move, to my surprise! I have my US Passport but for kids you only need a Birth Certificate if you are driving (not flying). Also it is recommended to have a notarized letter from an absent parent stating you have permission to cross the boarder with your children. For detailed & up to date rules please check the US Customs website.

I will offer one tip about crossing the boarder, fill up your gas tank BEFORE you cross! It didn’t even dawn on me to do that and oh man did I pay for it, literally! At almost $5 a gallon it hit me right in the pocketbook!  I needed a 1/2 of tank which is about 30 gallons.

It sure was getting hot in the RV! It was about 85 outside when I filled up gas so once we were done filling up I told the boys I would turn on the Generators and crank the AC units.

Started her up and ….. then it shut off. Now our generator has been pretty reliable. Had her serviced, new spark plugs, oil change and new filters and after a quick adjustment to the ideal it ran perfectly. But now nothing. It was not even turning over. I pulled over at the rest stop and tried to tinker with it and the couple who was parked next to me also looked at it. I figured it was the fuse since it wasn’t turning over. The fuses inside the RV were good but I couldn’t tell if the 5v glass fuse was ok that was on the generator. We hung out at the rest stop for a bit and then I got on the road again heading to a Walmart close to our Harvest Host location. I had also found a shop near there that could service the generator.

We arrived at the Walmart and surprisingly there was only about 8 cars in the parking lot. Very odd! Once we got to the doors we found them locked. It was only a bit after 5pm so I was stumped. We wondered over to the Starbucks which seamed to be open and we were promptly greeted with “Happy Thanksgiving!”

The boys looked at me and I shrugged my shoulders and laughed a “Happy Thanksgiving” back at them The guy was quite kind and asked if we enjoyed our dinner and I explained we were from the US and had no idea it was Thanksgiving! He was surprised and happy we were visiting. We chatted a bit about our adventuring plans while my drink was made.

On the way back to the RV I noticed there was an open Dominos Pizza behind the Starbucks. With no working generator we were stuck eating PBJ or cereal but GF pizza just sounded nice!

10/9/18

The next morning I called the auto shop and he said to come down and he could squeeze me in.

Took it in and found the fuse was blown. But the new one that was put in blew right away too, so it was a grounding issue. About 3 hours latter he had an answer for me: The transformer was melted and there was a non functioning rectifier. My generator was really broke and it was not an easy fix,

I was planing on boon docking through Harvest Host locations though Canada and NY so that wasn’t going to fly, plus the 90 degree heat wasn’t going to be doable without AC.

They guy called for parts and pricing but told me he knew I could save 40-50% on parts if I just crossed the boarder. He gave me a full write up (with photos!) and the parts number so I could easily get the work done. Thankfully I’m on my way to my sisters and her husband is a mechanic so he can help me.

If your in Ontario, Canada and find yourself in need of a repair shop I highly recommend Trinity Automotive. They were kind, professional, worked hard to figure out what was wrong and didn’t try to take advantage of me just to make a sale. It took the guys 3 hours to figure out what was wrong and they only charged me for one hour because that’s what I was quoted!

https://www.trinityautomotive.ca 

Sanitizing the RV Water Tank

This should of been one of the first things I did when I got the RV, but it was one of those task that had me unsure of what to do. I know how to demo and rebuild stuff but sanitizing a water tank, that smelled like death, was out of my league. I needed time to pull my big girl panties up and tackle it! I read many post in the RV facebook groups I am in, watched a few YouTube videos and talked to the guy at the RV repair shop.

Frankly it’s not hard or complicated, not like I had psyched myself into believing it would be, but it did take time, and at the end of the day I ended up having to re sanitize the tank after I changed out some pretty nasty hoses, which were the source of the smell.

First I located the release drain for the tank. Our water tank is inside under one of the twin beds in the back bedroom. The drain is inside and a pull up plug, some tank drains are located underneath the RV, so check your manual.

I had picked up a sanitize kit at the RV store. Most blogs I had read said just to use Bleach, our tank is 64 gals so about 1.5 cups is what I would of needed but it smelled really bad so I was hesitant that would take care of the issue all alone. The kit I found had a soap to wash the tank and lines and then a sanitize solution (like bleach) that killed the bacteria.

After I put the blue soap in, I drove the RV around in the yard so I could pull it into the drive way and drain the gray tank into the yard ditch, this allowed the soap to slosh around inside the tank. I let it sit for a few hours too.

My in-laws live on 60+ acres of farm land and the soap is not harmful to environment so I had blessings from my Father in-law to dump in the ditch, but Check your local laws before you start dumping just anywhere!

I ran the soap through all the lines by turning on the water faucets. Then I had to fill the water tank again and add the sanitizing solution. I repeated the step of running the water through all the faucets again.

I filled the tank a 3rd time and rinsed the lines again, then filled the tank a 4th time so we could use it.

The next day the water not only smelled like death still but it also smelled like bleach. UGH!

I ended up draining and refilling again but still no luck. That is when I pulled up my sons bed so I could see the tank. I was hoping to find an access hole so I could get in there with a scrub brush. Unfortunately the port was melted shut. AND then that is when I noticed the clear hose, which was the over flow hose was full of black junk. YUCK!

I decided to try and remove the hoses and replace them before deciding I needed to spend the money on a new tank. That was going to be at least a $500 investment.

I had to unscrew the access port on the outside so I could disconnect the hoses. That is when I found the fresh intake hose also had some scum in it.

I made it to the RV shop before they closed and they hooked me up with the right sized hoses and the rubber putty strip gasket to replace the old one where I had to remove the access port.

After I took the boys to hockey practice I got back to work and got the new hoses installed.

 

I waited till the next day to refill and sanitize the tank since it was cold and raining the night before!

I lead a pretty natural life. I use all natural and organic products so having to use the box sanitizer was honestly unsettling. Especially all the warnings on the side of the box. One of my friends suggested I just use my Thieves Cleaner. Of course! It actually works better then bleach, I’m not sure why I didn’t think about it sooner! I ended up adding 3/4 of a bottle into the tank. I’m sure that is way too much but it was pretty gross! Plus my tank is 64 gallons. I let it sit for 2 days before I drained it, refilled to rinse and refiled to use. I am happy to say the tank is clean and the water doesn’t smell at all!

I was told not to ever use the tank water to drink with so we do have a blue water bottle I picked up at Walmart along with a auto pump (love that!)

I eventually want to get a Berkey but that will have to wait since they are an investment!

 

Boys room in the RV

2 twin beds really appealed to me once I saw it while scrolling through used RV’s online. With all of my RV shopping I had done I was always looking for a bedroom for me and bunks for boys and another bed- either dinette or over head bed for my daughter to use. But then I realized once I was envisioning the realities of living in such a small space and how I like my quite morning time I realized that having the kids in the living area would pose an issue. I could tell them to suck it up but lets be honest, cranky kids are no fun to deal with!

I on Demo Day I removed the oversized valence boxes and window treatments, painted the walls and cabinets and removed the carpet. I installed new Vinyl Plank flooring through out the RV.

I was going to add a bunk above one of the beds but I wasn’t 100% happy with design and I knew that it would pose an issue with making the bottom bunk. Once we decided my daughter was going to stay with my sister & attend High School the need for a 3rd bed in back was needed right away. I would still like to add one so she has her own space when she meets us on breaks or for summer travels. I’m hoping my dad can help with that when we come down to visit! He’s got a great workshop and loves making things!

I love how bright and warm it feels even though I used a cool color pallet! I saw this bedding at Target one day as I roamed the isle alone one day. (Seriously the best mom break ever!) I knew instantly the boys would love it. When we went back to get bedding they both saw it and instantly ran over and grabbed the blankets and started jumping up and down! You can take a kid out of Hawaii but you can’t take Hawaii out of them. They love the ocean and anything ocean related! The Shark pillows were so cute too! They had other cute ocean themed stuffed animals but since we have a huge bag of stuffed animals to deal with I just gave them the mom look and the put them back on the shelf!  They totally got past my “You can only take 2 with you” rule. How does this happen. Why are we over run with stuffed animals?!

There are a few small projects that will get done soon. I left the wood shelf that was behind the wood valence box I removed. I will add a trim piece to that and the boys can keep their small toys safely stored up there. I was going to replace the countertops when I did the kitchen ones but I think I will just paint them. That is defiantly easier and cheeper in the long run! I need to look online at  Target so I can find a new lamp shade for the light too, its a bit yellowed from time!

Decorating & Finishing Touches on Living Area

Before- Looking from driving seats towards back

Looking forward from hallway

One of my must haves when trying to find an RV to live & travel in was a clothes washer. I have two active boys, and boys are boys and get dirty.

But there are two problems with that: 
1- cost
2- bad reviews/issues.

Then I found a small portable washer that is gravity drained (no pump to break) a super fast spin cycle that leaves clothes almost dry and stellar reviews… kicker was it was about $100! 👊🏼

I knew I wasn’t going to use the dinning table so I took one bench out to install the washer and I used the other bench as a shelf and added butcher block counter above.

The distressed wall is actually peal and stick wallpaper! Its so easy to apply and if you want to take it down and change things up it won’t ruin the wall! You can find it in many styles and patterns here!

Metal Basket on wall are from amazon too!

The round circles on the fridge are peel and stick too. I used Rust-Oleum chalk board paint.

The curtains are from Target and are light block, which will help keep the RV cool! I trimmed the curtains to fit the length I wanted and used the extra and made a bed skirt for the jack knife sofa in the living room area.

Raised dog bowl was a great find at Target! Even though it takes up floor space, having it raised allows feet to go under it so it feels like it doesn’t take up so much room.

 

For the Living Room

I had this vision of a space full of color and mixing patterns. I wanted the small space to pop but also flow, ya know since an RV is the ultimate open floor plan!

Before sofa

Target is hands down my favorite store for decorating my house. Each year they never disappoint with their collections!  I bought the same curtains I had in my house because I absolutely love them.  I was drawn to finding a mauve cover for the sofa bed, originally I was envisioning a darker color but I fell in love with this jersey knit blanket ❤️

I scored a few things on clearance like the round blanket and long throw pillow. *Pro tip- check the end caps for discounted items! 👊🏼

I took some of the wood panel wallpaper off of the wall because I’m in love with one of my abstract paintings I did so I just had to hang it up! It pulls all the colors together in the space perfectly.

I can not wait to relax on my sofa after long days exploring the US on our travels!

Before

On the opposite side of the sofa are the boys chairs. One of the reasons I fell in love with this RV was these chairs. I wanted the boys to have seats with seatbelts to travel in and not just a dinette booth. Traveling for 4-6 hrs a day would not be comfortable in a dinette booth! We also have 3 seat belts in the sofa too. I really like sitting in them because I can prop my feet up on the sofa! The table in between the seats I found at an antique shop. I cleaned it up and put a clear spray sealer on it. I just need to get a glass top cut and that project will be complete!

There is a pull down twin above the cab. Kai has requested they use that as their “kid cave” I’ll figure out something to make it special soon but for know I just need to get a sheet on the mattress. It was still wrapped in its original plastic when we got it, the original owners never used it!

Boys hanging out while I worked on finishing the bathroom

This week my mother in-law will help me finish up the new front window curtains we are making. They slide on a track and will give us privacy and help keep things cool. One of the old ones is still hanging but only by a few snaps! My daughter broke off most them when she took them down so we could wash them. But when the sun is beating in the front window they are still useful!