Friday, March 28, 2014

Are we there yet? RV renovation facelift.

Every year in May we go to a music festival nearby called the Orange Blossom Jamboree.  It's at a great little campground.  The kids can play in the creek and the parents can enjoy great music without the crazy big festival crowds.
This year we inherited the RV that we always borrow.  It's ours!! Which means that it will be getting used much more than once a year and we need to make it feel like our home away from home.

 It took a while for it to totally sink in.  My first instinct was to sell it.   I mean, the extra money would be great and we could get a small pop up for our camping needs.  But.... with great effort, the hubs convinced me that keeping it and fixing it up was the best way to go.
After all, we do live in Florida, so year round camping in not out of the question.  There are a lot of options practically around the corner.  Beaches, springs, rivers, woods and lots of music festivals just to name a few.  The Florida State Park system is huge and beautiful.  And we have boys.  All boys like to be dirty and outside, even our little gamer. 
So.... we dove head first into a facelift for the old girl.
It's from the 90's AND it sat for a while under oak trees AND it's very humid here.  As you can imagine it really needed some TLC.
The hubs went to work on the outside: checking all the seams, putting coats of sealant on the roof and replacing lots of hinges and latches.  I tackled the aesthetics of the inside.  The whole thing: walls, cabinets, ceilings, windows and  floors got a deep cleaning of soapy bleach water.  I bombed it for bugs and cleaned again.   (We plan to keep some Damp Rid in there to avoid the mustiness it had.) The hubs spent more time doing some detailed caulking around all the windows and seams that were a problem in the past.  I told him when he was done we would be able to drive this thing underwater and not have a leak.
Since floral mauve and sea foam green are not our favorite colors, we decided that we would spend the money on some new fabric.  There is a couch that jackknifes into a bed (like a futon), a dinette with two cushion benches (like a restaurant booth) and some window valances.  If we brought those into the current decade it would give the interior a noticeable update.  We went modern, bold and, of course, blue.  Between my and my mother-in-law's stash of leftover paint, I didn't have to buy any.  She had a light sky blue and I had some teal and tan.  The walls took the paint very well.   My hubby's mom put her sewing machine to work on the bedroom valances and the room divider curtain.  They came out better than I imagined, as did the pieces I reupholstered with the staple gun.  Pretty good for amateurs.
Not gonna lie and say that I thought the reupholstering of the seating was going to be easy, but when we took the couch apart and realized that is was a metal frame my heart kind of sank.   My upholstery skills are pretty much limited to a staple gun.  Clearly, I couldn't staple anything onto a metal frame.  We brainstormed some ideas with needle and thread, maybe attaching new fabric to old underneath the frame without 100% confidence.  I've said it before and  I'll say it again, my hubs is very handy.  He surveyed how the original fabric was applied and realized we needed upholstery rings.  They are like little C-clamps that you "hook" on and pinch tight with pliers.  He finished the top cushion in one evening.  We even had some extra buttons from the ottoman project. and I was able to add a few details.
We really lucked out when my mother in law's good friend offered up her master seamstress skills to recover the dinette area cushions.  She did such an amazing job, better than a professional!!
So without further adieu here are the before and after pics....

What a difference a coat of paint makes, right?!  It's like removing old wallpaper.  Totally cleaned it up.  Plus, I got some fun wall decals for the bathroom and the "entry way".

The in-between shots....

The hubs up on the roof...
 Here the walls are painted and some new fabric put in, but no cushions yet..

The flooring got a good cleaning and maybe next year we will think about replacing it with some vinyl or laminate.  Luckily, it shouldn't be a pricey project since there isn't much floor to deal with.
For now we are waiting on a few small parts to fix the toilet and propane monitor, then we will be off on our maiden voyage....
A little bluegrass festival called String Break!

So until next time...
 You didn't think we'd drive around without representing a little Griswold family vaca, did ya?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Exploring at Chinsegut

We've done some fun hiking and canoeing adventures this Spring Break.  For the last day before Ryder has to go back to school we went on a hike at Chinsegut Conservation Center.....And we got a lot of awesome photos.

Butterfly Garden

What's your wingspan?

The sun made a few appearances on an otherwise overcast morning.

Cypress forest

Ryder took my picture

The beginning of spring and a fresh rain makes for lots of green in the woods.

Huge bunch of bamboo

He thought it would be funny to run from me.

A swing made by Mother Nature.

Bamboo monster..ahhh.

Here you can see the sink hole on the right and the massive bamboo patch on the left and behind them.

some fun editing

Time to go.