What I Did Instead of Camping

Memorial Day and the Fourth of July weekends are prime camping days for a lot of folks. I’m not so keen on being out on the busy holidays. But I did spend a lot of time in my RV. I did some repairs, maintenance, and remodeling. And I bought several things for it. Well, for me. I’ll tell about the purchases in another post – after I can try them out and have a review to write.

When I camp, I write in a journal and make to-do lists of things I want changed on the RV. Well, those lists were building. I finally fixed the curtains around the sleeping area. In one place the velcro was coming off. And the curtain across the front of the cab-over needed to be a little shorter. I never thought much about it until I was getting into bed – then it bugged me. Well, it took less than half an hour to fix both things. I spent more time grumbling about it than it took to fix it. I also had to repair the closure on the reading pillow that I just made, but didn’t design very well. Again, a half-hour fix. And much relief.

Doing some routine maintenance just provides a little peace of mind. I cleaned the power plug to the generator. It wasn’t in bad shape, but I never really looked at it before. And I ‘graphited’ all the door locks. One was beginning to stick – all have been lubricated now. The RV is at the mechanic’s right now getting its annual servicing. And probably getting a new house battery. This one was so difficult to check water levels on, I may have damaged it. And it’s a very important part of the RV.

The dinette area before any changes.

The remodeling got off to a good start when I re-configured the dinette area (that story is here). I finally finished the table. It’s a wooden TV table, reinforced to strengthen it a little, with a larger board on top for decent sized work space.

The top will still fit in the frame to make the area into a bed if I want. The board I used for the top is an heirloom. It’s walnut from a family farm in Nebraska that my uncle made into a stereo cabinet in the 1950s. The cabinet has been repurposed and this is one of the doors. The finish was bad and the wood faded. I sanded and sanded. And sanded. And then refinished it. I added a few blocks underneath so it would fit securely on the small table. I like the flexibility of this arrangement – the table to be moved to the side or easily taken away.

Moved to one side – I think it will be in this position often.

I also replaced all the interior lights with LEDs to save on battery power. It’s an expensive exchange, but when I’m dry camping, battery power can determine how long I stay put.

A couple of upper cabinets had etched mirrors inset – too high to be useful. I covered them with cork, so I have bulletin board space now. I’m just not an etched mirror kind of person. I knew I didn’t want them from the start.

Another thing that had to go was the curtain covering the cab-over part. So it’s been almost two years and I finally got it changed! The previous owner had a short (why?) white ruffled curtain. Again, not my style.

Before.

I replaced it with a longer curtain that matches the window covers inside the cab-over – and covers an unmade bed or perhaps junk I might store up there! It made a big difference.

After.

Another thing checked off the to-do list. It brings such satisfaction to cross off those things. And maybe I’ve learned not to grumble and procrastinate.

All this time I’ve watched folks on social media camping and having a great time. I am SO eager to get out there. Just as soon as the RV is serviced, I’m heading for the hills. Where I hope it will be a little cooler.

RV Dinette Remodel

My Class C RV is compact (read: small) and one of my favorite features is the dinette in the back with lots of windows. I park at a campsite so that those windows face the view. If I’m inside, I eat at the table, of course, but it’s also a desk area. It’s the only sitting area.

The dinette, however, was not very comfortable. The table was big and I felt pinned into the seat. There was no room to stretch out with a good book. In a Facebook group I saw that someone removed their table, made the seating into a U-shape, and added a folding table. It was a light-bulb moment for me. Thank you for the idea.

Table is gone!

I’ve completed part of the project – the seating. The table is still being worked on. I fitted a board to support the new seat cushion, painted it to match the walls.

I found a remnant of upholstery material at Jo-Ann’s. This needed to be a budget-conscious job. So the fabric is sturdy, cheap, and not too bad to look at. The foam to go inside was expensive – that surprised me. Even with a half-off coupon, it was $23.
It all fits together nicely. And Cassie approves.
The table is next. I’m basically adding a larger top to a folding wooden TV table. The top needs to be big enough to be the support board in case I want to make this into a bed.
I made a reading pillow and two throw pillow for my new ‘sofa’ area. This was fabric I had on hand – probably from a yard sale. It doesn’t complement the new upholstered cushion very well, but it won’t show much with the table in place. I’m going for comfortable frugality here!
The temperature here is in the triple digits this week, so I’m staying home with the cooler running. But I’m eager to try out this new arrangement.