Another Great Adventure

We have had many Great Adventures in our lives.  Some turned out better than others, and some were Great Disasters!  But we lived them all and are still living this Greatest Adventure to the fullest.

Perhaps some introductions are in order, we are a slightly Over the hill couple in our second childhood.  The reason we know we are in our second childhood is because our kids have become our Parents!! They want us check in every day to make sure that “we are still kickin”.  I suppose it is fair, since we required that they check in when they were young.  Our daughter works in the Optometry field and as soon as we got in town she made an appointment with her Ophthalmologist for Dad because after all, we are driving that box all across the country”.

We are living and traveling in our 32-foot Coachmen Mirada, doing the “full-time RVing”!!   We opted for two Schwinn Cruisers instead toading a vehicle.   If you have ever tried to decide what to take on a two week vacation you have a very small idea of what we went through to dwindle our belongings from a 1450-square foot, three bedroom house down to fit comfortably in a 240-square foot Motorhome.

We have since traded in our bikes for a 2013 Honda Fit, which we haul on a Demco Car Caddy.   The Demco Car Caddy is the best, it has EVERY feature that you could want and need.  We later that year decided we didn’t need both bikes and a car, so the bikes went away.  We do plan on getting two of the fold-up bikes when they go on sale again at Camping World.

One of the first things that we did was to scan the drawing of the floor plan from a Coachmen brochure and enlarge and split it for two pages front and back.  Then we   measured the entire compartment for storage in the under locking storage bins, and all the cupboards, drawers, under the couch, under the dining benches and all of the overhead compartments.  We made and re-made plans for what would go in each compartment several times.

We sold everything that we could on free sites and either shipping or having people come pick-up.  Our collections of Comic Books and Paperback books went to auctions.  What we couldn’t sell we either gave away or donated.  The most valuable Comics, we stored in the Motor Home and have been selling them on Bonanza, and Addies Attic (Webstore).

Since we were full time RVing, we decided to take mostly casual clothes; either knit or permanent press and nearly all had to be folded neatly, and as compactly as possible, so it would not look like we slept in our clothes.

We only have two small closets, and they left a lot to be desired space-wise!   We decided to put shelves in the closets to put plastic trays on, with our neatly folded clothes.

So we called the 800 # for Coachmen and asked if they had any of those nice plastic shelf standards that were installed in the pantry, and we were lucky, they did!   When they arrived Shirl put them in the larger of the two closets (mine) and then made shelves, with our handy-dandy measurements, we purchased plastic bins at our ever-ready Wal-Mart, and two of then would fit perfectly on each shelf.  Now all I had to do is fit everything I wanted to take in 7 bins.

Not going to happen!! After folding and re-folding and throwing out more things, I was able to get everything packed.  Whew!!

Then we had to tackle Shirl’s closet!  His was a huge 7 inche wide, and even with the shelve standards and shelves we could not find any plastic bins to fit, so back to square one again and re-think.  We decided to hang some of his slacks and good shirts and use plastic bins in the overhead compartments over the bed.

The bed was the biggest adventure!! We were sleeping in a California King and were going to expand to a Queen.  Since, Shirl, couldn’t or wouldn’t shrink to fit, basically his feet stick out over the bottom of the Queen mattress.  Back to square one again!  No clever  answer for that one!

We wanted to take Shirl’s keyboard and two 6 ft tables so we took out the mattress, made a storage compartment with a hinge to lift it up large enough to hold them and a couple other things,  don’t remember them or why we felt we needed them.

I wish that we had taken some before, during, and after pictures of this DIY, as it was interesting. First; we had to remove the mattress, and if you ever have done this, you have a small idea of what we went through.  The mattresses on a Motor Home are rigid with wood framing and not even a little comfortable.  We were able to maneuver it out, sweating and probably swearing in about an hour.

Second; now we had to build a frame around the top of the base, this we did with 2X4’s and fastened it to the base with L brackets.

Third; we bought a sheet of 5/8 inch plywood and cut it in two pieces to fit on top of the frame.   We placed three hinges on the plywood to divide it so that we could lift it up to place the tables and Shirl’s keyboard between the base and the top.  We also used some old towels to pad the hinges just for GP. Last; we fastened the top to the frame with screws.

Fourth; Since the original mattress was so wonderful, we sold it on Craig’s list and bought a 6 inch memory foam mattress, and we has two 2 ½ inch memory foam toppers which were California King size, cut to fit our Queen mattress and so now we had about 8 inches of memory foam to sleep on.  Ahhh!

 

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Our home on the Range

When we bought our Motor Home it was going to be for week-end jaunts to flea markets, but, when life sends you Lemons, as a good friend said, you make Lemonade, and so we became full time RV’ers.

We bought our 32 foot, 2005 Motor Home in 2009, with only 6000 miles on her odometer; she has 35,000 now, in great condition.  And for the first two years, we just enjoyed her, and if it seems strange that I refer to it as a “her” it is because we named her “Miranda”.  She is a Coachmen Mirada and when we sent out Newsletters, everyone mistakenly called her Miranda, so we let it stick, and she is a good sport about it and doesn’t   correct anyone, she just smiles.

Our Motorhome

She is a good girl, and gets really good gas mileage, 7 to 8 mpg.  We don’t try to get where we are going in a huge hurry and set the cruise control at around 55 to 58 mph.  We like to see the scenery and not whizz by to get where we are going, most of the time we are going to a new job and have time to enjoy the trip.  You never can tell we might want to stop and explore.

When we decided to go full time RVing we had to re-think a lot of things.  I have posted quite a few pictures to show the before and after of our re-modeling project.    I have to admit, I didn’t think about writing about our DIY projects so they aren’t great.  Forgive! After a very short time it became evident that the couch was comfortable only laying down, but was an uncomfortable as heck to set on, even though it made into a bed, it had to go!

The main area also had a Dinette set consisting of two bench seats facing each other with a table attached to the wall between, that could be taken off and put between the two seats, and using the back cushions, actually make a full size bed, so it was advertised to sleep 6, that is if they were very good friends.  The dinette set was a pain in the back, to get at the storage under the seats and not that comfortable to set on either.   I was ready to get rid of them the first year, but it took two years for me to convince my husband.

Set of 2 Dinette Chairs with storage under from 2005 Coachmen Motor Home 1

Set of 2 Dinette Chairs with storage under from 2005 Coachmen Motor Home 3

Our Mobile Office

Cclose up of cabinet with sliding doorsIMG

We drew up plans to make a storage cabinet with sliding doors and adjustable shelves using Note Pad.   My Husband, did a great job of figuring out the sizes, we went to Lowes and bought a sheet of 4X8 plywood and they cut it to our specifications so all we had to do was put it together and stain it. Sounds real easy, right?  We had to hunt for sliding door tracks, and decided on some heavy vinyl tracks, which work good if periodically you soap the edges of the sliding door.   We also stained the cabinet grey and put two coats of Varathane.

The Dinette Set and the couch were bolted to the floor, with big bolts, and so were the seat belts!  It took several days of working to get them both out of the Motorhome. BTW, the couch came apart in two pieces, so getting it out the door, was not that hard, even though we were told it was put in before the coach was built and we would have to take off the door.

Couch to bed from 2005 Coachmen Motor Home 1

My Bed

I put an ad on Craig’s List and within 2 days sold them for $300.  With that money we paid for the material for the cabinet and purchased one of our 2 Heat/Massage chairs to replace the couch.  Those chairs were the best investment we have made in a long time.

Heat Massage Chairs 1

We also purchased two Grey file cabinets for our office, which we put on each side of the cabinet.  We discovered that we have more “stuff” (don’t we all?) than we could fit into the cabinet and file cabinets, so purchased some White plastic cabinets with drawers, which we adhered to the top of the file cabinets with some putty designed for sticking stuff down when traveling in a Motorhome when we travel we lock the file cabinets, and tape the plastic drawers shut.

Cabinet  with sliding doors 1

BTW, the “putty” can be purchased at any RV store.   We stick anything down that could vibrate off any surface.

The table we cut down to a size that is big enough to fit our laptops back to back.  We then purchased two office chairs. Unfortunately there is not enough room to put a piece of paper or a book, on the side by the laptops, so in our next project we are going to make a new table with a leaf only on one side.  About the only thing that we like about the table is that it is Grey.  Shirl designed the cabinet and will design the table on the computer on Note Pad.

Our Office

I don’t know if you can see the workmanship really well, I truly wish that I had had the foresight to take before, during the construction, and after.  But they are what they are, and we like them.

Two more projects are coming, the mugly, ugly TV goes out and a new flat screen smart TV goes in with doors to protect it while traveling and new curtains with Cornices for the main windows.