General info, Remodel, Tiny Life, Uncategorized

Avion Renovations Have Begun – The Lounge

When we purchased Armani it was with the knowledge that it needed a lot of interior work. The outside skin and “bones” were in great shape even after having sat in a field for the last 12 years.

Armani at Ojo Caliente! Notice the lack of awning and AC shroud! 🙂 Great skin and bones tho!

But the inside was rough. Not only was it REALLY dirty, a lot of the cabinet doors were warped not to mention we had no way of knowing what systems worked or not.

We also knew it had an electrical issue. The previous owners (an RV “flipper” that dealt in Avion’s and Airstreams) had rigged up the breakers to make sure the outlets worked but that was really unsafe! Fortunately Mark is a wiz with electric and between he and Doug they got the issue sorted out and now we have nice safe GFCI breakers and nothing trips when it is plugged in! Safety first, folks!

Our next project was to get rid of the nasty dirty couch in the lounge area and to get the parquet floor pulled up that someone had put down over the original linoleum. Like I said, really REALLY dirty!

The lounge area – this nasty couch bed needed to GO!
Doug removing dirty couch bed!
All out and now at the dump!
What’s behind door number 1? GROSS!!!

After that was accomplished and all the adhesive scrubbed up (hours upon hours with multiple bottles of Goo Gone), everything cleaned and painted it was ready for the rebuild!

Ahhhh!!! MUCH better! Let the build begin!

As I mentioned in my previous post, Doug is a master carpenter and he has already remodeled their Avion so we drew from his experience and got going on our new “L” shaped lounge!

As all us RVers know, weight is a major concern. We didn’t want to add a ton of weight by using 2×4’s. Doug used 1/2″ plywood strips to create a box (glued and nailed together) to create the legs. He used the same plywood strips to create brackets in between and 2×2 posts against the wall for the base support. Then plywood sheets to form the base of the seat. It goes all the way to the back wall so now behind the back of the couch we will have storage not to mention all the room underneath!

Doug wanted everything nice and light! You see here the beginning of the legs he built.
Installing the base for the lounge!
Getting there!
It’s starting to look like a couch now!
Look at all that storage we will have underneath and behind the back cushions!
The arm rest being built
The back cushion supports
Painted and ready for cushions!

Now before you think this is not sturdy let me tell you, it is SOLID! We are extremely impressed with the quality of this build and if you need any restoration work on your rig we would highly recommend Doug! He is the best!!

And now for the finished project!

The “L” shaped lounge with cushions installed!
The “L” shaped lounge.  There will be a cushioned bumper on the wall to lean against.
The view of the lounge with the arm rest! There will be a cushioned bumper on it as well.

We are very pleased how this all turned out!  I made the cushions myself using 4″ high density foam, batting and material wrapped around and stapled to a board that fit in the appropriate space.  It will be easy to change the fabric in the future if we wish or need to.

Now that the lounge is done we moved onto the old dresser area and tore all that out to build in a new desk!  We’ve also installed an awning and I will be posting on that soon.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Remodel, Solar, Tiny Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Avion Before Photos

I thought I would give you a look at the interior of our 1979 Avion 28J before I start sharing our restoration photos.

1979 Avion 28J – the skin is in great shape! We need to install a new awning though as the original is gone.

Someone had done some “renovations” of their own many years ago in the lounge area and added some parquet stick on flooring over the original linoleum so of course all of that is getting removed and redone.

The kitchen and lounge area before demo. Someone had applied sticky floor tiles to the original linoleum. Ugh.

Everything else had been left pretty much original though so we wanted to keep the vintage feel but make it a more modern living space.  Paint can go a long way in making a space gorgeous!

Kitchen stove and sink. The stove/oven works! The sink is too shallow and will be replaced.  Countertops will be redone and a backsplash will be installed.
The original cabinetry. It looks good at a distance but there were many holes that needed patching so the cabinets will be repainted.

We’ve already begun the restoration. We have removed the old non-working fridge, hot water heater, water pump and toilet. All new items have been ordered and/or installed. We are going with an all electric fridge. (We will explain our reasoning behind this decision in a future post.)

The fridge and old wall heater are gone now.
Looking back down the hallway you see the bedroom and the rear bathroom.

We still haven’t tested the AC unit to see if it works as we don’t have 30 amps at the house. Once we get it back to a livable condition we will plan a short trip to a local RV park to check it out. If it does work then we are on the hunt for a shroud and interior cover for it. If it doesn’t work then that’s an item for the future.

We are also still working on the furnace. Fortunately parts for it are easily obtained and we know we can get it back to par again. Basically that’s the only major item we haven’t had to replace yet! But, we bought this rig for its bones and exterior. We anticipated replacing all the major items so we knew what we were getting into. It’s a labor of love but we don’t plan on letting this baby go so we are in it for the long haul!

The large rear bath. Toilet had to be replaced.

And of course, another item on the agenda is solar. (We are Boondock or Bust, after all!) After having done the off grid cabin thing (and previous RV solar) we know what we need in terms of power. Again, that’s for the future but all I can say is that I’m so glad the cost of solar is going down!

As we’ve started on the renovations already I will be sharing as we go along. The lounge area is nearly complete so that post will be coming soon. It’s going to look gorgeous!

Uncategorized

Time flies!

Oh my goodness!  My how the time flies when you’re having fun!!  I can not believe it’s been more than 2 months since my last blog post.  So much has happened in that time I don’t even know where to begin!  I guess it’s best to begin at the beginning. 🙂

As of December 27, 2012 we have been living full time in the RV.  We sold the last of our belongings, got everything moved out of the house and here we are!  We are in a beautiful spot that only has two other RV’s on it and includes a private island and water/marsh views galore!  We could not have chosen a better spot to start our adventure.  Since we need to stay in this area until our daughter finishes college we wanted something that was more private and I will tell you, driving around and doing a little research sure pays off!

We found this location strictly by chance.  It is just down the road from one of the most premier locations in the low country of South Carolina.  It is right on the May River and the surrounding marshland offers a large variety of wildlife!    Here are a few photos that highlight our new space:

marsh1 river2 river

We are very lucky to be where we are.  The local campgrounds do not offer much in the way of parking spaces (too close together!) and our current location allows us a very short drive to work.  Best of both worlds!

We were also able to build a deck at our space to make it more “homey” and to also get away from the dirt – we reused wood from an old deck at our house and it sure makes a huge difference!

deck3 deck1 deck2

I’m sure whoever follows in our location will be very happy to have this deck.  The best part is that it didn’t cost us much to build!

We haven’t posted much simply because we’ve just been living and working.  Saving money so when the day comes we can hit the road!  We’ve adjusted very well to living in such a small space and we find that it has brought us closer together.  Our animals love it as well – our cat Shine especially loves all the windows! 🙂

There is a lot more to share but I don’t want to drag this post out forever.  We have some new updates on the RV to share as well as the new toad we bought.  That will follow shortly.

Until then… happy trails!

Shelly & Mark ~ Boondock Or Bust!

Remodel

Demo done – Remodel begun!

Wow!  The remodel is almost done!! I say “almost” as I don’t know that we’ll ever truly be done.  I have a long list of *little* things still to accomplish but the big things are pretty much DONE!  We started by tearing out all the carpet, the couch, and the dinette to make it our own.  We painted, put down flooring, built a desk/counter space, put in a new couch, etc etc.  Here are some photos of all that we have done!  I will be uploading the newest ones soon with the completed look – including a post about our new location!! It is AWESOME!  🙂

Here we go:

I will be adding quite a few more photos in the next week.  We are pretty proud of the finished product!  And I’m really grateful I have the handiest husband ever!! 🙂

General info

And so it begins…

Finally! After over a year of planning, scheming and scraping up money we are finally going to get our RV and start our new life!! Well… almost. <sigh>

Let me start by introducing “us”: We are Mark (the master mechanic and fabulous hubby), Shelly (photographer & luckiest wife in the world), Shine (the Oriental shorthair cat, aka HIS MAJESTY) and Tank (the black lab, aka Mr. DuFUSS). You can read more about the gang on our “About Us” page!

For over a year and a half we’ve been planning on moving into an RV to see this fabulous country of ours, all the while workamping and boondocking along the way. Obviously the first step was actually GETTING an RV. (duh) But what to get?? Travel trailer? Fifth wheel? Class A/B/C? So many choices! And after reviewing what would work for our lifestyle and our pets (who will be going with us) we’ve made a decision and will be picking her up in two weeks! So what did we get?? I will reveal more on that later. <insert mysterious laugh here> 🙂

So now to get on the road, right? Well, not quite. Unfortunately there are a few complications. Some good, and others just some obstacles we need to get around. We will talk about those things in future posts! So, for the time being we will be staying in the area while doing some trips to get the feel for the rig and getting acclimated to living in an RV. We will be moving full time into our rig after the first of the year! (We will need to get it set up for our use and lifestyle and make it “our own” prior to that). In the meantime, we will be posting here and hopefully sharing our experiences and learning from all the other blogs we follow. There is a ton of good information out there and we are grateful to the people who have gone before us. We can’t wait to burn our own trail so we can boondock… or bust!