I have lots to report and lots of pictures to share so I will be making a total of 4 posts for this vacation! The main reason is because, as most of you know, this is our camping journal for our RV and it will be turned into a photo book at the end of the year!! I have so many pictures that I want to make sure get in that book. To put it all in one post would make a HUGE post and since I have been known to get almost an entire post written and have it lost for one reason or another I didn't want to take that chance with this one. Plus, it will keep you from having to read a novel all at once :-)!!!
So, for Part 1 of this vacation journal I am going to share all of the renovations that we did to the camper before making this trip and how well they worked out for us!!! There were a few problems that we had with the camper. We had considered trying to trade in the camper but decided that we could just do some remodeling! And I am SO glad we did!!! The renovations made some things so much nicer for this trip!!
Probably the biggest renovation we did was our dining room area. Here are some before pictures I found (these were pictures I took for my mom when we were closing on the RV last February!!)
It's not a bad dining room table - but trying to fit 5 people at that table was impossible!! And our kids are still little so the problem was just going to continue to get greater!!! Plus with our little ones we realized it was also going to be near impossible to keep the fabric cushions clean!
Daniel and his dad removed the table and then took the bench that was facing the back of the camper and moved it to sit along the wall with the window. They also cut both benches down to half their witdth (and they are still plenty wide enough to sit comfortably). We made new cushions. I found a good marine grade vinyl at JoAnn's (easy to clean - just wipe it off). I also found a 3 inch foam there as well. We cut a good hardy plyboard and glued the foam to it and then covered it with the vinyl.
For the table we found a really nice fold up table. We have gone back and forth as to whether or not to build a permament table or stick with a fold-up table. I liked the idea of the fold-up table so that I can move it around where I need it, and after this trip I am glad we went that way!! It sure was nice!! Plus we can store the table when it is not needed and we need more "living" space.
Here is a view of the new area without the table set up. Don't you like how open it is!! I DO!!!
We also bought a new shower curtain!! The one we had hung on hooks from the ceiling so you could not hang any towels from the shower curtain rod. This new rod provided a way to do that. Not only that but this shower curtain bends out to provide more room when you are using the shower. In the picture below the rod is bent in...with towels hanging from it.
One of the problems we have when we are at state parks with no sewer hook-up is our gray water tank filling up rather quickly. I had already learned in trips past that I could use the outside shower to wash dishes to help save on water. But it was on the side of the camper. I would have to fill a bucket of water and walk to the back to use the tool box to work on...but then would have to walk back and forth to rinse dishes, etc... So Daniel had the bright idea to buy a longer hose for that shower so that it would reach the back of the camper!!
And it helped so much!! It made washing dishes on the back of the camper so much easier!
The last thing I want to share in this post is not really a remodel but a new idea we came up with on this trip (actually Daniel came up with it - I have to give credit where credit is due). Daniel had the idea of each trip picking op a souvenir for the camper, as a neat way of decorating the camper with memories of where we have been! I, of couse, thought it was a FABULOUS idea!!
So in Corpus I found two carved figurines that I fell in love with - a sting ray and a dolphin! I knew as soon as I saw them that they belonged on our new corner ledge that we gained as a result of the dining area remodel! So here are my super sweet figurines!! I am going to get some good double sided tape to put on the bottom them to help them not get messed up during travel. :-)