Monday, June 11, 2012

Our Summer 2012 RV Vacation - Part 1 The Remodel

We just got home from our 2012 RV Summer Vacation!!  We were out for 9 days and 8 nights!  We stayed at 3 state parks - Mother Neff State Park, Lake Corpus Christi State Park and Palmetto State Park.  We had an absolute blast and will always remember this vacation!!

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!!!
Here is a view of the area with the table set up.
Here is everyone but me seated at the table!  (I sat by Alyssa).  See - plenty of room!!  We bought Daniel a good fold up chair and realized that we can also by one more that would easily fit beside Daniel (facing the back of the camper).  The fold up chair nicely stores behind the back bench! (if you look closely in some of the other pictures you can see the chair stored.)

Here is a picture of the table moved over to the sink.  At the time of this pic it was providing more room in order for me to wash dishes (when we had full hook up)!!  It was such a help having this table for that!!!  I also had it near the kitchen using it to help with dinner prep (but forgot to get a pic of that)!  This table could also easly be moved outside if table room is needed out there as well!

Oh - I also need to point out that underneath both benches is all storage area!!  And it is very easy to get to - just lift the cushion!!  So we also gained some storage area by this remodel as well!

The other major renovation we did was some remodeling in the bedroom!!  Here is a before picture of the bedroom.  I apologize that it is bad quality of a was another took on the day of closing last  year.  But you can see on the pic the closet that goes down the side of the bed.  There was one of these on each side of the bed. 

The problem with these was the fact that they constricted us in the bed.  It is bad enough that we have queen size bed in the camper, since Daniel and I are used to sleeping on a king bed.  But with these closets we couldn't hang a arm off the bed or anything.  I can't tell you how many times I woke up pretty much kissing the closet beside me!

So we decided to remove those closets!!  Daniel and his dad and their great cabinetry skills were able to remove the remove the side closets while keeping the upper closets!!  You can't even tell there has been a remodel done (except for the little deco decal on the back wall...still trying to figure out what to do there LOL). 

But the remodel worked!!  We felt like we had SO MUCH more room on our bed!!  It was very nice!!  Plus we each have a nice area that works as night stands! Here are the after pictures.

We also made some small renovations in the bathroom.  We added hooks for more towel hanging room.  I also added a hook where I could hook a nice toiletry bag I have.  It gave a lot more storage room for our toiletries!

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.  :-)

Well that is all for Post 1 of the vacation!  Here are the posts that will be following this week:

Part 2 - Mother Neff State Park and Corpus Christi

Part 3 - The USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium

Part 4 - Palmetto State Park and some of the FOOD from the trip!

Stay tuned,

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