I am going to start off the new year with posting three of our motorhome modifications at a time. I will post repairs, modifications, or neato things we have found for RVing. I have lots of pics in my files so I will do them in alphabetical order.
Underneath that stuff, I will post my regular daily stuff..... kinda sorta fun, eh?
So here it goes:
STARTING WITH THE LETTER B
Bathroom floor repair and replacement:In October of 2009, we noticed some softening of our bathroom floor, along the edge of the cabinetry on the passenger side.
So we pulled back the vinyl flooring, only to find our subfloor was rotting! Upon further inspection, we had three sources of water intrusion.
- It turns out that the wheel well area had a leak from the outside and the underside of the flooring was exposed and it seems it was kicking up water when driving in the rain.
- Our washing machine had never been winterized properly by the previous owners. We found out it had a cracked pump, and we replaced it, but not before the damage was done with with leakage over a year or so? When winterizing, you have to not only get antifreeze IN the hoses going in, but also IN the pump for the water that goes OUT. Lots of folks miss that step.
- the worst intrusion was along the three horizontal bands of aluminum on the exterior. The top edge of the band allows water in if the clear caulking has worn away. We sealed it up again with ProFlex clear silicone, that is UV resistant. It's a good idea to recheck these three bands of trim around the sides of the Safari motorhomes of our vintage. We now inspect it and fill in any gaps YEARLY !
Until we started to tear up the floor, we never realized the damage was this severe.
First we needed to remove all of the vinyl flooring. Over the bad part of the floor, it was easy to pull the vinyl flooring off, but the rest of the flooring was stuck firm with glue! In the photo above is on the driver’s side of the rig, where it was glued down tight and firm. So it meant we had to be down on our knees and using a putty knife for a few hours to get it all torn out.
(did you know RV washer/dryer combos have CEMENT block weights inside to help with counterbalancing the spinning action? So they are MUCH heavier than household washing machines... ack! )
Now for the messy part:
We found the wood was more and more rotten, the deeper we dug. We wore masks and gloves to protect us from the moldy wood that we are grabbing and tearing out, piece by piece. We were finally down to the chassis frame and rigid foam insulation. From the bottom up, outside, we cleaned and sealed the wheel well with spray-on pickup truck bedliner. We also resealed the side trim strip on the wall with a new bead of some ProFlex clear silicone, that is UV resistant for outdoor applications. We will be sure to keep checking it for any future leakage!
After ripping out the rotting wood, we also realized the location of the space alotted for the washing machine in the cabinetry had the unit sitting on just ONE brace of the chassis frame! That very heavy 150 pound machine, plus the weight of water when it is in use, was only centered on one piece of the frame? That meant the four corner legs of the machine were not on any support other than the flooring and vinyl and foam insulation? hmmmmmm
So we beefed that up too with more bracing on each side before sealing all the bottom up and laying the subfloor and underlayment.
Once we got all the bad wood out, we coated the leading edge of the good wood on the remaining floor with this hardener product, just to be sure no rot would spread any further. The wood was now dry and ready to lay in the two pieces of wood on top of each other. The sub floor and underlayment are also both of treated wood. We coated the two new wood sections with a waterproof sealer on all sides and edges too.
Now the fun part starts! Laying on the new flooring!! It’s a laminate product similar to the new hardwood floors, but this in a faux ceramic tile design… almost a match for the previous color of vinyl we had in there, and it matches our carpeting very well too.
The angles around the shower/tub and sink were a bit complicated, but we used paper templates and transferred the angles onto the panels.. Easy Peasy!
It sure made a huge difference in the stability of the flooring through that whole area. It must have been rotting away under there for years, each time we drove in rain or snow!
PS.... in 2015 we added two bicycle tire inner tubes, one on each side of the washing machine. Once in place, we inflated them with air to help add stability during the spin cycle. It works WONDERFULLY!
And here is ......
P.S. we also added a wooden toilet seat later to the Sealand toilet,
a regular household one bolts right on the same bolt pattern.
Blocks for under the leveler feet:
Steve cut three big slabs of thick 2x10 planks for putting under the feet of our hydraulic levelers. Our motorhome has three, two in the back and one up front in the center. Kinda like a tripod.
He added eyelets and a rope to each block. The front leveler is centered between the two front tires near the axle and is a pain in the butt to push a block wayyy under there into place. We found using the long awning pull down rod in the eyelet lets us push it right into place. The ropes make it easy to pull them out so you do not have to get down on your knees to pull them out of the mud! Also we can bang them together to knock off the dirt by holding the ropes instead of the blocks.
We set them into this large rubbermaid tub to keep the excess dirt out of the carpeted compartments in our motorhome basement.
I know there are more recent items out on the market, but we bought this about five years ago and it still works great for us. When we travel, we have Verizon on both our tablet and our cell phone for data. When we are way out in the boonies, this device helps us to strengthen the signal. It is made by Wilson, the trucker antenna company. It can run on either 12 volt DC or 120 AC.
Whatever device we are using, whether it is the cell phone or the tablet, if we are at only 1 or 2 bars, we set it down next to this Wilson booster, and it increases the signal up to 3 or 4 or even 5 bars! Amazing! Of course if there isn't ANY signal at all, it is not of much help. LOL
We set up our little tablet or cell phone as a *router* and it draws in our data signal (we only have 5 GB to share in a month so we use it sparingly) We select the tethering mobile hotspot feature on the menu. We set it near the booster to increase the signal. The data signal is then made into our own little private WiFi zone in our rig so we can both operate our laptops anywhere inside the rig or out under the awning.
It also helps boost a weak free WiFi signal in campgrounds too. We set it next to our laptops and it pulls in the signal. If we move it away, the signal fades and logs us off.
We were boondocking wayyyyy out on Rattlesnake Point at Elephant Butte State Park in New Mexico. We were at least 3/4 mile from the nearest park WiFi tower and could not get a signal. But one we plugged in the Wilson booster, we got 3 bars and were in boondocking bliss with free WiFi!
Steve went back to his brother's house today to help with painting again. They got a lot done but there were short on help today. Maybe I will go tomorrow and help too. I spent most of the day at home today doing this and that. Some sewing, some cleaning and some cooking.
Since Steve has now been home 24/7 with me after Dec. 20, I found that today I REALLY missed him all day! We have smoothed out our kitchen territory issues. We have also gone over the budget together and paid bills together (something I usually ended up doing before) and he is settling into the routine. I think the retirement thing will work out just fine.
Today, while I was sewing, I heard a little squeaking of a doggie toy out in the hallway. Hmmmm Finnegan was laying right by my chair, and Binney NEVER plays with toys. Until.... now?
I peeked around the corner and there was little Binney (our meek scaredy cat rescue dog) with a new Christmas toy from her favorite buddy, our granddaughter Chelsea. She was carefully gnawing on it and moving it around between her paws. Mouthing it over and over and making it squeak!
Carefully putting my phone on silent so there was not a shutter sound, I got two pics of her in her Secret Play. She will sometimes steal a toy from Finney to get his attention, but then she drops it and never ever plays with it. Especially on her own!
Then she noticed me looking at her from my sewing room. She looked embarrassed at being caught playing with a toy... she got up and left the toy lay there. hahahah busted!
I told her she was a Good Girl and gave her the toy, but she showed no interest in it whatsoever now that I was in the hall with her. Oh well, we will leave it right there so she can find it any time she wants to play with it.