Monday, 29 May 2017

Not quite as planned. Meet Ace

Well, we left home Thursday to fly to Calgary, double check what we knew about an 07 Coachmen Mirada that we had had inspected professionally and drive her home...

Landed in Calgary Thursday about 9:30pm, grabbed our rental car from Enterprise and plopped on the hotel bed for some much needed sleep. Neither of us were able to sleep, I suppose because we were excited about our new rig. The inspection said it was in great shape, the brakes, rotors, tires were all like new, the body was in great shape and that he would buy it if he were in the market.

Friday morning, after driving to Sylvan Lake, we pulled in and immediately noticed that the front tires were almost bald. After checking the dates on the tires, we learned they were original (2005), knowing as we do that tires have an expiry date that was very concerning. There was some body damage at the rear we had not been advised of, and the ladder to the roof looked like a farmer had fixed them. We did a thorough go over anyway, and then went for breakfast at a local Humpty's to discuss it, as we had planned. We both decided right away that no, that was not going to be the one. But now what?

We had passed an RV dealership on the way through Red Deer so we headed there. Woody's RV World it was, and Blair Seens was quick to offer his help and after telling him what we were looking for ($40K range) he took us around the lot on his golf cart and showed us a few. This guy is the salesman you dream of, Not pushy, helpful and playful too as thats how we roll and he caught on to it quick. Really had a fun time looking for an RV! AND he even agreed I was CUTE! (I tell everyone I'm cute, its a thing LOL)

Well, my pick of the lot was a 2005 Southwind 32VS, it had solar and was 32 ft long with a couch. Brad chose a 2013 Thor Ace 27.1, the price difference was significant at $20K+ so after much ado we decided to go for lunch and discuss it.

Brad made the point that we weren't travelling to sit on the couch and watch TV which I thought was a very good point, but I was also concerned about our parents being able to get into the hydrolic cab over bed should they come to visit. However, we both agreed that they won't be coming often we don't expect, they are all agile enough to get up there, and the dinette booth could sleep one person easily anyway should that change later on.

Everybody meet Ace, Ace meet Everybody

The heart of her.

I didn't think it would happen when we left the dealership for lunch, but Brad was right and I agreed to get the much more expensive 2013 Thor. Of course, this meant financing as we had only arranged so much available cashflow when we left home, not expecting to go all out.

Returning to the dealership we spoke to Blair again about our decision and he sent us to the Finance department to do the deed. Tammy Chapman was also a dream to work with.  They knew we were trying to get to a family event in Saskatoon for Saturday night and she worked diligently to get the deal finalized. She confirmed with our insurance back home what time they were closing so she knew how much time she had to get us on the road Friday night. 8pm Alberta time, they told her.

The deal was finalized around 7pm Alberta time so she rang the insurance to get that done. Nobody home. She spoke to someone at the Head office in Ontario who advised that our home office would be open Saturday at 8am., they did not have anybody else available before then that was licensed in our area. With no other choice, we spent our first night in Ace in the Woody's parking lot because we couldn't put her on the street without insurance, they provided us with power and we went to sleep.

Tired and fed up, but clearly still Cute!

After a great night of sleep, Saturday morning we got up, beautified and waited for the dealership to open. We had a short wait while the dealership did their morning ra-ra session and then Blair drove us to Enterprise to return the rental car. We had contacted the Calgary airport location and advised that we would be dropping the car in Red Deer, the lady there later called us back and said they would be dropping the 'drop fee' ($100) they usually charge for dropping off at a different location.

As you might expect, Tammy called Blair as soon as the car was returned to say that the insurance company was not open Saturdays after all. In a bid to save our family get-together, Blair then drove us to a 'OneStop' which provides insurance, but because of our domicile they couldn't help either. What a gong show this whole situation became, but through it all the dealership (Tammy and Blair) were determined to get us to Saskatoon.

Tammy actually remembered an insurance company (Johnson.ca) that was tied in with one of our banks, that was also based in our domicile so she contacted them as a last resort. Without that we would still be sitting in Woody's RV parking lot waiting for them to open this morning so we could finalize the insurance allowing us to leave.

We spoke to a gentleman there who's name I can't recall but have written somewhere and can't find,   who quickly got us insured so that we could drive to Saskatchewan Saturday in time for our family shindig. When I come across his name I will add it in this blog.

If you are ever in the RV market, we definitely and with glowing recommendation would send you to Blair Seens and Tammy Chapman at Red Deer Woody's RV World in Alberta!!!

Quite the adventure, as is our way. We arrived at 7:30pm while the party was in full swing. It was so nice to see the Kids and Grandkids and my Sister-in-law who by the time we arrived was completely a mess (not a big drinker this woman, so...) a good time was had by all, even though we were thoroughly exhausted by this time. Unfortunately our oldest Granddaughter was not able to be at the party and she was missed for sure, such a cutie, I call her 'mini me' as she looks just like me at that age.

Never been so happy to see Saskatchewan

2 of our 3 Grandkids
(Don't take it personal, but I purposely took pics of the back of their heads)

We have now at the time of this writing had 3 great sleeps in this rig and are thoroughly enjoying it. We went shopping yesterday for pots, dishes, camp chairs, bbq, etc that we will need just to get home, Brad waited in the car while I hit up Wallyworld and loaded my sister-in-law's car to the hilt. He didn't bat a lash which is highly unusual, normal he gets to twitching when I spend money but he's been very relaxed the last couple of weeks. Nice to see.

Currently we are staying at my brother's place waiting for Brad's Mother who returns tonight from her own adventure and after visiting with her tomorrow, we expect to be on the road likely Wednesday morning. Unfortunately because we are not plated and only running on an 'in transit' permit we are not able to cut through the USA which would have allowed us to stop at my Father's for a short visit. We have to drive right across Canada and I don't think the necessary backtrack is viable but hopefully the house will sell in short order and we will back across very soon. I will be checking though to see just how much of a backtrack it would be.

So today is more shopping as we want to replace the 2 front tires and we need a proper comforter as the 'RV comforter is paper thin and the quilt I brought is too small as I wasn't expecting to get a King size bed! As Wilma Flintstone would say, "CHAAAARRRRGGGGGEEEE IIITTTT".

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Safety Done

Well boys and girls, we had the safety done on this potential rig we are flying to Alberta to look at. We haven't received the actual report yet but spoke to the Inspector over the phone afterwards and he believes that it is in really good condition, no rust, no signs of leakage on the roof, brakes are all good, engine clean, etc., etc.

So it turns out we have been extremely stressed all day about this rig, we didn't really realize it until he called and said he believed her to be in good shape. After that call we were both feeling quite excited in anticipation and beginning to feel noticeably more relaxed.

Now, we just hope that the inside of her looks as good as we think it does and there will be a new member of our little family. Okay thats over the top, but you get the idea.

I sorted out banking today (gong show), arranged the RV insurance, notified all credit cards that we were going on a trip so they don't cut us off (which they do all the time!!! - even locally.), I ran a background check on the VIN, did laundry and packed what can be packed before morning. I even found other potential RVs in the area to check out as a backup just in case and created a binder to keep all the required documentation in. Yes, I'm an organization freak. Accept it, move on, I did.

Incidentally, I hauled out 2 large suitcases and 3 carry-ons hoping to fit everything we need in them and somehow managed to get it all into 1 large suitcase and 2 carry-ons. Clearly I was trying to take my mind off something... even managed to fit clean bedding in there. Though we fully anticipate getting a new mattress, a quick stop at WallyWorld for pillows, a mattress cover and disposable dishes and that will get us home.

Did I mention this RV has 1200w of Solar! Yup, I'm excited about that. Just hope that it is all connected appropriately but have always forgotten to ask, at this point we'll find out soon enough.

Since I sat down to type this I have received 3 comment emails from my faithful followers. I'm really coming up in the world! :)

Well for now, its good night and sleep tight, big, long day tomorrow. Going to see the Mountains!

We think we found one

So its been a crazy busy time around here.

I worked Sun and Mon and Brad and our friend are building cribbing to allow us to have land on one corner of the house that will make the deck a complete walk around. We have a few other little things to do before listing her but it will have to wait an extra week or so now.

Yes, we know we planned to put the house on the market in a week but this is something we feel was much needed and we had planned to do it this spring so we are. It will be nice for the new owners (assuming it will sell) which is a big assumption around here.

Our house on the oceanfront (lower deck (grey) is built into the water)

So we have been looking at RVs as you know and we had narrowed it down to a couple but last night we finally decided on one. We corresponded via email with the woman in AB who has agreed to allow us time to get there from here. I booked the flight for Thursday (tomorrow) afternoon and we arrive in AB tomorrow night.

Robbie (the dog) is going to 'The Puppy Hotel' which has been all arranged. Today I have a couple of things to sort out - Inspection, Insurance, Laundry, Tell my boss I'm taking a few days off (it will take us 10 - 14 days to drive her home with a stop in to see the family enroute).

We have both agreed not to make a deal on it unless/until we both discuss it in private after going over it thoroughly, and to walk away from it if we need to. Worse case scenario we can look at the dealerships (since we will be in civilization) but we will not be rushed into anything. I think the last rig was purchased too hastily (obviously) because we had flown all the way there to get it but this time if its a holiday we get then so be it. Just too bad we can't take Robbie with us. He is a car ride fanatic so an RV ride blows his little mind.

The RV itself is beautiful! 2007 30 ft Class A with an interior as close to our style as we have ever seen, so in theory at least it will take very little to 'make it ours'. Its a pretty penny over what we paid for the last one but we hope it will be in better condition. She has assured us there are no leak/water issues and that all is well with the rig, so we're hoping. I asked her for more pics because we were having to fly in and wanted to be sure beforehand, so (it seems at least) that she went to the rig and took close up pictures of walls, floors, furniture, etc. which I thought was really nice of her to do for us.

Bonus Prize: 1200w of Solar!!! Yippee! That was a big thing for us as Brad sleeps with a CPAP -when I say 'us' I mean 'me', Brad doesn't get how important that will be to his sleeping arrangements but he would soon learn without it. And 1200w is nothing to sneeze at, that's huge! Most rigs that have solar don't have that much, so thats awesome.

I ran all the numbers and her:
Wheelbase ratio is 51%: Perfect (should be less than 55%)

GVWR is 15,700 lbs - Curb weight is 13,115 lbs with a 75 Gal fresh water tank (623 lbs) this allows us a Cargo Carrying Capacity of 1375 lbs after us and the dog are accounted for. Big thanks to Marc @ RV Success School for letting me know that the 470 lbs of fuel I was counting was already counted in the GVWR which I didn't know.  Obviously we won't be driving around with full Fresh water tanks (623 lbs) but this is a good number to know when considering how far you will drive with this tank full.

Her tanks are:
Fuel: 75 Gal
Fresh water: 75 Gal
Propane: 20 Gal
Gray: 35 Gal
Black 35 Gal

Before a certain someone asks, not sure what route we'll take back but will likely be popping in for that first meeting ;) (sorry readers, private joke)

Super excited.

Friday, 19 May 2017

House prep and Berkey

Our Berkey Water Filter System arrived a couple of days ago. I had a bit of trouble with it, while I had it set up and have been running water through it I couldn't seem to get it right...

We ordered the PF-2 filters as well as the charcoal and all the filters need to be 'primed', now I couldn't figure out a way to do this and was concerned that perhaps I should have ordered the 'priming button' they sell separately. Apparently we have had so much going on around here that my blonde roots were hanging in my eyes because today I had what Oprah calls a lightbulb moment.

The water was coming out cloudy and I knew that it was the PF-2 that was causing it but how to purge it? Well, duh: I had run water through it before by holding it up to the faucet and at a low rate to get it in the hole at the top of the PF-2. Today I put the PF-2 in the sink drain, stuck the tan washer on top, grabbed my extending faucet and applied it to the top of the tan washer with forceful water pressure for 20 seconds. I had read this in the instructions on the 1st day, but.... blonde.

Crystal clear water! No more lugging those 5Gal jugs around and trying to find somewhere to fill them. We specifically wanted the PF-2 because they remove Arsenic from the water too and this place is known to have Arsenic in the water (not necessarily our area, but who knows?) We never drink the tap water here, though some people swear by it. Since ordering the Berkey a couple of weeks ago the community has been taken off the boil water advisory it has been under for 2 years now.

I did the recommended red food colour test - putting 2 Tbsp red food colouring in the top of the Berkey with the tap water and checking the bottom filtered water for any sign of red - None. Perfect. Tastes great too! (actually no taste which is ideal)

We started working on the house projects today, we ordered some 6x6x12 lumber for cribbing to allow us to create land on one corner of the house so that the deck can be a complete walk around, Brad removed what we call wave lumber from the lower deck (protects the small rocks from being washed out by waves) and had himself a little bonfire down there to burn some of the remnant lumber from the house build.

While he was sorting out down below, I went under the stairs, organized it and sorted through all of our tools. I changed a tool bag we formerly used when we were painting from a painting tool bag to an RV tool bag in preparation. Also, I came across many things that I can put into a garage sale and hopefully get rid of some stuff that others might use.

Normally if we haven't used something for 3 months I throw it out. That's my rule-of-thumb, or at least it used to be but since building the house 2 years ago - not so much. Given that we hope to have the house on the market in the next 2 weeks, I will begin going through everything and figuring out what we want to store, take, sell, donate and dump.

Personally, I am hoping whoever buys the house will also buy the furniture, but if not Brad wants to put our 'things' in storage until we decide where we want our 'residence' to be. THIS is another argument for another day so we won't even go there - yet!

In my mind when we get 'out there' and he sees what it is he will realize that we don't need 'sticks and bricks' (socially acceptable housing), but if he needs that then that is what we will get. It won't stop us from going off in the RV 6 months out of the year and I can live with that.


Thursday, 18 May 2017

We made a decision

We have been shopping in Town yesterday and today in the City and we have agreed to find a Class C or a Class A 26' - 30' in length. 32' at the outside. We will also be looking for a dolly so we can haul our FJ Cruiser with us.

We wandered through a ton of Travel Trailers and 5th Wheels but they just didn't feel as solid for obvious reasons and we just like the Motorhomes better. There are not a lot of Motorhomes for sale in our area and we are into the 'season' now after wasting so much time on George.

I checked to see if there were any RV shows coming up in North America - anywhere and it seems they all end before April. Just my luck. If anyone out there knows of one, PLEASE let us know.

In the meantime and in between time, we have a house to prep for the market. Please God let it sell quickly.... we have given ourselves 2 weeks to get it ready, which should be plenty and the ocean and hills are beautiful in June (not so much May, actually we are expecting SNOW on Sunday we were told by the supermarket cashier).

I will be doing a refresher search on gas mileage for C's and A's and see if I can narrow the field down a little.

Regardless of the Class, we must have:

  • Arctic Package
    •   - Double glazed windows
    •   - Heated bays


  • Night stands
  • Queen island bed
  • Reasonable bedroom storage
  • Minimum 2-way appliance
    •  - Preferably convection oven not microwave (but not mandatory)
  • NO LEAKS (or leak repairs)
  • 2005+
  • Black tank wash
  • Separate fresh water from black/grey bay
  • Electric in the vent fans (not necessarily electric fans, just available electric for Fantastic fans)
  • Kitchen storage
  • Reasonable counter space ( ie. at least some)
  • Cab cup holders (this is a deal breaker)
  • Separate house/engine battery compartments
  • Desk or somewhere to put one ( ie. removable chair)

There might be more, but right now that's all I can remember off the top of my head.

Its progress, slow and steady wins the race.

Oh, and I just noticed that I have reached 10,000 pageviews. Thank you. 💐

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Off to the shops

Well, its Wednesday. Brad goes for his weekly massage today, not sure how he would manage without it and am somewhat concerned about how this will be impacted during #RVLife, careful planning I guess which is kinda my forte.

Since we are going to the local community today Brad suggested we go take a look at some trucks. Incredibly, he is considering trading in our 09 FJ Cruiser on a newer truck with some towing capacity. I think this is a great idea and one which I never thought he would consider given how much we love our FJ. I used to have a yellow 07 and it was incredibly hard to sell it but we just don't need 2 cars when we're both retired in the boonies.

A truck will allow us the capability to tow either a travel trailer or a 5th Wheel and gives us the flexibility to travel locally wherever we go without having to haul the entire rig (like George @ 32') with us.

We will also check into travel trailers and if there are any locally, 5th wheels today.

Tomorrow we are going to the big city for lunch, some friends of ours are coming back to close the sale of their home here. They managed to escape. Can't believe they left without me, but I'll take that up with them tomorrow ;) Just Kidding (sort of)

May 16, 2017
Damn it its cold

So tomorrow we will have a look around the city too. We will do A LOT of research on whatever we find and well before making any decisions of purchase. I am quite opposed to buying anything here, not just out of principle but also because we live on the ocean, the salt water tends to rust everything very quickly here. So unless its new, we will likely have to go somewhere else to get it again.

It felt last night like Brad might actually be coming around to the full-time concept. Today might be a different story, and he would never admit it anyway. If we go off in an RV whether full/part time, he will go kicking and screaming all the while loving every minute of it. Its just how we roll.

Perhaps 'coming around' is the wrong phrase, but certainly willing to consider at least for the short term and feel it out. Once our house sells we won't have to buy another somewhere else immediately, we could just RV until he feels the yearning for a home base and then buy a condo or something so he can have his home. Personally, I think a home base is overrated. Something akin to Walmart putting out Xmas stuff on November 1st.

As a gypsy, I love the idea of being able to move your home anytime. Annoying neighbours, travel bug, family function. RVing allows you such flexibility so why not?! I know its socially acceptable to graduate, get a job, get married, buy a house, have kids. We have both done all that but after my stroke at 32 years of age, I guess my attitude has changed... or developed perhaps.

My brother was (is) angry that I am not a CEO of IBM or something, that I left the corporate world in search of something simpler. I just don't see the point of working my ass off just to pay taxes and die. Let's face it the Governments have been telling us for years to save in RRSP's and the like, let me ask you - why do you think that is? Because they intend to pay you your CPP (Canada Pension Plan) at the end of it?, or because they either don't have enough in the kitty or intend to 'use' (ie steal) it out from under you in the end?

I just want to enjoy life, isn't that the point? Or were we put here to fill the Corporate coffers?

Anyway, I'm ranting as I'm known to do on a few topics.

Good news is: We're going shopping!


Tuesday, 16 May 2017

We sold George

I know its hard to even fathom, but yes, we sold our RV which didn't have a roof!

My happy face


After realizing that the required repairs for this rig were above our pay grade, we decided to pull the plug and take the financial hit. And we still are to some degree, but...

We found out last night that they would allow us to return the EPDM and accessories, which was a huge relief (we still have to pay the return shipping). This was a large chunk of $ change.

This morning we planned to take the old roof to the dump as we had promised Mr truck bay he could have his bay back as soon as possible, then return all of the supplies we had purchased locally (wood, panels, etc..) and attempt to find somewhere legal to park this beast so it could rot away peacefully.

Going to the dump


When we arrived at the truck bay this morning Mr truck bay was there and upon realizing we didn't know what to do with the damn thing, he said "let me phone my buddy". Well, turns out that buddy was just looking through the papers this morning for an RV... and he's going to fix it - apparently.

I was quite happy to just give it to him just so we didn't have the hassle of disposing of it, but instead he insisted on giving us something and we agreed on $1000. Keep in mind that she has no roof and the insides of her are ripped out, quite the coup if you ask me.

Now we paid $10,500 for her but at least now its not our headache and that was the point. All of our repair supplies have been returned to the local shops, the EPDM is on UPS, and Camperworld is sending me return shipping something or other so the Fantastic Fans can be shipped back.

Considering we were into her around $16,000 with shipping and duty, and we managed to regain $7,000 of that I am happy!

🙇(happy dance)🙇

Its still a blow for sure but a softer one than we anticipated this morning.

Now let's start shopping for another...  🎵 I'm so dizzy, my head is spinning 🎵

PS. We bought Mr truck bay a bottle (milk, of course) for doing us 2 solids back to back. (Allowing us the bay, and finding a buyer.)

Sunday, 14 May 2017

RIP George

Well I went to work today and Brad went to frame up the roof on George. So far so good.

When Brad came to pick me up he suggested that we call it and pull the plug. Apparently while he was up there today he was able to look into the walls of George and discovered that they were saturated also at least the top foot or so almost all the way around.

We could go to a lot of work and expense to sort this out but the walls are not something we think we can reasonably do ourselves and even if we did well who knows how much longer the chassis will last, etc.

We discussed it and have decided that before we go any further we should just end it. Learn from this and move on. I will make enquiries tomorrow into whether we can return the 35' of  EPDM and assorted paraphernalia, if not I should be able to sell it on Ebay, Craigslist or Kijiji (Canadian site). I know we can return the lumber to the local place so we can at least minimize our losses that way.

We will be looking for a 'decent' rig, and although Brad was adamant about the Class C or Class A he is now willing to consider a trailer. Something that we can tow with our FJ Cruiser would be great though I can't help but think of Jazz, The Freedom Theory's current rig that they will be selling very soon since they fell in love with another and have purchased it already. Unlikely, but possible.

We are both feeling very disappointed but rather than push forward it seems only sensible to stop now before we get ridiculously deep financially into this. It is tempting to just push forward and I think to some degree we were both doing just that the last few days. Each one not wanting to disappoint the other but thankfully we are able to talk these things through and now here we are.

Not quite sure what we will do with her, there is a fellow down the road that collects old junker cars, so Brad will see if it can go there. Otherwise there is a place down the highway were people park what looks like junker RV's but could just be a spot on the side of the highway where people go to camp. No telling around here.

Anyway, I'm working tomorrow and then we will make some further decisions in regard to all this.

Until then, bear with us and if you hear of any good RV's in the 26-30 ft range with an island bed, please let us know.

I had a quick conversation with RVJedeye (who is also doing a reno) the other day when he said we were brave for taking this on and I pointed out to him that there is a fine line between brave and crazy and I feel like today we landed on the brave side.

When I think about our initial concept of changing the fabrics and doing a bit of painting, then suddenly the roof needed repair, after that the entire roof had to be replaced and now the walls are hooped too. Frustrating as it is I think we are making the right decision here in calling it now. Knowing your limitations is the most important thing in life, RV or otherwise.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Roof Reno Day 4

Day 4 = 6.5 hours

Well the day started out smoothly but it quickly became clear that there would be no saving the ceiling.
Removing the top edge 

But then we got to the bedroom behind the shower

Front of bedroom

So as it was obvious that we couldn't save the inside ceiling... we took the lot off.

Sky view towards the rear

Sky view towards the front

I managed to get a fair number of pictures today but no hazmat suit since I spent most of the day running from one store to another getting supplies since tomorrow is Sunday and nothing around here is open on a Sunday.

It was by far faster if not easier to remove the lot and replace it than it was for me yesterday trying to save the inside ceiling boards, good call Brad.  I have such a good husband, I think I'll keep him. Although I must say, this was all his idea... ;) ( ha ha)

I think the pictures speak volumes of what we managed to do today.

I'm at work tomorrow so he will be at it all by himself, I have given him strict instruction of what needs to be done so I hope he doesn't mess it up without me there to nag, I mean advise. LOL

Friday, 12 May 2017

Roof reno Day 3

Day 3 = 6 Hours (only 1 man)

Unfortunately, Brad had a meeting today and so we got to a late start and then he went to his meeting and I borrowed a buddy's truck and went shopping for more roof stuff. Chaaarrrgggeee it! :)

I picked up the 1" x 2" for the roof framing and enough dense foam to re-insulate the entire roof. Also, I grabbed new ceiling boards just in case we had to damage the entire ceiling on the inside in order to fix the outside. With screws and adhesive in tow it was back to the rig I went.

Once I had it all offloaded into the shop I set about tearing the ceiling out above the driver's seat, bathroom and inside the driver's side kitchen cupboards. Of course I had on a full hazmat suit, gloves, mask and goggles. It was a CSI episode for sure, unfortunately because I was alone, I didn't get any pics of my runway model look. Maybe tomorrow - watch for it!

Actually I didn't get many pictures at all. Being 5'4" and without a stool of any sort I couldn't see what was on the other side of what I was tearing apart, so I stuck my camera out through the vent holes and took pictures so that I could make sure of what I was demolishing. Worked great.

Kitchen ceiling

Kitchen through to Bathroom

Above Kitchen cupboards

Kitchen through to Driver's seat

Early on in the removal above Cab


So at the end of the day, literally, I seemed to have learned that the cab roof, driver's wall, above the driver's side kitchen cabinets, and so far at least the bathroom wall behind the sink and possibly behind the shower are saturated. The rest appeared to my tired end of day eyes to be salvageable. Which I think is good news and it will help me sleep tonight, so don't argue.

Tomorrow we will look further into the bathroom shower area and the 1st foot or so of the bedroom behind the shower. Hopefully we can begin rebuilding the roof frame and if absolutely everything goes well, maybe even start the insulation. Likely not but a girl can dream.

I work Sunday and Monday so Brad will be on his own those days. Being the hero that he is I'm sure he'll have it all prepped and ready to stick the EPDM on by Tuesday. No pressure honey, teehee.

Let's face it, this rig is in really bad shape. I won't try to tell you that ditching it and buying a newer one hasn't crossed our minds but even new right off the rack rigs can have problems. So with this one, sure it will be a lot of work but once its finished we will know what we have.

Our bodies are feeling better today, still tender but better. Though by 6pm we are ready to go to bed but struggle to stay awake until a reasonable bedtime hour.


Thursday, 11 May 2017

Roof Reno Day 2

Day 2 = 6.5 Hours

We got a late start this morning because we were both so tired from yesterday, but eventually we got ourselves motivated, beautified and out the door for our second day working on the roof.

Today we managed to:
Remove the roof trims
Remove the 'wood' from the roof
Remove the worst portions of moldy insulation
Remove brass shower door and frame, towel racks and holder from the bathroom
Decide that we will not be replacing the shower skylight.
Remove the antennae from the roof.

If anyone knows of any reason we should replace the skylight in the shower by all means let us know. At this time, we have decided to close that part of the roof up since the damage there will require so much rebuild anyway it makes more sense to limit the amount of stuff on the roof. We are putting in a Fantastic Fan in the bathroom so we will still have daylight there.

Does the TV Antenna need to go back up ? I don't think so, if we sit back to relax we will likely be online... thoughts anyone? We also don't think we will need the radio antenna since we have Sirius and so we have decided not to replace the Antenna (there are 2) above the cab. Not completely sure why there were 2 antenna above the cab, anyone have ideas?

Mr Honest New Brunswick are you reading this? If you know, email me.

Speaking of Mr Former Owner, if you are reading this and you spent any serious amount of time in this rig you might want to go to a Doctor. The mold in this thing is phenomenal. The entire drivers side right back to the bathroom is shot roof, walls, floors. This leak has clearly been an issue for many years. Perhaps even before you bought it.

The roof trims look easy on the videos but naturally with so much water damage up there the screws were so rusted that we couldn't get them out, however because the wood was so rotted in several sections we were able to just pry them off with the trims and I was able to remove the screws once the trims were on the ground..

The last bit of trims coming off

The 'wood' they used on this roof was 1/8". We are replacing it with 3/8" and likely 2" dense foam insulation R10 ($550CAD) which is what is in it currently. Consideration was given to using Pink R6 ($107 CAD) due to the huge difference in price but I think for stability on the roof it seems best to stick with the dense foam,

I know it will make a huge difference psychologically for me going up there. I don't like ladders at the best of times. Once I'm up there, unless the roof is mushy I'm fine. It's the getting up and down of it that freaks me out, but knowing what the ladder is attached to and that it is solid will help me with that.

The top piece is the old roof and underneath it is the new. Which would you walk on?

Old roofing material

The lower right is above the kitchen cupboards that mickey mouse looking thing is a whole right through

View from the top

Above the driver's seat

It was a hard day today so we went for Chinese after and it was really nice to sit and relax. Tomorrow Brad has an appointment in the afternoon so we're not quite sure how we are going to deal with that. Likely he will drop me off at the rig and come back after but that has yet to be decide. We need to pick up  or order replacement insulation and some 1" x 2"s also.

Hopefully by the end of tomorrow we will begin putting the roof back together. Having so much trouble walking at the moment from two days on the ladders that we just hope to be able to walk tomorrow. You know your old/out of shape when...

The Best News from today is that Brad has finally agreed that we should put the house on the market and get out of here!! THIS was a HUGE happy dance moment for me. Not sure if I mentioned it in a previous post but Brad spoke to a realtor earlier this week about it but wasn't sure at that time whether to sell or not. Now he knows :) But, rig first then we have a couple of things we want to do around the house. Hopefully it will sell quickly.

Oceanfront, literally built on the edge of a 15' cliff. Cross your fingers.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Roof Reno Day 1

I will be noting each day what we did and how long we spent at it for anyone who is doing this in the future, so they have a realistic idea of how long they will need to do this job. From our research we anticipate it will take between 10 - 14 days.

Day 1 = 7 Hours

So we arrived at the shop this morning at 8am, by 3pm we had:
Removed the awning
Removed all the goop from all the accessories on the roof
Removed the accessories
Removed the old EPDM.

I checked the UPS website this morning because I went to bed at 11:30pm last night and still the roof hadn't been delivered. Apparently it was loaded on today's truck. Well I had told Mr truck bay we would meet him at the shop at 8am, so I stuck a note on the front door to UPS to let them know where to find us and off we went.

By 1:30pm today with still no roof delivered, Brad suggested I go to Day 'n Ross who we correctly supposed were the local delivery guys dealing with the order.

When I got there,  I was advised that they only deliver to our town on Mondays. Seriously. Mondays. So I waited around all day Tuesday for nothing and not only because they didn't show up but they don't even deliver on Tuesdays. Most telling is that UPS corporate that I was, frankly - bitching at last night didn't even know that. But, the local guy I was speaking to today was very helpful and we dug around the pile for delivery to our area and low and behold we found the 3 boxes designated for us. After paying the duty they helped me load it all up in our FJ and I was on my way.

Happy as a clam.

Enroute to Day 'n Ross, I dropped by the local hardware store to order 7 sheets of 4' x 8' x 3/8" to replace the roof which at this point we knew we needed, and that will be dropped at the shop tomorrow sometime.




So you can clearly see that all the boards need replacing. The board between the bathroom vent and the shower skylight no longer exists, it was so rotted that it was completely gone. I should also mention that someone along the way used caulking and not lap sealant around the roof accessories, need I say more?! (Caulking does not stick) There were parts which were very easy to remove because of this, and I think you can see what parts those were.

The good news is that we knew enough about this from research that we purchased enough EPDM to replace the entire roof and didn't just assume that it was only the front 4' section, which given the cost of the EPDM ($850 US/ $1100 CAD) we did actually discuss. Considering the EPDM took 3 weeks to arrive and the gong show we had the last couple of days with UPS, reordering would have been extremely problematic.

We had intended to do some work (new fabrics and paint), so when we discovered the leak issue we just tacked it on as a little bit of extra tinkering. When I went onto the roof and discovered soft spots at the front and a couple small ones at the back, we decided to recover the whole thing. Fortunately, thanks to all the fabulous people who put themselves and their lives out online for us to learn from we knew that this could turn into a thing and so prepared accordingly. 

Since we knew there would be at least some board that needed replacing, this disaster is not that big of a stretch for us. Obviously, we have some floor to replace and there will likely be wall issues too, but one step at a time.

When she is done we will know her inside and out and we can be comfortable that she is sound.

Had we not had the wisdom of other people's knowledge this would have been a massive WTF moment and we probably would have torched the damn thing. Anyone researching roof repairs should definitely do their homework and plan for the worst - that would be my advise. 

Undoubtedly, once we remove the plywood we will discover that some/all of the cross beams will also need to be replaced but I didn't order those today as they can be carried in our FJ Cruiser, unlike the 4x8 sheets. So we'll see tomorrow what we have under there and go from that.

Also, Brad wants to order a new shower skylight because this one is so gross and old and has a small crack in the rim so I will be looking into that this evening. We were careful nonetheless not to damage this one just in case.

Onward and Upward.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Updated: Today WAS the day, maybe tomorrow?

So as I said in previous posts, the roof parts were due to be delivered today. They attempted to deliver yesterday but as we weren't expecting them... we missed them. They kindly left a note that they would be back the next business day. Thats today...

We had arranged with Mr. truck bay to bring the rig up today but I called him to say we would wait on the roof so we could have the delivery guys load it into the rig and we could drive it all up.  We set about waiting for delivery.

The rig is parked outside my office window awaiting its new roof bits and Brad had an appointment in town mid afternoon that we hoped we could do all in one trip. I didn't take anything out for supper because we would be close to town anyway... they weren't here when Brad had to leave for his appointment so we arranged to meet up at the truck bay.

Well Brad has been home for awhile now, its 5:30pm and still no roof bits. Brad called UPS because we were told they don't deliver after 5pm, turns out they have until 7pm!

What a wasted day. If they had said late afternoon/early evening or even afternoon, I could have at least primed the cupboard doors that are ready and waiting. But instead I sat here all day researching online and watching YouTube videos to refresh on how to do this roof replacement, which will probably be handy, but still....

I telephoned Mr. truck bay and we have arranged to meet at the bay at 8am tomorrow morning, I will confirm with him later today to ensure that the stuff actually arrives.

A whole day sat doing essentially nothing. So frustrated. And hangry! (angry from hunger)

Updated Editors Note: Its now 8:30pm and still no delivery.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Progress, finally!

We brought the rig up to the neighbours place today so we could plug in a grinder and remove the ceased bolts that were holding the guest chair hostage.  Once the chair and the sofa were out we quickly set to work getting as much of the carpet out as possible.


As of now the sofa, chair, tv, mattress, blinds, carpet and curtain rods are out. While we got most of the carpet out there is still carpet in the cab and bathroom that needs to be dealt with but I'm pretty pleased with the progress we made today.


I'm not so pleased with the state of the place though. Looks like the kitchen will need to be removed. Too tired to think it through at the moment but it seems that the leak runs at least half the length of the RV. Right back to the bathroom at the other end of the kitchen. Won't know for sure until we get the bathroom carpet out which will be awhile yet.


Oh, and I told you I was cute!


I am working for the next 2 days and then we move her inside and deal with the roof. That should be fun. Not.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Ready, Set...

I managed to get all the staples out of all of the remaining valances and have cleaned them but before I can rewrap them I have to take them to a neighbours and get the swoopy middle part shaved off on his table saw. Having valances is one thing but with a loop-de-loop in the middle? NO.

I have hauled all the doors/drawers from the RV to our wood shed and spent today removing the remaining hardware. I scrubbed them down with bleach to kill any mold/mildew caused by the leak. Then sprayed them down with TSP and dried them off.

Tomorrow we plan to remove the chair and couch from the RV because there is a big truck coming through next weekend and I'd love for them to take it out of here so we don't have to trip over them for the next couple of months.

We have finally heard from Mr. with the truck bay and we can load George in there on Tuesday. Also, the EPDM roof is due to be delivered on Tuesday.

Our 3 fantastic fans arrived today so things are finally starting to move and we have so much to do that I can't hardly wrap my blondeness around it. We are quite excited to be able to finally get at it and make some things happen around here. Even Brad.



Thursday, 4 May 2017

Literally plucking away

The weather has been shite the last several days with rain, drizzle and fog. I have to admit I haven't felt like doing much. This morning the sun was out for about an hour and it gave me enough oomph to get down to the RV and bring up the doors. Of course I just realized that I left the one under the stove. Aargh.

They are now in the woodshed awaiting my attention. I also had to get a flat head screwdriver because the old stitch cutter I was using to get under the staples of the valances broke on me. Such is the way of it.

The hardest valance - the one for the entry door which has a little shelf sorta thingy on it is done. I literally just finished it and that thing had to have had at least 300 staples in it. Its only 2ft wide! Wowsers. I was stalling starting that one because I wasn't sure how to get the shelf thingy off of it. Naturally as soon as I took the time to look at it I knew I could just pry the shelf off and that is exactly what I did. It didn't break either!! WooHoo!


So, only two more valances to do but they are bigguns. And lets be real its a triple eviction on Big Brother tonight! LOL Yes I'm a fan of BB, Survivor, Star Wars AND a Trekkie. Move on. Brad just shakes his head at me but a girl has needs and those are mine. Praying that someone somewhere posts BB and Survivor on YouTube so I can watch them from the road next year. Twitch Twitch.

Speaking of Brad, his face is doing much better with proper medication but whatever it is they have him on takes the energy and gumption out of him. His jaw area around the former tooth is still tender though the swelling is all but gone and he is able to eat without much agony, always a bonus.

The EPDM roof is due to arrive on Tuesday next week and the 3 Fantastic Fans I ordered arrived in Moncton, NB 5 days ago and according to the UPS website they have not moved since. Also, still no word from Mr. with the truck bay. I phoned around yesterday looking for something else but there is nothing so I sure hope he pulls through for us.

We ordered a Berkey Water Filter finally. So excited for this thing, I will keep you all posted on what we think of it. We got a confirmation email of the order but nothing yet saying it has shipped.

Did I mention it would have been sooooo much easier to fix this rig somewhere else? Oh, I did? Okay.

Special shoutout to my 'lil buddy Todd who is wandering aimlessly in China at the moment. Sure hope your alright over there. ( I recently found out he actually reads this Blog, so..) I sure like this kid (young man) he makes great videos, so if you haven't already then go check him out - and Subscribe!